colour and standing stones

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colour and standing stones

Postby hmj » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:33 pm

Recently for the first time I dowsed some of the recumbent stone circles of Aberdeenshire. The experience left me impressed by the power still found at some of the sites but above all gave me a needed reminder about the people who built the sites. Today we look at the stones for energy lines, for detailed alignements with stars or the sun/moon - all interesting, valuable and "scientific" but I for one had forgotten the importance of the "artist's" eye used by the builders in their use of colour and possibly sound at these sites.

East Aquhorthies (the field of prayer?) near Inverurie has stones deliberately shaded in reds and greys round its circle taking the viewer from the warmth of the south sun or funeral pyre to the colder greys of the north. An emotional journey painted in stone. For the first time it was not shape that mattered but colour and the pull of the recumbent.

I am sure many know of other circles/sites which have used colour to enhance the experience of the visitor to the site and to paint a picture. Perhaps our circle builders understood in their own way what it took the great cathedral builders to demonstrate with their use of light and colour many centuries later. Perhaps it is not just the circle builder's grasp of astrophysics we need to wonder at but also their "artist's" eye for light colour and even sound in painting a picture for the spirit.
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Re: colour and standing stones

Postby Grahame Gardner » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:58 am

Indeed, it is an oft-overlooked quality these days, mainly because the stones have weathered so much over time. The cairns at Clava, for instance, were once a mix of bright pink and white stones and must have been stunning when new.
Easter Aquorthies is one of the best RSCs for seeing the variety of stones used, and it's not just the colour either; they have a great variety of textures too.
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The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Re: colour and standing stones

Postby simonwheeler » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:17 am

hmj:Perhaps it is not just the circle builder's grasp of astrophysics we need to wonder at but also their "artist's" eye for light colour and even sound in painting a picture for the spirit.


Indeed- though not sure about "even" sound; I think sound is very important. These days maybe we are too inclined to lose the holistic viewpoint...everything tends to be pigeon-holed and specialist. And maybe our ancestors' natural state was one of what...now..we call synesthesia? (Though I have no evidence to present for this suggestion...but then, how could I?!)
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

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Re: colour and standing stones

Postby simonwheeler » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:01 pm

Worth reading this, methinks!
coupled with the positioning of the performance in the forecourt meant that we experienced new acoustical sensations outside the ancient burial site.
Vibrations were reverberating off the walls and the outside of the chamber. In the words of one of the children, the physical sensations of the drumming “felt like you were moving even when you were still”. Next week we hope to explore the acoustical possibilities even further including using the inside of the chamber for part of the musical performance. The reactions of the children mirrored our own excitement and it was wonderful witnessing the transformative power of sound!”
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

www.simongordonwheeler.co.uk

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Re: colour and standing stones

Postby hmj » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:56 pm

Hi Simon

I agree - sound was very important at these sites. My even was more an "and also". The University of Reading with Dr David Keating has carried out a bit of research on sound waves at a number of recumbent sites and has found it to be channeled and amplified in the funnel of the recumbent itself. Our ancestors deigned for sound and colour as well as being mathematically inclined!

The schoolkids obviously had a memorable time - an excellent project. I particularly like the comment from the lad about "feeling as if you were moving when you were standing still". I have felt that in the likes of Newgrange with just the voice of the guide. Our ancestors would have used flutes and drums I am sure as well as the human voice for great effect at these sites perhaps even to induce trance to commune with the ancestor.
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Re: colour and standing stones

Postby geopathictomography » Wed May 02, 2012 3:02 pm

hmj wrote: I am sure many know of other circles/sites which have used colour to enhance the experience of the visitor to the site and to paint a picture. Perhaps our circle builders understood in their own way what it took the great cathedral builders to demonstrate with their use of light and colour many centuries later. Perhaps it is not just the circle builder's grasp of astrophysics we need to wonder at but also their "artist's" eye for light colour and even sound in painting a picture for the spirit.

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