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Why was this moment of the summer solstice so important to these ancient people who created this monumental arrangement of huge rocks?
Archaeologists believe that Stonehenge was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. There are a number of myths surrounding these stones. No one knows specifically why they built Stonehenge because it was produced by a culture that left no written records, but for some reason, it was arranged to face the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset.
Rising up to 30 feet tall and weighing up to 25 tons each, this circular formation of 93 rocks or quarried stones form the Stonehenge circle.
This ring of standing stones, like the circle shape of the crown chakra, may have been built as a symbol of "peace and unity", indicated in part by the fact that at the time of its construction, Britain's Neolithic people were experiencing a period of cultural unification (according to a team of British researchers led by Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield).
From what scientists can tell, Salisbury Plain was considered to be a sacred area long before Stonehenge itself was constructed. The presence of abundant animals for hunting may have led people to consider the area sacred. The solstices must have controlled human activities such as the mating of animals, the sowing of crops and the controlling of winter storage between harvests.
This space was also specially chosen in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. It can be referred to as the domain of the dead. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were buried there in ancient times. Similarly, B.K.S. Iyengar believes, “The union of nature and soul removes the veil of ignorance that covers our intelligence.”
Burial Mounds- Photo Credit: Trip Advisor.com
To signify even further that this is a sacred place, worthy of spiritual recognition, the external wall is made up of sarsen sandstone and the internal horseshoe is made up of bluestones. Bluestones were mysteriously hauled nearly 200 miles from South Wales, a major technical accomplishment at the time. Various authors have suggested that supernatural methods were used to move these enormous rocks that were perhaps impossible to move otherwise due to their massive size.
Researchers from the Royal College of Art in London have discovered that bluestones possess unusual acoustic properties and when they are struck they respond with a loud clanging noise. In certain ancient cultures rocks that ring out, known as lithophones, were believed to contain mystic or healing powers. Therefore, Stonehenge has a history of association with rituals. The presence of these ringing rocks seems to support the hypothesis that Stonehenge was a place for healing.
Our Crown Chakra, Sahaswara, is our source of enlightenment and spiritual connection to all that is. This connection takes the form of a circle, like a crown. When this chakra is not in balance, complications can be confusion, a lack of connection, and an inability to function practically. We tend to doubt everything we’ve known to be true. On the other hand, “Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together,” states B.K.S. Iyengar in Light on Life.
The concept of the Crown Chakra seems to have been carried over through many different cultures and time periods. Crowns have been used as a symbol to indicate beings who were believed to be ordained by the gods. The crown traditionally represents power, legitimacy, honor, as well as immortality. Similar to the balanced Crown Chakra that represents our connection with the divine, and higher perspectives.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Further, our Crown Chakra is the color purple. Purple’s rarity in nature and the expense of creating the color and has given it a supernatural association for centuries. Purple was used primarily for garments of the emperors or privileged individuals. During Roman times, it would take approximately 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye, barely enough for dying a single toga.
The Crown Chakra is associated with the brain and nervous system. Purple is also the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow. Because of its high frequency, purples has been used in the care of nervous disorders because they have shown to help balance the mind and transform obsessions and fears.
Photo Credit: by Dominik Marciszewski
Could this combination of the summer solstice, representing life, and the Winter Solstice, representing death, combined in a circle, be a symbol for the circle of life and the wheels of samsara? Feeling enlightened with a balanced Crown Chakra is experiencing unity that everything is connected at a fundamental level. Ultimately, B.K.S. Iyengar teaches, “Spirituality is not some external goal that one must seek, but a part of the divine core of each of us, which we must reveal.”
Photo Credit: HumanityHealing.com
In addition, related to light and stones, B.K.S. Iyengar reminds us, “The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.”
How can you let your light shine through this summer?
Yoga Poses to Open Your Crown Chakra
I move towards light and enlightenment.
I am grateful for everything that I have had and everything that I will have.
I am open to letting go of my attachments.
I feel unified and connected within my life and with all living things.
I am conscious of this present moment.
I feel lightness and openness to the bigger picture.
Me and Deni
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
My Paintings are now on Yoga Pants!
Fun Yoga in the Park
Travel the world with me through yoga!
These themed lessons are fun for all ages and levels at Mission Bay Park.
See the page, Park Yoga, for more information!
Lessons from Abroad