The Orijinn of Stonehenge?

646px-Colossal_Hewn_Block,_Ancient_Quarries_Baalbek

The post that follows is admittedly a bit of a mess, so I feel I need to explain why this should be in advance of anyone troubling themselves to read it. To begin with, I’ve often referred to all the unpublished material on Stonehenge in my archives, so by way of demonstrating that this material isn’t a figment of my fevered imagination, I need to resume publishing it, as I did when my former site Eternal Idol was fully functional.

With this particular post, I have far more questions than answers, so if anyone ‘out there’ can enlighten me about any aspect of what follows, then I would be extremely grateful. It may well be that even if all my questions are answered, then we’ll be none the wiser at the end of the process, but unless I commit it all to print, then we’ll never find out, while I feel the whole process will be facilitated if I simply think out loud rather than try to present a coherent case for something that exists at best as a series of nebulous connections.

So, about seven or eight years ago, I found myself reading about jinn for reasons that would be too time-consuming to repeat here. I’d been interested in these entities for decades, but this time around, I was intrigued to learn that there were apparently several varieties of jinn and that one was believed by scholars to be the spirits of distant ancestors, or something very similar. Despite my best efforts, I’ve been unable to remember where I read this, nor have I been able to find it since, so there’s a possibility that my memory might be at fault, but I don’t think so. It made an impression on me because of what was at the time the growing interest in the notion of our ancestors being worshipped at Stonehenge, but that’s the best I can manage, I’m afraid.

Back to the present, and I noticed yesterday that a vast monolith has been discovered in a quarry at Baalbek, in Lebanon. I couldn’t find much information on this huge stone, but I was more than content to read once more about the temple complex and the other notable stone in the quarry, the Stone of the Pregnant Woman. When I refreshed my memory about the sheer size and weight of this block, it was inevitable that Stonehenge came once more to mind on account of the enduring mystery of how such huge stones were moved, but I was also intrigued to learn of a theory that this particular stone at Baalbek took its name from legends that pregnant jinn were assigned the task of cutting and moving it.

The source of these legends appears to be in a book entitled Folk-lore of the Holy Land by James Edward Hanauer, but that’s as far as I’ve been able to proceed. When I’d previously read about jinn, I’d learned that, among their other attributes, their name may mean ‘The Unseen or Hidden Ones”, that they sometimes cooperated with magicians to lift items into the air, that they sometimes appeared as tall men dressed in white and that they mimicked the voices of the dead, all of which naturally reminded me of certain aspects of Stonehenge.

The much-reviled Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote of the stones of Stonehenge that “Giants of old did carry them from the furthest ends of Africa…” and I remember that when Eternal Idol was online, someone perspicaciously suggested that Egypt, with its giant statues and other monuments, would qualify as “the furthest ends of Africa”. Would Lebanon reasonably qualify as “the furthest ends of Africa?” Given its geographical position in the eastern Mediterranean, I think it would, at least from the perspective of a 12th century man like Geoffrey of Monmouth, while it is at least a pleasing coincidence that Baalbek is home to the largest quarried blocks on Earth.

We know that the Romans built a temple on top of some of these previously-placed outsize stones and we also know from Darvill and Wainwright’s 2008 excavation that the Romans had a marked interest in Stonehenge, perhaps even re-arranging some of the stones there to suit their own purposes. I don’t know what to make of all this, which is why I was careful to qualify this post at the start and why I’m doing nothing more than think out loud, but I can’t help but be intrigued by the story that jinn were responsible for shaping and perhaps moving huge blocks of stone at “the furthest ends of Africa” to make a temple, while it’s possible – if my memory serves me correctly – that at least one variety of jinn were formed of the spirits of distant ancestors.

The earliest known phase or function of Stonehenge, as far as I can gather, was as a cemetery, so the ancestors were in place from the very start and it would seem to me that the spirits of those same ancestors were thought to inhabit the place, although whether they were feared or revered, I can’t say. I don’t know if you’d strictly categorise Geoffrey’s giants as supernatural beings, but something keeps nagging at me about the presumed attributes of certain jinn and what we know of Stonehenge’s earliest days, as presented by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

That’s it, I’m afraid; I don’t have a theory of any kind to propose, because all I have is a series of disjointed observations about various supernatural entities with interesting attributes, with a common theme of “the furthest ends of Africa”, ancestors and the putting in place of monoliths to build temples. My passion has always lain in trying to explore the most obscure aspects of Stonehenge that it’s possible to imagine in the remote but not unthinkable expectation of finding something of real value, so if anyone has any further observations to make or information to add, I’ll be very pleased to read whatever’s put forward.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Antiquities, Magic & the Supernatural, Stonehenge, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Orijinn of Stonehenge?

  1. corvusrouge says:

    Dennis,
    monolith creation wasn’t neccessarily exclusive to Africa. If you wanted to go to the “furthest ends of the world”, this place would qualify, though admitedly, these are from a later era. I find the explanation behind the mechanics to be of interest along with the sheer physical size of these that extends into the ground. I see many parallels with earlier cultures along with some hints of shared beliefs as well, http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/easter-island-statues-revealed-234519

    Liked by 1 person

  2. eternalidol says:

    There’s no question that different cultures have parallel beliefs, so I may well have been cherry-picking. Still, everything that I’d read about jinn leapt out at me and it fascinates me that there’s a belief that some of them quarried stone and built huge temples in a place that might conceivably have been “the furthest ends of Africa” as far as GoM and/or his sources were concerned.

    As I said, I don’t have a theory on this, but I have the suspicion that some fascinating extra ‘thing’ somehow related to all this is lurking in the ‘dark backward and abysm of time’, waiting to be brought to light – we’ll see.

    Like

  3. Robin Melrose says:

    Not sure how relevant this is, but here goes… Jinn apparently means “hidden one” and there is a “hidden god” in Welsh mythology, Mabon son of Modron, who was taken from his mother when he was three days old, and was eventually found in a dungeon in Gloucester. Mabon son of Modron’s story is similar to that of Pryderi in the first branch of the “Mabinogion”, and to that of Gweir, who is imprisoned in the Mound Fortress in “The Spoils of Annwn”. Mabon (Maponos in Gaul) means “Divine Son” and Modron (Matrona in Gaul) means “Divine Mother”, so here we have a god defined by his ancestry, apparently imprisoned in an underworld fortress. And if the Mound Fortress is Stonehenge… Incidentally, the German linguist Theo Vennemann believes that the root of Maponos (mac or mab) is derived from a Semitic language – “the furthest ends of Africa” – he links mac/mab to Akkadian (Semitic language of Mesopotamia), and ancient Egyptian words.

    Like

    • eternalidol says:

      Thank you very much indeed for this, Robin; it might well be a blind alley, but I’m interested in pursuing each and every last tiny fragment of what GoM had to say, as well as doing the same for any other linguistic and legendary element concerning Stonehenge. All the things I pointed out in my post might well be coincidences, as I recognise there are common themes worldwide; however, given how accurate GoM was about everything else to do with Stonehenge, I’ve been wondering for years about the Africa connection, so I was naturally fascinated when I read about the Stone of the Pregnant Woman, jinn working at the behest of magicians and so forth. The idea of jinn being the Hidden or Unseen Ones, some of whom might have been the spirits of the ancestors in some form also intrigued me, so thank you very much once again and if you have any other thoughts remotely related to this, I’d love to hear them.

      Like

  4. you have my interest, I will be reading your full blogg later on:) In the meanwhile, maybe this will interest you aswell: http://brokenmirrors2014.wordpress.com

    Like

    • eternalidol says:

      I’m glad you liked the post, but the truth is that it’s just a bare fraction of what I’ve published on these matters over the course of the last ten years or so. I had a look at your site and if you’ve not heard of it before, I suspect you might enjoy Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality, which is the best book of its kind I’ve come across.

      Snapshot_20141207

      Like

      • Hi mr E, I will look into this book, from the looks of the cover it seems very interesting to say the least:)

        Thanks for the trouble!

        By the way Ive updated my readings a little bit…;)

        Like

      • eternalidol says:

        Patrick Harpur’s book provided me with several ‘watcher of the skies’ moments, so I hope you enjoy it and benefit from it as much as I did. And if you glance at the ‘About’ page at the top left of this page, you’ll further discover that I have a face and a name πŸ™‚

        Like

      • Ah Mr Price, thanks again πŸ˜€ I’ve seen that there are a few editions of this book, correct? So I think Imma start with The Gnostic Pagan Tradition? And after that, the Fieldguide to the Otherworld…

        Like

  5. Robin Melrose says:

    I think many of the ancestors buried at or near Stonehenge were revered, but some were feared. In the Neolithic the dead were laid to rest in two ways – either excarnation (de-fleshing) and secondary burial (West Kennet Long Barrow) or cremation (Stonehenge). With the coming of the Beaker People in the Early Bronze Age, a new form of burial became popular – placing a body in a round barrow, as happened many times in the vicinity of Stonehenge (e.g. Bush Barrow). This form of burial was something of an aberration in Wessex, and by the Early Iron Age, excarnation and secondary burial was once again the norm. The idea behind excarnation is simple: while there is flesh on the body, the spirit cannot escape and join the ancestors, but is forced to lead a pitiful existence on the fringes of the community in which he or she lived. It’s my belief that people in the Iron Age feared Stonehenge, because there were hundreds of restless spirits who were milling about because they hadn’t been given the “proper” burial rites. Perhaps this belief accounts for Wilsford Shaft near Stonehenge, which was dug in the Middle Bronze Age (after Stonehenge went out of use), and contains the secondary burial of human bones which had been duly de-fleshed before burial. It may have been a way of communing with and placating these spirits.

    Like

  6. eternalidol says:

    I see that a village in Egypt is being plagued by terrifying fires, which the local people ascribe to the actions of jinn. The BBC news report is very brief, but it interests me that local clerics seem to describe this belief as superstition, because I was under the firm impression that a belief in these entities was very much a part of Islam. Perhaps the clerics were saying that the belief that jinn caused these particular fires is superstition, but I can’t work it out from what I’ve seen and heard, sadly.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s