Saturday, June 27, 2015

Carrymore Megalithic Graveyards and Virgins, Ireland

We came across the sign for these leaving Sligo on the way to Galway. They were only 15 minutes off the main road.  I was really glad we made the effort to see them.  Nothing so humbling as to walk among the stones of prehistoric man, laid out 3500 BC.
It was raining while we walked about the field.  It really made us  feel like we were in Ireland.  We’d consistently had sunshine.  Yet the locals said, and the glorious green of grass spoke of the constant rain through winter and this time of year in spring.  Now we were truly experiencing the drizzle I remembered from London.  Not a downpour like one gets on the West Coast of Canada but this pleasant wet rain with a hefty breeze.  The sheep with lanolin in their fur were perfectly adapted to this.  It was the weather I’d read about in James Joyce. And here we were walking over the ‘moors’.  I think moors is a Scottish term but it felt like that.
We had a map from the central office of the Carrymore Megalithic site which we’d got when we paid admission. It told us that a pile of rocks which we’d have thought nothing of was indeed a grave and with the map we could see what they meant. Like when a person points out a dog or a face in a cloud formation. There was that aha moment then.  Which was fun in itself. The big structures were obviously self evident. And quite uncanny.  Making the whole idea of space ships and aliens visiting thousands of years ago seem more  reasonable as an explanation than ancestral gravesides. Not that Laura and I had anything against graveyards.  We were becoming graveyard connoisseurs with our various adventures in ancestry.
By any standard this was a most splendid graveyard, if it was a graveyard.  It might have been  a bunch of rocks in a circle with a fire and a Monty Python Flintsone character in the raised bit in the middle doing jokes,  beating on skins, or haranguing the tribe that the world was going to end,  or climate was going to change. Alternatively maybe people decided to clear a field for a dance or crops and decided to pile all the stones in the centre just for the fun of it.  Thousands of PHD thesis had been written about this very idea or some thing similar. There were academic factions who thought it was part of a Stone Henge franchise.  Mostly since agriculture and planting times were so important it was thought to be a big calendar astronomically oriented to the stars, because prehistoric folk were poor and couldn’t afford iPhone calendars.  Academic food fights broke out routinely in university cafeterias between competing factions.
Alternatively some really short smart guy who wanted to be taller than everyone else, because he’d been bullied as a child, somehow convinced everyone to make him a pedestal. Maybe he  scared them and said  that the dinosaurs were extinct and the mammoths had moved on because they masturbated. He was probably telling them to stay away from the sheep too. Don’t eat bacon.  Don’t wear lipstick.  Don’t paint their bodies blue like the Scots. Irish don’t do that sort of thing.
In the biggest mound they had an inner circle with a rock table. The priests probably had a party there and after  they sacrificed virgins, ate them, or got into necrophilia.   Pre Christian pagan priests got up to whatever they wanted to because there wasn’t any ‘oversight’.  Whistle blowers were still at the bag pipe stage.   There’s little known a bout the Druids except they did have sacrifices like the Mayans.  For all the bad press Christians and Jews get they stopped child sacrifice.
That the  map said this was where some King was laid to rest could be just a way for this heritage site to keep  from getting a restricted ‘adult’ rating.  They probably aren’t telling you everything they know.    No one really knows why the Druids were so secretive. Transparency still isn’t popular with the leadership.
Laura and I had a bit of laughter walking about in the rain looking at the rocks.  There was obviously  a bit of awe thrown in.  Maybe that’s why I was joking.  Laura and I were laughing. But the place was kind of spooky  too.  The place could give one that feeling someone was watching.  Whoever or whatever they were,  they’d  been doing it for a very long time.
Eventually Laura and I stood silent in this sacred place.  
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the Old Testament there is quite a lot of talk about memorial stones, boundary stones, stone altars, and also later, Herodotus mentions kings (Darius was one) counting their armies by every 10, or 100, men bringing a stone and heaving it onto a pile or in a row or circle. It was like calculation by stones vs. an abacus. There was no other way to number people in their millions in those days. Hence random piles of stones on plains here and there, far from the advance of glaciers or any similar explanation. Sandy VE