Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice

This is just a little more on "We are all the same". The last time I tried the "we are all the same", somebody that didn't even sign their name left me a hate rant. So, this time I will be more careful.

When I say that we are all the same, I mean that I see evidence of people today, possibly, celebrating the same thing that our ancestors celebrated.

35,000 people descended on Stonehenge, located on the Salisbury Plains of Southern England, to celebrate the Summer Solstice. This celebration has been happening in some form or another since the beginning of time. Just like we all seem to want to celebrate the warm weather arriving, people throughout the ages have looked forward to the abundance of food and the warm weather. Among other things, they celebrated the idea that they could gather less firewood, and they didn’t have to lug around their warm clothing everywhere they went. It must have been nice for the young people to be able to check each other out, with less clothes on, and decide who might make a good husband or wife.

It has long been my theory that every event takes on sophistication. When we were little kids, there was a tree on the ranch in Laytonville. Our ancestors had carved their initials on it as children. As each child grew old enough to carve, we all carved our initials on the tree. The tree became an object of great significance to the family. The tree became something that we protected, and there was an air of significance about the carving event when we put our initials on the tree. We would practice carving on other trees first. We would try to get very good at it, because when we put our initials on the tree, we wanted them to look as good as Dad’s or Grandpa’s.

We later figured out that we should have carved our initials on a rock, or something more permanent. The tree is dead and gone now. There is no record of the tree ever existing. The Indians were smarter than we were, they carved on rocks! The rocks are still here today. Is it possible that they considered the permanence of the record that they left on rocks? My other though is that “we are all the same”. If that is the case, can you imagine the history that the Indian people carved on trees that are no longer with us? I wonder what we would know about the past if we could have those records.

Now on to Stonehenge. When I first looked at the pictures of today’s event, I was shocked by what I saw. It appeared that it was a bunch of people playing “dress up” or “dress down” depending upon your opinion. They were drinking, using drugs and generally celebrating. I thought, “how sacrilegious”. It appeared to me that they were desecrating a most holy and sacred place, built by our ancestors. Slowly I realized that was what Stonehenge was built for. Throughout history man has celebrated the same as we do today, and it would have been the same kind of people in history performing the celebrations. The showmen, the charlatans, the extroverts, all leading the way. The person with the best rattle, or the best costume would end up with the most followers, just like today’s TV preachers, or the promoter with the best hippy event.

It also stuck me how much the event at Stonehenge is like the “Burning Man” festival at Black Rock Desert Nevada. The people at Burning Man try to out-do each other with their performance art. Each year they build “The Man”, then they burn it, in the significance that they are ridding the world of “The Man”. The Man may mean different things to different people. But, when The Man is gone, it is a sense of the end of the “bad” and the beginning of a new “good”, much like the summer solstice is the end of the cold season and the beginning of the warm season.

All people of the world, again, throughout all of history, have celebrated a renewal celebration.

Just like the people of Burning Man try to make a bigger, better, more significant “Man” every year, I think that must have been how Stonehenge was built. It probably all started with a bunch of people that were stone-age counterparts of today’s hippies. They had a conversation that went like this:
“Hey Trog…
Remember last year when we made the big ring out of logs at the “Renewal Celebration?”, then we burned them? Well, this year let’s do something better. Let’s do something that will last forever. Let’s get some of those huge blue rocks over in Wales, float them on barges as close as we can get to the Salisbury Plains, then we will skid them on ropes and rollers, stand them on end in a circle, then put cap stones on the top. I’ll bet that gets the girls!”

More evidence that "we are all the same" Man has littered since the beginning of time...

Stonehenge, original rave house
Stonehenge video


Dave said...

Hi Ernie

I wonder why you have the link (Franken Amendment) to my blog at the end of your post?

It doesn't appear related to what you wrote.
Was it automaticly generated?
I'm just curious.
Seems odd.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Try again Dave. It must be one of those computer world glitches. Both links go to a Stonehenge site.

I did go to your site and saw that you had the summer solstice up also.


suzy blah blah said...

hey, i got my burning man tickets today and they came with a fire ball candy wrapper ... sooooooooooooo totallly appropriate.

happy equinox everybody!

Ekovox said...

Ernie, Ernie, and women all gathered in a circle or rectangle as the case may be ridin' and a ropin' wild and domesticated animals all for the sheer delight personal athleticism during the summer months. Most of the people consuming fermented beverages and some even dance wildly into the late evening. Stonehenge, Burning Man, Garberville Rodeo.....we're all about the same.

Humans are the strangest of the animals

Anonymous said...

Should have a small "Burning Man" celebration down on Tooby Bros. Flat.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Eko said: "Stonehenge, Burning Man, Garberville Rodeo.....we're all about the same.
Humans are the strangest of the animals."

Yep, and have been throughout all of history. The only thing that has changed is our newly adopted standards.

Ben said...

Check ot the Astronomy Picture of the Day link on ASIS home page for a less trashy look at Stonehenge.

spyrock said...

stonehenge is on a ley line that runs directly to the great pyramid in egypt. most of the important buildings and sites in england are on ley lines.
another ley line site nearby is where some of my family came from in england. it is very close to greenham common air force base where we had enough cruise rockets each 16 times more powerful than the one we dropped on hiroshima, enough to destroy the world. so for quite sometime there were peace protests mostly by woman around the gates of greenham common air force base. this place is very close to stonehenge. i've been there. to both places.
some people take the solstice seriously. everyone did in the olden days, but there are still people who take this event seriously. but i don't think having fun and being serious are mutually exclusive. you can do both. especially if it might mean saving the planet.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks for the tip on the Asis Stonehenge photo. As you know, I find Stonehenge to be fascinating all by itself, but this post was not about Stonehenge so much, but about the human beings need to party, associate, celebrate, and congregate. And, the possibility that Stonehenge was built for that very purpose.

Anonymous said...

Lets talk about Elmer Hurlbutt???

suzy blah blah said...

yep, everything's all the same. Lotta lay lines at Stone H and B Man every year, probably the same old shit as heard in ancient Egypt ...

toothless in Seattle said...

I need a good lay line.