Standing Stones Etiquette

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Standing Stones Etiquette

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  • #11585
    ravenblackthorn
    Participant

    Hello all,
    I am a newbie to Druidry.
    My husband and I will be visiting a remote area with standing stones in a few weeks.
    We would like to visit them and maybe walk in the area and into the centre of them.
    Is there a particular way of doing this – we want to show respect to them rather than treat them as a tourist attraction.
    Raven

    #11588
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Hi Raven, welcome – dynnargh dhis!

    There is no formal, set etiquette as far as I’m aware, other than the respect you’d bring to any sacred site. However, my own etiquette would be to approach the stones and walk around them clockwise on entering and then anti-clockwise on leaving. I’d also take some time to sit quietly with the stones and if you touch them, touch them with an open and sincere heart. If there’s any litter, as sadly there can be, do something positive and pick it up to keep the site clean. In that way you’d also be showing some respect and sending out some positive energy. I’ve often sat with lonely stones on the moors, the trouble is that a sheep can often have the comical effect of disturbing your sublime thoughts! Ha ha! Anyway, take care and I hope your visit to the stones, wherever they may be, is meaningful for you.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #11603
    Startree
    Participant

    Hi Raven, if you live by standing stones then you live in a magical place. Standing stoned are always placed near Ley lines, and that is where the faeries are most likely to be found. Also, stones are living beings and have consciousness, so if you can slow your thoughts down a wee bit, you will be able to communicate with them. My favorite circle is the sun honey circle near dee side Scotland. There is always a lot of unseen magic going on around standing stones. So, as far as being nice to the stones, do not take any kind of metal or magnets around them, do not play loud rock music around them, and approach them with an open mind, also you should walk clockwise around them a few times just to let them say high. As you are druids, they will know that, and be very nice to you. Also, standing stone are great places to go during the eight druid festivals each year. and the the autumn equinox is a wonderful time to go. further, I wold not sit on any of them, and just treat them with respect, the circles were used to raise magic, and I mean tons of magic energy and then the druids would direct the energy where they wanted it. Just remember the stone are living beings and are conscious of your presence, Best William

    #11682
    ravenblackthorn
    Participant

    Thank you Dowrgi and William for your comments!

    If lockdown allows, we are planning to go visit the Isle of Arran (we live in Scotland) and visit the standing stones there.

    Is there a ritual significance with entering them clockwise and leaving them anti-clockwise?

    Best Wishes

    Raven.

    #11684
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Hi Raven,

    The Isle of Arran – very beautiful. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island and I went many years ago. Hearing the smallpipes playing at sunset at Lochranza was very special. I also remember seeing many fine red deer on Arran too, so I hope you’re able to go on your trip and that it’s enjoyable. Just watch out for the midgies! 😀

    As for the ritual significance, well, clockwise, i.e. sunwise, is usually the way to open or enter, and anti-clockwise is usually the way to close or leave. However, I don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules and the important thing is a sincere heart and respect, as always.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #11687
    Startree
    Participant

    Is there a ritual significance with entering them clockwise and leaving them anti-clockwise?

    No, not unless you are trying to raise a magic circle of power, however, in a druid ritual you would enter from the west and move clockwise, just a traditional thing to do. But, most druid rituals you attend will not raise a circle of protection because the druid rituals are done for public display most of the time, and the druids don’t want the press to think the druids are up to any more than re enacting history. Further, where you are going is a magical place, and you should experience some magical experience there. Good place for scrying. I would suggest fining standing stones that you like and walking three times around the stone in a clockwise direction just to let the stone know who you are. Also, I suggest always casting a circle of protection before doing any real magic. in a magic circle you will be between worlds, this world and the Celtic Otherworld, so you will need to learn how to cast a magic circle, and I suggest taking a course in Wiccan for this. beware, in learning magic with the druids, for many druids are more into history and philosophy than magic and do not know a thing about magic, or the dangers of using magic in a foolish way. in short, modern day druidry is not the best place to learn how to do magic like Merlyn. Still, there are other wrong paths in modern druidry that you must be aware of. I suggest learning about the tuatha de danann, or at least looking up who they are, for it is my strong belief that the druids are clan members of the Tuatha de danann, and remember, a clan member does not have to be related by blood, it is more like being excepted in a group. Also, watch out for druid cults, who promise you some secret knowledge if you pay them money and really check out groups before you get involved with them. the wise druid asks lots of questions.
    Best William,

    #11689
    Startree
    Participant

    approach the stone circle with an open mind, do not expect anything, when you get there, spend time meditating and relaxing.

    #11690
    Startree
    Participant

    once you have meditated and relaxed and tuned in, you may ask the stones a question, this works with speaking to trees also.

    #11694
    david poole
    Participant

    If you smoke or drink it may not be appropriate to do this actually within the circle itself, nor in practice is it usually a good idea to enter ritual space while intoxicated as this will affect the energy that you introduce to any circle, obviously there may be ritual mead or alcohol in small quantities as an offering and maybe some smudging, but these are limited and carefully controlled and respectful.

    #11697
    Startree
    Participant

    Hi David, I see what you are saying, but I am kind of the other school, and approve of drugs for use in getting closer to the otherworld. remember the American Indians use tobacco all the time and take peyote. Also the druids surely knew of liberty cap. I don’t see any reason why people can’t get high at druid sites, as long as they are not breaking things. and at many of these sites there really is no energy that most people would feel until the energy is raised. the sites are there, but until someone comes along and knows how to use them, they are just dormant, however, some people may feel an increase in energy around the site, but not everyone. the fact is, a lot of people just are not magical and could care less, but there are spirit guardians at these sites and best not to upset them. also, I think people should not be afraid to approach the sites, but I do understand what you are saying, still to raise lots of energy you need group mind or group think, the people who went to Grateful Dead concerts use to talk about this. there is power in groups. I found out all kinds of stuff about magic when I use to drop acid. I saw the world as a living conscious interconnected place with energy all around, but, all acid really does is pop up your Serotonin, is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions in the human body. It is sometimes called the happy chemical, because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. The scientific name for serotonin is 5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT. It is mainly found in the brain, bowels, and blood platelets. lSD makes your brain use tons of serotonin, so you feel great for the first five hours, and then you feel really bad, like cockroaches are everywhere, because you have used all the serotonin in your brain. So, maybe being happy is what druids should be doing all the time. I don’t take lsd anymore, just too much to deal with, and I did not feel I was learning anything new when I took it, it was pretty much the same experience again and again, and I do think it Frys your brain. but, I don’t have anything against people using drugs to have some kind of shamanic experience. And of course alcohol is addictive and can ruin your life fast or slow, either way it is something that I think is dangerous, and I don’t drink anymore, just got tired of it. As long as people are not using drugs to deal with psychological pain I guess they are alright,. there is a lot more to life than drugs, like friendship and family,. but many people use drugs to hide from the dark horror of life, and I say, face the dark side, and accept it is there, and don’t try to hide from it because it will just show up in some other form. it really gets back again to having a purpose in life, something that you want to do, like art or writing, and by the way I have noticed, Dave, that you are a good writer, when is the first book coming out? may the awen be with you, William.

    #11698
    Startree
    Participant

    ids should have read acid, this program changes my words all the time, and rewrites my sentences on its own.

    #11699
    david poole
    Participant

    Thank you William, I think that we shall see about that in time. Drinking or taking anything else will affect your writing, I have found that in the past with alcohol, my writing goes out of control I am much better without it.

    #11700
    Startree
    Participant

    HI David, I found drinking helped my writing creativity when I drank, I just did not get much writing done however. I get lots more done now that I only drink tea. two drugs I would warn against, one cocaine is just evil, and nothing ever good comes from it. two, heroin is so addictive that it is the kind of drug to never never never never touch, and run from, and I mean run from. also, all writing is rewriting, so expect to rewrite everything, and so it is best just to get going on it, and then expect to edit it. I have a book that I have copyrighted, and it will be out next year, right now, I am designing the back cover for it with illustrator, and yes the books has druids in it, as you would expect someone like me to write, it also has faeries and dragons, and harps and chieftains, and witches and most importantly, shinty games,. what if , what if, what if…. the main thing I find is just persistence of writing each day, and then there is also research, but no matter what, you will have to re -right a lot of the stuff, so just get your ideas down and then go back, this is the normal writing process for most writers, unless you can afford a grad student to re write your stuff, like the high rollers, famous writers who put out 4 books a year. and with kindle, now you can self publish,. so no excuses, I want see a book from you, druid bard David.

    #11709
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    If you smoke or drink it may not be appropriate to do this actually within the circle itself, nor in practice is it usually a good idea to enter ritual space while intoxicated as this will affect the energy that you introduce to any circle, obviously there may be ritual mead or alcohol in small quantities as an offering and maybe some smudging, but these are limited and carefully controlled and respectful.

    Morning David. I agree with you on this point wholeheartedly. Apart from the psychological, physical and legal dangers that may be involved, I think a person who is seeking out spiritual enlightenment of some kind should stay well away from intoxicants. I’m not talking about ritual ale or mead here, although turning up to sacred sites drunk is pretty bad in my opinion and I’ve heard plenty of people’s stories about experiences at Stonehenge, Avebury and Glastonbury that were ruined by people who were off their heads turning up and spoiling it for everyone else. In a purely spiritual sense, I think that they are at best ineffective and at worse potentially harmful on a spiritual-psychological level.

    Of course, all of this depends on how much a person really believes in such things, but my view of it is that we are dealing with powerful forces and energies and for this reason, the same as if you were in any other potentially dangerous situation, you need to be in control, centred and focused. Now, I know people will point to the use of certain entheogens among indigenous peoples and their ritual use thereof, however, when an indigenous healer or shaman is using a plant in a ritual way, he is using it with years of training and experience in a controlled environment and on the back of millennia of his or her people’s traditions and lore. This could be compared to how doctors are allowed to write prescriptions for medicines that could be harmful – they know why, when, how and how much. In recent years the trend of going to South America for ayahuasca experiences has become popular and sadly there have been a number of deaths and bad experiences.

    In addition to these considerations, some of the entheogens – plants and fungi – that were used in traditional cultures in Europe are dangerous and easily confused for others that could be even more dangerous, especially as far as many fungi are concerned. I’d really not recommend their use at all.

    In the third Bardic Course booklet, Greywolf points out:

    … However, with our strengthened and purified awareness this need not be as daunting as it potentially sounds and, unlike the use of mind-altering drugs (mind-destroying more like – the BDO does not condone the use of drugs), meditation only gives you what you are ready for by way of incrementally increasing your awareness. … If you still wish to escape from reality then there are the above mentioned drugs, alcohol,television and a plethora of other means to do so. But if that’s really what you want, then we politely and respectfully suggest that perhaps the path to becoming a Druid is not for you…

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #11724
    Dave TheDruid-3X3
    Participant

    Awens to Raven Black Thorn:

    I did a search on Megalithic Portal for what there is on the Isle of Arran where your going to and I found that there is around a Dozen Standing Stones around the Isle.

    A Japanese Member of Megalithic Portal known as ‘Aska’ went for a trip to Arran and got several Pictures of Standing Stones and submitted them to Megalithic Portal. Monyquil Standing Stone is one of them:
    https://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=51742

    But there are some sets of Standing Stones on the Isle of Arran which is listed by Megalithic Portal for which there is No Pictures by Members. Clauchan Glen is one which is located just East of the Town of Cemy. You have to Hike in through a Valley along the Clauchan River to get to. It is located at Latitude: 55.522880N Longitude: 5.260559W.

    Then there is Lean An Tubhaidh Standing Stone which is in the middle of a Forest that is East of the Town of Imachar and is located at Latitude: 55.611999N Longitude: 5.356275W.

    And there is another at the very North of the Isle of Arran and that is the Cnoc An Uird Standing Stone which legends say marks the Grave of a Sailor. It is located at Latitude: 55.702751N Longitude: 5.315338W

    If you get Pictures of those Standing Stones which Megalithic Portal needs for their Listings, please either post them here or PM to me and I will forward them to Megalithic Portal (making sure you get Credit).

    3X3

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