For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Menhirs, Dolmens and Circles of Stone
The Folklore and Mythology of Sacred Stone
  • Gary R. Varner
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Menhirs, Dolmens and Circles of Stone. The Folklore and Mythology of Sacred Stone
Sound Bite

From the Stone Age to today, humans have erected stones, shaped stones, and attributed special powers to stones large and small. Gary Varner presents a sweeping historical and cultural overview of the symbolic significance of stones over the ages. This is an excellent reference for anyone interested in folklore, history, and the development of religion.

 


About the Author

Gary R. Varner is a lecturer and writer on folklore and early religions. He is author of several popular books comparing legends and beliefs around the world, three published by Algora. His approach incorporates details from ancient cultures and from Native American, UK and European, Asian, South Pacific and African folklore.

Varner has traveled extensively to research his projects, most notably to England, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Mexico and the American West and Southwest.

He is a member of the American Folklore Society and writes about ancient traditions and how those traditions, along with their folklore and mythology, continue to play an important part in contemporary society. He is listed in successive editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World reference works.

Varner lives in northern California. His website is popular with those interested in pre-Christian religions, traditional beliefs, myths, legends and superstitions.

About the Book

Why are some rocks simply tossed out of the way while others, regardless of their size, are held as sacred, mysterious and imbued with power?

Humans since the dawn of civilization have used stone to represent the holy, both by...

Why are some rocks simply tossed out of the way while others, regardless of their size, are held as sacred, mysterious and imbued with power?

Humans since the dawn of civilization have used stone to represent the holy, both by fashioning sacred symbols for themselves and by granting recognition to certain sites occurring naturally.

Varner shares his love of nature lore, oral traditions, folklore and ancient religious structures that are still so abundant in the world, and offers insights on the history and the technology of these artifacts, while touching on the importance of preserving a sense of reverence in today's world.

This study examines the universal appeal of sites from the Dome of the Rock and Stonehenge to sites sacred to the Inuit and the Cherokees, from the Middle East to the American Midwest and the English Midlands.

Philosopher-historian Mircea Eliade wrote, "a rock reveals itself to be sacred because its very existence is a hierophany: incompressible, invulnerable, it is that which man is not. It resists time; its reality is coupled with perenniality." The properties of stone were recognized as unique early in humankind's rise to civilization.

Even when cultures were transitioning their technologies from stone to metal, it was stone that was used for ritual and other important acts. Early 20th-century Egyptologist Wallis Budge wrote, "in a tomb of the VIth Dynasty at Sakkrah, when the Egyptians had a good knowledge of working in metals, we see in a painting on the wall the act of circumcision being performed on a youth by an operator who uses a flint knife."

Little do the keepers of worry stones today realize that they are practicing one of the ancient traditions of transferring their problems to an inanimate object. This volume looks at customs and traditions from around the world, from the curious to the profound, related to stones large and small, from prehistory to today.

Illustrations, bibliography.


More Information

Sound Bite

CQ08 CQ14 The author shares his love of nature lore, oral traditions, folklore and religious structures and provides a sound resource for the adventurer seeking spiritual, mythological and historical inspiration, whether around Britain, the USA or Europe.


Sound Bite

CQ08 CQ14 The author shares his love of nature lore, oral traditions, folklore and religious structures and provides a sound resource for the adventurer seeking spiritual, mythological and historical inspiration, whether around Britain, the USA or Europe.


Categories

Pages 236
Year: 2004
LC Classification: BL457.S7.V37
Dewey code: 203'.7—dc22
BISAC: REL054000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-349-8
Price: USD 21.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-350-4
Price: USD 27.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-351-1
Price: USD 21.95
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