Just up the steps from St. Patricks Church, on a grassy mound there is a rather unusual site. A pair of Standing Stones, right in the middle of the graveyard. Apart from the Lia Fáil which I shall get to later in the week this are the last remaining stones of their kind. It is said that in ancient times the Royal City at Tara was littered with such monuments, in fact certain documents name many of the stones that once stood in this part of Tara as; Dall, Dorcha, Maol, Bloc and Bluicna. The importance of this ancient city is attested to by the many invading races whom arrived in Ireland and ruled from Tara. Whilst these particular stones may date back to the Neolithic, many believe that they are more than likely from the Bronze Age (300BC-2500BC). These ancient rocks have always captured my imagination, it’s almost like they have the ability to transport you back to a different time and place? And the never ending debate as to their purpose will no doubt last for all time. Some argue that they were land markers or places of ritual or even ancient calenders! As I have explained in previous articles on the subject, I like to think that these were used by our ancestors much in the same way as acupuncture needles are today. Many, I have found still to this day emit a strong energy. So perhaps these ancient people whom were in some ways more advanced than modern man were using these to harness the natural energy of the land?
When I first say these many years ago I had to stop and check that my eyes were not deceiving me. I could not believe that I would come across such a site in the middle of a religious complex. For some reason they have always remind me of the Adam & Eve stones that I previously wrote about, known as the Boherboy Stone Pair. Obviously the stones at Tara are not a big, and seem to have suffered a great deal from weather erosion. The larger of the two is said to bear on its east face, an engraving of Cernunnos, a pagan fertility God, whilst others claim that the engraving is that of a Sheela-na-gig? Either way the stone is far too badly worn to make the faint engraving out for sure. Perhaps these two stones represent male and female energies? Another legend connected to these stones tells of a test for the election of a New Ard Rí (High King). A potential future Ard Rí would have to drive his chariot towards the two stones. Only the rightful King would be allowed to pass through the stones.
Coming up tomorrow, I will introduce you to the Ráth of the Synods, so stay tuned…..