The Ancient Standing Stones of Tara

Standing Stones of Tara (1)

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…..

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About edmooneyphotography

Photographer, Blogger, Ruinhunter, with an unhealthy obsession for history, mythology and the arcane.
This entry was posted in Diary of a Ruinhunter, History, Photography, Standing Stone and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Ancient Standing Stones of Tara

  1. I too have always been fascinated by stones. Around these parts we have some very peculiar stone groupings. Living not far from Avebury and near enough to Stonehenge does make you think about it. The part about the acupuncture could well be true. A friend of mine had her land “treated” as her house is built on a lay line. Now when you walk into her property the peaceful energy you feel is quite amazing.
    Great pics as ever Ed.

    • Yes you got some great monuments in the UK, Maybe one day the Ruinhunter shall get to travel around these great places? Lay lines, havent heard that term in quite a while, I remember a heritage group i was in many years ago. This one lady was suffering from really poor health, so one of the group whom happened to be a druid, doused her land and found some enegy lines that he believed were causing the problem. Not sure how it works, but its rather fascinating 🙂

  2. Ali Isaac says:

    Fabulous Ed! I can see why people might think the stones represent male and female energy, anything tall and erect is said to be male, anything rotund and swollen is said to represent the pregnant female, but I believe our ancestors were far more sophisticated than that. The tall one does appear to have great power and energy though, and I love your theory of using the stones to harness the earth’s energy. I also thought of ley lines, but I had always thought of them as being positive energies, are you saying not? I also love the image of the potential High King driving his chariot between the stones to prove his worthiness, what a spectacle that would have been! Any idea about the stone tossed by Ogma and Lugh?

    • Thanks Ali, There is a small bit of energy emitting from the larger stone, but its quite faint. I would not be suprissed if these have been desturbed at some stage.
      Aside from the aesthetic qualities, I would think that the Male/Female stones might be more to do with the energy and how it is manipulated.
      Ley lines like all things are both positive and negative. Its just nature. Do you know what, I could only see three stones on Tara as far back as I can remember and then the big lump of stone nearby which was once part of a previous church. I remember reading your post on Lugh and thinking, no where the hell could that be?
      Considering the omount of Stones that were either broken up or taken away its not likely that it has survived.
      Unless it was taken by the Sidhe when they left???

  3. beetleypete says:

    Some years ago, I went to see these stones in Wales.
    http://www.stonepages.com/wales/pentreifan.html
    They are probably a burial site, but what struck me was that they made me feel insignificant. Like the stones in your photos, they have stood for perhaps 5,000 years, and seen the development of society during that time. Our time here is laughably short by comparison.
    Another excellent article, Ed.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Excellent photos and commentary as always Ed, and thank you for bringing my memories back to Tara. I’ve had only a single opportunity to visit, and that was a decade ago, but I remember how difficult it was for me to wrench myself away from the place. Hoping to get back there again some day, but until then it’s nice to have a fresh perspective. Thank you again!

  5. willowdot21 says:

    This a really compelling post the photographs are excellent and the information is so interesting . As you say it is so unusual for the pagan and the christian to mixed usually the christians take over the pagan laws!

  6. colonialist says:

    They have certainly earned their place there, and any idiots moving them would deserve some nasty fate…
    A wise would-be king would not aspire to a wide carriage!

  7. chattykerry says:

    I love standing stones! We lived on a remote farm in Scotland and in the field behind was just one recumbent stone in sparkly white quartz. Nobody every visited it as it was on private land. It was a wonderful secret that remained a mystery especially as the white quartz was not local.

  8. socialbridge says:

    A great post, Ed, about a place I love.

  9. Sam McLean says:

    Nice one Ed, it is great to see that modern religion still tips its hat to the days of old, I think the site must have a special meaning to it and the mystery is certainly romantic! BTW how did you go with the bloggers awards? I gave you my vote! Great blogging Ed.

    • Cheers Sam, This is only the start of the Tara adventure, there are quite a few more stories to come, Im just putting the finishing touches to the next one which I hope to post later today. Its mindblowing the amount of history at this ancient site.
      Many thanks for the vote, Judging finished yeasterday, but im not sure when results come out, last year their was a long and short list before the finals, but I shall keep you posted.

  10. The standing stones remind me of ancient Mayan stela. These standing monuments were covered with hieroglyphs and carvings of rulers and gods, usually noting royal successions or notable victories. The time period for stela was around 100-900 AD. They also served as focal points for civic-religious ceremonies. Such standing monuments seem also connected to Egyptian obelisks. Enjoyed your post!

  11. Your writing on these monuments, castles, churches, etc, is great! This HAS to be a book!

    9 stars out 3…

  12. belshade says:

    Great that you are enjoying “the stones”. Nice photos – Tara has been on my wish list for some time. Re getting round to your book – over 20 years ago I said I would get round to writing one – do try to do better than me! Des.

  13. Roy McCarthy says:

    Fascinated by the suggestion/fact of energy emanating from certain stones. Ali Isaac recently linked us to a Scottish blogger who spends his time examining standing stones and how, recently, he came across a new one and came over very queer – suspecting it was some energy output from the stone. Is there any science behind this phenomenon Ed?

    • Hey Roy, that sounds quite plausable. I dont think that there has been any actual sceintific research into this. All I know is that I have felt something when I have interacted with certain stones, not all but some and it can vary in effect. Sometimes it can be quite subtle and sometimes a little overpowering. There use was explained to me by a Druid friend. Just like the human body with its meridians the earth too has a life force or energy which flows through her like the power cables in your house. Our ancestors were aware of this and these stones were said to be used like the needles in TCM to harness, enhance or even disrupt these flows of energies. I hope I am explaining it ok for you?

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