Stone Circles: A Modern Builder's Guide to the Megalithic Revival

Stone Circles: A Modern Builder's Guide to the Megalithic Revival

by Rob Roy
     
 

Can it be a surprise as we approach the threshold of the Millennium that interest in building megalithic stone monuments is surging?

Rob Roy began visiting stone circles as a young man wandering the moors of Scotland. Now, as the head of the Earthwood Building School in West Chazy, New York, he has built his own. Meanwhile, he has continued his travels throughout

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Overview

Can it be a surprise as we approach the threshold of the Millennium that interest in building megalithic stone monuments is surging?

Rob Roy began visiting stone circles as a young man wandering the moors of Scotland. Now, as the head of the Earthwood Building School in West Chazy, New York, he has built his own. Meanwhile, he has continued his travels throughout Europe and North America and created a panoramic portrait of stone circles and the people who build them. After reading this book, you will find yourself wanting to take up a level and start moving around 7-ton stones.

Roy takes the reader on a tour of ancient sites, then recounts the process of building his own circle. Chapters describe contemporary circle-raisings where the latest (and most ancient) techniques of stone movement are employed by colorful neo-Stone Agers. Roy's experiences are illuminating on a variety of levels, touching on realms spiritual and technical and all points in between.

You may not feel the need to hand-levitate massive rocks in your own backyard, but if you do, this book is indispensable. And for armchair enthusiasts, it will be fascinating to see how traditions of neo-paganism are actively practiced by modern-day Druids and Celts from John O'Groats, Scotland to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Stone Circles is a landmark book that shows the continuing fusion of spirituality, religion, and technology at the turn of the Millennium.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rob Roy is the author of two previous Chelsea Green books, The Sauna and Mortgage-Free!. He lives with his wife Jaki in West Chazy, New York, where they operate the Earthwood Building School. He is well-known as the leading advocate and practitioner of cordwood-masonry construction.

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Editorial Reviews

Todays Librarian
. . . This book details the adventures and perspectives of contemporary individuals who attempt to capture the magic of the structures with their own stone circles. Readers are given detailed instruction on how to design and construct the circles. In a time where libraries are increasingly focused on digital information sources, this work is a refreshing escape. Combining the myth, faith and imaginations of cultures ancient and present, the megalithic revival links people throughout time. Roy's work is a fascinating exploration that will pique the interest of those interested in the mysteries of people of the past.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781890132033
Publisher:
Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date:
10/28/1999
Series:
Helen and Scott Nearing Titles Series
Pages:
370
Product dimensions:
8.07(w) x 9.96(h) x 0.97(d)

Read an Excerpt

Some people believe that they know the answers to the large quiet questions posed by the ancient stone circles. They believe that they are somehow tuned in to the subtle meanings, purposes, even methods of design and construction. One or two stone circle aficionados I have recently encountered really believe-or try to give the impression-that they know how a circle must be built, and why. I make no such claims, and am wary of absolute truth. My experience in life is that truth is both personal (it varies from person to person) and transient (it varies from time to time in one's life). The dogmatists to whom I refer are not to be found among the heroes of this book, all of whom will consider wisdom and new ideas from any source.

We stone builders but mimic the ancient circles; few of us claim to know their full depth of meaning, their nuances, their subtleties. But we are learning. Archaeologists, archaeo-astronomers, heavy-lift engineers, dowsers, and backyard stone builders may all contribute to refining our knowledge of the ancient circles. In the meantime, I do not claim that this book is the complete and final answer even to modern stone circle construction. My goal has always been to bring within one volume as many considerations as possible into the discussion. Perhaps readers with a strong background in "sacred geometry" will be disappointed with my treatment of their field. Likewise, heavy-lift engineers may find the building discussion to lack some technique or principal of which they are aware. Ditto archaeo-astronomers, sculptors, landscape gardeners, archaeologists, et cetera; all will find certain sections lacking. Fortunately, there are whole books devoted to these subjects, many listed in the bibliography. As I cannot go into depth in all the related fields, I have settled on a twofold intent: first, to introduce the reader to an exciting rebirth of interest in stone circles, a megalithic revival, if you like; and, second, to provide sufficient information for the reader to build a darned good stone circle, large or small. In short, it is the kind of book I wish had been available to me in the early days of my stone-building career.

Stone Circles: A Modern Builder's Guide to the Megalithic Revival is a story that predates written history, and is open-ended into the future. Megalithic construction has been with us at least 7,000 years, and, in the late 20th century, renewed interest has inspired a rate of construction that rivals the "golden ere" that occurred between 3000 and 1500 BC, when roughly 1,500 stone circles were built. I'm constantly hearing of more circles being planned, constructed, and completed. While crop circles are fun and can be created in an hour or so with practice, they are as sidewalk chalk art next to a good stone circle. And, as we will see in chapter after chapter, a ring of megaliths can be every bit as useful and spiritually invigorating as a church or temple . . . and at least as much fun! Go ye and do likewise.Rob Roy
West Chazy, New York
May, 1999

[from chapter 2, The Earthwood Stone Circle, p.30
]Why build a stone circle? I am asked. The answer varies from person to person, but the one unifying thread that I have found in every case is compulsion. The use or purpose of the circle is often secondary to the oft-repeated refrain, "I was compelled to build it." My own case follows this pattern, but the compulsion was not all-consuming; it simmered low on the back burner until circumstances were right. And, as it simmered, the flavor improved. A certain aesthetic as well as a sense of purpose entered the mix. It was as if I had to think of some justification for the stone circle, that to yield to compulsion alone was some kind of weakness. I no longer feel this way. In the past few years, I've observed that, sometimes, the reason for the stone circle doesn't become manifest until after it's built.

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