Avebury is a huge British Temple and stone monument erected at least 2,000 BC in the shape of a serpent if seen from the sky
By Philip Gardiner and Gary Osborn
Avebury is a huge British Temple and stone monument erected at least 2,000 BC in the shape of a serpent if seen from the sky. Once known as Abury which according to the historian Deane is evidently Abiri or Ab-ir (after the Abiri people or Cabiri) – Abir = Serpens solis (sun snake.) Although some have argued whether it should ever have been Abury or Aubury (serpent sun,) the fact remains that even as far back as the 17th century there was a Mr Aubury who said himself that it should be pronounced and spelt Aubury (found in the legier-book of Malmesbury Abbey.)
Of course even as Ave Bury the ‘Ave’ reverts back to the root of ‘Eve’ which we know means ‘female serpent.’ (Deane also believed that the Kaaba or Caabir of the Muslims – which was a conical stone – resolved itself into Ca Ab Ir – the ‘Temple of the Serpent Sun.’)
The pathway of Avebury serpent (Aub) passes through a large circular Temple of the sun (aur,) emerging; winding again and ending with an oddly, not quite circular head – directly in line with ‘Snakes Head Hill’ (Hackpen.) The central circle is symbolical of the sun, which is the male principle in the creative process and is symbolized elsewhere as a bull or lion. Once the serpent has passed through or around this sun circle it is recharged for new life. The archaeology of the area shows that people used to walk outside of the pathway of the serpent, leaving the inner pathway for the priests. In Egyptian hieroglyphs we can see the symbol of the snake going over the solar disc, emerging head erect. Overlaid onto Avebury it is the same image! Adding to this, that the snake is often depicted with the ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol dangling from its emergent neck – the Ankh being a symbol of new life – the great circle of Avebury simply has to be the ‘solar disk’ and the pathway the snake – thus illustrating in a painfully labor-intensive way, the ritualistic path of the serpent worshipper towards new life.
This was the way of the living to new life. The dead had their own methods – via places such as Newgrange in Ireland, but here in Avebury, via the tombs such as those of West Kennet close by.
The circular aspect of the Stone Circles of Europe is strangely reminiscent of the Temples of Quetzalcoatl, which were “circular, and the one dedicated to his worship in Mexico, was,” according to Gomera, “entered by a door like unto the mouth of a serpent.” (Hargrave Jennings, Ophiolatreia) A very similar ritualistic inference to those based around Avebury and other Stone Circles. Even stranger that the Templars, who bore the “mark” of Cain (son of serpents) and the Cross or Lorraine (symbol of poison), also brought back with them the building of circular Temples.
John Bathurst Deane explains in his book with the catchy title, The Worship of the Serpent Traced Throughout the World, and Its Traditions Referred (Classic Reprint), explains “A third description of temples consecrated to the service of the Ophites god remains to be considered: and these were not only the most rare, the most characteristic, and the most magnificent; but, probably, the most sacred of them all. These were erected in the form of the Ophite hierogram, the serpent passing through a circle.” This hierogram is the symbol of the serpent, a circle with a snake passing through it, like a needle and thread. He continues, “They were composed, like the circular temples, of a number of Baitulia, or amber stones, so arranged as to describe the mystic circle, through which the still more mystic serpent trailed his majestic form.” And this is the truth of the Stone Circles and physical hierograms: that they were re-birthing circles; a being born again through the spirit, through the circle. Push through the symbolic circle and slough off the old skin symbolically. Indeed we would edge bets that serpent skins have been (although we could not find them,) or will be found near these temples (they have been found on Malta). Tyrian cousins frequently depicted a serpent squeezing between two upright stones, which the Greeks called Petrae Ambrosiae; noting that Ambrosia is the nectar and Elixir of the gods. According to 19th Century archaeologist, Bryant, Stonehenge was seen as these Amber stones, as nearby is Amesbury – previously Ambrosbury. Stukely also found two other ‘serpent temples,’ one at Shap in Westmorland and the other at Classerness in the island of Lewis. In fact Stukely thought that the legend of Cadmus sowing dragon’s teeth alluded to his building a serpentine temple. In fact Cadmus was turned into a serpent (or followed the serpent cult) and stone temples were erected in his and Harmonia’s honor. Pausanius helps us along and points out that “In the road between Thebes and Gilsas, you may see a place encircled by select stones, which the Thebans call The Serpent’s Head.” There are many texts mentioning dragons, which need feeding with sacrifices or offerings, such as the one that Taxiles showed to Alexander the Great and which was sacred to Dionysus. It was said to be of enormous size, walled around and resided in a low, deep place. It is our conjecture that such places, like Newgrange were “portals” or ‘gateways’ to the ‘land of the serpents;’ places of mystery and rebirth, where offerings and sacrifices must be made to the serpent benefactor. Obviously this is all a clever propaganda tool, utilized by the priesthood to terrify the population into following the way, to keep giving. Indeed, there is plenty of evidence now from people such as Paul Devereux that show such places were also great resonance boosters. That is they amplified sound in peculiar ways, thus creating the booming sound of the dragon. They even go as far as saying that the resonance creates spiral and serpent wave-like shapes from the dust and smoke, as the sound wave carries the particles along its serpentine path. The serpent could truly have been seen to rise and heard to roar.
On a recent trip to Avebury we were perplexed at the shape of a large number of the stones in the main circle. They appeared like great arrows that had fallen down to earth, burying the tip in the ground. Then we recalled the three snakes, which were found in the heart of Meich (Irish myth). Could these be precursors to the heart shape we know today? Could this be where the shape for the heart came from? It is a long stretch of the imagination to see this though, and taking into account the fact that every other stone is tall and straight we have to assume that they were male and female shapes.
Of course, in other parts of the symbolical world the snake’s head is seen like an arrowhead or spearhead and the body a straight line? We cannot also discount the fact that serpents were seen quite often as entwining the great phallus in the Caduceus form of fertility. In this respect we would have the various and most ancient images of the serpent, not just in layout but also in structure.
“On the ancient Norman font in Abury Church there is a mutilated figure, dressed apparently in the Druidical priestly garb, holding a crozier in one hand, and clasping an open book to his breast with the other, although when we visited the church the “book” could easily also be a chalice. Two winged dragons or serpents are attacking and biting the feet of this figure on either side. May not this be designed to represent the triumph of Christianity over Druidism, in which there was MUCH VENERATION entertained for this serpent and serpent worship?”
These are remarks made by a past Vicar of Avebury. After spending many hours sat in the cool fusty air of the little church at Avebury, staring at the image, it is our view that the serpents “biting” the druids feet are actually subdued by the priest rather than attacking him.
Close by Avebury is West Kennet Long Barrow, high upon a hill which overlooks Silbury Hill – Europe’s largest man-made mound, built up with stepped chalk steps, covered in chalk to smooth it off. This hill was chalk white, shining across the landscape; much like the whitewashed Great Pyramid in Egypt, built at the same time. West Kennet is a small but magical place, built like Newgrange in a cruciform shape, looking like the Cross of Lorraine from the air. Archaeologists also discovered that there was a semi-circular ceremonial area at the top of the T cross, making an Ankh if viewed from above.
Another strange coincidence, which struck us both, and one, which we later confirmed, against other sites, was the layout of the interior of the tomb. Imagine an upright with two parallel horizontals at equal distances apart and you have the Cross of Lorraine. This would not really have struck us had it not been for the blatant fact that the Cross of Lorraine was a symbol for poison, the trinity (the Celtic goddess trinity, Tricephalic Heads etc.) and a symbol used by the Templars. These relationships however should have nothing to do with each other but for the fact that the thread of the snake connects all these areas, albeit a rather thin one. But, add into this the fact that nobody is sure where the Lorraine symbol originated and why then we indeed have a mystery. Taking a look at other burial mounds viewed from above openly they look just like the cross, as if the bodies and ceremonies were being somehow played upon this “sacred shape.” It is a shape that is hidden beneath the ground and not a shape seen openly – as if this were the three-dimensional aspect of the symbol, a stairway to the other realm. In fact many of the actual stairways from the period that we know of were in this very shape indicating a kind of copycat symbolism – from reality into mystery.
Click above to watch a short video on the Avebury stone circle
About the authors:
Philip Gardiner is the author of Proof: Does God Exist? as well as his best selling The Shining Ones: The World’s Most Powerful Secret Society Revealed. Visit his website.
Gary Osborn has been a writer on mysticism and esoteric traditions for over ten years. He is currently researching and writing a series of books with Philip Gardiner. Visit his website.
Avebury and Silbury Hill photos by Martin Gray courtesy of SacredSites.com.