Slimbridge Dowsing


Will the real Cerne Giant please stand up? - Peter Knight*

You have no doubt seen photographs of, or even visited, the Cerne Abbas Giant near Dorchester in Dorset. While parts of him are all too present, itís possible that a part of him is missing too.

If you study him, he raises, amongst other things, a great many questions. Who was he? How long has he been there? Why is he aligned with the Equinox sunrise? Why are his nipples out of alignment? Did he originally have something in his left hand?

Our speaker on Thursday 13th March, Peter Knight, answered those questions and more. There have been several giants throughout history, so they obviously did exist. The most famous is probably the Biblical Goliath, whom David felled with a single stone from his sling; then thereís the wicked ogre in Jack in the Beanstalk, obviously based on some sort of fact. Another is the Long Man of Wilmington, a hill figure in East Sussex, interestingly built on the same latitude as the Cerne Abbas giant.

Today, thanks to archaeo-astrology, we can date these things pretty accurately. Using the brilliant Skymap software, we can figure out which stars he was aligned with when he was brand new, and deduce his dates.

The very oldest hill figure in the UK is almost certainly the White Horse at Uffington, built during the late Bronze Age some 3,000 years ago. Some people suggest that it is not a horse at all, but a dragon, and point out that it is laid out on Dragon Hill, after all.

Itís interesting to note that the Cerne Abbas Giant is also sitting on a ley line leading to Stonehenge. Heís also opposite Wean Common Hill, and wean or wem is an ancient word meaning uterus or womb. And we already know stone-age man was understandably obsessed with and reliant upon fertility.

Heís also aligned with the Equinox sunrises (when the hours of darkness and daylight are equal) in February and October. And at these times he is aligned with the nearby 5ft tall Bellingstone.

We know from several other ancient sites, notably Avebury and New Grange in Ireland, that almost all of them are built on existing energies, spirals or leys. There are powerful energy nodes on this hill, and the Cerne Abbas giant is carefully placed to coincide with them. Which is undoubtedly why one nipple is higher than the other.

The Cerne Abbas Giant wasnít always allowed to display himself in all his glory. In AD 603, St Augustine was sent from Rome by the Pope to spread Christianity throughout Britain, and apparently headed straight for Cerne Abbas to quell Pagan worship there.

The prudish Victorians allowed certain parts of him to become overgrown, and there is a drawing of him in 1790 wearing a leotard! During WWII he was allowed to become obscured completely, lest he make a good landmark for German aircraft looking to drop their bombs over Bristol.

Cerne Abbas Giant Photo copyright © 2001 Pete Harlow All rights reserved.

Nowadays, people still believe that he can help with fertility. Couples hoping to conceive can walk seven times around his phallus during the full moon, and have been known to spend the night there with some success.

Now you will notice that his left hand is pointing at something. Or maybe he was carrying something? What you believe depends on who you think he was. If he was Hercules, he may have been carrying a lionís head, since he slayed more than one on his travels. More ghoulishly, he may have been carrying a severed human head, or possibly a cloak. And were these additions original, or were they added later, possibly by the Romans?

Our speakerís top three suspects as to who he might be are Orion, Orion or Orion. The giantís pointing arm is aligned with the constellation of Orion, visible in our winter skies. And the Egyptian God and ruler of the underworld, Osiris, is closely associated with Orion, so closely, in fact, that they are thought to be one and the same. The third suspect, Gwyn ap Nudd, a Welsh god of the “fair folk”, great warrior and ruler of the Welsh Otherworld. So almost certainly the Welsh equivalent of Orion too.

All one and the same person, linked by cultures that never knew each other, or had anything to do with each other. Another piece of evidence is where else have we seen drawings of gods facing us but with their feet sideways on? Youíve guessed it - the Egyptians.

As Peter Knight quotes, “An absence of evidence, should not be taken as evidence of absence.” He adds, ”The real magic is not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.Ē