Slimbridge Dowsing


How the geology of Dartmoor might have inspired early man as it did our speaker, Peter Knight*

We Brits tend to think that natural sacred sites such as mountains, waterfalls and rock formations are exclusively to be found abroad. We are all familiar with Ayers Rock in Australia, known to the Aborigines as Uluru; Cathedral Rock in Sedona, USA; Mount Kailash in Tibet; elephant rock in Sardinia; and hundreds if not thousands of monoliths, petroglyphs and mysterious caves throughout India, Thailand and Asia.

And yet, as we so often do, we Brits underestimate ourselves, because we too have an amazing selection of natural sacred sites on our own doorstep. We’re not talking man-made sites here, such as Stonehenge and Avebury. Highly sacred as they may be, there are literally hundreds of natural sacred sites, revered by man for centuries, but not created by him.

Glastonbury Tor in Somerset was sacred long before anybody built a church on top of it. Ditto St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, an eerie, compelling place, long before it became a tourist attraction.

Our speaker on Saturday 25th February, Peter Knight, is in love with Dartmoor, and with the aid of many photographs, suggested that the rock tors to be found there are sacred too. Formed of granite and shaped and tumbled by a rare glacier further south than it should have been, granite is so hard it has only eroded a couple of millimetres since Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze age times.

Walking the moors, Peter started thinking. Surely he was not the only passerby to see their fascinating shapes resembling faces, animals, and mythological dragons? Many of the rocks are precariously balanced, their energy harnessed by stone-age man, associated with gods and goddesses, and worshipped too.


* Guest speaker

Granite sparkles with quartz throughout, contains mica, feldspar and other crystals, each vibrating at its own level, and putting out an energy you can literally feel if you touch it or even lie on it, close your eyes, and give yourself up to it.

Early man would have felt that too, more in touch with such things than we are today. He used the smaller stones to build cairns, and the larger rocks to create Dolmans, simple Megalithic tombs. The tribe’s Shaman or preacher man would have climbed to the top and used the precarious rocking motion to amaze his congregation. And then surprised them by producing water, apparently from solid rock! Yes, many of the rocks contain rock basins that surely led to the spirit world below? Filled with rainwater, that precious and vital resource, and reflecting the moon, rock basins were revered too.

Early man was inspired enough by Dartmoor, and other natural sacred sites such as Bodmin moor in Cornwall, to build his stone circles there, with stone walls and stone rows to direct your path. Peter’s theory is that almost all their efforts were concerned with water, without which life could not survive. If you stand in one stone circle, you can see fifteen others. Once you step outside it, you can only see five. Your steps are nudged, directed, in the way you should go, and what could be more natural and more spiritual than that?!