Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Long Meg and Her Daughters
Long Meg and her Daughters (also called Maughanby Circle) near Penrith is the third largest British stone circle after Stonehenge and Castlerigg. Like its Cumbrian neighbor, it has legendary associations with the alleged petrification of sinners, who are turned to stone for various misdemeanors such as playing games on a Sunday or perhaps for being under suspicion of involvement in the Dark Arts. The unfortunate Meg and her Daughters were petrified for using an illicit love potion or, according to some, merely turned to stone by a bad-tempered witch because she felt like it!
Long Meg has also attracted the commonly held notion that stones of ancient circles were uncountable. Celia Fiennes (1662-1741), a woman who journeyed throughout England on horseback accompanied by her maid, wrote in her journal of a visit to Long Meg in 1698 -- 'they affirm they cannot be counted twice alike as is the story of Stonidge (Stonehenge). If one did manage to count the same number twice, doom would ultimately follow. It was also courting disaster to interfere with the stones. In the 19th century, it was said that if one broke a piece off Long Meg she would bleed, and that when some destructive wag attempted to blast the circle away with dynamite, such a tempest arose that his retainers fled in terror. This circle also has a clear astronomical alignment -- the midwinter sun would set over the outlier (the Long Meg stone) when viewed from the centre of the circle. Traces of a henge remain within the site, and the Long Meg stone has some cup-and-ring marks upon its surface.
Long Meg known for having capabilities including regeneration (healing, empowerment), education (they almost all seem to respond to this element) and for revelation (i.e. transformation of consciousness). It also registered as being primarily a lunar energy driven site.
On our way out of the site we came across a tree with lots of colorful ribbons tied to it. Ahah – another ‘wishing tree’ in active use, just like at Nine Ladies in Derbyshire, and many other sites.