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Tip o' the Week #110 - Venus @ Sunrise


Dear [firstname]


Some friends of mine have been building a new stone ring for an event here in Somerset on 21 - 24 June this summer called "Sunrise Celebration."  Shaun Kirwan designed it using a five pointed star - sacred to Venus - as the basic sacred geometrical layout of the ring.

Sunrise Plan

Plan of Venus Stone Circle
Drawn by Shaun Kirwan
Note the Five-Pointed Star

My good friend Ros Briagha was also there and she helped to build it.  Ros has been part of the building of a number of stone rings on this island.

 Ros at the Venus Circle

Ros Briagha at Venus Stone Ring

As I was not there until the evening after they had finished the ring, I wasn't able to photograph the construction, but Ros was there, and among other things, had time to take some pictures which she was kind enough to allow me to use four of them.  (The date is her camera's doing, it shows when the pics were taken thus providing visual proof for when it was constructed.)

After Shaun had produced the master plan and marked it out with white sticks, the first job was to set it out on the Earth with special care to get the Four Directions and the important Solar alignments correct.  Here Shaun and John Martineau used my Suunto Tanden Compass/Clinometer to get the proper azimuths and elevations to the horizon.  (An Azimuth is the number of degrees from True North in a clockwise direction a particular alignment is.)


John Martineau sights the azimuth to Shaun Kerwin.

Then the stones were carefuly located in purpose dug holes.  They seemed to fit like gloves - very little soil around the base of the stones was visible when I arrived around sun set.

Venus Ring

The Sunrise Venus Circle - almost complete.

There was a sword-in-the-stone moment, when after placing the Summer Solstice outrider stone, a bar became wedged in the hole.  It didn't want to budge, but ... 

Shaun at Suller Solstice Rise Stone
Shaun finally was able to pull it out and he held it aloft triumphantly. 

I was very impressed with this Ring of Venus.  It was well thought out, executed efficiently - even though it had been built quite quickly, it looked like the stones had been in place for a while.  



I wrote about the fallibility of compasses in Tip o' the Week #92 - "On Compasses."

My SuuntoTandem on the spot

We used the longer side of our dining room table as a long barrow to shoot the magnetic azimuth of the major axis of the table/longbarrow (only we aligned with the routed (grooved) edge of the table for greater accuracy). 

In addition to my Suunto Tandem pictured above, we tested a number of different compasses - a regular Sylva, a smaller Suunto, and six compass software apps I have on my iPhone 4.  We aligned each in the same place on the longer edge of the table, and their Magnetic readings differed by as much as thirteen degrees. (!!! emphasis mine)

But here's an interesting thing that Shaun and John discovered when they measured the accuracy of my Suunto against Polaris, The North Star.  When it was indicating Magnetic North, the compass needle pointed also directly towards Polaris!  In this area, Magnetic North is 2° West  of True North. My Compass seemed to have a built in correction for the correction of Magnetic Deviation!  (It doesn't have such a correction.  One more bit of truth in the suggestion that one not totally trust one's compass.  But a very interesting "coincidence" none-the-less.)

It is always exciting to visit a new Sacred Space.  This is a good one.  You might want to check out the Sunrise Celebration in Bruton, Somerset on 21 - 24 June. 

That Venus Stone Ring is a beaut!


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Sig Lonegren
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