28 August, 2010

The Cornish Mystery Of The Men-an-Tol Stones

I thought I would do an occasional post about some of the mysteries in Cornwall, where I live. I'm starting off with Men-an-Tol, which is sometimes referred to as the Crick Stone or the Devil's Eye.

Men-an-Tol, Cornwall
Men-an-Tol means, in the Cornish language, 'stone and hole' which very much describes what it is, as can be seen from the photo above.

The stones are believed to be from the Bronze age and, if this is correct, would mean they are over 3500 years old. As to what they actually are or signify is debatable. They may once have been part of a circle of stones - which would have given it a ritual significance - or alternatively they could have been part of a burial chamber - the hole being for access.

These ancient stones have much folklore attached to them and are said to have a fairy or piskie guardian who can carry out various cures. With the obvious feminine symbolism it is claimed that if, at a full moon, a woman passes through the hole backwards seven times she will become pregnant.

Men-an-Tol, Cornwall, EnglandMen-an-Tor is said to heal many ills. It was famous in olden times for curing scrofula (lymphatic tuberculosis) and rickets in children. The children were passed naked three times (or some say nine times) through the hole to effect the cure. Adults can gain relief from bad backs by crawling through the opening nine times. Radiation levels around the inside edges of the hole are said to be nearly twice that found in the background environment, maybe this has some significance.

The stones have been used for telling the future. In 1856 Robert Hunt wrote that the holed stone could answer any question. Two brass pins would be laid crosswise on top of each other on the stone and would move by themselves, dependent of the question asked.

Rituals may also have once been taken place here with the hole aligning to other ancient sites or as a window into other worlds or dimensions. It has also been suggested that passing through the stone could have signified a ritual re-birthing process, perhaps performed as a rite of passage or to ensure fertility.

Whatever mysteries the stones hold it is a magical place, perhaps even a psychic powerhouse.

Further Reading:
The Cornish Mystery Of The Trevethy Quoit Stones
Mystery Of The 3D And Other Corn Circles
Near Death Experience Changes A Womans Life
The Mystery Of The Angels Of Mons

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7 comments:

  1. never heard of these stones b4. must have a look when next in cornwall. i often go that way.

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  2. I've never heard of these either. This is fascinating!

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  3. I don't think the stones are particularly well known. Maybe because they don't have the dramatic appearance of, say, Stonehenge. Nevertheless there is something magical about them.

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  4. @Not Out
    Its good that the ley lines and ley-line intersection points (standing stones) are unknown in the Penwith, Cornwall, because when you are there no one will interrupt you while you chill out standing/sitting next to them :)

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  5. I read a book many, many years ago about similar stones that said there was a belief that passing an injured person through the stone would heal them. It was a long time ago and may have been a different set of stones, but I thought I'd pass that theory on.

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