Dolmen Pentre Ifan as Megalithic Compass

Pentre Ifan. Photo Peter van den Hoek

A Bluestone Mystery

Article Version: 31-10-2022

In the category ‘my hunebed’ we invite people to write about their own personal thoughts about hunebeds and megalithic monuments. Here is a story of Peter van den Hoek.

Pentre Ifan is a very special dolmen at the foot of the Preseli Hills in Wales. The main construction is formed by a 16-ton bluestone that is only supported by a tripod of stones and thus seems to float, at 2,5 meters above the ground, see photo above. According to the description, this is a tomb from 3.500 BC. even though extensive archaeological research has not been able to find any indications that deceased people have been buried in it. Could the structure have had a different function?

During my visit to this monument, I immediately noticed that the huge capstone forms a kind of arrow that points exactly to a point on the horizon. When I checked this point with my compass I came to a very surprising discovery. This 16-ton arrow has been pointing exactly north for 55 centuries, see photo below. This stone thus forms a huge Megalithic Compass and is, as far as I know, the oldest compass in the world! It is also a very special alignment that is very unusual for megalithic structures. I do not believe there can be any fluke or mistake here. I think the builders did this very consciously, precisely and deliberately, but why? What is the mystery behind this structure?

Pentre Ifan. Photo Peter van den Hoek

In an unusual way, I’m going to try to shine some more light on this. Please read it with an open mind and don’t immediately dismiss it as nonsense, because maybe you can take advantage of it. Carn Ingli can be found about 3,5 kilometers west of Pentre Ifan. You could freely translate this as a stone heap of the Angels. In the folk tales, the following is said about this: “If you sleep on its summit, Angels will whisper their secrets in your dreams.” ¹ Another version says, “The Earth will speak to you as you sleep.” ¹ Are these just stories or is there more to tell? I believe there is more to tell than meets the eye. This stone heap consists of bluestone. This is volcanic rock with beautifully shaped crystals that is also called dolerite. If I search the internet for the effect of this type of stone, it is described as a ‘Very Strong Dream Stone!’² Well, how is this possible!?! This stone is thus associated with gaining insight through dreams. I tested this myself by placing two decent bluestones around my head while sleeping. When I do this, I dream more clearly and consciously than when I leave out the stones. This was a very special discovery for me. Could this phenomenon have to do with the special crystal structure of this type of stone? I believe there is still a lot to research about this theme.

The dolmen Pentre Ifan is also made up of the same bluestone and, as we now know, acts as a direction indicator. If we take this concept a little less literally but more figuratively, we could say that the enormous capstone shows us the way in dream language. Could that have been the function of this dolmen? I believe that it was certainly not a house, but also not a grave, because no indications of that have been found at all. I see these kinds of structures more as temples or holy places, just like our cathedrals. Here people came from all directions to get answers to   life questions and thus find a new way or direction in their lives. Pentre Ifan, in my opinion, mainly served as a spiritual compass!

Bluestone was of great value in megalithic culture. For the construction of Stonehenge, some 80 bluestones of 2 to 5 tons were moved from the Preseli Hills over a distance of 250 kilometers, while at a distance of 25 kilometers there was enough sandstone to do this job. Did the builders of Stonehenge understand the mystery of this particular type of stone better than we do now? I think so! According to Geoffrey Wainwright and Timothy Darvill, Stonehenge served as a kind of prehistoric ‘Lourdes’ because many graves have been found around with skeletal remains that show traces of illness and trauma.³ Amulets of bluestone have also been found in many of these graves. That is why the bluestones at Stonehenge are also called ‘Healing Stones’.

Andrew Fitzpatrick of ‘British Heritage’ says he finds the discovery of Wainright and Darvill important but suggests the following theory about Stonehenge: ‘The temple was a meeting place between the living and the dead’³ Seen the hundreds of burial mounds around Stonehenge, I also believe more in this version of Stonehenge.  Stone circles such as Stonehenge and dolmens such as Pentre Ifan are often referred to as ‘Thin Places’⁴ in Ireland and Great Britain.  This means that these are places where the veil between the physical and spiritual world is thinnest and contact can be made back and forth. So, they are meeting places between Heaven and Earth, the living and the dead, or man and the Angels or Gods. Just give it a name. Here man comes to deeper awareness and insight into himself and life. Bluestone seems to serve as a kind of catalyst or spiritual compass to be able to find or determine the right direction more easily through a kind of ‘dream state’ or ’trance’!  That is why the builders of Stonehenge have put so much effort into moving these special bluestones over such a large distance. To tune this place for this purpose. Isn’t it all Wonderful!?!

Peter van den Hoek







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