The Rollright Ritual by William G. Gray

When William G. Gray bicycled across the moonlit English countryside to commune with the Rollright stones in Oxfordshire he was presented with a vision of a simple pattern; the fourfold balance of the quartered circle. This pattern was already familiar to him as the structure underlying the hermetic magic of the Western Mystery Tradition: the four quarters, the four elements, the four magical implements. He saw the pattern imprinted on the stations of the Rollright site itself: the stone circle, the solitary megalith “king stone”, the portal dolmen of the “whispering knights”, and a nearby gateway site which formed the womb/tomb to complete the circuit. He also saw the pattern as a template for the evolution of the soul’s consciousness, and by drawing microcosm and macrocosm together he came up with the Rollright Ritual, a self-initiatory journey through the four stations of consciousness.

Much has been written about stone circles of the megalithic age but where others have sought to explore the Outer Dimensions, looking in from the vantage point of the historical intruder, W.G. Gray is more concerned with the Inner Dimensions and the power of the stones as a form of communal keep. In a sense, Gray gets his blood from a stone by fleshing out the previously enigmatic and presenting these megaliths as “condensers of consciousness” with a unique and yet universally human story to tell.  His study of the Rollright stones will be a treat to geologists, archeologists, anthropologists, geomancers, mythologists, geometrists, and divinators alike as Gray moves from the shadow angles on the “cosmic clock” to the familial wheel and their “spirit spokes.” The stone formation is considered both as a representation of the communal assemblage that was contained within the circle – and as a collection of separate symbols or station points that make up its function as a whole.  No stone is left unturned as Gray presents his stage-map of ritual drama – and yet the visiting seeker takes care not to trample on nor mar their message with modern clumsiness. The stones serve as antennae to some historical and spiritual truth, and the reader of this marvellous work will hear but a little of their magical whispers.

The Rollright Ritual is available from pretty much any book trade outlet, or direct from our website.

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About Rebsie

Run the Daughter of the Soil gardening blog, and Cheltonia, a history of Cheltenham.
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