on the method
  The primary process  
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A few years age I was on the Orkney Islands, where I among other things visited The Standing stones of Stenness in fog and rain. It was impressive, and I wanted to see them again. The last day we had a few minutes in hand on our way to the ferry, so we had the time to pass the stones one more time. Just as we arrived, the sun appeared, and just at that moment, I realized what the stones had been used for: PEOPLE HAD TRIED TO LURE THE SUN TO THE EARTH BY IMITATING IT.
Of course you cannot publicize knowledge like that without further proof, if you want to be taken seriously. At most it can be a fundamental hypothesis concerning the purpose of stone-circles, and this is exactly what the concern of this paper will be, with Stonehenge being the concrete example.

Reflections on the Method
It is not without a certain fear that I new join the huge crowd of people who have tried to yield their contribution to a clearer understanding of the prehistoric monument Stonehenge over the years. The English archeologist Julian Richards states in “Stonehenge" from 1991 that almost the only thing we can know for certain about Stonehenge, is that we shall never be able to understand the way of thinking of the prehistoric population, who built the monument. (1) This statement does not make me feel more secure, as my basis is exactly the opposite, namely that modern, civilized, rational people have good qualifications to understand the prehistoric way of religious thinking. This is simply because in certain situations we use or rather abandon ourselves to the same way of thinking, that is the way of thinking that Sigmund Freud called the primary process, which I shall describe below. (2)
Another basis for this article is the assumption that people at all times have tried to affect their surroundings to improve the conditions of survival, and that in a non technological culture magic has played a crucial part in the attempt to control the natural forces.
Where traditional archeology only reluctantly gives an opinion on anything but facts quite according to the scientific tradition, my approach is another, as I write within a humanistic tradition, where I interpret the archeological data using a depth psychologi­cal concept apparatus. Obviously this approach has its advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages or rather the limitation is the lack of exactness. Therefore by clinging to a certain interpretation you can easily get into a situation, where you proclaim an exactness for which there is no support. When it comes to the description of concrete rites, the uncertainty is of course very great.
Freud points out that a dream or a symbol can never be interpreted thoroughly, no matter how careful an interpretation it is exposed to. Of course the same thing is the case to the uttermost extent, when it comes to a monument as complex as Stonehenge.
When I nevertheless throw myself out into deep water trying an analysis and interpretation on this basis, it is because I am certain that in spite of all reservations this method offers an opportunity to come nearer to an understanding of prehistoric peoples' religions and ways of living. However, it is important to emphasize that the quality of the analysis and interpretation depends on the consistency and the consideration to the given data, and finally in this case that the logic of the primary process is followed.

The Primary Process
The primary process is the original way of mental functioning. The young child functions according to the primary process, and so do adults, when the secondary process, that is the rational way of thinking, is suspended. For instance this happens in dreams, with artistic expansion and with religions, artistic, and sexual expe­riences.
The logic of the primary process is the logic of dreams, fairy­tales, and myths. It possesses great emotional intensity and is inexact, concrete, and imagery. As an example the sword and the tree can be imagery representations of two different attitudes to male sexuality as respectively something threatening and something lifegiving.
In a total abandonment to the primary process no distinction exists between fantasy and reality nor between a person and his surroundings. Dreams for instance often seem to be reality to the dreamer, and the dream consciousness is not necessarily connected to the same person the whole dream through.
Finally there is the important fact that a feeling is not tightly connected to a certain conception. Displacement and condensation of feelings can take place, provided that there is a similarity between the conceptions in question. Displacement of an amount of mental energy - intensity - from one conception to another that is similar can among other things be seen in sexual symbols.
Similarity in shape and the fact that something can be surrounded by the object concerned is the reason why open containers, vases, jars, ovens, rooms all can be female sexual symbols. By condensation the intensity of more than one conception is gathered in one place so that a symbol becomes ambiguous. A tree can be a male symbol because of the shape, and female because of its ability to bear fruit. And it can also have other meanings and have more than one meaning at the same time, so it is a part of the primary process logic that it is in-exact. On the other hand the symbol is emotionally powerful because of its ambiguity and inexactness. A lover would more likely be successful if he promised the bride of his choice the moon and marvels and wonders rather than a pair of new shoes.
And once more it must be emphasized that it is not only possible that all things can symbolize and represent another if they have something in common. In a total abandonment to the primary process the point is that the symbol is the symbolized, just as it is in the case of the Holy Communion, where the priest says of the bread and the wine that these are the body and blood of Christ.
Finally it should be noted that the rules of primary process logic are independent of culture, whereas the concrete symbols are dependent on culture.
The knowledge of Freud's theories of the secondary process is widespread and used. It can thus be mentioned that all sixth formers in Denmark are taught these theories in religion.

Stonehenqe I
Stonehenge was built in three main stages over a period of 2000 years. The first stage, Stonehenge I, was built in approximately 2800 BC.
It consisted of a circular 1-8m high bank with a l-2m deep ditch on its outside edge. The inner circle has a diameter of 91m. The entrance was orientated to the north east, a little north of the midsummer sunrise axis, marked with two stones and a line of four wooden posts (fig. 1 (3)).
Outside the circle is placed a huge sarsen stone, the Heel stone. According to R.J.C. Atkinson this might have replaced another earlier stone. (4) The Heel stone is situated north of the mid­summer sunrise alignment, too. In 1979 a hollow, which had con­tained a stone, was found east of the Heel stone.
Inside the bank, following the circle, are 56 pits, the Aubrey holes. They are about 1m wide and deep and were refilled with chalk right after they had been dug out. They seem never to have held stones or posts. At an excavation in 1920, cremated human bones, stone balls, and pins of bone were found.
Aubrey Burl writes in "The Stonehenge People" that Stonehenge I was built by the descendants of the local neolithic population. He is of the opinion that the first Stonehenge was a monument dedicated to a death and rebirth cult, in which the moon played a crucial part. (5) Accordingly the dominant astronomic lines of Stonehenge I were oriented to important moon positions. (6)
In "The Stone Circles of the British Isles" Aubrey Burl refers to M. Gimbutas, who claims that the moon was regarded as a female deity at the period of transition from a hunting culture to a farming culture.
This was because the moon is ambiguous just as the female nature embodying light as well as darkness, growth as well as decay. The moon goddess was a deity of life, death and fertility. She was self-sufficient and a creative and subversive principle in herself. She did not seem to be in need of anything outside herself to grow or to swell like the pregnant womb, so she seemed to be self-fertilizing. (7) Quite different from the later earth goddess, whose importance grew currently with the elaboration of farming, which made a more stationary way of living possible. This earth goddess was also a goddess of life, death and fertility, but unlike the moon goddess she needed something outside herself - the sun - to be fertilized. (8)
Aubrey Burl points out that the function of the Heel stone at this time is to be a marker. The hole beside the Heel stone does not indicate that there has been another stone, but that the Heel Stone has been removed to find the exact point on the horizon, where the northern moon rises. He is convinced that the Heel Stone as an astronomical marker is the very first part of Stonehenge.
Yet he states that there is more to the stone than just being an astronomical marker:
"The stone marks the sun and the moon, it proclaimed that the land around it was inhabited and possessed, it stood sharply on the skyline as a signpost to the henge, and it embodied the ancestral ghosts." (9)
The moon was also connected with death. In "The Stonehenge People" Aubrey Burl writes that these people feared the dead and often ­dismembered the bodies to render them harmless. There are many examples that limbs, especially arms, have been removed from the rest of the body. Another way to protect oneself from the dead's power was to wait until the body had become a skeleton before the burial teak place. Aubrey Burl thinks that this was the purpose of the mortuary house of Stonehenge I. The dead have been kept in the house before they were placed in one of the surrounding barrows . (10) That the mortuary houses were often burnt down could, still according to Aubrey Burl, be understood as a further safety precaution.
During the period when Stonehenge I was built, society became still more organized and the concept of the dead changed with it. Later in the period, the dead were buried at once after they had died, and they were no longer regarded as dangerous. With the higher degree of organization the stock became of still greater importance and-created basis for an ancestoral cult. The mortuary house was no longer needed, and it was probably replaced by an arrangement of wooden posts in the middle of the enclosure. The purpose of this was, according to Aubrey Burl, presumably to keep in contact with the past by letting the posts represent the former building.
R.J.C. Atkinson is also of the opinion that Stonehenge I was probably a sacred place dedicated to same death or ancestoral cult. He writes about the Aubrey Holes that their main purpose may have been ritual rather than sepulchral, as the cremated remains are very sporadic. He thinks that the Aubrey Holes might have been symbolic doors to the netherworld, and that the holes could represent an attempt to keep in contact with the dead ancestors. (11)
Gerald Hawkins, who is one of the main representatives of astroarcheology, writes in “Stonehenge Decoded” that a priesthood could have used the Aubrey Holes as a kind of Neolithic computer to predict eclipses of the moon. This would have rendered them an immense power.
An American, Alexander Weaver Ebin, has called Stonehenge "the first accurate sexmachine" because of the 56 Aubrey Holes, which he thinks represent a double menstruation cycle, one for each ovary. (12)
R.J.C. Atkinson states that the purpose of the ditch and the bank was not only to exclude the profane world outside the henge but also to enclose the sacred place. (13) Aubrey Burl adds that the items found in the circular earthwork have contributed to increasing the protective effect. The items concerned are chalk balls, which he suggests could represent testicles, antlers representing rebirth, the skeleton of a woman, a possible personification of the female goddess, who was worshipped at the place. (14)
A matter, which I think is of great importance, and which I also think has been underestimated, is the fact that Stonehenge I was built on chalk ground, This means that the circle has stood white and distinct in the landscape. Whiteness symbolizes, among other things, innocence and purity, and thus a white circle is likely to have had an immense protective power against the profane evil and darkness outside the circle. Another thing is that whiteness is also often connected with the whiteness of the moon. Furthermore the circle reproduces the shape of the full moon, that is the moon when it is most powerful. Applying the primary process on this matter, results in the following: by creating a white circular earthwork one creates a similarity with the moon in shape and colour, which provides a possibility of symbolization. Furthermore in a total abandonment to the primary process the symbol becomes the symbolized. As the moon is regarded as a deity this means that the white circular enclosure becomes divine, and so a worthy and powerful setting for any rites. I am convinced that one of the reasons why Salisbury Plain has a status as sacred landscape is because of its chalk ground.

Stonehenqe II
Stonehenge II was built about 2100 BC with Stonehenge I as the basis. The entrance of the monument was changed, so that it was new oriented to north east. The 5l0m long Avenue with parallel ditches and banks was built straight out from the entrance also following the north east line of the midsummer sunrise. The two stones that marked the entrance of Stonehenge I, were now placed on this new main axis on the Avenue just outside the enclosure.
A ditch was built around the Heel Stone.
In the middle of the enclosure, two bluestone circles, concentric with the earthwork and the Aubrey Holes, were commenced but never finished. The stones were placed like spokes in a wheel, and an entrance to the circles was marked by two stones placed inside the stone circle parallel with the mentioned main axis. Just opposite this entrance was a huge stone hole, which - according to Atkinson - was probably meant for the Altar Stone, the largest of the bluestones. (15)
The four Station stones were arranged in the corners of a rect­angle, whose short sides followed the main axis to north east, while its long sides were orientated to the point on the horizon, where the moon sets at its most northerly position and rises at its most southerly position.
Stonehenge II was built by the Beakers, who in all probability had immigrated from the continent. They are named after an important feature of their culture, namely an elegantly accomplished clay vessel, the beaker.
The bluestones of Stonehenge II are in fact different kinds of stones, which all derive from the Precelly mountain in Wales 335 km from Salisbury Plain. There are differing opinions regarding the way they have arrived from Wales. Julian Richards cites Dr William Thorpes for the theory that the stones were transported the long way with the glaciers. (16)
Aubrey Burl is of the same opinion, as he claims that so skilful masons as the Beakers would have chosen stones of a better quality and left out the ones of the poor quality. Moreover they would probably have dressed the stones before the long transport, which seems not to have been the case, as chips of bluestones have been found all over the area. (17)
On the other band it is remarkable that there occurrance of bluestone nearer than Precelly, so Atkinson as well as Julian Richards maintain that the stones ­– perhaps used earlier in another context - have been transported by human beings and not by the ice. (18)
If the latter theory is correct, it has required an immense effort by the population of that time. On one hand this would reflect the existence of a society with a high degree of organization, and on the other hand it reflects that exactly these stones were important. Already in 1956 Atkinson writes that Precelly could very well have been a holy mountain because of its height and its situation by the sea. He writes that it must have been an aweinspiring sight especially from the sea, its top reaching right into the sky. (19) Besides you find holy monuments here as well, which also signifies the importance of the place. (20) Moreover same of the Beakers' axes are made of the same sort of stone from Precelly. R.J.C.Atkinson points out that axes were not only weapons but also signs of prestige carrying magical power, a power that could be transmitted to the stone they were made of. This would render the stones an even greater holiness. (21)
All this is quite according to the primary process logic. If you accept the hypothesis that Precelly is a holy mountain, the case is the following: By using a part of something holy - the holy mountain - in the building of Stonehenge II, you add holiness to the monument as a whole, as the symbol is the symbolized, as far as there is an abandonment to a religious or primary process func­tion. Exactly the same kind of logic lies behind R.J.C.Atkinson's explanation concerning the axes yealding sanctity to the stones of Precelly, and thus from that point of view very plausible, only I would rather turn this hypothesis upside-down, regarding it as more likely that the mountain was the original sanctum. Another thing is that the stones in themselves can be regarded as holy. Within the Jungian tradition, which has developed Freud's theories on the primary process, they describe stones as a symbol of the Self - the divine - among other things because of they are imperishable. (22)
Besides the high organization of society and the holiness of the bluestones as explanations of the great effort of carrying the bluestones the 335km from Precelly to Salisbury Plain, I am convinced that the latter place in itself is of the uttermost importance in this respect, to. As I have already mentioned, I am of the opinion that one important reason why this place originally gained its importance and reputation as a sacred landscape was because of its chalk underground. And once the importance and reputation were obtained, it would be sensible to choose the same place for later monuments, and would contribute to make the immense undertaking seem worth while.
It has been pointed out that the building of Stonehenge II could mark a change in religion from a death cult to a cult where the sun played an important part. R.J.C. Atkinson writes that earlier the attention was directed to the earth but now the Beakers turned their attention to the sky. The uniformity in the orientation of the Beaker henges must be based on astronomic observations. Furthermore he discusses the presence of a fertility cult because of the shapes of the undressed bluestones. They are found in two different shapes, tall pillars, interpreted as male, and smaller broad stones, interpreted as female. (23)
The mentioned change of axis, also marked with extra stones in the inner circle, and the finding of contemporary circular gold discs with central crosses, interpreted as sun-symbols, make it likely that the sun is the heavenly body to which the attention was directed. (24)
Another thing which I think also suggests the importance of the sun is the way, the stones are placed in the incomplete circles, namely like spokes in a wheel, or to express it in a maybe more appropriate way, like the rays of the sun. With a reference to Gimbutas, I think it is a plausible assumption that from Stonehenge I to Stonehenge II and III there has been a change in religion from a death and later ancestoral cult connected to a moon-goddess to a sun and fertility cult connected to an earth­goddess. This follows the sociological evolution from a hunting society to a farming society, whose survival was dependent on the growing of crops, or in other words the fertilization of the earth. However, at this time the old religion had probably still not been quite abandoned, paying attention to the lunar orientation of the station Stones. But there can hardly be any doubt that in Stonehenge II the sun was the heavenly body to which the most intensive attention was attached.
Applying the primary process logic on the architecture of Stonehenge II causes similar considerations as in the case concerning Stonehenge I, only now it is the sun that is imitated. The stones were arranged in a double circle, a form similar to the sun and furthermore they are arranged like rays going out from the centre. As mentioned above stones are often regarded as holy because of their changelessness. So my interpretation is as follows: Like tribes in Africa imitated the rain to make it come to the earth, the Beakers imitated the sun, not only to create a divine space, but also to make the sun fertilize the earth. It is well known that if people cannot control their surroundings by means of technology or the like, magic is an obvious possibility, so much more as the feeling of powerlessness can be overcome by using magic.

Stonehenqe III
The building of Stonehenge III took place over three periods. It was started in about 2000 BC, where the great sarsen stone circle, consisting of 30 uprights with curved lintels above, and the horseshoe were erected, still following the north east axis of Stonehenge II (fig. 2 (25)). The horseshoe consists of five trilithons, arranged so that the greatest trilithon was at the bottom of the horseshoe.
Trilithon is a Greek word for two uprights with a lintel above. The monument shows a lot of architectural refinements, such as the curving of the lintels, so that they create a perfect circle, and the upward tapering of the upright sarsens, as well as the downward tapering of the trilithon lintels, a practice also used in the building of temples in ancient Greece. The space between the centre of each upright is exactly the same except for the space creating the entrance. All this places Stonehenge III far above other similar contemporary monuments.
The large sarsen stones are smoothly dressed on the inside except for the great trilithon at the bottom of the horseshoe, which was dressed on both sides.
The lintels are fixed upon the uprights by means of a tenon and mortise technique, and in the circle the lintels are jointed to each other with tongues and groves.
At the entrance to the earthwork large undressed sarsens were placed one of which, the Slaughter Stone, is still there, now lying on the ground.
Later an elliptical setting of 22 dressed bluestones was placed inside the sarsen horseshoe, and at least two of these must have been trilithons, as parts of these can be seen in the present bluestone horseshoe. Inside the ellipse were holes for stones seemingly indicating the midsummer sunrise. Outside the sarsen circle were also dug 59 holes, the Y- and Z-holes, in two concentric circles. There are no signs to indicate that these holes have ever contained stones, except for small bits of bluestone at the bottom of the holes, which were never filled up. R.J.C. Atkinson writes that in all probability these holes were meant for the remaining 60 bluestones but that this enterprise was never finished. This hypothesis has not been questioned, and R.J.C. Atkinson goes to suggest that the bluestone fragments could be understood as propitiatory token offerings to protect against the evil that could be the consequence "from depriving the gaping holes of their rightful and expected contents”. (26)
The final setting of Stonehenge III teak place about 1550 BC, and was actually a resetting, namely of the bluestones into a circle inside the sarsen circle, and a horseshoe of tall bluestone pillars inside the sarsen horseshoe, and finally the Altar Stone, the largest of all the bluestones, was placed on the main axis between the centre and-the bottom of the horseshoe. The bluestone circle consisted of tall pillars as well as smaller and broader stones, one of each kind frames the entrance to the circle.
On the inner side of trilithon two are carvings of axe heads and a dagger and on trilithon four of a rectangular figure which according to R.J.C. Atkinson could symbolize a female deity. (27)
Axe head carvings are also found on the outer side of the sarsen circle. Furthermore an axe was found in the hole of the now fallen Altar Stone.
At the time when the building of Stonehenge III started, the Beaker culture had declined and had been replaced by another even more organized and hierarchical culture. The finding of various spectacular gold items in the Bush Barrow, a contemporary barrow a mile south of Stonehenge, witnesses clearly that this is the burial place of a mighty ruler.
Stonehenge is conspicuous, great and impressing and of course there has been a vast number of interpretations. In the middle of the sixties Gerald Hawkins brought forward his suggestion that Stonehenge had functioned as an observatory making it possible for the astronomer priesthood to make a sort of calendar or to divide the year into parts so the times for sowing and harvest and moreover religious festivals could be fixed. And to repeat what has already been mentioned under Stonehenge I and the Aubrey Holes, he is of the opinion that these had served as a kind of neolithic computer making it possible to predict eclipses. His theories have been much discussed and especially the thought of the neolithic computer has been rejected. But that astronomy has been an important knowledge both because of the heavenly bodies' divine character and because a sort of calendar would be necessary in a farming society, is generally accepted.
It is my opinion that also Stonehenge III provides a similarity with the sun as was the case with Stonehenge II. Also here there would be created a divine space by the means of magic as explained above. However, a lot of changes in the architecture have taken place with the building of Stonehenge III, among other things the addition of the double horseshoe placed with the opening to north east and the midsummer sunrise. Aubrey Burl discusses L.E. Stover's and B. Kraig's suggestion that the horseshoe should be connected with a bull-cult. At the same time he rejects this hypothesis because of the fact that the shape of the horseshoe does not resemble the horns of the bull as they curve outwards at the ends. Nor does he consider the resemblance between the horseshoe and the crescent of the moon as sufficiently close to be convinced of a symbolic representation of the moon. (28) He points out that the horseshoe is more like a lobster-claw, a sort of trap, able to catch the sun. (29) The horseshoes are fairly common settings, and he mentions that most of them are open towards important celestial positions. He understands Stonehenge III as a developed funeral forecourt with the architectural origin in the forecourts of the passage graves and he concludes:
“Stonehenge, with its carvings and its north-east orientation, with its highest sarsens at the south-west, can be included amongst this group of U-shaped settings, open to the sun, associated with an axe-cult, acting like a doorway to the Other-­World. This would explain the twelfth and last question about the monument. The five trilithons rose in height towards the south-­west because this was the direction of the midwinter sunset and the dark, cold end of the year.”
And he continues: ­
"It may be supposed, then, that Stonehenge was erected after enormous labour to commemorate annually at midwinter the death of same great divinity. Equally, the sarsens may have been put up to be the everlasting house of such a deity whose role it was to safeguard the dead." (30)
The deity mentioned in the quotation must be the mother-goddess, whom Aubrey Burl believes is represented by the Altar Stone, first because similar sculptures of the goddess are found in Brittany, but also because an axe, the mother-goddess' attribute, has been found in the pit where the Altar Stone was formerly placed. Also he refers to the carvings of the axe heads, the dagger and the rectangular "figurine". In agreement with R.C.J. Atkinson he interprets the latter as a representation of the mother-goddess. (31) This mother-goddess is as far as I can see identical with the earth-goddess mentioned above. She has been given two attribu­tions. She is the giver of life as everything grows from her, and the taker of life as well, as she takes back everything, she has given life to. (32)
Aubrey Burl points out that there is an intimate connection between the axe, the stone, the moon and death. (33) Later when he mentions the two bluestones at the entrance, the male, tall pillar to the right and the female, broad one to the left, he says that sexual symbolism is quite plausable considering that Stonehenge was "deeply concerned with death and fertility". (34) However, I think that Aubrey Burl's conclusion, which is quoted above, does not attach enough importance to the sun and the fertility aspects. Contemporary carvings in Scandinavia and Italy show that there exists a close connection between a sun- axe- and fertility cult, at least in the countries mentioned. (fig. 3 & 4 (35 & 36))
Both Aubrey Burl and R.J.C. Atkinson discuss the possibility of understanding the sarsen circle as an everlasting version or representation of a former wooden building partly because of the mortise and technique which was used in carpentry. In this way you could keep in contact with the past and use this as a sort of legitimation of a new order. (37 & 38)
As for the new order it is my point of view that in an agricultural society you will attach much more attention to the sun as a fertilizing principle, which has already been mentioned. Benjamin C. Ray has maintained that the still greater centralization of the power created basis for a prestige project, but also that Stonehenge III is the result of such an immense performance that it must have had the greatest collective importance, a suggestion with which I can only agree. He is of the opinion that Stonehenge has been the ritual home of same ancestoral-, rebirth- and fertility cult. He is convinced that it has not just been a fertility cult, because this would be more likely to be related to the equinoxes and not - as indicated by the main axis of Stonehenge - at the midsummer solstice. He writes that the ancestoral cult, which is rendered probable by the great amount of surrounding barrows, should legitimate the power of the leader. The main contents of the rites should then be the rebirth and following renewal and strengthening of the leader on behalf of the whole society, and as such an act of social solidarity. (39)
It is of course as mentioned in the beginning of this article very difficult to say anything specific about the concrete rites, but the principle meaning sounds very plausible to me, and the fertility and rebirth aspect plays a prominent part in the following interpretation.
In the whole structure of Stonehenge III there is an immanent presence of the two counterparts male and female. The two different kinds of bluestones have already been mentioned as well as the interpretation of the rectangular carving as female or more specifically the mother- or earth-goddess, and the carvings of axe heads as her attributes. The axe and also the dagger have a clearly male character, and following the primary process logic these weapons could be phallic representations because of the common ability to penetrate. There is also an intellectual level in this, as the ability to “cut through" has traditionally been regarded as a male quality. That the axe is the goddess' attribute can thus be explained with the fact that it represents her contrast, so once more we have the male/female composition. The sun, too, is able to create light and clarity, which could be at least one of the reasons why it is often understood as male.
The very first English historian, who mentions Stonehenge, is Henry of Huntingdon. In 1130 he writes:
"Stanenges, where stones of wonderful size have been erected after the manner of doorways, so that doorway appears to have been raised upon doorway." (40)
Also the doorway can according to primary process be interpreted as a female sex symbol with the entrance as the common aspect.
As to the shape of the horseshoe setting of Stonehenge III I think it would be most obvious to interpret it as female, too. Freud writes that the horseshoe is a very common female sexual symbol, once more according to the primary process, as there is a resemblance between the shape of the female sexual organ and the horseshoe. (41) The horseshoe also represents the contour of a jar, another very common female sexual symbol. Another support for this interpretation is the fact that all the bluestones in the inner horseshoe are tall pillars, so if we stick to the inter­pretation of these as phallic, this provides again a male/female composition.
So if the interpretation of the horseshoe as female is correct and if the sun is accepted as the male counterpart, the conclusion is as follows: every year at midsummer when the sun is most powerful it will rise and shed its light and fertilizing power into the horseshoe. In other words, a sort of cosmic coitus between the sun and the earth will take place every year and secure the survival of a society which was all dependent on the harvest.
The rising in height of the trilithons has been referred to as a support of the theory that the south west orientation and the midwinter played the most important role in the rites of an ancestoral cult. But it could also mean - calling the ambiguity of the primary process to mind - that the horseshoe then would be more able to receive the sun. This would prevent the sun from slipping away and its fertilizing power would be kept inside the setting, as it would be stopped at the bottom of the horseshoe, where the Altar Stone is placed, too. This would be quite in keeping with Aubrey Burl's interpretation of it as a representation of the goddess.
When it comes to the concrete rites, it is most plausible that the sun has been represented by the mighty ruler just as it was the case with among others the Inca ruler and later the Japanese emperor. Just like the sun gave its fertilizing power to the earth, something similar could have been the case for the mighty leader. By passing the female doorways to the sanctum during a midsummer festival he could appear to his subjects as a fertilizing power just like the sun. Of course this is only a guess, but it would be a social event that would secure not only the crops but also the ruler's status.

During the building of Stonehenge there has obviously been a change both sociologically and in religion. From about 2800 BC to 1500 BC society changed into a still higher organized and hierarchical agricultural society.
From a depth psychological point of view it seems most likely that this change was followed by a change in religion, as Gimbutas among others has suggested, from a death- ancestoral- and moon cult, with the self-reliant moon-goddess as the prominent deity to a sun- and fertility cult, where the earth-goddess and the sun were the deities in focus.
In the case of Stonehenge the understanding of the place as a sanctuary devoted to a moon-, death- and ancestoral cult is uncontradicted. My interpretation of the white eircle as a representation of the full moon can only support this view. The depth psychological concept of the primary process is the basis of my assertion that the resemblance between the full moon and the circle provided the population of that time with the possibility of creating a sacred space where rites could take place.
The building of Stonehenge II marked the beginning of a new era where the fertility aspect was the dominant one and where the sun and the earth goddess were the dominant deities, a development that was carried on in Stonehenge III. Another thing is that it is evident that the old order has not been abandoned, in the cycle of the year rebirth and fertility are closely connected, and it is quite possible that the midwinter sunset has been celebrated as the counterpart of the midsummer sunrise. And of course the contact to the past is an important legitimation for what is going on in the present.
The change of main-axis to an orientation to north east, and the midsummer sunrise and the architecture in itself show, according to a depth psychological interpretation that the purpose of Stonehenge in its present form was to create a divine space like it was the case with Stonehenge I and II. But probably the main purpose was to secure the survival of society by making the sun fertilize the earth using magic creating a resemblance as explained above, and that this was made possible by the architecture as shown above. The most important yearly event has thus been the midsummer sunrise where the sun on the top of its powers fertilized the earth in a cosmic coitus. An event which also secured the leader his power as he has most probably been the representative of the sun.

Berit Johnsen, Holmsø, November 1992

(1) Julian Richards "Stonehenge", London 1991, p. 48
(2) The theory of the primary process is described for the first time in Sigmund Freud "Traumdeutung", 1900
(3) R.J.C.Atkinson "The prehistoric Temples of Stonehenge and Avebury” (1980) 1991, p. l
(4) Note 2, p. 4
(5) Aubrey Burl “tThe Stonehenge People” 1987 p. 170
(6) Note 4 p. 140
(7) Aubrey Burl “The Stone Circles of the British Isles", (1976) 1989, p. 310
(8) Note 5, p. 311
(9) Note 4, p. 79
(10) Note 4, p. 63
(11) R.J.C. Atkinson "Stonehenge" (1956) 1979, p. 171
(12) Christopher Chippendale “Stonehenge Complete” (1983) 1989 p. 242
(13) Note lo, p. 170
(14) Note 4, p. 73
(15) Note 2, p. 8
(16) Note l, p. 55
(17) Note 4, p. 135
(18) R.J.C. Atkinson “Stonehenge and Neighbouring Monuments" (1987) 1990, p. 15
(19) Note lo, p. 175-176
(20) Aubrey Burl “Prehistoric Astronomi and Ritual” 1983, p. 36­37
(21) Note lo, p. 176
(22) C.G. Jung “Man and His Symbols" (1964) 1978, p. 221
(23) Note lo, p. 173-175
(24) Note 10, p. 174
(25) Note 1, p. 127
(26) Note 10, p. 84
(27) Note 2, p. 18
(28) Note 4, p. 211
(29) Note 4, p. 212
(30) Note 4, p. 213-214
(31) Note 4, p. 207
(32) Tom Chetwynd: "A Dictionary of Sacred Myth" 1986, p. 133
(33) Note 4, p. 192
(34) Note 4, p. 202
(35) Gyldendals og Politikens "Danmarkshistorie" red. Olaf Olsen, vol. 1, Jørgen Jensen "I begyndelsen", p. 274
(36) Knud A. Larsen "Solvogn og solkult" , p. 53 i Kuml, Århus 1955
(37) Note 10, p. 178
(38) Note 4, s. 136
(39) Benjamin C. Ray: "Stonehenge: A New Theory" in "History of Religions", February 1987, vol. 26, no 3, p. 274-276
(40) Sigmund Freud:"Vorlesungen zur Einführungin die Psychoanalyse" 1917, the Danish Edition, 1982, p. 135
(41) Note 11, p. 20

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