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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison


I had been studying the configuration of the stones at Stonehenge for twenty years. At first, I had understood the monument as an astronomical observatory. So many significant alignments of standing stones could be found with the sun, moon and stars. Latterly, however, experiments undertaken by the Department of Statistical Research at London University began to concern me.

The researchers had randomly scattered rice grains on a table and carefully marked the locations at which they fell. They had then demonstrated that many alignments of the grains could be made with significant astronomical events. The Stonehenge alignments might be no more than coincidence.

Whilst being a profound disappointment, this opened my mind to a new possibility suggested by two experiences. The first occurred on a holiday to the Arctic Circle. Here, as thunder echoed through the mountains and lightning cleft dark, ominous clouds, I re-read the myths of the great Norse gods of Wind and Thunder. Later I holidayed in Egypt where, under the relentless heat of the sun, I had marvelled at temples built to the Great Sun God, Amun.

It was while watching the sun set behind the palms on the west bank of the Nile that the inspiration came upon me. The prevailing weather conditions in both the Arctic and in Egypt had defined the key characteristics, the very essences, of the gods. If one could define that factor in relation to the British climate, then the religious significance of Stonehenge would be revealed.

On my return, I journeyed once more to the familiar, ancient stones. It was a wet morning and I wrapped my coat tightly around me as I trudged through the damp mist to the centre of the inner ring. For the first time I noticed how water trickled down the horizontal lintel stones and fell to form a liquid curtain between the huge sections of upright masonry. The mist had encircled the stones and the wind swirled fine rain up and down and left and right. It was as if I stood in the centre of some massive, primeval raindrop.

I felt myself overwhelmed with a sense of oneness with my surroundings and compelled to shed my clothes to more closely commune with the elements. It was in that moment of religious ecstasy that three revelations were given to me. Like temples to the Norse Thunder God and the Egyptian Sun God, Stonehenge was a temple to the British God of Drizzle. Roman references to ‘Coldendamp’, when writing of this country, were now clear. This must have been the name of the deity. In that moment, I also realised that Coldendamp was the one true God.

I have now retired from archaeology and devote myself to my duties as High Priest of Coldendamp. Sadly, I am banned from Stonehenge following my conviction for indecent exposure at the site. There are many Neolithic shrines to Coldendamp across the land, however, at which I, and my ever increasing band of followers, can worship. I hope you might join us, but even if not, may the Waters of the Heavens be with you.