Institute is a non-profit research and education network
striving to make ancient astronomy, astro-archæology, and research into
the mysteries of the ancient world accessible to people with differing
abilities. We run various projects that are designed to make our
skywatching activities, our research into the celtic mysteries, and our
enquiries into the sunken remains of Ice Age civilisations around the
world, accessible and inclusive to everyone. This reflects the wide range
of abilities of those people involved, and the many ways we focus
on what can be achieved simply by trying.
One of these
projects concerns the compilation of an archive of all the ancient sacred
sites in Wales and beyond, detailing their accessibility or otherwise.
We will be publishing the details on these pages, with easy-to-follow
directions on how to get there, and with many photographs of the sites
that we visit. The picture below was taken at 'first
light' on the Vernal Equinox (Alban
Eilir to the ancient Britons) at Bryn Celli Ddu on Ynys
© march 2002
first light of the 2002 Spring Equinox at Bryn Celli Ddu, Ynys
Môn, North Wales
mound can just about be seen from the road the site is not at all accessible
at present to wheelchair users, as the only access is via a stile, after
which a good fifteen minute walk through muddy lanes finally gets you
to one of the most mysterious sacred centres of the ancient inhabitants
of Anglesey - the sacred druid island of Ynys Môn.
theory about the possible original usage of this stone chamber is that
at various times of the year, including both solstices and equinoxes,
the layout of the chamber allows sunlight to be colimated into a narrow
beam, which, over a period of several hours on those days, highlights ancient carvings
on the interior of the chamber in a definite sequence. Was this a very
early form of writing? Did the ancient skywatchers who built the chamber
intend any significance in the order in which the various petroglyphs
are illuminated by the light of the sun? Further observations at the site
may one day tell.
copyright © march 2002 morien institute
the 2002 Spring Equinox sunrise at Bryn Celli Ddu, Ynys Môn, North Wales
similar ancient mysteries are the focal areas of the various Morien
Institute projects. Emphasis is put on discovery in the landscape
itself, especially the relationship between the ancient site, the horizon,
and the ever-changing backdrop of celestial events which extend out into
the cosmos. Most projects involve experiencing the ancient sacred places
in the ways their builders may have intended - with skywatching
as it was before the telescope, when ancient astronomers used stone chambers
with entrance tunnels built to control the amount of sunlight that enters
at given times of the year.
peoples spent much more time outside in the healthy fresh air than do
modern peoples, and consequently regarded the greater universe, especially
the immediate solar system, to be as much a part of their local environment
as anywhere inside the circle of the horizon on the Earth itself. Wherever
those ancient peoples were on the surface of our planet, the star-groups
at the background to the apparent path of the sun and planets, (the
zodiac, or ecliptic), were often regarded as defining the
'adventures' that the sun encountered
on its annual 'journey' through
this apparent path is really caused by the orbit of the Earth around the
sun, and the background stars along this path were grouped together into
different patterns, or constellations, by peoples of different cultures
and given different names. They all occupy a plane some ten or twelve
degrees either side of the ecliptic, and it is within this plane that
most of the 'wandering' stars
(the planets) also revolve
around the sun.
In a more
poetically expressed scientific language than modern societies use, the
dynamics of the immediate cosmic environment were explained to successive
generations in story form, where the celestial bodies and constellations
were often portrayed as animals, birds, or even people. Over the passage
of time these personifications became 'the
Gods', stories about which have survived to this day as
the myths and legends of various cultures around the world.
between celestial bodies -
the accurate observations of ancient skywatchers - have been
passed down to us over millennia in this story form we call 'myths'.
Regretably though, with a few notable exceptions, these 'oral
traditions' are often dismissed out-of-hand by scientists
trapped in their own narrow disciplines, who feel that the various mythologies
of ancient peoples have nothing to contribute to our understanding of
many of these 'myths' deal
with the apparent annual journey of the sun through the heavens, and it
was these 'solar myths' that
Morien Morgan gathered from the
remnants of the oral druidic traditions of the South Wales valleys, comparing
them to similar solar myths of other ancient cultures in his studies of
ancient Welsh druidism. But many of the world's astro-myths also refer
to 'dragons' and 'winged-serpents'.
Did the red dragon, now on the flag of Wales, symbolically represent a comet, or
which later disintegrated in the solar system sending fragments
crashing to Earth? Fragments that burned up violently, appearing to
ancient skywatchers to be dragon-like fireballs as they
entered the Earth's atmosphere?
Did cometary debris dust-load
the upper atmosphere, blocking out the sun, and causing the abrupt climate changes in the 6th. century AD that are evident
in the tree-ring record? And, did this in turn bring about the mysterious
'Yellow Pestilence', the 'wastelands' of the arthurian legends,
and the beginning of the European Dark Age?
not be forgotten that the oceans cover around 71% of the surface of our
planet. Asteroids and cometary debris from space impact in the sea more
often than on dry land. These impacts produce huge tidal waves, tsunami,
which cause devastating floods, and the folk memories of such deluges
that have occurred in the past remain not just in the tales of Noah's
Ark and Atlantis, but in the legends of flooded kingdoms such as Lyonesse
that are found in many ancient cultures around the world. These inundations
are still spoken of today in the 'living traditions'
of many non-industrialised peoples.
the ruins of ancient civilisations
are being discovered underwater on continental shelves all around the
world, academics with a vested interest in the erroneous views of prehistory
that are still being fed to unsuspecting students in schools and colleges
today, seem desperate to downplay the significance of discoveries such
as the enigmatic Yonaguni structure
found off the coast of the southernmost Japanese island of Yonaguni-jima.
Other ruins lie underwater off the coast of other Japanese islands, and
what they all have in common is that the
vast underwater world which they occupy was last above sea-level
some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. This was at the precise time when Plato
tells us that the lost continent/city of Atlantis sank beneath the waves
in a cataclysm that inundated the whole civilisation " ... in
one dreadful day and night ... ".
high land, especially in what are now dry coastal areas, there is much
evidence of the hurried abandonment of previously settled communities,
mass migrations to higher ground, and new colonies showing the survivors
of those catastrophes attempting to rebuild their lives elsewhere. In
many of these discoveries there is increasing evidence of 'astronomical'
considerations in the siting, layout, orientation and alignment of the
newer structures, indicating an important desire on behalf of the builders
to observe 'live events' in the
ancient skies. What were they looking for? What celestial phenomena did
they build these mysterious astronomically-oriented structures to predict?
Were they looking for comets, or the erratic fragments of a giant comet,
as many now believe?
Morien Institute projects are concerned
with the ancient traditions that have
been regarded as totally 'mythological'
- the 'lost continents' and
'Golden Ages' of antiquity.
Is there any substance to these 'myths',
and if so, are we living amongst the remains of those civilisations inter-mingled
with the remnants of a post-deluvian science of megalithic observatories
built by the survivors to help predict
the periodic returns of comets in order to forewarn the peoples of further sky-born destruction?
This seems to have been the greatest of fears amongst ancient peoples
during the last twelve thousand years, and it is now believed by many
scientists that even into historical times peoples around the world may
well have witnessed cometary debris impacting the Moon
as well as the Earth.
was the terror such events would have instilled in those who witnessed
them, that it gave rise to the concept of a 'vengeful
sky god' who had to be appeased. Many now believe that
'blood sacrifice' unfortunately
developed out of these understandable fears, and that it was instigated
astronomer-priests of numerous ancient cultures. These astronomer-priests
abused their knowledge of the cyclical nature of temporary celestial events
in order to maintain their power over the survivors
of what seems to have been a series of cosmic catastrophes.
Ancient peoples who were arguably suffering from post-traumatic stress on a societal level, and so were easily manipulated by those who could predict future episodes of celestial bombardments using their megalithic observatories ...
Below are links to just some of our Ancient Mysteries Projects
The Atlantis Debate
illustrated interview with
Dr Paul Weinzweig
of Advanced Digital Communications,
Havana, Cuba, regarding
the discovery of:
"Megalithic urban ruins discovered off the coast of Cuba"
off the coast of Cuba
The Underwater Pyramid
Structure at Yonaguni
illustrated interview with
Professor Masaaki Kimura
of the University of the Ruykyus,
Okinawa, Japan, regarding
the discovery of:
"Megalithic structures found underwater off the coast of
The Prehistory Debate
Nazca Lines & Drawings
The Great Sphinx of Giza
New Dating Debate
Copyright © 1999, Dr. Robert M. Schoch
The Druids in the Classics
Equinoxes, Solstices &
The Solar Year
New Discoveries at
Caer Sidi Expeditions
Copyright © 1974, John Michael
Ancient Cultures Destroyed
by Cosmic Impacts?
Survivors of Ancient
Terrestrial Impact Craters
Comets & Asteroids