Tattooed Stones - Stylised Megalithic Art

The Inspiration...

Megaliths exist all over the world many of them adorned with petroglyphs or rock carvings. The patterns commonly found carved into the rock are of circles, spirals, zigzags, squares and triangles.

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Newgrange Kerbstone

The picture shows the kerbstone at the entrance to Newgrange in The Boyne Valle in Eire - it is perhaps one of the most famous of all carved megalithic rock carving. ​

The next picture shows two passage stones from Gavrinis a small island in the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany, France.

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Passage stones from the Island of Gavrinis

Also described as entoptic art the patterns are sometimes encountered in the hypnogogic state, which is the state between wakefulness and sleep

The Symbols...

The meaning of the symbols (or patterns) that decorate the ancient stones is a mystery, Whilst  no discernable meaning can be attributed to them it is true they inspire a kind of awe which lends itself to a sense of the spiritual. This has led people from many different spiritual backgrounds to make their own interpretations, the most common of which are given below. In acknowledgement of this I created the Calendar Stone. It is the only Tattooed Stone made with a specific legend in mind.

The Legend of the Calendar Stone :

Just above the base the patterns (circles and spirals) represent the earth and growth. Above the earth, between two seed pods is plant life sprouting upward toward the sun . Next a circular symbol divided in 12 sections  represents the year and is surrounded by triangle and circles which allude to God  and the mystery of life. Between the two zigzag lines is the sun which is central to all life on earth and right at the top is the firmament.

Circles reflect divinity; they are unbounded, unending and unknowing.

Zig-zags convey movement, the passage of time, water and mountains.

Triangles are the triad - extremely powerful in spirituality. In Christianity this reflects the holy trinity.

Squares denote the four seasons, four directions and four elements.

Spirals represent growth; they are a symbol of femininity, progression and development.

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Calendar Stone

The Beginning of Tattooed Stones

Megaliths have been of interest to me for as long as I can remember, particularly the rock carvings or petroglyphs that adorn them . And so it was, that in 1999, with time on my hands, the first saddle stone (shown on right) came into being. It was made of plaster, built on a frame of timber and chicken wire and finished with masonry paint. As a garden centrepiece it lasted about two years before completely disintegrating. I was, however, pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction it evoked from friends and neighbours.

Since then I have wondered if, perhaps, it was not so surprising, for the carved patterns to have popular appeal because they have existed in our consciousness from the earliest days of man. In any case, the idea was filed away until a more opportune time presented itself, which it did after 2008.

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The first Saddle Stone made in 1999

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