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Cerne Abas Giant

Listed under Sacred Spaces in West Country, United Kingdom.

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Upon a hill rising from the Dorset village of Cerne Abas, the 60-meter tall Cerne giant and the Maypole mound above his head have marked a fertility site since ancient times. Trenches cut into the chalk rock of the hillside, outlining the giant's form, have been maintained by local villagers since at least the 2nd millennium BC. Maypole dancing still occurred at the site as recently as 1635 when Christian authorities finally suppressed the pagan festivals. During prudish Victorian times the trenches of the giant's penis were filled with dirt and hidden beneath grass.

The giant, whose name may derive from the Celtic fertility god Cernunnos, has the legendary power to cure barrenness in women, and childless couples still copulate while lying on the grass in the giant's phallus. A sight line taken up the giant's penis on May Day points directly at the sun as it rises over the crest of the hill. Below the giant flows an ancient healing spring, once known as the Silver Well, but renamed St. Augustine’s Well following the arrival of Christianity in the area. Unlike many pagan wells taken over by the Christians, the springs are still flowing and the site has a wonderful feminine energy that balances the power of the male god on the hill above.

The Cerne Abas Giant on the Sacred Sites Website.

Written by  Martin Gray.

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