Two women – ten years apart, one British and one American and totally unknown to each other – are drawn to the megalithic stones in France. Each woman receives guidance and information from an unknown source - mysterious messages in the mind, if you like – and each bases her subsequent work on what she learned there.
The place is Carnac in the Brittany coast, where thousands of standing stones and stone circles march impressively across the countryside in extended alignments, twelve rows across. It seems these ancient stones have a form of memory; they can hold information that may be accessed by human beings, much like gaining access to the storage capacity of a computer. We may know it works, but not understand why, nor how to retrieve the information.
The authors – Natasha Hoffman and Carolyn North – have the password, and by a magical synchronicity, learn of each other 20 years later and begin to tell their parallel stories. There is no reason to doubt that these are genuine experiences; their force, simplicity and similarity are convincing enough. The questions for most people will be who or what inspired them? How can stones deliver messages? What gives these women such an ability?
A rational explanation, deemed necessary by today’s science and medicine, may evade us, but science is only one way of knowing, not the only way. Science knows the ”hows” but not the “whys” of things, mostly accepting this limitation and recognizing that everything is more than it appears, that the visible world is only one level of perception and that there are many things about which we know very little.
The sages of ancient and indigenous cultures from all over the world accepted mystical experience and inspiration, gods and devic presences, as an integral part of life. Direct experience from the unseen was to them as real as everyday physical reality, and they knew that human beings were a tiny part of a vast, highly organized and unified Universe – a network of mysterious frequencies and energy fields.
In Voices Out of Stone: Magic and Mystery in Megalithic Brittany we are told of direct experiences from an other-than-human level. One person might think of these experiences as disembodied cosmic energy, a parallel to our embodied form of earthly energy; another might call them Angelic, using the traditional name for a non-physical being, a messenger of divine origin, but we lack the necessary language for these manifestations of what is sometimes known as “subtle energy.”
Voices Out of Stone brings much-needed lightness, balance and feminine intuition into an uneasy world, much of which has not yet outgrown masculine dominance, has scarcely even emerged from the power struggles of all our recorded history, and remains reluctant to acknowledge the reality of a spiritual realm. Such things may be finally changing.
Those of us who feel that we are still living in dark times may remind ourselves that the deepest darkness always comes before the dawn. The Greek poet George Seferis, inspired by the ruins of ancient Mycenae, wrote:
Voices out of stone, out of sleep
Voices more deep here
Where the world grows dark…
If our present societies are to avoid a similar collapse we have to change. The stones have indicated that it is necessary to get this message out. We need to balance material demands and desires with spiritual awareness, to lift all our relationship to a higher and more loving plane. This is a book that can go with us on the journey towards a higher level of consciousness. It is not an easy path, but each one of us must make it if humanity is to survive.”
A Review of Voices Out of Stone
by Cynthia Sue Larson
Voices Out of Stone is my favorite kind of travel guide, as it shares both personal experiences and a fascinating history of ancient mysterious sacred sites. The standing stones of Carnac are the central focus of this book, and they are written about intimately by author Carolyn North and with an overview as to global significance by Natasha Hoffman.
Readers who enjoy books by Hamish Miller such as The Sun and the Serpent will love Voices Out of Stone for the way it invites us to open all our senses and more fully experience the deepest levels of meaning of the mystic standing stones of Brittany. I love the sketches and descriptions of various stone alignments, dolmens and menhirs in this book, and am particularly delighted by tales of visiting some sites at times when they could be enjoyed in solitude... or with a traveling companion equally devoted to listening to hidden wisdom of the stones.
Voices Out of Stone truly shines when describing how Carolyn North became something of a reluctant yet highly sought after healer during her visit to Carnac, and the ways these and other sacred stones transformed Carolyn's view of health, personal growth, and transformation. Reading this book graces me with something akin to the quiet, poetic beauty of the sacred sites themselves. I felt sad coming to the last pages and the realization that my journey to Carnac was coming to an end... for like a vacation to Carnac, Voices Out of Stone transports me to magical realms.
I highly recommend Voices Out of Stone to all who love connecting to nature and Earth, to anyone intrigued by ancient sacred sites, and to those interested in planning a trip to Brittany, France.