(a.k.a. Pentre Ifan)
also f.k.a. Arthur’s Quoit.
Another ‘quoit’, and only a few miles away from the last one.
This seems, if anything, a little unimaginative.
Or, alternatively, it could signal a connection between the two sites.
The more obvious visual parallels though are with our first site, Carreg Samson.
Seen from one angle Pentre Ifan now frames the distant peak of Carningli (Hill of Angels) and like St Samson’s stone the upper ridge of its Cap follows closely the contours of the terrain which has always dominated its horizon.
We have been moving deeper into the country on our three-fold quest and the sites have become increasingly populace.
We met no one at the first site but at the second, we were hurried on our way by a couple of visitors as though we were holding up play on a golf course.
Here, we pass an entourage on the way in and on our way out we are replaced by another one.
The conveyor belt effect…
True to the form in which we have cast these sketches we are over heating by this point in the proceedings.
Still, we have just come from a long climb up a big hill on a very hot day and the surrounding recumbents prove more than a tad adequate as baking stones.
It is perhaps just as well.
By paying too much attention to the stones one can start to become a trifle uncomfortable in quite a different sense.
For one thing, it becomes abundantly apparent that the central stone is not a support stone at all.
Not a support stone?
Quite definitely not.
But if it is not a support stone then what is it doing there, what is it, and why does it have claws?
Stone claws, or perhaps talons, which are firmly rooted in, not to say sprouting from, the earth?
Well, that is true, but even so…
Maybe, whatever it is, is pointing the way.
Pointing the way to what and where?
To Ivan’s Village.
Whatever that means?
Ivan is Ian… is Jan, and Janus, the god-form of portals, is two-faced and looks both ways. In and out, up and down, before and after, here and there.
Ivan’s Village is Janus’ place!
Well, it is one aspect of Janus’ face, or Jane’s, certainly.
All of which means, we are still no nearer to an answer…
The symbolic preoccupation of all these structures seems to be with Headlands, (end of the land and start of the sea) or Mountain peaks (end of the land and start of the sky). And by extension with islands which is land situated in the sea, and also with birds which are beings that fly in the sky.
In other words the builders of these structures are concerned with thresholds and what lies beyond those thresholds in the domains which they bound. The analogy always involves the natural environment which is then related to their, and hence to our, own experience.
So, it is not so much from here to eternity but rather from here to our apparently limited horizons and then on beyond them…
Which may very well be an eternity or if not, then at least, an endless round.
And that is just the formal symbolism of the structures, without consideration of the precise geometries of their situation…
Despite the conveyor belt effect we still get time enough to do what is needed.
And we conclude our ‘…Prayer’ with a little chanting.
Because that’s the way…
we like it.
You think that will have gone unnoticed?
Quite possibly not.