Mar 11

Standing Stones: Why and What? By Terri Brisbin

TerriBrisbin-photoPlease welcome Terri Brisbin. Her article is about a topic that still fascinates many today.

I’m happy to be here, Anna.

For centuries, stone circles, burial mounds and cairns, dolmen tombs, henges and standing menhirs have dotted the landscapes of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Most were built during the Neolithic or early Bronze age.



Some  began with wooden poles and then were replaced, enlarged or added to with stone columns. Probably the most familiar of these stone monuments is Stonehenge in southwestern England. And in the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland, the Ring of Brodgar and the Ness of Brodgar excavation area are part of the impressive Neolithic Orkney area where archeological artifacts and buildings are being uncovered.

What were these stones and circles and mounds used for? Why were they built?

Some seem to be places of worship or gathering by Neolithic peoples, places where they would gather at the change of seasons. Due to the alignment of the stones and henges, these monuments are tied to solstices and equinoxes, positioning of the moon and sun during the year. The discovery of graves around and in various circles also give rise to the theory that these places were for rituals of death and burial including sacrifices of animals and humans.

But what if there was another reason for these circles and stones?

Ring of Brodgar

Ring of Brodgar

When looking at a map while researching for a new story idea, I realized that there are several areas in Great Britain and Ireland that have a high concentration of stone circles. And that led me to another question—a favorite process that writers use when creating stories!—what if. . . what if?

What if these stone circles were used for another reason? What if many of them were simply diversions, hiding a few important circles that served as gateways to another world? What if an immortal and evil being was being held prisoner, held back by these gateways and protected by spells and by descendants of the ancient gods who empowered them?

In my new series, The Novels of the Stone Circles, this ancient evil one is now attempting to return to this world and to destroy humanity and the world.




Each story follows the quest of the Warriors of Destiny as they attempt to defeat evil and save the world. . . and as they find the love of a worthy hero or heroine!

The most fun thing about my series is that I’ve had the chance to visit some of the circles I chose as the settings of these stories. . . or I will visit them soon! During my visits to Stonehenge, the Ring of Brodgar, Standing Stones of Stenness and others, I found them to be haunting, mysterious places filled with a strange sound that sent chills through me as I walked them. I’m not sure why they were built but I know that there is some otherworldly connection to the past and to things yet to be discovered. I hope you get a chance to explore standing stones sometimes and if you do, stop and listen for sounds and signs of the distant past.


RisingFire-StoneCirclesRISING FIRE is the March 2015 release from USA Today bestselling author Terri Brisbin and is available in digital and print formats from all retailers – see http://terribrisbin.com/books/risingfire.php for more info. To learn more about Terri’s books and events, visit her website at www.terribrisbin.com or visit her FB page at www.facebook.com/terribrisbinauthor 

Thanks for being my guest, Terri. I’ve long been fascinated by these phenomena and feature standing stones in several of my books. Best of luck with the book. Love the cover.





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  1. Nancy Morse

    Wonderful post, Terri. There’s a haunting beauty to the standing stones. I used the ones in SW England in one of my historical paranormals with the suggestion that they had been placed there by vampires with superhuman strength. Which goes to show how each of us interprets these mysteries of the distant past. Good luck with the book. The cover is beautiful.

    1. Terri

      Nancy – I’ve found them to be very eerie places with a hum of power or energy that eventually unnerves me!

      Thanks for posting!

  2. Jacquie Biggar

    Very interesting post Terri. I agree, there must be something more to the stones. Many believe Druids performed many of their magical chants within the giant shadows. I’d love to see them one day.

    1. Terri

      Jacquie – I’ve been lucky enough to visit Stonehenge, the Ring of Brodgar and Standing Stones of Stenness, and Callanish — and each place left me breathless….aware of something sizzling in the ground…. I hope you get to see them!

      I think that there are places of power all over the earth and they draw people to them….like the Druids or ancient priests….

  3. Sylvie Grayson

    Hi Teri, I like the theory, it holds great promise as a basis for any number of stories. I accompanied my mother to England years ago and visited Stonehenge. She was enthralled with the whole place and when she laid her hand on the stones she felt heat emanating from them. Just one more unanswered bit of information about the standing stones.

    Good luck with your stories, Sylvie

    1. Terri

      Sylvie –

      Yes!! I’ve felt that heat in the stones….and heard a low hum or buzz from all around them.

  4. Lana Williams

    Love your story concept, Terri! Sounds fascinating – and the cover is very appealing! Congrats!

    1. Terri

      Lana —

      Thanks! I love what my publisher – NAL Signet — has created for this series!! Have you seen the next one? I posted it on my FB page!

  5. Rose Anderson

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Terri

      Rose —

      Thanks for visiting Anna’s blog today!

  6. Pat Amsden

    Stonehenge and similar places have always fascinated me. As a storyteller the what ifs intrigue me too. And as to timely if you watch Marvels’ Agents of Shield that’s central to their storyline right now. That could be partly because apparently there’s a new movie coming out this summer wiped Thor from what I’ve heard. Picturing Chris Hemsworth suddenly appearing through a portal in front of me brings a smile to my face.

    1. Terri

      Pat —

      They’ve fascinated me forever too! I’m thrilled to have visited some of them….

      BTW — when my editor asked me who I picture as the hero of the second book in the series – RAGING SEA — I immediately said Chris Hemsworth!! I just posted the second cover – set on Orkney during times when the Norse still ruled there…. They did a fabulous job with it!

  7. Melissa Keir

    Sounds interesting. I’d love to see them sometime. 🙂 I wonder why we haven’t found any in North America??

  8. Cathleen Ross

    Loved the article Terri. I always think of the stones as portals, too.

  9. Gemma Juliana

    Terri, I can’t wait to read your stories. I’m reworking a manuscript I started seventeen years ago, and it has several stone circles in it. I’ve been to many myself, and adore the magic that resides within them.

    Wishing you loads of success!!


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