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16. Stonehenge and Phi

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Here's a look at Stonehenge in relation to Phi.

Stonehenge is on a Phi day sunrise line from Saint Michael's Mount

On the 3rd of May, the time period between sunrise and sunset at Saint Michael's Mount in Cornwall is 14:50:10 hours.

This date is as close as possible to a Phi ratio between darkness and daylight at this latitude.

Divide 24 hours by 1.618, you get 14.833127. That's 14 hours, 49 minutes and 59.26 seconds. So a Phi day would have a day or a night that's 14 hours, 49 minutes and 59.26 seconds long. (That leaves 9 hours 10 mins and 0.74 seconds for the other 'half')

The azimuth of sunrise on this date is 63.86°. The azimuth of a line traced from Saint Michael's Mount to the centre of Stonehenge is 63.96°.

63.86° leads precisely to Durrington Walls, and through the Stonehenge complex.

Stonehenge is at the intersection of this sunrise line rom Saint Michael's Mount and another, traced from Skellig Michael, according to the azimuth of sunrise on Michaelmas (29 September) at Skellig.

Skellig Michael - Stonehenge: 92.81°, 378.14 miles

29 September (Michaelmas) sunrise at Skellig Michael: 92.69° (2019), 93.17° (2020), 93.02° (2021), 92.87° (2022), 92.71° (2023).

The azimuth varies year to year of course, as the solar year is not quite exactly 365 days long. Over time, the gradual decrease in the declination of the earth's axis would have an effect too.

I think the connection is clear between Michaelmas at Skellig and Stonehenge, and I think that the name of the island, specifically the dedication to the Archangel Michael, is designed to reflect this, and was named for this purpose, whether by the early Irish Christians, by the Augustinians, or by the Normans is unclear. You can see on the map below that Skellig Michael was not in Norman territory in 1250. The abbey at the Mont Saint-Michel was founded by a local man, the bishop of Avranches, but previously to that an Irish man had lived there, possibly as a hermit. The early Christians may have deliberately sought out islands and places along certain lines to place their hermits, according to a possibly very old system, predating the cult of the Archangel Michael, predating the Normans, and perhaps even Christianity. It would have been a system that owed alot to the path of the sun, and to precise measurements of the earth and of all astronomical events, a sort of study of the whole universe, passed down, perhaps a little cryptically, in the form of a world wide design of human construct according to principles and measurements aquired from this study. I imagine such a system would have produced great confidence in the place of humankind within the universe, and within their landscape, and in their own mental powers. In that sense, it would have been very different from a religion, as we understand it. Personally, I always baulk at the idea of astronomer-priests; I think you can be either one or the other.

Whatever the case, the Archangel Michael was the Normans' favourite saint, and I think it's possible that they inherited the knowledge of at least part of this ancient system, and the festival of Michaelmas was designed to mark a geographical link - a solar path - between Ireland and England. Obviously, Stonehenge is much older than the Norman or early Christian periods of history, as is the importance and sanctity of Skellig. Possibly at the time Stonehenge was built, a different date was used to commemorate the sunrise link between the island off the coast of Kerry and the great temple on Salisbury plain.

For example, according to Stellarium, in 3,000 BCE, a 92.8°1 sunrise at Skellig would have occurred on the 22nd November, according to our calendar, and winter solstice would have been on the 11th january. Or in 5,000 BCE, a sunrise azimuth to link Skellig to Stonehenge would have occurred on the 4th of November, the sun rising in Sagittarius at that time.

There is another way in which Phi is present in the layout of Stonehenge, on a large scale, over hundreds of miles in fact. Stonehenge, Saint Michael's Mount and the Mont Saint-Michel form a triangle.

The triangle made up by Stonehenge, Saint Michael's Mount and the Mont Saint-Michel is very close to being a golden one, an isosceles triangle with a height being half the product of the longer side times Phi.

Each of the measurements from Stonehenge to Lundy, Saint Michael's Mount, Mont Saint-Michel, and between Saint Michael's Mount eand the Mont Saint-Michel, can be understood, in miles, as derived from 2 / Phi. Stonehenge to Lundy is 2 / 1.618 x 100 miles, and so on, as per the diagram below.

The distance between Saint Michael's Mount and the Mont Saint-Michel, from centre to centre, is 206.14 miles. If you were to measure it as 206.18 miles, you could perhaps think of it as 20 + phi, or 20 + 0.61803 miles.

A contributor on the Graham Hancock website forum, Jacob Boaz, says: "the Royal Egyptian cubit was 20 34/55 inches", which is very close to 20 + phi. This caught my eye because of the phi connection, and because it is so close to the distance in miles between the two Michael Mounts.

However, there are other dimensions for the Egyptian Royal Cubit.

So what about at Stonehenge itself, is Phi present?

Station stones 91 and 93 are arranged along a winter Phi day sunrise at Stonehenge

I ordered a book online to get the most precise measurements and azimuths for the stones at Stonehenge. It's "Stonehenge: Plans, Description, and Theories, by W.M. Flinders Petrie, with an update by Gerald S. Hawkins."

It arrived about six weeks late, and I'd almost forgotten about it, but when it did I was pleased to find a lovely hardback edition, signed by Gerald Hawkins. I'd had trouble ascertaining the precise position of the station stones, from the books I already had, or on websites, or even on Google Earth. So this book is great, except the to read the numbers on the plan in this book, you need a magnifying glass, but it's progress.

The station stones are numbers 91 (easternmost), 93 (westernmost), and 92 and 94, which are missing.

Thankfully, there are several charts in the book compiled by Hawkins, so I can confidently say now that the azimuth between stones 93 and 91 is 297.29° (as per the table called "Astronomical Alignments at Stonehenge Determined Photogrametrically", p. 55 in the update by Gerald Hawkins in Stonehenge: Plans, Description, and Theories, by W.M. Flinders Petrie). See below.

There are some good plans of Stonehenge, such as the one below, from this great website, by Simon Banton, created by Anthony Johnson, showing clearly the numbers of the stones, but not the station stones.

Another good plan of Stonehenge is this one by Martin Doutré, which does include the station stones, and their numbers are clearly visible.

Together these two plans help interpret the site layout, as the one in my book by Flinders Petrie is so hard to make out.

What's the azimuth of sunrise at Stonehenge for a winter Phi day? The closest match I could get on is 117.02° , which is the value for the 10th of November 2021 with 09:10:08 hours between sunrise and sunset. You can see on the table that stone 93, as seen from stone 91, is at azimuth 297.29°.

297.29 - 180 is 117.29.

The diagram below shows the azimuths between the station stones as per the table by Gerald Hawkins (see above), with a winter Phi day sunrise line, the angle of sunrise at Stonehenge on the 10th November 2021, which is as close as I could find to a Phi ratio between darkness and light.

Diagram based on Gerald Hawkins' figures.

In an earlier post I had found that the diagonal of the station stone rectangle reflected quite closely the angle of the galactic equator against the celestial equator. But before I had slightly different figures for the angles. Working with Gerald Hawkins' table, I have amended the diagram I had made:

At Stonehenge, it's true to say that the angle of the diagonal of the station stone rectangle, between stones 94 and 92, in relation to the north-south line, and the line between stones 93 and 91 in relation to an east-west line, parallel to our equator on earth, reflect very closely the angle of the galactic equator in relation to the celestial equator. And so, it may be possible to make a comparison between the diagonals of this station stone rectangle and the earth's place within the Milky Way.

It just so happens that at Stonehenge, this diagonal, between stones 93 and 91, is also thin line with the azimuth of a winter Phi day sunrise: sunrise on a day when the time between sunrise and sunsset is in Phi ratio to 24 hours.

And, as Gerald S. Hawkins points out, the line linking stones 93 and 91 , azimuth 297.29°, or in the other direction, 117.29°, indicates "moonset + 18.8", and the longer side of the rectangle, stone 93 to 92, is understood by him to be "moonset + 29.1". (see page 55, in his Update to Stonehenge, Plans, Description, and Theories, by W.M. Flinders Petrie)

Also, azimuth 117.82° from Stonehenge leads to the site of ancient Heliopolis, in Cairo, 2,235 miles away. The temple of Delphi is 1470 miles away, azimuth 117.19° away. Neither Heliopolis nor Delphi are exactly on the winter Phi day sunrise line from Stonehenge but they are very close, each being just a couple of miles away.

In an earlier post, I had come up with this diagram to show various Phi ratios on the ground at Stonehenge. I drew lines linking the northernmost station stone, number 94, to both the Phi points of the line linking stones 93 and 92, i.e. the long side of the rectangle. Then I repeated that from each station stone, drawing lines to the Phi points on the side of the rectangle opposite, which created the pattern in black. The yellow lines are the diagonals of the rectangle and the lines linking the Phi points of the shorter sides of the rectangle. The pale green lines link the Phi points of the longer sides of the rectangle.

The diameter of the sarsen stone circle is very close to the shorter Phi section of the long side of the station stone rectangle.

Below is Martin Doutré's plan of Phi circles at Stonehenge.

"There are a series of circles at Stonehenge that are in a direct PHI relationship with each other. The PHI diminishing circles start out on the Avenue where marked positions indicate a diameter that is a PHI increase of the Aubrey Circle. The Stonehenge PHI circles are 466 feet, reducing by PHI to 288 feet (Aubrey Circle), reducing by PHI to 178 feet ("Y" Holes), reducing by PHI to 110 feet (Sarsen Circle outer rim), etc. The "Z"Holes Circle (132 feet diameter) is a non PHI customised circle, which codes a navigational diameter of the "11" series."

He also points out:

"The Sarsen Circle at Stonehenge had an outer rim circumference that was intended to code 345.6 feet or 11.52 inches per degree of arc. This circumference of the Sarsen Circle was also 1/378000th of the "Ring of the Earth under the "6" series navigational system. The full width of Stonehenge (east-west) was 378 feet (or ½ the length of the Great Pyramid). "

In this post, he talks about the Bush Barrow Lozenge in detail, which is fascinating.

So what are the dimensions of Stonehenge?

Petrie’s survey, published in Stonehenge: Plans, Description, and Theories, made the inner diameter of the Sarsen Circle 97.325 feet and he claimed that this was within a maximum tolerance of 0.72 of an inch.

Utilising the measures quoted above from Petrie and Atkinson, 97.325 feet and circa 3.5 feet, we have a diameter between the centres of the lintels of 100.825 feet. Using modern pi of 3.141592654 this results in an area of 7984.106893 square feet.

Gerald S. Hawkins notes that:

"The Aubrey Holes vary from 2.5 to almost 6 feet in width and between 2 to 5 feet in depth and were steep sided and flat bottomed. Although irregular in shape, there was little irregularity in their spacing. They formed a very accurately measured circle 288 feet in diameter with a 16 foot interval between their centre points. The greatest radial error was 19 inches and greatest circumferential or interval spacing error was 21 inches. Let it be noted that such accurate spacing of 56 holes around the circumference of so large a circle was no mean engineering feat."

Stonehenge Decoded (1965)

So, the inner diameter of the Sarsen Circle is 97.325 feet, and through the centres of the stones, 100.825 feet. So circumferences of 305.75622 and 316.75182 feet respectively, and areas of 29,757.724 and 31,936.502 square feet respectively.

The diameter of the Aubrey circle is 288 feet. That's a circumference of 904.78 feet and an area of 260,576.87 square feet.

The below website mentions this about the Sarsen circle and the Aubrey circle.

"A circumference measure through the centres of the holes gives 16 x 56 feet. The stated diameter of 288 feet is for the overall diameter and not the centre measure as 16 feet x 56 = 896 and the diameter would therefore be something very close to 285 feet. The 896 feet of the Aubrey circle circumference calculated from the 56 spaces of 16 feet, again using modern pi has a diameter of 285.205658 feet and a resultant area of 63886.0674 square feet. If we now divide the smaller Sarsen Circle area into the larger Aubrey Circle area the result is 8.001654819. "

To work all this out I used the trigonometry website, and worked with the values of the sides of various triangles and their angles and heights.

12 / 1.618 = 7.41656 and 7.41656 / 1.618 = 4.58378

4.58378 + 7.41656 = 12

5 / 1.618 = 3.09023

3.09023 / 1.618 = 1.9099

1.9099 + 3.09023 = 5

This gives the dimensions of the Phi divisions on both sides of the 5 x 12 rectangle.

The diameter of the sarsen stone circle seems to correspond to the distance between two intersections of the black lines, and this length can be calculated using the values of the angles of the triangles created by the black lines.

Also worth noting is that where the black lines meet the sides of the rectangle, in red, this corresponds to 4 'Z holes', according to the plan of Stonehenge I've used. These 4 'Z holes' therefore mark the phi divisions of the sides of the 5 x 12 rectangle.

And another thing: consider the two circles created by the intersections of the black lines, one has a diameter A = 5 / 1.618 = 3.09023, see in royal blue on the diagram, and the other is in fact the sarsen stone circle, which matches the intersection of two black lines and has a diameter of C = 12 / 1.618 = 7.41674, see in pale blue on the diagram. The radius of the smaller circle is 1.54502, and the radius of the larger circle is 3.70837.

3.70837 / 1.54502 = 2.4 = 12/5.

12 and 5 are of course the proportions of the sides of the rectangle.

What about actual dimensions at the station stone rectangle? Robin Heath gives these dimensions: "The Aubrey circle is 104 MY in diameter (283 feet), whilst the Sarsen circle has an outer diameter of 104 feet."

(Please see this website for Robin Heath's brilliant analysis of the lunation triangle. )

and "Sarsen Circle (30 stones) Mean Diameter = 100.8 feet Sarsen Circle Outer Diameter = 104.27 feet Sarsen (Outer) circumference = 327.6 feet Mean circumference =316.8 feet Bluestone circle (59 stones?) Mean diameter 79.2 feet Aubrey circle (56 markers) Mean diameter = 283.6 feet ~ 13 x 8 MY ~ 104.2MY Aubrey circle (mean circumference) = 891 feet ~ 327.3 MY"


The longer side of the rectangle is 261.3 feet and the shorter side is 108.88 feet.

261.3 / 1.618 = 161.496 and

That means that the Phi divisions on the longer side of the rectangle are at 161.496 feet and 99.812 feet, and on the shorter side 108.88 / 1.618 = 67.293 and 67.293 = 41.59, so the Phi divisions are at 41.59 feet and 67.293 feet.

So on my diagram section A is in fact 67.293 feet, section B is 161.496 feet and section C is 99.812 feet. Section C is supposed to match the diameter of the Sarsen circle, but in fact it is about a foot out from the figures given by Robin Heath for the mean sarsen circle diameter, so perhaps you can't equate a phi division of the longer '12' side with the diameter of the sarsen circle. Perhaps you can if you can accept a mean diameter of 99.812 feet.

A comparison between Stonehenge and Giza

Jim Wakefield makes this point on the Graham Hancock forum:

The inner diameter of the Sarsen Circle is 97.325 feet and the corresponding diameter is 305.7562 feet.

The base of the Great Pyramid at Giza is 9068.8 inches, or 755.733 feet, which gives a perimeter of 36,275.2 inches, or 3,022.932 feet.

305.7562 x pi squared = 3,017.7069, which is very close to the base perimeter of the Great Pyramid.

So it seems that the very layout of the stones at Stonehenge encapsulates Phi. This is then echoed in the Michael Stonehenge triangle, which is a golden triangle, and in the fact that Stonehenge is positioned on a Phi day sunrise line from Saint Michael's Mount.

Also, the line between station stones 94 and 92 is very close to a winter Phi day sunrise line itself, and also has two other interesting properties: it reflects very nearly the juxtaposition of the galactic equator with the celestial equator, and extended, it goes a couple of miles south of the temple at Delphi in Greece, and twenty miles north of ancient Heliopolis, in Cairo.

There is another way in which Phi at Stonehenge is important: it is present in the age-old celebration of May Day, the first day of May: at the latitude of Stonehenge, May Day is a summer Phi day. The 1st of May 2021 gives the closest match: 14:49:59 hours of light, between sunrise and sunset. And the azimuth for this sunrise is 64.22°, which goes through Durrington Walls, and a field or two away from two Michael churches, one at Crux Easton, in Hampshire, and one at Leaden Roding, in Essex.

Finally, the Station Stone rectangle is a 5x12 rectangle. Robin Heath has interpreted this as a lunar caculation device. But there is perhaps also a Phi connection to the Station Stone rectangle, in that the proportions are possibly compatible also with a golden Pythagorean triangle.

Note: I was unable to contact Martin Doutre about asking him for permission to use his diagrams, as his email address, given on his website, is not recognised, and I could find no other contact details.

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