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Cerne Abbas Giant

Hill Figure


There is a book of poems written by Jeremy Hooker, "The Soliloquies of a Chalk Giant", in which our giant appears, rather sadly at times. The last verse on one of the poems is below...... As he is a disputed giant on TMA, legends will abound of course.

"The god is a graffito carved on the belly of the chalk,
his savage gesture subdued by the stuff of his creation.
He is taken up like a gaunt white doll by the round hills,
wrapped around by the long pale hair of the fields."

But Jeremy Hooker went on to speculate about the naming of this giant, and to quote him, I have found something I wrote ages ago, his book was borrowed from the library some years back..

If as Hooker says, he comes from this time than he must be Helith - "In which district the god Helith was once worshipped" This comes form an old document, and is part of his legend. Helith, an iron age god who takes his name from Hercules. Romano-Britains would have adopted and changed the old roman god to fit their own religion.
Augustine's mission in 601 AD seemed to have renamed him as Cerno El, the pagan saxons renaming him as Heil. But apparently during the saxon period he shared his valley with another god whose neophytes purified the waters that had long been sacred.
But to conclude, here is Hooker's meaning for the words Helith....

"Helith; that is holy stone - or a corruption of Helios, maybe the sun. A sunstone, pediment in earth. The ground is dense with holy names; Elwood, Elston hill, Elwell, Yelcombe (y l cwm). Was there a standing stone on Elston Hill before Helith was fleshed out below the Trendle: Where beth they, beforen us weren? Make your enquiry of the dust, I make no enquiry there. Give me a living name"
moss Posted by moss
18th August 2013ce
Edited 18th August 2013ce

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