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Ales Stenar, Sweden: Megalithic “Stone Ship” Aligns to Solstices and Equinoxes

In Sweden, on the top of a moraine ridge with a view of the Baltic sea, there is an enigmatic stone structure called “Ales Stenar” (Ale’s Stones) that aligns with the solstices and equinoxes.

Ales Stenar – megalithic stone structure found in Sweden CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The structure is 69 meters long, almost 19 meters wide and is comprised of 57 large stones positioned in a ship-like form. A “stone ship” is a type of megalithic structure also found in other parts of the Scandinavian region.

The Alignments

Researchers Nils-Axel Mörner and Bob G. Lind have found the megalithic structure contains alignments to the solstices and equinoxes.

They found that on the morning of the winter solstice the sun rises at the “stern of the ship” and sets between two stones in the middle of the structure (photos can be seen here).

On the summer solstice, the sun rises on the side near the middle of the structure (opposite to that of the setting sun on the winter solstice) and sets at the “bow” of the ship (photos).

On the spring and autumn equinoxes, they found that the sun rises and sets over the 12th stones near the middle of the structure, running east-west (photos).

Mörner and Lind also found that the stone structure marks out the sun’s daily path.1

The solstice alignments of Ale’s Stone – Base image By Pål-Nils Nilsson / Riksantikvarieämbetet, CC BY 2.5, Link and annotations based on research and diagrams by Nils-Axel Mörner and Bob G. Lind2

Other Significant Discoveries

The view from inside the Ale’s Stone structure – By Bengt A Lundberg / Riksantikvarieämbetet, CC BY 2.5, Link

Carved into some of the rocks are “cup marks,” which is a marking often found in Scandinavian rock art and elsewhere around the world.

Nearby there are other megalithic structures, including Haväng dolmen, which is estimated to be 5,000 years old and features the solar cross symbol (symbol of solstices and equinoxes).3 (Photos of Haväng dolmen, can be found here.)

Mörner and Lind also discovered intriguing similarities in the basic geometry and build of Ales Stenar when they compared it with Stonehenge in England. Diagrams of these discoveries can be found in their research article here.

Below is a video of the Ales Stenar site and surrounding countryside:

More detailed information about Ales Stenar is available on Bob G. Lind’s website:

Olga Grapsas and Jenny Resnick contributed research to this article.


  1.  Nils-Axel Mörner and Bob G. Lind, Stonehenge Has Got a Younger Sister
    Ales Stones in Sweden Decoded, pg. 25. Accessed July 14, 2017. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwDQWMPlSPeKZm1KRXRMRS1Xc28/view

  2.  Nils-Axel Mörner and Bob G. Lind, Stonehenge Has Got a Younger Sister
    Ales Stones in Sweden Decoded, pg. 24. Accessed July 14, 2017. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwDQWMPlSPeKZm1KRXRMRS1Xc28/view.  

  3. Lind, Bob G. The Haväng Dolmen. Accessed July 14, 2017. http://www.alesstenar.com/eng/HavangDolmen.htm

32 Comments

  • Thanks for the comments and this post Jenny, it gives me a picture of a civilization that I thought was as movies and recent history are presenting.
    I like how Tolkien writes about dwarfs which might come from this culture (I don’t know) but I wish we knew more about their culture and how it was connected with the religion of the sun.

  • I agree with everyone here. This discovery is really amazing. The precision in the alignments of the stones is clearly showing us that the people that created this were more than just barbarians or simple people.

    I have also really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments, it has made this article very lively. Thanks to everyone for their links to different videos and information – clearly we are just beginning to understand the religion of the sun around the world and uncover how the different inhabitants of this planet have honoured the Sun throughout time.

    Jenny, I was particularly taken aback bu the link you shared on the Viking navigation down to New Zealand. It was so surprising to see the similarities in the artifacts of both peoples.

    Thanks for those carrying out the research to bring all this knowledge to light. It is such an important task and, like others here have said, let us pray and hope that the religion of the Sun may again have the same important it once did.

    🙂

  • That really amazing how both the solstices and equinoxes all line up and estimated 5000 years old, really surprised that information like this is not researched more in the main stream thanks for sharing

    • Hey Richard, just wanted to clarify, the dolmen mentioned above was given a date of being 5000 years old. This dolmen is not known to be aligned to solstices or equinoxes, but rather aligned east as most dolmen are. For Ales Stenar there doesn’t seem to be consensus about the date at this stage — artifacts collected at the site seemed to have produced different age ranges, with the oldest one being 3600 BC, and the youngest being 600 CE. There is another site nearby called the Kivik Mound apparently built 3000 years ago, so definitely seems like this area has a long history 🙂

  • Mmh, interesting. I had read that these type of sites were burial sites of a certain tradition. But it seems there’s more to it than just that, having such exact alignments in this case for example. I’m pretty sure that in this case too there’s a whole story of history that might be very different than generally perceived.

    Will look into it a bit more soon. Very well done flyover video btw.

  • The site is quite remarkable. I found it very worthwhile to read the the article Vida linked to (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwDQWMPlSPeKZm1KRXRMRS1Xc28/view) as it goes much deeper into the specific alignments involved and helped me appreciate the complexity and precision of the monument as a whole.

    For example, not only are there alignments to the solstices and equinoxes, but there are specific stones marking each month of the year and apparently even the hours of the day.

    Perhaps the most astounding discovery is that there appears to be a common unit of measurement and similar geometric structure linking this site with Stonehenge. This suggests either a common source of influence, or perhaps indicates that those who built this site had visited Stonehenge and were influenced by it.

    It also makes me curious to learn more about the ancient roots of Scandinavian culture.

    • Very significant point Justin, that this site and those in Britain use the “megalithic yard” unit of measure. It certainly suggests that the cultures were linked.

      • It is interesting that you mention the Megalithic Yard, Jon.

        I came across a book several years ago called “Uriel’s Machine”, which explored the Book of Enoch from the aspect of trying to unravel the Megalithic Yard. The book contains information on “what” and “how” the Megalithic Yard came to be created, as well as how to create a calendar based on the Sun (ie a wood henge), and more. Here’s a website run by one of the authors of that book: http://www.robertlomas.com/megyard/

        ” The [Megalitic Yard] turns out to be much more than an abstract unit such as the modern metre, it is a highly scientific measure repeatedly constructed by empirical means. It is based upon observation of three fundamental factors:

        The orbit of the Earth around the sun
        The spin of the Earth on its axis
        The mass of the Earth “

      • In a follow up to the megalithic yard, I just heard of this scientific finding that shows Babylonian tablets using trigonometry and completely *exact* trig tables. (Our modern trig tables are always approximations due to rounding).
        Since, the megalithic yard is a measurement based on the motion of the sun, I thought it worthwhile to post these findings here.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9-ZPGp1AJE

        So perhaps the earlier megalithic builders, incorporating the megalithic yard, used a completely different set of mathematics to achieve what they did!

    • Very enigmatic site at a breathtaking location. I’ve never seen anything ‘boat-shaped’ like this before. Has anyone else?

      Seeing the same basic geometric shapes from this Swedish circle match that of Stonehenge’s certainly suggests the two sites had many commonalities between them.

      With the complex calendar at Stonehenge found echoed in sites at much further distance (the Majorville Medicine Wheel in Canada is what’s in my mind here) it seems very very likely that the Scandinavian and British cultures, so close to each other, had a common influence.

      Great find! Thanks. 🙂

  • A while ago I came across some information on Ales Stenar, it seemed like an interesting ancient site, but I only read limited information.
    Thankyou for your detailed article, it has given me a much better understanding of the significance of this site.
    It amazing how many of these profound sites connected to the religion of the sun, are being brought to light on this website.

    • Agreed, Chris. I was aware of this site for quite some time as well so was really glad we were able to finally feature it. It’s definitely a really interesting one — it’s strange to contemplate that something so “simple”-looking can actually be so complex (involving advanced math, astronomy, navigation, and a lot of imbued symbolism).

  • Hi Jenny
    Thank you for explaining and providing many valid points about the misleading historical concepts of the Vikings being deemed a group of invading, plundering warriors. My intention certainly wasn’t trying to depict them in such a negative way by posting that video (which I now realize does have a lot of inaccuracies about the Bronze age findings and perhaps even depicting the Vikings as source of them) but was hoping to show the importance and connection between the boat symbols in those rock carvings with the ship megaliths found in the Nordic culture and beyond that. I’m going to check out the link you provided for the Doutre article.

    • No worries, Patricia. I totally understood that you were sharing about the ships and sun symbol glyphs — a find I’m actually super excited about as well 🙂 . I feel like this past half a year I’ve turned into a a bit of a petroglyph nerd 🙈 — they are just so fascinating and enigmatic. I’ve been focused more on ones in America, so was really surprised to see the same ones appear in Scandinavia.

      About the video, after my blundered experience with Cahokia I’m trying to watch things a bit more carefully now, and keep in mind that things can skewed. It seems really easy for misrepresentations, speculations, and inaccuracies to slip into documentaries where people attempt to fill in the void of things unknown to them. Add to that a huge amount of misinformation on the subject floating around, and that in some cases there’s an intentional distortion happening — things can become really muddled quite quickly, and the misinformation just continues to be perpetuated like that…

  • Wow! The first impression I got from looking at this stone complex was how much it reminded me of Stonehenge. It’s an incredible megalith, like a giant stone compass that remarkably tracks both solstices and the equinoxes AND each of their sunrises and sunsets, an amazing engineering feat! I’ve seen so many references to ships/boats depicted as a sacred symbol in many different petroglyphs from various ancient solar-aligned sites but to have it incorporated into an entire giant megalithic structure as this one leads me to be believe that there is something quite significant about it. Thanks for sharing it.

    • I came across this wonderful short video that gives a brief, artistic overview of the ancient seafaring traditions and megalithic sites of the Nordic culture. The central theme in this video are the Nordic boats. The various depictions of them, in particular the ones carved on rocks, had caught my attention as I have personally seen the almost exact same style of petroglyphs on the opposite part of the Atlantic.

      https://youtu.be/kDXQCUpjAyk

      • Hi Patricia,

        I actually am in the process of putting together a small comparison of a few Scandinavian and South American petroglyphs, as I’ve noticed the same — the similarities are astounding. In fact, I wouldn’t even call them similarities, since some of the symbols are very specific and are actually exactly the same on both continents. Yet another piece of evidence that adds to the picture of other civilizations that have been through the Americas and had their influence there in the past. Mounds is another strong similarity — found throughout both Europe, the USA, Asia, etc.

        One thing about the video that you shared, is that although the simulation of the petroglyphs turning into 3-D models of ships in the second half of the video is very interesting, I noticed the video also contains other messages about the culture, which seem to be misleading.

        From what I’ve seen, with the Vikings there is an intentionally strong emphasis placed on their culture as being one of warriors, barbaric invaders, vandals, and looters. You can see this glorified in popular culture, so much so that that’s literally all people can think of when they hear the word “Viking” — which can serve as a distraction from understanding what their culture would have been like in ancient times.

        The raiding and warfare that did apparently happen is of relatively recent history (starting in the late 8th century AD), and even there much seems to have been embellished, shared out of context, or misrepresented (with the available written records about the Vikings having been recorded by their enemies).

        Interestingly, a lot of this misrepresentation of the Viking culture appears to have originated with early Christianity, as it apparently did not like the pagan spiritual practices of the Vikings. From there, the Vikings gained a reputation for being “dirty barbarians,” when they were apparently actually known to be cultured, very skilled traders and craftsmen, and peaceful rulers.

        On a personal level, I don’t know enough about those specific petroglyphs and symbols to say with certainty that they were of Viking origins as there’s always the possibility that they might have come from another culture in earlier times, or possibly from much more ancient times within the Viking culture itself, (I’m not even sure what time period these petroglyphs are from? A quick search seems to commonly say Bronze Age), or left by a specific group of people within the Viking culture, for example.

        In the case of this video, it is depicting a culture that is apparently a part of a civilization of the sun (or one that used its symbols), but that allegedly consisted of barefooted, menacing raiding warriors descending upon peaceful villagers (wearing stereotyped horned helmets — which apparently the Vikings never even wore..). Something there just doesn’t add up to me. My feeling is that it is blending the more recent history/perception of the Vikings with petroglyphs left behind from more ancient times.

        P.S. There’s an interesting article from Martin Doutre about the Vikings leaving behind traces of their advanced knowledge of science (math, astronomy, navigation and seafaring) in ancient New Zealand, which can be read here.

        • Thanks Jenny, I totally agree with what you’re saying, I’ve watched quite a lot of documentaries on this topic, as you say the symbols are exactly the same.

          I really hope that the strength and will of dedicated spirituals seekers will allow our ancient roots of the Sun to flourish all over our planet as it once did. We have been kept in the dark for too long, this information is so in need to be available for anyone who chooses to follow their heart.

          Also, I’m glad that you’ve commented on the Vikings. As a child I’ve always felt something deep and spiritual about them and I feel that your information deserves serious attention.

        • That’s quite interesting what you say about the Vikings and the excessive focus on their later history and violent stereotypes in our culture.

          There is a popular TV show at the moment called “Vikings” which seems to be a reflection of this. It’s based on the semi-mythological figure Ragnar Lodbrok and the Viking raids in Europe in the ninth century. That seems to be all we ever hear about old Scandinavian culture — at least its all I’ve ever heard, when I think of the impressions I have been brought up with.

          As you point out, that period, the middle ages, was very late in Scandinavian history. The Christian establishment who labelled vikings barbarians were hardly innocent and tame in that era themselves. A few centuries later they carried out a massive genocide in Europe — the Albigensian crusade. We never seem to hear much about that though.

          With sites in that region being 5000 years old, we are talking about a far earlier time. The people who built it clearly were clearly intelligent, sophisticated and spiritually minded. It would be nice if the culture of that period could be understood and reflected better in our time. As it is, we have been so cut off from it.

          Like in other places, it seems there have been centuries of efforts to disconnect people from the ancient religion of the sun, which is part of their cultural heritage, which is why it’s wonderful to see these cultural and spiritual treasures brought to light.

          • Yeah, I agree Matthew — the date range 5000-1200 years ago is quite big and a lot can change over even a short period of time, let alone over 4000 years.

        • Thank you, Jenny. It’s so nice to read your thoughts on this. I’ve been feeling a bit upset each time I see how Vikings are being represented in movies and on TV. They’re always shown to be very violent and blood thirsty, and I keep feeling that it’s not right. That at least there must have been a time when they were noble, honorable, spiritual people. That’s what I long to see. I’m so drawn to the Norse culture and spirituality, but it’s hard to find anything that’s not very dark in some way. Maybe some Vikings started misinterpreting the spiritual teachings at one point 🙂 Like the part about needing to die in combat to go to Valhalla. Maybe the teachings meant an internal battle, not a physical one.

        • I wanted to share this interview that I came across a while ago, which I found fascinating. The woman who is interviewed did her own translation of poetry written in the Viking age (The Poetic Edda), which showed her that the hero of the story went on an internal quest, not a physical one. Where he was fighting hatred, greed, fury and so on to be able to go to Valhalla (paradise).

          She also talks about the “Maiden with the Mead” who gives the hero the drink of memory while he’s in the underworld. All very fascinating.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBOrU6r4IVQ

          • Thanks for sharing, Anne Linn. I haven’t watched the video yet, but will as soon as I have a moment.

            With the Edda, I wonder if some things don’t “line up” in it is because it was apparently only recorded in the 13th century, which is relatively quite recent and right in the midst of the Dark Ages in Europe… (though the stories themselves are from an older time and might be based on ones from long before)? It’s also unclear who it was recorded by exactly, as that can always have an influence on the contents.

            I do find some of the stories quite fascinating though 🙂

          • Hi Anne Linn,

            Thank you for bringing to attention the work of Maria Kvilhaug and her translation and research of the Poetic Edda and Jenny too for showing that there is a more peaceful and spiritual side of the viking tradition.

            I watched the video you posted and was also intrigued by her exploration of the esoteric, symbolic and initiatic side of viking mythology which I have never seen so directly and extensively laid out. I am not sure how accurate or complete are her findings, but it felt like a genuine attempt to look at the work of the Edda as a guide for spiritual change rather than the literal approach taken by most translators.

            What she said about translating names and places, that other translators did not pick up on, seemed like a great discovery that deepened the symbolic nature of the stories.

            Incredibly, it was a dream of the Norse Gods that compelled her to begin her research.

            I thought it was interesting how she explained that no translation was the same, many failing to include important symbolic events and ignoring the allegorical interpretation of the text. On this she says:

            ”The stories are parables. You tell a story which seems like a story from a normal life, in this case from the Viking age. The story is really a story that has a deeper meaning about qualities inside human beings and all the different forces that influence us.”

            It seemed that the versions that prevailed were those that dared not compete with the church in fear of persecution.

            Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241), author of the Prose Edda apparently disguised the Viking Stories as entertainment with clues to future ‘translators’/ seekers to uncover the source of the material in the original runes/codes of the Edda. (as Maria eventually pursued).

            As a result, the symbolic side of the Viking tales remained hidden and taken literally as heroic tales of warriors in battle, perhaps purposefully so until the time was right.

            But as Maria explains, apparently they are full of initiatic mysteries, spiritual visions, descents into the underworld where an individual would be met and guided by a divine goddess, compelled by her to go through tests & trials, face (and kill )one’s demons/negative personality traits and above all, find light in the darkness.

          • Thank you Olga, for writing down what she said so nicely.

            Here is another interesting video where Maria shares about her near death experience, where she met a beautiful lady of light.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHJVRdOrOHQ&t=319s

            She also makes the case that the Vikings didn’t just make up stories out of nothing to comfort themselves when things were hard, but from their own personal experience. All very interesting. Think I felt so happy to find her videos because I want there to be meaning behind the myths, and there is something about the Norse mythology that really draws me to it. Like a longing for something that has passed, but that I once knew…

          • That’s very interesting Anne Linn,

            It is very rare for someone to write and research about spiritual cultures, divine visitations, lucid dreaming and blissful experiences after death and have their own personal experience of it.

            It is intriguing how she insists therefore that Norse folklore is not something imaginative and made up for mere entertainment, but that it could very well be based on personal experience of the ancient people of the time, as corroborated by some of the things she herself touched upon through her own direct experience.

            I have come across very few authors that combined personal esoteric experience with the study of ancient wisdom, namely Belsebuub, who has a considerable and profound life experience of personal study and exploration into the realms of spiritual awakening. Being on such a journey yourself will without a doubt increase your understanding and bring you closer to a direct, intimate and intuitive exploration of the information you seek. Which seems like a much more complete form of research!

            However this is certainly a nice surprise and something I wish many more authors would value and incorporate into the deeper understanding of ancient history and sacred texts.

            I am inspired to read her translation of the Poetic Edda and learn more about the very mysterious culture behind ancient sites like Ales Stenar.

            Thank you again for sharing the information Anne Linn!

          • This is amazing, thank you Anne Linn for discovering all these connections!
            How amazing that people are being guided from the higher realms to explain the true meaning behind these ancient tales and heritage. <3

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