For Friday the 13th, DH and I went on a little motorcycle road trip to Elberton, Georgia to visit what’s billed as an American Stonehenge. Okay, we didn’t realize the trip coincided with the 13th, but the date fit perfectly with the mysterious theme of the granite megaliths. The huge slabs are etched with a set of ten principles and the original owner, or owners, are unknown. No one knows why this was erected and why it’s located in a rural north Georgia field.
When people told us it was out in a field in the middle of nowhere, they weren’t exaggerating. Our GPS wasn’t working and I thought we’d never find it. There are no road signs marking the monument location and entry to it is on a dirt road. We arrived mid-morning and the only other person there was an elderly man in a pickup truck. My husband spoke to him and asked if he knew anything about the stones. He didn’t. My husband – who heard it theorized the owner was a Rosicrucianist – then asked him if he was Rosicrucian. The man crinkled his face and asked if ‘Rosicrucian’ was a type of truck, because the only trucks he ever bought were Fords.
No enlightenment there. While we explored the guidestone, I was always aware of the old man as he sat in his truck and watched us the whole time. Perhaps a secret protector of the stones?
We read information carved on a separate stone structure off to the side of the monument. The guidestone was built in 1980 and its owner is unknown. The structure consists of six granite slabs, and is just over nineteen-feet tall. As you can see from the picture, there is a center slab surrounded by four others and topped by a capstone. The structure is built to be astronomically correct. On each of the four outer slabs is a set of ten guidelines, etched in English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. The top capstone has inscriptions in Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The principles it espouses are mostly universal – with the huge exception of number one. My husband has heard rumors that the original owner or owners believed a catastrophic event would befall earth and reduce the world’s population to under half a million.
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth -- beauty -- love -- seeking harmony with the infinite.
10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
My favorite principle is number nine, while my husband’s is number seven.
After about twenty minutes of arriving, a group of motorcyclists dropped by and we chit-chatted a bit before taking our leave. I have no idea how many visitors the guidestone gets, perhaps nobody does – with the possible exception of the old truck driver.
Sadly, I have to report that neither of us felt a single woo-woo vibe. Not even a tiny tingle as we ran fingers over the inscribed words. Still, it was a fun trip and if you are ever in the area check it out.
Have you ever visited a place where you felt a special connection to history or the earth?