Books by Ken West
My Pagan Ancestor Zuri:
A Parallel Journey from Christchurch to Stonehenge
NB: To be published in July 2019
Meet Zuri, our sophisticated pagan as she lives her life in Christchurch 2200 BC. It is the Neolithic period and the first civilisation in Britain along the mystical River Avon, an area called ‘Avonlands’. Her prehistoric tribe produced the food surplus that built Stonehenge. Zuri is emancipated and gains status when she gives birth.
Her rituals and mythology embrace nature to a degree that we no longer understand. Her tribe is contrasted with the wealthy pensioners, the oldest population in the UK today, who now live where her hut once stood. Most have abandoned the dirty air of London for the picturesque Dorset coast.
Zuri and the aged author go to Stonehenge and meet the Amesbury Archer, who introduced bling; copper and gold. This will destroy the power of stone and communal life; change ritual and ultimately reduce the status of women. It is a social history of two tribes, with today’s pensioners living to twice Zuri’s age, growing overweight and unfit, and when not idly writing books, overwhelming the NHS.
This book has been described as a reflective meditation comparing two lives and communities past and present.
Those keen on social history will appreciate how the pensioner author contrasts his aged and wealthy tribe, the gerontocracy, with the fertile tribe who lived in his area over 4,000 years ago. The narrative brings prehistory alive in Britain, those anonymous pagans denigrated by the Romans and then Christianity. This is a period in which great change occurred and only now we can understand.
Fans of history and Stonehenge will read how the mystical River Avon was key to the temple, the principal highway in the tribal area and the source of the water meadows fundamental to the farming revolution.
Those keen on paganism, spirituality, paleo food, the environment, archaeology, farming, trees and timber, plants as food and medicine, ritual, health and wellbeing, the Amesbury Archer, sky burial and nature writing in general, will find much of interest.
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