Blocc and Bluicne, the magical standing stones of Tara


This is the latest in my series of twilight images from the Hill of Tara. It shows Blocc and Bluicne, the magical standing stones of Tara, with the evening Lughnasa moon.

These two stones, located in St. Patrick's Churchyard on the Hill of Tara, were said in mythology to part wide enough to allow a chariot through if the chariot was driven by the man who would become the High King. 

The taller stone has a figurine engraved in relief on its eastern face, said to be a Sheela-na-gig, just one of 117 known examples in Ireland. Sheela-na-gigs are carvings of naked females often posing in a manner where they display their (often exaggerated) genitalia. They were carved mostly between the 12th and 16th centuries AD, although their origins are shrouded in mystery. They are quite often found on churches and other religious structures, but many were erected on Norman castles and non-religious structures too.