"There is a cosmic consciousness within us that, through use of symbols, allows us to comprehend and communicate our relationship with the earth, the universe, and life itself. This is a common thread binding the fabric of all mankind. This is the nature of the Sacred Sphere."
I earned Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Science – Geology degrees from the University of Minnesota, married my high school sweetheart, and began my career as a construction engineer. After a few years cutting teeth in design, construction, and project management I turned to the consulting arena in the areas of geotechnical engineering and environmental geology.
From 1994 to 2005 I owned an engineering consulting company with offices located in Montana and Minnesota. We worked with property owners, managers and developers to ensure that their land and facilities were managed in ways that minimize potential impacts to human health and the environment. Our clients were located across North America, and we served as the consultant of choice for other consultants needing our expertise.
Over the course of 30 years I've investigated physical landscapes and historical cultural developments of thousands of sites across North America. I'm the author of The Business Owner's Guide to Environmental Assessment, addressing identification and mitigation of environmental concerns associated with properties ranging from undeveloped land to high density commercial and industrial properties.
In tandem with my professional services, I've always had particular interest in the history of architecture, engineering, science and technology, and indigenous and ancient cultures. In 2003 I turned to intensive study of world mythology and the extensive record of pictographic and architectural symbolism expressed by secular and spiritual traditions around the world.
I've has presented professional papers addressing numerous engineering and environmental concerns, as well as archaeological and ethnographic analyses associated with Lakota traditional culture on the northern Great Plains, and the symbolism found in sacred pre-historic artifacts. My pursuits included a search for the meaning of Native American medicine wheels, and research into religious symbolism and cosmic consciousness exhibited by humankind throughout time. Those studies resulted in development of a new paradigm in the understanding of the sacred life way of indigenous people.
My latest book Stonehenge: As Above, So Below
Available April 2014.
This book identifies the original design and purpose of the Stonehenge Ritual Landscape. It will change your understanding of the people who built the first and largest monument and many other mid-Neolithic structures that remain vital to functioning of this sacred landscape. You will discover the Stonehenge Landscape is the oldest and best preserved example of astronomically-related sacred symbolism ever constructed.
In addition, Burley describes the purpose of heretofore enigmatic megalithic Stonehenge. His discovery was made while researching the objective of four stones inside the henge yet unnoticed by thousands of people viewing the monument each day. They are the Station Stones. Overshadowed by circles of much larger stones, the Station Stones justify the entire monument itself. They are the key to understanding the annual conception of new life by Earth Goddess and Sky King.
Stonehenge: As Above So Below includes more than 90 illustrations. It is a major breakthrough unveiling a new paradigm for how Stonehenge was used 5500 years ago, and how we should view it today.
My First book: The Sacred Sphere: Exploring Sacred Concepts and Cosmic Consciousness through Universal Symbolism (Beaver's Pond Press ©2012).
After 7 years of research I began writing The Sacred Sphere in 2010, completing it in late 2011. It is a fully-illustrated book presenting the history of the circle as a two dimensional representation of the sphere, symbolizing our relationships with each other, the world, cosmos and Creator. The book is written for eveyone interested in ancient and indigenous cross-cultural mythologies, timeless religious and spiritual principles and practices expressed in traditions as varied as mathematics and monumental architecture, and the growing human concern for our relationship with Earth.
The Sacred Sphere presents evidence found in mythology, archaeology and architecture for prehistoric and historic social and cultural symbolism, mythical and cultural symbolic expressions of the human condition, and modern personal relationships within the larger community. Those interests and concerns are inherent in all cultures. Unlike all other accounts addressing historical symbolism, the book is the first to detail the origin, mysticism, and world-wide spiritual and cultural history of the sphere as a symbol of relationships vital to humankind.
For the last three years I have lived in a cabin in the woods of northern Minnesota, comforted by and communicating with the local residents - squirrels, chipmunks, hummingbirds, crows, ravens, deer, moose, wolves, bears and other relatives - all under the watchful eye of Bald Eagle. We spend a lot of time listening. They have so much to tell us.