Merry Solstice


Picture yourself thousands of years ago at a settlement on Orkney Islands in the British Isles. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people gathered at a great stone temple to witness the winter solstice. Hear the music, breath oily fires. Fall silent as the sun rises, illuminating stone after monolithic stone as far as the eye can see. Ponder the world with a Neolithic eye, in a place built hundreds of years before Stonehenge.

http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/scotlandorkneys.htm

The winter solstice marks the shortest day, and longest night in the northern hemisphere. The point when the sun in the dome of our sky, reaches the southern most point every year. The solstice is not a day, rather a “moment in time” – a moment observed and captured by ancient civilizations on every continent.

The magnitude of precise observations; the ability to erect structures whose only purpose was to capture a fleeting moment – should shame us all.  Most of us know Dec. 21 is the first day of winter; we hurry about knowing there are only a few shopping days till Christmas. How many of us stop to think that once upon a time civilizations thrived on understanding of celestial events. People who valued everything we seem to have forgotten.

We can never be on ancient Orkney – we can imagine the thrill of revering our world. Stop for 5 minutes to gaze at the night sky, throw caution to the wind and learn to recognize a constellation or note the length of afternoon shadows. Listen to the wind, howl at the moon – I don’t care – just pay attention.

Merry solstice to all, and to all a good night.

Everything solstice by Deborah Byrd at earthsky….

http://earthsky.org/earth/everything-you-need-to-know-december-solstice

Something Cool to Ponder


America’s Stonehenge is the name given to a site in Salem New Hampshire. Though it pales in comparison to it’s namesake, it has some rather interesting similarities The alignment of the stones mark the solstices – longest and shortest days of the year. The equinoxes – twice a year when the sun is over the equator, day and night are both 12 hours. Cross quarter days – falling exactly in the middle between the solstice and equinox. Finally – true north alignment.

Originally called Mystery Hill; a name given by William Goodwin who purchased the land in 1937, theories of its origin run from Goodwin’s belief it was proof that Irish monks lived in America before Columbus, to the Phoenicians paying America a visit. No one argues native americans inhabited the site, or that some of the stones have been moved. Goodwin attempted to stand some of the stones, convinced he was setting them in their original upright position.

Carbon dating places the site between two and four thousand years old. Without a doubt the clever name change from Mystery Hill to American Stonehenge has placed another roadside attraction on the map. When we think of Stonehenge an image of monolithic proportions comes to mind.  This place is nothing of the sort; roadside attraction is a clue to the hopeful business plan of the Stone family who now own the land.

Much hyped or over-rated doesn’t matter much to me, I’m willing to see beyond that. Say or think what you will but the fact remains – when the sun rises at the summer solstice it shines brightly on a marker in Salem, New Hampshire – just as it does at Stonehenge, England. However paltry America’s Stonehenge appears, the cosmic alignment is something cool to ponder.

Photo – crystalinks.com