Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
The Dark Half of the Year
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
The Beltaine Storm
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
A Celtic View of Samhain
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”
A Summer Solstice Primer
A Story For Autumn
Witches Lost in Halloween
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
The Ostara Transformation
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
The Samhain Experience
The Theme of Mabon
First Thanksgiving... in China
Solstice of the Soul
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
Yule and the New Year
A Samhain Dance
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
The Story of Ostara
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
The First Yule
Unity During Samhain
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
The Blood is in the Land
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
The Promise of the Harvest
Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
The Call of the Crone
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Symbology of Altar Decorations
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
A Heathen's Approach to the Holidays
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
Ode to Ostara
From Samhain to Yule: Light in the Darkness
Sonoran Desert Wheel of the Year (Square Peg, Round Hole)
Samhain: the Sunbeam in the Twilight
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Winter Solstice: Ancient Sites|
Author: Christina Aubin [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: November 29th. 2003
Times Viewed: 11,458
Yule/Winter Solstice (between December 21st and 23rd) also known as: Nollaig; Yuletide, Alban Arthan; Juul; Jul; Jiuleis; Joulupukki; Children's Day; Dies Natalis Invicti Solis; Saturnalia; Mid-Winter; Brumalia; Sacaea; Festival of Kronos (Cronos); Dazh Boh; Chaomos; Inti Raymi; Dong Zhi; Soyal; Sada; Touji; Zagmuk; Sacaea
Winter Solstice Ancient Sites
There are worldwide ancient sites built attuned to the annual journey of the sun across the sky.
- Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland, the first of the great passage graves at Brug na Boinne, the royal cemetery was constructed approximately 5,000 years ago to celebrate the Winter Solstice sunrise. The sunshines through the passageway to illuminate the Triple Spiral draw on the wall. It is theorized that the triple spiral was drawn to celebrate the arrival of the sun on Winter Solstice morning.
- Dowth, also know as Dubad, which means 'Darkness' in Gaelic is the one of the third great passage graves at Bru na Boinne said to have been built by King Bressail Bodibal ('Bressal the Cow Destroyer'). Dowth is also located in County Meath Ireland. It is estimated to have been built around 5000 years ago, it is sometimes referred to as the Fairy Mound of Darkness, has historical as well as astronomical significance. Anne-Marie Moroney in her book, Dowth (Dubao)- Winter Sunsets shares her two-year study of Dowth. She has shown that Dowth has two passages one of which is aligned to the Winter Solstice sunset.
- Maeshowe on the Orkney Islands is believed to have constructed around 2,700 BC is hallmarked by its mid-winter alignment; its alignment however is to mid-winter's setting sun. It is noted that the as fading sun light slides below the horizon its last rays noted by those who have witnessed it as blood red, shines directly through Maeshowe 's entry passage and reaches the rear wall of the central chamber.
- Goseck circle, known as the German "Stonehenge" is near Goseck, Germany. The Goseck circle dates back 7,000 years to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, it is believed to have been built in 4900 BCE. At winter solstice, the center of the circles sees the winter's sun rise and set through the southern gates.
- Sun Dagger, a celestial calendar was built by the Anasazi Indians, is located in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon on the top of Fajada Butte. The Sun Dagger passes on either side of the large spiral at winter solstice.
- Cahokia Mounds are believed to have been built around 3000 years ago, is located in southern Illinois has postholes that are an astronomical indicator of the winter solstice sunrise, as well as the summer solstice sunrise and equinox sunrise by the discovery of a circle of postholes.
- Mancos Canyon currently belongs to the Ute Mountain Ute tribe and was the former home to the ancient Native Americans know as the Basketmakers and Puebloans is located in the southwestern corner of Colorado. It is home to hundreds of ancient petroglyphs and solstice sites as well as seven sun calendar sites that have been documented.
- Caracol Tower, located at Chichen Itza, in the Yucatan in Mexico, believed to have been built around 1000 AD. The northeast-southwest orientation platform offers a direct alignment with both the winter solstice sunset and summer solstice sunrise. The structure in whole seems to offer not only the winter solstice and summer solstice alignments but hints at possible equinox and star alignments as well. It is difficult to say with any certainty the use of the tower due to the ruined state it is in and attempts to reconstruct it, but there is written records that hint at its use as well as its elevated position that would have brought above the jungle treetops to allow astrological work.
- Uaxactun (Uaxactn) is also the oldest Mayan city that is located in north-central Guatemala. The construction of Uaxactun is believed to have begun sometime in the first or second millennium BCE. The right temple at Uaxactun offers the appearance of the winter solstice sunrise at its outer corner. The left temple is aligned with the summer solstice and the center temple is aligned with the equinox sunrise.
- Palenque is located in the foothills of the Sierra Oriental de Chiapas in southern Mexico. The Mayan Palenque is not only a temple but also a tomb for Pacal (died abt 680 BCE) the last ruler of Palenque. Palenque is aligned with the sun and its movements - as the sun travels through the day the rays seem to descend the staircase leading to the tomb. At winter solstice, the Sun sets in early afternoon behind a large ridge directly aligned with the temple roof's center. The final rays of light land at the foot of a wall relief of the God of the Underworld, God L. Giving a real perception of a link between Pacal's death and that of the sun at winter solstice.
- Machu Picchu located in Peru 's Torreon has a window that when the sun rises through it and cast a shadow on the central altar of carved rock. When this occurred the Inca knew that winter solstice in the southern hemisphere had occurred and the dry season had begun. Machu Picchu's Intihuatana Stone (translation: the hitching post of the Sun) was used to attach a line to the sun to prevent it from disappearing completely. Although the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere is the opposite of the northern hemisphere - Machu Picchu illustrates the importance of the Winter Solstice regardless of global position.
- Temple at Karnak on the eastern bank of Nile in Thebes Egypt is known as important solstice solar temple. Much of Karnak's features where built along an east-west axis that followed the sun's movement, Karnak has many special alignments that corresponds to both the Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice sunrise rising in the east appears in the archway of the Axis Of Karnak. The sun's daily returns to the eastern sky each morning served as a reminder to the Ancient Egyptians of life's renewal through death.
- Paint Rock, in central Texas, is located on private property. Paint Rock, quite by accident, was recently found to have probable linkage to both Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice. The sun makes daggers onto a shield with the turtle depicted during the Winter Solstice. Although this is still a very young discovery it may prove to very exciting.
- Hammonasset Line, which goes through Connecticut and crosses over into New York State, is comprised of pre-colonial stone structures that are theorized to be many thousands of years old. Cairns can be found as well as formed Cairns, unusual walls, marking boulders and travel ways are found along the line through many townships. It marks both the Winter Solstice sunrise and Summer Solstice sunset.
- More and more of these places and their striking almost overwhelming correlation to the celestial events such as both Winter and Summer Solstice, the equinoxes, the moon and the star constellations and movements are being discovered or rather rediscovered. Perhaps it is because we never really were seeing what we were looking at.
Article Specs |
Article ID: 7746
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,012
Times Read: 11,458
Location: North Shore, Massachusetts
Other Articles: Christina Aubin has posted 26 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Christina Aubin... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).