Psychic Portal The Summer Solstice
At just before midnight on 20 June 2012 we will experience the astronomical event known as Solstice when for a few days our star appears to stand still in the sky. The image at left ”…is a long-exposure photograph, with the image exposed for six months in a direction facing east of north, from mid-December 2009 until the southern winter solstice in June 2010. The sun’s path each day can be seen from right to left in this image across the sky; the path of the following day runs slightly lower, until the day of the winter solstice, whose path is the lowest one in the image.” See credit below.
The time of Solstice is my favourite time of the year. There is something intriguing about Solstices, having a shortest day and a longest day in our annual trysts with Sol. When you think about it, it is amazing that our planet not only orbits but also tilts on its axis at an angle to the Sun resulting in distinct growing seasons. Why not have a planet on which there are equal hours of light and dark perpetually? Why the variations of the seasons? And what would we make of the changing seasons if we – like our most distant ancestors – lived in a non-literate world with only our eyes as our guides? How long would it take us to notice the patterns of movement in the night sky, the repetition of seasonal changes to weather and other natural phenomena for which we would have no explanations? Although the best known megalithic monument in the world is Stonehenge there are others that are a thousand or more years older than Stonehenge and orientated toward the winter rather than the summer solstice. The pre-Celts who built megalithic structures like Knowth and Newgrange for the winter solstice placed a premium on the re-birth of the sun in latter half of the year whilst the pre-Anglo Saxon peoples of Britain and those of other northern countires like Germany built their structures for the summer solstice. It seemed to me that there were ‘winter people’ and ‘summer people’ even in pre-historic times.
Psychic Portal The Summer Solstice
What I love about this time of year is that the megalithic monuments remind us that these ancient humans had already unraveled much of the pattern of celestial movement 5000 years before the current era. Their observations had to be recorded by carving into bone or stone and even painting the insides of caves. Many of these images relate to the movement of the sun and constellations. But pre-historic people didn’t just use that information to help them to survive. They recorded what they had observed and they did it in as permanent a way as they could, leaving behind massive stone structures like standing stones, henges, and mounds on an astounding scale and in amazing numbers. Why? To predict the sequence of celestial events, of course. But suppose there was more to it than that? Suppose these remarkable ancestors engraved their knowledge and erected stone observatories in order to communicate with the future? With us and our descendants. Suppose they had discovered that the soltices and to a lesser extent the equinoxes opened some sort of psychic passage way through which we could travel only on these special days each year?
Although there is a great deal of plain silliness and narcissistic posturing by self-proclaimed New Age “Druids”, Neo-Pagans, and various deluded wing-nuts on the subject of megalithic monuments, there may be some value in engaging in long periods of meditation at the Solstices and Equinoxes. We actually understand very little about the people who erected these megalithic structures. Because the messages they left us are abstract or shamanic in nature, we have little to go on when it comes to deducing anything about their interior lives. Many of the megalithic structures have long passages and human remains as well as ‘treasures’ have been found in them, but there is simply not enough to satisfy our need for scientific proof of a coherent pre-historic cosmology. I have been fortunate in being able to spend some time at Newgrange and at Knowth, in other passage tombs and stone circles in Ireland and Scotland and have had the privilege of examining at first hand some of the rock paintings of the African San people that date from 25,000 to 40,000 years ago. Perhaps it is merely the passage of aeons of time or the fact that we are ignorant of the motives and thoughts of those who left these structures and carved/painted images behind, or perhaps it is because so many of these remarkable structures were buried deep underground and remained undisturbed for most of their history, but there is definitely an ‘atmosphere’ in these places and a strong sense of psychic connection with those who constructed them. Like the great stone faces of Easter Island, the megaliths cry out for our attention, for us to try to understand the message of those who placed each stone just so. We know that humans do not labour for hundreds of years on a building project just to pass the time! There is intent behind monumental structures and that intent was sufficiently compelling to keep generation after generation adding to the existing structures right down to the great temples, mausoleums, pyramids, cathedrals, mosques, etc. whose history is better known to us. Perhaps if we respect the intent of the builders of the megalithic structures something of their meaning may yet reveal itself. Our science tells us that we call time does not in fact exist and that human thought does have physical effects so why not give the ancients the benefit of the doubt a few times a year and take a minute to open our hearts to those who so long ago left their imprint for us to find.
All images courtesy of Wikimedia and the following:
Solargraph Photo Credit: ESO/R. Fosbury/T. Trygg/D. Rabanus.
Knowth Eastern passage by Przemysław Sakrajda