Celebrate the Autumnal equinox

Cairn T at Loughcrew Neolithic Tomb complex. The door through which the rising sun shines on the equinox is partially hidden by the stone circle in the foreground. Photographed by a friend of mine.

Today is one of my favorite days of the year– the autumnal equinox. Today the length of the day and night are exactly the same, and Oktoberfest and other Harvest celebrations are underway. My soul feels deeply connected to harvest celebrations and winter preparations. Perhaps that’s why I was so drawn to the Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland when I was in graduate school. Some of you know about the Newgrange passage tomb that is aligned with the Summer and Winter solstices, but not everyone knows that this is part of a larger complex of monuments and other passage tombs that belonged to the same people–built thousands of years before the pyramids. Other megaliths and monuments at the Boyne Valley Site seem to be aligned with lunar phases, in compliment to Newgrange. A similar megalith complex exists in Loughcrew, a site I visited with my favorite professor. It is less famous, but Cairn T has an equally magnificent illumination on sunrise on the equinoxes. I love to tell people about these magical an monolithic calendars, and watch their eyes light up in wonder that people were capable of such wisdom, foresight, and incredibly sophisticated intelligence and technology so early on. Neolithic people were pretty amazing; launching themselves into a movement from hunting/gathering to sustainable agriculture and using this new intelligence and sociological development to highlight their profound relationship with the earth: the sun, first and foremost, but also the moon, and the seasons. How can we reconnect to the earth in such a profound way? What could we ever create that could inspire wonder and amazement in 5000 years? Happy Autumn My Friends!

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