"What Does it All Mean?
"Why did these ancient sites which took vast efforts to build, and are found in remote locations all around the world, all center around the event of the winter solstice and share remarkable similarities in the symbolism used in connection with it? Each of these sites incorporate astrological events into a place of spiritual reverence. These sites reveal that what happens above, tells us about our world below, and most importantly, about ourselves. They show the great link between the human and divine, revealing as they do, the pathway between the two, which we can bridge through the process the sacred wheel of the year reveals, to reach enlightenment."
Photos and history of their winter solstice traditions reveal how important enlightenment was to the ancients. In times before understanding astronomy, and other sciences, there were stories, usually involving spirits, or gods, or saviors, or rebirth, of new knowledge that gave them hope of the returning sun and new growth. Learn about English, Irish, Mexican, Peruvian, Chilean, Mexican ... and many more Pre-Christian Winter Solstice celebrations.
I would restate the author's statement, Each of these sites incorporate astronomical events into a place of ...
You got it, all right. The modern Jesus Christ was a combination of the old death and resurrection gods and their myths (e.g. Osiris/Horus) and the regenerative deities of pagan peoples, e.g. Attis and Cybele, whose rites included the pine tree and as central figure, Attis having sacrificed himself attached to a pine (the cognate of crucifixion). Jesus was dreamed up by the the Pauline bishops minus the Arians, in league with the Mithraic Constantine, who saw the value of attaching worship of Reb Yeshua at the time of Sol Invictus. Jesus is a solar deity. There have been dozens. Use of the Christmas tree at this time is anathema to some sects because it reminds them of the book of Jeremiah, which prohibits trees with lights at this time.
All modern religions are simply the current point in their evolution. An evolution that follows the general theory of bionic evolution. From simple cells to complex organisms (and then a cancerous growth). The stages of religion's evolution can be mapped as we map living and extinct life forms - all life forms evolved from previous forms as do religions.....personally I would prefer worshjpping trees - at least you can see a frigging tree.
Oh yes! James and Jim, enjoying trees and mountains and lakes and streams and birds and fish and .... all nature and all peoples of the Earth provide ample reason to celebrate. i also like the time of dark days to hibernate. With family and friends, songs and dancing, 'tis the season for candle light and aromas from the kitchen. When considering the wheel of the year, this is one of my favorites.
I've always said that I have far more respect for any religion that worships the sun than any religion that worships an invisible, ethereal creation of the imagination. We can see and feel the sun, and without it we would all perish. Not that I would ever worship it myself, but it is essential to most all forms of life, particularly ours.
I like your being aware of the sun and its significance in our lives. Gratitude for the everyday event makes sense to me.
I try to think how it must have been, to live in a community that built Stonehenge or some other giant calender. These people understood that it worked, but had no idea how it worked, or why. Yet they were able to pick the right times for sowing and harvesting with these stones; crucial knowledge to survive. Small wonder that thoughts of magic grew out of it.
I have visited several ancient calenders and marvel at ancient minds recognizing patterns of astronomy. Or tried to figure out how ancients arrived at complex number patterns such as angles and ratios. The idea of making connections, even before they understood flat Earth/round Earth principles leaves me in wonder. Yet we benefit by all these discoveries ... not that they invented them but discovered them.
It is comforting knowing the sun rises and sets, and at predictable times, and the year has its seasons. Will we be wise enough to recognize change in patterns and find ways to adjust to them? Some will, I am sure, and I plan to be flexible enough to make my necessary changes, hopefully without complaint. It is also comforting to know others recognize changes and seek to make necessary adjustments and adaptations.
No magic involved here; keen observations and sharing ideas and solutions fits really good. Glad you are a resource, Chris.