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21st December - Winter Solstice


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Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
The timing of the winter solstice this year will be at 12:04 p.m. Universal Time.
The Winter Solstice is considered one of the most powerful times of the year by many cultures around the world. In the Northern Hemisphere this celestial event usually occurs on December 21st. (On the Julian calendar it was the 25th December - which, some people say, was the date appropriated from the pagans by the Christians to celebrate Christmas.)
Sacred megalithic sites found at specific latitudes in Europe were aligned to the winter solstice sun and connected to sun worship. Some of the best examples can be found along the Camino in Galicia. This megalithic culture was deeply religious and left a powerful impact on the peoples who followed.
"Earlier pagan legends also held that this was where souls made their final pilgrimage. Long before the Romans, the Celts built stone rings at the shoreline's furthest promontories; even today, Galicians believe that at certain times during the year, the dead here renew contact with the living. During November, food from the recent harvest is set out for them. Their presence is sensed again at Christmas, as solstice marks the plunge into winter. At least one anthropologist has written that the various masked beings that surface in Galician villages during carnaval, such as Laza's peliqueiros, represent disembodied spirits making another of their cosmic rounds."
In a few cities the celebration of Hogueras (bonfires) takes place. This date marks the winter solstice (shortest day) and where it is celebrated involves people jumping through fires to protect themselves against illness.
"AlineaciÓn arqueoastronÓmica en A Ferradura (Amoeiro-Ourense) = Archaeoastronomical alignment in a Ferradura (Amoeiro-Ourense-Spain)" discusses:
"An archaeoastronomical phenomenon around the winter solstice, new in NW Spain archaeology, is presented. The evidence comes from a rock carved inside of a natural rocky outcrop placed in an archaeological context provisionally understood as a sanctuary dated in the Second Iron Age. The study through the comparative method of the two main rock carvings in that sanctuary lead us to think that we are in face to a minimalist material form of the same religious ideology expressed, with other material forms, in the Monumental Pool at Bibracte (Gaul), and in the Capitol at Rome. This ideology turns around ideas about time and space and relates the social hierarchical order with the natural life presided by sun."
Heavy stuff!
In "Sacred Sites of the Knights Templar" John K Young claims that the cathedral of Santiago was built over one of these ancient sites.
"The way of the Star: Ancestral origins of the 'Camino de Santiago de Compostela' by Carlo Barbera also claims a more ancient history for the cathedral.
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
There´s also a wonderful shower of meteors going on, as if to join in the celebration! It centers around the North Star, and peaks between 8 and 11 p.m. We´re having a series of wonderfully clear, bright nights out here, and tonight we´ll build a bonfire out back and do some mid-Camino stargazing.

Wish you all were here!


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Hi Sil & Rebekah, The "traditional" ray of light failed to illuminate the passage through the narrow roof box aperture at Newgrange this morning.



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Spring officially begins today: ... 10372.html

"“It’s great because it’s such a high hill, there’s a sense of pilgrimage climbing it, knowing that people were also climbing here 5,000 years ago”. Just as the December solstice at Newgrange heralds the beginning of the slow death of winter, the March equinox brings with it the promise of the coming summer"

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