Thursday, February 22, 2018

DaMo among the celestial realms

In honor of Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, which is celebrated in China and in surrounding cultures in Asia, I have created a new video examining the traditions and ancient stories regarding the important figure of Bodhidharma, known as DaMo in China, and as Daruma in Japan.

The video is called "DaMo among the celestial realms," and it explores some of the evidence that the story of DaMo -- like so many other ancient myths and sacred traditions from around the globe -- is based upon celestial metaphor and embodies the distinctive characteristics of specific constellations.

DaMo, or Bodhidharma, is credited with bringing Ch'an Buddhism to China, which became Zen Buddhism in Japan, and Seong Buddhism in Korea. His travels and adventures are described in texts dating back to at least the first half of what we call the sixth century AD (or CE) -- that is, the first half of the 500s AD. He is notable for his practice of extended meditation, sometimes for years on end. He is also notable for being credited with introducing a series of meditative movements to the monks he encountered at the Shaolin Temple -- meditative movements which became the basis for the famed martial arts of China and surrounding cultures.

Celestial aspects of the DaMo story -- especially his famous interaction with the learned monk Shen Guang (whose name DaMo later changes to Dazu Huike) -- are also discussed in my 2015 book Star Myths of the World, and how to interpret them: Volume One. As this new video shows, there are good reasons to conclude that Shen Guang corresponds to the figure of Hercules in the heavens.

Below is an image of DaMo and Shen Guang (Dazu Huike) found in a temple in Goseong, in the southeastern corner of the Korean peninsula. Note the startling correspondences between the depiction of Dazu Huike by the artist in this temple painting and the outline of the constellation Hercules as suggested by H. A. Rey -- a constellation who plays a role in countless myths around the world. The parallels are striking.

Special thanks to Dale Quarrington, whose website Dale's Korean Temple Adventures contains this image, and who gave me permission to use it in the new video. Dale's website discussing the beautiful temples of Korea and displaying numerous excellent and evocative photographs which Dale has taken in his visits to various temples is well worth exploring at length.

The above image can be found on this page of Dale's website.

Previous posts discussing artwork of mythical figures who can be shown to have likely connections to the constellation Hercules in the night sky include:

Chinese New Year is traditionally observed from the start of the first lunar month (typically beginning on the day after the second New Moon following the winter solstice, although the calculation is a little more complicated than that) until the first Full Moon of that same first lunar month. The second New Moon after winter solstice this year took place on February 15, which is why the Lunar New Year began on February 16.

The first Full Moon of that new-year lunar month is associated with the ancient tradition of the Lantern Festival. This previous post discusses the Lantern Festival and some of the ancient sacred stories surrounding the Lantern Festival, stories which can also be seen to be connected to the constellations in the night sky.

I hope you will enjoy this new video about the celestial foundations of the DaMo story -- and, Happy New Year!!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

New article on the Pylos Combat Agate available at Graham Hancock's website

Special thank-you to Graham Hancock and his team for publishing this new and expanded version of the analysis of the celestial artwork found in the recently-discovered Pylos Combat Agate: "The Dust of Centuries: Celestial Iconography in the Pylos Combat Agate."

This article from the Smithsonian Magazine dated January 2017 describes the discovery of the shaft-grave of a Mycenaean warrior in an olive grove near the ancient acropolis of Pylos, on the western coastline of the Peloponnese. Readers familiar with the Odyssey may remember the journey of Telemachos to "sandy Pylos" to seek counsel from Nestor and his family regarding the fate of Odysseus, the father of Telemachos.

By the time that Smithsonian article was published, in January of last year, the significance of the archaeological find was already being discussed -- but at that time, the most amazing artifact from the newly-discovered tomb had yet to be revealed, because it was still encrusted in limestone deposits after resting beneath the earth's surface for some 3,500 years. 

This article from of Australia shows the gemstone covered in the hardened deposits, and after meticulous cleaning several months later, showing the incredibly detailed and artistically sophisticated scene carved into the surface of the agate. That article also contains a diagram of the tomb, showing the position of some of the artifacts -- and the remains of the grave's occupant -- at the bottom of the shaft-grave.

When the first photographs of the Pylos Combat Agate were published in early November of last year, I immediately recognized celestial correspondences in the artwork of the scene -- patterns which can be found in other artwork from around the world tying the subjects to specific constellations in the night sky (special thanks to the Twitter correspondent who initially sent me a link to the first images of the Pylos Combat Agate, as soon as those were published). This newly-discovered gemstone from the Minoan culture only serves to provide still more evidence to what I believe to be an overwhelming and indeed undeniable body of evidence in ancient artwork, ancient myths, and ancient scriptures proving the existence of an astonishing system of celestial metaphor which appears to have been worldwide in scope -- and of tremendous antiquity.

The Pylos Agate should completely upend the conventional understanding of artistic (and technical) capabilities in early antiquity -- and the celestial foundation of the Pylos Agate's artwork, which ties it to mythical episodes as widely dispersed as the Judgment of Solomon in the Hebrew Scriptures and the rescue of baby Maui from the foam of the sea by his ancestor Tama in the sacred traditions of the cultures of the vast Pacific Ocean, should completely upend the conventional understanding of humanity's ancient past, and show that the accepted narrative of early history is gravely flawed.

The diagrams and discussion in my new article at should demonstrate that the scene on the Pylos Agate corresponds to specific constellations in the heavens -- constellations which can still be observed in the sky tonight. They also demonstrate the connection of some of the patterns observed in the Pylos Agate to patterns found in other myths and other artwork from other cultures and other centuries.

Above is one of the diagrams from the article, showing one of the intriguing features included by the ancient artist -- the scabbard with a globular bulb at the tip, which I believe indicates the location of the bright star Vega in relation to the constellation Hercules (who corresponds to the triumphant Swordsman in the Pylos Agate, shaded in red in the top portion of the diagram above).

Previous discussions of this exquisitely carved gemstone, and its importance can be found here and here.

I hope this new article, and its publication on Graham's website, will help increase the awareness of the historic Pylos Combat Agate, and the important clues it offers to the secrets of our ancient past.

Friday, February 9, 2018

"All this has happened before": Professor Michael Hudson on neoliberalism, neo-feudalism, and the deliberate suppression of history

Above is a remarkable interview recorded back in February of 2014 with economist Michael Hudson, in which Professor Hudson explains that neoliberalism should really be understood as neo-feudalism, as he explicitly says at 16:30 in the conversation.

For an extended discussion and definition of neoliberalism, see this previous post entitled "Earth Day, 2017: the choices of Midas and Solomon."

Professor Hudson goes on to explain that neoliberalism seeks to weaken the power of representative governments -- and even to break them up -- in order to enable the privatization and exploitation of the public domain: the riches of the soil, the mineral wealth beneath the ground, the timberlands and forests, the seaports, the waterways and rivers, and all the other "gifts of nature" (or gifts of the gods). He says:
And that's what neoliberalism is: it's really neo-feudalism. It's a dismantling of democracy. It's a dismantling of democracy in favor of a financial oligarchy [this segment can be found beginning at 16:30].
Earlier in the interview, he explained that one of the goals of neoliberalism is the privatization of that which should actually be public:
And stage two is when the governments have to pay by selling off the public domain: the land, the natural resources, the forests, the ports, the electrical systems, the natural monopolies, and the infrastructure -- the roads and the bridges -- and the economy's turned into a tollbooth economy, and  so you're going very rapidly back to feudalism. And that's where Ireland is going: it's going back to the fourteenth century, quickly [this segment can be found beginning at 14:25].
The privatization of that which belongs to the public, in order to erect "tollbooths" on it, characterized the feudalism of the Middle Ages in western Europe -- a period of time which resulted from the overthrow of the ancient world following the rise of literalist Christianity, which captured the control centers of the Roman Empire with the accession of the Emperor Constantine in AD 313, and which shut down the Oracle at Delphi and the Eleusinian Mysteries during the reign Theodosius, who came to the throne about forty-two years after Constantine's death.

During the Middle Ages which followed, that which should really have been understood to be the gifts of the gods was divvied up for the benefit of the descendants of those who had replaced the ancient wisdom with the new literalistic faith (and who used that faith as justification for their seizure of what the ancient wisdom describes as belonging to the gods).

That's why Michael Hudson's framing of very modern problems -- subjects that are as fresh as this morning's news -- in the context of a much longer and deeper history, and his repeated references to the Middle Ages, are so important. As he says at 27:47 (towards the end of the interview): "All this has happened before."

However, as Professor Hudson also explains in this insightful interview, it is much more difficult to perceive what is going on if you've never been taught history -- and as he explains beginning at about the 7:00 mark in the interview and going until about the 9:24 mark (with further discussion beginning at about the 17:00 mark and 24:00 mark), the control of the narrative of the history of economic thought, and even of the narrative of history itself, can prevent the vast majority of people from even developing the perspective necessary to see what is going on or to even think about alternatives.

In other words, Professor Hudson argues, history is being actively suppressed and replaced with disinformation instead, with a very clear motive.

I would argue that we can find abundant evidence to conclude that this very same kind of suppression of history and deliberate propagation of disinformation is going on with respect to many aspects of humanity's ancient past as well.

I recommend listening to the above interview in its entirety, and carefully contemplating its implications. The interview's contents are all the more powerful when you realize that it was recorded in February of 2014 -- events that have taken place since then have confirmed many of the assessments and predictions that Professor Hudson provides in his responses.

You can download the file to take with you on a mobile device by right-clicking (or control-clicking) on this link and selecting "Download linked file as" (and then selecting a place on your device to save the file). You can also download the file by clicking on the small downward-pointing arrow in the embedded player at the top of this post.

Previous posts dealing with this same subject include:

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Step onward, John Anthony West

I was deeply saddened to learn today that John Anthony West has crossed from this mortal plane.

My thoughts are with his son Zeke and daughter Zoe and with the rest of his family and closest circle.

An eloquent tribute from Graham Hancock can be found here.

Readers of this blog and of my various books know that I hold the work of John West in the highest regard. His inspired analysis and tenacious pursuit of the evidence which shows that the conventional paradigm of ancient history is gravely flawed, and his exploration of the profound implications of that conclusion, almost singlehandedly (along with his friend and colleague, geologist and researcher Robert Schoch) initiated an entirely new line of inquiry into the forgotten wisdom of the ancient world -- and exposed the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the attempts by the mainstream "quackademics" (his term) to suppress, ignore, or otherwise obscure that evidence and its implications.

His book Serpent in the Sky continues to be a deep well of wisdom and insight to which one can (and should) return again and again.

His writing, speaking, and research inspired the transformative generation of researchers that includes Graham Hancock, Robert Schoch, Walter Cruttenden, Laird Scranton, and many others -- and the  researchers from successive generations which continue to arise as each new decade unfolds. 

A partial list of my own previous posts which have acknowledged his influence on my own thinking and which have drawn upon his writing and work would include:
John West was a brilliant interpreter of the world's ancient wisdom, particularly that embodied in the art and scriptures of ancient Egypt. He described his approach as being of the Symbolist school, which I interpret as a way of saying that he was opposed to attempts to force a literalistic interpretation upon the writings and iconography of the ancients, instead perceiving that the practitioners of the world's ancient high wisdom expressed profound truths through inspired symbols. Not only did the ancients employ sophisticated and incredibly subtle metaphorical symbol, but (as John West also perceived and explained) they knew how to manifest shape and space and proportion and alignment and number to create effects in the realm of vibration in ways that have largely been forgotten today.

His video series Magical Egypt delves into this symbolism and ancient wisdom, and is well worth watching in its entirety if you have the opportunity to do so. Even if you have already seen it, now would seem to be a fitting time to take the opportunity to watch it again, and contemplate the massive scope of John Anthony West's gift to humanity and to the task of recovering from what he described as our collective amnesia about our own past.

Graham Hancock's powerful tribute to his friend and colleague, linked above, movingly cites the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. 

Alvin Boyd Kuhn argued (very convincingly, in my opinion) that when this ancient Egyptian text describes "the Dead," it is actually describing this incarnate life, and our condition here as souls who are passing through the "underworld" of the material realm and incarnation in a human body. 

In an amazing passage in Lost Light, published in 1940, Alvin Boyd Kuhn suggests that the descriptions of the divine Horus in the Book of the Dead should not be understood as referring to any individual historical personage but rather to that divine nature which comes down and manifests itself in seemingly mortal men and women, over and over, throughout the ages. Kuhn writes:
To the sages of old time the coming was a constantly recurring and only typical [that is, "purely symbolic"] event. [ . . . ] Horus, a form of Iu-em-hetep, was not an individual historical person. For he says, "I am Horus, the Prince of Eternity." [ . . . ] Horus calls himself "the persistent traveler on the highways of heaven," and "the everlasting one." "I am Horus who steppeth onward through eternity." Here is wisdom to nourish the mind and lead it out of its infantile stage and into maturity of view. Horus declares himself forever above the character of a time-bound personage. Let moderns ponder his other mighty pronouncement: "I am a soul, and my soul is divine. It is the self-originating force." It can perpetually renew itself [ . . . ]." 546 - 547.
I am convinced that John Anthony West understood the most sacred texts of ancient Egypt, and their teaching on the eternal path of the divine and undying soul, which itself is "the persistent traveler on the highways of heaven."  

I am convinced that because of his deep study and his penetrating insight, he knows how to navigate those highways. Not only that, but he strove mightily within this life to share what he knew and to pass it on to others in every way and through every medium that he could.

Those of us who have been touched and inspired by his life and work can join together in saying to him, "Go in peace, John, stepping onward through eternity."

Monday, February 5, 2018

Very important interviews with Chris Knowles and Gordon White on The Higherside Chats

Here are two outstanding recent interviews from what I consider to be an essential resource: Greg Carlwood's The Higherside Chats.

The first is a conversation with Chris Knowles, author of the Secret Sun website and blog. The most-recent interview is actually the second part of what I would consider to be a longer conversation which includes the previous interview with Chris, recorded just prior to the despicable events that took place in Las Vegas on October 1st, 2017.

The first of those interviews is entitled "Song to the Siren" and the second is entitled "Heaven or Las Vegas," and those are embedded in the two videos below. 

Note however, and this is very important, that The Higherside Chats is a subscription podcast, and that unless you subscribe for the very reasonable price of $5 per month, you're really only getting half of the content, as Greg likes to say. I consider Greg Carlwood to be one of the best interviewers in the world of independent media today, someone who really does his homework prior to each conversation and who shows up to his interviews with pages of insightful questions as well as an upbeat and positive attitude that -- at the same time -- doesn't suspend critical thinking. 

Rather than listening to the free portion only, I would highly recommend joining The Higherside Chats "Plus" membership plan available at this link. There's even a free trial period if you want to try it out before you pay any money. I personally am not affiliated with The Higherside Chats in any way and am not paid anything to promote Greg's show -- although I have appeared on The Higherside Chats show myself a couple of times. 

I have said before that I believe independent media to be extremely important, because it can be demonstrated beyond any doubt that conventional corporate media outlets are actively lying and suppressing the truth in many important aspects of what is being reported today as "news."

The second extremely important recent interview appearing on The Higherside Chats in the month of January 2018 is with returning guest Gordon White, author of multiple books and of the blog and podcast Rune Soup. That interview is entitled "The Dominant of Witchcraft" and is embedded above at the top of this post.

These two conversations -- the extended conversation with Chris Knowles which covers the two podcasts linked above and embedded below and the most-recent conversation with Gordon White -- should be absolutely paradigm-shifting for anyone who believes the materialist or naturalist paradigm which only arose relatively recently in history and which argues that there is no supernatural or Other Realm (or Realms) beyond the physical and material realm with which we are most familiar (a paradigm which is still aggressively propagated in institutions of education from the earliest grades all the way through university-level undergraduate and post-graduate levels).

While some might argue that cutting off the awareness to the Other Realm (the Invisible Realm, or the spirit realm -- the realm of the gods) was necessary to enable all the advances of modern science and engineering over the past few centuries (an argument which could certainly be debated), it should be quite evident that if there really are other realms or dimensions or realities beyond the material or naturalistic realm taught in school then it is actually quite "unscientific" to ignore that fact and to pretend that there are not.

I am convinced that the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories bequeathed to virtually every culture on our planet teach the reality of the existence of the Invisible Realm, or the realm of the gods. Previous posts which touch upon this subject and some of its implications include:
. . . and many others.

Obviously, pointing towards these particular interviews does not imply that Greg or his guests agree with anything that I myself write about, or that I necessarily agree with every single thing that they say -- but it should be extremely clear from the amount of evidence which is presented in these interviews that this is a vitally important subject and one which simply must not be ignored, particularly at this junction in human history.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cross-quarter days revisited: Loughcrew

image: Cairn L at Loughcrew, (link to image).

We are rapidly approaching a significant point on the annual cycle -- one of the "cross-quarter days" which serve as "half-way markers" between the four great stations of the two solstices and the two equinoxes.

In my most-recent appearance on the Grimerica Show for "Skies over Grimerica (January 2018)" we not only discussed the lunar eclipse of January 31, 2018, but also the concept of cross-quarter days. 

The solstices and equinoxes give us definitive markers for the annual cycle created by earth's orbit around the sun. The tilt of our planet's axis of rotation, relative to the plane of our orbit around the sun (the plane of the ecliptic), and the fact that the poles retain their orientation as we orbit (see this post describing the "earth-ship metaphor" for more on this phenomenon) means that the sun's rising and setting points along the eastern (rising) and western (setting) horizon will move further north during one half of the year (before reaching the northern limit at the June solstice) and further south during the other half of the year (before reaching the southern limit at the December solstice), passing through the half-way "crossing point" of the equinoxes midway between those solstice points twice per year (once on the way north to June solstice, and then again on the way south towards December solstice).

These four points -- the June solstice, the midway crossing-point southwards at the September equinox, the December solstice, and the midway crossing-point northwards at the March equinox -- divide the annual cycle (which we call a "year") into four sections or "quarters."

In addition to these four very important "quartering points," however, which divide the annual cycle into four quarters, we could also observe a point halfway between the solstice on either end and the two "crossing points" of the equinoxes in the middle. And in fact there is extremely solid evidence to suggest that ancient cultures did indeed observe such half-way points between the solstice and quinix observances every year. Because these half-way points further divide the already-quartered year (quartered by the four stations of the two solstices and the two equinoxes), they have come to be known as the "cross-quarter days."

You can read more about cross-quarter days in previous posts from the very first year of this blog, such as this one and this one.

Below is a diagram of the annual cycle using the zodiac wheel to indicate the positions of the quartering days of the two solstices and the two equinoxes, located at the junctures of the zodiac signs from the Age of Aries.

Note that the dates given are the most frequently noted dates for the solstices (in June and December) and the equinoxes (in March and September), but that the actual calendar date for each will "drift around" a little bit, due to the imperfect match between the period of earth's rotation on its axis and that of earth's rotation around the sun. In other words, earth returns to the exact same point (such as the exact point of winter solstice) once a year, but because earth's rotation (which creates one day each time we complete a full rotation) does not fit evenly into that period of returning to the exact same point (one year), no calendar can have a perfectly even number of days (rotations) to get back to the exact same point on the orbit (the end of one year and the beginning of the next). 

This is why our calendars use "leap years," in order to bring the calendar date back to the traditional solstice and equinox dates shown above (otherwise the calendar would "drift apart" from the yearly progress markers of the two solstices and the two equinoxes). Various calendrical systems used throughout history have made use of other mechanisms besides leap years, such as intercalary days, to accomplish the same "correction" of the mismatch between daily axial rotations and annual orbital years.

That said, we can use the most common dates of the solstices and equinoxes to determine the half-way points between these four stations of the year, and thus further sub-divide each "quarter" from the diagram above into two new "half-quarters" -- thus dividing the year into eight sections instead of four sections.These half-way points have traditionally been known as "cross-quarter days," because they draw yet another cross through the year, in addition to the cross formed by the equinoxes and the solstices. 

Instead of taking anyone's word for the dates on which these cross-quarter days should fall, we can very easily calculate those dates using any calendar. The easiest way to calculate the cross-quarter days is to simply count up the days between a solstice and an equinox, and then divide that number by two to find the number of days to count from either marker in order to each a date halfway between.

As an example, let's use the calculation between the March equinox and the June solstice. The March equinox typically falls on March 21 (although the date will "drift" slightly due to the mismatch between daily axis rotations and annual orbits described above, and will thus need to be "re-set" back to March 21st using the mechanism of a leap year). The June solstice typically falls on June 21 (with the same note about drift which applies to the March equinox applying equally to the June solstice).

From March 21 to June 21 we count 92 days (ten days from March 21 to March 31, plus thirty days from April 1 to April 30, plus thirty-one days for the month of May, bringing the count to seventy-one, plus another twenty-one days to reach June 21, for a total of ninety-two days).

Dividing 92 in half, we get the number 46. When we add 46 days to March 21 (the March equinox), we will find the "cross-quarter day" that marks the half-way point between the March equinox and the June solstice -- which is May 6th.

The same process could be done to find the halfway points between the June solstice and the September equinox (which falls on or around August 8), between the September equinox and the December solstice (which falls on or around November 8), and between the December solstice and the March equinox (which falls on or around February 4). 

Obviously, we are currently progressing between the December solstice and the March equinox -- and the cross-quarter day which we are approaching is the cross-quarter day falling on or around February 4.

The cross-quarter days were understood to have great significance in ancient cultures which understood the tremendous importance of the heavenly cycles. They were celebrated as in western Europe and the British Isles as Beltane (the early May cross-quarter day), Lughnasad (the early August cross-quarter day), Samhain or Sawain (the early November cross-quarter day), and Imbolc (the early February cross-quarter day), as well as under other names both in Europe and around the globe.

Upon the adoption of the Julian calendar (and the later Gregorian calendar, which modified the Julian calendar in order to improve the leap-year calculation used to correct the mismatch of daily rotations to annual orbits described above), many of the traditional holidays and observances associated with the cross-quarter days described above appear to have "migrated" to the first of the month in which that cross-quarter day would normally fall. For example, the cross-quarter day of Samhain or Sawain would fall on November 8, based on calculations following the pattern outlined above -- and yet we all know that the important holidays of Halloween and All-Hallow's Eve take place on November 1st rather than November 8th, with Halloween being celebrated on the Eve of November 1 itself.

Similarly, the early May cross-quarter day which by strict mathematical calculation would fall on May 6th has migrated to May 1st and survives in numerous traditions associated with that date throughout the centuries, including both the dancing around the May-pole and other sundry May-day celebrations such as the association of May 1 with labor and worker's rights.

The cross-quarter day marking the point half-way between the darkest day of winter in the northern hemisphere (the December solstice) and the day of "crossing upwards" into the upper half of the year (the March equinox) would normally fall on February 4, but it too has migrated towards the first of the month, and is most well-known for the observation of Groundhog Day

This cross-quarter day is also associated with St Brigid in Ireland, whose feast day is February 1. One tradition on the eve of St Brigid's day is to leave out a scarf or strip of cloth for Brigid to bless as she is passing by -- which is very interesting as the association of goddesses with scarves or sashes is found in mythology around the globe (see for instance the discussion in Star Myths of the World, Volume Two of the sash given to Odysseus by the goddess Leucotheia, and note that the traditional story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight also features the gift of a sash of protection by a female figure to the knight Gawain, in a clear parallel to the Odysseus-Leucotheia story).

We can be very confident that the observation of the importance of cross-quarter days is extremely ancient, based on the fact that some of the oldest surviving monuments on our planet contain alignments to sunrises on certain cross-quarter days.

As discussed briefly in the "Skies over Grimerica" episode linked above, the passage mounds of the Boyne River Valley in Ireland are some of the most ancient aligned monuments to have survived from remote antiquity to the present day. The massive passage mound at Newgrange is very well known, and its sixty-foot long passage is known to align with the sunrise on the winter solstice, allowing a beam of light to penetrate all the way to the chamber deep within the great mound at that time of year alone.

The mound of Newgrange and its aligned passage is thought to have been constructed around the year 3200 BC, over five thousand years ago and thus older than even Stonehenge. However, the passage mounds at nearby Loughcrew in the same part of Ireland, while not nearly as large as the mound at Newgrange, are thought by some scholars to predate the construction of Newgrange by an additional eight hundred years (thus dating Loughcrew to around 4000 BC).

As discussed and diagramed by author, explorer, and archaeoastronomer Martin Brennan in his excellent book on the alignments and beautiful rock art of the Boyne River Valley passage mounds entitled The Stars and the Stones: Ancient Art and Astronomy in Ireland (1983), the passage and chamber of the mound known as "Cairn L" at Loughcrew (pictured above) is aligned to the sunrise on the cross-quarter days of February 4 and November 8 (the sun will pass through the same rising point on the eastern horizon on both February 4 and November 8, once on the way north in February between winter solstice and spring equinox, and then again on the way back south in November between fall equinox and winter solstice).

Below is the same image of Cairn L, from the website, this time with a "north-seeking arrow" superimposed (by me) onto the image, using the best resources I have available:

Those familiar with the earth's rotation will recognize that if the red arrow is pointing north, then the passage seen on the side of Cairn L is facing somewhat south of east -- and this is the direction from which a beam of light from the rising sun on the morning of February 4 will penetrate deep into the mound of Cairn L and illuminate a specially-positioned pillar within the stones of the passage mound. 

Below is the same image one more time, this time adding a line indicating the direction of the sun's rays at sunrise on the February and November cross-quarter days, rays that will penetrate to the special pillar inside the mound only on those special days:

My estimate of the direction of the sunbeam from the rising sun of February 4 and November 8 is based on the diagrams and discussion found in The Stars and the Stones, pages 110 and 111. 

Below is an image of the stone itself which is illuminated by the light from those two special cross-quarter days (including the upcoming cross-quarter day of Imbolc):

image: (image link here).

In the image above, the rising sun's beams would come in from the right as we face the image. The sun's rays will strike the standing stone visible on the left of the image (the stone with the green moss on its one of its faces) on the morning of spring equinox. Note the beautiful and distinctive spiral artwork on the stone in the background -- this stone is along the northern edge of the chamber at Cairn L.

Cairn L is thought to have been constructed some 6,000 or 6,100 years ago -- which means that the observance of cross-quarter days must be extremely ancient indeed.

Just imagine the level of planning and design required to create an artificial mound containing a stone-lined passage in which a lone stone column or pillar is only illuminated on certain days, twice per year. This difficulty in planning and design (to say nothing of the effort required to actually execute that design) argues very strongly that the cross-quarter days which divide the year's four sections into a total of eight sections were held in very high esteem.

And yet today, it is my impression that the entire concept of cross-quarter days is largely ignored or forgotten among the men and women of the modern world.

I'm convinced based on abundant evidence that the many cycles of the sun, moon, planets, and stars were invested with spiritual significance as part of an ancient, world-wide system of code which informs the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories of virtually every culture on our planet. 

I am also convinced that these cycles (and the invisible, spiritual, or hyper-dimensional realms that they point towards) were understood to have actual impacts on the dimension we think of as the "material world" in which we normally operate.  

The more we begin to become aware of the ancient cycles and their significance, the more readily we can begin to grasp the profound wisdom which is patiently waiting to communicate to us through the precious ancient myths of humanity.