What: Spring Equinox sunrise observance at Monks Mound
Where: Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Illinois, USA
When: Spring Equinox Sunrise
Alignments: Below is some background information about the site by Belsebuub with Lara Atwood from The Path of the Spiritual Sun: Celebrating the Solstices and Equinoxes:
“The Cahokia Mounds was a pre-Columbian city considered the largest and most sophisticated prehistoric civilization north of Mexico. It contained a woodhenge, which was a sacred circle made of wooden posts (like the one built near Stonehenge in England). The wood used was red cedar, which was considered sacred. When standing at the center of the circle, where a large ‘observation post’ was located, the sun on the solstices and equinox aligned with some of the posts of the circle.
The most visually spectacular of the alignments at the site was the sunrise on the equinox. One of the wood posts that aligned with the equinox also aligned with the front of Monks Mound—the largest mound in the entire complex, with a footprint larger than that of the Great Pyramid of Egypt.
Additionally, a symbolic carving of a turtle was found at Monks Mound and is described by researcher Vince Barrows as having a trident on its left side, which depicts death and darkness, and a symbol of the sun on its right, which depicts birth. Perhaps this carving symbolizes the dual aspects of creation—of darkness and light, which rotate on the point of balance at the equinox. Incredibly, it contains the same elements of the churning of the milky ocean scene illustrated at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, where the forces of darkness and light are depicted as being on either side of a turtle. And like Monks Mound, Angkor Wat is also aligned to the spring equinox.”
Visiting the Site: Monks Mound is an ancient site for celebrating the spring equinox. At the moment the site is only regularly open during visiting hours, 9am – 5pm, meaning that it’s closed during the sunrise itself. Group visits can be booked in advance though, and a sunrise equinox event may be possible to coordinate with the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. For more information on how to do this or to find out whether there are groups already organized for the event, please see their website.
A Note about Visiting Ancient Sites:
Please be mindful and respectful of the ancient sites. Treat them with care as to not disturb them, damage them, or remove anything from them. Help protect these incredible sites so that they can continue to stand the test of time.
Please note: this event is not run by The Spiritual Sun. Please visit the Cahokia Mounds website if you would like more details about the site.