Friday, October 31, 2014

Newark, Ohio Earthwork's Halloween Solar Alignment

Newark, Ohio Earthwork's Halloween Solar Alignment

Ancient Halloween Rituals at the Newark, Ohio Earthworks

      The oldest religious festival of what we call Halloween can be found within the solar alignments of several of the ancient earthworks in the Ohio Valley. Two earthworks (henges) located at Newark, Ohio and Anderson, Indiana are aligned to the May 1 sunrise and the October 31 sunset. May 1, is the festival of life, whereas October 31, is the festival for the dead.
    The ancient Irish called this day Samhain that was celebrated from sunset October 31st, to the sunset of November 1st. Samhain's definition according to Wikipedia, “was seen as a time when the "door" to the Other World opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings, to come into our world. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. It has thus been likened to a festival of the dead. People also took steps to protect themselves from harmful spirits, which is thought to have led to the custom of guising. Divination was also done at Samhain.”

     The celebration of a festival for the dead is more appropriate to civilizations like the mound builders who worshiped their ancestors. Those buried in earthen mounds in the British Isles and North America were not seen as individuals, but a collective of the dead that could determine good or bad fortune for those who came to the mounds to pray. The priests would have been engaged in the art of divination to contact the spirits and the paranormal world during these festivals for the dead. Halloween was the time for the manifestation of all sorts of spirits, fairies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night." 

The largest henge in North America was constructed to align to the Samhain sunset on October 31, which was part of a larger ceremony to conjur and worship the dead. The Circle and Octagon earthwork is aligned to the maximum Northern Moonrise. The moon has also been associated with the spirits of the dead in the ancient world. The Moon was believed to be a place of resort to some of the disembodied spirits.