Category Archives: Calendar

The Revival of the Sun’s Power on Winter Solstice Morning: Asadori Myoujin

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The Asadori Myoujin is a shrine in the Mino area of Gifu-ken that goes back to very ancient times. It observes a solar calendar in which the year begins on winter solstice day, when the sun in the northern hemisphere is as far south as it gets and begins its annual journey northward again. It is a cause for celebrating the return of the sun.

We found a description of the festival on a blog written by a person named Isono.  Our free translation below helps us to understand a little better the people’s reverence for the Hi no Kami, Kami of the Sun.

朝鳥明神の冬至祭(岐阜県揖斐川町)

The Winter Solstice Matsuri of Asadori Myoujin (Gifu-ken Ibigawa-machi)

There is an unusual festival reminiscent of an ancient winter solstice ceremony from the Ibukiyama and Ikeda mountains nestling in the Yoro Ranges, along the Ibigawa River in the north.

朝鳥明神 Asadori (Asatori) Myoujin was founded as an old shrine 古社, listed in the national history book about 1500 years ago, from around the 4th century. It is the oldest shrine in the prefecture in which an ancient ritual remains. This shrine became the base of the making of the country of Mino-no-kuni.

The shrine is set in a luxuriantly forested sacred mountain, and even now has the appearance of ancient shrine creation.

The white wooden torii is called Shime Torii, a gate where the 朝鳥明神 Asatori Myoujin enshrines 日の神, the Kami of the Sun, on winter solstice morning as the sun shines through the gate that determines the azimuth of the sun. This festival is held for 明神さま Myoujin-sama every year on the early morning of the winter solstice.

Originally there was no shrine, and an Iwasaka (rock border) is enshrined as a divine body in the hilly area behind it. Right behind that is the 朝烏古墳群 Asadori Burial Mound Group; it is the center of the worship of the Hi no Kami (Kami of Sun) of the ancestors.

This festival (日迎えの神事, Himukae ceremony) for greeting the revival of the power of the sun at sunrise  began before the founding of Japan. On the day of the festival, local members will ignite fires from early dawn, give a norito and wait for the winter solstice sun to rise.

Before one’s eyes, spreading from the direction of the Noubi Plain (direction of Seto), the sun shows its face. The beginning light passes through the torii directly to the goshintai in the rear, and the center of the iwasaka’s remarkably huge Sun Stone is illuminated.

This ends our report on this blog. We are hopeful of visiting the shrine and bringing you photos of the torii and the sun-stones.

 

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May 22 and 23 at Senkoku-ishi

May 22, the second day of the dashed spotlight.

Today, the dashed light is clearer than it was yesterday. The bottom dash is slight, but it hits the corner. From tomorrow the width of this light becomes thicker and stronger; the light can be regarded as a dotted line until about the fifth day, the 25th of May.

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May 23, the third day of the dashed spotlight.

The observation is impressive today. A dash starts appearing one by one from the top. It takes about three minutes for up to six dashes to appear (see closeup below).

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この三角状の石面の凹凸も計算されているのでしょうか!? 完全に遊んでますね。

Is the roughness of this triangular stone surface deliberate? It plays perfectly!

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The dashed lights move downward. Approximately 3 minutes until the sixth dash appears. The six dashes will eventually disappear, one by one from the bottom. The show time of the dashed line spotlight continued for 30 minutes after it started.

 

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May 21 at Senkoku-ishi

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May 21 (Sun) First day of dashed line of light

Chunichi Shimbun reported the event.  Compared with yesterday, May 20th, we could clearly see four dashes of light today. We were interviewed by reporter Matsumoto from Chunichi Shimbun. It is the spotlight observation in Senkoku-ishi that takes place around 1 pm, thirty days before the summer solstice. The WEB NEWS is here Chubu Chunichi Shimbun (Hida) May 24, 2017. The visitors today were mainly from outside the prefecture. They began gathering at 12:30 pm.

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And at night we lit the Big Dipper cup-marks. We were worried there might be clouds, but fortunately we could see the starry sky. Visitors from the prefecture arrived at 7:30 pm.

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We could see the Big Dipper lying above us. Can you see it at the top of this photo? And low in the sky, Polaris sits above the megalithic group. This may be somewhat difficult to see but it is surely there in the photograph.

The Polar Star and the Big Dipper are far apart now, but about 5000 years ago they were closer. In other words, the North Star rotated around nearer the megaliths.

And when you connect seven of the nine cup-marks engraved on the megalith, the shape of the Big Dipper emerges. Isn’t it fantastic!

As you can see the picture above, the shapes of the actual Big Dipper and the stone cup-marks are mirror images. We do not know why this is so, but ancient people, in ruins around the world, also have inverted the shapes in the same way. And as to what the other two cup-marks mean … It seems that we contemporary people do not have any explanation.

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Most of the universe is unknown. Modern people have only a small amount of information of the whole, and there is no way we can even deny the possibilities of ancient times. In this sense, the Kanayama megalithic group can be said to be an instrument that not only measures time but also can measure the thinking power of people.

In any case … the enjoyment of the starry sky finished around 9:30 pm. We are considering starry sky viewing once more this summer, with the solar observation society in July or August. Next time, the Big Dipper will not be seen as it will be hidden behind a tree, but we want to do a cup-mark lighting. We want to watch the Amanogawa Milky Way and the Summer Triangle (of the stars Altair, Deneb, and Vega). We hope to share our passion with many of you.

 

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May 20 at Senkoku-ishi

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http://blog.livedoor.jp/kanayama_tour-kanayamamegaliths/archives/1066078821.html

2017年05月20日

夏至30日前★予告   30 days before Summer Solstice ★ Advance Notice

The temperature went up to 29 degrees, clear weather today. Daytime is green and the purple kiri (paulownia) is blooming. At night the kajika frog announces the beginning of summer.

Summer begins at the Kanayama Megaliths today. As usual, the Sekimen-ishi is the site of summer observations.

Inside the cavern at one in the afternoon, the entering spotlight is shown grazing the side of the megalith. Look carefully at the triangular protrusion and you’ll see two or three spots of light.

Today there are three spots. The dashed line will start to appear tomorrow, and the count-down begins. Today’s light is not clear; as in a leap-year, it alternates between two and three spots. The dashed-line spotlight will be clear and will certainly be recognized by everyone watching tomorrow. On the 21st, the actual observation begins. And the real pleasure begins!

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Iwaya-Iwakage Spotlight, April 2017

April 22 was a special date on the Kanayama Solar Calendar. It is one of the astronomical cross-quarters, a yontobun date, a half-angle date. On this day, the sun’s path is halfway from that of equinox to summer solstice, and the solstice is about 60 days away. The Kanayama calendar makes observations on the four yontobun dates. 

Last year, the spotlight on the floor of the cavern that appeared on 7/22 vanished after striking the Sekimen-ishi on 10/23 as the sun headed south for the winter. This was reported in a previous post. Now the days are getting longer since the sun is returning to the north. And the spotlight has returned!

The spotlight returned on 2/19, and its path on the floor of the Iwaya cavern has been daily moving from north to south as the sun’s path in the sky changes daily from south to north. The spotlight will soon disappear on 5/21, when the light show at Iwaya-Iwakage ends. On that date light returns to Senkoku-ishi down the hill from Iwaya. Then Senkoku-ishi carries on the job of observing the sun over the summer season.

On April 23, 2017, Chika-san visited Iwaya-Iwakage. She took many photos of the movement of the spotlight on the floor of the Iwaya, as it moved from left to right for the viewer, which is from west to east, as the sun traveled in the sky from east to west. She shows how it began as a speck, grew into an oval shape and then shrank toward the end when only a streak of light on the vertical rock pointed to where it was last seen.

Iwaya 0423 Synopsis PDFPlease refer to page 52 of the Kanayama Megaliths Guidebook. Note the red line labelled: 11:30  8/20  4/22  Track of the spotlight. That is the line she was tracking. We thank Chika-san for these photos which give us a visual summary of the start on the floor (marked with observation lines) until disappearance of the spotlight on the rock at the far right.

The 14 photos shown were taken at the following times, ten minutes apart in the middle, a minute or two apart at beginning and end:

11:34     11:35     11:36     11:38

11:40     11:50     12:00     12:09

12:21     12:30     12:41     12:50

12:52     12:53

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Egyptian Astronomy: 2. The Causeways of the Pyramids

800px-giza_pyramid_complex_map-svg[Map of Egyptian Monuments by MesserWoland, Wikipedia]

Causeways and their Orientations

Causeways, now much in ruins, were once covered walkways leading from the east to the temples of the pyramids. They were beautifully decorated with star patterns. We found them to be of interest and possible relevance to the Kanayama Calendar because of their orientations.

From northernmost pyramid, the three pyramid causeways point in the following directions. See Fig. 61.

Khufu’s:  14 degrees north of east

Khafre’s:  14 degrees south of east

Menkaure’s:  due east

What is the significance of these orientations?

Causeways and Cross-quarters

At the 30 degrees north latitude of Giza, the summer solstice direction is 28 degrees north of east, while the winter solstice direction is 28 degrees south of east. The 14 degree alignments means that the causeways point in directions of the summer and winter cross-quarters of the sun’s path. See Fig. 65 and http://wp.me/p6j8iM-dc.

Why?

Cross-quarter Solar Observations?

Were the Egyptian causeways used for making solar observations on cross-quarter dates? We seriously doubt it. The ancient Egyptians used their knowledge of astronomy and built the causeways along with the other monuments. Then they covered the causeways with ceilings for those walking those corridors. Those ceilings would not allow the use of causeways for solar observations.

Winter Causeway

Yet, the causeways symbolized the directions to important astronomical phenomena at the time of Zep Tepi. The winter causeway of Khafre points to the sun rising at the breast of Leo, while the view of Leo matches the head and shoulders of the Sphinx. Again, the sky is imaged on the earth. See Fig. 66.

Summer Causeway

What of the other causeway? The authors of The Message of the Sphinx do not comment on its astronomical nor ritual meaning. However, the figures in the book show that this is the direction to the Virgo constellation at The First Time. Virgo may be the symbol of Isis, consort of Osiris. The reason that the causeways can point to two adjacent constellations (usually 30 degrees apart) is that the solstitial directions are nearly 30 degrees (actually 28 degrees). The two cross-quarter directions are separated by nearly 30 degrees and point to Leo and Virgo.

The Great Year

The ancient Egyptians were familiar with the Great Year of 25,920 years due to the precession of the axis of the earth. Their Zep Tepi occured half a Great Year ago from our own time, around 10,500 BCE.  See Fig. 74. The Sphinx and then the Giza pyramids were constructed in a magnificent plan to commemorate Zep Tepi. They form one of the most splendid monuments on earth. No doubt elaborate ceremonies honored the First Time and the connection between sky and earth for vast periods of time.

Orion is now nearly at the “top” of its great cycle. Is it not fitting that these discoveries are being made half a Great Cycle after the First Time of Zep Tepi?

Concluding Remarks about Egyptian and Kanayama Monuments

The Egyptian monuments are an intricate systems design. So are the Kanayama Megaliths, with their three coordinated sites and dozens of observations which together produce the super-accurate Kanayama Solar Calendar. These two systems have different purposes, yet both are remarkable achievements of the human consciousness that conceived and executed the plans.

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