Since the beginning of time, for humanity, knowing the magnitude of the cosmos with all its phenomena and its mysteries, have built an inexhaustible curiosity that has brought both empirical knowledge as a scientist, where man has found the answers to develop various practices as , productive, ritualistic, playful, poetic, among others.
These cognitive practices, began about 5000 years ago when they discovered that certain time of year, the sun moved and changed position.
The solstices (Latin solstitium (sistere sun), “quiet Sun”) are the times of year when the Sun reaches its more or less apparent height in the sky, and the length of day and night are the maximum of year, respectively. Astronomically, the solstices are the times when the Sun reaches its maximum northern declination (+ 23º 27 ‘) or south (-23 ° 27′) with respect to terrestrial Ecuador.
In the summer solstice Northern hemisphere the sun reaches its the zenith at noon on the Tropic of Cancer and the winter solstice reaches its zenith at noon on the Tropic of Capricorn. It happens twice a year: on 20 or 21 June and 21 or December 22 of each year.
Throughout the year, the position of the Sun as seen from Earth moves to the north and to the south. The existence of the solstices is caused by the tilt of the Earth on the plane of its orbit
In the days of solstice, the day length and altitude of the Sun at noon are on the maximum (summer solstice) and minimum (winter solstice) compared to any other day of the year. In most ancient cultures the solstices commemorative festivities were held.
In temperate zones, the dates of the solstices are identical to the astronomical passage from spring to summer and autumn to winter. The dates of the winter solstice and summer solstice are invested in both hemispheres. Solstice is an astronomical term related to the position of the sun in the sky Ecuador.
The solstice itself may have been a special moment of the annual cycle of the year, even during the Neolithic period. Astronomical events controlled in antiquity as the mating of animals, sowing of crops and measuring stock between winter crops show how different mythologies and cultural traditions have emerged. This is proved by physics that remains in the designs of the late Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites such as Stonehenge (in Britain) and Newgrange (Ireland). The main axes of both monuments seem to have been carefully aligned on a line of sight that points to the sunrise of the winter solstice (Newgrange) and sunset winter solstice (Stonehenge). Significant regarding Stonehenge is the fact that the Great Trilithon was erected from the center to the outside of the monument, ie, good flat face turned toward the sunrise winter.
The winter solstice may have been immensely important because communities were to be deprived of many things during the winter, and had to be prepared in the last nine months. Starvation was common in winter between January and April, also known as “months of famine.” In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before the onset of winter. Most of the animals were killed for not having to feed during the winter, so practically it was the only time of year for the supply of fresh meat available. Most wine and beer during the annual harvest was finally fermented and ready for drinking at this time. The most intense enforcement was not always on the day begins (midnight or dawn), but the beginning of the pre-Roman era, began to fall in the previous eve
Since the event is seen as investment Kick solar presence in heaven, the concepts of birth or rebirth of sun gods have been common and the use of cyclical calendars for different cultures based on the winter solstice where celebrated the rebirth of the year in relation to life-death-rebirth deities or new beginnings as the Scottish Hogmanay party. (Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. However, it is normally only the start of a celebration that lasts through the night until the morning of New Year’s Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January—a Scottish Bank Holiday.)
The winter solstice is marked today in the Western world for Christmas celebrations, but before Christianity, the longest night of the year the birth of Mithra was fixed, the Indo-Iranian god of justice (1200 a. C. India, adopted by Rome in 62 BC.); symbolized the birth of light and hope, and renewal of nature. Mithraism was one of the most popular religions of India and Iran and then the ancient Roman Empire, especially among soldiers. Found mitreos related to military installations of the Roman Empire, with the highest concentration in Rome but also as far afield as northern England and Palestine places; but although in 2010 an exhibition of archaeological remains of Mitreo Lugo was made, it is almost unknown today. A late third century, the Mithraic religion merged with sun worship and crystallized in the new religion of Sol Invictus. The Emperor Aurelian made official in 274 and every December 25th festival Natalis Solis Invicti (the birth of the invincible sun) was held. Strong competition from Christianity, backed by Constantine I the Great, stole his followers; Additional Mithraism excluded women who did have the right to participate in Christianity. He eventually moved to Mithraism in the fourth century, to become the only official religion of the empire with Theodosius (379-394). Mithraism was officially banned in 391, although their clandestine practice was maintained for some time; the birth of Christ was at the same time the solar calendar, not by chance.
Masonry, in their many interpretations and definitions could be defined as the science of symbolism; and this symbolism is proven, keeps the closest analogy Science Mystic Rites of the ancient initiations. In all the candidate symbolized the Universe; and Sun, as a principle and quickening and fertilizing agent par excellence, was the main object of worship and adoration. All Masonic Symbolism is identified by the Kabbalists be distinguished by the name of Algabil (Master Builder), the Masons today call the Great Architect of the Universe.
If we open the pagan mythologies, we find in all of them a God who is evoked in the sacrifices, which was the first erected temples and instituted the mysterious rites, whose duties were to guard the gates of Heaven (Janva Celi), so that was called Janus, where John came bypass means sweet and beneficent, smiling messenger of light and joy; It has always been a friendly and popular deity among mortals.
The equinoxes and solstices were called in metaphorical language Gate of Heaven and seasons and hence the two San Juan, name derived from Janua, meaning Gate, where Christians replaced the ancient pagan myths of Janus, of the Etruscans and Saturn from the Phrygian and Greeks.
Summarizing, we can say that all cultures found points in time, where they celebrated according to their ritualistic calendars and was significant in those points when the rites were performed, quickening the myths where land was governed by the laws of heaven.
These ancient cultures sacralized those points and represented physically by temples and cities, buildings that kept harmony with the cardinal points and stations, something that Masonry has taken into account when building their temples.
“The winter solstice marks a moment when time stands still; this is manifested in a moment of eternity. It is a time of silence, interior recollection and meditation. The seed rots inside the earth patiently waiting to get the proper time to grow and manifest”
This article was written by Psalm Triginta