The History of Crystals - Part 3: Winter Solstice & Preseli Bluestone
The Southern Hemisphere will be celebrating the winter solstice this Thursday 21 June. The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, soon we will notice the days getting a little bit longer! So apart from starting the countdown to spring, why else is the winter solstice celebrated?
The winter solstice has been significant since Stone Age times as a celebration of the rebirth of sunlight after so much darkness. Ancient monuments such as Stonehenge in England and Newgrange in Ireland are thought to have been ceremonial sites where rituals and celebrations took place. Both monuments appear to have been intentionally aligned towards the sun ... with Newgrange pointing to the winter solstice sunrise and Stonehenge to the winter solstice sunset.
Stone Age people were reliant on the sun for food and warmth and they used the sun as an astronomical calendar. It is thought that Stonehenge and Newgrange would have been used to track the movements of the sun for the Stone Age people.
Interestingly, the smaller bluestones used for the inner ring at Stonehenge came from the Preseli Hills in Wales, 200 miles from Stonehenge. Preseli Bluestone is said to be an extremely healing stone, one that is strongly connected to the Earth. Maybe this was why it was used at Stonehenge! Judy Hall wrote a really interesting article about her experiences with Preseli Bluestone, click here to see what she says! You can also join her mailing list to receive her blogs - its a great way to learn more about crystals.