ANCIENT SOLSTICE

Ancient religions across the world share remarkable similarities. Above all, many venerated the sun as the greatest source of light and highest symbol of divinity, and even today the solstice is still the most popular religious occasion in the world. Ancient Solstice interprets the deeper, spiritual meaning of the ancient sites, symbols, and traditions connected to the solstices and equinoxes using hundreds of illustrations, excerpts from sacred texts, and in-depth descriptions of ancient sites.

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Recommended Retail Price: USD $26.95 ~ GBP £20.95 ~ EURO €23.95 ~ CAD $34.95 ~ AUD $40.95.
Authors receive no payments or royalties from the sale of this book. Find out why here.

Over 500 pages filled with:

Hundreds of illustrations
Excerpts from ancient texts
Quotes from experts
References to traditions
Religious symbols
Explanations of ancient sites

Includes a detailed guide of how to create ceremonies to celebrate the solstices and equinoxes as in ancient times, with examples from different cultures.

About the Book

Hundreds, if not thousands of ancient sites were built for the worship of the sun, and were aligned to the sun’s yearly transitions at the solstices and equinoxes—including the most famous in the world, such as the Great Pyramid of Egypt, Stonehenge, and the statues of Easter Island. These transitions of the sun were celebrated by numerous ancient peoples and billions still hold their religious celebrations on them today, such as at Christmas.
This book interprets the deeper, spiritual meaning of the ancient sites, symbols, and traditions connected to the solstices and equinoxes using hundreds of illustrations, excerpts from sacred texts, and in-depth descriptions of ancient sites—presented in an easy-to-read, informative, and comprehensive way.
It makes a compelling case for the existence of an ancient religion of the sun that spread around the globe in prehistory, and reconstructs its central tenets using detailed evidence—also providing ceremonies based on ancient traditions to reconnect with it today.
Ancient Solstice links the ancient past with the movements of the cosmos and ourselves to show that these cultures, which seem so mysterious to our modern civilization, possessed a great understanding of the spiritual nature of the universe and our place in it.
Whatever your spiritual path, this book may be of value, and is recommended for students of comparative religion, those interested in the possibility of lost civilizations in prehistory, and those looking to reconnect with pagan or indigenous spiritual traditions.

Top left: Copyright image created by Sura Ondrunar

2nd from top left: Public Domain Image

3rd from top left: Creative Commons Image by TheJaySpearing

Bottom left: Creative Commons Image by Solipsist

Top right: Creative Commons Image by សុខគឹមហេង

2nd from top right: Creative Commons Image by Rob Hurson

Bottom right: Stock image

From the Book

“The ancient veneration of the sun is one of the greatest celebrations in history. It has been encoded in sacred sites and texts for thousands of years by peoples separated by vast distances across the world—all the way from the Great Pyramids of Egypt, to the megaliths of Stonehenge, and the huge stone statues of Easter Island. The sun is one of the oldest and most universal themes connecting the ancient wisdom traditions of the world.

Ancient cultures built at least hundreds of megalithic structures, stone circles, temples, and secret inner rooms that aligned with the sun at its major annual stages—the solstices and equinoxes […].

Most today see these sites as being based upon a simpleminded form of agriculture and nature worship—and yet some of them have endured as the most enigmatic and mystical places in the world, and remain some of the most advanced sites astronomically, mathematically, architecturally, and spiritually even to this day. Down through the ages they have echoed messages from a golden age of spirituality, that have largely been misinterpreted as primitive by a modern world that has become so distanced from natural principles that it has failed to recognize what is hidden in plain sight.

The sun and stars, source of all light and life in the universe, are central to a religion that spread across large parts of the world in ancient times, which saw the sun as the most revealed manifestation of the divine. This religion, which my wife Lara and I call the Religion of the Sun, is both ancient and timeless—and the truths it preserved are as ever-present as always. Its principles have formed the basis of many of the world’s ancient religions—unknown even to many of their adherents—and are just as relevant to people searching for spirituality today.

This book delves into the profound spiritual significance of the veneration of the sun, pulling together the sites, texts, traditions, and symbols from around the world that were based on the sun’s cycle, to reveal the common thread of spirituality running through all of them. This knowledge has then been used to form a practical guide to celebrate the spiritual sun just as it was in ancient times, with examples from many ancient cultures, for people to re-enliven and experience it again today.”

~Mark & Lara Atwood

Topics Covered

  • What the solstices and equinoxes are
  • Why many ancient people venerated the sun, and why the solstices and equinoxes were important to them spiritually
  • The meaning of many ancient symbols
  • How numerous ancient symbols can be found in the cosmos
  • How fire is connected with the sun and why it’s held sacred in many spiritual traditions
  • Why many ancient deities were associated with the sun, and why they experienced major life events, like their birth and resurrection, at the solstices and equinoxes
  • The spiritual meaning of the autumn equinox, winter solstice, spring equinox, and summer solstice
  • Ancient and traditional celebrations of the solstices and equinoxes and their symbolic meaning
  • Ancient sacred sites around the world that align to the solstices and equinoxes
  • The real meaning of Christmas and Easter
  • The symbolic spiritual meaning of many ancient sites
  • The meaning of many legends and sacred texts
  • How the solstices and equinoxes can be celebrated today as they were in ancient times
  • Traditional ceremonies to do on your own or with others

Book Reviews From Amazon

Would recommend

Very good book, very happy

More Than Just An Idea

Extremely interesting approaches.
I haven’t completely done with the book yet, but so far very surprising theories.
You should take a closer look at many things mentioned later.
Highly highly recommended!
(Review translated from German)

unraveling cryptic myths with simple but profound explanations

I recently watched Chopra’s 94 episodes of the epic Mahabharat, and Sagar’s 78 episodes of the epic Ramayan (watched by 77 million viewers during the 2020 lockdown). Those movies are the closest film representation of a Golden Age that I have found. This book helps to unravel some of the Sanskrit mythology and symbolism found in them. It also provides explanations for many other myths and legends from different cultures around the world. It links a purpose of human life (to ‘awaken’ or self-realize), mentioned in many ancient religions, with cosmic principles imbued in the Earth’s natural cycles. It suggests that cosmic design appears to have been created to assist in such personal development, making Spirituality or Religion part of nature instead of an add-on by the believer. It details the incredible findings of whole cities and structures purposely built to reflect solar alignments, along with patterns found in different constellations. Chapter 5 was fascinating and provided a very interesting explanation of the Sphinx enigma. This book is a breath of fresh air, unraveling cryptic myths with simple but profound explanations. It contains instructions and exercises to help you venerate and celebrate the Sun.

A remarkable exploration of sun-centered religion – insightful and well-researched

In the Ancient Path of the Sun, Mark and Lara Atwood make a compelling case for the existence of a widespread sun-centered religion in antiquity – one “connecting the ancient wisdom traditions of the world” – and they reconstruct its central tenets based on detailed evidence.

Chapter one explores the spiritual meaning of the solstices and equinoxes, yearly milestones in the solar calendar celebrated by numerous ancient peoples. The authors explain that these events are a representation of a personal spiritual journey encoded in the cosmos on a grand scale. The word “path” in the title can thus refer to both the physical path of the sun through the sky in its yearly course as well as an inner spiritual path that celebrants of this ancient religion could aim to follow.

The Atwoods explain that these physical and inner paths are intimately related, as explained by the Hermetic maxims, “as above, so below,” and “as within, so without,” which describe the operation of spiritual principles on both macrocosmic and microcosmic scales and inner and outer levels. Because “spirituality exists in the very fabric of the universe,” the movement of the solar calendar is more than a physical process and was venerated by ancient peoples for more than simple agricultural or social reasons; rather, the authors state, many peoples understood the physical path of the sun to be the visible embodiment of hidden spiritual realities, since ultimately both spirit and matter share the same mysterious source.

This understanding of how the physical and spiritual worlds are interconnected is one of the primary themes of the book and serves as a key to unlock numerous ancient myths, religious texts, sacred sites, symbols, and scientific observations. The sun itself is obviously central to this understanding. It is explained as the source of “light and life” that sustains all physical beings and, along with all other stars, is the source of the elemental building blocks of the physical universe. The authors state, however, that the physical sun is also a representation of the spiritual son – a culture hero represented in numerous myths and religious texts (often as a sun deity) that brings salvation and whose life story is often represented with milestones corresponding to the solar calendar. The spiritual son himself is not a specific being (although the authors demonstrate how he has been represented by various spiritual figures over time) but rather is present both as a universal force and an inner aspect of each person’s spiritual nature.

The authors also explain how the spiritual son emerges from a spiritual father and spiritual mother (who also have universal and personal aspects). Together these forces form a sacred trinity, which can be found represented by deities in many religious traditions and sacred texts. The ultimate goal of the ancient Path of the Sun, as described in the book, is for a person to reintegrate the various parts of their spiritual nature – spiritual father, mother, and son – and ultimately to return to the source of creation. The scope and scale of primary evidence supplied to connect this perspective with the beliefs of ancient peoples is impressive.

The milestones on the Path of the Sun presented in the book, summarized here in basic form, are as follows: the descent to the underworld to face inner darkness and prepare for the birth of light (autumn equinox), the birth of the spiritual son and his descent into matter (winter solstice), the resurrection of the spiritual son and the triumph of light over darkness (spring equinox), and the ascension to heaven and the spiritual source at the time of maximum light (summer solstice), which represents the complete reintegration of a person’s spiritual nature.

The Atwoods explore this path in detail, with a chapter devoted to examination of each solar event, its deeper meaning, and how this meaning was reflected in the traditions, myths, sacred texts, and practices of ancient peoples.

In part two, they also examine in detail many sacred archaeological sites from around the world, demonstrating how these often-enigmatic monumental structures encoded an understanding of spiritual principles in their design, orientation with solar events, and symbolism, and could have been used to celebrate these events in the distant past.

Finally, in part three, the book offers guidance for those that might wish to renew the celebration of the sun in modern times, with suggestions for solstice and equinox ceremonies that guide readers towards reconnecting with their own heritage and celebrating the Path of the Sun in their own lives.

Overall, I found the book to be convincing, rich in detail, and at many points quite moving. The authors demonstrate a powerful understanding of the tapestry of ancient spiritual beliefs and an ability to weave together seemingly unrelated strands from different cultures to reveal an underlying unity and a depth of spiritual meaning.

Although the book makes extensive use of both primary and secondary sources, it is this ability to connect disparate ancient fragments into a coherent and powerful whole – with a seemingly intuitive wisdom – that makes this book valuable and unique. There were many moments where I experienced a sense of revelation and deeper understanding as these pieces fell into place.

This book could be valuable for students of comparative religion and spirituality, those interested in the possibility of lost civilizations in prehistory, and those looking to reconnect with pagan, indigenous, or sun-centered spiritual practices. Highly recommended.

Unique perspective. Paints and interesting picture.

As someone intrigued by the books of Thor Heyerdahl, and some of the ideas proposed in Hancock’s “Magicians of the Gods”, Irwin’s “Fair Gods and Stone Faces”, etc., I found this book very appealing. It tackles the mysterious connection surrounding many of the world’s ancient sites and cultures that many of these other authors have observed and were fascinated by (and in turn got me fascinated with!), and provides a fair explanation for the commonalities.

I enjoy traveling and visiting ancient temples and ruins and I’ve noticed over the years how certain symbols, architecture, languages, and myths appear all over like a repeating pattern and often wondered why, and this book is the first to have provided a more complete explanation. On that note, this is also the first and only book I’ve come across that actually explains the meaning of the solstices and equinoxes and their relationship to ancient sites and cultures, in depth and with clarity.

The authors’ insights are unique and I would recommend it to anyone interested in these subjects.

Wow. Just...wow!

A common phenomenon I’ve heard from almost everyone I’ve met who have searched for a deeper understanding of life is that amazing feeling of experiencing a book, article, or conversation that makes several disjointed pieces of understanding floating around in our heads to connect like puzzle pieces, completing a coherent picture that awakens a profound sense of understanding and fresh enthusiasm for the pursuit of knowledge.

This is definitely one of those experiences!

The authors have done such a great job in researching and connecting phenomena observed in so many ancient sacred, megalithic sites with not only the equinox and solstice, but illustrates parallels with a personal spiritual journey and symbols found in all the major religions and ancient cultures of the world!

This book should become a classic. It should be a college course. Actually, a complete curriculum should be based upon the contents of this book. The world would be greatly enriched if it were!

Well researched and written

The authoritive book on the origins and meaning of ancient religions. The amount of information and readability of this book impressed me. A great work.

A wonderful read.

A Very comprehensive coverage of Sun worship, this book is a must regardless of your spiritual path. It provides enough information about many of the various topics to get you started in the craft. All around a really good read, I hope you enjoyed the lore as much as I did. Great youtube videos you should do more.

...that what matters most

Why would you be interested in the Solstices and Equinoxes? I mean, do we not have enough on our plate at the moment to worry about? Would knowing about an ancient solar path of spirituality really change much in your life anyway?

If you look at it externally, it would not seem so indeed.

But is there not a feeling inside as well that tells us that there is something terribly wrong with this world? How can we keep going on like this? That inner feeling seems to indicate that there is more than we can see at first sight. This is the same if you would consider knowing about the Solstices and Equinoxes.

In these dire times, does it not feel a bit indulging to read about beautiful concepts, while at the same time people are suffering and dying everywhere?

It seems so, but if you really want to understand the cause of our current problems and to understand more about the purpose of life, would you not want something that will positively knock you off your socks and enable you to do something real about it?

Would it not be incredible to read, page after page, about things that you asked about in school, but never got a real consistent answer? Would it not be beneficial to get practical, down to earth tools to realistically address some of the important life questions? Would it not be breathtaking to know how to connect to your ancient roots and to experience something more than our mundane lives?

In these very hard times that we live in, I had a deep and real experience, while I performed a ceremony from this book, during the last Equinox. Written words are just words, but when you do a ceremony, and there are plentiful amazing ones from cultures all over the world in the book, not even the words, but I also came to life!

It was a beautiful experience in which ancient truths came to me and let me understand not only ancient truthful knowledge, but my place in reality and a deeper understanding who I am and who I am not.

After reading this book and having real ceremonial experiences…that apparent indulgence, seemed to be the very thing that matters most in life.

A book managing to explain ancient knowledge like no other.

The book provides understanding of an ancient religion and spiritual practice found across the world.

In my opinion the author has an unmatched depth of insight and uses it to reveal a wisdom held in the past (like that of ancient Egypt) and shows that these cultures, which seem so mysterious to us now, had a great understanding of what the universe is about and our purpose as humans in it. I believe that in the modern world we’ve lost awareness of this and so you won’t see quality information of this type around much. But here it is presented with a clarity that anyone is able to grasp and be inspired by it.

I’m really interested in it and have found it connects on a personal level. The book very accurately demonstrates how the ‘timeless message of life’ is present in the natural world. Now, when I go out to see a sunrise or when walking in nature I can better recognise and feel it present there, thanks to this book. The author specifically and originally explains how this ‘cosmic message’ powerfully shows itself in the turning points of winter, spring, summer and autumn (we might’ve felt that something at Christmas, heard of the solstice at Stonehenge etc.) But there is much much more to it which I had no idea about, this book shows how it was central to cultures on earth.

It has a whole section explaining how you can experience that ancient knowledge yourself (of Odin, Egyptian, ancient Mayan, Slavic, …) in meaningful ceremonies and the things you can do at these special times of the year.

If you’re interested in these topics you’ll find it to be an incredible work.

Timeless hidden wisdom articulated clearly for everyone

There is a common thread of gold woven throughout history and human consciousness hidden within ancient ruins and within ourselves. Mark and Lara Atwood decode the spiritual path of humanity, how it relates to the cosmic Sun and practiced by ancient megalithic civilizations through solstices and equinoxes.

The breadth of research and depth of explanation that has gone into this book make it a must read in understanding the common link of spirituality that has existed through the ages and demonstrated by the path of the Sun. Reading this book has the uncanny feeling of studying the ancient past, cosmic movements and ourselves while finding a common thread between them all. Highly recommended.

outstanding book

brought as a gift…they were very pleased and commented thst the book was outstanding.

About the Authors

Mark Atwood is an author who writes from over thirty years of dedicated spiritual practice and experience. His wife Lara Atwood is a researcher who contributes her knowledge of history, cosmology, ancient sites, and sacred texts.

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We believe spirituality is not something you can price tag, and that it should be passed onto others just as freely as it’s received. We work in the ancient and time-honored way of running on what people give voluntarily in donations alone and receive no money from the sale of this book. Its price is set to cover costs, and any excess made goes toward covering publishing costs.
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