North America Observances Summer Solstice Events

Chaco Canyon in the USA – Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice sunrise observance at the Casa Rinconada, a Chacoan great kiva

Fajada_Butte chaco canyon solstice alignments

The Fajada Butte at Chaco Canyon, only one of the many sites with solar alignments at the park, features a spiral petroglyph that gets pierced by the rays of the sun on summer solstice day.
Photo by Rationalobserver – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Image has been modified.

What: Summer Solstice sunrise observance at the Casa Rinconada, a Chacoan great kiva

Where: Chaco Canyon Historical National Park New Mexico, USA

When: Summer Solstice Sunrise

Who: Organized by the National Park Services

Alignments and Site Information:

Chaco canyon is a national historic park in the state of New Mexico, believed to be an incredible ancient sacred gathering center and complex. The site features many solar alignments — within structures, in between structures, and in petroglyphs in the area.

The Casa Rinconada is the biggest kiva in the complex and is considered to have been used as an ancient ceremonial gathering space. It is aligned to the summer and winter solstices, and is a location where visitors can greet the sun on solstice days.

casa rinconada chaco caynyon summer solstice event

The Casa Rinconada — the greatest Kiva at Chaco Canyon, used in ancient times as a sacred ceremonial gathering space.

Two of the main sites contain precise summer solstice alignments:

Located near the ruins of an ancient city of the Pueblo peoples is the famous Sun Dagger. Found high up on the top of what is called the Fajada Butte, a giant volcanic outcrop, is a stone carving in a spiral. Stone slabs especially arranged around it direct the sunlight so that on the summer solstice, a dagger of sunlight pierces the center of the spiral. Daggers of sunlight over different parts of the spiral also mark the winter solstice and the equinoxes.

Down below, the Casa Rinconada, which is one of the five great kivas (temple buildings) of the Chaco Canyon city, aligns to the summer solstice sunrise. As the sun rises, a beam of light shines through a lone window and moves across the room until it illuminates one of the five niches on the western wall.

~ The Path of the Spiritual Sun, by Belsebuub with Lara Atwood

The following video details the alignments at the Casa Rinconada, where the summer solstice events take place:

The video below shows the Sun Dagger lit up on solstice day:

About the Event: Join the summer solstice sunrise program at the great kiva Casa Rinconada in Chaco Canyon. Park staff and visitors will observe the sunrise and the solstice marker of light inside the great kiva.

Here’s a video from a summer solstice event at the site:

Additional Note: A yearly summer solstice event at the Canyon you might be interested in is the Chaco Canyon Solstice Dancers performance, which will be taking place on solstice day. More information about the Chaco Solstice Dances can be found here.

 

A Note About Visiting Ancient Sites:
Please be mindful and respectful of the ancient sites.  Treat them with care as to not disturb them, damage them or remove anything from them. Help protect these incredible sites so that they can continue to stand the test of time.

Please note: this event is not run by The Spiritual Sun. Please contact the organizers directly or visit their website if you would like more details about this event.

Back to all events.

About the author

Jenny Belikov

Jenny Belikov is a researcher and practitioner of the ancient religion of the sun and the Managing Editor for The Spiritual Sun, where she also researches and writes about ancient sacred sites; spiritual texts and practices; the latest discoveries in archeology, archeoastronomy, and related sciences; as well as the exploration of various facets of the lost civilization of the sun.

5 Comments

  • It never stops to amaze me at how many sacred locations are discovered by you guys on the Spiritual Sun website.
    Well done keep them coming and thanks Jenny great information.

    • Thanks John. It never ceases to amaze me just how many there are. It seems if one dedicated a lifetime, you still wouldn’t be able to uncover them all. The ancient unknown is quite fascinating to try and unravel.

  • Thank you Jenny, this area seems to be really connected to the Sun spiritually. The Sun Dagger in particular is very intruguing, I was wondering about what it could mean spiritually – the fact that this dagger pierces the center of the spiral I mean.

    I would love to see the dances too – how amazing they make all those neat costumes and masks to dance a symbolic dance. Maybe we could try doing something similar? 🙂

    • I had the same thought, Lucia — that it would be nice to put dances together. And then I was shown real esoteric dances and realized that (even with a background in dance) it’s far beyond my understanding at this point to put together a proper esoteric dance… There’s quite a lot to it. But one day, I hope we can — it’s an amazing way to express these spiritual processes and journeys.

      Vida is working on a more in-depth article on this site by the way — there is so much there that’s just incredible.

      • Hey Jenny, just wanted to say that a proper esoteric dance would be awesome, but we would certainly need an enlightened individual to guide that. But… I also feel that it is possible to also just put together dances that express some things, and do it as best as we can, and as graciously as we can. By trying to come up with a dance that tries to express a certain living thing (a flower, water, animal, etc…), you just need to meditate on it, trying your best, put a lot of love and effort, maybe make a little appliance or a costume, chose an approppriate music, and there you go. I am sure through that kind of activity, you could get a lot of understanding and also guidance if you pray for it.

        I have been looking for some dances of this type on Youtube lately, as I was very inspired by reading a couple of accounts with extraterrestrials, that mentioned how expressing things/ideas/truths/principles, etc… through a dance was a part of their lives. Especially I was touched by this line from the account of G. Adamski (an ET contactee from 50-ties), where he related what he heard from an extrterrestrial master (an awakened being): “We consider training the body in a co-ordination of rhythmic movement an essential part of our education. Moreover, this expression is a part of what you would call our religious ritual. As the poetic form in words can suggest deep feeling not possible to the prose form, so it is with the perfect rhythm expressed in the movement of a body dedicated in a dance of worship.“

        On another occasion, I heard these dances to be called “interpretive dances”, and I liked the word very much, as I feel they would aim at interpreting (catching an essence) of something. So I did a search on Youtube for that, but searching by that title didn’t yield any encouraging results, as the quality of what people produce under that name is not quite what I had in mind… But then I started searching in a different way, and found out that the classical ballet dancers who go a bit out of their traditional repertoire, can produce really beautiful things. So I thought getting an inspiration from them, but also doing what we personally feel like expressing, combining with whatever spiritual help and insight we can get, would be an option…

        Here are the links to 2 dances I found very beautiful:
        1. A dance enacting a water flower, using a Gayatri mantra as a music:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h2fdZ6XpR8&index=3&list=PLNPLSn61imSU_ZMXjFaAFQVT7Fda-I909

        2. A little dance expressing a spider :-):
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JItkRLVlf-c&index=5&list=PLNPLSn61imSU_ZMXjFaAFQVT7Fda-I909

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