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.
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.