Observances Spring Equinox Events United Kingdom

Cairnpapple Hill in Scotland — Spring Equinox Observance

Observe the intriguing alignments at Cairnpapple Hill in Scotland


What: Spring Equinox Observance.

Where: Cairnpapple Hill, , Scotland.

When: Spring Equinox  Time: Sunrise

About: Observe the Spring Equinox from one of Scotland’s very old sacred sites less than an hour West of Edinburgh. Cairnpapple Hill is set on a beautiful countryside highpoint and dates back to 3500 bc. The site has undergone many changes in appearance in its 4000 years use, but the original stones align perfectly to the sunrise on the spring equinox.

cairnpapple long

A second intriguing spring equinox alignment can also be observed while looking into the direction of the rising sun. According to the late Belgian Author & Researcher Philip Coppens three sacred hills in the Lothian region — Cairnpapple, Arthur’s Seat and Traprain Law, form a straight line in the direction of the spring equinox sunrise. On a clear Scottish day, you may be able to see the hills in the distance.

Triple alignment google earth 2016 edited image2

The Lothian-Line: Triple alignment showing Cairnpapple, Arthur’s Seat and Traprain Law aligning to the spring equinox sunrise. (Image copyright Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO Image Landsat. ©2016 Google © 2009 GeoBasis- DE/BKG) This image has been modified)

Below is a simple aerial overview video of Cairnpapple Hill:

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 Historic Scotland directly or visit their website if you would like more details about the site.

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Article & Research by Karim with contribution by Olga Grapsas

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  • ​Hi

    Yesterday it was the first time I celebrated a sun event at a mystical place like Cairpapple Hill and I feel lucky for that. Compare it with celebrations at the past in places just in nature, I think it makes difference and adds to the whole atmosphere.

    In addition the misty, Scottish weather added even more, where you are able to see the sun behind the clouds or/and mist only for some moments. I didn’t have any mystical experience from the place but after the ceremony it was like our prayers reached higher realms and a “like a strike” response came back from there on me.

    A couple was also there doing their own thing and we heard that other people are going there too to celebrate solstices and equinoxes that sounds great to me.

    I see more and more places are coming up at this web-site and is really nice to have to choose between them at which one will be the next celebration of the sun.

    Thank you for that!

  • Great compilation of information on Cairnpapple Hill and it’s equinoctial alignments. I never knew it actually aligns with two hills which that makes this site even more special. I’ve visited the hill myself a few times and the view is really breathtaking. On a clear day you have an amazing 360 degree view of the surroundings. This with it’s history dating back 1000’s of years, Cairnpapple Hill is well worth the visit. Do make sure you bring some warmer cloths just in case it turns out to be a little breezy or colder up there.

  • Thank you for sharing the wisdom of the past also through this article, Karim.
    Although it’s been thousands of years, this place still captivates you and its location is yet more proof for its significance.

    Wishing all of you guys in Edinburgh, to honor this day of equinox in your most creative and meaningful ways!

  • That’s a really wonderful site indeed. The aerial is very inspiring and it’s great to find evidence of solar worship so close to Edinburgh.

    I wish the group in Edinburgh a wonderful equinox sunrise.

    • I thought “oh dear, the energy will be pretty altered by that huge tower” too, but I hadn’t come across some of them being fake and even more insidious. Thanks for sharing the article.

    • Yes, it’s quite unfortunate and I’m sure it has the usual bad effects that those towers have. Even visually it takes away from the natural feeling of a site like this.

      It is however fortunate that it was built on the southwest side, so at least it doesn’t interfere with the views towards the sunrise in the east 🙂

      • Phew. I know if there was a gigantic mobile tower between me and my equinoctial sunrise I’d be fighting a battle of irritation during a ceremony!

  • This site has some really precise alignments indeed! Somehow I can imagine the fires burning in those stone-holes at each of those solar days…
    The inter-connection of this site with the other 2 sites is amazing too, hope those who will be at this site on the spring equinox this year can witness this alignment first-hand and maybe supply us with some great pictures. 😉

  • Amazing Video for Spring Equinox.

    It’ s really interesting that a second intriguing spring equinox alignment can also be observed while looking into the direction of the rising sun.

  • Beautiful! There’s somehow a special feeling to it even watching it on the video. Those holes around the site look very intriguing, I wonder what their purpose is. The alignment with the two other sacred hills is amazing! Well done for creating that visualisation of it Karim and thank you for the research. It’s great to have this connection to such distant past and their original spirituality by celebrating the sun at the same sites as the ancients.

  • Oh wow, that’s a beautiful find! Sounds like the perfect place for those living in Scotland to spend the spring equinox!

    The alignment between the three sights and the sunrise is also very interesting, especially as Arthur’s Seat is a natural marker. I read recently about ‘St. Michael’s line’ running from south-east England down to the westerly tip, which some say is a ley line .. there are many monuments to St. Michael along it and it runs through Glastonbury and Avebury. But this line also follows the line of the sun on ~ May 8th, the Spring Festival of St. Michael. Fires were lit along these mounds as a welcome to the sun. It seems the more you explore the geometry and alignments of sacred sights every curve of the earth has its own significance. And people once could intuit or observe this. Amazing.

    • That’s really interesting Ella. How times have changed. Apparently these three hills also had large fires set up, signalling between each other the rise of the sun on the dawn of the Spring Equinox. Probably would have been amazing to witness first hand.

  • We will be going to the Cairnpapple Hill for the upcoming Spring Equinox here in Edinburgh. It looks amazing from the air and from this view it reminds me of a crop circle structure. Thanks for posting this.

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