North America Observances Spring Equinox Events

Monks Mound in the USA – Spring Equinox Observance

Spring Equinox sunrise observance at Monks Mound.

Monks Mound in Cahokia, Illinois -- spring equinox event

Monks Mound in Cahokia, Illinois.
Photo by QuartierLatin1968 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 Image has been modified.

What: Spring Equinox sunrise observance at Monks Mound

Where: Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Illinois, USA

When: Spring Equinox Sunrise

Alignments: Below is some background information about the site by Belsebuub with Lara Atwood from The Path of the Spiritual Sun: Celebrating the Solstices and Equinoxes:

Spring Equinox at Monks Mound in Chahokia “The Cahokia Mounds was a pre-Columbian city considered the largest and most sophisticated prehistoric civilization north of Mexico. It contained a woodhenge, which was a sacred circle made of wooden posts (like the one built near Stonehenge in England). The wood used was red cedar, which was considered sacred. When standing at the center of the circle, where a large ‘observation post’ was located, the sun on the solstices and equinox aligned with some of the posts of the circle.

The most visually spectacular of the alignments at the site was the sunrise on the equinox. One of the wood posts that aligned with the equinox also aligned with the front of Monks Mound—the largest mound in the entire complex, with a footprint larger than that of the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

Additionally, a symbolic carving of a turtle was found at Monks Mound and is described by researcher Vince Barrows as having a trident on its left side, which depicts death and darkness, and a symbol of the sun on its right, which depicts birth. Perhaps this carving symbolizes the dual aspects of creation—of darkness and light, which rotate on the point of balance at the equinox. Incredibly, it contains the same elements of the churning of the milky ocean scene illustrated at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, where the forces of darkness and light are depicted as being on either side of a turtle. And like Monks Mound, Angkor Wat is also aligned to the spring equinox.”

Visiting the Site: Monks Mound is an ancient site for celebrating the spring equinox. At the moment the site is only regularly open during visiting hours, 9am – 5pm, meaning that it’s closed during the sunrise itself. Group visits can be booked in advance though, and a sunrise equinox event may be possible to coordinate with the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. For more information on how to do this or to find out whether there are groups already organized for the event, please see their website.

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 visit the Cahokia Mounds website if you would like more details about the site.

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About the author

Jordan Belikov

Jordan Belikov is the Webmaster of the website and a researcher and active practitioner of the Religion of the Sun. He received an Honours Bachelor of Arts in (Comparative) Religion and English in the mid-2000s, works as a writer and editor by day, and has been exploring the practical side of spirituality since 2003. In 2013 he created the first version of The Spiritual Sun website along with his wife Jenny, and after having been joined by contributors Justin and Vida Narovski, began researching further into sacred texts and uncovering the ancient practices of the sun which are featured on the site today. He also aims to tap into the Religion of the Sun through traditional music, mostly via playing the Andean flutes known as the quena and panpipes.


  • I had briefly read about the mound, but didn’t know it used to be a whole city and that they had woodhenges as sacred sites as well. Interesting also that they had similar symbols as the ones at Angkor Wat. It seems to me someone would need to have possessed a certain level of knowledge to produce such specific symbols.

  • Never heard of this place before, thanks for posting about it.
    Amazing background info from Belsebuub and Lara Atwood that it has the turtle carving linking it symbolically with Angkor Watt in Cambodia and a scene from the great story of the Mahabharat from India, yet here it is emerging in the pre-Columbian civilization in the USA!

    • Was thinking the exact same thing – it’s really amazing to see the similarities between the 2, and both being about solar alignments.

      Just gives me goose bumps 🙂

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