This is what lucky few gathered at Newgrange this morning hoped to see at 8.58am. Unfortunately for them, there was cloud on the horizon and the weather didn’t perform. I’ve had a similar experience with cloud on the horizon whilst in the chamber at Loughcrew, for the spring equinox. Luckily, however, on that morning, the sun burst through it right at the vital morning, and the 3,000 year old artwork on the side of the chamber was suddenly cast in gold. Amazing stuff.
As the sun performed today, the crowd in Newgrange can try again in the morning or the day afterwards, as the effect is the same for about three days either side of the solstice. Apparently the Earth has had a significant shift on its axis since Newgrange was constructed, so the original alignment is now out of whack. Time ago, the whole burial chamber would have lit up, now it stops two metres short on the tall. (Actually, didn’t they say that the Japanese earthquake this year shifted the earth on its axis?)
But light shows aside, today is still significant. It’s the solstice. The shortest day of the year. This is as bad as it gets. Everything from here on out is an improvement. Now that’s worth celebrating; which is exactly why Christmas happens this week. Looks like those pagans had it right.