Friday, December 07, 2007

Maeshowe Webcam

Anyone who has visited Maeshowe on the Orkney Islands cannot fail to have been deeply moved by this ancient earth womb. The chamber is 35 metres in diameter and reaches a height of 7 metres; the entrance passage is some 14 metres long. It was constructed around 2750 bce in such a way that the midwinter sunset light shines down the entrance passage into the womb.

As you may have read from my post this time last year, three webcams broadcast the sunset daily around the Winter Solstice. This year all new higher resolution equipment has been installed. If you can't visit Maeshowe itself around the Winter Solstice it is best to point your web browser at between 2.30 and 3 p.m. GMT.

In such northerly parts of Brighid's Isles the winters tend to be cloudy and wet. I guess our ancestors must have been people of real faith as they waited for a clear day so the Winter light would pour down the passage and bring new life. Yet, today there was a beautiful sunset. My spirits are uplifted. It now seems right to prepare for the Winter Solstice celebrations. By a strange bit of serendipity I also received my first Winter Solstice card in the post this morning.

Blessed, sacred days.

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Blogger BBC said...

Hello, Paul... I just popped over to say "Hi". Have a great day, hugs.

Blogger Aquila ka Hecate said...

"..between 2:30 and 3pm"??
Oh my gods-it's easy to forget by how much the days shorten up there.
Our variance solstice-to-equinox is something like an hour and a half, maybe two, at the outside.
But I'm only 26 degrees from the equator.
Terri in Joburg

Blogger Paul said...


Yes, it really is that early, however in midsummer Orkney experiences the "Summer dim" with light all night.



Blogger yellowdog granny said...

they were some tough individuals..not only in heart but in spirit..I will check out the site..thanks..


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