Mankind has followed the cycles of the Sun for millennia. Stone circles like this, dating back more than 3,000 years, are aligned to the Solstices and the Equinoxes. In my novel, Knight of Dreams, (from the Tales of Lochnire series) ancient Standing Stones play a part in bringing 12th century hero, Sir Angus of Lochnire and 21st century heroine, Kelsey Sayer together.
At the Autumnal (fall) Equinox (Sept. 23, 2007, 5:51 A.M. EDT), the sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south. This marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The word "equinox" means (equal), and "nox" (night). It refers to the time that occurs twice a year when the nighttime is equal to the daytime -- each being 12 hours in duration
The Ancients were attuned to, and celebrated these changing times in the year. A cluster of megalithic cairns are scattered through the hills at Loughcrew, about 55 miles North West of Dublin in Ireland. Longhcrew Carin T is a passage tomb which is designed so that the light from the rising sun on the spring and autumn equinoxes penetrates a long corridor and illuminates a backstone, which is decorated with astronomical symbols.
In Knight of Dreams a similar thing happens. As the sun strikes atop the tallest stone, a timeline opens, allowing the the two lovers (who have already met in their dreams) to come together.
(Excerpt Knight of Dreams) ...Angus stood atop a circular mound near the tallest Standing Stone waiting for the sun to send a beam of luminous light to the other side. Suddenly a glowing circle whirled and glistened before him like water inside a spinning pond, yet it stood upright. He reached out to touch it. It felt like air. Closing his eyes, he pulled on his warrior's courage and took in a breath as he stepped through the fluid shimmer...
Knight of Dreams, Copyright © 2006