I've recently been intrigued by ancient uses of the sun and moon. Mostly through a lens of male and female, I was brought to consider how such cosmic gifts of power became associated with men and women--and how the sun is thought to be more powerful than the moon.
I was struck by monumental structures, across all ancient cultures, that were built in accordance with the equinox. The sun would shine in mathematical messages to, in some cases, illuminate an alter or mark the center of temples.
One such example is in the Mayan Kukulkan Pyramid in Mexico. At the base is the head of Kukulkan himself, the father serpent in Mayan's origin story. 91 stairs are angled in relation to this deity's head and the sun's descent. Only on the day of an equinox do these triangular shapes of the stairs create perfect shadows.
Such shadows paint an image of the serpent's body that rise and fall along the stones of the pyramid. But it is the chunks of light, more so than the dark silhouettes, that form this illusion of a moving snake, aligning ever so precisely with Kukulkan's head. Their faith is brought to a more literal form of sight, enhancing those types of vision that express themselves through the soul.
Such a reminder of ritual and sacredness, the pyramid is returned to, time and time again, by archeologists in an effort to understand the science behind its construction. They craft theories and ideas of the methods used to track the movements of the cosmos.
Some talk about marking, periodically, the shadows of a singular pole. At varying moments, there would be circles dug in the ground that would, after an extended time, naturally construct a curve, conducive to a larger circle encompassing the pole itself. When connecting either end of this curve, a straight line can be made that is representative of moving east to west. From this, they design a compass, holding them in steady connection to the universe.
Many cultures relied heavily on the sun in this way. Associated with strength and action, as light itself is needed for crops, the sun is modernly masculine and considered more powerful than the moon. It is a more obvious means to power that offer us a contrast to a falsely "cold" and "passive" depiction of the moon.
Perhaps more mysterious, this feminine power is just as strong as the sun. It conjures healing as it affects the impact of time on the human body and rejuvenates the cellular structure that is worn by means of aging.
Many cultures understood the moon's capabilities, as well as surrounding stars in the night, as a means of expansive spiritual connection. Just as they used shadows of the sun to mark time, they used the stars and moon to foster and honor the balance of life.
These ancient sights, like the Kukulkan Pyramid were dependent on the light just as much as they were the darkness. But, as I emphasize the innate male/female dichotomy, it is only the light--that which is visible to the human physical eye--that is given attention. Likewise, there is a neglect to that which is present in the spiritual eye. That which is discovered in the darkness of our closed eyes. That which is innately feminine.
As I continue to explore how the moon expresses itself amidst the over-attributed sun, I am called to question the lost knowledge of these ancient cultures whose wisdom assembled every detail of these sacred sites. Such a short study has offered me the curiosity in seeking to know that which isn't blatant to the eye, or even obvious to the ear in recited interpretations of their stories. It instead has encouraged me to tune into my own eyes and ears, as a more honest means to hearing the messages as they left them. It is a balance of the feminine and masculine.