Archeoastronomical support for the Caney Circle tradition of Full Moon Ceremonies and Equinox and Solstice Ceremonies

Way back in the decade of the 1970’s the archeological author Fernandez-Mendes postulated that the Tainos traditionally observed the Summer and Winter Sosltice as well as the Spring and Fall Equinoxes in a manner resembling the observances of Mesoamerican tribes in Mexico and Centra America. This theory has been disputed and the argument has been raised that the four seasons that these annual cardinal periods represent are not valid in the Caribbean tropics because of the existance of only two actual discernible seasons there; the Dry and Rainy Seasons. However the astronomical fact remains that even though the four seasons don’t actually present themselves in the tropics with as much of the four distinct weather and temperature transitions that present present themselves in temperate regions, there are observable movements of the heavenly bodies which can be percieved in the tropics as well as they are anywhere else in the world. In the area north of the Equator the sun shifts its path in an inclination to the South that increases after Summer solstice and decreases after Winter Solstice. This inclination has a point of maximum tilt toward the South at Winter Solstice which can be appreciated anywhere in the tropical Caribbean. This inclination also has a minimum tilt toward the South (and in all parts of the Caribbean a tilt toward the North)at Summer Solstice.

Fernandez Mendes assumed that the Tainos, in a manner similar to the Mayas and other Mesoamerican Native cultures observed these movements of the sun and celebrated them. Equally it is safe to assume that a people such as the Tainos whose culture was so firmly grounded in matrifocal ideals would have established a special bond with the movements and phases of the moon as the Mayas did.

Below we present evidence as it appears at the ceremonial center of Caguana that supports our position that our Taino ancestors traditionally observed the Solstices and Equinoxes in a ritual manner and that we in the Caney Circle are justified by archeological science as we are by our shamanic insight in celebrating these cardinal points in the solar cycle. We also present evidence to support our Full Moon Ceremony.

Caguana Solar Observatory
Caguana Solar Observatory

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