Have you ever wondered how our ancient ancestors kept track of time? I suppose the further back in time you go, people were more focused on survival than keeping track of the minutes. However, as people learned about the world around them and cultures began to form and progress, time became an important concept.
My guess is that the concept of time originally began with an awareness that the world around them changed in cycles — seasonal changes, as we know them today. These changes impacted the foods they ate, when and where they lived, and when they woke and slept. I’m sure the following questions were some that early humans would have asked. When is this food available? When will snow come? How long have I been here? Why does that big bright light come and go, and where does it go?
Over time, our human ancestors began to notice other patterns happening around them, other than the changing of the seasons, and they used these patterns to map out time as they knew it. One of the patterns that early humans would have used to keep track of time was taking note of the position of astronomical features (stars, planets, moon) through the seasons, which led to the identification of cyclical events that mark certain seasons.
The Spring Equinox is one of those events. (You can read about the Winter Solstice here.) It’s commonly believed that many megaliths were established around the world as one way of tracking time and seasons according to our sun and the stars — Stonehenge being one of the most famous.
I’m over at the Herbal Academy blog this week, taking a look at the Spring Equinox — what it is, and what it means to the herbalist.