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Anasazi Equinox Marker and Connections to Lakota Star Knowledge

By Ray Urbaniak



In Toquerville, Utah the petroglyph panels I studied to write this article…. are in danger of destruction.

If any of your readers would like to write the Washington County Water Conservancy District to try and save them here is the contact link.  06-08-15 ~Ray Urbaniak



For over 10 years now I have been searching out and recording Anasazi 1 Solstice and Equinox markers in SW Utah 2


The Summer and Winter Solstices mark the longest and shortest days of the year. The Spring and Fall Equinox markers mark the two times per year when the periods of day and night are roughly equal (the Sun is at two opposite points on the celestial sphere). 


At these specific times of the year the Anasazi used petroglyphs which they carved into rock and or pictographs which they painted 3 on to the rocks to receive the Sun’s light. The sunlight illuminates the rock art directly or another rock, or protrusion on the same rock is used to cast a shadow onto the associated petroglyph or pictograph.  Markers can be found that record the event by interacting with the petroglyph or pictograph at any time of the day, however, most record the event at sunrise, sunset, or at noon.


These markers were important in the Anasazi culture since they tell the time of year, remind the people when to plant and harvest crops as well as mark ceremonial periods.


The Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice are easy to mark, compared to the Equinoxes.  There is a Sun “stand still” period lasting several days before and after both Solstices.  However, during the Equinox the Sun is moving in altitude at its fastest pace of the year.  The Sun is a rapidly moving target for observation.


Consequently, some Equinox Markers may mark the Equinox a few days off from the actual event. This is understandable given the tools that early inhabitants had to work with.


I have realized that if a site has a perfect alignment for viewing and recording the Equinox, I do not throw out my findings if the recorded event happens to record the event slightly prior to or after the actual Equinox.


In 2011 I visited the following site in SW Utah 2 days before the Spring Equinox because cloudy skies were predicted for the next several days.  Based on my findings, I think that I fortuitously happened to be there on the best day for observing & recording the event, which I captured in the following photos.


*note 1: I prefer the term Anasazi since it is still more widely known then the politically correct term “Ancestral Puebloans” when referring to the group of Native Americans who occupied the Four Corners region stretching as far west as SW Utah from approx. 1200 BC – the 1300’s.


*note 2: Anasazi of SW Utah, The Dance of Light & Shadow, by: Ray Urbaniak, Available through Manataka.


*note 3: Petroglyphs are rock art images that are pecked, incised, or abraded into the rock surface.  Pictographs are rock art images that are painted or drawn onto the rocks with pigments such as minerals, charcoal or blood.






Two sets of concentric circles are illuminated at the same time (one on top of the boulder and one near the bottom of the boulder)








Equinox early warning marker



In Dec 2009 a Chris Macur who bought my unabridged book(Anasazi Sky Watchers of SW Utah thru LULU.COM) told me about a book called LAKOTA STAR KNOWLEDGE by Ronald Goodman.
In it the Lakota believe their spirit comes from & returns to the Big Dipper, just as I deciphered from Anasazi Petroglyphs(note 1). The only difference is that they go to the bowl of the big dipper vs Mizar & Alcor(2nd star[binary star] in the handle of the big dipper).


In addition, in the Lakota book an inverted triangle means "Star“ and the inverted triangle symbol is frequently used in this area (see last page of this article) .
These connections I found very interesting, but it wasn’t until I observed this particular Equinox site that the connections seemed far more than a coincidence.


In the Spring of 2011- I recorded the prior wonderful Equinox marker that marked the Equinox in many different sequential ways. Layers of meaning in addition to marking the Equinox may also be present if there can be a confirmed connection to the Lakota.



We know that Native Peoples in North America had extensive trade routes and that there was also a diffusion of beliefs in addition to trade goods..


The following are a few of the markers that have a striking similarity to “Lakota Midwives and the Stars” theology from:


 LAKOTA STAR KNOWLEDGE by Ronald Goodman pages 40-41.










Additional connections to the Lakota


In Appendix B of Lakota Star Knowledge, Ronald Goodman used the constellation positions from oral history and calculated “the time in history when Lakota people first began to synchronize their movements on the plains and their ceremonies to the motion of the sun through the stars on the ecliptic.”


The earliest date he calculated is 1616 BC.  This date corresponds with the age of the Nebra disc of 1600 BC which shows the Pleides exactly as it appears in the Lakota star chart. This adds confirmation to Ronald Goodman’s earliest date. The Nebra disk is attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, and associatively dated to c. 1600 BC. It has been associated with the Bronze Age Unetice culture.







(1) Quotations & circular diagrams copied from Lakota Star Knowledge, Studies in Lakota Stellar Theology, by Ronald Goodman, Sinte Gleska University, 1992:  by permission from: Victor DouvilleActing Dean of Lakota Studies, History and Culture Program Director, Sinte Gleska University


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