In the hilly landscape at Mols in East Jutland lies the dolmen 'Poskær Stenhus', one of the prettiest and most wellknown dolmens in Denmark. It was built in Stone Age about 3.300 years ago and was probably a common burial and cult place for the settlements of the area.
'Poskær Stenhus' is Denmark's largest circular dolmen. The hexagon burial chamber consists of five big supporting stones. The entrance points to the East and the burial chamber is surrounded by 23 (once 24) big granite boulders in a circle.
Investigations showed that the cover stone is a socalled 'twin stone', the half part of a huge enormous granite boulder, brought to Denmark by the ice during the last Ice Age about 15.000 years ago. The other half is placed in the dolmen 'Grovlegaardsdyssen' about 2 km north east of Poskær Stenhus.
A legend says that once a troll family lived in the dolmen. The troll's wife offered for free to spin yarn for the wife in the nearby farm if she could guess her name. One evening the farmer's wife heard the troll's wife sing to her child, using the name 'Hottetejlil', but when she the next day called the troll's wife by her name the co work stopped.
A typical reflection on such big stone plans is that they were established in poportion to the stars and their movements. In similar plans in England , Scotland and Ireland the sun shines by winter solstice directly into the burial chamber by sunrise.
Winter SolsticeWinter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as "Christmas." Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots.
Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the "Invincible Sun" in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice.
Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent. Pagans today can readily re-Paganize Christmastime and the secular New Year by giving a Pagan spiritual focus to existing holiday customs and by creating new traditions that draw on ancient ways.
photo december 2007: grethe bachmann