On the 17 of March 2018 Mark and I have removed what were the most popular articles on this website—which are the articles we’d written about the spiritual meaning of the autumn equinox, winter solstice, spring equinox, and summer solstice, as well as the greater spiritual significance of these times of year.
They had been shared on social media over 23,000 times, and had become a world reference on the spiritual meaning of each of the solstices and equinoxes, ranking in the first 1 to 4 places in Google searches for terms like “winter solstice spiritual meaning” – above sites like Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Timeanddate.com.
The reason why we removed them is because of the extent they were being plagiarized.
They were first published between 2011 and 2012. From then on, they were copied and pasted by hundreds of people who plagiarized them verbatim, which is why in 2016 the copy&paste function on this website was blocked. This helped stop the verbatim copyists, and we hoped this would stop their plagiarism altogether. However, unfortunately it has continued.
Although there have been a small number of people who have decently credited and referenced our articles when writing their own, many people instead chose to take the phrasing, research, explanations, and concepts from our articles and work them into their own without referencing where they had got their information at all. I’ve seen people do this to create videos on the meaning of the winter solstice in order to promote their own YouTube channels, another to promote their own paid tours and new age retreats at sacred sites, another slightly reworded the title of our spiritual meaning of the winter solstice article and used information from it to write a version of it for their own website as a way to promote themselves as a paid life coach and healer.
If we had found that there were enough people who positively benefited from the articles, and who took the time to write a comment, or to share and reference them, then perhaps we would have decided to keep them, despite the continual plagiarism—with the good offsetting the bad. However, being non-profit, and without support coming back from providing them, we simply don’t have the means to protect them while they are freely out in public view.
Those articles cost us a lot in terms of the many months of solid research that went into writing them, but mostly the enormous personal discipline and self-sacrifice it took Mark to acquire the spiritual experience and knowledge behind them, which allowed him to decipher the meaning of those events in the first place, as well as the symbols used in their historical celebration and in the design of ancient sites aligned to them.
All the sources I’ve seen, who’ve plagiarized our articles, I would say could roughly be described as being part of the “new age” – a broad term used to denote those who don’t identify with any of the major or even pagan religions, but who subscribe to a belief system that incorporates various elements of them whilst usually profiting from selling “spiritually” themed goods and services. Of course, not everyone in the new age is a plagiarist, but to see it so often coming from this field is a sad indictment upon it. It is a field that, in a general sense, is now plagued by greed and dishonesty, and it’s shocking to see that for all the talk in the new age about spiritual subjects, many of those in it are lacking in very basic standards and principles.
Moving forward, we’ll be working more through books and videos, which we feel are more secure formats.
Even though it’s a great shame our articles have been overrun by plagiarists, the work done on them has served a greater purpose by acting as steps on the journey that has led Mark to rediscover the ancient religion of the sun.