Newgrange, Boyne Valley, Ireland

 

Once a year, at the winter solstice sunrise, sunlight enters this narrow 60 ft. passage and lights up the three-part room at the end of it.  Built around 3200 BCE, which places it 500 years before the Great Pyramid and 1000 years before Stonehenge.

Megaliths surrounding the circular base of Newgrange feature elaborate spirals, chevrons, lozenges, triangles, parallel lines and arcs.  Their meaning is unknown, though some speculate that they are a language and may mark the seasons.

A painting by Monica Sjoo showing the entrance to Newgrange, a Minoan labyrinth surrounded by a snake, and an archaic Goddess in the style of Inanna or Astarte (common in ancient Babylon and Near East).  One walks the unicursal labyrinth, centering the mind and balancing the body through the balanced turns of the labyrinth; then is ready to enter the womb of rebirth symbolized at Newgrange; all while watched over by the Great Goddess of Birth/Death/and Rebirth.

The passageway of Newgrange, lit by the light of the midwinter solstice sunrise.

The re-erected front of Newgrange; astonishingly modern in appearance, yet it was recreated as accurately as possible from the archaeological evidence. 

It has long been held that as the days start getting longer after the Winter Solstice, the sun is considered to have been reborn.  This large basin is in one of the three small rooms at the end of the long passageway.  Such basins may have held water or seeds to be symbolically impregnated by the first rays of the reborn sun; at times, they held bones of the dead, whom the living may have hoped would also find rebirth in this way. 

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