Newgrange

October 31, 2009.

Our intrepid guide, Ciarian Bennett, president of the Irish chapter of AICA, led us inside (a rare treat) the sacred sites of Ireland commemorating the New Year (Winter Solstice) and Rebirth (Spring Equinox)  http://www.knowth.com/dowth.htm

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Newgrange model, Visitor's Center

NEWGRANGE

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Standing Stone before Newgrange entrance, most likely used for astronomical marking

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Entrance to Newgrange

These stones were most likely placed for astronomical markings.

On the moment of the Winter Solstice, the sunlight passes through the entrance to reach the end of the passage.

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Rear Stone marking where the Sun passes to illuminate the interior on the Winter Solstice, Newgrange

The interior is a magnificent feat of construction.  We gained access but were not permitted to take photo-graphs.

It was in the shape of a cross with a ceiling as an inverted ziggaret.  I counted seven levels with sacred geometry of the hexagon, pentagram and square.  This gave me a real jolt, entirely unexpected.  Turning off the interior lights, we were in complete darkness.  The guide demonstrated how the sunlight would enter during the Solstice to hit the rear of the interior space where there was a wall relief of three spirals.

Taking in the sacred geometry, I was convinced that this “tomb” was used for ritual ceremony, the death and rebirth of the god experienced precisely at the Return of the Light during the Winter Solstice.  In this way, the human psyche could feel at one with the gods, by experiencing the cosmological initiation of  of death and rebirth at the New Year!  This moment of suspension between the two conditions of opposites — death and birth — was the experience of the Sacred Marriage.  What the ancients did through rituals, we contemporary secular humans are attempting to perform through sex!

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