In Irish mythology Newgrange is referred to as Brugh na Bóinne, "Palace of the Boyne" , and is presented as a sídhe or an otherworld abode of gods and goddesses. Later on in folklore, it became known as Uaimh na Greine, "The Cave of the Sun". Newgrange was originally inhabited by Elcmair who was ousted by Dagda. Dagda [The good god] was married to Bóand (the Cow Goddess) after whom the Boyne river is named. Their son Aengus who was harper to the gods and friend to poets also resides there, thus it became known as Brugh Aengus.
Five thousand years after its construction circa 3200 BC , Newgrange still welcomes the Winter solstice light into its magnificent corbelled chamber on the shortest day. Its astronomical orientation and huge array of magnificently carved stones, some of which are calendars depicting the cycles of the heavens, enchant and intrigue us in many ways. This functioning astronomically aligned Cairn and ritual centre predates the Pyramids and Stonehenge and is truly one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Known since under various names, such as "Spiral Castle" "Wonder Hill", "Temple", Newgrange was built as a ritual celebration of the annual Winter Solstice sunrise. It is a powerful symbol of Creation, Birth, Death and Rebirth - of the year, the phases of the moon, and the lives of all beings. The symbol of the Triple Spiral encapsulates much of this sacred significance. At the Solstice, the "celestial sun " travels down the passage-entrance as a shaft of golden light, entering the 'womb' of the earth at the time of greatest darkness. This is a powerful union of the heavenly and the earthly , of spirit and matter, symbolizing creation. In Solstice ceremonies, people enacted the participation of humans in this creative process.
The symbol of the Triple Spiral is perhaps the most powerful representation of this sacred heritage. As a true symbol its meaning goes far beyond the limitations of verbal expression. This wood-block print is produced by Stonelight which has been exploring the Megalithic Astronomy, Art and Spiritual Anthropology of Ireland for many years. Stonelight is based at Riverstown in County Sligo, North-western Ireland.

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E mail: Stonelight - All images & text, copyright Stonelight 1999 - Page launched30th June 1999.