Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Photo: knowth.com
The above photo is of people in Meath County, Ireland, who were previous lottery winners, experiencing the Winter Solstice event at the Newgrange ancient burial mound. About fifty people are selected for the sunrise event out of about 24,000 entries. Archaeologists date the mound at around 3000 years old.

Photo: knowth.com
Let's understand why so many people desire to experience the solstice at the Newgrange burial mound. Little is known of its history. Here's what we do know. It dates back to the New Stone Age of the Neolithic period. The Neolithic period was the beginning of agriculture as we know it in our civilization. Also, at this time, rituals and burials became a part of life. Art flourished. Not knowing about the how, when, and who of the place seems to set it into the realm of the mystical. Especially, because the entrance to the mound has an opening right above it, like a door transom, built of stone, where the solstice sunlight shines into the interior passageway to light the central chamber. Only at the time of Winter Solstice does this happen. It's architecture is very sophisticated.

It is thought that the Winter Solstice was perhaps significant in the life of the ancients as it was a sign of birth and renewal.

This year we realize the solstice on Monday, December 21st. Current recognition for some is a time of contemplation and wonderment, and for others a time of ritual and festivities.

The below YouTube video was produced by tubelookjohn. He captures the sense and spirit of Newgrange.

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