Re-discovering the ‚lost‘ records of the Newgrange roof-box.

Boyne Valley Tombs

Ken Williams

The view through the roof-box slit after sunrise on the Winter Solstice.

The elaborate structure above and behind the entrance to Newgrange, which the excavator, Professor M.J. O’Kelly, termed the ‘roof-box’, is one of the most celebrated features of the passage tomb at Newgrange. Along with the spiral decorated entrance stone, the glistening quartz-clad façade and the magnificently engineered corbelled chamber, it forms one of the defining aspects which make Newgrange unique and fascinating for both visitors and researchers today. O’Kelly’s first observation of the rising sun on the Winter Solstice of 1967 was a pivotal moment in modern archaeo-astronomy. The resulting publicity raised the profile of Newgrange to a global audience.

The exterior of Newgrange in the low morning sun.

Because of its universal significance in terms of architecture, art and astronomy, Newgrange and the wider landscape of Brú na Boinne, encompassing the other great passage tombs…

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County Sligo, Ireland

Blog O'The Irish


Carrowmore, County Sligo(Irish:An Cheathrú Mhór, meaning Great Quarter) is one of the four majorpassage tombcemeteries in Ireland. It is located at the centre of a prehistoricrituallandscape on theCúil IrraPeninsula inCounty SligoinIreland.


Around 30megalithic tombscan be seen in Carrowmore today. The tombs (in their original state) were almost universally ‚dolmen circles‘; smalldolmenseach enclosed by a boulder ring of 12 to 15 meters. Each monument had a small levelling platform of earth and stone. One of the secrets of the dolmens longevity was the well executed stone packing set around the base of the upright stones. The combination of 5 of theseorthostatsand a capstone enclosed apentagonalburial chamber. The boulder circles contain 30 – 40 boulders, usually ofgneiss, the material of choice for the satellite tombs. Sometimes an inner boulder circle is present. Entrance stones, or passage stones, crude double rows of standing stones, emphasise the direction of the small monuments…

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The Serpent and the Tree of Life

The truth is over here....

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“When a man is getting better
he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him.
When a man is getting worse
he understands his own badness less and less.”

~ C. S. Lewis1898-1963,
children’s novelist, poet, essayist, critic, Christian apologist,
born Ireland, died England

“The more deeply I go into myself
the more I am not myself,
and yet this is the very heart of me.”

~ Alan Watts1915-1973,
teacher, philosopher, author and lecturer on spirituality and Buddhism,
born England, died USA

“We lead two lives,
and the half of our soul is madness,
and half heaven is lit by a black sun.
I say I am a man,
but who is the other that hides in me?”

~ Arthur Machen1863-1947,
author and mystic,
born Wales, died England

“I came to a river of fire
in which the fire…

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The Rod of Asclepius and the Caduceus

ferrebeekeeper

the Rod of Asclepius the Rod of Asclepius

The rod of Asclepius—a serpent coiled around a staff–is a symbol from ancient Greek mythology which represents the physician’s art. Asclepius was a demigod who surpassed all other gods and mortals at the practice of medicine.  Because his skills blurred the distinction between mortality and godhood, Asclepius was destroyed by Zeus (an exciting & troubling story which you can find here).

Asclepius Asclepius

There are several proposed reasons that a staff wrapped by a snake is the symbol of the god of medicine.  In some myths, Asclepius received his medical skills from the whispering of serpents (who knew the secrets of healing and revitalization because of their ability to shed their skin and emerge bigger and healthier).  Some classicists believe the snake represents the duality of medicine—which can heal or harm depending on the dosage and the circumstance.  Yet others see the serpent as an auger…

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Mythic Creatures—the Snake

Liz Jakes

How alien do you find that slithery creature, the snake?

Those lidless eyes, staring, staring at you, the way they curl, coil and undulate, the speed of their strike, the forked tongue, the fangs. It’s so, so, ssssso inhuman! Mammals, even the oh-so-dangerous tiger, at least have a cuddle factor (when they’re small).

Snakes have…scales. Venom. Their own agenda.

Found on every continent except Antarctica (and conspicuously absent from Ireland, Iceland, & New Zealand, and some other islands), the Snake figures prominently in mythologies around the world and throughout human history. In the West, we’re a little prejudiced against them, but in other places and times, the snake has symbolized fertility, rebirth, protection, wisdom, healing, cunning and flat out god power.

Back to those lidless eyes and that unblinking stare. Anything that can stare us down, well it has to know something we don’t, doesn’t it? Yes, it’s…

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Serpent Symbolism in Mythology: Good or Evil?

Mythology

Throughout history, one creature has slithered within the mind of mankind.  This creature, told in nearly every myth, has become a multicultural symbol of medicine, order, and rejuvenation.  Yet, this age old animal is often portrayed as evil, malevolent, and powerful.  This legendary and mysterious beast is the serpent.  For centuries, the snake has been a source of fascination and terror for mankind.  However, snakes are commonly associated with contradictory meanings.  Based on our understanding of ancient mythology, are snakes benevolent or malicious? In order to answer this question, we must first understand the myths that shaped these creatures.

The authors Stavros, George, and Athanasios Antoniou, along with Robert Learney and  Frank Granderath, believe that snakes serve as a medical symbol and represent healing, immortality, and wisdom.  In the article The Rod and the Serpent: History’s Ultimate Healing Symbol, the authors first examine ancient Greece and the snakes association…

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Moving the Stonehenge Bluestones: At last a successful method is demonstrated!

Stonehenge Stone Circle News and Information

Without a single archaeologist in sight, a couple of boat builders and an inspired TV company show just how easy it can be to load a full-size bluestone onto a replica Bronze-Age boat. Robin Heath was there and took some photographs
Stonehenge Bluestone experimentOn the 15th August, near Poppit Sands, in Cardigan, West Wales, several skilled artisans showed how they would load a boat with a multi-ton bluestone. They did this with a force 7 on-shore gale battering the shore-line. In the time it took for the tide to come in, a flawless lowering took place of a large bluestone onto a prepared cradle within a near-replica of the boat found at Ferriby during the early 70s.
Moving the BluestonesThe Ferriby boat has been dated around 2000 BC, making it much too late for the period of bluestone moving (given at around 2700 – 2400 BC depending on which source one reads). But the…

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St Patrick: False Myths, Folklore and traditions of his Feast day

Ireland's Folklore and Traditions

Image result for saint patrick stained glass

In this article, I ultimately aim to speak a bit of the historical Patrick, the mythological Patrick and to share some of the traditions associated with his feast day. Also due to the false information that proliferates the internet (mostly propagated by a select bunch of neo-pagans who favour sensationalist stories over actual research). I intend to address some of those myths, namely the whole “All Snakes Day” and “the snakes he banished were a metaphor for the Druids” nonsense that pops up at this time of the year all over the internet. (caveat: I have nothing against pagans, I’m a practicing pagan myself, I just have an issue with the ill-informed, new age, fluffy bunny idiots who refuse to do proper research, who believe everything on the internet and who make stuff up as they go along).

As many know St. Patrick is regarded as the primary patron saint…

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