contemplation on the Newgrange triskele

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Bart
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contemplation on the Newgrange triskele

Postby Bart » 13 May 2015, 10:05

I am fascinated by the triskele inside the Newgrange mount. It does not look like most of the artistic representations of it. I was wondering whether the stone age priest working on the stone actually meant it to be this way. Also in the light of the chambers in the mount, maybe it was meant to be not symetrical.

Anybody got ideas?
http://www.gloverandsmith.co.uk/uploads/newgrange.jpeg

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DaRC
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Re: contemplation on the Newgrange triskele

Postby DaRC » 13 May 2015, 11:47

Maybe it's a perspective view so that it looks symmetrical from the right angle?
This could enable the priest to stand in the correct spot.
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Bart
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Re: contemplation on the Newgrange triskele

Postby Bart » 13 May 2015, 12:27

The third circle is open to the outside and connected on the other side with the 2 others. 1 circle completely envelops the other, so the third has no outside rim connecting it to the outside of the figure. I don't think it is a matter of perspective, but I agree that it may say something about the coves.

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Re: contemplation on the Newgrange triskele

Postby Whitemane » 13 May 2015, 13:07

Just a thought: could it be a symbolic representation of man, woman, and child?

That's based solely on the observation that all three are similar, but just a little different.
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Bart
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Re: contemplation on the Newgrange triskele

Postby Bart » 13 May 2015, 14:07

Based on the place within the mount and it's design, I would say no. But we never know ancient meaning for sure, do we.

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Re: contemplation on the Newgrange triskele

Postby Green Raven » 13 May 2015, 14:28

I understand (from many volumes but Lewis-Williams & Pearce, Inside The Neolithic Mind, c9, 2005, and Marija Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess, 1989, were especially helpful) that apart from the troubles of everyday life, the ancients had three mystical focuses: 1) The beginning and ending of life, that is, birth, death, spirit, past and future - especially the loss of the knowledge and experiences of the elderly; 2) the coming of the sun and rain as well as the terror that dark brings (light, seasons, weather and time); 3) the harvests of crops, livestock, wild foods and mined raw materials.

To influence these favourably was crucial - a failed harvest or a pestilence amongst livestock, the exhausting of a mineral seam or the drying up of springs was a matter of life or death. Who knew what to do? Perhaps an elder who had passed away or new practises had to be formulated and tried. But how to make them hear? How to travel to these to bring our pleas?

The 5,500 year old triskelion, from the Neolithic Newgrange Mound in the Bend of the Boyne complex, Co. Meath, represents the doorways to the three realms that sustain this world. This world feeds into theirs as they feed into this. Note how the intricate design links the three - distinctly separate and intrinsically part of each other. We are looking at these doorways from the doorway into our own realm. At dawn on Winter Solstice, and only on this dawn, the beam of sunlight shines down the entrance shaft and illuminates this symbol, indicating the mystical convergence of the four realms.

In detail, the four realms are:

The Realm of the Earth. Dark world below us that yields the gifts of flint, quartz, metals, rock to build with and soil that makes our crops grow. Land and planet; that which is stable, which we make our homes on; medium for food. We are of the Earth and we return to the Earth. The earth gives forth water, which shapes the land. We are born from water and it gives us life. Water can take that life away and destroy the things of the land. Deep water takes tributes to the Divine.

The Realm of the Sky which is the sun, moon and stars, light, warmth, the winds, the rain and the creatures of the air. This realm fertilises the Earth, our fields, the forests, with the seed of the sun – lightning (see note). The thunder god is always responsible for fertility (e.g. Thor, Taranis, Zeus, Perun, Indra, Oya, Adad). At night the sister of the sun shines her light and her passing controls the tides, the winds and the dance of the continents. The Sun and the Moon proclaim the Seasons and the passage of time. The air that we breathe gives us life and life departs with our last breath.

Note: The prehistoric cultures held that lightning was the sperm of the sun and fertilised the earth with good reason. The heat and energy from lightning causes nitrogen (N2) in the air and rainwater (H2O) to fracture and recombine to form ammonia (NH3) and nitrates (NO3), the rain carries the ammonia and nitrates to the ground, where they can be assimilated by the plants (V.A. Rakov, M.A. Uman, Lightning: Physics and Effects, 2003). The ancients noticed the lushness of the plants where lightning regularly struck and the fatness of the animals that grazed there. (M. Gimbutas, Perkunas/Perun: The Thunder God of the Balts and the Slavs, 1973 and Reichel-Dolmatoff, G, Cosmology as ecological analysis: A view from the rain forest, 1976)

The Realm of the Ancestors. The spirit world, repository of wisdom and knowledge; from these comes foresight, justice and social cohesion. We pass in and out of this realm, sojourning and gaining strength from the Everlasting Divine, at one with all that has been and will be before, rested and renewed, continuing our journey in our new forms. In the mythologies and artworks, the heroes always reached this by means of a long boat voyage.

The ancients gave up their dead to these. The departed were raised high, away from the bear, the wolf and the rat. Walkers of the Sky (birds esp. ravens), the sun, rains and winds set their souls free, to enter the Spirit Realm. The bones were then gathered and delivered back into the womb of the Earth (Smith, M.J., Carpe Cadaver: Evidence of Excarnation as a British Neolithic Mortuary Rite, 2005, & Madgwick, R., Patterns in the modification of animal and human bones in Iron Age Wessex: revisiting the excarnation debate, 2008).

The Realm of the Living is here and now - the doorway to here would be visible from the other Realms. The Towie petrosphere has a blank face to represent this as there is no tunnel to see down. The holy men commune with the other Realms and return. On our passing, we shall travel through these doors to become one with the ancestors, sojourn a while to rest and then on to our next lives.

As mentioned, water was their transition element, present in all three mystical realms as well as ours. It was used to sanctify and to commune. These early beliefs would have evolved into the core principals of Bronze and Iron Ages beliefs and practises. I have also mentioned in other posts the significance of ‘black pools’ but don't want to divert this conversation.

That is an astute observation on the skewed perspective - if the triskelion represents portals, then it seems that we are 'coming in to land'/ viewing from afar?
“Listen, O little pig! are not the buds of thorns
Very green, the mountain beautiful, and beautiful the earth?”
- Myrddin Wyllt, Hoianau / Greetings (to a Pig)


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