Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Nav



"On Christmas morning in Scandinavia every gable, gateway, or barn-door, is decorated with a sheaf of grain fixed on the top of a tall pole, wherefrom it is intended that the birds should make their Christmas dinner"

Quote from 1902 book "Christmas: Its Origin and Associations", by William Francis Dawson

"In pre-Christian times, Slavs believed that souls of their dead entered birds and through birds entered heaven, Iriy. So feeding birds with grain during  winter was basically a form of sacrificing grain to the ancestors."

Quote from my post "Bird wedding

Are these customs linked? 

This is the page about a strange creature from Serbian folklore called "Nav". 


The page is from the beautiful illustrated children's book on Serbian mythology called "Ale i Bauci" by Rastko Ćirić.

According to the Serbian mythology, soul of a dead unbaptised child enters a bird and becomes a "nav". It screeches during the night most commonly making crying sounds. It can make breastfeeding mothers go dry. Crossing yourself and saying "I baptise myself" makes it disappear.

This is very interesting. Slavic word Nav denote the souls of the dead in Slavic mythology. The singular form (Nav or Nawia) is also used as a name for the "otherworld". 

In Slavic mythology, souls of the dead entered birds who brought them to irij, paradise. Birds then brought the souls back when they were ready to be reborn. It is interesting that only the souls of unbaptised (still pagan) children become "nav" 🙂

What is even more interesting is that in Irish the word for saint is "naomh" which is pronounced like "n(i)ev" and which comes from Old Irish noíb (noeb) meaning sacred, holy. 

And that in Irish the word for heaven (where saints (naomh) go) is "neamh" which is pronounced like "nav" 🙂and which comes from PIE "*nébʰos." meaning sky which is in Slavic "nebo" 🙂

So in Slavic languages the dead, (navi) go to underworld, old pagan heaven probably, (nav) and in Irish language saints (niev) go to haven (nav)...





Monday, 30 December 2019

Palaeolithic Venus figurines

The other day I came across this image



The comment that accompanied it read: "Archaeologists have unearthed a figurine from the early Upper Paleolithic at the prehistoric site of Renancourt in Amiens, northern France. She was found in a layer with organic remains that has been radiocarbon dated to 23,000 years ago"

Again no face (in this case deliberately replaced by geometric abstraction) and a fat exaggerated body. Without arms. Only the "important" bits: butt, pussy and tits...Sorry, couldn't resist it... 

This is not a woman. This is "Fertile Mother Earth"...

The Venus of Willendorf is an 11.1-centimetre-tall (4.4 in) Venus figurine estimated to have been made 30,000 BCE.



The Venus of Hohle Fels, unearthed in 2008 in Hohle Fels, a cave near Schelklingen, Germany. It is dated to between 40,000 and 35,000 years ago


Venus of Dolní Věstonice is a Venus figurine, a ceramic statuette found at the Paleolithic site Dolní Věstonice in the Moravian basin south of Brno, dated to 29,000–25,000 BCE



Deliberately making these figurines faceless, by people whom we know were perfectly able to depict human faces in detail, means that this is not a depiction of any one person, but a depiction of a concept: fertility...

This is what a Palaeolithic depiction of an actual woman looks like. 

The Venus of Brassempouy, a fragmentary ivory figurine from the Upper Palaeolithic. discovered in a cave at Brassempouy, France. About 25,000 years old


And this is what a Palaeolithic depiction of an actual female body looks like. Actual female body depiction found with the Venus of Brassempouy, wearing a belt of sorts. Lean, as you would expect a hunter gatherer woman to be... 


Final proof that Palaeolithic Europeans were perfectly able to depict facial features of real women, can be seen from this small ivory head. 



Found on the the same archaeological site, Dolní Věstonice, where the above faceless black "Venus" figurine was found, it is a very detailed depiction of a female face. 

What is amazing about this figurine is that we know that it is actual portrait of a woman who lived in the settlement. We know that because the figurine depicts the disfigurement on the woman's face. The same disfigurement was found on a female skeleton found at the site...

So we know that the people from Dolní Věstonice were able to depict human faces. Yet they made the above large fat figurine with huge breasts and hips faceless. Why? 

If we look at any of these Palaeolithic faceless figurines, you can see that the bodies are depicted in incredible detail. They are anatomically perfectly depicted. Why would the artists then omit the face? Because with the face they become individuals. Without, they are symbols.

Individual creativity can be seen from the fact that these figurines are all different except that they are all depicting faceless fat woman. What we can conclude from this is that all these people probably shared the same belief system depicted using the same symbol system...

BB King once said that when he was a kid, he was always hungry. And all he ever dreamed about was to one day be "fat and happy"... I think that Palaeolithic hunter gatherers probably shared his dream...

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Sun stones

These are drawings of some of hundreds of "sun stones" found in Late Neolithic Vasagård archaeological site located on the southern side of the island of Bornholm, Denmark...




Vasagård is a complex religious site consisting of a dolmen and a passage grave and causewayed enclosures dated from between 3500 BC to 2700 BC...



As amazing as these sun discs are, to me even more amazing are other pieces of shale which depicted what looks like grain fields...






You can read more about these stones in "Recent finds of Neolithic miniature rock art on the island of Bornholm – including topographic motifs" by Flemming Kaul, Jens Andresen and Michael S. Thorsen

It is a distinct possibility that these stones were a kind of prayer stones. They were found in ditches containing broken pottery, burned bones...Indicating that they were ritually deposited...



You can see more excavation pictures on this Facebook page.

But why did people make these stones? And why were they ritually deposited in the rings of ditches that surround the sacred enclosure? And why were they made and ritually deposited specifically during the period between 2900BC-2700BC?

Maybe this can point us to one possible explanation. The Greenland Ice Cores provide a temperature record for the last 5,000 years. 



Look at this chart of polar temperatures...Look at the period between 3000BC and 2500BC...The temperatures are rapidly dropping...This is not a very good thing for grain farmers in the north of Europe...

Now compare this with Early medieval cooling and the Little ice age. Both catastrophic weather event which froze the north of Europe...Did this happen around 2900BC too?



Were sun and field stones part of the rituals in which people prayed to the sun to shine again and heat their frozen fields? I think that's quite possible...

To see how bad that sudden drop in temperature could have been, can be seen from the effect early medieval cooling period had on Scandinavia: "The long, harsh Fimbul winter is not a myth. Probably half of Norway and Sweden’s population died. Researchers now know more and more about the catastrophic year of 536."

That my hunch about the weather change being the trigger for the appearance of the sun and field stones is probably correct can be seen by the fact that at around 2800 BC there is a sudden change in religious practices...

Old enclosures, which were aligned with solstices, were filled in and curious "woodhenges" appear... 



Archaeologists say that "something happened" which caused this change. That "something" could be the fact that the sun lost its power...

To understand what was happening at Vasagård between 2900BC and 2700BC we need to look at another archaeological site from Bornholm from the same period where sun stones were also found. Rispebjerg. 




The site looks almost identical in its layout to Vasagard. The fenced area originates from the Funnel Beaker Culture, 2900-2700 BC...

Apart form slate sun discs, several clay sun discs were found in both Vasagård and Rispebjerg. The clay disk to the far left is from Vasagård - the other clay slices are all found at Rispebjerg...These were definitely amulets designed to face forward (hence two string holes)...


Five "woodhenges" were discovered at the site. This is the excavation plan of one of the woodhenges. In addition to the circular post-built plant, two rows of smaller posts lead into the woodhenge...




A colonnade entrance? 

Around the excavated wood hinges on Rispebjerg, burned clay layers were found, which looked like they had fallen from the sky. This was interpreted as the remains of a fallen clay-clad platforms which were supported by the posts of the "woodhenges"... This would make posts leading to the "woodhenge" being the support for the stairwell leading to the platform...



These platforms probably held sacred sacrificial fires were cattle were sacrificed, as is evident by many burned cattle bones found in centres of "woodhenges"...

These structures intended to "raise the fire towards the sky" could be another proof that people at that time tried desperately to rekindle the sun...

The wood henges seem to have been built, then destroyed. In Rispebjerg, the entire ornamented sun disc, burnt flint axes, clay vessels and burnt animal bones from ritual meals were placed in post holes of destroyed "woodhenges"...



Maybe this is where (when) we need to look for the origin of the Yule log ceremonies... People's fear that sun's fire will be extinguished unless humans helped to preserve it was real... And probably triggered by the real event of sun getting cold...

Interestingly if we look at the list of weather events, we find something called "The Piora Oscillation". This was an abrupt cold and wet period generally dated to the period of c. 3200-2800. It was "wetter in Europe and drier elsewhere"...

So the climate didn't just get colder it got wetter. What is interesting is that one of the "offerings" found in Bornholm "woodhenges" were burned flint axes...



When flint is heated it explodes with loud bangs. Archaeologists are saying these were kind of Neolithic firecrackers 🙂 If you think that modern bangers are dangerous think again. Imagine exploding flint axes spirting razor sharp flakes everywhere...



Strangely, flint is not found on the Island of Bornholm. The nearest sources of flint to Bornholm are over 100 kilometres away. Across the sea.



Which means that these were extremely precious objects which were not lightly chucked into fire. 

By the way the same burned flint axes were found in Vasagård too...

So why did these people make flint axe bangers? Was it just for show?

What I find super interesting is that flint axes were by Slavs connected with Perun, the thunder god. Slavs believed that they were petrified lightning bolts...

I always thought that this linking of flint axes to Thunder god was a recent development. I proposed that it was not any stone axes which were believed to be petrified lighting bolts. It was specifically flint axes  I explained this link through the fact that flint was once used for creating sparks for kindling fire...It was a source of man made lighting. Hence the belief that flint was a petrified, solidified lightning...But from this exploding axes ritual, I now believe that this link between flint, and specifically flint axes and Thunder god originated in Neolithic...

Exploding flint axes all of a sudden make a lot of sense as part of religious ceremony during catastrophic cold and wet weather event in Middle Neolithic...

It is funny that it is only Slavs who preserved this link between flint axes and their thunder god, Perun...

I talked about this link in my post "Axe of Martin"...

Add to this all the burned cattle bones found in "woodhenges" and "cattle sacrifices" (killing, roasting and eating of bulls) which Slavs performed to Perun...As part of harvest ceremonies...

Another ancient religious belief (ceremony) preserved by Slavs???

This is all very peculiar...

The article talking about Rispebjerg.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

La bûche de Noël

Yule log rituals were between 12th and 19th century the most important part of Christmas celebration in France. Pic: "Tradition of the Great Christmas log. Drawing by Léon Lhermitte printed in Le Monde from the 1st of January 1884... 


 
The whole family went to to the woods to cut the Yule log. It had to be a big thick oak or beach trunk that could burn for 12 days (from Christmas to Kings) without going out...

After choosing and cutting the Yule log, it was decorated with leaves and ribbons and carried home. There it was blessed by the head of the family and then lit by the youngest and the oldest in the household...

The Yule log had to burn continuously for 12 days and all the ashes and charcoals were carefully kept and then ceremonially deposited somewhere on the family land...

These ashes and charcoals from the old Yule log were then brought in next year and placed on the floor of the fireplace before new Yule log was brought in and lit. This was symbolically connecting the old and the new solar year, the old and the new fire of the sun...

If a family didn't have their own forest where they could cut their own Yule log, they were given Yule log by their neighbours...

As soon as the night fell, people took great care to extinguish their hearths, then went to the church to light torches from the fire that burned in the church. A priest blessed the torches and people then brought this blessed fire home to rekindle the house hearths...

In some parts of France, like Berry, charcoals from the #Yule log were kept under the bed of the oldest male in the family. During thunderstorms, a bit was thrown into the fire "and that was enough to protect the family from thunder"...

This is very interesting. In Berry the Yule log had to be oak, the tree of the thunder gods. Which would explain why Yule log charcoals would protect from thunder. This belief that the Yule log charcoal protected from thunder was recored by P. Sébillot in his 1886 "Coutumes populaires de la Haute-Bretagne". He says that: "In Brittany the tison de Noël (Yule log) is a protection against lightning and its ashes are put in wells to keep the water good...

In some parts of France, wine was poured over the Yule log before it was lit, and fruit and nuts were placed next to it...The same kind of sacrifices to the Yule log were recorded in Serbia...

You can read about Serbian Yule log customs in my posts "Badnjak" and "First footer"

Frederic Mistral (1830–1914), Occitan writer and lexicographer of the Occitan language, who received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature talks about Yule log customs from his childhood in his Memoirs:



W. Mannhardt, in his book “Der Baumkultus der Germanen und ihrer Nachbarstämme” printed in 1875 says this about Yule log customs from France:



I particularly like the magic use of the Yule log charcoal and ash. It shows that this custom has pre-Christian root...The Yule (Oak) log was "Sky god materialised". Serbs definitely saw Yule log as such and directly addressed the log and asked it for protection and help...

It is funny that today most French people don't know anything about this...

Anyway, I wish everyone who celebrate Christmas Eve today bright burning Yule log. May next year bring you and your family prosperity, luck, happiness and health...





Monday, 23 December 2019

Cylinder seal with monster

In this post I will explain why I am soooo tired of academics with no imagination...

"Cylinder seal with monster" 😞 ca. 11th–9th century B.C. Elamite (Iran) . From Met museum.  


Elam was a Bronze Age civilisation that flourished on the territory of today's Iran between 2700 – 539 BC... 


These are date palms, one of the most important agricultural crops in Mediterranean, North Africa and Middle East...Including Iran (Elam)... 


Date harvest season in Iran starts at the end of August, beginning of September... 



Right in the middle of the mating season of the Eurasian lions (now extinct since early 20th century). 


In the "THE ASIATIC LION: A study of ecology and behaviour" by Paul Joslin we can read that the mating season of the Asiatic lions starts in August and lasts until October. 

I talked about this in my post "Entemena vase".

Anyway. 

So the "Cylinder seal with a monster" 🙂 is actually "Cylinder seal with a lion and a date palm" which marks the beginning of the date palm harvest in Elam. As the old Elamite children song says: "When lions start to mate, it's time to harvest date" 🙂

Which is what the human figure standing next to the date palm is doing. Harvesting dates...

Is this so difficult to see?

Sunday, 22 December 2019

The end of time

Image of the Virgin Mary, nursing the Infant Jesus from the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome. It was dated to the late 2nd century AD. This is earliest known image of Mary and the Infant Jesus. The figure at the left appears to be the prophet Balaam pointing to a star. 



There is a very interesting Serbian (And Bulgarian) Koledar song which starts like this:

Serbian:

"Замучи се божја мајка,
Од Игњата до бадњака,
Да роди Божића"

Bulgarian:

"Замъчи се Божа̀ майка,
от Игнажден до Коледа,
да си роди Млада Бо̀га."

"God's mother laboured
From St Ignatius to Christmas (Koleda)
To give birth to Young God"

Koledari are traditional Slavic carol singers who went from house to house during Koleda (Originally Winter Solstice, bot now Christmas) singing ritual songs celebrating the immanent brith of the new god (once new Sun God, now Son of God)...

I talked about one of these traditional Serbian Winter Solstice songs in my post "Young God".

Here I would like to talk about the reason why in Serbia, Koledari went out and sang their songs 5 days before Christmas...

The reason why Koleda, the day that marks the end of "kolo" (wheel), the end of solar wheel, the end of solar year is marked 5 days before Christmas (25th of December) is simple: it is the 20th of December, the Winter Solstice eve. Right? I don't think so. That's too simple 🙂...

In the mind of Serbian peasants, Christmas was Winter Solstice day and Christmas Eve was The Eve of Winter Solstice. So why did they then sing Koleda songs five days before Christmas? 

To understand this, we need to understand how our ancestors measured time. They used days, moons and suns. The Moon takes 27.3 days to orbit Earth, but the period from full moon to full moon is 29.5 days. Or approximately 30 whole days. 



Year has full 12 moons. The last full moon of the solar year ends on the 30X12=360th day. What is left are 5 "extra" days. Five days which lay outside of the "calendar" (koledar?). Five "dead days" as they are called in Serbia. 

Which is why the mother of god goes into labour on that day, labours for 5 days, and only gives birth to the new Sun God (Son of God), new solar year, on Christmas (Winter solstice) day.

I talked about this in my post "Calendar". 

What is interesting is that in Bulgaria, this day, the end of the last full moon, 20th of December,  is called "Nov Dan" (New Day) and all the rituals performed on this day are the rituals related to the beginning of the new year, the birth of new sun...This is the day when the first footer ceremony is performed, the ceremony which is in Serbia performed on Christmas Day. I talk about this ceremony in my post "First footer".

Bulgarians count the "dead days" from that day and call them "dirty days"...I think that this is later change. Normal counting of time would start on winter solstice, would go through 12 moons X 30 days each, and would end 5 days before new winter solstice...

On this day, the "end of calendar" day for Serbs and the "beginning of calendar" day for Bulgarians, Serbs and Bulgarians celebrate St Ignatius who is also known as "Ignatius Nurono" (The fire bearer).  I find it very interesting that the saint that marks the time when rekindling of the Sun's fire begins is called Ignatius, from Serbian "Oganj", Latin "Ignis", Sanskrit "Agni" all meaning Fire...

I talked about the yule fire ceremonies in Serbia in my post "Badnjak".

Another funny thing about St Ignatius is that he is also known as "Ignátios ho Theophóros" (God bearer, God carrier). In Serbia they say "because he carried god across frozen river". Which is very good description of what happens during sun's winter journeying through 5 dead days outside of calendar. St Ignatius (20th of December) comes before Winter Solstice (25th of December). It and symbolically "holds the new baby god" in his hands. Interestingly Christianity inverted this into "When Ignatius was a kid, Christ held him in his hands and blessed him". Which makes no sense. 

But what is most interesting is what you get when you put the two St Ignatius's nicknames together:

God bearer = Fire bearer...

As I said in my post "Young God", the young god whose birth Serbs celebrate in their Koledar songs is Svarožić. Svarožić, whose name means "young fire". This "young fire" is the fire of the sun, which is rekindled on the day of the winter solstice, the day when the new sun is born and the new solar year, new "kolo" starts...

St Ignatius who is both "God bearer" and "Fire bearer" is just another pointer to the true identity of the Young god who is born on "Christmas" (Winter Solstice) day: New sun...

This is all of course just a coincidence...

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Young god

Solar rider from a Celtic coin...




In Slavic mythology, Svetovid was associated with a white horse, which was kept in his temples and used for divination...In this article I will talk about a Serbian ritual song which talks about solar rider and Christmas...

"Dodaj meni hladne vode, Koledo Koledo, Da kupamo, okupamo mladog boga, tog Božića Svarožića… Konjic mu je jarko sunce, bojni doro ognjeviti"

"Pass me cold water, o Koledo, to bath the young god, Božića Svarožić... His horse is the bright sun, a flaming war steed"

This is a Serbian ritual "Christmas song" recorded in Bosnia by Milojević in 1869. In it the narrator asks Koledo for water. Koledo is winter solstice. The end of the old Kolo (wheel, Solar wheel, solar year) and the beginning of the new Kolo (wheel, Solar wheel, solar year)...

The water is needed to bath "the young god" who is called Božić. In Serbian the word "Bog" means god and the ending "ić" means small, young.  So Božić literally means young god, but also it means Christmas...So far so Christian...🙂

But the young god Božić is also called Svarožić (young Svarog). Triglav (Dabog), Serbian supreme deity, consisted of Svetovid, Perun, Svarog. Svetovid represented Sun, Perun represented Thunder and Svarog represented Fire. I talked about Triglav in my post "Triglav, Trojan, Trinity, Trimurti, Agni"

So Svarožić (the other name of the young god) means "young fire". This "young fire" is the fire of the sun, which is rekindled on the day of the winter solstice, the day when the new sun is born and the new solar year, new "kolo" starts...

The main ritual performed over Christmas (Solstice) is "lighting the Yule log in the evening, keeping it burning through the longest night, and then making it spark in the morning". 

Watching over Christmas (Solstice) fire, Serbia



I talked about this in my posts "Badnjak" and "First footer"

In this way people helped "preserving sun's fire", "rekindling of the fire of the new sun"...This was not just symbolic action. People believed that "all fire is one" and that if their fire was kept burning, the sun's fire would be kept burning through the longest night...




This equates Svarožić (young fire) with Jarilo (young sun) who is born during the longest night...Svarožić is Jarilo's fire. Jarilo's name comes from "jar' which means both young and fiery, raging...It is his fire which grows ever stronger and warmer which brings spring...

That Svarožić (young fire) is Jarilo (young sun) can be seen from the second verse which says that Svarožić rides on the bright sun, which is his flaming war horse...He is the Solar rider... 

Depiction of the solar rider from Bosnia from my post "The horseman"



Christmas is coming, get your Badnjaks (Yule logs) ready...🙂

Friday, 20 December 2019

The young one

In this article, I will give another proof for the incredible age of the Irish oral tradition, first written in medieval time.

This is Newgrange, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, located about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built about 3200 BC...



Once a year, at the winter solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage, illuminating the inner chamber...Pic: Irish Archaeology.



The sun shines through a box like opening above the entrance...



In this post about Newgrange I postulated that this ancient structure was primarily built as a temple dedicated to the rebirth of the new young sun, new solar year...

Anyway, few years ago I came across an article, in which Michael Gibbons, a former State archaeologist, claimed that: "Newgrange may be Ireland’s match for Stonehenge, but it has gained international renown for all the wrong reasons..."

According to Gibbons, "The theory that our Stone Age ancestors designed the passage tomb to capture the rising sun during the winter solstice is a 50-year-old construct rather than accurate reconstruction of a 5,000 year-old practice..."

Gibbons, who was a student of Prof Michael O’Kelly, who excavated and reconstructed Newgrange, argues that O'Kelly's contention that the tomb was largely unaltered from the Neolithic period some 5,000 years ago is not true...

Mr Gibbons claims that late Prof O’Kelly lifted the Lightbox during reconstruction of the entrance "to make the sun shine through it on winter solstice"...

He also says that: "When Prof O’Kelly revealed his new Newgrange Solstice phenomenon at a lecture 40 years ago, it did not get support... Too polite to speak, we said nothing, but it must have dawned on everyone there afterwards that it constituted a monumental mistake..."

Soooo...What are we to make of this? Is Newgrange Winter Solstice phenomenon a modern forgery, or was this structure originally built as a solar temple? I believe that Professor O'Kelly was dead right. Newgrange was definitely built in such a way to let the Winter solstice sun in

And the Irish have preserved the proof of this in their oral tradition. In my post about the Flood of Partholon, I already gave one proof that these stories are in some cases over 5000 years old.

There is another story, directly linked with Newgrange, that is as old. This is the story of Aengus. In Irish mythology, Aengus, is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He was a son of Dagda (Giving god) and Boann (Goddess of the river Boyne). Pic: Victorian depiction of Aengus...



Officially 🙂 Aengus was "probably originally a god associated with youth, love"...In Old Irish his name is Óengus or Oíngus. The name is attested in Adomnán's Life of St Columba as Oinogus(s)ius. Officially: "This is believed to come from a Proto-Celtic name meaning true vigour"

Hmmm...The god of youth and love? Well this "probably" comes from the fact that Aengus was also known as "Óengus Óc/Aengus Óg" (Aengus the young), "Mac Óc/Mac Óg" (young son)...

I find it very interesting that the Gaels had to qualify Aengus  as "The young one"...When his name sounds sooooo much like "Jungaz" (The Proto-Germanic root meaning young one). But that is surely "just a coincidence"!!!

Remember Mr Gibbons, who slated Professor O'Kelly for his claim that Newgrange was built to capture winter solstice sun? He suggested that Newgrange may have been an Iron Age burial site dedicated to an “Irish elite” with links to Roman Britain...Based on archaeological evidence from the site. Any Germanic speakers among them?

That is very interesting indeed...

I will let this simmer 🙂

This, however controversial, is nothing compared to the legend related to "How Aengus stole Brú na Bóinne (an area of the Boyne River Valley that contains the passage tombs Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth) from Dagda"...

According to the 11th century Book of Lecan, the Dagda had built the Brú for himself and his three sons Aengus, Cermait, and Aed. But Aengus wanted it all for himself. The 12th century Book of Leinster describes how Oengus tricked Dagda into giving him the Brú for all eternity...

Aengus asked his father if he could live in Brú na Bóinne for "a day and a night", and Dagda agreed. Irish has no indefinite article, so "a day and a night" is the same as "day and night", which covers all time, and so Aengus took possession of Brú na Bóinne permanently...

Well, this is the story and its interpretation. But what if Aengus actually really meant "a day and a night" and the "cunning trick" part was added later because the original meaning of this story was forgotten?

Here is what I think. Aengus, Jungaz, Mac Og, The Young one, is the young sun, known in Slavic mythology as Jarilo. Just like Aengus, Jalio was the "Youngest son". According to Slavic beliefs, Jarilo is born on Winter Solstice. The same day when the first morning sun, new born sun, enters Newgrange through the entrance. The only day sun enters Newgrange...

The new sun is born in one day, the day of winter solstice. Interestingly, the story of the birth of Aengus tells us that Dagda, had an affair with the river goddess Boann, when Aengus was conceived. In order to hide Boann's pregnancy, Dagda made the sun stand still for nine months so that Aengus was conceived, gestated and born in one day...

Very interesting indeed.

I believe that Aengus was The young sun and that his name actually means "Young one", not "True vigour". Just like Jarilo, whose name also means "Young one". 

Their equivalent in Greek mythology was Apollo, the Young Sun, Who replaced Helios, the Old Sun. 

Now look at this:  

When Apollo was born, "swans circled Delos seven times".  From his father Zeus, Apollo had also received a golden chariot drawn by swans.



What is very interesting is that Swans of Apollo are not just any swans. They are Singing Swans. And the only swans that sing are "Whooper swans".



The whooper swans live and breed in far North of Eurasia (yellow). They winter in Southern and Western Europe (Blue, Green).




They arrived to Greece at the beginning of winter. To announce the immanent arrival of Winter Solstice and the birth of Apollo, the birth of new Sun, the birth of new Solar Year.

Interestingly, "It was said that four swans always hovered round Aengus's head..."

The arrival of Singing Swans to Ireland in the late autumn, signals the immanent arrival of Aengus, Young sun...


All this points to Aengus being the Young sun. 

Now this is an old photo of the Newgrange entrance before it was reconstructed. The Lightbox is covered by earth, the support stones are half collapsed. No light ever entered Newgrange...



By medieval time, the link between Newgrange and winter solstice was completely forgotten and the main date associated with the whole area was Samhain...

Two hills in the Boyne Valley were associated with Samhain: Tara, where the entrance passage to the Mound of the Hostages was aligned with the rising sun around Samhain, and Tlachtga which was the location of the Great Fire Festival which begun on the eve of Samhain...

The fact that Gaels associated Newgrange with Samhain, Aengus's request to reside in Newgrange for "a day and a night", coupled with the Winter Solstice phenomenon observed in Newgrange, can mean only one thing: This is a story describing the original function of Newgrange...

And it comes from the time before this tumulus fell into disuse and disrepair...From the time when Newgrange was the centre of the solar cult, where people celebrated rebirth of the new sun, new solar year, on the day of winter solstice...

When was the last time Newgrange was used for this before it was restored to its old glory 50 years ago? This is how old this story is...

PS:

As I finished my post I was pointed to the article which discusses the same issue entitled:

"Re-discovering the winter solstice alignment at Newgrange, Ireland. In C. Papadopoulos and H. Moyes (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Light in Archaeology" by Robert Hensey

In it I found that some Irish historians have come to the same conclusion before me. 

"Waddell (2014) contends that certain kinds of information were more likely to transfer through time, and notes that for a prehistoric person, the rebirth of the sun may have been equivalent to the resurrection for medieval Christians—thus significantly increasing the likelihood for the survival of knowledge of Newgrange’s solar associations. He further suggests that it is ‘quite conceivable that figures such as the Dagda, … Óengus and Bóand or their precursors—and events associated with them—were part of the beliefs of those who frequented Newgrange over such a long timespan’, even allowing that ‘Aspects of their myths may well be incorporated in constructional and morphological elements of the monument"


"John Carey (1990) has argued that the unique motifs in myths centred on Newgrange (and Dowth) in medieval Irish manuscripts (see below), viewed in light of the discovered solar orientation at Newgrange, suggest that elements from these stories may have Late Neolithic origins, or at least ‘cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence’ (p. 29). These literary tales, in several cases directly connected with Newgrange, contain an intriguing set of references to the manipulation of time, specifically to the manipulation of time over one day, and the control of, or temporary stopping of, the sun. Furthermore, as observed by O’Kelly (1982) and Ó hÓgáin (1999), these tales feature recognized solar deities, in particular the Dagda, keeper of the Brugh, and his son Oengus"

The article also states that the locals actually told archaeologists that "on certain dates" the sunlight enters the tumulus and illuminates the stone with the triple spiral...



The article then goes to postulate that it is possible that Newgrange was used as a sacred place where solstice was celebrated until Christianity arrived to Ireland. That would then explain the solar mythology related to Newgrange not as survival of the Neolithic mythology, but as survival of the Iron Age mythology. 

I don't know what is more fascinating. The fact that Neolithic solar temple was still used by the local inhabitants for solstice ceremonies during early medieval time, or that the memory of the Neolithic solar temple survived among the local inhabitants until early medieval time. 

What do you think?