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 D茅 Danann. He was a son of Dagda (Giving god) and Boann (Goddess of the river Boyne). Pic: Victorian depiction of Aengus...



Officially 馃檪 Aengus was "probably originally a god associated with youth, love"...In Old Irish his name is 脫engus or O铆ngus. The name is attested in Adomn谩n'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 "脫engus 脫c/Aengus 脫g" (Aengus the young), "Mac 脫c/Mac 脫g" (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 馃檪

This, however controversial, is nothing compared to the legend related to "How Aengus stole Br煤 na B贸inne (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 Br煤 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 Br煤 for all eternity...

Aengus asked his father if he could live in Br煤 na B贸inne 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 Br煤 na B贸inne 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, … 脫engus and B贸and 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 脫 h脫g谩in (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 eliminates the stone with the triple spiral...



The article then goes to postulate that it is possible 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?

3 comments:

  1. Hey there ☺️ what An absolutely amazing read and very eye opening. Thanks very much. I'm having difficulty finding the content you wrote about the connection between the bronze age Irish and the steppe Indo-Europeans/balkans! Any help would be greatly appreciated as I'm trying to write a piece about the link between the Irish and the Scythians at the moment! Cheers

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    Replies
    1. Maybe this: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2014/05/baba.html

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  2. I don't think anyone can seriously think that an archaeologist could realign a huge structure like Newgrange to the winter solstice. He would have had to rebuild it! There are other stories about someone flying in through the 'window' of newgrange in the form of a butterfly also. Anthony Murphy has some amazing tales on youtube on this.

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