Weed Wanderings Herbal eZine with Susun Weed : Feature Article
September 2003
Volume 3 Number 9
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What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...


Feature Article...
The Power of the Triple Spiral
in New Grange in the Boyne Valley in Ireland

By Sonja Geoghegan

The power of three is well known in many theories based on physics, mathematics, and philosophy in the field of science. In Ireland and throughout Wales and Scotland this power is found in our legends with three-fold goddess, the three Brigit's, and the three daughters of Eriu for which Ireland is named. Our male heroes often travel in bands of three or are born at the same moments that others of the same name are born. Our ancestors placed the wisdom of our culture into forms of three verses that were memorized and passed along in Oral traditions. These verses were filled with relationships to the earth and ways to guide ones daily life in accordance with these laws, some of which were the Bretha Comaithchesa: (Laws of the neighborhood) and the Welsh & Irish Triads.

The triple spiral carved within the cairn at New Grange in the Boyne Valley Ireland is perhaps becoming universally recognized. This symbol conveys layers of meanings that continue & evolve in organic ways to those who understand the language living within these images. We now recognize the relationship between art and the astronomy reflected in the presence of engraved sundials, solar-lunar imagery and calendars that are depicted. The triune of mind, body, soul are links to past, present, future and even birth, death, rebirth provides essential meaning for exploration. My personal understanding continues to evolve as I become familiar with the layers of inter-connectness existing between all in life. My original lesson with the triple spiral at Newgrange came in 1959 on a cold Winter Solstice morning, by invitation of my grandfather. We entered the cairn in relative darkness and silently stood waiting for something that was unknown to me to begin. When the red warm light began to flood the darkness with its liquid gold, the movement toward me was captivating. I had been placed in a specific spot located directly across from the triple-spiral and it was there that I saw the light stop momentarily focused upon the symbol, with all the point marks that capture the light causing it to wink and sparkle with life similar to the stars in the night sky. I knew at that moment this space was a womb and a place of birth and re-birth.

I have carried this knowledge with me over the years, watching the theories from the various excavations and watching the Boyne Valley become a tourist route of the 21st Century. I have always stood on the threshold, between worlds, ready at a moments notice to move in either direction, for this is my relationship with sacred time and the consciousness of here & there, spirit and otherworldly entities, between and betwixt the veils of existence. I have learned how to see between the worlds, a twilight vision offering views that is a combining of both worlds, like the mixing of waters from two sacred wells. I understand the fine delicate thread that holds it all together is gently woven with each of our hands. When we pull the thread this threatens cutting ; death, and to follow the thread on means rebirth. This enchantment of the otherworld has invited me deeper into the worlds that lie beyond the normal attention of others. It has awakened the inner knowledge living within my cells, a shape-shifting energy from earth, to water, to air into fire. I have been shown many times the births and re-births within the womb of Newgrange. My eldest son was conceived in the early spring of equinox and was born on winter solstice, as many generations before have guided. I took him into this cairn at Winter Solstice when he was young to show him what I had been given and he immediately understood without language as I watched this light & meaning fill him completely until he exclaimed to me, " This too is my legacy !"

I have been shown that the bones of our ancestors were taken and placed reverently into the large bowl at the time of birthing, as an opportunity for the spirit of re-birth to occur. I had read that the Grooved Ware People believed that the light of Venus transferred the souls of the departed into the bodies of the newborn. Looking at the work done at Bryn Celli Ddu on Anglesey, built circa, 3,550 BCE, details the sophisticated calendar, which can be used to indicate changing seasons. This was used for creating & adjusting important elements including the tides and length of day and the times of planting. These will drift out of alignment when not regularly corrected and its designers used the Venus Star to provide this means. Venus appears as a morning star around the time of winter solstice four years out of every eight, the remaining four years it rises as an evening star and follows the setting sun down. This cycle repeats itself exactly every 40 years. This is the important work of Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas.

Bryn Celli Ddu, Wales

In brief conclusion, it would seem that Bryn Celli Ddu was designed for a small group of people to enter & observe the solar and the Venus cycles with a great amount of accuracy. Within the legends of the site are connections with the Irish tribe of the Tuatha de Danann and Gwydion ap Don, who was a Bard and learned man of science. This tribe is linked via legend to the line of King David, through the daughter of Zedekiah who according the legend made her home in the Hill of Tara in Ireland.The site at Bryn Celi Ddu was one of many schools of learning in the British Isles that was known around the world at his time in our history.

When I discovered the work of Charles Ross and his experiment where he arranged a lens in front of a wooden plank, so that it focused the sun rays on the plank and burned a track on the wood. Each day he put a new piece of wood in this holder and after 366 consecutive days he plotted out the pattern the sun's rays had burned into the planks. He found the resulting shape was a perfect double spiral. Using what is termed an Uriels Machine, which is nothing more than two straight sticks to align the equinox shadows and mark out the center and the sunrise & sunset. If those same two sticks are placed in the ground a few feet apart, the sun will cast interesting shadows over the course of a year. As the sun moves out from spring equinox toward summer solstice it will trace a spiral upon the ground, then it turns and retraces itself back to the starting point of autumn equinox. A single spiral equals three months time; so three spirals must equal nine months time and this is the exact period of human gestation. The triple spiral at Newgrange is cut into the great stone at the entrance and onto the hidden part of the inner chamber, where only the reflected light of Venus strikes.

This validated the information I had been given as a child in this cairn!

The science was revealing the story I knew was truth. Women entered this space ceremonially prior to the beginning of labor to rest and create space within this womb cairn in preparation for birth. There was in place a selection process to facilitate the use of this space by all the tribes following the wheel of the year. The tribe would camp on the nearby grounds waiting in support and celebration of this mystery of birth/rebirth. This sacred ceremony of birth links us to many other ancient cultures in ways we still lack in understanding. Mating rituals did exist and still do and these were inherited from our ancestors and were a vital part of our seasonal rituals.

Next time you wander into the numerous stone cairns that reside on the plains of Ireland, notice the inner shape is womb-like, prepared in earth with fluid and curving shapes and not the straight exact lines we know they also were capable of building. The instructive ornamentations of great stone telling of astronomy, calendars, and astrology along with imagery of ebbing & flowing and the interrelationships existing within life itself.

These Cairns are familiar to the clan of women for they are indeed shaped like our reproductive parts, the utereus, fallopian tubes & ovaries with a long, dark birth canal to enter from one world to the next.

I would love to know what this inspires within you and welcome your comments.


Email: Siofrageoghegan@yahoo.ie



If you enjoyed the article above,
do check out these few goodies...

Spirit and Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition
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come join us for the...
Halloween Spirit
Healing Intensive

October 30th - November 3rd 2003
at the Wise Woman Center,
Woodstock, NY
We'll journey deep, chant and speak in sister circle, explore chakras, and craft a ritual of celebration and spirit healing.


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