Stone at Newgrange and Celtic with X symbol

Research Decodes Ancient Celtic Astronomy Symbols and Links them to Jungian Archetypes

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My nonprofit educational corporation, The Celtic Collection Program, exhibits the largest privately owned collection of Celtic artifacts in the United States. When we started purchasing the artifacts from private collections and ancient galleries several years ago, I observed a motif of X and interconnected X designs on some of them, including important ones likely used to perform ceremonies. As a historian and a therapist with preferences for Psychoanalytic Theory and Neo-Freudian traditions such as Analytical Psychology, a school of psychology that originated from the ideas of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, interpreting these symbols became a personal and professional challenge.

After fifteen years of identifying hundreds of linear and X patterns on artifacts and studying the symbolism of Stonehenge and Newgrange, I have discovered remarkable data, some of which has led me to consider that there may be a correlation between ancient X symbolism and what Dr. Carl Jung referred to as the “Collective Unconscious”, a subconscious storehouse of buried memories inherited from our ancestral past.

Importance of the Sun in Ancient Celtic Society

According to Dr. Miranda J. Green in her book, Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend , the sun was significantly meaningful to the ancient Celts. She states that “One of the most important venerated natural phenomena was the sun, seen as a life giver, promoter of fertility and healing” and that “coins were struck with sun symbols associated with the horse” (Refer to Celtic Collection Program Artifacts #1).

Some of the primary symbols for the Sun in ancient Celtic times were an X or a four-spoked wheel featured on bronze axes, swords, coins, urns, pottery and jewelry since Neolithic Europe.  “Hallstatt Iron Age sheet-bronze vessels were decorated with repousse crosses and solar wheels,” states Dr. Green.

The X symbol was no doubt a significant astronomical representation for thousands of years; perhaps one of the most powerful ideograms valued by the Celts, which explains the X motif on our artifacts. The X artifacts range from 62 AD to 400 BC. However, to uncover the mystery of the interconnected design, a close evaluation of the symbols at Stonehenge and Newgrange needed to be conducted.

Celtic Collection Program Artifacts

Photo 1 is a coin from the Iceni tribe, 62 AD. Photo 2 is a Central European arm bracelet (c.a. 400 BC), in which are two sets of interconnected X’s extending from top to bottom inside of both bars . Photo 3 is a bell (200 BC) from Central Europe (likely used for ceremonial purposes) containing interconnected X’s engraved through its metal and around its body.

All photos taken and owned by Lewis Hales of artifacts held in the Celtic Collection Program. Photo 1 is a coin from the Iceni tribe, 62 AD. Photo 2 is a Central European arm bracelet (c.a. 400 BC), in which are two sets of interconnected X’s extending from top to bottom inside of both bars . Photo 3 is a bell (200 BC) from Central Europe (likely used for ceremonial purposes) containing interconnected X’s engraved through its metal and around its body.

This photo is a Central European bracelet (300 BC) with an atypical shape, which features a plain design on one side and a more elaborate version (twisted bronze) on the other one. Two long abstract shapes of a triangle are engraved into each terminal, a deeper cut one the plain side and a less elaborate cut one on the twisted side, forming an encoded cross reference of an X.

Photo taken and owned by Lewis Hales of artifact held in the Celtic Collection Program. This photo is a Central European bracelet (300 BC) with an atypical shape, which features a plain design on one side and a more elaborate version (twisted bronze) on the other one. Two long abstract shapes of a triangle are engraved into each terminal, a deeper cut one the plain side and a less elaborate cut one on the twisted side, forming an encoded cross reference of an X. This is the identical encoded design upon which Stonehenge was built (Refer to the Stonehenge geographical graphics design).

The Stonehenge and Newgrange X Factor

Stonehenge, prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England.

Stonehenge, prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. (Flickr/ CC BY 2.0 )

According to David Souden in his book, Stonehenge Revealed, “The stone phase at Stonehenge extended from 2550 BC to 1600 BC”, and is located in Wiltshire, England. Stonehenge is approximately 2,000 years older than our artifacts and its construction layout and artifacts excavated at or nearby the monument have revealed pertinent information. Stonehenge was built with an encoded X symbol between its Station Stones; the North Barrow Station Stone was intended to cross reference the South Barrow Stone and the North Station Stone was meant to align with the South Station Stone, forming a symbolic X across the monument’s landscape. The X precisely connects at the location of the altar, forming a perfect alignment straight across the ceremonial Avenue (Refer to Stonehenge’s X graphic design).

Hundreds of artifacts featuring interconnected X artwork and the six images formed by that design (Refer to Findings and Summary) have been recovered from Stonehenge, such as the Chalk tablets (3,000-2,500 BC), an Early Bronze Age gold plaque from Wiltshire, and the Late Bronze Age gold lozenge, about which, Ancient Origins writer April Holloway accurately cited as an artifact believed by some to be an “astronomical instrument”, in her article, The Mysterious Golden Lozenge of Stonehenge .                                      


In the top left of the photo, not the highlight green parts, you will see a concentric circle that winds around from the center and moves into a smaller concentric circle.

I think this represents the “analemma,” an astronomical phenomenon of the sun’s orbit that plays a huge role in astro-theology.

The sun has a very strange orbit over the year and people have known for thousands of years that if you plot the sun’s postiion over the year, it makes a figure 8, with the “bottom” or southern part of the 8 much bigger than the top or northern part.

You can watch people like Santos Bonacci on youttube who know astrotheology well, discuss the analemma and how it works in the ascending and descending signs of the Zodia.

Tom Carberry

Hello Tom,That is a fascinating observation and I appreciate your comment. There is no doubt that ancient astronomy was often synonymous with astrology in ancient Celtic times and your impression that that section of the artwork may have been solar oriented would be consistent with the overall veneration being expressed on that particular kerbstone.

I think the X represents the equinoxes in astrotheoloy, particularly on a flat earth model.

In astrotheoloy, draw a circle on a flat earth map like the UN map or the USGS azimuthal equidistant map (same thing without the laurel wreaths), between the tropics of cancer in the north and capricorn in the south.  Then draw the cross inside the circle.

The Zodiac fits inside this circle and cross.  Aries starts at the left point of the cross (west point).

The analemma, which I mentioned in my last post, fits into this arrangement as a figure 8 made of concentric circles of the sun, with the top half of the 8 about half the size of the bottom half.

This video should discuss it (if not, keep watching Santos Bonacci until he does, as he gives a great explanation):


Tom Carberry

luvartifacts1's picture

Hello Tom. Thanks for sending the interesting information. I intend to view   the entire video and get bak with you by this Saturday. Currently, swamped with corporate projects until the weekend.  

Lewis Hales

luvartifacts1's picture

Hello Tom,

I reviewed the video at length and it is a fascinating perspective and the beautiful analemma has to be one of the most remarkable astronomical events in the sky.

I looked closely at the its figure 8 arrangement and attempted to compare it to other patterns, motifs and symbols on our Celtic artifacts as well as artwork on the Newgrange Kerbstones and artifacts recovered from the Stonehenge area.

Ancient astronomers were very precise about their symbolic primary and enhanced artwork and would have specifically portrayed the analemma in a figure 8 arrangement if that is what they were intending to display, instead of a 3 swirl image. I do not think the swirl pattern was an analemma representation. In addition, if the figure 8 analemma had been something so meaningful that it would have been engraved on a Kerbstone, it would have also been placed on other stone monuments or artwork as well, which I do not see.

 I understand your rationale about the X being potentially representing  the equinox, but because the solar wheel symbol is so deeply associated with the sun’s orbit and solar deities, I do not believe it stood for the equinox.  Thank you for asking and the very best to you.

Lewis Hales


It has been inferred that the celtic patterns were inspired by patterns the celts observed in Nature. It is highly possible that they were aware of the 8 figure pattern of the Sun's path through the sky over seasons among other things in the sky, day or night. Many of them had time for such observation so it shouldn't be a surprise to us that they had a very good knowledge of astronomy.

Might it be the annalemma ´s symetry is Not related to the Sun´s orbit but is related to the Earth movement and seasons and where on Earth the observer is at a specific time of year?

Tsurugi's picture


Yes. The asymmetrical "figure eight" that traces the sun's changing position in the sky over the course of a year is strictly geocentric; caused by the earth's axial tilt etc.

Referring to this apparent motion as the sun's "orbit" stems from the earlier geocentric conception of the solar system. But people do still sometimes call it an "orbit" today.

What is a little disappoint in this article is the use of the term "Celtic". The European Hallstat and subsequent La Tene Celtic cultures did not appear until about 300 BC and it's influence did not reach Ireland until around 150 BC. There is no eveidence that Celts themselves reached either Ireland or Britain in large numbers although their cultural influence form 300 AD onwards right across Europe is undeniable.

However both Newgrange and Stonhenge predate Celtic Culture by thousands of years. I'm afraid this one simple fact undermines any subsequent theories put forward. To reiterate, both of these monumnet are pre-Celtic. They are not Celtic or even "ancient Celtic". In fact they are even pre-Beaker.

My own research has shown that the "x" is the same as the cross. Jesus, no that came later. No, it seems they knew of magnetic theory. the X or the cross is basically how you think. Is N, S, E, W points or corners. They knew of the bloch wall and the neel wall in other terms. they knew that we are in a electro magnetic universe and even our own galaxy has a north. south, east and west. Anytime one sees a ring around and X or a cross, that is a representation of magnetism. Especially if the ring is designed with twisting lines. Most of these are other representations of the Celtic cross, but, instead of a cross with points, they used an X with corners. This may have been easier for them to understand the separations in this manner. The center of the X or cross is always the center of the magnetism. And it may be that how they drew the lines, is a interpretation of the amount of magnetic activity.

To clarify, the cross or X can be applied to the earth, sun, galaxy, universe, or person (the heart being the center). All of these have the magnetic relations. And there is an actual Celtic cross out there that has the constellations rotating around it. The cross with the bent ends (swastika) may be the representation of the sun. It can be related to a celtic cross with broken lines (the circle around it). A circle with a tree in the center and a line drawn to separate above from below is also a similar issue.

May I point out that we had no Celts in what is now Britain now was Stonehenge Celtic

Gillian Smith's picture

This cannot be taken seriously . I’m a profeesional archaeologist and prehistorian in UK 

There were no Celts here – Celtic is a term for languages and art styles not peoples . Newgrange and Stonehenge predate any so called Celtic symbolism in artform by thousands of years . This is,I’m afraid not based on any evidence or well conducted research . It brings the quality of articles on here into question 

Gill Smith

MSOwolf's picture


Aaron Frost

luvartifacts1's picture

Here is clarification about some research concerns in my article.  The term “Celt” has been an issue of debate and contention between archaeologists, historians and linguists, a controversial topic without resolution for decades. Both the name and exact origins of Celtic tribes continue to remain a mystery. This is one unanswered European historical factor that will be ongoing and no individual article or published professor’s research is going to clear it up anytime soon.

My article’s content or title was not synonymous with labeling the ancient community of Stonehenge or Newgrange as technically a “Celtic” civilization. I was referring to my artifacts featuring astronomy symbolism, which range from 400 B.C. to 62 B.C. This was the initial primary impetus for doing my research. If you will please note that I refer to Newgrange as a Stone Age culture and Stonehenge as simply Stonehenge. In my conclusion, I  indicated that “All six symbols, either collectively or separately has been featured on Celtic artifacts for millennia AND it is notable that many an artifact recovered from or near Stonehenge is particularly decorated with, or are in the form of, these shapes. “  My conclusion consists of  findings about my artifacts and a summary of what has been recovered from the two sites, which reveals a remarkable correlation of symbolism. What I hoped to find out were possible symbolism from Newgrange and Stonehenge I could compare to the symbols on my artifacts and discover an answer to why the symbolic motif is featured on my artifacts.

The study of Celtic origin is progressive.  Dr. Ann Ross believes the origin of the culture is associated with the Urnfield civilization. Historian Angus Konstam states the “Battle Ax” and “Beaker” people are in the ancestry of the Celts.  According to the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the Beaker people “have been variously credited with introducing metalworking to Britain, spreading the Indo-European language group and building Stonehenge.”  Carl Zimmer, writer for the New York Times, in his recent article, “DNA Deciphers Roots of Modern Europeans”, reports two teams of scientists from the University of Copenhagen and one from Harvard University recently presented the largest studies to date of ancient European DNA, extracted from 170 skeletons found in countries from Spain to Russia. Both studies indicate that today’s Europeans descend from three groups who moved into Europe at different stages of history. The first were hunter-gatherers who arrived some 45,000 years ago in Europe. Then, a group of farmers arrived from the Near East about 8,000 years ago. Finally, a group of nomadic herders from western Russia called the Yamnaya arrived about 4,500 years ago. The authors of the new studies also suggest that the Yamnaya language may have given rise to many of the languages spoken in Europe today. Dr. Miranda Green mentions that “On the opposite pole to the skeptics are the committed Celticists who perceive a genuine continuity of tradition between the ancient peoples of northern Europe and the modern inhabitants of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man and Brittany”.

 I am one of the historians and researchers who believe these cultures share an interwoven ancestral heritage, which is the basis of my Jungian archetypal proposal for the motif of symbols I discovered in this research. Applying such a concept to historical research, especially the study of Celtic symbols interpretation is unconventional and presents a different, if not controversial, perspective of looking at the symbols of our ancient artwork.

Lewis Hales, M.A., M.A.

Lewis Hales


Celt > Dutch> Kelt kelten ketter (ketter is heretic or in Dutch ketter) just any none christian Kaukasian and athener because Athener comes he athen from .. heathen ..another word for ketter. Christianity is roman jewish or eurasian a religion for the white slave races and ketters heretics or heathen were called heathen christians when converted.

luvartifacts1's picture

In addition to the above clarification post, I have also been conducting lectures on ancient Celtic history, with a focus on the Urnfield, Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, and the interpretation of ancient Celtic artifacts at several colleges, Universities and at other educational facilities for 15 years. Thank you all.
Lewis Hales, M.A., M.A.

Lewis Hales


Hi Lewis and thank you for your clarifications. Please note that I (nor I'm sure Gill) are calling your qualifications or experience into question. However, you are expounding theories. Not facts. Even within your clarification you use the term "Celtic artifacts" (sic) without blushing. Celtic artefacts can only be dated with precision from the mid 4th century BC as you must know. Any denoting of artefacts of any kind from prior to that date is pure speculation and underpins modern holistic use of the term "Celtic" for any wishy washy, swirly twirly ancient artform, driving an unattached quasi hippy/Druidic cultural that is by turns risible and incredibly annoying. In fact DNA analysis finds little in common between the peoples of Austria/Switzerland and those of, for example, Ireland. Ireland is often used as an example of a "Celtic" country. However the Celtic nature of Ireland from 150 BC onwards in purely cultural (art and language) and denotes no actual large scale presence of "Celts". To say otherwise is akin to saying that the French speaking aristocracy of Russian in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries wee French. they were anything but! They spoke French and aped French manners, style, food and dress because they admired French culture.

Indeed, the search for depth of meaning in the 3 contiguous swirls on the front kerbstone guarding the entrance to Newgrange has been interpreted quite simply by many local Irish archaeologists as representing the intertwined nature of the three main Megalithic passage tombs of Bru na Boinne - the Bend of the Boyne.

Once your theory has been fleshed out, hypothesised and is supported by facts I'll gladly eat my words. Until then however, the theories that you propound should come with a strong health warning. By the way, I've an MA and B.Sc. myself and am one of those local archaeologists.

Tsurugi's picture


You said, "Celtic artefacts can only be dated with precision from the mid 4th century BC[…]"

I'm not sure I understand. Would you mind clarifying/expounding upon the above statement?

The X is also used in early medeval times as sign/symbol for Christ or God.

the practice of using the symbol “X” in place of Christ’s name has been going on amongst religious scholars for at least 1000 years.

The X also looks like the Wheel of Life the Swastika

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