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 .                                      

Comments

Tsurugi's picture

@Bonusje:

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.

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.

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.

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):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ots28KAOMYY

 

Tom Carberry

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

           

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