This spiral is a replica of the one found in the main chamber of the megalithic tomb-sanctuary at Newgrange, Ireland. It is dated around 3000 BC, and part of the Stone Age Irish â€œgrave-passageâ€ culture. A similar triple spiral also appears on the Newgrange entrance stone.
The triple role of the ancient goddess was to preside over birth, life and death. As triune as nature’s birth/death/rebirth cycle, she was maiden, bride and crone. when Christianized the ancient Celtic goddess became the new Brigid, the “saint” of hearth and home in whose name the fires were re-lighted each year on her February 1st saint’s day.
When Bob and I went to England in 1988 we headed for Glastonbury where he had visited a couple years before. He had said that when he got to the Tor for him this had felt like “coming home.” In other words, it was there that he had experienced a deep soul recognition and connection. At the time he had been surprised, as he had just come from the Borders region in Scotland and an Elliott clan gathering there. There was where he would have expected to have felt some connection with the land. But strangely he hadn’t.
While in the Glastonbury area we visited a number of the megalithic remnants of the ancient goddess cultures. Now I am wondering, were the Celts captive to the presence of the past in the land they now occupied? And was their influence something quickened, awakened, and that we brought back to Murray Creek with us?
There seemed to be reminders everywhere we were drawn to of the ancient ones’ beliefs that death is a passage to another world. That was not something either of us would have been personally conscious of at the time, but now eighteen years later and with Bob this past year having made this passage it is of the utmost relevance to me, and how and to what purpose I am called to live out the rest of my life. Moreover, with my ongoing experiences of him as still very much a continuing presence in this life as well, I find myself re-examining and reconsidering what I now believe about the nature of reality.
Through the megalithic monuments to the mother-goddess of old, she continued to teach that all of existence is cyclic in nature, and that there is a direct continuity between the material world and the other-world. The pre-Christian tradition of the Druids also recognized the unseen world as interpenetrating and effecting the visible world. And considering the credibility quantum physics is lending to similar ideas, is it any wonder that Celtic spirituality is experiencing a renaissance?
All through the lands of Bob’s and my ancestors–“the Isles to the North”– the stones bearing the message of the connection between this world and the after life are massive. The symbolic language of the carvings on these reminders is laboriously intricate. The underground burial sites are comparable in calculated human labor to the great pyramids, and thought to be as much as five hundred years older.
The standing stones and the underground passages we visited spoke to us, as did the Glastonbury Tor as a three dimension labyrinth, so much so that on returning home we created a labyrinth at Murray Creek after the pattern of the one that ascends to the top of the Tor.
As a sequence of events, it was in connection with last year’s November cross-quarter days (All Hallows Eve, All Saints and All Souls Days) that it came to my attention the early inhabitants of the Tor region had held annually on these cross-quarter days a ritual honoring those among them who had died during the previous year and that these peoples had accompanied the souls of their loved ones to the top of the Tor which they held to be a passage or “portal” into the after life.
There is so much more to life than we in this life are able to consciously comprehend. Could the transformation I have been experiencing since Bob’s transition be this realization?