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Established 16/3/2000

Views of Newgrange by Richard Moore


This spectacular painting of the constellation Cygnus over Newgrange represents a great visual manifestation of what we have called the 'Cygnus Enigma'.

Around the time Newgrange and the great mounds of Knowth and Dowth were being constructed, the swan constellation was in a very significant position in relation to the 25,800-year precessional cycle.

The builders seem to have constructed Newgrange in a unique alignment with Fourknocks, with both sites representing part of a great astronomical system. The focus of this system was Cygnus, and its main star, Deneb. One ancient myth recalls how Aonghus turned into a swan with his love maiden, Caer, and flew to Newgrange where they lived from that time on.

Click here to buy this painting

Cygnus over Newgrange

The Boyne River at Newgrange

The flowing waters of the Boyne with Newgrange on the horizon.

Mound A with Newgrange

Mound site A, which aligns with Newgrange for Winter Solstice.


The location of the three major sites of Newgrange, Dowth and Knowth close to the river Boyne suggests a unique closeness, an interaction, with the natural landscape which prevailed in ancient times.

The Boyne was the river where the famous 'Salmon of Knowledge' once lived. The valley is still known today as the 'Valley of the Kings', and a link with the great pyramids, which were also great astronomical temples, and the Nile river, is brought to mind.

We believe the river was seen as an earthly equivalent of the Milky Way in ancient times, a theory supported by the ancient Irish phrase for the Milky Way - Bóthar, (or Bealach) na Bó Finne, which means 'The Way (or Road) of the White Cow.' *See Note.

The ancient goddess Bóann, or Bóinn, gave her name to the river. Her name means literally 'white cow' or 'illuminated cow'. This apparent sky-ground symbolism seems plausible in light of the fact that the builders of these sites were master astronomers.

The 'seven cows' of the Dowth creation myth may have represented stars of the night sky, specifically the Pleiades.

* Note: From 'Foclóir béarla agus Gaedhilge', L. McCionnaith, SJ, 1935. (English-Irish dictionary).

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All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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