Mythical Ireland

Search Mythical Ireland

Home Ancient Sites Myths & Legends Art Astronomy Blog High Man Stone Map Contact Shop
Information Area

What's New at MI?

NEW Image gallery

Archaeology News

Audio files

Free Fonts & Dingbats

Free Wallpapers

Irish Place Names Books

Other Websites

Navigation | Sky Map SiteMap

Make a donation

Please consider a donation towards MI running costs:

My books
The Cry of the Sebac
The Cry of the Sebac - my new novel
Land of the Ever-Living Ones
Land of the Ever-Living Ones: my first work of fiction
Newgrange Monument to Immortality book
Newgrange: Monument to Immortality - click here
Island of the Setting Sun 2nd edition
"A fascinating insight into Ireland's ancient burial sites" - Irish Independent

Our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for news and regular updates from Mythical Ireland
Established 16/3/2000
Some passages from Island of the Setting Sun
Island of the Setting Sun flap
The flap inside the cover of Island of the Setting Sun  

From the prologue, "Crossing Paths"

We are, all of us, children of the cosmos. It is unlikely that astronomy, whether in the form of pure scientific study of the heavens or associated with ritual and spiritual practices, began at any one location. But what is clear from our study is that the people who inhabited Ireland over 5,000 years ago were accomplished sky watchers. Their ritual astronomy appears to have been intrinsically connected with their belief in the afterlife, a stellar otherworld where the soul journeyed after death. The evidence for such knowledgeable stellar study, encoded into mythology, place names and the archaeological remnants scattered throughout Ireland, is widespread and overwhelming.
People often say Ireland’s Neolithic builders didn’t leave us any writing, a form of textbook from which we can learn all about their culture and the reasons and methods behind their vast works. But the truth is they have left us an expansive record, deeply ingrained into their megalithic structures, carved onto their very stones, rooted in our extensive body of myths and stories and embedded in Ireland’s place names.
We invite you now to join us in examining that vast record on this incredible journey through the Island of the Setting Sun.

From Chapter 4, "Tara: Seat of the Sky King "

At Tara, which was the “place of the setting sun” as viewed from Amergin’s mound in Drogheda, the visitor unwittingly finds themselves at the core of a great astronomical masterplan, set down by distant ancestors whom time has almost forgotten. What has become of these prehistoric forebears?

They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the west behind the hills into shadow.

A great many days have waned in the west since the Stone Age astronomers first laid out their grand scheme. A great many moons have walked the road of the white cow. And yet, despite the enormous span of time which separates us from them, undamental aspects of the achievements of those people have come down to us, fixed and embedded in the landscape, immortalised in the very soil of the Boyne region. Their monuments, many denuded, damaged or partly destroyed by time, speak out to us across the centuries.

From Chapter 7, "Newgrange: The Cygnus Enigma"

Setting Sun back cover
The flap inside the cover of Island of the Setting Sun  

Newgrange, the “white brugh”, “brilliant to approach”, is the centrepiece of the vast scattering of disparate monuments that make up the Bend of the Boyne assembly. It is the quintessential icon of Ireland, its culture and people, an echoing vestige of enlightened prehistory, an embodiment of the inimitable megalithic spirit and the infl uences that forged it and strengthened it in the ancient epoch when people had arisen out of the obscurity of the ages to celebrate the union of heaven and earth and bring light into dark places.
But it is much more than a patriotic symbol. It represents the zenith of megalithic achievement, when bright human beings walked the fertile lands of the Boyne Valley and with the strength and toil, the zeal and conviction which drove them to greater things, set down on the land immense edifi ces which they envisioned as the technology and sacred architecture with which they could unify their cosmic beliefs with their chaotic physical existences.

From Chapter 10, "Cosmic Grid : Lines Across the Land "

In the Boyne Valley, there is evidence aplenty of a stringent and systematic arrangement of archaeological sites and landmarks which is suggestive of a cosmic grid on the ground which forms an exclusive interrelationship with the heavens. Examination of this Boyne grid appears to indicate that each site is just one piece of an enormous whole, and, in many cases, taking away a single element will render the entire system inoperable. Such an arrangement is indicative of a time-sensitive genesis of the sites – either they were all built around the same time, or the sites that came later were positioned strategically in relation to those that were built earlier.

From Chapter 12, "The High Man: Return of the King "

We are the products of ancestral continuity, whose progenitors walked the fertile plains of Ireland and discerned the harmony and disharmony of the sky, the celestial dance of the ages, and how the grand cycles of time infl uenced the banal intricacies of life on the ground. Those ancestors perceived the great cycle of precession. They knew that at a certain juncture in the future, Orion would grasp the sun on the summer solstice. That day has arrived. The phenomenon will last for the next century, but after that it will be another 25,800 years before it comes around again. Modern man has all but lost the ability to tell the
time by the sun, moon and stars. The cosmic connection, exemplified by the megalithic monuments of the Boyne, which marked the pinnacle of prehistoric achievement, has been broken. Perhaps now it is time to re-establish that interconnection, for our own sakes and for the betterment of this wonderful place we call home.
Out of the obscurity of prehistory, a light has emerged . . .

All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
Home Ancient Sites Myths & Legends Art Astronomy High Man Forum Stone Map Contact