I am fascinated with the discovery of the neolithic temple complex on Orkney; The Ness of Brodgar. Not only is this the first such structure discovered, the size and ceremonial landscape have my imagination twirling.
While watching the recent BBC documentary on this monumental discovery, I learned of, for the first time (though I had thought this myself when I visited), a new and accepted theory that the complimentary ritual landscapes of Stonehenge and Durrington Walls were representative Lands of the Dead and the Living, respectively, with a processional way connecting the two.
On Orkney, between the great Circles of Brodgar and Stennes, you have a slim isthmus where the massive temple structure, Ness of Brodgar, is built. The processional way, leading from the Stones of Stennes, and the land of the living, took the people through the Temple, where they moved deliberately from one large building to another, and finally into the land of the dead, dominated by the Ring of Brodgar. Not only does the temple complex separate these two worlds symbolically and metaphysically, but the isthmus the temple is built upon physically separates the fresh water Loch of Harray from the partially saltwater Loch of Stennes.
There are four major buildings uncovered thus far within the large temple walls. There certainly may be more uncovered later, but the fact that this temple was discovered on this very northerly island coupled with the four large structures has me thinking of the Tuatha Dé Danonn.
The Tuatha Dé Danonn were in the northern isles of the world, learning lore and magic and druidism and wizardry and cunning, until they surpassed the sages of the arts of heathendom.
There were four cities in which they were learning lore and science and diabolic arts, to wit Falias and Gorias, Murias and Findias.
Out of Falias was brought the Stone of Fál, which was in Tara. It used to roar under every king that would take the realm of Ireland.
Out of Gorias was brought the Spear that Lugh had. No battle was ever won against it or him who held it in his hand.
Out of Findias was brought the Sword of Nuada. When it was drawn from its deadly sheath, no one ever escaped from it, and it was irresistible.
Out of Murias was brought the Dagdae’s Caldron. No company ever went from it unthankful.
Four wizards there were in those four cities. Mór-fesae was in Falias: Esras was in Gorias: Uscias was in Findias: Semias was in Murias. Those are the four poets of whom the Tuatha Dé learnt lore and science.
The Ness of Brodgar temple would have been known throughout the Neolithic world! Don’t forget, the neolithic peoples used the oceans and rivers as transportation highways; travelling up and down coasts as easily as we drive to the local market.
It is too intriguing. The first neolithic temple complex in western Europe, located on northerly isles, with four distinct, and important LARGE ritual structures enclosed within an imposing wall.
Yes, Virginia….there is a Santa Clause, and he brought this Witch a tasty imagination treat this Yule!