Events Ireland Observances Winter Solstice Events

Newgrange in Ireland – Winter Solstice Observance

Experience the magnificent alignment of the winter solstice sunrise, at Newgrange in Ireland


Newgrange In Ireland

Experience the magnificent winter solstice alignment at Newgrange in Ireland, one of the country’s most famous ancient sites where the religion of the sun once reigned. 

: Solar Alignment & Observance
WhereBrú na Bóinne complex, County Meath, in Ireland’s Ancient East.
When: Winter Solstice
Time: Sunrise


Newgrange in Ireland from the Spiritual Sun

Newgrange in Ireland, aligns to the winter solstice sunrise

About Newgrange

Observe the winter solstice sunrise at Newgrange (or Sí an Bhrú in Irish Gaelic). As reported by modern archaeology, Newgrange is estimated to have been built over 5000 years ago; it is one of the most ancient sites known.

Newgrange, Tuatha Dé DanannThe Tuatha Dé Danann as depicted in John Duncan’s “Riders of the Sidhe” (1911).

Newgrange, according to ancient Irish Gaelic traditions, was built by the Tuatha Dé Danann, an ancient tribe that arrived to Ireland by sea. Among their accomplishments was the construction of sacred sites aligned to solar events. The Tuatha Dé Danann were described as being tall and having red or blonde hair and blue or green eyes.

The Newgrange mound is around 85 meters in diameter and 13.5 meters high. It covers an area of about 1 acre with 97 kerbstones that surround it. Some of them are engraved with megalithic art and symbolic carvings depicting elements of a cosmic spirituality.
Newgrange kerbstone The entrance kerbstone is carved with spirals, a common symbol in many ancient sacred sites.

Newgrange Winter Solstice Alignment

Newgrange used to be an ancient temple where people would gather to observe and celebrate the winter solstice. The Brú na Bóinne area, where Newgrange is located, thrives with alignments of solar and other celestial events. The site was intelligently constructed in a way that the sun would enter the structure during the sunrise of the winter solstice.

From The Path of the Spiritual Sun by Belsebuub

Here are the details of the alignment from the book The Path of the Spiritual Sun by Belsebuub with Lara Atwood

Once a year, at the winter solstice, the rising sun enters the mound through a specially built roofbox above the main entrance and shines directly along the nineteen meter long passage, gradually widening until illuminating the inner chamber for about seventeen minutes. Today the first light enters about four minutes after sunrise, but calculations based on the precession of the earth show that five thousand years ago the first light would have entered exactly at sunrise.

The Path of the Spiritual Sun by Belsebuub (p. 163)

Symbology at Newgrange

Like many ancient sites, Newgrange’s mysteries are filled with symbology. Below is another excerpt from Belsebuub’s The Path of the Spiritual Sun going deeper into the symbolic meaning of this ancient site.

Newgrange Triple Spiral _ The Spiritual Sun

Newgrange carving of spirals (detail). A universal symbol of movement found in our galaxy and in the cosmic forces of creation.

The inner chamber of the mound is laid out in the shape of a cross, and beautiful neolithic artwork can be found etched into the stone both on the inside and outside of the mound. Particularly prevalent are spiral designs, including the famous tri-sprial design found inside the chamber.

Here the symbol of the cross appears in connection with the winter solstice, the time of the birth of the divine Son, long before the birth of Jesus. The cross represents the crossing of male and female forces, which give birth to all life. The tri-spiral symbol also shows the union of the three forces of Father, Mother, and Son – positive, negative, and neutral, which give rise to creation. The single spiral is often referred to as “the spiral of life” as it shows the expansion of life.

The mound itself appears to be like a great womb of the earth. Just as the birth of Jesus, Mithras, and Viracocha was said to have taken place in a cave, so too at Newgrange the birth of the sun is enacted inside the dark chamber of the mound.

The Path of the Spiritual Sun by Belsebuub (p. 163-164)

Location and Access to Newgrange

Newgrange is located at the Brú na Bóinne complex, County Meath, in Ireland’s Ancient East.

The site is generally accessible only by guided tour from the Brú na Bóinne Visitors Centre. However, in the morning of the winter solstice access is open to the public.

Due to the obvious lack of space only 50 people are chosen by lottery to watch the sunrise from the inner chamber. Each can bring one guest. To take part in the lottery you can submit an application to Brú Na Bóinne Visitor Centre. You can find more details about the process here. Thousands of people submit lottery applications every year. Although the chances to win a spot are not many you can always observe the winter solstice sunrise from outside the site.

Newgrange Videos

In this video George William Russell’s ‘A Dream of Angus Oge’ (1897) is cited. The poem described the winter solstice alignment at Newgrange long before the site was excavated.

A Note About Visiting Ancient Sites

Please be mindful and respectful of the ancient sites. Treat them with care as to not disturb them, damage them or remove anything from them. Help protect these incredible sites so that they can continue to stand the test of time.

Please Note

This event is not run by The Spiritual Sun.

About the author



    • Thanks Lucia! I’ve just watched the first part and have learned something already – the shape of Cygnus matches that of the cruciform shape of the chamber! Will watch the rest soon 🙂

  • Hoping someone can help clarify the correct date to celebrate the solstice and Christmas in the Northern Hemesphere …

    The solstice here in Europe is about 11am on the 21st – should we therefore see the sunrise on the 21st? Then it’s said that Christmas is 3 days after, that those 3 days are symbolic of the ‘three strides’ through the 7 dimensions into the physical body, celebrating the birth of the Christ within … so is Christmas the 24th rather than the usual 25th?



    • I don’t know if this is of much use two years later 🙂 But it might be as this year is similar. I think as you say it is correct. Three days after the day of the winter solstice, so 24th in that case.

      I think this year the exact solstice time is at 16:28 UTC on the 21th. So the sunrise ceremony would be on that same morning. Christmas three days after that on the 24th.

      • Oh well, you’re a bit late to change the celebrations last year, but good to know for this upcoming celebration. And honestly, as it’s so entrenched in me that Christmas is the 25th, I think this year there will have to be TWO Christmas’. But that’s not a bad thing at all. 🙂

  • Hi Ross,
    sites like this are incredibly mysterious – like Christos said, we know they were built to align to the solstices and equinoxes and that these events held special sacred meaning to the ancient people, as they still do today – it’s just that we have largely forgotten it. This profound spiritual meaning is written about by the modern spiritual teacher Belsebuub, who has himself walked the path of awakening that is said to be encoded in the very fabric of nature and displayed symbolically in the movement of the sun (or of the earth around the sun!).
    Still, the energetic properties of these sites are largely unknown and what exactly they were used for is speculation and reason for reflection – it’s possible to visit these places in mystical ‘astral’ experiences and to see more about the reality of them beyond the physical realm.

    They often have stellar alignments too – for example, some researchers believe this site was built at a time when Sirius, symbolic of Isis to the Egyptians and a Cosmic Mother to others, rose at the same time as the winter solstice – a very auspicious combination.

    The Egyptian Pyramids were, and still are, used for sacred initiations, although now it can only happen in the higher realms as the physical place has lost much of its sacredness. Perhaps places like Newgrange were used for similar purposes? A similar site in Wales, Bryn Celli Ddu, was said to have been used by the Druids for their initiation ceremonies. More of this mystical side of the Pyramids can be read about in The Path of the Spiritual Sun, which is an incredible resource for understanding more about these places.

    Have you been to any sacred sites like these? Did you experience anything special?



  • Can anyone explain the purpose of these sites and their alignment with the Winter Solstice? Where they used for astral projections maybe?

    • Hi Ross,

      That’s a good question, I think this site is all about helping to shed light in this direction. It seems ancient cultures across the globe built all these sacred sights perfectly aligned with the sun and stars as a heritage not only for the advanced technology and knowledge they possessed, but also to show what their main focus in life was (buildings all these amazing monuments that stood the test of time for thousands of years).

      In their book, The Path of the Spiritual Sun, Belsebuub and Lara draw a line showing the common thread between some sacred sites and give it context from a spiritual point of view. In short, it seems the ancient religion of the sun was all about spiritual awakening and development and those alignments of the sacred sites come to signify some important points in that process.

      I find it quite amazing to think that our whole earth, universe contains and lives out that message of spirituality and the ancient people having that knowledge were able to respect and celebrate it with all these amazing sacred sites that we still have today.

      I think knowing about this can give you a whole new opportunity to discover the spiritual where you didn’t think it was present.

      Hope this helps. I do recommend the book, if you’re interested.

    • Hi Ross,

      The purpose of these sites was to celebrate the solstices and equinoxes. These celebrations are deeply symbolic and serve to reflect a process of inner transformation within an individual. It is highly likely that sites like Newgrange have been visited by many people while astral traveling in order to learn more about this process.

      You can have a look on our Sacred sites of the sun page or here for more information.

  • Wow amazing and is about 5000 years old, it would be really amazing to visit this place during the solstice, or anytime for that matter, and to see the cross in the main chamber, and all built long before the birth of Jesus

  • I was lucky enough to be able to visit this site a number of years ago, and it’s truly spectacular. The whole site is roughly an acre in size and you can really get a feel for how sacred it must have been for the ancient Celts.

    It’s a really incredible work of engineering. Although there’s artificial lighting installed now for tours, when it’s turned off it’s actually pitch black inside and the only natural light that’s visible from the inner chamber is the sunrise entering on the Winter Solstice. A decorated kerbstone on the opposite side of the entrance actually forms a summer solstice alignment as well.
    Once every 8 years, just before the solstice, the passage aligns with Venus. Anthony Murphy, a local megalith enthusiast from the area, noticed that the horizontal part of the cross shape in the passage isn’t of equal length, but by being this way it does recreate the shape of the constellation Cygnus (which forms a cross in the sky). He also discovered that Newgrange aligns with other sacred sites in the area, namely Fourknocks, and aligns with the Great Pyramids in Egypt at exactly 35° (exactly 1/10th of the earth’s circumference).

    I’m very impressed by Belsebuub and Lara’s Pritchard’s work to collate the world’s solstice myths together as you can start to see a common picture that’s normally overlooked by academics who are trained in only one particular culture’s legends or archaeology.
    Brú na Bóinne is usually translated as ‘The Palace of the Boyne’ (the river that runs alongside the site and also the name of a mother goddess in Irish legends). The word brú in Old Irish means ‘womb’ though, and the site is famous as the home of Aongus (the son of the Dagda & Bóann) as well as the birthplace of Cú Chulainn (a divinely conceived warrior).
    It certainly makes the site very similar to other sites and myths around the world connected to the winter solstice!

  • Stunning intelligent architecture and ancient sacred site! I am baffled by the knowledge these ancient people possessed as well as their careful and exact ability to create these monuments that have lasted 5,000 years!
    I don’t know if there is anything that has been built in the last 300 years that can compare to this 5,000 from now!

    • I agree Karim, what a wonderful video, I wish there were more like this about different ancient monuments. Not just the dry facts (which are also important to have of course), but something that alludes to the true purpose of these sites and inspires something deep within. Poetry combined with appropriate music and stunning images is a way to go…

      • Yes. Archaeological digging, carbon dating, comparative study etc. are good and needed. But it’s good to be aware of its limit and not to accidentally fall into considering it holistic and complete, as all there is to know and all that can ever be known about a site.
        In fact even when knowing a lot of such information it’s still possible to very much miss the ‘point’ of a sacred site I think. Many of the sites were used as spiritual temples, so it would require someone to have the same spiritual experiences to really ‘understand’ it.
        But how to penetrate into those mysteries? that seem locked inside epic stories of the past, that you feel hints of in beautiful music, that you can subtly sense at sacred sites, and perhaps most expressively manifest themselves to us in the world of dreams….

  • It’s so unbelievable at the number of ancient temples that are aligned with our sacred Sun. This is such excellent work by The Spiritual Sun team.

    I really enjoyed all the information, the uplifting picture of the Tuatha Dé Danann and the magical video.

    Thanks Christos for your all hard efforts to pass on this information.

  • It’s great to hear so many people want to witness this event that they need to organise a ‘lottery’ to allocate space. Fingers crossed for a clear day. It must be one of the most special places in Europe to witness the event.

    That painting of the Tuatha Dé Danann is amazing.

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