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Ancient British Rock Art

42 43 The spiral appears regularly in megalithic art at a range of locations, often in combination with other graphic elements. Regarded in many traditions as symbolic of the divine feminine, the spiral represents the womb, fertility, the serpent, continual change and the passage of time and evolution. Since we know that megalithic peoples were fascinated by the sun and moon, it is likely that the spiral, as a development of the circle, may also represent the sun and the passage of time. Both the sun and moon exhibit apparent spiral movement over time, rising and setting in different places every day, and their journey was referred to as spiralling by ancient astronomers. Spirals can have many arms, and the number depicted might have been important to ancient astronomerartists, possibly representing a number of days or months. In Martin Brennans reclassification of neolithic symbols the spiral is one of the primaries, and can be left or righthanded as well as retrograde reversing internally. Brennan suggests that the direction of the spiral may indicate the beginning, growth left hand spiral or the end, decay right hand spiral. spIrALs from various sites Achnabreck, Argylleshire Achnabreck, Argylleshire Temple Wood Stone Circle, Kilmartin Valley Spirals from Newgrange 1,2 4 and Loughcrew 3, Co. Meath, Eire, and Cauldside Burn, Kirkcudbright 5Chris Mansell
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