Quote from web:
According to Uriel's Machine by Knight and Lomas (2003) the triple spiral may represent the nine month period of human pregnancy, since the sun takes a fourth of a year to go from the celestial equator (an equinox) to extreme north or south declination (a solstice), and vice versa. During each three-month period, the sun's path across the sky appears to form a closely-wound quasi-helical shape, which can be likened to a spiral, so that three spirals could represent nine months, providing an explanation for a link between fertility and the triple-spiral symbol.
Well. My own explanation of the Celtic spirals is close to this. Sometimes there are two spirals and what I see is a representation of the waxing and waning seasons. As days get short they “spiral” inward, and and as they get longer they “spiral” outward. Spirals are a common motif all over the ancient world and in one sense I think they represent days getting longer and shorter.
In looking about the web, there is a lot out there about spirals (see turf maze), but one site’s take on them has caught my eye. In explaining the New Grange spirals it points to the snake like zig zag representations as being derived from a common snake in Europe. Well, snake’s coil, making a natural spiral, or maze. So, they would represent the passage of the year as well. And a zig zag can be night and day. Checkerboard patterns, running coils often use in Greek designs, also can do this.
The seated horned man holding the snake is holding the “year”. And the round neck torque, so common an ornament of the Celts, probably reiterates this.
I don’t know how close to the truth of things the spiral Sherlocks are, but its universal appeal is without a doubt.
The spiral can also represent the waxing and waning moon; all the planets too, their cycles.
And the most charming thing about spirals is they appear naturally in Nature. Clam shells are like joined spirals, a double spiral.
May 21, 2007
Tree in the Door