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But to what extent is the association with passage mounds and the female form valid? - What purposes did they serve, beyond a possible representation of the earth-mother-goddess.
The world egg, cosmic egg or mundane egg is a mythological motif found in the creation myths of many cultures and civilizations. Typically, the world egg is a beginning of some sort, and the universe or some primordial being comes into existence by "hatching" from the egg, sometimes lain on the primordial waters of the Earth.
The 'Mound of hostages' - on the Hill of Tara in Ireland is a legendary sacred site (The Sacred Heart of Ireland). Along with many other passage mounds, it is orientated to allow the passage of sunlight to 'penetrate' its body only once each year. The connection between the female Earth-goddess and the male Solar-God is obvious.
The importance of observing, documenting, and predicting the movements of the Heavenly Bodies grew hand-in-hand with the development of agriculture, farming, construction projects, planned migrations/travels, and planned military campaigns. The optimal weather conditions were sought for such endeavors, and accordingly, the cyclical seasonal patterns became predictable by the calendars of men. Initially, such knowledge was only known to and kept secret by the various priesthoods, shamans, and wise men who concealed astronomical knowledge within the stories of their myths and religions, and through the architecture of their monuments. The "Hidden" fundamentals of astronomy, being used as predictive measures, later evolved into astrology.
Sky God Symbolism
In view of the civil and religious powers held by the king, there can be little argument against the notion that proceedings of an official character began with sacred ceremonials.
More recently, it has been suggested that the room was only used at dawn at certain times of the year for specific ceremonies.
The word graal, as it is earliest spelled, comes from Old French graal or greal, cognate with Old Provençal grazal and Old Catalan gresal, meaning "a cup or bowl of earth, wood, or metal"
The most commonly accepted etymology derives it from Latin gradalis or gradale via an earlier form, cratalis, a derivative of crater or cratus.
The Grail was considered a bowl or dish when first described by Chrétien de Troyes.
Hélinand of Froidmont described a grail as a "wide and deep saucer"
" In Old French, san graal or san gréal means "Holy Grail" and sang réal means "royal blood"
Visitors come closest to understanding the real significance of Dunadd once they reach the upper part of the outcrop. Here you can find a partial stretch of original wall from the fortress. There may not be much of it, but suddenly you realise you can touch something that Kenneth MacAlpin and his predecessors might have touched. Still more immediate are the rocky slabs at the summit. One of these contains a carved bowl whose purpose is unknown. But nearby is another larger slab, holding an imprint of a foot carved into the rock. It is thought that, following Irish tradition, the King of Dalriada was inaugurated by placing his foot into the rocky imprint. As you can today: and suddenly Dunadd begins to come to life.
According to various views, the throne itself may have actually had more religious than political significance, functioning in the re-enactment of epiphany rituals involving a High Priestess, as suggested by the iconography of griffins, palms, and altars in the wall-paintings.
In many historical societies, the position of kingship carries a sacral meaning.
The concept of theocracy is related, although a sacred king need not necessarily rule through his religious authority; rather, the temporal position itself has a religious significance.
From the Bronze Age Near East, the enthronement and anointment of a monarch is a central religious ritual, reflected in the titles Messiah or Christ which became separated from worldly kingship. Thus, Sargon of Akkad described himself as "deputy of Ishtar", just as the modern Catholic Pope is considered the "Vicar of Christ".
The king is styled as a shepherd from earliest times, e.g., the term was applied to Sumerian princes such as Lugalbanda in the 3rd millennium BEC. The image of the shepherd combines the themes of leadership and the responsibility to supply food and protection as well as superiority.
As the mediator between the people and the divine, the sacral king was credited with special wisdom (e.g. Solomon) or vision (e.g. via oneiromancy).
The notion has prehistoric roots and is found worldwide, on Java as in sub-Saharan Africa, with shaman-kings credited with rainmaking and assuring fertility and good fortune. On the other hand, the king might also be designated to suffer and atone for his people, meaning that the sacral king could be the pre-ordained victim of a human sacrifice, either regularly killed at the end of his term in the position, or sacrificed in times of crisis.
So yes, maybe you're right. In fact probably you are, I would say, that sun-kings became godlike in their inaugaration.
The Matrix Interactive' is an interactive video project which lets you, the viewer, actively participate in the plot of 'The Matrix'.