An Open Letter to Barbara Hand-Clow
by Milky Way Maid
The following is a letter I am sending to Ms. Clow care of her publisher. But it might get to her sooner by posting it here, maybe.
Dear Ms. Barbara Hand-Clow,
I have been a reader of your books, though not for as many years as I would have liked. With regard to the theories posited in Catastrophobia and in The Mayan Code, I believe I have found some interesting material that intermeshes with yours.
Have you ever read the books by a renegade astronomer named Velikovsky? He wrote Worlds in Collision (Doubleday, 1950) and Earth in Upheaval (Doubleday, 1955) in the early 1950s. His work was dismissed as utter fiction at the time.
Currently I am re-reading a related book titled Velikovsky Reconsidered (Warner Books/Doubleday, ISBN 0446823589), a collection of articles that appeared originally in the magazine Pensee’ from 1966-1976, and gathered together in this book which was first published in 1976(?).
The opening pages contain a preface which summarizes the theories of Immanuel Velikovsky regarding disasters that were recorded in myth and legend, many of them about Venus, Isis, Aphrodite, or other female gods. If I may summarize some of them for you here, then you might decide whether you want to investigate his writings on your own.
Velikovsky believed that Venus was born of Jupiter about ten thousand years ago. (This would correspond to the myth of Pallas Athena being born, full-grown, bursting from the head of Zeus.) This newborn Venus rampaged through our solar system as a comet, then was eventually caught in the solar system (crossing the paths of Earth and Mars) then eventually settled into her present circular orbit.
At the time of his writing, very little was empirically known about Venus. But Velikovsky deduced that Venus was a very hot place, and would emit radio signals, well before these hypotheses were confirmed by measurement. Scientists guessed that Venus would be roughly the same temperature as Earth, yet it was found to be a couple hundred degrees above the boiling point of water. (about 600 degrees F, or 750 degrees K, quite the sauna effect)
Velikovsky wrote, “Venus experienced in quick succession its birth and expulsion under violent conditions; an existence as a comet on an ellipse which approached the sun closely; two encounters with the earth accompanied by discharges of potentials between these two bodies and with the thermal effect caused by conversion of momentum into heat; a number of contacts with Mars, and probably also with Jupiter. Since all of this happened between the third and first millenia before the present era, the core of the planet Venus must still be hot.” (Worlds in Collision, “The Thermal Balance of Venus.”)
The preface continues, “It is important to recall that this finding was contrary to the expectations of everyone except Velikovsky.”
Nowadays we assume that the cause of Venus’ heat is a runaway greenhouse effect (Rasool and de Bergh, 1970), completely ignoring the body of work left behind by Velikovsky. We still do not want to face the ‘catastrophe’ that was the history of Venus.
Velikovsky’s sources “describe the planet as incandescent only a few thousand years ago, rivaling the Sun in brightness.” Yet Babylonians and Hindus made no mention of Venus while keeping meticulous records on the four planets they knew of at that time. Velikovsky posited that sometime before 1500 BC, Jupiter gave birth to Venus, who started on a wild cometary orbit across our solar system. A Chinese text says Venus spanned the heavens, and a rabbinical book said she blazed from one end of the cosmos to another.
Circa 1450 BC, the earth approached and entered the tail of Venus. (The effects described strongly resemble the plagues of Egypt when Moses demanded that Pharoah let the Jews leave.) A rusty dust settled over the land, sickened people and made water undrinkable. The Babylonians declared that Tiamat poured her blood over the world.
As earth got deeper into the cometary tail, other phenomena appeared: the heavy gravel-like hail, fire with the hail, meteorites, fields of grain were destroyed. The Mexicans recorded that the sky “rained fire and red-hot stones” in their book, Annals of Cuauhtitlan. Still later, hydrocarbon gases, petroleum, and naphtha rained down in a fiery black rain. And then earth’s axis tilted. Islands sank, hurricanes swept earth and pushed water up mountains, and Arabia became a desert. Global accounts tell of an endless night; Iran specified that they experienced a “threefold night and a threefold day.”
Meanwhile the Israelites fled the dying land of Egypt, rushing toward the Sea of Passage. Babylonians said that Marduk struck the goddess Tiamat with bolts of fire. Egyptians said that Set and Isis engaged in deadly combat. Hindus saw Vishnu battling a serpent. Zeus struggled with the coiled viper Typhon. Earth turned over, and the Sun which had formerly risen in the west, now rose in the east.
Velikovsky posited that the pull of the comet lifted the waters of the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to cross to the other side, and that Venus was the column of smoke by day and the pillar of fire by night.
As destructive as Venus was, she also kept the human race alive with her gift of food. Velikovsky believed that the hydrocarbons in her atmosphere precipitated out as the manna of the Bible.
The paths of Venus and earth crossed again about fifty years later, when her elliptical orbit brought her on a return visit. This time she cast down huge stones as the Canaanites fled the valley of Beth-horon. Mexican records also record a devastating visit.
Venus then turned her wrath on Mars. Records kept by the Chinese, Hindus, Aztecs, Indo-Iranians, and others record that the paths of these two planets were altered. The 360-day year became a 365-day year. These cataclysms were tied to the founding of Rome in about 747 BC, and the death of Romulus. Ovid said that both the poles shook. The result was that Rome made Mars the national god.
Mars hurtled past the earth in 721 BC, on the day Jerusalem’s King Ahaz was buried. Earth’s axis tilted again, and the poles shifted even more. The year lengthened. The sun set several hours early.
Mars was not done. On March 23, 687 BC, the Assyrian army led by Sennacherib camped close to Jerusalem. Mars made his final close approach to earth and tossed a thunderbolt, incinerating Sennacherib’s 185,000 troops. The same night in China, the Bamboo Books record that the stars fell like rain and the earth shook. The earth tilted 10 degrees but in a way that corrected the axis shift of 721 BC. Isaiah 38.8 says, “So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.”
The struggles between Mars and Venus resulted in altered orbits for both. But Venus settled into her circular path, never rising so high in our skies again. Isaiah again taunted Venus (as Lucifer, the morning star), thus, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.”
That is the briefest of summaries of the content of Velikovsky’s two books.
I have asked my readers in the past to consider that the ancients were trying to tell us something about actual events as they witnessed them, when they passed on their stories, myths, and observations of planets and gods gone amok. I think that Velikovsky should be resurrected and honored as the genius that he was, and I hope that you, Ms. Hand-Clow, can work out correspondences between the timeline in your theories with that of Mr. Velikovsky.
Ms. Milky Way Maid
Thank you to my readers for listening in, and I encourage all of you to seek out the books of both Ms. Hand-Clow and Immanuel Velikovsky.