What if Mythology is Really Cosmology???
by Milky Way Maid
Having read several interrelated books these last several months covering mythology and assorted theories of cosmology, I have decided that it is quite possible that myths are not just amusing stories about gods and goddesses, but are stories about the cosmological history of our solar system.
Whether you are a fan of Velikovsky or of Barbara Hand Clow or of the Mayans, it seems that the planet Venus was an object of abject terror among the ancient peoples. The Mayans in particular charted her movements to an exacting degree, fearful lest she stray from her current circular orbit and shed fire and brimstone upon a hapless Earth.
What if Venus were indeed a captured celestial body not native to our solar system? And what if the Mayan legends of her ‘misbehavior’, as related by Velikovsky, are true accounts of her capture and and the cataclysmic and far-reaching effects on our own planet?
Barbara Hand Clow postulates that the earth was tilted as a result of Venus’ flyby. Whereas earth had formerly been a seasonable place, a veritable Eden, with a year-long summer, the magnetic pull of Venus’ close encounter pulled our planet off kilter, resulting in the current 23 degree tilt which is responsible for our seasons. Clow points to clues in Egyptian and other artwork that keeps pointing out a tilted vertical line, always at just about a 23 degree tilt off vertical.
Let us take another look at the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We have been befuddled by our wrongful focus on the issue of their sexuality and guilt. What we should have focused on was the question: What is the purpose of this story? The answer that I come up with is: The purpose of the Eden story is to explain the loss of Eden.
What if Eve in this story is not really a human female after all, but rather Venus – and not a mythological Venus but a literal planet Venus. It is Venus who is responsible for the fact that we no longer had a year-round summer, where we could live in a virtual paradise, plucking fruit from trees as needed. She tilted the Earth, causing the seasons, and forced us to take up agriculture in order to grow our bread.
What does it say in Genesis? “Cursed be the ground because of you, By toil shall you eat of it All the days of your life. . . By the sweat of your brow Shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground.”
Mankind was forced to at last take up agriculture and other labors to grow their sustenance during the short summers, lest they starve to dead during this new phenomenon: winter. Granted, it made possible a whole host of other technical and technological advances: metallurgy to make better plows, weaving and leather-working to make warm clothes, fire to keep their houses warm, and so forth.
Stop blaming Eve and just get on with it.
(Please also see articles “A Nod to Velikovsky” and “Stonehenge Evolved Over Centuries of Earth Changes”.)
A Nod to Velikovsky: His Revolutionary Predictions of Venus, and Her Wild Past
— by Milky Way Maid
In 1950, Immanuel Velikovsky first started publishing his revolutionary hypotheses concerning the history of our solar system and in particular of that wayward girl, Venus. Several of his predictions about the nature of Venus were dismissed as so far off the wall as to not merit serious consideration in scientific journals. And yet several of those predictions were later borne out by scientific observation and measurement.
Among those predictions were that Venus was hot, that Venus and Jupiter would emit radio waves, that Venus has a massive atmosphere (i.e. she has high atmospheric pressure), that she rotates retrograde (has a backward spin), that in rotating she turns the same face to the Earth at every inferior conjunction (a girl likes to show her best side during a hot date, after all), that her orbit is nearly circular, that her atmosphere spins much faster than the planet itself, that she may have ground tides, and that she is cooling. All of these have been found to be true by subsequent observations, even though at the time of his predictions, Velikovsky was dismissed as a quack or even a madman.
In 1950, Venus was widely assumed to be very much like a sister planet to Earth, with a similar temperature. Scientists were quite surprised to later find that her temperature is quite high, at least 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Venus (as well as Jupiter) also astonished scientists by emitting radio waves, about three times more than was expected.
The reasoning behind Velikovsky’s predictions has not yet been verified, and is possibly unverifiable. He believed that Venus was a captured cometary body that once had a highly elliptical orbit that swung from near an inner-planet Mars to just beyond Jupiter. He believed that records made by ancient Babylonians, Chinese, and others lent backing to a history of Venus that once menaced Earth and Mars with close encounters.
Take for example the problem of the so-called Venus Tablets of Ammizaduga (they are so-called because they were most likely not written during that king’s reign). (Ammizaduga was the great-great-grandson of Hammurabi.) It is very difficult to reconcile their observations with any current cycles of Venus, and most astronomers and historians just throw up their hands and toss out the record as impossible. For instance, consider one 1880 translation of the K.160 tablet, held by the British Museum after being excavated from the library of Ashurbanipal by Layard about 1860.
The tablet seems to give a record of Venus’ invisibilities at the inferior and superior conjunctions. It says: “In the month Sivan on the twenty-fifth day, Ninsianna (aka Venus) disappeared in the east. She remained absent from the sky for two months six days; in the month Ulul on the twenty-fourth day, Ninsianna appeared in the west, the heart of the land is happy. In the month Nisan, on the twenty-seventh day, Ninsianna disappeared in the west; she remained absent from the sky for seven days; in the month Ayar on the third day, Ninsianna appeared in the east. Hostilities occur in the land, the harvest of the land is successful.” (from Velikovsky Revisited, p. 112)
Since none of us casual readers are familiar with the calendar of the Babylonians, what this means is that Venus was invisible for two months on a superior conjunction, and was invisible for seven days on what appears to be an inferior conjunction. Another group has very regular invisibilities on superior conjunction of three months. At one point it seems that Venus missed a conjunction, or could it be that she could not be seen (Due to anything from heavy clouds to volcanic ash? We may never know.).
Even worse for those who believe that the solar system has always been the way it is now, is a suggestion that Venus may have pushed Mars out of an inner-planet orbit to one between Earth and Jupiter. Historical records do suddenly become quite concerned about Mars’ activities.
What can we make of this theory and the controversy around it? One, revolutionary theories are at first attacked as irresponsible or worse. Two, its proponent is attacked as a charlatan or worse. Three, it is likely that the solar system had as tumultuous a past as that of the earth itself.
What if the myth of the birth of Pallas Athena from the head of Zeus is really a story about the birth of the planet Venus from her ‘father’, Jupiter? And Athena’s armor is just a a way of describing Venus’ brightness, like the sun shining on metal. (Perhaps the Pallas name denotes the planet’s phase as a cometary body?) What if the myth of the affair between Venus and Mars is a story about the close encounter between those two planets in the historical past?
Why is it that the meticulous Babylonians did not mention Venus at all in their earliest records? Why is it that the meticulous Hindus record only four planets prior to the second millennium B.C. — but Venus is not among them? Perhaps sometime during that period, Venus had been born but was on an elliptical orbit — then suddenly acted like a comet and became blazing bright
Velikovsky believed that ancient records of a Venus that rivaled the Sun for brightness (according to the Chinese) and blazed “from one end of the cosmos to the other” (according to a rabbinical source) denotes a close encounter about 1450 B.C. when earth passed thru Venus’ cometary tail. The Egyptians suffered lack of potable water as a fine red dust turned the waters red as blood. Fish died and rotted in the rivers. The Egyptian Ipuwer wrote: “Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere.” The Babylonians wrote that Tiamat, the monster in the sky, poured out her blood all over the world. The dust phase turned to a meteorite phase, when hail and fire poured down — perhaps the source of the phrase “fire and brimstone”. In Mexico, the Annals of Cuaahtitlan says that the sky “rained not water, but fire, and red-hot stones.” Then a rain of burning naphtha, and a paroxysm of earth changes as the gravitational and possibly plasmic forces altered the earth’s axis and brought about floods and quakes. China had floods, while Arabia became a desert. From the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to China, records tell us of darkness that lasted for three days. Again, myth turns this cosmological event into a story. The Babylonians say that Marduk struck the dragon Tiamat (Venus) with bolts of fire. The Egyptians saw Isis (Venus) and Set in deadly battle. The Hindus say that Vishnu battled the “crooked serpent”. Zeus, says Apollodorus, fought the coiled viper Typhon. The dragon or snake-like descriptions are describing the comet-like tail of Venus at that time.
I might add that it is not impossible for comets to change their orbits or cycles. Brooks’s Comet Changed its orbital period from 29 years to 7 years after a swing around Jupiter. Comet Wolf changed its perihelion after a close encounter with Jupiter, in 1875 then later reverted to its prior habits after another swing by Jupiter in 1922. The comet Oterma III had its orbit between Jupiter and Saturn prior to 1938, but then had its orbit between Mars and Jupiter; it reverted after 1965 to its prior ‘hunting grounds’.
The link between the female goddesses and the snake or dragon was forever immortalized in the story of Adam and Eve, when Eve entertained the snake and caused the end of an idyllic and serene Eden. The group guilt that humanity has borne for supposedly causing the end of an edenic period, is therefore totally mistaken and unnecessary. Oh that we could erase the misogyny that resulted from Venus-Eve’s wayward motions.
I conclude that Velikovsky was indeed on to something, although the details are still to be worked out. We need to go back to the historical record, improve the translations and take seriously the observations of the ancient peoples. THEY SAW SOMETHING, and they wanted us to have this record of an extraordinary time!
Also, it occurs to me that it is possible that the Mayan calendar is thrown out of whack by the changes in the length of earth days and years. After the battle of Beth-horon, the year had 360 days and twelve months.; the length of the day would have been equal to 27.5 modern hours, according to Velikovsky; either the earth spun slower or its orbit was a little closer to the sun. Evidence from cuneiform tablets found in the Nineveh royal library record calendric and astronomical data very different from the cycles of today. Perhaps the transition from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar was not merely the result of accrued inaccuracies; maybe it was because the disturbances in earth’s orbit distorted our year. Hence the rush by peoples all over the world to adjust their temples, calendars and astronomical markers.
Therefore maybe we should issue a caveat regarding putting too much faith in the Mayan calendar, which was developed prior to these changes. December 2012 may not be a significant day — or it may be that the end of the cycle actually occurs on another date.
SOURCES: I am reading a book titled “Velikovsky Reconsidered” by the editors of Pensee magazine, which contains essays from the pages of Pensee from 1966-1976 plus papers by Velikovsky. I have also read a couple of Velikovsky’s books in the past, Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval.
PS — You may also wish to read Barbara Hand Clow’s book, Catastrophobia, for a psychic or channeled approach to these historical earth changes. She has some interesting things to say about the significance of the change in earth’s axial tilt.
PPS — Please see also my article on the changes in the construction and design of Stonehenge over the centuries.
Stonehenge Evolved Over Centuries of Earth Changes
by Milky Way Maid
In an article titled “On Decoding Hawkins’ ‘Stonehenge Decoded’” Immanuel Velikovsky tackled the twin problems of whether the alignments of the stones on the Salisbury Plain in England are accurate today or were accurate in ancient times. He responds to two Gerald Hawkins articles which appeared in the December 1965 issue of American Scientist and a 1964 issue of Nature.
Hawkins believed that the ancient peoples of Britain were fearful that the Sun might go out of control and that they were also capable of building an astronomical computer. Hawkins believed that the 56 “Aubrey holes” were intended to chart and predict lunar eclipses. He assumes that the secret of Stonehenge is that they knew of a 56-year long eclipse cycle. Stonehenge was not built to predict solar eclipses.
Besides the 56 holes for this supposed eclipse marker, there are or were 30 holes for a Y ring, 29 holes for a Z ring, and 59 holes for bluestones that are no longer there. Hawkins says he tested these alignments of holes on a computer to identify possible connections to observing celestial bodies.
Well, actually, with so many holes and possible configurations of these holes, there are just about an infinite number of possible target stars or heliacal rising markers open to us. The article comes up with 27,060 possible alignments in this structure. Hawkins says that astonishingly, there were no detectable correlations to the Stonehenge markers.
Not to Arcturus, Sirius, Canopus, Betelguese, Spica, Vega or any other number of major stars.
A guidebook still current in 1967, written by R.J.C. Atkinson and published by the British government, says: “It is commonly believed that on 21st June, when today large crowds gather to see the dawn, an observer at the center of Stonehenge will see the sun rise immediately over the Heel Stone, and that it will cast a shadow of the top of the Heel Stone on the Altar Stone. Neither of these widely held beliefs is correct. Today the midsummer sun rises appreciably to the left of the Heel Stone, and when Stonehenge was built it rose even further to the left; it will not rise over the Heel Stone for more than thousand years.”
Atkinson was rather incensed that Hawkins allowed an unpardonable two degrees of arc in accepting alignments. Two degrees is roughly equal to four diameters of the sun or moon. Atkinson says that anyone with a pair of sticks can can fix the rising or setting sun within 5 MINUTES of arc. Atkinson says that this means the Heel Stone could be moved as much as 12 feet and not affect any of Hawkins’ claim.
Atkinson also blasted away Hawkins supposedly rediscovered alignments by showing that out of the 8 alignments Hawkins supposedly found for Stonehenge III, four were outside acceptable limits, two were for fallen stones, and one would presumably have been blocked by the Slaughter Stone when upright.
And by the way if you astrologers out there never heard of a 56-year cycle for solar eclipses, that’s because there isn’t one. There is a 65-year cycle, in periods of 19, 19 and 27 years.
So Velikovsky comes in and declares that Stonehenge, rather than being a complete failure as an observatory, is instead an obsolete one. And therein lies its value as a clue to the skies as experienced by the ancients.
So instead of abandoning their enormous investment of time and labor, the ancients ‘recycled’ the stones into a series of other arrangements on the hill in a continuing attempt to get it right. Atkinson then posited a series of stages of development. If you live in Britain, perhaps you are already familiar with this sequence, and perhaps too you have an opportunity to test the present stones against possible alignments.
(You may wish to print out a layout of Stonehenge as it stands today, courtesy of Harvard, at www.fas.harvard.edu/~scdiroff/lds/AstronomyAstrophysics/Stonehenge/Stonehenge.html . Also this site has not only the current layout but all the older, now unused holes, too: www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/gem-projects/hm/0102-1-stonehenge/layout.htm )
Period One. The first construction was the bank and the ditch, the Heel Stone and the Aubrey holes. That’s all. Seems pretty minimal, but simplicity is a virtue. All you really need is a marker stone, and some other indicator of where to stand.
Period Two. About 150 years later, Atkinson claims, the site was remodeled, and this involved moving the massive bluestones from 130 miles away in the Prescelly Mountains in Pembrokeshire. At least 80 stones were arranged in a double circle in the middle of the site, arranged like radiating spokes. This was a radical redesign because it had a new axis. The entrance was on the northeast, and opposite it is a large pit for what must have been a huge stone. Atkinson believed, however, that this new design was not completed.
Period Three-A. The double circle is dismantled. Those stones were put on one side, and the huge sarsen stones were put in their place after being dragged from their source in Marlborough Downs. These sarsen stones are the ones so widely photographed and imitated with sites like Carhenge, etc. The center of this circle is not the same as the circle in Period One.
Period Three-B. About 20 of the dismantled bluestones were re-shaped and arranged in an oval. The remodelers apparently wished to use the other 60 bluestones to mark the Y and Z designs. The bluestones in the oval were demolished again and the whole design given up.
Period Three-C. We come at last to the final construction of Stonehenge as know it today. The upright bluestones in the oval were converted into a horseshoe shape. The undressed bluestones filled out the circle, between the sarsen horseshoe and the sarsen circle. The Altar Stone, the tallest one, was presumably set as a tall pillar in front of the central sarsen trilithon but has since then fallen down.
Atkinson believes that the latest stage of Stonehenge construction was completed by 1400 BC.
Velikovsky believes that the ancients kept trying to remodel the site “to conform to the changed orders of the world.” He also states that “the last change in the celestial order took place in the beginning of the seventh century, actually on March 23, -687” (BC). He is not impressed with the dating of antlers found under one of the stones and in a fill site. Antler material is unreliable and it has been shown to be easily contaminated, according to the Radiocarbon Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania.
Today the equinoxes still draw a large crowd to Salisbury or to Avebury, though it sure seems like they just come to party and not to make any astronomical observations.
Let us hope that this article will dispel some of the erroneous assumptions of Stonehenge’s function and age. There is still plenty of room for discussion on what the orientation of the site may have been at any era of its history, and we should focus on that. More recent articles in the press dismiss Stonehenge as merely a funerary site for honored members of the clan. While significant sites often are endowed with the bones of powerful members of their society, I think it would be silly to think that any society would go to so much trouble just for a cemetery.