Thursday, February 27, 2014

Buddha, Odin, Mushrooms

Here is a link to a fascinating scholarly article published in 1995 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology entitled "Soma siddhas and alchemical enlightenment: psychedelic mushrooms in Buddhist tradition," by Scott Hajicek-Dobberstein.

The study examines some of the texts of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, specifically the collection known as the Stories of the Eighty-Four Siddhas, written as texts in the Tibetan language in the 11th or 12 centuries AD from older oral traditions, and describing the lives of eighty-four "adepts" or seekers known as siddha.  

In these stories, the author believes he finds numerous allegorical references to the use of psychedelic mushrooms, including legends of eating cakes of bread balanced upon the point of a needle, visions of a beautiful woman who emerges from a birch tree, but only from the waist up (perhaps to embody the mushroom, which stands only upon one leg and which according to some analysts of sacred mushroom-lore has a symbiotic relationship with the birch tree), and references to beings or demons or deities with only a single eye (also reminiscent of the mushroom, as can be seen in the images above) -- among many others too numerous to list here.

Interestingly enough, Buddhist art from Tibet sometimes depicts bodhisattvas seated in front of a large, halo-like ring which contains wavy radiating lines very suggestive of the underside view of a mushroom cap, with the radiating lines reminiscent of the gills of the mushroom.  The image above (from this wiki) is characteristic of this iconography.  Here is a link to a very beautiful painting from the nineteenth century with similar iconography (click on the "full resolution" link if your browser can handle it). 

Previous posts have mentioned authors and analysts who discuss the prominent presence of mushroom iconography in the world's sacred traditions, including this previous post which links to some articles by Paul Stamets which mention mushrooms in Buddhist art and iconography (unfortunately, some of those articles no longer seem to appear on Mr. Stamets' website), as well as to books which argue that the manna described in the Old Testament may have been meant to describe mushrooms (possibly psychoactive mushrooms).

A very interesting aspect of the 1995 article by Scott Hajicek-Dobberstein linked above is his discussion, beginning in section 4.4 of his piece which can be found on page 114 of the original publication (Journal of Ethnopharmacology 48 (1995)) of the very strong apparent links between the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Karnaripa/Aryadeva and the Norse god Odin.  

He points out that Odin is constantly referred to by one of his most-dinstinguishing features -- having only one eye.  He notes that Odin gave away his eye in order to gain mystical powers of seeing and wisdom, which has strong parallels to events described in the lives of the Eighty-Four Siddhas.  He also notes that the epithets of Odin found in the Grimnismal in the Poetic Edda include "Long Hood" and "With Broad Hat," both descriptions which could be seen as esoteric references to the mushroom.  Odin often traveled about under a very broad-brimmed hat, something that readers of D'Auleires' Norse Gods & Giants (one of my very favorite books as a child) will know well.  

This connection between Aryadeva and Odin is in fact very profound.  According to the Eddas, Odin became the supreme Norse god by a process of questing for enlightenment in which he hanged himself on the World Tree for nine days and nine nights.  During this time of intense suffering, Odin gained the gift of written language through the runes, which he saw in the scattered twigs at the base of the great Tree.  He imparted this secret to mankind.  

Note that in the ancient Greek myth tradition, Hermes was the giver of language (he corresponds to Thoth the god of scribes and writing in ancient Egypt, a connection which is borne out in many ancient sources and is practically incontestable), and thus Hermes corresponds to Odin.  This ancient correspondence is borne out by the fact that in the days of the week, Odin's Day is Wednesday -- known in the Latinate languages as Mercury's Day (such as miercoles in Spanish).  As Mercury is the Latin name for Hermes, this analysis supports the correspondence between Odin and Hermes (and thus the connection with Thoth).

Interestingly enough, the Buddha is also associated with Hermes according to many scholars throughout the ages.  In this text published in 1904, for example, author John Garnier points to connections between Buddha and Hermes.  He writes:
Buddha is also known as "Heri Maha," "The Great Lord"; as "Datta," "Deva Tat," and "Deva Twashta"; as "Mahi-man," "man" being probably the same as mens, mind, or intelligence, as in "Menu," or "Men Nuh." "Mahi-man" would thus mean "the great Mind," which is exactly the character given to Buddha.  He is also known as "Ma Hesa" and "Har Esa," "The Great Hesa," and "Lord Hesa." 103.
Note that in the mushroom article by Scott Hajicek-Dobberstein, it is Aryadeva whom the author associates with Buddha and with Odin -- the name contains "Deva," which is discussed in the 1904 text.  The names "Deva Tat" and "Deva Twashta" are very linguistically similar to the names of the Egyptian Hermes, Thoth -- also pronounced "Tawt" and sometimes even "Tahuti," or "Djehuty."

John Garnier continues even further, writing on page 109:
Nor is this the only thing connecting Buddha with the Babylonian Hea, who, as we have seen, is identified with the Egyptian Hermes or Mercury.  For the "Tri-Ratna" of Buddhism, which is called "the three precious symbols of the faith," consisted of two serpents twining round a staff (see sketch), and forming a circle and a crescent, symbolic of the sun and moon, in exactly the same way as the "Caduceus" of Hermes or Mercury, the only difference in the Caduceus being that the staff is placed below the serpents.
Buddha, of course, like Odin is associated with the journey towards enlightenment and inner vision.  So these connections between the Buddha and Odin are not at all as alien as they may at first seem.

This subject also invites contemplation upon the connection between the mushroom and the mind, the search for enlightenment, inner vision, shamanic vision, the power of language and writing, the intertwined serpents, the concept of medicine and healing, and many other vital topics.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thus says Thoth, judge of truth

The above scene, known as the Judgment of the Dead or the Weighing Scene, is one of the most famous in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.  The above image is from the version contained in the Papyrus of Ani, widely considered to contain the superlative artwork of all the known copies of the Book of the Dead to have survived into modern times.  From the artistry of the scene above, one can immediately appreciate why the artwork in the Papyrus of Ani is held in such high regard. 

The vignette above is described in the outstanding edition of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, conceived and produced by James Wasserman and edited by Eva von Dassow, as follows:
The dramatic focus of the entire vignette is on the scales in the center, with Ani's heart on the left pan and the feather of maat "Truth, Rightful Order" standing upright on the right pan.  Adorning the top of the scales is a small image of a baboon, a form of the god Thoth, who is associated in the afterlife with the judgment of the dead.  Thoth himself, in his usual ibis-headed form, stands to the right of the activity.  He wears a white sash diagonally across his chest, indicating that he is assuming the role of lector priest, the official who reads (and writes) the rituals.  In his hands he holds the tools of his (and Ani's) scribal trade, a reed brush and a scribal palette.  He is ready to record the results of Ani's judgment. 155.
The description of the text associated with this scene is also informative.  It indicates that in many scrolls this scene is accompanied by the famous "Negative Confession," but that in this version the accompanying text is somewhat different:
The critical moment of Ani's BD, the Judgment of the Dead, occurs in Plate 3, directly following the Hymn to Osiris Wennefer in the preceding plate.  Normally Chapter 125, the 'Negative Confession,' is associated with this scene.  In this papyrus, however, that chapter does not occur until much further on in the last third of the roll (Plate 31), where it incorporates a miniature version of the weighing scene.  In Plate 3 we find instead Chapter 30B, written in the group of vertical columns beginning above and to the left of the scales and continuing over the figures of Ani and Tutu.  Chapter 30B is often called the 'Heart Scarab' spell because it is known primarily as the text which appears on large funerary scarab-shaped amulets which were placed within the mummy bandages near the heart.  Many BD papyri contain a longer version of this chapter, but the short form is the one used in Ani's papyrus.  On the right side of the plate appears a speech of the Great Ennead, a speech by Thoth, and a brief speech by Anubis.  155.
The speech by Thoth is profound, and worthy of careful consideration and long contemplation.  In the translation by Dr. Raymond O. Faulkner found in the edition linked above, that speech reads as follows:
Thus says Thoth, judge of truth, to the Great Ennead which is in the presence of Osiris: Hear this word of very truth.  I have judged the heart of the deceased, and his soul stands as a witness for him.  His deeds are righteous in the great balance, and no sin has been found in him.  He did not diminish the offerings in the temples, he did not destroy what had been made, he did not go about with deceitful speech while he was on Earth.
The tremendous importance the sacred texts attach to "not going about with deceitful speech" found in Chapter 30B is echoed in the Book of the Dead Chapter 29A, the "Chapter for not taking away the heart of one whose conduct has been vindicated in the God's Domain."  There the text declares:
My heart is with me and it shall not be taken away, for I am a possessor of hearts who unites hearts.  I live by truth, in which I exist; I am Horus who is in hearts, he who is in the middle of what is in the body.  I live by saying what is in my heart, and it shall not be taken away; my heart is mine, and none shall be aggressive against it, no terror shall subdue me.  I take it that I may be in the body of my father Geb and my mother Nut, for I have committed no sin against the gods, and nothing shall be deducted in that respect from my vindication.  103.
Clearly, of all the aspects of being declared "righteous in the great balance," the concept of "living by truth" and "not going about with deceitful speech while on Earth" appears to have been held paramount.

One can perhaps profitably consider this concept in light of the previous post on the life of Giordano Bruno.  It cannot be denied that Bruno spoke what he felt to be the truth, even when threatened with death for so doing.  It can also be observed that Bruno strongly believed in "not going about with deceitful speech" -- once he had determined that he no longer believed the things which had compelled him to take religious vows and join a monastic order, for example, he did not pretend to continue to believe them, but instead left and then "publicly defrocked himself" rather than declare by his words or deeds something which he did not believe to be the truth.

The previous post linked above also notes that Bruno wrote and published a text concerning the subject of "bonding in general," which deals with the methods by which mass groups of people can be manipulated and "bound" through psychological techniques, and the ways the reader can avoid such "bonding."  It can readily be seen that the control of masses of people often involves the spreading about of deceit, lies, and half-truths, as well as the withholding of the truth that could free people from their "bonds."  

One living in the modern age cannot help but agree with the assertion that today, the art of "binding"or "bonding" through techniques of psychology, association, propaganda, and the outright  use of deceit, lies and half-truths is very widespread -- it may be, in fact, one of the distinguishing features of the modern age since at least the early decades of the twentieth century.  It is surely no exaggeration to observe that the citizenry of most western nations today are generally more often controlled by the withholding of truth and the repetition of lies and half-truths than they are controlled by outright physical force or violence.  (In other words, by mind control).

The words of the Egyptian Book of the Dead should give pause to those who have made the spreading about of deceitful speech their stock-in-trade (to say nothing of those who believe that it is acceptable to use force to suppress or even murder those who speak the truth, as was done to Giordano Bruno).  

In fact, we should all carefully consider the solemn declarations of these ancient sacred texts, and resolve to say along with Horus, "I live by truth, in which I exist," and to aspire to live the words of Thoth: "he or she did not go about with deceitful speech while on Earth."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Giordano Bruno, 1548 - 1600

On this day in history, February 17 in the year 1600, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake.  

In the introduction to their 1977 translation of Bruno's 1584 text The Ash Wednesday Supper, Edward A. Gosselin and Lawrence S. Lerner write that "Giordano Bruno is one of those semi-legendary figures of whom nearly every educated person has heard the name and very little more" (11).  

They go on to say that the commonly-understood "myth" of Bruno's life and importance, while based in the true details of his life, leaves out the full complexity both of the man and the significance of his philosophy.  They summarize "the Bruno myth" as follows:
An itinerant renegade friar, Bruno defied contemporary ecclesiastical authorities and doctrines.  In addition, he vehemently rejected the commonly held Ptolemaic belief that the earth lay at the center of the universe, and engaged in mystical speculation which centered about his pioneering support of the Copernican view.  In connection with his Copernican beliefs, he held also that the universe contains an infinite number of worlds populated with intelligent beings.  On account of these teachings, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Inquisition and burned at the stake in 1600.  He thus became the first martyr of modern science at the hands of the Church, and thereby a precursor of Galileo.  The moral of this nineteenth-century story is that Science, the bearer of knowledge, struggles to an inevitable victory over the Church, the champion of ignorance and superstition.  11-12.
Gosselin and Lerner write that while the "facts in this myth are true" they are "sketchy to the point of poverty and generally misleading in their emphasis" (12).  Rather, they note that while Bruno was among the first to support the Copernican revolution, his emphasis was on its philosophical implications, which run far beyond the merely scientific details of which heavenly object orbits which.  It was Bruno's brilliant insight to perceive that the motion of the bodies in the universe, including the earth, had implications which impacted every aspect of human existence.  Gosselin and Lerner write: "For these movements called upon the whole encyclopedia of human knowledge in their efforts to restore the lost harmonia mundi"(13).  

In his introduction to the collection Giordano Bruno: Cause, Principal and Unity, and Essays on Magic, Alfonso Ingegno writes that Bruno's Ash Wednesday Supper discussion of the work and significance of Copernicus can help us perceive the scope of Bruno's philosophy. Ingegno writes:
Copernicus was primarily a mathematician -- his interest was directed towards astronomy rather than towards natural philosophy, and in this sense his work needed to be further developed.  Certainly he started from a correct and significant physical presupposition, the earth's motion, but he sought only a mathematical description of the movements of the heavens.
In contrast, Bruno presents himself as a natural philosopher, as the one who is destined to become the authentic interpreter of Copernicus' discovery and is called to draw out the conclusions from it, beginning with the physical ones.  [. . .]  Thus in The Ash Wednesday Supper Copernicus becomes the inspired one to whom the gods have entrusted a message, the importance and significance of which he has not realized; he is like a blind fortune teller for whom Bruno acts as the authentic interpreter.  ix.
Ingegno goes on to give a taste of the profundity of Bruno's vision:
The philosopher, therefore, is summoned on a metaphorical journey across the heavens to discover that the traditional crystalline spheres are only a vain fiction, that there is no upper limit to the physical world and thus no end to his journey, and that what opens out in front of him is an infinite space.  The philosopher shows us that the divinity is present in us and in our planet no less than in every other heavenly body, that it is not situated beyond the imaginary limit of a closed and finite universe, in a place which makes it accessible to man.
In other words, Bruno perceived that the work of Copernicus changed everything, because it meant that divinity is not "situated beyond the imaginary limit of a closed and finite universe" (that is to say, that the Eternal did not dwell in a remote location, above the outermost of the "crystalline spheres" of heaven), but that "divinity is present in us" and can be found in a place that is accessible to every man and woman.

Bruno saw this vision as enabling the reconciliation of mankind, and as offering the possibility for overcoming the violent religious wars and controversies which were wracking Europe (and which would ultimately lead to his own violent murder at the hands of religious authorities).  Bruno perceived that Copernicus had broken through the mental fiction upon which was based a system of violence and suppression that had kept human beings in ignorance and poverty, and that the downfall of this fiction opened up the gate to the reconciliation of all human knowledge, and a return to an ancient harmony that had been lost.  

In her groundbreaking 1964 work, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Frances A. Yates argues that Bruno thus revived the ancient vision of the Hermetic Neoplatonists of the second and third centuries AD, a vision that was eventually crushed by the rise of ecclesiastical and literal Christianity.  It was this vision, rather than his support for the Copernican system, which led to his execution, according to Yates.  She writes that Bruno was perceived as "particularly dangerous because he had had a religious mission"(445).  "Bruno's universal reform," she says, "aimed at returning to a supposedly pre-Christian Hermetic Egyptianism.  Bruno himself, however, would not have regarded this as necessarily anti-Christian since, as we have seen, he entertained the strange hope that the reform would come within an existing framework"(445).

As Alfonso Ingegno tells us, "More than any previous thinker, then, Bruno is aware of the fact that the fall of Aristotelian cosmology implies the end of traditional metaphysics."  But, he thought that others would embrace the metaphysical implications of the death-blow that Copernican science was dealing to the Aristotelian cosmology (of a fixed earth), and in this he was fatally mistaken.

Bruno's philosophy was far-ranging and all-encompassing.  His insight that the universe was infinite, and that it was composed of minute "seeds" which bonded together temporarily and then dissolved to form again, he perceived to have ramifications that ranged from the fate of the soul after the death of the body (he wrote: "Death is nothing more than [. . .] a disintegration.  No spirit and no body ever perishes; rather there is only a continual change of combinations and actualizations," Cause, Principle and Unity) to the concept of "social binding," which is very much analogous to what we might today call "mind control" (he wrote: "even if there were no hell, the thought and imagination of hell without a basis in truth would still really produce a true hell, for fantasy has its own kind of truth," and ""No bonds are eternal.  Rather, things alternate between bondage and freedom, between being bonded and escaping from a bond, or they transfer from one type of bond to another," Cause, Principle and Unity). 

He wrote an entire treatise discussing the ways that the masses can be manipulated by psychological and magical bonds, and on recognizing and escaping from such bonds (entitled De vinculus in genere, or Of bonds in general, it can be found along with other works by Bruno -- albeit in Latin -- here; The Ash Wednesday Supper can be found in English online here).  The quotations in the previous paragraph can be found in this excellent online review by Sonya Bahar of Ingrid Rowland's 2009 biography of Giordano Bruno. 

Ultimately, a philosopher as vast as Giordano Bruno cannot be encompassed, any more than can the infinite cosmos he proclaimed -- the infinite cosmos which the ancient Hermetic wisdom he espoused declares to be present inside every human being.



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Galileo Galilei

February 15 is the birthday of Galileo Galilei -- born this day in Pisa, Italy in 1564, four hundred fifty orbits of the earth around the sun ago.  Special thanks to my very good friend J. Y., originally of N. Z., for reminding me of this very important anniversary of Galileo's birth, and sending along this link to the Galileo birthday writeup in the Sydney Morning Herald by past President of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, Perry Vlahos.

Galileo, of course, was possessed of a tremendously curious and incisive mind, and a crucially important figure in the history of physics, astronomy, and science in general.  Perhaps one of the most important paradigm shifts he introduced, and the one which had the most profound impact upon the world, was his almost single-handed invention of the scientific method: the concept of using experiments and allowing the evidence to suggest the hypotheses and theories that explains the evidence, in marked contrast to the methods in use for centuries previous.

As Professors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain in their outstanding investigation of quantum physics entitled Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness, Galileo pioneered a new approach that propelled human investigation forward in a way that had not been possible previously, when theories were deemed acceptable or not based on religious dogma:

The Church had to stop Galileo's call for independent thought. [ . . .] Found guilty of heresy by the Holy Inquisition, and given a tour of the torture chambers, Galileo recanted his claim of a sun-orbiting Earth.  For his last years, Galileo lived under house arrest -- a lesser penalty than that of another Copernican, Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake.
[. . .]
Galileo's ideas were obvious -- to him.   How could he convince others?  Rejecting Aristotle's teaching on the motion of matter was not a minor issue.  Aristotle's philosophy was an all-encompassing, Church-enshrined worldview.  Reject a part, and you appear to reject it all.
To compel agreement with his ideas, Galileo needed examples that conflicted with Aristotle's mechanics, but examples that conformed to his own ideas.  Looking around, he could see few such cases.  His solution: create them!
Galileo would contrive special clear-cut situations: "experiments."  An experiment tests a theoretical prediction.  This may seem an obvious approach, but in that day it was an original and profound idea.
[. . .]
Some faulted Galileo's experimental method.  Though the displayed facts could not be denied, Galileo's demonstrations were "merely contrived situations."  They could be ignored because they conflicted with the intuitively obvious nature of matter.  Moreover, Galileo's ideas had to be wrong because they conflicted with Aristotelian philosophy. 
Galileo had a far-reaching answer: Science should deal only with those matters that can be demonstrated.  Intuition and authority have no standing in science.  The only criterion for judgment in science is experimental demonstration.
Within a few decades, Galileo's approach was accepted with a vengeance.  Science progressed with a vigor never before seen.  25-26.
The authors go on to demonstrate that the results of the foundational experiments of quantum physics, while clearly going against "the intuitively obvious nature of matter" as well as the received wisdom and apparent "authority" of the classical physics that preceded them, create a paradigm shift as fundamental as that which Galileo and his successors accomplished in their day.

While quantum physics is now generally accepted, there are many other areas in which received wisdom and the reigning "authority" continues to try to trump the evidence, or even to suppress the evidence, in order to try to prevent the acceptance of paradigm-shifting new perspectives.  Because of this, the spirit of Galileo will always be necessary to enable mankind to honestly search for the truth, and to face the implications of the results of the evidence, no matter what that evidence appears to tell us.


Previous posts mentioning Galileo:

It might also be pointed out that without Galileo, there would probably have been no Sherlock Holmes and his version of the "scientific method," and without Sherlock Holmes, there would probably have been no Scooby Doo.

As the above-linked previous blog posts point out, there are many in the "establishment" today who like to invoke Galileo as a way of stifling the very kind of evidence-based dissent that Galileo stood for.    On the four hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, it is a good time to consider the spirit of following the evidence, rather than the dictums of the "authority" figures who want to quell dissent by their insistence that the matter is already "settled."

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Big Dipper and the Lion

This is a terrific time of year to view the majestic pairing of the Big Dipper and the zodiac sign of Leo the Lion, two constellations which are actually "paired" in the sky.

Right now, in the hours between sunset and midnight (prime viewing hours for those who keep rather "normal" sleep schedules), the almost-universally familiar form of the Big Dipper is standing almost vertical when viewed by observers in the northern hemisphere (see diagram above).  

The constellation of Leo the Lion is actually "geared" to the Big Dipper as shown in the diagram, such that the bottom of the "spoon" of the dipper is roughly parallel to the back of the Lion: they look almost like the coastlines of two continents which are now separated by the Atlantic Ocean but which once fit together, having drifted apart as described by the theory of gradual "continental drift" or by the far more-likely hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown.  

Of course, I am not suggesting that continental drift also took place in the heavens and that the constellations of the Dipper and the Lion were once joined together!  This is just a metaphor to describe the nice parallel "fit" and relative positions of the two groupings of stars, and to help the skywatcher to think of the two constellations as part of the same heavenly mechanism.

Those who may be familiar with the Big Dipper but not as familiar with the figure of Leo the Lion can find tips on locating Leo in previous posts such as this one and this one.  Also, as beloved author H. A. Rey describes in his wonderful and essential guide The Stars: A New Way to See Them, the rear two stars in the cup of the Dipper can be used to point an arrow directly to Regulus, the brightest star of the Lion (see diagram below).  Of this brightest star in Leo, H. A. Rey writes:
The brightest one, REGULUS, is easy to find when the Big Dipper is high up: use the two stars of the Dipper's bowl next to the handle and draw a straight line toward the Bear's paws and beyond; it will first hit the star in the Lion's shoulder and then Regulus.  Bluish-white Regulus is the faintest of our 1st-mag. stars but even so it shines about twice as bright as Polaris.  It is about 80 light-years away and over 100 times as luminous as the sun.  34.

The Big Dipper, of course, revolves rather closely around the north celestial pole, that point in the heavens around which all the northern hemisphere stars revolve.  In his wonderful and essential guide The Stars: A New Way to See Them, H. A. Rey describes the north celestial pole using the metaphor of the central point in the middle of an opened umbrella (page 22).  The central point is the north celestial pole (marked in our current epoch by the "North Star," Polaris), and the inner surface of the opened umbrella is the night sky.  

If you revolve the umbrella by turning the handle (you should turn it counterclockwise if you want it to revolve in the correct direction around the north celestial pole), you will see the constellations inscribed on the inner surface of the opened umbrella rotate the way the constellations in the night sky rotate around the North Star.  The Big Dipper would be rather close to the North Star, rotating around it each day as the earth revolves on its axis (the axis points to the north celestial pole, which is why the sky seems to revolve around that point).  The stars of the Dipper, in fact, are among the "imperishable" or "undying stars," the name the ancient Egyptians gave to those stars which are close enough to the celestial pole that they never drop below the horizon (the way the stars farther out towards the edges of the "umbrella" do plunge below the horizon at the end of their circuit to the west).

Because the Dipper and the Lion are "geared" together as shown in the diagram above, as the Dipper rotates upward it "drags" along the Lion across the sky.  When the Dipper is rising vertically in the east, as it is doing now in the hours before midnight, the Lion is also rising mostly vertically in the east (as depicted in the diagram).  As the sky continues to revolve (or, more precisely, as the earth itself revolves on its axis through the night), the Dipper continues upward and the Lion proceeds across the sky, as if propelled by the turning of the "inner gear" marked by the Dipper's circle.  

Of course, during some parts of the year, the Dipper is on the lower half of its turning during the nighttime hours, so the Lion is below the horizon during the nighttime hours, and is washed out by the sun during the daytime hours when he is above the horizon.  During those months, the Lion is not visible at night.  Right now, however, he is coming into the best time of year to view his form in the night sky.

(For the next few days, the moon is traveling into the constellation of Leo, and it will be a full moon tomorrow night, so the moon will interfere with an observer's ability to see all the stars of Leo clearly, but after the moon reaches full it will begin to wane and become less and less of a dominant presence in the night sky, on its way to new moon; the moon will also continue to move through the constellations and out of Leo into Virgo after a couple of days).  

The turning motion of the seven stars of the Big Dipper (which are, properly speaking, not a complete constellation but an "asterism" within the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great bear) was invested with great spiritual significance by the ancient sacred traditions found the world over.  In his masterful 1940 book Lost Light: An Interpretation of Ancient Scripture (discussed in this previous post and available to read online via links in that post), Alvin Boyd Kuhn writes of the Big Dipper:
Neith is Hathor, the Egyptian Venus, the mother of life, twofold in character as liquid and aeriform.  Her celestial representative was Ursa Major, the Great Bear (or Bearer, suggests Massey), the great dipper in which the water of life was held, and from which, as it turned around the pole, it was periodically poured out and again dipped up! [. . .] So this great sidereal directory of the heavens became the greatest of astronomical symbols to the ancients, dramatizing the seven great elemetary mother powers of nature that periodically arose out of the waters of life.  Operated by its handle of three stars, typing the solar triad of mind, soul and spirit, it caught up the living waters in its four-starred cup, the fourfold physical basis of all things.  272.
This explication of the Big Dipper, with a three-fold handle that represents the trinity of mind, soul, and spirit, operating a four-fold cup that cyclically pours out and dips up again (representing successive incarnation in the material realm of the four-fold cross of matter, discussed in this previous post and in the numerical system of the ancient Pythagoreans) is amazing and profound.

A lion and a bear are common elements in heraldry and other iconography, and it is more than likely that their pairing originates from the close pairing of the constellations of Ursa Major and Leo the Lion in the heavens.  The connection is further cemented by the frequency in which a single star is paired with the bear in the depictions, whether the bear is by itself (such as in the California flag) or whether the bear is with a lion (such as can be seen, for example, in the logo of the Firestone Walker Brewing Company, here).  The close association of the bear and star symbology no doubt is a direct reference to the close association of the heavenly Bear (and its Big Dipper) with the North Star.

But regardless of its use in earthly symbology, the profound spiritual message of the endlessly revolving Big Dipper, with its seven stars grouped into a handle of three and a cup of four, is even more universal and can be claimed by all human beings.  Over the next few weeks, you may want to spend some time enjoying the glorious sight of the vertical Big Dipper and the companion constellation of the regal Lion, if you are able to do so.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Angkor Wat, Giza, Paracas and the World-Wide Grid

In their outstanding book Heaven's Mirror, Graham Hancock and Santha Faiia point out the undeniable fact that Angkor Wat is located seventy-two degrees east of Giza in Egypt (page 254).  

Seventy-two is an important precessional number.  It is highly unlikely that the site of Angkor Wat would be located such an important number of degrees of longitude from the site of the Great Pyramid at Giza simply by accident, especially because both the Great Pyramid and the art and architecture of Angkor Wat deliberately employ precessional numbers and symbology in their construction and (in the case of Angkor Wat) in their symbology, as Graham Hancock discusses in Heaven's Mirror and other books (including Fingerprints of the Gods).  

The fact that Angkor Wat bears a name which is made up of two sacred Egyptian words -- Ankh and Horus -- makes the connection between Giza and Angkor even more certain to be deliberate and not a coincidence.  Further, as Joseph P. Farrell and Scott D. de Hart discuss in their book Grid of the Gods, both sites contain pyramid structures; the pyramids at Angkor (shown above in an image from Wikimedia commons) happen to be shaped differently than the pyramids of Giza (being taller than they are wide, unlike those at Giza), but that may well be because their purpose is different, as Drs. Farrell and de Hart discuss in their book.

The fact that these two sites are separated by seventy-two degrees of longitude is an important piece of evidence supporting the assertion made by Drs. Farrell and de Hart, and by Graham Hancock and others, that the ancient astronomically-aligned sites on our planet are part of a global "grid" laid out by an ancient civilization or civilizations possessed of deep wisdom and sophisticated scientific understanding.  

Interestingly enough, Heaven's Mirror also reveals that one hundred eight degrees to the west of Giza lies another mysterious site: Paracas, on the Pacific coast of Peru.  One hundred eight is one of the most important and widely used precessional numbers in the mythology and traditions of the world.  It is, of course, 1.5 times 72.  Multiples of 108 which are found in numerous ancient myths and legends include 216, 432, and 540.  

Paracas is located in the Ica region of Peru, home to the mysterious elongated skulls which were recently in the news due to the results of DNA tests which are discussed in this article on the Ancient Origins website.  Paracas is also the home of an ancient geoglyph known as the "Paracas Candelabra" (shown below in an image from Wikimedia commons), which may reflect the constellation of the Southern Cross according to Graham Hancock's analysis in Heaven's Mirror

As Graham Hancock also points out in Fingerprints of the Gods, the ability to measure longitude accurately eluded "western civilization" until the 1700s, when John Harrison finally developed a chronometer accurate enough for precise longitudinal calculation (see discussion here regarding the "Longitude Prize").  The fact that Giza is seventy-two degrees west of Angkor Wat and one hundred eight degrees east of Paracas suggests that the ancients had a way of accurately measuring the globe.  

The fact of an ancient world-wide grid is not simply a piece of "gee-whiz" trivia.  As Drs. Farrell and de Hart discuss in the book linked above, such a grid may have been constructed in order to harness the enormous power of the earth, and potentially the power created by the motions of other planets in our solar system as well.  The fact that we today know little or nothing about such a grid -- and the fact that conventional academia reflexively suppresses such information and ridicules and marginalizes those who choose to investigate the evidence regarding this and other mysteries of mankind's ancient past -- suggests the possibility that vital information about our planet and our relationship to has been deliberately concealed for centuries.

Previous posts discussing the evidence for a world-wide grid can be found here, here, and here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fascinating Red Ice interview with Richard J. Dewhurst

Above is an abbreviated version of a fascinating recent interview on Red Ice Radio with Richard  J. Dewhurst, author of The Ancient Giants Who Ruled America: The Missing Skeletons and the Great Smithsonian Cover-Up.

The complete version of the full two-hour interview can be found at the Red Ice Creations website.  Membership is required to listen to the second hour, but a membership there is (in my opinion) well worth the modest price.  The first hour is free at that site.

The interview covers the evidence of ancient peoples in the Americas who do not fit the conventional historical paradigm that has been aggressively and almost exclusively propagated since the early decades of the twentieth century.  Mr. Dewhurst describes discovering extensive reports, both in newspapers and in scholarly publications, detailing finds of skeletons ranging from seven feet to nine feet in height, sometimes even larger, from sources stretching from the early nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.  Then, during the 1930s, he explains that all mention of these finds -- as well as the skeletons themselves and the numerous artifacts that were found along with them -- suddenly and inexplicably ceased or disappeared.

This interview resonates powerfully with many subjects described in previous posts over the years, including:

You can be sure I will be reading Mr. Dewhurst's book with great interest in the near future.