Monday, June 30, 2014

Back from the Secret Space Program conference 2014

The 2014 Secret Space Program and Breakaway Civilizations conference has come to a close, but the ideas and conversations that it has sparked are just getting started.  

In the near future, I hope to post some thoughts concerning specific aspects of the many excellent presentations. 

It was an unforgettable weekend and I met some wonderful people. Special thanks to everyone who came up and introduced themselves to me at the Redwood Hall during the "intermissions" throughout the weekend -- I very much enjoyed our conversations and hope to continue them in the future!

Also, thanks to those who purchased copies of The Undying Stars (and copies of the Mathisen Corollary!) -- I truly hope that you enjoy reading them. 

There really is something extremely important about interacting face-to-face and in-person with other men and women which simply cannot be replicated by any technology. I often use the analogy of playing basketball or other team sports -- practicing individually on skills can only take someone so far: there are certain things that can only improve through interaction with others. Events such as this year's Secret Space Program conference are tremendous opportunities to "play" with people who can really help elevate your game, because so many of the attendees have been thinking about and wrestling with these topics at a very high level for so many years, and interacting with others during that time as well. 

We all have different backgrounds, life experiences, areas of interest and areas of specialization, talents and gifts to bring to bear on these questions, and when we share conversations with each other we can all benefit.

Catherine Austin Fitts (one of the speakers at the conference, of course -- you won't want to miss her presentation if it is posted to the web in the coming days or weeks) discussed during her most-recent Red Ice interview the importance of gathering in person with other individuals in events such as this year's conference. Towards the end of the second hour, she and Henrik had the following interchange:
Catherine Austin Fitts: Each time you let the market work, something amazing would happen -- because there is nothing more powerful than group intelligence, and I don't know if you've ever studied Rupert Sheldrake . . .
Henrik Palmgren: Oh, sure! We've had him on, yeah.
Catherine Austin Fitts: Yeah -- fabulous stuff, and it's really true. There is a, you know, extraordinary things that happen when the group intelligence goes to work. And, if I look at our current situation [i.e. in which "the big picture" is purposely hidden from the majority of the population, and deliberate lies and cover-ups are offered instead of the actual available evidence -- DM], one of the things that I find so painful, is . . . the group intelligence is not being allowed to go to work.
Henrik Palmgren: Exactly.
Catherine Austin Fitts: If you look at the amount of money spent on entrainment, and spent on manipulation, and spent on encouraging people -- you know, we've "puppy trained" the whole western world to believe that they can only unleash their creativity on consumer goods and social media, as opposed to the real problems of the world. And that's such a painful thing to watch -- because it's such a dumbing-down and a marginalization of a very amazing group of people. And if we could let the group intelligence go to work in a way that was aligning with the leadership, I think something remarkable could happen. And so the question is, can our group intelligence be powerful enough to sort of overcome all the disinformation and all the, you know, the entrainment, and instead go to work on really coming up with something that could work for all concerned? I don't know -- but I think I agree with you, I think you have to start with the truth. And I think the group intelligence can handle the truth.
[. . .]
But I for one find there's something magical that happens when you get a lot of -- you know, if you look at the people who are coming to this conference and speaking, these are people who've spent a lifetime trying to find the truth. And they all have very rich knowledge in different areas. And I find that when you come together in person, you know and there's sort of an intimacy of communication that happens: you get a sharing, and you get . . . you almost create a new field. So I for one am sort of hoping that we get breakthrough insights about what's going on and what we can do about it that are really, that enrich all of our work.

I could not agree more with the assertions about the finding that "there's something magical that happens" when people come together in person, and the intimacy of communication that is not available through any other medium (as amazing as our technology has become for sharing ideas and having conversations over great distances -- capabilities which are vitally important in their own way and enable platforms such as Red Ice and others which have done so much to create forums to share ideas worldwide). 

Catherine asserts in these statements that the product of such in-person interaction can lead to entirely new "breakthrough insights," insights which can enrich all of our work. This was certainly true for me during the past weekend at the conference. Thanks are due to all the speakers who came and shared, and to all the participants in the conference on every level for creating together that magical environment.

image: Wikimedia commons (link)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A new theory on chemtrails proposed by Mark McCandlish

At the Secret Space Program and Breakaway Civilizations conference all day today -- terrific talks and discussion from all the speakers.

My brain pan is spinning at such a velocity after listening to so many thought-provoking conversations in one day that I can barely write a coherent post! It will definitely take time to slowly chew over and digest some of the concepts that were introduced today, but many of them resonate with the subjects examined in The Undying Stars, and there should be some posts appearing here in the near future exploring some of those connections.

However, one of the comments Mark McCandlish made towards the very end of the day (if you didn't stay until 9 pm, you probably missed this one) was something I had not considered before and wanted to "re-broadcast" right away, as something worthy of wider discussion and consideration.  

Mr. McCandlish discussed a great many extremely important subjects today, most of which involved what might be called "exotic technologies" and propulsion systems, how those might work and how it is possible that they have been in existence for many years -- with capabilities that are absolutely mind-blowing. This subject is of course absolutely central to all of the topics being examined at this conference, and the work Mr. McCandlish has done in gathering the evidence, thinking about it and researching it and discussing it with others for many years, as well as using his considerable artistic and technical illustration talents to communicate the principles that may be at work, entitle him to all of our respect and deep gratitude.

But, it is obvious that Mr. McCandlish (along with some of the other speakers) also cares deeply about the question of chemtrails, and towards the end of the evening he took the opportunity to respond to a question or comment from the audience about this subject, and to provide a possible explanation for their purpose which I had not heard nor considered previously, and one which is very intriguing to consider.

He said (and I am paraphrasing here) that he has been considering the possibility -- and has arrived at the conclusion -- that the spraying of highly reflective particles into the atmosphere may well be serving as the equivalent of chaff, a countermeasure employed by aircraft during military missions in order to throw up reflective signals which create big "clouds" on enemy radar screens, helping to prevent enemy radar operators from identifying the precise location of the aircraft throwing out the chaff.  

But, while conventional chaff is used to mask an airplane from radar, my understanding of the theory Mark McCandlish articulated at the end of the evening in day one of the Secret Space Program conference is that he believes that the blankets of reflective material spread across the sky as chemtrails may be used to "disguise exotic propulsion" by craft which are already using technologies which may mask them from radar and which may also be using technologies which mask them to some degree from our ordinary vision. 

In fact, he described seeing one such craft himself, which was almost invisible to the naked eye, but whose outlines could be barely discerned due to the fact that it was sunset at the time of the sighting and some of the edges of the cylindrical craft were outlined by a thin line of reflection (if the video of the Q&A discussion from the end of the day is posted online at some point, I will try to come back later and link to that video here so that others can hear the exact description of this incident in Mr. McCandlish's own words).  

Previous posts on this blog have examined the chemtrail phenomenon, including possible explanations, but none of the explanations I have ever encountered have included the possibility that chemtrails may be being laid down in areas where secret craft using exotic propulsion systems or other exotic technologies are known to operate (including in Southern California, where I frequently see heavy chemtrail activity). 

Some of those previous posts have included photographs I took myself showing trails which are very difficult to explain away as "normal condensation trails left by jetliners." This ludicrous explanation continues to be propagated as the rational explanation behind the "chemtrail conspiracy theory" on conventional-paradigm-defending sites such as Wikipedia (search for the word "chemtrail" on Wikipedia and you will be redirected to a page entitled "chemtrail conspiracy theory" which condescendingly declares that, "Although  proponents have attempted to prove that the claimed chemical spraying does take place, their analyses have been flawed or based on misconception" and "Scientists and government officials around the world have repeatedly needed to confirm that supposed chemtrails are in fact normal contrails" -- Wikipedia, 06/29/2014, 01:05am Pacific).

The image above is one that I photographed myself just this past week, over the distinctive "morro" mountain features of San Luis Obispo, California (photo taken on Monday, June 23, at 1609 hours, from my bicycle). If someone can explain how, in the words of the patronizing Wikipedia entry, the above photograph can possibly be explained by someone who maintains that "supposed chemtrails are in fact normal contrails," I'd be interested in their written analysis (the author of such an explanation is invited to post it on the web and link to it on my Twitter or Facebook account so that readers can evaluate the argument for themselves).

Is the jet plane producing the supposedly "normal contrail" in the above image just giving its San Francisco-bound passengers coming up the coast from LA a few little "extra scenic S-turns over San Luis Obispo"?  Have you ever been on a jetliner that decided to take a few S-curves like this for some reason? Perhaps the captain came over the address system and said something like, "Well, folks, we've reached our cruising altitude here, and those of you on the left side of the aircraft should be able to see the beautiful waters of the Pacific and the famous Morro Rock -- and let me just do a few big meandering curves all over the sky to let you really take that in, and to give our passengers on the right side of the aircraft a chance to get out their iPads and take some photos of it too."

It might be argued that some kind of strange wind effect operating on one particular part of the sky created one of the big loops in the trail above, but which direction would that wind effect be coming from? The problem with the above photo is that it has not one but two big "bights" in the trail, and so if one wishes to explain it as a product of some kind of wind phenomenon, it would seem that two unusual wind streams would be required, one essentially blowing away from the camera (on the right side of the photo as we look at it), and one more blowing towards the camera to create the bight on the left side of the photo as we look at it.

I can attest to the fact that this photograph has not been "shopped" or retouched in any way -- it was taken from my inexpensive phone and then posted directly here -- it has been sitting on my phone untouched since this past Monday. If you still believe that "supposed chemtrails are in fact normal contrails" after examining the photograph above (as well as some of the others in the previous posts linked below), then I'd be interested in reading your arguments as to why my assertion that the photo above clearly proves that these are not just "normal contrails" produced by normal aircraft is incorrect.

Previous posts from this blog on the subject of chemtrails include:
Mark McCandlish's suggestion, which provides a clear connection between the as-yet-unexplained (but undeniable) phenomenon of chemtrails and the test-flights (or operational flights) of secret craft with exotic propulsion systems and equally exotic cloaking technologies is compelling, and worthy of greater consideration and wider discussion. Again, this was by no means his central point of discussion today, and his other points are extremely important and presented with a clarity that was most impressive, but this assertion made at the very end of the day also deserves to be noted.

On the other hand, the unsupported arguments on Wikipedia and other conventional-paradigm outlets that chemtrails simply represent "normal contrails" and that all the "conspiracy theories" suggesting otherwise can be waved away with the unsupported assertion that "their analyses have been flawed or based on misconception" are barely worthy of rebuttal.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, June 25 - 26, 1876

image: Sioux Sun Dance, 1874. Wikimedia commons (link).

June 25 is the anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, which took place from June 25-26 in 1876.  

The causes leading up to the battle were complex, but can be boiled down to the fact that the US Army was seeking to attack the Sioux and other Native Americans who refused to be confined to the reservations, and the larger issue that the US Government wanted to purchase the Black Hills (Paha Sapa) from the Sioux due to the discovery of gold there, and that the Sioux did not want to sell them.

In Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors (1975), historian Stephen E. Ambrose writes:
The United States Government was embarrassed, not at the way its citizens were violating the treaty but by its failure to obtain some legal excuse to take the Hills. It seemed to have little sense of the nation's honor and little morality of its own. On November 3, 1875, President Grant held a high-level Cabinet meeting, with General Sheridan in attendance. It was decided that the hostiles were the ones standing in the way of a Black Hills take-over, so the solution was to drive the hostiles out of the unceded Indian territory in Wyoming and Montana and force them onto the reservations. On December 6 Grant ordered all Indians in the unceded country to move onto the agencies by January 31, 1876. Otherwise, they would be certified as hostile and the Army would come after them. The unceded country would become a free-fire zone. It was a declaration of war, although it should be added that neither Grant nor his advisors thought that the hostiles would put up a fight; in their view, the Army would have an easy time of bullying Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the others onto a reservation. 396.
Sitting Bull was one of the leaders of the Hunkpapa Lakota warriors who refused to come in to the reservations and and who wanted to preserve their way of life; Crazy Horse was a leader of the Oglala Sioux who likewise disdained the idea of coming in. While the number of Indians who remained with Sitting Bull and the other leaders who wanted to live free had been dwindling, during the summer of 1876 their numbers began to swell dramatically, in large part because of the terrible conditions including food shortages found on the reservations, where corruption among the government agents commissioned to provide food to the reservation Indians was rampant.

Regarding the abominable conditions in the Indian agency camps, Ambrose writes:
The truth was that the agents were corrupt. They accepted diseased cattle, rotten flour, wormy corn, and so on from the white contractors, then took kickbacks when the United States Government paid the bill.  There was nothing for the Indians to do at the agencies; the people were undernourished at best, starving at worst. Red Cloud and Spotted Tail argued incessantly with their agents, demanding more and better food, to no avail. 389.
According to Ambrose, an opinion he backs up with evidence from newspaper accounts and the actions Custer took, Custer himself was disgusted at the corruption in the setup, which he suspected (and went on public saying) could be traced all the way up to the brother of US president Ulysses S. Grant (399). There is also some evidence that Custer thought he could become the Democrat candidate for the presidency and win an election against Grant (a Republican), particularly if he gained a big victory in time for the news to make it back east before the Democrat National Convention, scheduled to open on June 27(407).

In an interview in 1881 in which he spoke of the battle for the first time since it took place, Sitting Bull said to a reporter:
During the Summer previous to the one in which Custer attacked us, he sent a letter to me telling me that if I did not go to an agency he would fight me, and I sent word back to him by his messenger that I did not want to fight, but only to be left alone. I told him at the same time that if he wanted to fight that he should go and fight those Indians who wanted to fight him. Custer then sent me word again, (this was in the Winter.) * * * 'You would not take my former offer, now I am going to fight you this Winter.' I sent word back and said just what I had said before, that I did not want to fight, and only wanted to be left alone, and that my camp was the only one that had not fought against him. Custer again sent a message: 'I am fitting up my wagons and soldiers, and am determined to fight against you in the Spring.' I thought that I would try him again, and sent him a message saying I did not want to fight; that I wanted, first of all, to go to British Territory, and after I had been there and came back, if he still wanted to fight me, that I would fight then. Custer sent back word and said: 'I will fight you in eight days.' I then saw that it was no use, that I would have to fight, so I sent him word back, 'All right; get all your men mounted and I will get all my men mounted: we will have a fight; the Great Spirit will look on, and the side that is in the wrong will be defeated.'
Ambrose confirms the general outline of the above account, with the US Government making a deadline (as noted in the earlier block quotation) for all Sioux to be in to the agencies by January 31.   They sent out runners to inform all the "wild Sioux" of the impending deadline. Ambrose writes: "The runners found Sitting Bull camped at the mouth of the Powder River. He sent back a friendly message -- he couldn't come in just now, but he would consider the order and might come in later on, perhaps next summer, maybe later" (396).  Ambrose says that Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse both regarded the order as "a good joke" (396-397).

The Secretary of the Interior wrote to the Secretary of War: "Said Indians are hereby turned over to the War Department for such action on the part of the Army as you may deem proper under the circumstances" (397). In between the end of the deadline and the actual departure of the 7th Cavalry into Sioux territory in May, Custer was involved in political bickering with President Grant, and was almost relieved of command of the expedition.

As word of the impending army campaign spread amongst the Sioux in the Indian agencies, more and more began to join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, Hunkpapas, Oglalas, Brul├ęs, and Blackfeet Sioux, Cheyennes, Sans Arcs, Assiniboines and Arapahoes. Some estimates put the number of lodges that had gathered around the great camp in the Powder River country at over a thousand -- in some estimates two thousand. Ambrose estimates that the number of warriors was probably between two thousand and four thousand. The camp had to move frequently because the enormous numbers of ponies would exhaust the grass for forage, and new grazing areas would need to be found. The mighty camp moved into the Rosebud Valley in early June of 1876, and prepared for a Sun Dance.

Ambrose explains:
All the people, Sioux and Cheyenne, went into one enormous circle. Everything was done in the old way, according to strict and elaborate ritual. Virgins cut the sacred tree; chiefs carried it into the camp circle; braves counted coup upon it. The buffalo skulls were set up, along with the sacred pipes and other paraphernalia. Many men pierced at that dance, undergoing the self-torture so that Wakan Tanka, the All, would smile upon his people. Sitting Bull, his breast already covered with scars from previous Sun Dances, was the sponsor and leader. He sat on the ground with his back to the sacred Sun Dance pole while his adopted brother, Jumping Bull, lifted a small piece of his, Sitting Bull's, skin with an awl and cut it with a sharp knife. Jumping Bull cut fifty pieces of flesh from Sitting Bull's right arm, then fifty more from the left arm.
With blood streaming down both his arms, Sitting Bull then danced around and around the pole, staring constantly at the sun. He danced after the sun had set, through the night and into the next day; for eighteen hours he danced. Then he fainted. When Black Moon revived him by throwing cold water on his face, Sitting Bull's eyes cleared and he spoke to Black Moon in a low voice. His offering had been accepted, his prayers had been heard. He had had a vision. 
Black Moon walked into the middle of the circle and called out, "Sitting Bull wishes to announce that he just heard a voice from above saying, 'I give you these because they have no ears.' He looked up and saw soldiers and some Indians on horseback coming down like grasshoppers, with their heads down and their hats falling off. They were falling right into our camp." 417.
This vision, which has become famous, had an effect on the gathered warriors that was electric. Later, during their reconnaissance on the two days prior to the battle itself, some of Custer's many Native American scouts (probably the "Indians on horseback" seen in the vision with the white soldiers) came across drawings in the sand along the Rosebud of Sitting Bull's vision and told the officers about it, warning them to turn back, but Custer only shrugged (428).

Crazy Horse was also known to possess very strong medicine through which it was believed that he could never be killed in battle by a bullet or by an enemy, something he had been told in his vision as a young adolescent boy of twelve or thirteen, 22 years before the Battle of the Little Bighorn (described by Ambrose on pages 68-69). After the Little Bighorn, an Arapaho who had ridden with Crazy Horse reported that, "Crazy Horse, the Sioux Chief, was the bravest man I ever saw. He rode closest to the soldiers, yelling to his warriors. All the soldiers were shooting at him, but he was never hit" (442).

Ambrose describes the decision undertaken by Crazy Horse during the actual attack, when Custer had split his twelve troops of cavalry into three maneuver elements, with three troops going with Captain Benteen, three troops with Major Reno, and five with Custer himself (one troop was left back to safeguard the supporting troops with the supplies and ammunition in the rear).  It was a breathtaking maneuver on the part of Crazy Horse.  Custer himself apparently planned to ride around in a large flanking maneuver to attack the rear of the Indian village (the north end as it was arrayed along the generally north-south direction of the Little Bighorn), planning to have Reno and Benteen coming up from the south. But, as Ambrose explains, Crazy Horse had ridden through the village, gathering a stream of warriors behind him, and set off to outflank Custer's maneuver:
Crazy Horse called to his men, "Ho-ka hey! It is a good day to fight! It is a good day to die! Strong hearts, brave hearts, to the front! Weak hearts and cowards to the rear!" He then led them, at a gallop, through the camp, planning to get beyond Custer, ford the Little Bighorn, and hit the 7th Cavalry in the right flank and rear. The Indian force picked up reinforcements as it tore through the camp, until there were as many as one thousand men following Crazy Horse, mainly Oglalas and Cheyennes. 440.
Meanwhile, the Hunkpapa war chief Gall had engaged Custer with as many as a thousand warriors of his own, crucially tying up Custer's maneuver force and setting them up for the flanking movement being led by Crazy Horse. Gall's two wives and children had been killed when Major Reno's troopers had launched the attack on the southern end of the village that morning. Ambrose speculates that when Gall's force lit into Custer's troops, Custer must have realized that he himself "was no longer on the offensive. Suddenly he was in a fight for survival" (440).

Custer may have tried to make his way towards the hilltop which is famous today for being the site of his "last stand." But at that moment, Ambrose believes, Crazy Horse with his thousand or so mounted warriors crested the intervisibility line created by the top of the hill Custer and his men were making for:
What a sight it must have been, especially for George Armstrong Custer, who was -- probably -- at that instant leading his men toward the spot on which Crazy Horse stood. Behind Crazy Horse, Custer would have seen the thousand warriors, all painted, many with war bonnets, some holding spears high in the air, their glistening points aimed right at Custer. Many braves, as many as one out of five, were brandishing Winchesters or other rifles. Half or more of the Indians held bows and fistfuls of arrows, often with shields in the other hand -- they guided their ponies with their knees. The ponies were painted too, with streaks and zigzags and other designs, and with their new coats, sleek sides, and plenty of fat from the spring grass, the animals looked magnificent. [. . .] 
Crazy Horse would have been in front, alone, standing out in that kaleidoscope of shifting color by his apparent plainness. He would have worn only his breechcloth and a single hawk's feather in his hair. Almost surely he had his pebble behind his ear, another under his arm, and had thrown some dust over himself and his pony after painting zigzag marks on his body and some lightning streaks on his pony. He carried his Winchester lightly. His eyes must have sparkled; certainly he must have been proud -- of himself, of his warriors, of all the Oglalas, all the Sioux and Cheyennes. Together they had achieved something never before accomplished -- an armed mass of Indians, a thousand or more strong, was about to descend from an unexpected direction upon less than 225 regular Army troopers. 441.
There are many deep lessons here to reflect upon, a hundred and thirty-eight years after that fateful day. First, in spite of the massive victory by the Native American tribes acting in concert against the invaders, a victory that sent shock waves throughout the world, the aftermath was ultimately not favorable for the Sioux and the Cheyenne and their allies. Their way of life would soon be destroyed, their people forced onto the reservations, the Black Hills appropriated by the US Government that same year -- and the faces of four US presidents carved into them during the 1920s and 1930s.

Sitting Bull would try to continue to live the old life with a band of followers, moving up into Canada, but the cold winters eventually caused his followers to abandon the dream, and eventually he turned himself in, as Crazy Horse did years earlier, his own followers facing starvation from lack of buffalo and several children having frozen to death from the cold. Both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were  killed by being stabbed in the back (Crazy Horse) and shot (Sitting Bull) under suspicious circumstances while in police custody in the agencies.

Clearly, the events described above show that the actions taken by the US Government were in egregious violation of natural universal law. To declare that men and women must place themselves on a reservation or be "certified as hostile" and subject to attack at any time by the army violates natural law. On the other hand, Sitting Bull not once but several times stated that he and his people did not want to fight, but would fight back if attacked. His testimony is that he and his people wanted to be left alone to live as they chose to live.

But, although they were perfectly within their rights to fight back when confronted with deadly force from the invading armies, their victory did not cause the people who were supporting the murderous policies in the first place -- that is to say, the people who elected and supported the US Government and gave their approval to the policies being enacted ostensibly in their name -- to change their minds and reconsider the fact that they were in the wrong and were guilty of violating natural universal law against their fellow human beings. In fact, the stunning defeat of Custer and the 7th Cavalry only hardened their resolve to continue their illegal seizure of the homelands of the Native Americans and to insist on the destruction of their way of life.

It is a certainty that, had enough people become outraged at the illegal and murderous actions that were taking place, those actions could have been ended. But in order to make that happen, the ideologies and mind control that enabled all those people to excuse and overlook the illegal policies had to be overcome. The use of force -- even when rightly employed to try to stop violence -- is rarely enough to overcome the ideologies and mind control that are blinding those who are excusing and enabling murder. However, as discussed in this previous post on Martin Luther King, Jr., nonviolent demonstrations which cause the perpetrators of these crimes to reveal the true nature of their heinous beliefs and activities can sometimes do so, by appealing to and awakening that innate knowledge of natural law which nearly all men and women possess, and which the enablers of violence and violation must "hypnotize" and "put to sleep" using ideology and mind control.

Had the Native Americans employed techniques designed to appeal to this aspect of the populace back east that was enabling the murderous policies in the west, and had they combined that with continued brilliant military actions such as that which delivered the crushing defeat to the 7th Cavalry in 1876, the results might well have been different. Military victories alone could not accomplish this.

Another important lesson from the events just described is the way they fit into a much larger pattern, a pattern that has been absolutely dominant throughout the history of the past seventeen centuries, but which has been camouflaged so well that most of us do not even realize it is going on. That pattern consists of the tactics of the enemies of what we might call "the shamanic." The goal of the US Government, stated in black and white ink in their treaties with the Sioux (treaties the US Government later shamelessly broke), was not simply control of the Black Hills and their gold, but also the requirement that the Native Americans turn over their children to be educated by the agents of the government from the ages of six through sixteen. These stipulations can be seen in the Treaty of 1868 in Article VII in this transcript, or in the images of the original handwritten treaty documents here.

The overt goal of the US Government was the eradication of the old ways. We can see from the historical events cited at the beginning of this post that the pattern included the registration of the formerly free Indians in an "agency," where they would be dependent upon government agents for their food. This situation naturally invited corruption, in which certain people who had "connections" (including, in this case, possibly the brother of the president of the US himself, along with others administrating the system) could make money for themselves through those connections.

In this particular example, the corruption involved the purchase of rotten or substandard food from suppliers, probably at a discount (the suppliers being happy to get any money for goods which would otherwise have to be thrown away) and then overstating the prices paid in order to skim the difference for themselves. But this is just one form such corruption can take. Note that the entire Middle Ages basically followed a similar pattern -- the Middle Ages that were set up in Europe, according to the theory I explore in The Undying Stars, by the experts in mind control who took over the Roman Empire using the twin mechanisms of Mithraism and literalist Christianity, and who then established for themselves fiefdoms across Europe.

During the Middle Ages, in other words, the bulk of the populace was reduced to a status similar to that of the Native Americans who were forced into the agencies: their freedoms were curtailed, they were dependent upon those who had declared themselves to be the owners of the lands, and they were reduced to conditions at or near poverty, while those well connected to the governing bodies could create lucrative schemes to enrich themselves in much the same way as did the corrupt agents who were procuring rotten food for the Indian agencies described above.

Put another way, we can see the pattern that was imposed on Europe during the time of feudalism being imposed upon the Native Americans during the nineteenth century.

Additionally and related to the foregoing, the incidents just described indicate the fact that the Native American cultures were clearly shamanic, and had access to knowledge and powers which cannot be explained within the general paradigm favored by those in charge of the conventional historical narrative today. Both Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse genuinely appear to have been able to cross over the boundaries between this world and the "other realm," with positive impact on their own lives and on the lives of those they led. Crazy Horse had at least one such boundary-crossing vision, at the age of twelve or thirteen, which guided him for the rest of his life.  He may have had others, but we can be sure he had one. Sitting Bull by all accounts had many others, and appears to have had a very clear vision prior to the Battle of the Little Bighorn, during which he was able to access information from another aspect of reality or another realm of experience.

I have suggested in The Undying Stars that part of the pattern of those people who created the conditions of the Middle Ages included the deliberate destruction of such shamanic knowledge, wherever it might be (beginning first within the Roman Empire itself, then expanding to other parts of Europe and Africa, and then across the oceans).

Finally, and this may be most crucial of all, we might want to ask ourselves to what degree we today are enabling and supporting the placing of other human beings "onto the reservation" -- to what degree we "look the other way" to violations of natural universal law, or by our ideologies excuse those violations and try to convince ourselves that they are not really violations at all. And, related to that question, we might also ask in what ways we ourselves are being told that we must give up on the idea of freedom and submit to life "on the agencies" (by accepting universal, ubiquitous surveillance, for example).

Custer himself, who was a very complex character, certainly with many flaws but in many ways not entirely unsympathetic, went on record as saying: "If I were an Indian, I would greatly prefer to cast my lot among those of my people who adhered to the free open plains rather than submit to the confined limits of a reservation" (cited in Ambrose, 387).

We may tell ourselves, in the comfort of our living room, reading about the events of 1876, that if given the choice, we too would have followed the path of Crazy Horse, or of Sitting Bull, and opted for freedom, politely declining the invitation to come in to the agencies, not seeking the way of war but unafraid of it if it came. But, given the fact that we may well be staring at impending changes which will be every bit as radical as those faced by the Sioux, we must ask ourselves whether we are casting our lot with those who "adhered to the free open plains" or those who have decided to "submit to the confined limits of a reservation," in Custer's words.  It is very interesting that the US company Google chose to host their annual I/O conference on the anniversary of this particular battle, with demonstrations related to new ways to add "input-output" devices and software to your television, your automobile, and just about everywhere else you go during the day, including devices to monitor you while you sleep, although of course it is probably only coincidence.

These issues show us that the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the examples set by Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gall, and the others are not merely the "stuff of history," but that they continue to have tremendous relevance to the lives of every man and woman alive today.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Thou journeyest on the road whereon the gods journeyed"

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The earth has now passed the point of the June solstice, and the sun is now beginning its long decline towards the bottom of the year (for those in the northern hemisphere: for the southern hemisphere, the sun's path will now be climbing in the sky).

This long descent of the sun each year furnishes the ancient mythology of the world with a powerful metaphor for the descent of the god out of the fiery realm of the heavens and into the miry realm of earth and water: the incarnation.

In Lost Light, Alvin Boyd Kuhn argues that all the ancient myths of the god or goddess descending to earth -- there to be cut up and scattered abroad, or to search for the cut up body of the god, or to dwell among mankind, or to be hidden in a secret place -- were intended to teach that individual men and women (and babies and children too) each contain a divine and immortal spark, temporarily buried inside material flesh.  

In other words, the gods and goddesses of the myths are in humanity.

Examples cited by Kuhn in chapter VII of Lost Light include the tearing to pieces of Dionysus or Bacchus, the cutting in pieces of Osiris, the descent to earth to search for the pieces of Osiris by Isis, the descent of Persephone into the underworld for six months of each year, the bringing of fire to mankind by Prometheus (here Kuhn quotes Thomas Taylor who says that Prometheus concealing the fire in the Thyrsus reed was representative of "leading the soul into the body"), the descent of Eros the god to wed the human bride Psyche, the descent of Orpheus into the underworld to pursue Eurydice, the descent of Hercules into Hades to bring up the three-headed dog Cerberus, and many more. 

In support of his argument, Kuhn cites a remarkable passage from the Pyramid Texts of the Egyptian king Pepi I (reigned circa 2289 BC to 2255 BC). On page 121 of Lost Light, Kuhn writes:
In Egyptian scriptures we encounter the promise that "if Pepi falleth on to the earth, Keb [Seb] will lift him up." Pepi here stands for the divinity in man, the god come to earth. To him in another place it is said: "Thou plowest the earth . . . Thou journeyest on the road whereon the gods journeyed." Here is identification of the earth as the place to which the gods were sent to travel the road of evolution.
Note what Kuhn is asserting in the above lines: that the scriptures in the Pyramid Texts are identifying the "road whereon the gods journeyed" as this human world of the incarnation. 

In other words, the gods and goddesses of the myths are in humanity.

Here is a more modern translation of the same passage from the Pyramid Texts of Pepi I, this time from the 2005 publication Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, translated by James P. Allen and edited by Peter der Manuelian, available to read in its entirety online here (but worth owning in hard copy as well, of course). On page 107, we find the passage that Kuhn quotes in his argument: it is from Recitation 37, Address to the Spirit as Osiris in the Duat:
The earth has been hacked for you and a presented offering laid down for you before you, and you will go on yonder path on which the gods go.
The implications of this passage are profound. The ancient text is here confirming the interpretation presented by Kuhn, and elaborated in The Undying Stars, that the celestial motions of the sun, moon, stars, and planets which are allegorized in all the ancient myth-systems of the world (including those in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible) were intended to convey an esoteric teaching: that the gods descend and walk the path of the underworld, and that this path is the path we ourselves are walking ("thou journeyest on the road whereon the gods journeyed").

The gods, of course, are the sun, moon, planets, and stars -- after all, are the planets not named Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn? And yet, as they journey along their "road" through the heavens, each of these eventually plunges down into the western horizon, there to toil through the underworld until they rise again on the eastern horizon. This allegorizes the human condition in incarnation, divine sparks plunged into bodies made of clay (water and earth).

And the assertion that the gods and goddesses of the myths are to be found inside each one of us is reinforced in this passage by the text's calling attention to the "road" or "path" on which the gods go. The sun, moon, and visible planets travel through the sky along the ecliptic band: this is the road whereon they journey, and they cannot deviate from it. That ecliptic band contains the stars which make up the zodiac constellations -- and we have already seen that the ancients taught that there is a direct zodiac correspondence in the human body ("as above, so below"). In other words, the zodiac not only stretches across the infinite heavens in the macrocosm, but is also contained in the microcosm of the individual body of each man or woman -- from head to toe (Santos Bonacci has many outstanding videos in which he expounds upon this concept).

So, if the planets (that is to say, "the gods") travel along the zodiac path through the heavens, but that zodiac path is also reflected within the human body, we can see once again the clear teaching that . . . the gods and goddesses of the myths are in humanity. And, as discussed in this previous post, there are ancient wisdom traditions which teach a direct connection between each major organ in our bodies and a specific planet in the heavens.

While literalist theology as it has been taught for the past seventeen centuries would generally tend to reject the assertion that "the incarnation" refers to the spark of divinity coming down and incarnating in every single human being, there is some clear support in the scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments for the position that this is exactly what they always intended to convey.  In the Old Testament, for example, Kuhn argues in that same chapter VII of Lost Light that myths such as Abram being sent out of Ur of the Chaldees into a land to the west is yet another clear celestial allegory of the descending heavenly spark, representative of incarnation (he argues on page 113 that the word Ur itself means "fire," as in the realm of the fiery stars, and notes that the Duat of the Egyptians was located in the west, where the stars set due to the turning of our planet on its axis).  He also points to the "descent" of Abram into Egypt (allegorical for the lower half of the zodiac wheel, the underworld) for a time as telling the same incarnational story, and again that the descent of the twelve sons of Jacob later in Genesis tells the same (113).

Another well-known Old Testament verse which Kuhn does not directly point to in Lost Light, but which seems to have a clear parallel to the metaphor of Prometheus bringing down divine fire concealed in a smoking reed or handful of reeds is found in Isaiah 42 (quoted again in the New Testament book of Matthew): "A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgement unto truth" (Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20 modifies the last part somewhat by saying "till he send forth judgment unto victory," which could be esoterically understood as saying that our incarnations here will continue until the cycle ends in judgement unto victory).

In the New Testament, Paul teaches in many places "the mystery of Christ in you," for example in 2 Corinthians 13:5, as well as in his own description of his first receiving the revelation of this mystery, in Galatians 1:16. 

And, Kuhn argues that this understanding of the New Testament metaphors (that they teach the exact same esoteric truth as that which was conveyed by the descent of the gods to earth in the myths of Dionysus or Osiris) helps shed light on the otherwise difficult-to-explain passage in Luke 14:26, in which Jesus orders his followers to hate their father, mother, brother, sister. In Kuhn's interpretation, this discussion of "leaving one's family" is metaphorically describing the leaving of the heavenly realms to plunge into exile in matter (the incarnation). Seen in this light, Kuhn argues, it is not talking about our human parents and siblings at all, and it certainly is not teaching "hatred" of those human relations (Lost Light, 126). 

On the contrary, all these ancient teachings should impart to us a new appreciation of everyone we meet, as well as ourselves. In this view, each person contains an infinite universe, because each is a "microcosm" of the infinite cosmos. Each, too, embodies within himself or herself "the gods." That includes the baby screaming in the seat behind us on an airplane (or the 4-year old kicking the back of our seat)! This should engender in us a profound sense of wonder for everyone we meet, and a new appreciation of who we are as well. It should also point us towards the natural-law principles of nonviolence and respect for the lives and bodily safety of those with whom we come in contact (and our own as well).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ten reasons to suspect a close connection between ancient Roman Mithraism and ancient Roman Christianity

image: Mithraeum located under the Basilica of San Clemente, Rome. Wikimedia commons (link).

Conventional scholars continue to debate the origin of the Roman cult of Sol Invictus Mithras, which (based upon the archaeological evidence of the mithraea) arose circa AD 100 and ends in AD 396.  Although scholars today are more circumspect in their pronouncements regarding the origins of this institution than they have been in previous decades (prior to the 1970s), it is still common for well-regarded Mithraic scholars to assert that Mithraism and Christianity were bitter rivals.

For instance, this essay published in a collection in 1994 tells us that: "Between the second and fourth centuries C.E. Mithraism may have vied with Christianity for domination of the Roman world." The author continues:
The Christians' view of this rival religion is extremely negative, because they regarded it as a demonic mockery of their own faith.  One also learns of Mithraism from brief statements in classical Greek and Roman authors.
While it is certainly true that Christian polemicists, including Tertullian, attacked Mithraism on these grounds, this does not necessarily indicate that the two systems were indeed at cross-purposes. Author Flavio Barbiero, whose work is discussed in The Undying Stars and in this previous post, has put forward a theory which argues that the cult of Sol Invictus Mithras was actually the secret society through which decisions were made and strategy enacted to gain control of the "command-and-control" centers of the Roman Empire, and that this exclusive institution, whose proceedings were kept entirely secret, operated in the background, using literalist Christianity as a public and nonexclusive shield -- one that it controlled, and one that would take the brunt of those who wanted to stand against the underground campaign.

Flavio Barbiero offers a host of evidence to support this view of events, and the conclusion that this campaign was ultimately tremendously successful -- successful to the point that it shaped European history and then world history for the following seventeen centuries, and continues to do so to this day. The following points are taken from his 2010 publication The Secret Society of Moses: The Mosaic Bloodline and a Conspiracy Spanning Three Millennia. Many of these pieces of evidence are also discussed in his 2010 article entitled "Mithras and Jesus: Two sides of the same coin" on the website of Graham Hancock. 

Note that the following points are not intended to be aimed at any particular branch of Christianity as it has existed since the fourth century, but rather to shed light upon the possible origins of all of literalist Christianity, which deliberately chose to take a very different approach to the interpretation of the Biblical scriptures, and one which intentionally cut itself off from all the "pagan" traditions of the world as well as from the esoteric, gnostic, Sethian, Valentinian and Hermetic forms of Christianity which existed prior to this juncture in history.
  • Mithraism was neither a "religion" nor a "mystery cult" -- unlike other ancient religions, it was extremely exclusive and met in special mithraea which were so small that, "At most, forty people could be seated in each of them" (158). The majority of mithraea could not hold more than twenty.
  • Numerous mithraea have been found underneath ancient Christian basilica or churches, indicating that there may have been some kind of symbiotic connection between the leadership of the cult of Sol Invictus Mithras and that of the Christian church. While it is possible to explain this fact away by saying that the Christian church triumphantly took over the sites of its old rival and built churches on top of their sacred sites (as it later did around the world), there is evidence that this explanation was not the case for Mithraism and Christianity. Specifically, Barbiero notes that the Basilica of St. Peter on Vatican Hill was built above the Phrygianum, the most central mithraeum in Roman Mithraism, where the "Father of Fathers" (head of the entire order of Sol Invictus Mithras) held sway. Most significantly, the Christian Basilica of St. Peter was built by the emperor Constantine in AD 322, but the last "Father of Fathers" of Mithraism did not die until AD 384, and he continued to use the mithraeum in the Phrygianum for all those years! It would be remarkable if these two supposedly "rival religions" coexisted for even two years with their "headquarters" co-located, but the dates indicate that this coexistance lasted for sixty-two years. Barbiero writes: 
In this light, we are forced to conclude that Sol Invictus Mithras and Christianity were not two religions in competition, as we often read, but were two institutions of a different nature that were closely connected. Rather than being a simple hypothesis, this is practically a certainty. It is unthinkable that the Roman church continued to extend hospitality to the head of a rival pagan religion for more than half a century and at the heart of its most exclusive property, the basilica dedicated to the prince of apostles. The Mithraic pater patrum and the bishop of Rome must necessarily have been closely linked. 163-164.
  • As the passage just cited indicates, the title of the supreme head of the Mithraic organization was pater patrum, or "Father of Fathers." The Mithraic system had a hierarchy of seven Mithraic grades, with the highest being the Pater or "Father" (the head of any particular mithraeum). The head of the entire system, of all the Mithraic "lodges," was the "Father of Fathers," or pater patrum (pa-pa, for short). It is most significant that, after the death of the last Mithraic pater patrum, in AD 384, the bishop of Rome adopted this same title, which is still used to this day (and which is rendered in English "the Pope," but in Italian and Spanish is still papa). This evidence is discussed in Barbiero, 163 and elsewhere.
  • As part of the same discussion, Flavio Barbiero notes that specific aspects of Mithraic ritual and attire were adopted into the rituals of Christianity, including the distinctive headgear of Christian bishops, which is still called a mitre, a word with linguistic connections to Mithras or Mitra.   
  • There is powerful evidence of early prominent Christian leaders who were also members of the Sol Invictus Mithras organization, right up to the point that they declared themselves Christians, or took holy orders to become high-ranking leaders of Christianity. The most prominent of these whom Barbiero notes is the emperor Constantine himself (Barbiero, 166-167). Others include St. Ambrose, whom Barbiero notes "passes directly from being a pagan to being bishop of one of the most important sees of the period" (166). St. Ambrose was the son of a father who was a member of Sol Invictus Mithras, as was the Christian apologist and polemicist Tertullian (AD 160 - AD 225), as well as church fathers St. Jerome and St. Augustine (Barbiero 167-168). This fact is highly significant and indicates that these early Christian "Fathers" were descended from the same family lines that Barbiero discusses in his thesis.
  • Constantine continued minting coins with clear Sol Invictus symbology and imagery, even after his vision of the heavenly "Chi-Rho" sign in some cases minted coins containing both sets of symbology, Christian and Mithraic. This is a clear indication that the two systems were not actually seen as antagonistic, at least during the early stages of establishing Christianity as official to the empire (later, Mithraism would be dismantled and the family lines would use Christianity as their open system of control, the "underground" mechanism of Sol Invictus Mithras having served its purpose). This use of Sol Invictus symbology on his coins is discussed in Barbiero page 165, and is also attested to in the notes to a translation of the works of the Christian polemicist and apologist Eusebius (c. AD 260 - c. AD 340). On page 207 of this edition of the works of Eusebius, we read a note from the editor to Eusebius' mention of a chi-rho coin which informs us that Constantine claimed to have seen the Christian chi-rho sign in the sky "resting over the sun," and that thereafter Constantine "continued to commemorate [the sun] on his coins as Sol Invictus (see Bruun, 'Sol'), whether out of numismatic conservatism (Barnes) or as a sign of solar monotheism."
  • There is evidence that early Christian leaders saw reverence to the sun as not at all incompatible with Christianity, with Pope Leo in a famous passage in his Christmas sermon of AD 460 declaring that: "This religion of the Sun is so highly respected that some Christians, before entering the basilica of St. Peter the apostle, dedicated to the one true living God, after climbing the steps that lead to the upper entrance hall, turn towards the Sun and bow their heads in honor of the bright star" (cited in Barbiero, 161). Tertullian also writes that "it is a well-known fact that we pray turning towards the rising sun" (Ad Nationes 1.13, cited in Barbiero "Two sides of the same coin," page 3). This connection between the sun and the "one true living God" described in the sermon by Pope Leo is in keeping with Constantine's use of both Sol Invictus imagery and Christian "chi-rho" symbology on his coins (Constantine evidently did not see anything contradictory or conflicted about the use of both).
  • In AD 386, a decree by the emperor Aurelian changed the name of the Christian day of worship from "the day of the sun" (Sunday being the first day of the week, in a significant change from the seventh-day Sabbath of antiquity) to "the day of the Lord" (Barbiero, 237).
  • The spread of the mithraea throughout the western empire (particularly in the vicinity of army barracks and organs of the government bureaucracy) parallels the spread of Christianity. Barbiero writes, "Wherever the representatives of Mithras arrived, there a Christian community immediately sprang up" ("Two sides of the same coin," page 9). Early bishop's sees were located in Britannia, Gaul, Spain, and North Africa -- the same places that legions were located and which are the sites of mithraea (Ibid).
  • Barbiero traces the progress through which the new Roman class of equites or "equestrians," to which the descendents of the family lines who had come to Rome with Titus and Vespasian after the fall of Judea belonged, gained access to the Senate and then progressively grew more and more powerful in the Senate. Dedicatory inscriptions reveal that as this process took place, more and more senators were members of Sol Invictus Mithras. However, upon the death of the last pater patrum of Sol Invictus Mithras, Flavio Barbiero notes that the entire Senate, that "stronghold of the cult of Mithras, discovered that it was totally Christian" (163, see also 241). In other words, the transition was remarkably smooth and bloodless -- indicating that Mithraism and Christianity were not at all the bitter rivals that the conventional narrative often paints them as being. They were, as Barbiero says, "two sides of the same coin."
These are by no means all the pieces of historical evidence which Flavio Barbiero musters to support his assertion that the institutions of Sol Invictus Mithras and literalist Christianity actually worked "hand in glove." Further, while this is a central part of his overall theory, there is much more to the theory, and that "much more" is itself supported by still further extensive evidence from other aspects of history.

In short, there is so much evidence to support this thesis that it simply cannot be ignored, and deserves careful consideration by everyone who wishes to explore the possible reasons for the suppression of the ancient celestial system of allegory which (I believe) was meant to preserve and to convey a sophisticated shamanic-holographic cosmology that was once widespread around the globe and which flourished in "the west" right up until the fourth century AD. The loss of this ancient wisdom, an inheritance belonging to all of humanity, is an absolutely watershed event in human history, and one which continues to impact our lives right up to the present day.

Special note: if you have not yet seen it, you might be interested in this previous post discussing possible connections between Mithraism and the later Knights Templar.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Common symbology between Mithraic temples and the Knights Templar, and what it might mean

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Previous posts have explained that in the ancient system of metaphor found in the world's ancient mythologies, the "summer half" of the year (in which days are longer than nights) was variously allegorized as a heavenly mountain, a high hill, a gleaming city, or the land of Paradise or Heaven.  

The "winter half" of the year (in which nights are longer than days) was variously allegorized as a deep pit, a land of bondage or toil or slavery, Tartaros, Hades, Sheol, the Underworld, Amenta, or Hell.

In between these two halves of the year were two "crossing points," where the fiery path of the sun (the ecliptic path) crosses the celestial equator each year -- the two equinoxes (one in the spring and one in the fall).  

Previous posts have demonstrated that the ancient systems of metaphor often depicted sacrifices at these "crossing" points (including, appropriately enough, the crucifixion of Christ, which is replete with both autumnal and vernal imagery). For more detailed examination of some of the equinox sacrifice metaphors, and the celestial clues which indicate that these sacrifices align with the equinox in the ancient esoteric system of astronomical allegory, please see the first three chapters of The Undying Stars, chapters which are available to read online here (in particular, you'll want to read the third chapter, which begins on page 26 of the book, using the page numbers as they appear on the book pages themselves).

However, the ancient system did not always depict these equinox crossing points with sacrifice myths: sometimes they involved passage through a narrow and dangerous doorway, gateway, or channel between two rocks (such as the Symplegades encountered by Jason and the Argonauts of Greek myth), and sometimes they involved other metaphors (see for instance the series of three examinations of Virgo myths through various ancient cultures, including those of Scandinavia, the Americas, and Japan).

Another way that the equinox "crossings" have been allegorized in ancient symbology is the use of figures with their legs distinctively crossed, in the symbolism employed in the cult of Sol Invictus Mithras. The cult of Mithras was an exclusive secret society, which met in underground grottos called mithraea, or in buildings designed to feel as if they were underground. As David Ulansey explains in his important 1989 publication, Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World, the Mithraic mysteries were so secret that virtually nothing of their inner workings was ever written down -- or if it was, none of it has been known to survive into the present. He writes that they:
centered around a secret which was revealed only to those who were initiated into the cult.  As a result of this secrecy, the teachings of the cult were, as far as we know, never written down.  Modern scholars attempting to understand the nature of Mithraism, therefore, have been left with practically no literary evidence relating to the cult which could help them reconstruct its esoteric doctrines. 3.
However, he explains, the remains of the mithraea which have been discovered scattered throughout the lands of the former Roman Empire do provide important material for modern analysts to examine, in particular, the symbols found in the scenes which are found upon the walls of these ancient meeting-places.  Ulansey writes:
But the Mithraists did leave to posterity a key for unlocking the  inner mysteries of their religion.  For although the iconography of the cult varies a great deal from temple to temple, there is one element of the cult's iconography which was present in essentially the same form in every mithraeum and which, moreover, was clearly of the utmost importance to the cult's ideology: namely, the so-called tauroctony, or bull-slaying scene, in which the god Mithras, accomplanied by a series of other figures, is depicted in the act of killing a bull.  This scene was always located in the central cult-niche of the mithraeum. 6.
Professor Ulansey's 1989 book is important in that in it, Ulansey challenges the conventional theories that had been accepted up until that time regarding the origin of the symbols (which held that they must have come from Persia and ancient Persian myth, since most scholars accepted the idea that Mithraism somehow came into the Roman Empire from Persia, an idea which Ulansey shows to have been almost entirely championed in modern times by a single nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century scholar, Franz Cumont). 

Ulansey's text labors to advance an alternative thesis, that the symbolism of the tauroctony is almost entirely celestial and primarily zodiacal, and that its central scene of slaying the bull has clear ties to the precession of the equinoxes. Towards this end Ulansey musters overwhelming evidence, and it is safe to say that on this point his arguments are decisive in favor of the fact that the imagery present relates to the zodiac signs and neighboring constellations, and the ages-long motion of precession.

One of the extremely interesting parts of Ulansey's argument concerns his interpretation of two mysterious figures who appear in many (but not all) of the tauroctonies, two torchbearers known as Cautes and Cautopates (we know their names from dedicatory inscriptions, as Ulansey explains on page 62).  These figures often (but not always) have crossed legs, and in most (but not all) of the tauroctony scenes in which they appear, one of them (Cautes) has his torch pointing upwards, and the other (Cautopates) has his torch pointing downwards.  

Ulansey presents cogent arguments for identifying these figures, with their crossed legs and torches, as indicative of the crossing of the fiery arc of the sun's path down into the lower or wintery half of the year (at the fall equinox, indicated by Cautopates with his lowered torch) and up into the upper or summery half (at the spring equinox, indicated by Cautes).  I discussed Ulansey's arguments, along with supporting arguments from Hamlet's Mill (which show that fire-imagery is very common at the points of the equinoxes in many of the world's ancient sacred mythologies) in my first book, The Mathisen Corollary (in chapter 10).  Some scholars have challenged Ulansey's identification of Cautes and Cautopates with the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, but he presents counters to their attacks in his book.

You may be able to spot Cautes and Cautopates in the tauroctony scene above, which is from an ancient mithraeum and which is currently on display in the Kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna.

In that particular tauroctony, Cautes appears on the right side of the bull-slaying scene as we look at it, with his torch's flame pointing upwards, and Cautopates appears on the left as we look at it, with his torch's flame distinctly pointed downwards.  Below is another image of the same scene, this time with Cautes and Cautopates outlined with red rectangles, and the direction of their torches indicated by red arrows (the point of the arrow going towards the respective flames of the torches):

Below is another tauroctony scene from a different ancient mithraeum, which also features Cautes and Cautopates.  Can you spot them and their crossed legs and torches (one pointing down for Cautopates and one pointing up for Cautes)?

image: Wikimedia commons (link)

Once again, they should be relatively easy to spot.  Their crossed legs are very clear in the above image, due to the way they happen to stand out in the photograph.  Below is the same image, with boxes drawn around Cautes and Cautopates to indicate their location, and arrows on each torch pointing in the direction of the flame, which is pointing down in the case of Cautopates on the left, and up in the case of Cautes on the right:

Based on what we have discussed in many previous posts at this point, Ulansey's argument that these two figures represent the two equinoxes is almost certainly correct.  Below is the now-familiar image of the zodiac wheel of the year, which has a large "X" at each equinox to indicate a "crossing."

As I discussed with Henrik Palmgren in my most-recent interview on Red Ice Radio, Mithraism (the cult of Sol Invictus Mithras) may play a far more important role in world history than most people (or even most conventional scholars of Mithraism or of ancient history in general) realize at this time. Historian and author Flavio Barbiero has published a book entitled The Secret Society of Moses: The Mosaic Bloodline and a Conspiracy Spanning Three Millennia (2010) in which he presents evidence that the cult of Sol Invictus Mithras was used as an underground "nerve center" for certain former priestly families of Judea whom Barbiero argues were brought to Rome after the conquest of Judea and the fall of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, at the hands of the general (and future emperor) Titus, who was prosecuting the military campaign in conjunction with his father, Vespasian.

Admiral Barbiero argues that Mithraism basically functioned as an extremely effective secret society, and one which spread through certain strategically-chosen institutions in the Roman Empire, including the Praetorian Guard, the Roman army at large, the centers of trade and commerce (in particular the ports and customs-facilities) and the organs of the political bureaucracy.  It took some time (almost two hundred years), but this "nerve center" eventually gained so much power that it was able to install and remove emperors at will.  The extensive evidence to support this amazing claim is discussed at length in Barbiero's book, and it is also discussed in The Undying Stars in conjunction with that book's examination of the question of "what happened to the ancient wisdom?" Interested readers can also get an overview of the theory in this article which Flavio Barbiero published in 2010 on the Graham Hancock website.

According to this theory, the nobility which controlled Europe during the Middle Ages (as well as the leaders of the western church) almost certainly descended directly from the same lines of priestly families who came to Rome with Vespasian and Titus after the fall of Jerusalem.  Interestingly enough, Barbiero finds evidence for this theory (in addition to the bigger pieces of evidence which are discussed in that linked article and which make up the bigger part of his argument) in the fraternal orders which formed among the European nobility during the Crusades -- including the most famous of these, the Knights Templar.

Those familiar with the history of the Knights Templar may have already been struck by the distinctive "legs crossed" symbology in the foregoing discussion, from the temples of Sol Invictus Mithras.  Barbiero argues that it was probably within "some associations of nobles in which the most authentic spirit of the original institution of Sol Invictus could have survived" (333).  He makes note of the connection between the fact that the funeral monuments of Templar knights represent their effigies with their legs crossed, and says "we cannot imagine that it is a simple coincidence that in all the mithraea there are always two characters with their legs crossed in the same way" (337).

That the members of the noble families who were descended from those original priestly lines who defended the land of Judea and the Temple of Jerusalem against the invading Roman armies under Vespasian and Titus would form dedicated military orders which had secret rituals and shared symbology with the ancient cult of Sol Invictus perfectly accords with Barbiero's thesis. In fact, he writes of knights who made up the top rank of these military orders (such as the Templars):
To all effects, they were professional warriors dedicated to war, which always appeared to be a striking anomaly in the Catholic religion, in flagrant contrast to the pacifism preached by Christ.  In reality, this was no anomaly, but was instead a perfect continuation of the traditions of the priestly family.  Josephus Flavius was a priest but also a warrior and a military leader.  The followers of Sol Invictus had taken control of the Roman army and were, first of all, military men. 335.
Below are some images of the tombs of various Templar knights. In the first one, for example, you can see that the two knights on the right-hand side of the photograph (as we look at it) have their legs crossed:

image: Wikimedia commons (link)

Below is a drawing of another effigy of a knight from his tomb.  You can clearly see that his legs are crossed:

image: Wikimedia commons (link)

And finally, one more drawing of effigies of knights from medieval tombs.  The tomb closer to the viewer clearly depicts an effigy with the legs crossed in the same distinctive manner:

image: Wikimedia commons (link)

There is much more to this subject, but this connection alone constitutes yet another piece of evidence supporting Flavio Barbiero's theory as presented in his book, a theory which is very important for the question of "what happened" to the common system of celestial allegory which underlies virtually all of the world's ancient sacred texts (including those which found their way into what today we refer to as the Bible), and to the knowledge that this ancient wisdom should actually unite mankind, instead of dividing us.