Thursday, August 30, 2018

Introducing Star Myths of the World, Volume Four: Norse Mythology

Norse mythology has always had a very special place in my life.

My father's side of the family comes from Norway, my father's father and all his ancestors having been born there, as well as my father's mother's parents and all their ancestors.

I grew up reading the wonderfully-illustrated Norse Gods & Giants by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire (1967). As I've said before about some of the books which influenced me growing up, I had these books available at such a young age that I cannot remember ever not having them to read.

Because Norse mythology has always been so important to me, I waited to write a book which would delve into the Norse myths until after I had already written Star Myths of the World, Volume Two (Greek Mythology) and Star Myths of the World, Volume Three (Star Myths of the Bible). I wanted to increase my understanding of the celestial language used by the world's ancient myths before approaching the numinous world described by the Norse myths.

I'm glad that I waited, because the connections to the stars uncovered during the exploration of the myths of ancient Greece, and the stories and characters in the scriptures of the Bible -- as well as the celestial connections in the myths of ancient India, and ancient Egypt, and ancient Japan, and the cultures of the Pacific, among others which were examined in Star Myths of the World, Volume One -- proved to be absolutely vital for grasping some of the celestial connections in the myths of northern Europe and the Norse.

I am therefore very pleased to introduce 

This book is just now beginning to make its way to the various sales channels such as Barnes & Noble or You should be able to request a copy from your favorite local bookseller (if you are fortunate enough to still have one in your area), or request that your nearby library order a copy for you to check out when it arrives.

You can also see sample content from this latest book, and from all my previous books, in the "Books" section of my main website, On that same page, you can find a link (near the bottom of the page) to a page where you can order signed copies directly (be sure to specify the name or names you'd like in the inscription, in the window provided, prior to placing the order).

I think you will be astonished at some of the connections between the Norse myths and the myths from other cultures -- connections which show that they are all using the same world-wide system of celestial metaphor, and that they are thus all in some way related.

Even though I was already quite convinced that the world's ancient myths are all related through this celestial system, I myself was surprised by some of the connections that came to light as I explored the Norse myths during the writing of this book.

And I believe your life will be positively benefited by the ancient wisdom that the Norse myths want to tell us, once we begin to listen to them in the language that they are actually speaking . . . the language of the stars.

Video link.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Seeing the Star Myths: Aquila, Cygnus, and Delphinus

I've just posted a new video entitled "Seeing the Star Myths: Aquila, Cygnus, and Delphinus."

This is the fourth video in a series intended to help more people to become familiar with the outlines of the constellations, to find the constellations in the night sky, and to more easily recognize the references to specific constellations in the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories.

Previous videos in this series include:

This video describes the outline and location of the mythologically-important constellations of Aquila the Eagle, Cygnus the Swan, and Delphinus the Dolphin, as well as touching briefly upon some ancient myths in which one or more of these constellations plays a role, such as some of the episodes in the cycle of myths surrounding the god Dionysus.

I hope these videos will be helpful for seeing the constellations in the night sky -- and in your mind's eye -- and for better understanding the celestial language being spoken by the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories, and thereby to better understand their vital message for each of us today.

Please feel free to share with friends and family who may benefit from the information in these videos, and to sign up for the YouTube channel in order to receive notifications whenever new videos are published.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Everybody look what's going down

Apparently, the Guns & Butter program will continue as a web-broadcast program and as a podcast, even after KPFA and the Pacifica Radio Network abruptly cancelled the show, thus removing it from radio circulation on a nationwide network of affiliate stations. 

While that of course is good news, the removal of the show from the radio drops the curtain on one of the last remaining pieces of broadcast journalism on the public airwaves willing to explore "forbidden" topics, including the evidence that the "official" story of historical events such as the September 11, 2001 attacks and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. (among many other examples) is built on a framework of lies.

KPFA and its affiliate stations have completely scrubbed the show from their websites, including all of the archived shows going back for nearly two decades. However, the archived shows on the Guns & Butter website itself are still available -- and the decision by KPFA to cancel the show and remove all mention of it should spur listeners to go back through the archived shows and revisit them. I personally went back and downloaded many of the archived shows, and am of the opinion that they offer an extraordinary valuable matrix of perspectives and "data points" which are necessary when trying to piece together the complex situation we are facing at the present juncture of history.

As the Guns & Butter theme song, a remake of the famous Buffalo Springfield anthem "For What It's Worth" (the original of which first aired in December of 1966), declares: "There's something happening here -- what it is ain't exactly clear," the pattern which runs through the events of the past seventy-plus years since the end of World War II reveals the presence of "something happening," although what it is not only is "not exactly clear" but is in fact quite mysterious and defies easy categorization or simplistic explanations.

That's why shows such as Guns & Butter are so extremely critical: by providing a wide array of different voices and perspectives from serious analysts who are examining what is "happening here," we have an opportunity to see shapes emerge which would be extremely difficult to perceive or detect based on the carefully limited perspectives allowed within the current un-free press. 

Some of the "data points" or perspectives offered by the hundreds of voices who appear on Guns & Butter will be flawed, erroneous, or even deliberately misleading, as a matter of course -- but this is no reason to switch off the project altogether and dissolve the framework of perspectives that Bonnie Faulkner has spent so many years constructing through her tireless efforts to seek out and interview disparate researchers who are wrestling with the question of "what's going down."

In the course of listening to the archive shows over the past few days, since hearing the news that KPFA had dropped the program, I came across this prescient interview from September 15, 2010 (Guns & Butter show #214) with Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff of Project Censored, in which they describe the outright hostility of media outlets which call themselves "left" or "progressive" towards investigating  (or even mentioning) "controversial" topics such as the obvious lies and violations of the principles of physics in the "official" explanation of the events of September 11, 2001, for example.

At about the 11: 30 mark in the interview, while discussing the outright censorship of a heavily-footnoted and well-sourced article they submitted to a supposedly "progressive" outlet (the Institute for Policy Studies) with whom they had a contract to provide journalistic articles, Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips make the following statement (Mickey Huff is speaking -- this particular quoted portion begins at about 12: 56 in the interview file):
The fact that there was a topic at the 'progressive' IPS that just could not be discussed -- and if you have a free press, there is no subject that cannot be discussed. [ . . . ] One of the claims was that it was a 'divisive' issue -- and, I mean, that's rubbish. It's a divisive issue, for sure, but it's contentious for a reason. And these are the very kinds of subjects that in a free-press structure we ought to be ferreting out and having the debates -- I mean that's the purpose of a free press. [ . . . ] And we're expecting, they're gonna want to do this, it's a power-elite story, it's a story of mass potential propaganda and deception that gets us into two illegal wars, eviscerates Constitutional liberties, bankrupts the society both economically and morally the world over: you'd think this is a huge thing to debate on the merits of science and fact. We were hard concrete scientific reports and peer-reviewed journal articles, and we're saying 'What's the deal with this? Why can't we talk about this?' and they said, 'Well, you're going to alienate readers in the Heart Land.' I'm not kidding. [ . . . ] And then when Peter submitted a piece a month later, they said: 'You're no longer writing for us.'
Listeners to this interview should think very carefully about the statement that "If you have a free press, there is no subject that cannot be discussed," and ask how many subjects absolutely "cannot be discussed" in the un-free press which we have today. Even those who completely accept the "official" story of the events of September 11, 2001 might want to ask themselves if they agree that any discussion about September 11 should be "off limits" for any discussion in any broadcast media. 

And yet that is precisely the situation we have today.

And the removal of Guns & Butter from the airwaves pulls the plug on one of the last shows available on broadcast stations (as opposed to being available on the internet, which is a very different medium for reasons mentioned in my previous post) which upheld that understanding of freedom of the press to investigate and explore important subjects, under the understanding that if you have a free press, no topic should be off limits for discussion.

Those wishing to purchase the Project Censored annual volume of suppressed stories for 2011, which was being discussed in the above interview (and which has since been followed by seven more annual volumes ranging from 2012 to 2018, as well as an eighth for 2019 which will begin shipping in mid-September of this year) can go to this web-page on the Project Censored website, and specifically to this product page for the Censored 2011 volume.

Another archived Guns & Butter show from about the same timeframe is this interview with frequent guest Professor Michael Hudson dated June 16, 2010 and entitled "Europe's Class War against Labor" (Guns & Butter show #204) The interview, which is also embedded at the end of this post (just as the previously-discussed interview is embedded at the top of this post), may well be one of Professor Hudson's clearest and most systematic explanations of the forces which actively seek to reduce living standards, social services, and industrial and economic output in economies -- in order to privilege  and maximize debt service instead.

Such a policy, of course, will ultimately result in Killing the Host (which is the title of a book Professor Hudson published in August of 2015, some years after this interview was recorded) -- and will also have the effect of reducing populations to a state of "neo-feudalism," as he says in this interview.

During this extremely important interview, Professor Hudson sounds a note which resonates with the cautions voiced above in the Project Censored interview, regarding the critical importance of an informed public in order to have any hope of imposing democratic governance over the financial sector, instead of the inverted situation we face today in which financial interests have taken control of and subverted democratic governance. Beginning at about the 21: 00 mark in the interview, Professor Hudson says, in response to Bonnie's question of how the European Union could have been structured in order to allow democratic governance over the central banks:
It would have first of all permitted central banks to do what they do in America, England and other places -- it would have had the national Treasury able to monetize the deficit, or create the credit, by government spending. It would have made the Central Bank and the Treasury subordinate to the political arm of democratically-elected governments. But when you have democracy itself undercut, by the financial power of right-wing parties to convince populations to vote against their self-interest, then it's very hard to know how to re-structure things. Once the population doesn't understand what's happening economically, or financially, it's not able to act in its self-interest, and it's in the position of becoming a victim.
According to Professor Hudson, economics and specifically finance is being employed as a weapon against populations of men and women who have deliberately been kept in the dark about financial and economic matters, to the point that many even begin to believe arguments for policies which sacrifice the best interest of the population and indeed the economy itself to the interests of financial speculators and rent-extractors.

As he explains at about 48: 10 in the same interview:
The crisis is an offensive by the vested interests, by the wealthy interests, to shift the taxes off themselves, onto labor, and to say, 'Wait a minute: now is the time to really drive the nail into the coffin of the class war. Now we're gonna mount an offensive to get rid of social security, to get rid of the welfare state. We're gonna get rid of public health, get rid of social security, get rid of medical care, get rid of public spending, and run the government so that -- ' they tax labor and industry and agriculture, basically, to bail the banks out of the bad loans that are extracting so much interest that they're shrinking the economy. So the financial interests in Europe are willing to see the economy shrink, willing to see the economy de-industrialize, to force the governments to say, 'If you pay your pensions and social security, you have to sell off your public enterprises, you have to sell off any land or mineral resources or anything else in the public domain to the bankers. You have to sell your roads, for us to buy, to turn into toll roads. You have to sell everything you have, and we'll privatize it.' And what this is, is a return to feudalism. 
Once again, one need not agree with every single position held by Professor Hudson to realize that the network of data points he lays out in this interview is extremely valuable to anyone who is trying to come to grips with things that are "going down" whose impact is certainly felt by everyone trying to make a living or raise a family today, even if the great leviathan-like forces beneath the surface which are causing those effects are often rather difficult to detect (especially because they are never mentioned with any sort of clarity by the current un-free press).

Note that in the passage quoted immediately above, Professor Hudson explains that the goal of this "offensive" is to force governments (which are supposed to represent the people) to sell off land and mineral resources and other valuable parts of the public domain for privatization by a select few (the very opposite of the public). Many previous posts have laid out a systematic argument showing that the ancient wisdom of the world unequivocally ascribed the riches of the land, the sea, the ports, the forests, the soil, the minerals under the earth, and even the realms of the air and of the electro-magnetic spectrum to the domain of the gods. It should not be difficult to name the Greek gods, for example, to whom belonged the bounties of the sea, the riches under the earth, or even the electro-magnetic waves which move through the air.

Thus, the seizure of the public domain is a seizure of the domain of the gods. It is part of a centuries old conspiracy against the gods. There is no contradiction between realizing that what we call the public domain was seen by the ancients as the bounty of the divine realm: as other previous posts have endeavored to explain, the ancient myths illustrate that the gods bestow their gifts upon all men and women -- and indeed that the gods are present in and work out their will through men and women. When Athena bestowed the gift of the olive tree upon the ancient city of Athens, for example, it was a gift that was intended to benefit all of the people, and not just a privatized few. For more on this discussion, see previous posts such as this one, this one, and this one.

In light of this fact, it should be no surprise that the oppressive, exploitive and benighted economic paradigm we refer to as "feudalism" descended upon Europe like a plague following the deliberate destruction of the ancient wisdom by the proponents of literalist Christianity (collaborators against the gods) -- and that Professor Hudson describes the current scheme to sell off and privatize the mineral resources and everything else in the public domain as a "return to feudalism."

These kinds of perspectives and data points are absolutely invaluable in the quest to make sense of the great tectonic forces operating below the chatter of the controlled media, which can only be understood by examining topics which are now "off limits" to our un-free press (and, indeed, pretty much off-limits for discussion or examination in academia as well). Guns & Butter, and certain other important shows, have done humanity a tremendous service by assembling a galaxy of different voices and views which can assist us to see "what's happening here."

It should come as no surprise that certain interests would seek to restrict access to such a valuable public resource.

Let's all do what we can to support Bonnie and Guns & Butter and to tell others to tune in, especially now that her show will no longer be available on the broadcast airwaves.

I'm happy to see that a new interview featuring Professor Robert Schoch has appeared on Guns & Butter, immediately after the news of KPFA's decision to drop the show. I am of the opinion that the story of our "censored" ancient history ties directly in to the difficult question of "what's going down" in our much more recent history as well.

There's definitely something happening here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

"Guns & Butter" abruptly shut down

Bonnie Faulkner's long-running radio show Guns & Butter has been abruptly cancelled by its home radio station KPFA in Berkeley.

The weekly show has been one of the central features of KPFA (and affiliated stations) for the past seventeen years.

See this article about the cancellation of Guns & Butter, published today by Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa and the Centre for Research of Globalization, at Global Research

Professor Chossudovsky has been a frequent guest on Guns & Butter, along with a constellation of other important critical voices including Professor Michael Hudson, Professor David Ray Griffin, Professor James Tracy, and accomplished civil rights lawyer William F. Pepper, Esquire -- among many other insightful researchers and authors examining issues of absolutely critical importance.

While I certainly do not agree with every assertion by every single guest who appears on Guns & Butter, the abrupt cancellation of Bonnie Faulkner's show because of assertions made by one recent guest (who was one part of a three-guest show) sends a chilling message about the freedom of the press in the united states at this time. To be even more specific: I personally do not agree with the opinion voiced by the guest in question, cited by KPFA as the reason the show was shut down, and yet I believe the termination of the show is a very serious matter and an ominous indicator of the current state of freedom of speech and the press.

Are men and women to be treated like children, as if they are unable to discern for themselves whether or not an argument has merit, and thus must be shielded from any objectionable views? Even if I disagree with a guest on a show or find that guest's views to be objectionable, I am adamantly opposed to silencing a radio program in the united states because an opinion with which I disagree was voiced by someone appearing on that show.

This removal of Guns & Butter from production at KPFA terminates one of the last remaining shows on the broadcast airwaves which dared to question the government narrative on events such as the murderous attacks of September 11th, 2001 or the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and many others.

I would strongly urge Bonnie Faulkner to continue her weekly show as a podcast, if at all possible, and to solicit support from listeners in order to enable that to happen. I would also urge podcast hosts  who are interested in the truth on the kinds of subjects that Guns & Butter has examined over the past seventeen years to invite Bonnie to be a guest on their shows, and to reach out to her with offers to help her launch such a podcast that can be independent of KPFA.

However, there are numerous reasons why the removal of Guns & Butter from the airwaves is a huge blow to independent examination of critically important political and economic subjects at this juncture in history -- not least of which being the fact that consumption of digital media can be monitored and tracked much more closely and much more easily than can the similar consumption of a radio show by listening to that show on one's radio, at home or in the car. Additionally, it is much easier to suppress or obscure the existence of a website, or slow the traffic going to that website to a trickle, using a variety of techniques such as those described here, here and here

For these reasons, men and women who believe in freedom of speech and freedom of the press should flood KPFA with indications of disapproval of their high-handed cancellation of Bonnie Faulkner's weekly show, using the addresses provided in the Global Research article linked above.

In addition, I would strongly recommend visiting the archives of Guns & Butter and downloading as many shows as possible, in case those shows are removed at a future date. Those archives go back fifteen years, to 2003. 

The possibility that access to those archived shows could be removed appears to me to be fairly likely, especially given the fact that the video showing Bonnie Faulkner voicing her displeasure at the termination of her show in a room full of supporters carrying signs condemning censorship, which was embedded in the article posted earlier today on Global Research, has already been removed in the short time that it has taken to write this blog post.

I myself met Bonnie Faulkner in my hometown of San Mateo in 2014. There is no indication that she has ever harassed anybody or called for the harassment of anybody. However, as the article posted today in Global Research points out, while the banning of Alex Jones has received enormous media attention, the termination of Guns & Butter has been completely ignored by the monopoly media (the so-called "mainstream media") which shapes the opinions of the large segments of the population who do not avail themselves of other sources of information.

The termination of Guns & Butter, about a month following the Alex Jones incident, removes yet another avenue of information outside of the controlled media monopoly. My personal suspicion, based upon evidence and not just intuition, is that Alex Jones is likely a provocateur whose role is to behave in a deliberately objectionable and offensive manner in order to discredit more authentic independent voices while at the same time sucking up all the media attention given to the many voices critical of the official media line on important and suspicious events, and whose antics make the censorship of such voices easier for the general public to accept. 

In other words, I strongly suspect he is deliberately playing the role of a raving "conspiracy theorist" in order to discredit more deliberate and less objectionable voices who question the mainstream narrative on certain subjects. I strongly suspect that some of the more vocal and visible proponents of the "flat earth" movement could be playing a similar role in order to jump in front of and distract from more serious lines of investigation, while attempting to discredit anyone else who questions certain narratives through a form of "guilt by association."

The fact that Bonnie Faulkner's show has suddenly been terminated without any media attention approximately one month after the much-publicized Alex Jones dust-up would appear to lend some credence to that possibility.

I believe that the termination of Guns & Butter is an extremely troubling and serious sign about the current status of the freedom of the press and freedom to express opinions in an era of increasingly rigid control over the media, the airwaves, the general discourse among the citizenry, and the ability of men and women to gain access to research, evidence and analysis which reveals some of the glaring inconsistencies in the official narrative of critical events. 

I would recommend immediately downloading many (or all) of the available Guns & Butter archive, and placing them on an external hard-drive, mobile device, or series of CDs, and then listening to them while driving to work, riding on the bus, doing the dishes, or working in the garden. I would recommend going right back to the beginning of the archive in 2003, and working forward -- and after several shows, asking yourself if you really believe Bonnie Faulkner is someone whose views are objectionable or outrageous.

And, after you have asked yourself that question and answered it, you might also ask yourself why the framers of the Constitution put the protection of the unabridged freedom of speech and the unabridged freedom of the press at the very beginning of the Bill of Rights -- rights which they correctly described as being inherent in all men and women, and not granted by anyone else, and rights which they accurately perceived as being essential to democratic government by the people, just as they clearly saw the silencing of free speech and a free and independent press to be an essential aspect of tyranny.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

New Video: Seeing the Star Myths -- Sagittarius, the Southern Crown, and Ara the Altar

I've just published a new video entitled "Seeing the Star Myths: Sagittarius, the Southern Crown, and Ara the Altar." It is intended to help you find those constellations in the night sky -- and in the ancient Star Myths of the world, in which Sagittarius plays an especially important role.

This video is the third thus far in a series that also includes:
In order to perceive and understand the overwhelming evidence which shows that the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories are all built upon a foundation of celestial metaphor, it is necessary to be able to envision the various constellations which those ancient myths are referencing. 

Sadly, due to a variety of factors, most people today are not able to envision the constellations of our night sky, and are not familiar with their various distinctive features and characteristics.

In this video, we examine the mythologically-important constellations of Sagittarius, the Southern Crown (Corona Australis), and Ara the Altar. We also examine a piece of ancient artwork which shows that the ancients most definitely appear to have been employing the same constellational outlining system which the famous author H. A. Rey (1898 - 1977) published in his excellent guide to the night sky entitled The Stars: A New Way to See Them (first published in 1952).

I hope the video will be helpful to you in your efforts to see the constellations in the night sky -- and in your mind's eye -- and to understand the celestial language spoken by the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories, in order to hear their timeless message.

Please feel free to share on social media and with friends and family who may appreciate the information in this video, and to sign up to my YouTube channel in order to be notified when new videos are published.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Please offer prayers and encouragement for those impacted by historic floods in Kerala, India

image: Indian Express (link).

The annual festival of Onam which is observed most especially in the state of Kerala in India would have commenced on August 15 this year. However, the observance of the festival has been canceled this year due to devastating flooding.

I had been contacted some time before by a reader in Kerala who has been working on an article about the celestial connections of the annual Onam festival. That article has now of course been postponed.

The unprecedented flooding is the worst in at least a hundred years, and has already claimed over three hundred lives in Kerala, with more rains continuing to fall even now. 

The rains are an annual feature of the monsoon season, but this past week they were so heavy that engineers at nearly all of the numerous dams in the area had to begin releasing water to prevent the dams from bursting altogether.

Readers may remember that the Oroville dam in northern California was letting off water from its spillway in the spring of 2017 when the spillway failed due to lack of necessary infrastructure spending, which is one of the signature characteristics of neoliberalism, privatization, and the siphoning-off of public resources to enrich private interests, discussed in previous blog posts such as:
Please pray for those in Kerala affected by the deadly flooding, and please let others know about the situation there, which does not appear to be receiving much media coverage at least where I live. 

And, if you are moved to do so, please help the men, women and children of Kerala in any way you can (while at the same time being sure to look into the trustworthiness of any agency through which you choose to donate funds).

Let's do what we can to reach out and offer encouragement, prayers and assistance during this catastrophe.

image: Indian Express (link).

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Welcome to new visitors from Lighting the Void! (and returning friends)

Big thank-you out to Joe Rupe, the founder and host of Lighting the Void for having me over to his live radio show and podcast, and a most enjoyable conversation about the connections between the myths and the stars . . . and the implications for our understanding of history, our seemingly-material universe, who we are and what we are doing down here.

The interview below was recorded on Friday, August 10th, 2018. You can listen to it using the embedded player, or download the file to a mobile device to listen while driving to work, doing the dishes, working in the garden, or walking down the block. You can also find the interview on Spotify as well as iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and wherever else good podcasts are found.

To those visiting here for the first time after listening to the podcast on Lighting the Void, welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the discussion and hope you will look around the main website at where you can find links to videos, myths, resources, and all of my books thus far (complete with some sample content and links to order signed copies).

Below are some links to previous blog posts which touch on topics or subjects that came up during my conversation with Joe on Friday:
For those who just learned about Star Myths from Lighting the Void, I hope this information will be a blessing to you in some way, and I hope you will visit again soon!

And for those just learning about Lighting the Void, please give the show some good reviews on Stitcher or iTunes if you enjoyed the interview, subscribe to the LTV channel on YouTube, and support independent media as much as you can!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

New video: Seeing the Star Myths -- Hercules and the Northern Crown

I've just published a new video entitled "Seeing the Star Myths: Hercules and the Northern Crown."

This video is a follow-up to the previous video on "Seeing the Star Myths: Scorpio and Ophiuchus."

In it, I explain that although an overwhelming amount of evidence demonstrates that the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories follow the very same system of celestial metaphor, this evidence is very difficult for most people to perceive (even if someone explains it), because most people cannot envision the outlines and stars of the various constellations.

However, it doesn't have to be this way! In 1952, famous author H. A. Rey (1898 - 1977) published a book entitled The Stars: A New Way to See Them, in which he lamented the sorry state of depicting the constellations used in most texts of that time (a situation which has hardly improved today, more than sixty-five years later), and the resulting lack of familiarity with the heavens among most men and women. 

The brilliant system he set forth in that text for envisioning the constellations makes it much easier to find the constellations in the night sky -- and, although Rey himself never seems to have mentioned it (an no one else seems to have mentioned it either), his system appears to be the very same system used in the world's ancient myths! 

Some of the undeniable correspondences between his outlines and ancient artwork which appears to be based on those same constellations (and which depict gods and mortals who appear in the various myths around the world) are shown in the above video -- and those examples could literally be multiplied into the hundreds or even the thousands.

This latest video discusses the constellation Hercules -- an extremely important figure in the Star Myths of the World -- with tips on how to find the constellation in the night sky, and discussion of some of the myths from various cultures which are connected to this heavenly figure. The video also discusses the nearby constellation of Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), and some of its manifestations in world mythology.

I hope you have an opportunity to locate these constellations for yourself, in the infinite realm of the heavens -- perhaps as you settle into a comfortable spot from which to observe some of the Perseid meteor shower.

Enjoy! Please feel free to share with friends and family, to provide feedback on the video page itself, and to subscribe to the Mathisen Corollary YouTube channel in order to receive notification when new videos are published. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

It's time to make your plans for the 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

August 11, 12 and 13 are the dates that the annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak this year. These nights correspond to the dates of New Moon for the month (on August 11) and a very thin waxing crescent, which has experts predicting that this year's viewing conditions for the Perseid meteor shower could be the best for decades (on either side).

Here is a discussion anticipating this year's Perseid meteor shower from

Here is a similar discussion from Sky & Telescope.

And here's one that appeared in Forbes with a little more discussion about the ominous comment Swift-Tuttle whose trail creates the annual Perseid shower each year when the earth passes through the debris-trail left by that comet's orbit.

Here's a link to a blog post I wrote seven years ago about the Perseid meteor shower, in 2011. And here's another which discusses why meteor showers tend to occur on the same days each year, and whey they have "given names."

Below is an image from Wikimedia commons in which a time-lapse camera captures several streaking Perseids crossing the circular paths of the stars (circular star-paths which are caused by the spinning of our spherical earth on its orbit):

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

As the above-linked articles make clear, observing the Perseids does not really require any special equipment: naked-eye viewing is best. A reclining chair (especially a lawn-chair) can be helpful, although you can also lie rather comfortably on the hood and windshield of your car, if you want (but be careful if you're not used to doing that). 

Although the Perseids are named for the constellation Perseus, indicating the direction from which they appear to originate in the night sky, as this article from Alan MacRobert at Sky & Telescope's weekly "This Week's Sky at a Glance" column explains:
A shower's radiant is the perspective point where the meteors would all appear to come from if you could see them approaching in the far distance. In fact we see them only in the last second or two as they streak into the Earth's upper atmosphere, and this can happen anywhere in your sky.
Perhaps more important than focusing on any single point in the sky is getting yourself to a propitious point on earth's surface from which to best observe the stars . . . and the meteors.

Fortunately, in the modern era, there are a plethora of tools available to help you select a favorable point on the terrain from which to observe the heavens. The familiar Google Maps gives you the ability to turn on the "terrain" mode for viewing, which is invaluable for conducting a little "map recon" of your local area in order to find pieces of terrain which are likely to offer an excellent view of much of the heavens. To use that feature, simply select "terrain" from the "hamburger" menu pulldown, and then begin to use the contour lines to tell you where the high ground and the low ground is likely to be located, and where on the map you might offer good unobstructed views of the night sky.

You can use the map to find high points created by hills, ridge lines, and saddles in the terrain. If you are not that familiar with topo maps and grid lines, the Google Maps give you some assistance by "shading in" the sides of hills and ridges, so that you can tell which is the high ground and which is the low ground (another clue is to look for places with water, such as ponds or streams, which will always be the lowest region, since water seeks the lowest places to pool).

Below, I offer some examples of places that might offer good views of the night sky, based on a "map recon" using Google Maps and the "terrain" view feature. I simply looked at the contour lines and terrain features, and drew in several little arrows pointing to spots that are likely to offer good unobstructed views of the night sky. Note that some of the locations may be unsuitable due to street lamps or other light pollution -- once you have conducted your map recon, it is advisable to go do an actual in-person recon during daylight hours in order to check for any dangerous features (such as sharp cliffs) and to see if there are streetlights in the area that might necessitate going somewhere else.

For purposes of showing the kinds of terrain features to look for, I chose two locations in California's historic gold country: Angel's Camp and Placerville (both places where I believe author Mark Twain  [Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835 - 1910] once stayed for extended periods). The first is Angels Camp:

Note that all the points marked with red arrows indicate likely points which would offer good star gazing on dark nights (depending on streetlights or other light pollution). These are all locations with a road running through them. The methodology for this map recon involves looking at the contour lines to find hilltops and ridges with roads that might offer easy access to stargazers. You should be able to apply a similar type of recon to your local area, using Google Maps, so that you can plan in advance of the peak Perseid observation nights of August 11, 12 and 13.

Below is another example, showing Placerville, California and using purple arrows to mark likely spots for star-gazing (and meteor-shower watching), depending on the light pollution:

I hope you will have the opportunity to get outside to look for Perseids during this year's Perseid meteor shower, if at all possible. Once you find an observation point which offers good views of the sky, and which seems to be safe and easy enough to locate after dark, all you have to do is go outside during the peak viewing hours for the meteor shower, and look to the heavens. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

New video: Seeing the Star Myths -- Scorpio and Ophiuchus

I've just published a new video entitled "Seeing the Star Myths: Scorpio and Ophiuchus."

In it, I explain that an overwhelming amount of evidence points to the conclusion that the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories from cultures on every inhabited continent and island of our planet are based on a common system of celestial metaphor -- but that unless people can envision the constellations, this evidence will be very difficult to see or comprehend, even if someone is trying to present it and explain it.

Unfortunately, most people do not get a clear image of a constellation and outline in their mind when you say "Capricorn" or "Aries" or "Aquarius," although this is not at all their fault -- we're never taught it in school, and they are not addressed in any of the media we are exposed to on a daily basis. 

Not only that, but the way the constellations are usually presented is worse than unhelpful for seeing the constellations in the sky (and for seeing the connections between the myths and the stars). As the famous author H. A. Rey lamented in a book published all the way back in 1952, there are two ways that the constellations are usually presented to us, and both of them are worse than useless. 

One way is with flowery and often full-color images of what the constellations are supposedly intended to represent, and the other way is with abstract jumbles of lines which look nothing at all like what the constellations are intended to represent. Neither one will be of much use for finding the constellations, remembering what they look like, or seeing how the characters and episodes in the Bible and the other myths and sacred stories from around the world are all representative of specific constellations and their motions as part of the endless heavenly cycles.

However, it doesn't have to be that way! As mentioned above, H. A. Rey published a book over sixty-five years ago which provides an outstanding way of envisioning the constellations -- and what's more, appears to have either been based upon the ancient system used around the world in ancient myths and sacred traditions, or else to have independently reproduced it through Rey's own genius (although to my knowledge he never mentioned the connection between his specific outlining system and the ancient myths).

Of course, I can already hear someone (in my imagination) saying that since I myself grew up using this system of envisioning the constellations, published by H. A. Rey in the book The Stars: A New Way to See Them, and because I am so familiar with that system, that is what I unconsciously "project" into the myths. However, that argument is countervailed by the overwhelming number of ancient artifacts, sculptures, and reliefs from multiple cultures on different continents which can clearly be seen to be portraying gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines in postures which are distinctly reminiscent of the outlines of specific constellations -- outlines which match the system of envisioning the constellations published by H. A. Rey in 1952.

For a few examples of this correspondence, see previous blog posts such as this one, this one, this one, this one (note especially the ancient sculpture of Buddha and Vajrapani) and this one, as well as any of my recent books which contain hundreds of illustrations and star charts.

This video, and others to follow, will show a system for envisioning the constellations which should help in finding them in the night sky -- and in seeing them in ancient myths and artwork from around the world.

This one discusses Scorpio and Ophiuchus (with some mention of other nearby constellations, and of course the glorious column of the Milky Way), as well as a few myths from around the world which connect to those constellations.

Enjoy! Please feel free to share with friends and family, to provide feedback on the video page itself, and to subscribe to the Mathisen Corollary YouTube channel in order to receive notification when new videos are published.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The universal gods

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

I hope you have had the opportunity to go outside and witness in person the beautiful procession of planets now arrayed across the night sky, if at all possible.

Presently, you can easily see brilliant Venus in the west (setting fairly early, depending on your latitude and local terrain, by about 8:20 pm), followed by Jupiter high up in the center of the sky (just west of the center of the sky after sunset, in fact, and also very bright and a lighter yellow or gold than Venus), followed by Saturn just above the peak of the "Teapot" stars of Sagittarius (the farthest visible planet and thus small from our perspective, and a duller yellow), and finally bright red Mars rising in the east, larger and brighter than I have ever seen this planet:

For more detail on their locations, including a diagram of the outline of the "Teapot," see this previous post.

Today it is generally believed that the names of deities were imposed upon the planets at a later time, such that the concept of the gods came first and their names were ascribed to planets "later" -- but the authors of Hamlet's Mill explain that this understanding is actually backwards, and that the ancients understood the visible markers in the heavens to reveal to us the Powers who operate in the Invisible Realm.

They write:
Today expert philologists tell us that Saturn and Jupiter are names of vague deities, subterranean or atmospheric, superimposed on the planets at a "late" period; they neatly sort out folk origins and "late" derivations, all unaware that planetary periods, sidereal and synodic, were known and rehearsed in numerous ways by celebrations already traditional in archaic times. [ . . . ]
Ancient historians would have been aghast had they been told that obvious things were to become unnoticeable. Aristotle was proud to state it as known that the gods were originally stars, even if popular fantasy had later obscured this truth. Little as he believed in progress, he felt this much had been secured for the future. 3 - 4.
Later they declare, again referencing Aristotle, that:
The most "ancient treasure" -- in Aristotle's word -- that was left to us by our predecessors of the High and Far-Off Times was the idea that the gods are really stars, and that there are no others. The forces reside in the starry heavens, and all the stories, characters and adventures narrated by mythology concentrate on the active powers among the stars, who are the planets. 177.
For more on the text in which Aristotle calls this preservation of the ancient science of a vanished predecessor culture (or cultures) an "ancient treasure," see this previous blog post from 2011.

As perceptive as the authors of Hamlet's Mill were, and as important as their text is for pointing out the existence of a vast, echoing, worldwide ancient system which was already in ruins and covered with the "dust of centuries" by the time the ancient Greeks came on the scene, I do not agree with them that the gods are only seen in the planets, or that the ancient myths are only designed to preserve scientific knowledge about the heavens. Although the ancients clearly understood and taught that the power and personalities of specific gods and goddesses are seen in (and projected by) the planets themselves, I have found overwhelming evidence that the same ancient myths teach us that the characteristics of specific gods and goddesses are also seen in the outlines and movements of specific constellations as well. 

Further, as stated above, it is my conviction based upon my analysis of the ancient myths thus far that the visible actors in the infinite realm of the heavens (the sun, the moon, the stars, and the visible planets) were used as a way of showing us profound and vital truths about the invisible world, the Other Realm: the realm of the gods. I'm not sure the authors of Hamlet's Mill would go this far (and in fact I suspect they would disagree with some of what I've asserted above, as well as other aspects of what I've written in various places over the years).

What is also very evident, and very significant, is that the ancients in their surviving writings (in the time of Aristotle, for example, and in the centuries slightly before and after his day) understood that the gods and goddesses acknowledged by various cultures were the same entities -- even if they were called by different names and described in different adventures and episodes. In fact, the ancient writers seem to have assumed this as a given, and didn't even spend time arguing the point, but rather simply state it as if the reader already agrees and understands the same thing.

For example, in the writings of the ancient Roman historian (and also senator) Tacitus, who lived from about AD 56 to about AD 120, the author describes the gods of the various tribes of Germania as corresponding to the deities worshiped by the Romans, and uses the Roman names when describing them -- and this practice was common among many other ancient writers as well. 

In the ninth "chapter" of the Germania by Tacitus, for example (which you can read online, along with any of the other chapters, here), the ancient writer informs us that:
Mercury is the deity whom they chiefly worship, and on certain days they deem it right to sacrifice to him even with human victims. Hercules and Mars they appease with more lawful offerings. Some of the Suevi also sacrifice to Isis.
Tacitus is here equating (or "conflating") the god Odin or Wotan with the Roman deity Mercury (who corresponds to Hermes in ancient Greece) -- and in fact, we can see that in the naming of the days of the week, Wednesday (named after Odin or Wotan in the English naming of the days of the week) is the same day as the day named for Mercury in the Latinate languages (the day is known in Spanish as Miercoles, for example).

Similarly, in the above passage Tacitus makes reference to deities among the tribes of Germania corresponding to Hercules and to Mars, and I believe he is here referring to Thor and to Tyr, both of whom have correspondences with the Powers whom the Romans referred to by those names. And indeed, as I have discussed in some of my books, there is ample evidence that gods corresponding to Hercules, Zeus, and Thor (all of whom share many characteristics and all of whom are visibly represented in the sky by the same constellation -- the one we call Hercules and which is visible in the star-chart above, near the top of the chart, directly above Ophiuchus) were also recognized in the Americas, such as in the Maya record of the Popol Vuh, where the deity also is associated with a thunderbolt weapon.

Another example you can consult online is found in the writings of the ancient philosopher Plutarch, who was roughly contemporary with Tacitus and is thought to have lived from about AD 46 to about AD 120, and who appears to have been an initiate into certain ancient mysteria and may also have been a priest of Apollo and perhaps also of Isis, in addition to having been a magistrate and an ambassador. 

In his treatise on the deities Isis and Osiris, Plutarch has no problems with declaring that Osiris corresponds to the god Dionysus, Set corresponds to Typhon, Zeus corresponds to the Egyptian deity Ammon, and so forth. You can see some of this discussion in section 12 of Plutarch's study of Isis and Osiris, here.

The significance of this ancient understanding of the universality of the gods should not be overlooked. Indeed, it is pretty much the exact opposite understanding as that which was imposed by the literalists, whose efforts to declare one set of texts as normative and one God as universal and supreme (and all others as false) brought about the end of the ancient world and the loss of much of what remained of that ancient wisdom which Aristotle references in the passages above.

In fact, the ancient view unites all of humanity, rather than dividing it. 

This is something to contemplate deeply -- perhaps as you enjoy the glorious spectacle of the visible planets arrayed in the heavens in the night sky this week.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).