Posts Tagged ‘cosmology’

the Pleiades

December 3, 2012

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion?” — Job 38:31

There are myths about the Pleiades from all around the world. The repeating themes that appear on six continents are:
– children, playing rather than working
– women, usually running from a suitor or grieving the death of one
– fire, either as the birthplace of fire or the gateway through which fire is received
– and though most cultures list them as seven, some only have six, Muhammad claimed there were twelve
– several cultures say it is a hundred stars

I had hoped to find the mythology of the Pleiades was localized thematically, where very similar myths would have been in one geographic area and another type of myth in another. That would have made it easier to interpret the myths as seeing some cosmic event differently from different quarters. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

There seem to be two motifs connected with the Pleiades: first, people rising up to become the stars (whether six or seven females or up to 400 boys) and, second, something coming from the cluster (fire or water).

In the Mayan corpus, it is important as well and is mentioned in the legend of the Hero Twins as the 400 boys who were killed by a son of Seven Macaw. (And why would the Big Dipper mean so very much to them, anyway?) In Saturnian Cosmology, it is contended that the planet Saturn was in the northern region for centuries and that all early religions pointed to the polar sky as the home of the god. Well, perhaps all religions but the Mayan (though I have yet to see more than one or two that actually claim such). The Mayan claim Seven Macaw (the Big Dipper) claimed the glory of the god but was never actually the head honcho.

The Aztecs were even more concerned about the Pleiades as they used the Fire Ceremony every 52 years when the fires were extinguished until the Pleiades passed the zenith and the morning light began to grow in the east.

Exactly what the Aztecs were afraid of is not known. Unless, of course, it had to do with the “fire ceremony” they tell about the gods. The Aztecs thought Teotihuacán was the home of the gods and tell of a mythical event that happened there: the Sun had gone out and the gods gathered around a ceremonial fire they set up to decide who would become the next Sun. One proud and haughty god demanded the honor and went to through himself on the flames (and thus somehow become the next Sun). Three times he approached the flames but they roared up and forced him back. Then a small pock-marked god rushed past and flung himself into the flames. The Sun ignited and he became the new Sun.

Though this is very telling in many respects, it was after the Mayan period and does not specifically concern the Pleiades.

From website of Dr. George Pararas-Carayannis we learn that there are many ancient myths from around the world that tell of how humanity suffered through repeated destructions by fire and flood. These tales of catastrophe were usually thought to be nothing more than exaggeration. But there are too many traditions connecting the Pleiades with some kind of catastrophe to be overlooked.

There is the Osiris/Saturn legend from Egypt. Osiris was drowned by Seth, who then cut the body to pieces and scattered them to the sky where they became the Pleiades. Saturn (Khima) is connected with the Pleiades. Their names are frequently confused in the Holy Bible where Khima is translated as “Pleiades” instead of as “Saturn”. The Pleiades is also connected with the Flood of Noah. The third Deluge occurred when the male waters from the sky met the female waters issuing forth from the ground. The male waters from the sky fell through holes in the sky which were made by God when he removed stars out of the constellation of the Pleiades. Some scholars hypothesize that the Universal Deluge of Noah was caused by a passing cosmic body but Velikovsky claims it was caused by the planet Saturn.

The connection between Saturn and the Pleiades seems well-founded in ancient times but the meaning still seems a little obscure.

Several Sanskrit texts refer to a nova or brightening of a star in the cluster of Pleiades. There is also a story about a strange fire associated with this cluster by which the seasons were reversed as a war broken between gods and demons. A large fiery body then fell to Earth, causing earthquakes, a rise in the sea-level, widespread drought, and severe famine.

Some scholars date the observation of a super nova to c.2500-3000 B.C. or even earlier. The impact crater and the falling meteors could have occurred c.1800-2200 B.C.

Very far away, the Aztecs of Mexico believed that these stars could prevent the demons of darkness from descending to Earth and devouring men. For this reason, they offered their deities human sacrifices. Their depressing vision of doom came from their Legend of the Five Suns: the universe was impermanent and would come to an end like everything else. The cycle would not continue for ever, allowing for only be five “Suns” each with its own name.

The first sun was Four Water. The second was Four Jaguar. Then came Four Rain, followed by Four Wind, and then the fifth and final sun: four Movement. This world, our world, will be destroyed by earthquakes. Five was for the Aztecs a sacred number, based on the five directions (the four cardinal directions PLUS the center).

And for the Aztecs, the center was understood to be the star cluster of the Pleiades.

Returning to the problem quoted from the Book of Job at the top, what are the cords of Orion? What are the chains of the Pleiades?

Could there have been some cycle of long-standing nature by which planet Earth was “chained” to some action perceived to have come to us through the intervention of the Pleiades?

The precise nature of that action is still unknown. Whether it came down from there or rose up to there (or perhaps a bit of both) we may never know.

All we know for certain is that many ancient peoples from around the world stood in awe of the pretty little cluster of lights.

Awe… and more than a little fear.


Let’s Just Get a Little Real, Okay?

December 2, 2012

Okay, so they’ve found some orphan planets out there and, well, it just didn’t quite fit their mathematical model and its back to the drawing board on that one, huh?

Actually, it seems every year they discover more and more things that cannot be explained by current theory and rather than rework the mathematical construct of how the universe actually works – which, I understand, would be one heck of a lot of work – they spend more money on bigger and better telescopes and deep-space arrays to learn even more about the universe that they have to cobble onto their construct.

Recent forays into the realms of cosmology and cosmic mechanics have shown that they still have not cleared up several anomalies they found decades ago. There are theories about how galaxies form and the levels of energies that maintain their spiral forms. And interesting photo from years ago showed two galaxies apparently passing through each other. With the universal forces moving steadily outward from the point of the big bang, how did two of these fellows turn into each other at a ninety degree angle?

And then there was the remnant of another such accident found elsewhere: the lower portion of one galactic arm had been severed off and was floating at some remove from the galaxy. You could see the wounded galaxy, one of its limbs cut off. Nearby was the limb that had been cut. The really interesting thing about this was that the limb was apparently intact and still holding its shape – being a mirror image of the galaxy’s remaining limb.

Why was there no sight of the purported galaxy that had passed through this one to cause the severed limb? And why was the limb still so perfect? There seemed no ravages of the tremendous forces that had separated it from its body… no string of stars stretching back from the wound… nothing. It could have been photo-shopped, it was so perfect. But this was years before that particular program existed.

Our understanding of the infinite cosmos – despite assurances to the contrary by the prominent lights of the field like the late Dr. Carl Sagan – is not really very complete at all. The ostracized heretic, Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky seemed to have a far better grasp of what was going on that his detractors. Sure, his theories had some flaws in it but it deserved a better hearing than it got.

And seeing how much farther today we are getting (and it gets further everyday) from understanding the cosmos isn’t it time to get a little real and just admit our monumental lack of understanding?

It might work better than the usual egotistic posturing.

Sorry for the ranting.

a Question of Mathematics

April 8, 2010

Many say the number 13 used by the Maya comes from the joints of the body or the number of heavens or hells… that’s the reverse of reality. Their calendar was not based on earthly concepts or structures, it was – as most other calendars around the world – based on celestial phenomena, cosmology. The day is based on the Sun, as is the year (because of the inclination of our axis), the month is based on the Moon (even if it is not very exact to a month today).

They understood that cosmic cycles varied slightly from one occurrence to another and they used an average in the calendar. After building the entire structure of baktuns and katuns, they used something cosmological to define the numbers of each of these cyclical components.

The 260 days of the tzolkin were not there because of the maize-growing period or for the length of human gestation. It was there because there are 260 katuns in the calendar.

Astrologers are familiar with the “one day equals a year” in the formulation of progressed horoscopes for individuals. The Mayans understood this as well. That’s why the tzolkin is the calendar they use as an augury and its larger magnitude-mirror, the katun, has separate meanings as well. The Chilam Balam is filled with katun prophecies and parallels the tzolkin.

One has 260 separate meanings, and so does the other.

The cosmos is mirrored onto the planet. Their word “kin” means Sun, and time, and day. The passage of the Sun overhead defines the day, and represents the passing of time. But there is a deeper meaning here. The Sun actually defines time itself in what it passes to the other spheres in the Solar System. This is understood in astrology as well.

The giant celestial clock of the Solar System is controlled and defined by the Sun itself. The manifestations of its character are present in the very motions of all its parts. To understand the intertwining cycles took the Maya several centuries to map completely but they accomplished the task.

If they had done this during the previous Sun, as Carlos Barrios says in the Book of Destiny, they would not have needed so much time to complete the calculations. The reason it took so long was because the Sun we now have is different than the previous Sun and a whole new set of calculations had to be made.

And when the next Sun comes along, they will have to do it all over again.

A Little Off-topic, perhaps

March 19, 2010

With the talk of Velikosky and the catastrophic view of cosmic history for planet Earth, I thought I would throw in my two cents worth. It seems almost everyone has a theory about how we got here, and I am no different.

The usual scientific theories involve the planets coalescing from remnant Solar material or something along that line which would imply all the planets came into being pretty much around the same time, give or take a million years or so.

Velikovsky’s notion was that the planets were created in different fashions and at differing times, some even within the cultural history of mankind. That runs completely contrary to the standard scientific model. Others suppose Venus to be a late-comer on the scene, like Velikovsky, but still millions of years old, unlike the catastrophic view.

Years ago I heard a theory, after scientists detected radio noise coming from Jupiter, that Jupiter was a nascent solar object, either an unborn star or one gearing up for such. My thought was quite the reverse of their theory: Jupiter had already been through the solar stage.

Several ancient civilizations have stories about ancient gods coming in pairs like the Hero Twins of Mayan myth, sons of one of an older set of twins. It struck me that Uranus and Neptune are similar as are the pair, Jupiter and Saturn.

So, I wondered, what if the Uranus-Neptune pair was a Sun that pulled apart and shed molten material, smelted from the furnace of its interior, to form planets. Perhaps a similar fate awaited the next stellar object: Jupiter-Saturn. Maybe this system had been a binary star system until the demise of Jupiter-Saturn, or a trinary system earlier.

Either way, the planets were formed of the molten substance formed in the center of the stellar object and when it got too large and unbalanced was thrown out of the gaseous sphere.

Similar to this is the molten center of our planet, still smelting the elements at its core. Every so often, slag rises to the surface of the mix and hits the underside of one of the plates forming the crust. This could cause an earthquake, or perhaps it is the cumulative effect of repeated impacts that cause the imbalance and the earthquakes.

And it is the rotating smelter of the core that actually creates gravity by its motion, making a vortex.

So, there’s another wild theory in a nutshell – or a nut-case.