Posts Tagged ‘Moon’

Planetary Show

March 31, 2012

The skies have been an interesting place in recent evenings. Just after the Sun set in the west, Venus became visible some distance up in the sky and, a short time later, Mercury could be seen closer to the horizon.

Then Jupiter could be seen near to Venus. Venus grew closer and eventually passed Jupiter in the sky heading for its turn around as it heads back toward the Sun for a conjunction later this year. And during this period, the Moon passed all those pageant.

Before Mercury set in the west, Mars was seen as a shining pink spot further to the east. And further still was Saturn but it did not rise until after Mercury had set.

So, all Seven of the ancient lights in the sky that early observers wrote about could be seen in the course of a single hour.

Throughout most of recorded history, the lights we see now and their motions – so ponderous and predictable – have been a comfort as well as a bit of a mystery to Man. In today’s world, we know more about those lights than our ancestor’s did; answered many of the questions they must have posed before our time.

With all the majestic motion entailed from ancient times until now, it is hard to imagine those orbs doing anything but continue in their graceful paths.

Was it always so? Many ancients hinted at something strange and frightening being seen above us in the darkness. The very fact that they grew concerned about tracking the movements causes one to wonder if perhaps something catastrophic had occurred in those early times, as writers like Velikovsky have told.

Or was their record-keeping nothing more than idle curiosity over the movement of the planets? It seems a rather strange thing for early man to be struggling to survive and yet have time to record in detail those movements. And the practice was so worldwide – and under government sponsorship – that one wonders exactly what their reasons could have been.

No, governments do not usually put a lot of manpower into idle curiosities.

But, then, we may never know for certain why they did it.

And yet we can still feel the same wonder.

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the Week

January 4, 2012

I have heard a lot of different theories about the week and the way it was arranged.

The Romans used a time interval longer than seven days in their earlier period but gradually adjusted it down to seven. From what I can tell, the Hebrews had seven days since their earliest writings.

But today we have seven days named Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There are also interesting theories about how they came up with those names.

Sun-day and Moon-day are fairly obvious but the next few seem to come to us from the old Norse gods: Tewes-day, Woden’s-day, Thor’s-day, and Freya-day. The last day was named for Saturn.

Apparently some monk in the past realized the planets arranged in their distance from the Earth were Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn.

The “distance-from” criteria is wrong as we now know but I can not figure out how someone thought the Sun was closer than the Moon since the latter eclipses the former, and not vice-versa.

Also, I question the rational of equating Woden, king of the gods, with Mercury. Actually, this bit of connection was done by the early Roman writers and their correlation seems to have stuck, regardless of the rationale or complete lack of it.

But Woden was Mercury? Wasn’t he the god that plucked out his eye for wisdom? And the only planet I know with a large red spot is Jupiter.

And they thought Thor was Jupiter? Yeah, I can see that the god with the bright red hair and red beard, and very warlike, should not be equated with the red planet.

Obviously, someone is not putting things together correctly to my mind. But, maybe I’m wrong.

Still, if you follow the Sun and planets in order of brightness: Sun, Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn. And there, amazingly, you also have the arrangement of the days of the week.

At least, to my mind, it really seems to be that simple.

Also, it is interesting that the Spanish still call Saturday, “Sabado”, the Sabbath. We celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, even though it used to be on Saturday as well. So why did its worship on Saturday end? Well, let’s not get into that discussion at the present as it would open a whole big can of worms.

Astronomical Cycles

April 11, 2010

Given that all calendar systems in the world are built around celestial motions – day and year from the Sun, the month from the Moon, primarily – it is likely that the Mayan Calendar was designed to align with similar phenomena.

Noting their attention to the cycles of the planets – Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn – I would say it is close to a sure bet. They were obsessed with celestial motions. But then so were the majority of ancient civilizations.

But it is also a pretty fair assumption that, from modern scientific theories aside, the celestial motions we see today was not what the ancients were seeing. What evidence is there? Quite a bit, actually.

First of all, many ancient civilizations kept track of the days in a year – as well as the days in a month – and they were all in agreement that the year was 360 days long and the month had thirty days. Then, at the same period, all the calendars went haywire.

Historians say it was simply a case of miscounting. Really? I might believe that if they all had different numbers for the year but most were in agreement of 360 days. And when the numbers went crazy, it was the same the world around. And after a few years they all came up with the new numbers for the year and month lengths… and they were, again, in agreement.

It was not that the ancients did not know how to count, what they were counting was something we can no longer see. And what did they see? I don’t know if we’ll ever know. Some creative mathematician could probably put the data into a formula and come up with an answer, but that is not my strength.

One person even suggested that the length of the year was 260 days in the far distant past and the reason for the length of the tzolkin, but I have not found corroborating evidence.

If Velikovsky is correct, we can understand their fascination – or horror – with the planets Venus, Mars, and Mercury. But why the reverence – or is it apprehension? – of the Pleiades? It is not like they could have gone out of orbit and had a close encounter with Earth… they are not in orbit. But could something have come from the direction of the Pleiades in the past that made them wary of that constellation?

Their myths would seem to indicate something of the sort but, once again, exactly what is not quite known.

I wonder if someone has done an astrological or astronomical study on this subject?

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.

What’s a Calendar for, Anyway?

January 19, 2010

Calendars have a long and varied history. Presently, I believe they serve the same purpose as the census: a tax gathering tool. But the calendar did not start that way.

Some scholars think it was originally used to help with agricultural cycles, but I cannot see a culture living in tune with nature and the seasons – as they most certainly needed to be – require some numerical artifice to tell them when to plant and harvest; nature itself does that well enough.

It seems calendars were first devised to help honoring special days. Precisely why the solar anniversary of an important event was celebrated is unknown but it goes back to the misty beginnings of humankind. Perhaps it had something to do with our own birthdays.

But these special days were generally of religious significance. So the calendars were formed with religious overtones. The seven day week and the seven days of Creation from the Bible immediately come to mind.

Many early cultures used the Moon as the basis of their calendar rather than the Sun. This repeating cycle gave us the month, named for the Moon. The lunar cycle (about 29 days) falls just short of the modern month (30/31 days), so they would quickly fall out of alignment and the year measured by moons would end earlier and earlier each solar year. The Hebrews solved this by adding an extra lunar month every few years.

The length of the solar year seems to have undergone some adjustment as well. Some of the very earliest calendars have the length of a year set at 360 days and the lunar month at 30 days. These numbers led the ancients to devising the circle of 360° and the twelve astrological signs at 30° each. Historians think it strange that the ancients had such difficulty in counting the true length of a year. They marvel that the ancients did not notice the variance after a couple of years; in less than twenty years, the spring solstice would have moved an entire season!

Still, the ancients did make an adjustment. After many years, cultures around the world noticed the year was suddenly five days longer. Most simply tacked the extra five days to the end of their year in its own short “month” and considered them evil days.

Could it possibly be that the year in ancient times was only 360 days long? Could the Sun and Moon actually have been that closely synchronized? Historians mock the ancients for their obvious ineptitude but considering the ancients’ careful concern for the movements of the heavens, another solution seems appropriate. And judging by the widespread belief that the year was shorter, I would tend to favor the eyewitnesses.

Though the movements of the Sun and the Moon became the building blocks for the year and month, the origin of the week is less certain. Some think it a measure for the various phases of the Moon but no one knows for sure. It has been around a long time as evidenced by its inclusion in the Book of Genesis. Since the Jewish texts have it as the metaphorical length of time it took for the Creation perhaps a metaphysical or esoteric interpretation may point researchers in the right direction.

Still, most of the phenomena assigned to the birth of calendars are of celestial origin. So were the gods of the ancients. With the Sun, Moon, and planets deified, the basis for the calendar takes on even more religious overtones.