Posts Tagged ‘mythology’

Velikovsky and Myth

January 5, 2010

There was an eighteen month period from 1949 to 1951 that seems to have been a watershed for breakthroughs hitting the bookshelves. Kon Tiki by Thor Heyedahl was a bestseller that was followed by Dianetics:the Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard, Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky, and Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us.

Each of these four volumes revolutionized their fields. Dianetics led to the creation of the New Age religion, Scientology (although many would not claim this as any sort of “breakthrough”), and Rachel Carson’s book led to the explosion of the science of ecology. Thor Heyerdahl showed us that myth can be correct even when it looks impossible and that the ancients were more capable than we gave them credit for.

Velikovsky’s volume also involved myth: the myth in scripture. He searched specific passages which had no rational explanation and tried to figure out what physical processes could have caused such things – and, no, it did not deal with the miracles of the New Testament.

He chose the plagues visited on Egypt and the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. In these events he saw events that he felt could not have been entirely localized, even if such was the viewpoint of scripture. After finding similar events around the world – in myth, primarily – that coincided with the Bible, he pieced all the eyewitness clues together to construct a theory of what had happened.

To put his theories into a nutshell – which hardly does his research any justice – the planet Venus was born as a comet that had several near-misses with planet Earth, with dire results. It also had a near collision with Mars and forced it out of orbit to nearly collide with us as well.

If all this sounds like some wild science fiction, it isn’t. But the scientific community was not taking his success lightly. They very quickly lit the fires and began their version of the medieval inquisition.

Most scientists today publicly eschew the treatment doled out to Velikovsky by the scientific community, but one gets the impression that they would do it again if another gained similar acclaim.

With all the grant money at stake, who could blame them?

But getting back to Velikovsky… One of the more fascinating features of his book, Worlds in Collision, was what it was missing. The entire earlier history of Earth had been covered in the original manuscript but got chopped by the publisher to make it a more focused read for the public. (This and the fact that, while the book was on the bestseller list, the publisher canceled publication and sold it instead to Doubleday – due to pressure from the scientific community… you know, those guys that claim to only be interested in the truth.)

The volume was originally called Cosmos without Gravitation (I believe) and even dealt with a period before the Exodus where the Sun had gone out! This I got from a footnote in one of his volumes. Unfortunately, he passed away before the final three volumes of his series were published.

Bare-bones versions of his work can be found online (courtesy of his daughters) and can be found at the Velikovsky Archives (varchive.org).

Even if you cannot subscribe to the theory he outlines in his volumes or the whole neo-catastrophism his work engendered, you will have to admit he made great strides in our understanding of myth.

Although most of his followers have ventured on variant tracks since his death, his view of the ancient mythologies have opened new understandings of what the ancients were talking about.

Celebrating Nothing

January 1, 2010

Can it be that there was not supposed to be any great happenings at the baktun end?

Where did the Mayans get the idea that each baktun or katun-ending was some monumental event? That they thought this is not exactly known but judging from the Books of Chilam Balam (written after the Spanish Conquest) it would seem to be the case. Each successive period had a different “flavor” to it and was ushered in by an important event.

At least this is the interpretation given by Carl Johan Calleman. His insights into what each age meant, their defining moments actually tell us more about the author and his worldview than what the Mayans were talking about.

Is this the reason they abandoned the Long Count or was it something else? If they noticed it was not working the way they anticipated, perhaps the whole thing had to be trashed… but they kept the tzolkin, and the haab, and the Calendar Round.

Where did they get the notion that the katun and baktun endings were of importance? In our present society, whichever calendar you are using, the New Year’s Day is celebrated as the start of something new, separating everyone from the year before.

I don’t think anyone actually expects for something great to occur on New Year’s Day so where did the Maya get this notion? From the histories I have seen, it did not appear to be anything monumental in their earlier period but gained in importance later on.

Could it be that the King’s of the Classic Period, assuming the dates were of major importance, planned wars on the appointed day then, when the expected outcome was not achieved, they simply blamed the calendar?

This could explain why the Long Count was abandoned. It was a tool they assumed was broken. It was as if they – the Classic Era Maya – had already forgotten the intent of the Calendar itself. They had already forgotten about the end of the Fifth Sun. Instead, they had assumed the Long Count acted much the same as the tzolkin: as an augury.

It is a shame they abandoned the Long Count but even more of a shame that they seem to have forgotten exactly what it was all about.

We now understand what the ancients were trying to tell us. Why did the Maya themselves forget?

We learned of their meaning some time ago but wrote it off as superstition, mythology, tales to entertain. Because of our worldview, we could not comprehend the message. So what happened to the Mayan society that altered their worldview in a fashion to make them forget the meaning of the calendar their ancestors had given them?

Easy to see how we could have overlooked it but what caused them to forget? Could it have been nothing more than that daily survival required so much of their intention? Or had the priesthood “played-up” to the kings on the importance of the baktun-ending dates?

We just don’t know why but abandon it they did.

But now, at least, we know what it’s about.

the Midnight Sun

December 26, 2009

How could the Sun actually go out?

Personally, I don’t think it could happen in the short time we have remaining, but I could be wrong. But this is not about what I think, it’s about what the Maya said.

In their famous Tale of the Hero Twins, they are visiting the “Underworld”. The Underworld has been referred to as the realm of the dead and as the world of night. The one puzzling statement concerning this is that the Underworld has a Sun, the Jaguar Sun. He is also referred to as the Sun of Night.

How can there be a Sun at night? Isn’t that what is supposed to separate day from night: the Sun?

One of the Hero twins wears a jaguar pelt – tawny fur covered with black spots – and his brother wears bits of the fur with black spots glued onto his skin.

Why the reverence for the jaguar and what does it have to do with the night? Or the Sun for that matter!

Let’s turn again to a different source: “the Book of Revelations” from the Holy Bible. From book 6, verse 12: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood”.

What is this “sackcloth of hair” that the Sun comes to resemble? It is the same as a burlap sack, not really black but darker in color than one would expect the Sun to be. The color of burlap is tawny and, very oddly, resembles the color of a jaguar pelt.

So I think this means the Sun will not completely extinguish but will become covered with sunspots, enough so that the light will be diminished greatly. Its aspect will resemble a jaguar’s pelt: a sackcloth of hair.

And, as the light will be greatly diminished, the “Jaguar Sun” will be the “Sun of Night” or the underworld.

Far from being some sort of fantasy, it appears the ancients had actually witnessed such a thing occur. This, believe it or not, seems to be history though unlike anything you would find in a history text. The ancient myths can be telling us exactly what happened to them in the past and through the Calendar warning us of its re-occurrence.

From the event itself, they must have realized that within the solar orb lay the answer to when it would happen again. The ancients began studying the cycles – how they knew which would lead them to the repeat performance I cannot fathom – and from this derived when the present Sun would diminish again.

They required no psychic to foresee a meteor or cometary impact, no fortune-teller to warn of a pole-shifting event, no mystic to call for universal enlightenment. All they needed was mathematics and the power of observation.

Pythagoras in ancient Greece and Newton in renaissance England both hypothesized that God created the world with certain patterns and that through a complete comprehension of the numbers and the patterns, one could know God.

I am certain that either of those two worthies would have felt at home working with the Maya on their calendar-creating project. Both of them did what the ancient Maya did: study the cycles of the world and the universe around them to discern the pattern.

That pattern is a warning to us concerning the true nature of our world and its place in the cosmos. The New Age prophets may have been right about the coming enlightenment but I think it will come through a better understanding of the universe and the path to the divine rather than something as transitory as aligning with the center of the galaxy.

Spirituality and physical are two insuperable parts of the whole. The Maya knew this and they tried to tell us in the best way they could.

Happy Yule

December 25, 2009

The Winter Solstice for this year has passed and the one for 2012 is less than three years away.

This is the time of year when the days are shortest – the sun having reached its furthest travel to the South and starts moving northward once more.

I read one author surmise that the Jesus story became attached to the Winter Solstice and December 25th because of the old pagan worship of the shortest day of the year. Plus the fact that the Sun’s return northward was not noticeable for three days (hence the three days for Jesus’ resurrection). So they worshiped that resurrection on the third day, Christmas.

I never quite understood that as the three days until the resurrection were connected with Easter and not his birth at Christmas. (Not to mention that Christmas is four days after the solstice rather than three.)

Anyway, the Yule was an important celebration in the pagan societies.

Mnay historians attach the construction at Stonehenge to this holiday.

A recent investigation in the Wiltshire plain uncovered a village near to Stonehenge which they now assume to be the home of those that built the stone circle.

This was covered in a television special on National Geographic channel and showed reenactments of the construction by the primitives.

One scene in particular I found very interesting. The cross-members that sat atop the ring of upright stones had pits dug into their undersides to fit snugly on stone pegs on the top of the uprights.

The narrator explained that the primitives spent months or years grinding out the indentations by rubbing another stone against the lentil until the pit was big enough. Researchers had found one lentil with a pit cut into the top section as well as the two on the underside.

Naturally, the moderns assumed some incompetent primitive had erroneously ground the hole in the wrong side. The program showed a scene of some workers laughing at the fellow grinding in the wrong place and then motioning to the other side. The worker laughed, chagrined at his foolhardy mistake.

I suppose it seemed logical for the historians to write in off in this manner but I wonder… If it took a year to grind out the pit, why didn’t the other workers notice a little bit sooner that their co-worker was grinding the wrong side? Was the guy working all alone on it for those many months?

Or, a better interpretation might be: why did they require such a socket on the upper side of the lintel? Was there something that went on top of Stonehenge that we can no longer see?

These are the kinds of questions that drive me nuts. Why do the modern researchers jump to the conclusion that the ancients were incompetent rather than stretch their own brains for a minute to try and understand what they are seeing?

I mention this because I think it parallels the modern attitude in the researches into the Mayan End-Date.

So perhaps both subjects need to be re-examined.

Will the Earth Freeze?

December 23, 2009

You would think that if the Sun actually went out, another ice age would ensue at the very least. Most likely the temperature around entire planet would plummet to sub-zero.

Of course, most people think it is the burning surface of the Sun that warms our delicate world.

That is a misconception.

Certainly, the surface of the Sun is 10,000 or better but that temperature does not extend very far into the cold vacuum of space. The warmth we receive on the surface of this planet is from the solar radiation reacting with our atmosphere.

So, even if the fires diminish on the Solar surface, the amount of radiation will probably not diminish appreciably, although there may be some cooling. From the records I have seen there does not seem to have been massive cold anywhere. The ice ages in the past were probably caused by another agent, probably an orbital change (but more on that in a future entry).

It is interesting that the Hopi predicted the Sun would be warming up before the end of this Solar Age. I have heard some say that relates to the “global warming” being touted by politicians around the world.

Unfortunately, I do not think that a degree or two is what the Hopi were worried about. Besides, the Hopi spoke of the Sun getting warmer, not the Earth.

Now, what could make them think the Sun is getting warmer? Nothing like a summer heat wave would suffice, so I think it was something visible. What, visibly, would make you think the Sun was getting warmer?

Two things come to mind: first, we move closer to the Sun or, second, the Sun actually expands.

From the Mayan record, I don’t see either of these two scenarios mentioned. But they did happen to record seeing one planet falling into the Sun while another was driven back by a large Solar flare. Such a scene would be hard to see from the distance we are currently from the Sun.

But what has any of this to do with what the Maya foresaw for the end of this Sun Age: earthquakes?

This is open to anyone’s guess. I suppose a physicist could work up the mechanics of this scenario but I am not that guy. I am sure that if the Sun does change like the Maya warned there will be changes beyond anything we have previously anticipated.

The Sun that has supposedly burned along without change for billions of years could change overnight and become something else entirely.

And how those changes will affect us can only be guessed. But I think there will be a lot of earthquakes… as that is what the Maya told us would follow the Sun going out.

Abandoning the Long Count

December 22, 2009

The Maya developed the Long Count during the period 1000-350 BC, according to historians, and started using it on their monuments in the 1st century BC.

During the height of their civilization, c.800-900 AD, they abandoned its use. No longer did they note and celebrate the katun and baktun endings, no longer did they continue marking the passage of days.

But why? If their calendar was so perfectly aligned to bring them to the end of the present Sun, why suddenly leave off its usage?

Was the length of the inscriptions too much work for them? Did the present suddenly mean more to them than some distant future?

Or could it be that they did not notice anything spectacular marking the baktun and katun endings. Perhaps they expected some truly remarkable things but nothing of moment occurred. They planned major wars to coincide with these calendrical moments and the outcomes, if less than satisfactory, caused them to lose faith in the calendar. It could have made them think the system was not working. Some fundamental mechanism, timing pattern, had been overlooked or miscalculated.

Perhaps they abandoned the End-Date and the Long Count because they realized it was WRONG.

So what can that mean for us? Will 12/21/2012 pass with nothing more than any earlier katun or baktun ending ceremony?

We will have to wait and see but I speculate that the Mayans realized they had erred.

But had they?

What if their thinking the Calendar was wrong was only something like both sides in a game praying to Jesus for victory. Well, only one can win, so does it mean one’s prayers were stronger or whatever to get the victor’s crown? Does it mean the prayers or the deity are wrong because only one side can win?

If this was the thinking the Mayans fell into because a victory was not given them on their carefully chosen baktun-ending day, perhaps they abandoned the Long Count in error.

And that would mean that the End-Date is still viable.

We do not know how or why they formulated their calendar in the fashion they did – series of twenties, eighteens, and thirteens – but it must have had a reason. We assume it had some reason other than simply coming up with the numerical value of the End-Date their Sun required.

If we can decipher how they derived their calendars, the cycles they deemed important enough to be included, we might understand what they were up to.

And if the End-Date still remains valid.

What the Maya Really Meant

December 21, 2009

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while will be wondering “if it is NOT all these other theories, then what the heck IS it?” Well, perhaps it is time…

Today is the 21st of December, 2009. According to the Maya there are only three years left until THE Big Day.

Trying to explain what the Maya meant for this day seems almost anti-climactic to me. After all, its not as if they tried hiding their meaning. No, they put it right out there in the open for everyone to see it clearly.

Repeatedly, they spoke of the previous Sun Ages, each ending with a cataclysm INVOLVING the Sun. When you mention catastrophe, people immediately think earthquakes, tidal waves, meteor impacts, or the planet tilting. The Maya mention the earthquakes as part of what will happen but there is not any extra-Solar boogeymen to watch out for. It is a cataclysm involving the Sun.

They did not speak of the “Ages of the World” or “world ages” of any sort – like most writers on the subject mis translate the terminology. It is Sun Ages being referred to and each successive Sun has different qualities, different powers, and a different name. But we scratch our heads and say “how can there be more than one Sun?”

Probably the reason no one has noticed what the Maya said concerning the End-Date is that it conflicts with a mythology we hold in high esteem. Mythology? you ask. We don’t believe in any stinking mythology!

Well, yes, we do. The mythology is called “science”. Not the science that measures the quantities of this that and the other, not the science that put us on the moon, not the science that gives us ever bigger and better weaponry. No, I’m talking about the science that views a small segment on the universal time-scale and says it has always been this way; as one cleverly put it, for “billions and billions” of years. It is a pleasant theory that has become the bedrock of the scientific world. Yet it is nothing more than a theory of uniformity – in other words: myth.

And that is the myth that clouds our understanding of the Mayan End-Date.

And the cataclysm the Maya spoke of concerning the Sun is nothing more than the Sun going out. (And this is probably why no one has yet evolved this theory: it is impossible!)

But, you ask, how can the Sun go out?!?! (But that is an exercise we can go through later.)

Suffice it to say that there is no great mystery concerning the End-Date. The Maya have told us again and again. Repeatedly they called them “Sun Ages” and we translated it into “World Ages”. They mentioned the Sun’s fire dying out and we took it to be a mythology about a drought or something too mundane to bother with.

We have simply chosen to NOT believe them.

It has led to an immense amount of speculation on subjects that did not need to be brought to this table. The time is short and there is still more understanding needed.

I am sure you are wondering how the Sun could possibly go out.

2012 – Nostradamus’ (& others) Doomsday… NOT

December 20, 2009

There are a lot of people who say that the great seer Nostradamus also predicted the Doomsday for 2012. Knowing that the famous French prophet predicted practically everything else, they point out the quatrains and verses which foretell the coming troubles.

What is unfortunate is that the wonderful prophet did no such thing.

Sure, he predicted a lot of death and destruction – as any prophet worth his salt would do, to keep the reader entranced – but nowhere does he mention it falling on the date in question. This is not too unusual as Nostradamus was always very vague about the dating of his predictions. In that regard he was much like the author of Revelations; it was a sequence of undated events that could only be known when the sequence was fully underway. But he did one better: he scrambled the sequence of the quatrains so anyone’s guess is viable.

So, yes, he predicted all sorts of doomsday stuff going on and, no, it has nothing to do with the Mayan Calendar’s End-Date (at least as far as anyone can tell for certain).

The other prognosticators of the past – Merlin, Sibyl, Delphi, Mother Shipton, and others – all refer to events of a doomsday nature coming to us in the future but they, also, do not have an exact date. So their Doomsday could fall anywhere in the future. A lot of the events surrounding their Doomsday scenarios sound like a lot of the “end time” phenomena: increase of natural disasters, a lot of war and civil unrest, etc. But how many natural disasters qualifies? We seem to be getting more and more all the time. The number could keep increasing for decades before the final time arrives, so without some more definite quantifier it’s anyone’s guess. But not a signpost to 2012.

The author of Revelations does not mention a date either, although there is a certain sequence of events to unfold before the end. There are no dates given but many have interpreted parts of the sequence already occurring. So there may be something there, but on December 21st? Who the heck knows?

In The Late Great Planet Earth by Lindsey and Carlson, it is pointed out that the sequence in Revelations cannot begin to unfold until the Temple of Solomon is rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Many interpret the passage to mean only that the State of Israel had to be recreated. Lindsey was quite adamant that the passage stipulates that the Temple must be rebuilt, not the State of Israel. So until the Dome of the Rock is removed, the series in Revelation will not unfold.

Of course, that is just his opinion. Many think Israel becoming a nation was good enough to move the prophecy along and we are heading straight for the tribulation. And rapture – don’t forget about the rapture…

Still, the Maya do not mention a lot of things building-up to their End-Date. That’s not to say it won’t happen in that manner, but the Maya didn’t go there. And that’s really what all this is about.

And if there is no way to tell when the end is coming in those other prophecies, those needing a date simply hook onto the Mayan coat-tail, heading for 2012.

If the Maya did not mean all this dire stuff, what DID they mean? The answer will surprise you.

2012 – the Return of Nibiru… NOT

December 19, 2009

This is actually a bit misleading as many of you may already know. For those of you unfamiliar with the work of Zecharia Sitchin, he was the proposer of a novel theory in which ancient aliens were the gods of Sumeria, an ancient Mid-East nation. I will not get into the debate over his interpretations of the ancient texts but will comment on his theory about the aliens’ planet Nibiru – on an elongated orbit, returning every 3,600 years – making its return: it will not be coming in the year 2012.

Even Sitchin does not believe Nibiru is coming for 2012. In fact, he has come out to say most emphatically it is NOT connected with the End-Date of the Maya Calendar.

However, many of his followers are still of the opinion that it IS coming on that date, the return being predicted by the Maya. Exactly where in the Maya literature this prediction is made is never disclosed but it stands as another theory regardless. But what it might mean to our planet – aside from being overrun by egomaniacal aliens – is not clearly outlined either.

Like I mentioned in the previous article on comets and black holes, large stellar objects coming at such a far remove take a very long time to get anywhere. Our telescopes are sophisticated enough to determine their approach years in advance.

Comets of a decade ago are still in transit out of our solar system, being tracked yet by astronomers.

With that sort of time scale to work with, something as large as the planet Nibiru will become visible a decade before it reaches us.

And we no longer have a decade between us and the Mayan Calendar End-Date.

Three years to go, as of the day after tomorrow. By this time, Nibiru should even be visible to the naked eye in the night sky.

I believe it is as Sitchin says: we will have to wait several centuries before Nibiru makes its 3,600 year return.

2012 – the Golden Enlightenment… NOT

December 16, 2009

Of all the theories about 2012, the one that tempts me most is the one about universal enlightenment and the coming Golden Age. Who would not like such a state existing for us? It sounds like the Utopia writers have been visualizing for centuries. And it especially looks good when compared to the Doomsday scenarios some other writers are predicting for 2012, who are in the minority, although a very vocal minority.

Most of the authors and websites are backing this horse. Unfortunately, I have seen this snake-oil salesman before. Except that in the 1960’s they proclaimed it coming with the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Same shtick, different date. They claimed there would be more peace, love, and understanding. All I’ve seen is more war, hate, and destruction. So far, Aquarius is not my cup of tea.

Of course, many tell us that it is not due to start for a century or more yet, but some of the current prophets have pegged the start to December 21st, 2012. How convenient, huh?

Back in the day, there were more people proclaiming the coming Golden Age than those predicting the end of the world. So, the 2012 phenomenon has given both sides a chance to renew their campaign of hope (or doom, as the case may be). And the numbers for each side are about the same as before. Some people are more propelled by hope while a few see only doom and gloom – almost gleefully, it would seem. But I’ve spoken of that subject before (see “A Deathwish, Perhaps” from July 11th).

Argüelles, Jenkins, and Calleman are the premier authors for this hypothesis and their books have spawned a large number of websites adhering to their slightly varying theories. There are lesser lights as well but too many to mention here.

I, too, would much prefer the Spiritual Convergence descending on us rather than a large chunk of iron but the evidence for it is mighty slim. All the prophets for this angle can do no more than merely state that the Maya were spiritual. Buddha was spiritual but he didn’t have much to say about 2012. Jesus, too, was spiritual, but the tribulations are supposed to come before the golden age on that path. And the rapture does not sound much like the golden age that is supposed to be approaching.

Given that the Maya were spiritual, how could the end of the present age be ushering in a golden one for us? Where did the Maya say this? In all their spiritual writings, where did they mention this coming enlightenment?

Nowhere.

It seems that it is just the same prophets of euphoria that held sway in the ’60’s returned again with a new cornerstone for the New Age agenda.

The fact that it has nothing to do with what the Maya actually said is somehow overlooked in the translation. Their agenda was established before the Mayan End-Date was realized. Some may claim their forebears of the ’60’s merely “jumped the gun” by a few decades, but it still has nothing to do with the Maya or their Calendar.

So, if the Mayan were not talking about this golden age to come, what were they talking about?

Let’s consider some other theories…