Posts Tagged ‘planets’

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.


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.

Whew! Dodging the Bullet

December 23, 2011

The end is NOT near!

At least that is what Adriana Gomez Licon assures us in her news article about the Mayan Calendar End-Date.

A German expert on Mayan glyphs, Sven Gronemeyer of La Trobe University in Australia, spoke about the stone found at Tortuguero (the original stone found as opposed to the more recently found inscribed brick – see yesterday’s blog for more on that).

He explained that the 1,300 year old inscription describes the return of mysterious Mayan god Bolon Yokte at the end of a 13th Baktun (a period of nearly 400 years) on Dec. 21, 2012. And though the Mayans considered 13 a sacred number, he says there’s nothing apocalyptic in the date.

His interpretation is that the ruler at Tortuguero, Bahlam Ajaw, apparently made a prophecy some 1,300 years ago, about the passage of the god, Bolon Yokte. They had to prepare a way for the god and the ruler was going to host the initiation of the event, when the god would come to the sanctuary in Tortuguero.

Gronemeyer said, “The date acquired a symbolic value because it is seen as a reflection of the day of creation. It is the passage of a god and not necessarily a great leap for humanity.”

Of course, one could see it as nothing remarkable if one thought the Mayans were talking about gods running around in their forests and not speaking of the gods in the heavens above, i.e. the planets. But then, that is just my take on their concepts.

And I could be wrong.

For more, see her article at:
Expert: Mexico glyphs don’t predict apocalypse
By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON | AP – Wed, Nov 30, 2011

the Mayan End Date

January 2, 2010

As I have said before, the Mayan Calendar End-Date was for a specific phenomenon, why else would the Maya point out a specific date rather than an era. And as the Mayans had studied cycles for many years, it must be something that is cyclic in nature, something that had happened before, something they felt was going to happen again according to a chronology they could calculate.

What cycles did they use to make this determination? From their mythologies – primarily cosmological in nature (like most ancient cultures) – they were most interested in the motions of the planets. They saw something in the motions that they could use to predict… well, whatever it was they feared would recur.

Could it have been an age of enlightenment coming as José Argüelles, John Major Jenkins, and Carl Johan Calleman, among many others, predict? Of course, it is possible, but how did we get lost from the last age of enlightenment?

That is not explained by any of these authors, but they do not seem to think it had happened before. From the Mayan writings, this was apparently something that had happened before and was planned on repeating. Were we going to get enlightened and lose it again, apparently as we were supposed to have done before? Perhaps enlightenment was not the event they were foretelling.

Could the Maya have been thinking of some sort of doomsday scenario, like an impact from a comet, meteor, or black hole? Certainly, it would be a very singular event that could signal the end of the calendric period. But, again, as the Maya seem to have built their calendar on studies of cycles, what possible cyclic recurring doomsday can they have foreseen? Are errant comets/meteors/black holes that predictable?

Or could the planet Nibiru going to be the culprit? Zechariah Sitchin, proponent and creator of this theory, stated that the mystery planet returned very cyclically every 3,600 years. But he reiterates that 2012 is most definitely not the return date.

Nibiru would already be visible to our telescopes if it was arriving ahead of Sitchin’s timetable but nowhere do we find any evidence of its approach. I have seen websites that claim it will become visible to the naked eye by May of 2010. Videos on Youtube claim it is already visible.

Confusing, huh? But none of that has anything to do with the mystery planet. Just ask Zechariah Sitchin.

And that leaves us with nothing to do but scratch our heads. What scenario would fit what the Maya have predicted with their marvelous calendar, if anything?

Let’s see… they claimed each age ended with something involving the Sun, each new age was called a new Sun, and as the Sun is the energy source dominating the Solar System, perhaps they noticed the cycles of the planets were somehow resonating with something about the Sun. (Just an hypothesis here.)

And the Sun? They claimed each new age was a new Sun, which means 2012 has something to do with the Sun. So my theory is that something will happen to the Sun in 2012. Of course, nothing may happen to the Sun but I think it is what the Mayans thought.

It is known that 2012 will bring a very active period to the Sun, specifically in regard to sunspots. So, what if the sunspots went completely overboard? What if they covered a large portion of the Solar disk so that the Sun appeared extremely dimmed?

When the sunspots eventually disappeared in the past it must have seemed that the Sun had been born again, hence a new Sun Age.

If anyone else has another theory that makes more sense, I would love to hear it.

I could be wrong. And the Mayans might be wrong as well.

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.

the Ancient Ball Game

December 7, 2009

One of the most prevalent things in the Mesoamerican world is the ball court. A game played – almost impossible to score – where the loser actually loses his head. At least, so the modern interpretation goes.

There seems to be an unusual prevalence of the head in the Mayan literature of the Hero Twins. The father of the Hero Twins lost his head which then spit into the hand of a girl, who then became pregnant with the Hero Twins. The pair grew to journey to the Underworld and beat the game to “resurrect” their father – as some sources say: free him to be reincarnated. During the ensuing Ball Game one of the Hero Twins loses his own head, which is used for the game ball for a while until replaced by a gourd.

Perhaps the tale is mixing metaphors. On one hand, giving some basis for belief in reincarnation, and on the other: describing cosmological events.

So, is the tale of the Hero Twins really a cosmological story? The head that spits to impregnate the young goddess sounds much like a “god” figure (i.e. planet – round like a head; see the previous post on the Olmec heads), so where in the cosmology is a “god” killed and spits to impregnate another that gives birth to twins?

Are they compressing a couple of suns into one here or what? And how does this relate to the classic Ball Game?

“In prehistoric Mexico, the ball bouncing between the players on opposing teams represented the sun struggling to rise out of the night sky and then falling again at the end of the day, as well as a changing of the seasons.”

“Fertility is a theme of the ballgame from the earliest times; for example, Formative period ballplayer figurines – most likely female – often wear maize icons. The theme of solar movement is tied to fertility and the bouncing ball is thought to have represented the sun, and the sacrifice of a ballplayer represented the death of the sun, which would then be reborn. In its inherent duality, the game appears as a struggle between day and night, and/or a battle between life and the underworld. The stone scoring rings are said to signify sunrise and sunset, or equinoxes. Courts were considered portals to the underworld and were built in key locations within the central ceremonial precincts.”

Here, the interpretations about the ball relate it to the movement of the Sun and specifically it’s struggle against the darkness of nighttime.

The Hohokam, early inhabitants in Southern Arizona, as well as the Sinagua, in Northern Arizona, seem to have had ballcourts. The one at Wupatki, near Flagstaff, AZ, appears to be the northernmost example of the ballcourt.

While living in Northern Arizona, I had the good fortune to come across another apparent ball court in the National Forest there. It was a long depression ringed with stones – not as deep as the ritual ballcourts so perhaps this one was used only for recreation – about seventy-five feet along each side with rounded ends.

What is puzzling is that there are no ritual ballcourts at that greatest of ancient cities, Teotihuacan. But murals there show that several ball games were played there for recreation, even if not for ritual purpose: a two-player game in an open-ended masonry ballcourt and a game with teams using sticks on an open field whose end zones are marked by stone monuments.

So there were various versions of the game over the centuries from something resembling field hockey to something similar to soccer. Modern scholars assume the “hip-ball” version to be the most widespread variety.

It seems to have been more than a simple sport to the Maya and Aztecs. The Maya saw the game as a battle between the lords of the underworld and their earthly adversaries, the Aztecs saw it as a battle between the forces of night led by the moon and the stars. Both are cosmological and mythological in orientation, but what interpretation

So how far was the ballgame spread? And where did it come from? And, more importantly, what did it really mean?

the Olmec Heads – a tentative identification

December 7, 2009

The most famous remnant left to us of the Olmec culture of ancient Mexico is the giant heads carved from basalt. Well, the heads and the famous Mesoamerican Ball Game. Their name is not known to us except from the Aztecs, who called them “the rubber people” because of the rubber ball used in the game. But more on that later, this is about the heads.

Most scholars think the giant Olmec heads (20-50 tons each) were representations of rulers wearing ball-playing helmets or famous players of their even more famous Ball Game.

But why only the head? Why not show the entire form of the ruler or ball-player?

My own thought on the matter is that the Olmec were not picturing rulers of any Earthly realm. The heads are depictions of the gods. The strange markings on each one’s helmet differs one to another and reminds me of the differing glyphs used to depict their gods in written texts. One even has the jaguar pelt reminiscent of the Hero Twins.

They believed the planets were gods, and they knew the planets were spheres. That is the why they pictured them as round head-spheres. Just like the planets. It could also add another level of interpretation to the Hero Twins myths where, a couple of different times, the player loses their head but the head continues talking.

Round heads, round planets, round rubber balls… But normally one does not see the planets bouncing around. Usually, they continue their graceful motion through the zodiac unimpeded.

But it brings to mind a theory presented to us by Immanuel Velikovsky: the planets were thought of as gods because of their independent motions. That does not refer to their motion in an orderly fashion around the Sun, it referred to the planets “leaving their courses”.

Some of the dire prophecies about 2012 mention that very thing. (see previous entry where mention is made of Merlin’s prediction for the future)

With all this concern over heads, and planets, and bouncing rubber balls, it makes one wonder again what their ancient ball game was really all about.

a Note on Some Doomsday Predictions

December 6, 2009

I recently saw a show on the History Channel called “Doomsday 2012”. In it they spoke of a lot of different prophets over the years making a case for the approach of doomsday, and not just the Maya. However, like Nostradamus, none of them came up with the date. Most were just the usual “doom and gloom” predictions for the end of the world. (Which, in fact, the Maya do not do.)

R. J. Shelton mentioned one of the Merlin prophecies about the planets leaving their courses. He concluded that only the pole shift hypothesis would fit the prophecy.

However, what he fails to realize is that the pole shift would not cause any planets to leave their orbits, only to create a change in our viewpoint of those orbits. The difference may seem subtle to some but the degree of divergence would be minimal. Not hardly the “planets leaving their courses” that Merlin predicted.

The Hopi Indians were mentioned as well. One of their predictions preceding the doomsday was that the Sun would get hotter. Many of the scholars assumed this meant our present “global warming”.

Again, many moderns take this with a modern interpretation. As if the prophecy was all about us.

Global warming has nothing to do with the Sun getting warmer. As mentioned in a previous entry, these ancient astronomers had a pretty good idea of the structure of the solar system and the planetary movements. They could discern something happening at one spot in the system as opposed to our own geocentric interpretation of everything.

The Sun getting warmer would be just that, not the Earth getting warmer. The latter may be caused by the former but the Earth warming is not going to make the Sun get warmer. And the couple of degrees of global warming would not give the impression of the Sun getting appreciably warmer.

However, a nova event might.

Jupiter, King of the Gods

December 5, 2009

And why, with all this obsession with the Sun, did the ancients consider Jupiter to be the chief of the gods? It is the brightest spot in the sky – that is, after the Sun, the Moon, and Venus. So why hadn’t the Sun, the Moon, or Venus gotten the title of chief of the gods?

And how did several cultures around the world retain a memory of the giant red spot on the planet? Odin “plucked out his eye” for wisdom, leaving the gaping wound. And why wisdom? Wasn’t wisdom somehow connected with Athena, the daughter born out of Zeus’ head? Or is all this myth nothing more than merely mixing metaphors.

Still how could the ancients have known about the red spot without the aid of a telescope? Perhaps they had one but we have never found record of it? Maybe, but not likely.

There is a memory – racial memory of some sort – herein of something different than what we can see today, something which turns the ordered heavens we know into a bit of a chaos.

I remember hearing years ago about astronomers discovering Jupiter to be a massive radio source. Many hypothesized it was a star in the early stages of birth. I always thought it was more likely the other way around: a star that had once been.

Didn’t the Greek myth recount Zeus [Jupiter] overthrowing his father, Chronos [Saturn], and “tying him up with chords all around him”. Now how the heck did they know Saturn had rings? Could someone back then have actually witnessed Jupiter somehow spinning the rings around Saturn?

And what the heck could that mean? How could Jupiter have ever gotten close enough to interact with Saturn? Modern science scoffs at the notion.

But the ancient eyewitnesses were too terrified to scoff at what they saw unfolding over their heads. That modern researchers refuse to examine the record does not in any way lessen the possibility that such events occurred.

We may never know what the ancients were talking about… unless it happens again…

And could this be something along the lines of what the Maya were talking about?

Why does man seem to have had an obsession with the Sun LEAVING?

December 3, 2009

Many theorists say it is because the sun sets everyday and the ancients were so stupid they did not know that it rose again every morning. Somehow, I can’t buy that theory. They seem to think our ancestors were mentally challenged on even the smallest of issues.

There had to have been some incident which caused them to worry about the Sun NOT returning. And I doubt if it was just one man worrying through what seemed a very long night and getting his neighbors worried as well. Rather, I think they would have chided him for his silly doubts: of course the Sun will rise in the morning. What are you? Some kind of nut case?

The returning of the Sun at the winter solstice (as well as the summer solstice), the “rebirth” of the Sun every 52 years (for the Mayans and Aztecs), all had to have some profound occurrence in the past to cause people to worry that the Sun would NOT turn around and come back.

Until something bad happens, you normally don’t prepare against it. As children we learn through trial and error and most of us have scars on the knees because of this. We learn to be more careful, we learn to prepare, and we learn to watch out for the “warning signs” of something bad about to happen.

So what could have happened to make the ancients so anxious about watching the Sun’s “movements”? What bad thing had happened to cause them to watch for some sign that the Sun was NOT going to resume it’s normal behavior?

If you answer it was only because of the night falling and worrying about the sunrise, you may have some serious issues, but I don’t our ancestors had them. They lived more in tune to the seasons and the cycles of the Earth than we moderns do. That cannot seriously be considered an issue for them.

Something else must have happened. And an analysis of the worried NEED for observation shows that it must have been something very dire: such as the departure of the Sun.

Astrophysicists would say “impossible!” as they “know” the Sun has been unchanged for billions of years. And how do they “know” this? By studying the last couple of centuries and then using mathematics to prove that it has never changed. “Numbers don’t lie!” they tell us. Obviously, they have never studied accounting, or participated in assembling statistical surveys on public opinion. Other than politicians, I think numbers can lie better than any other form of data.

The history of science proves that.

Historians would have us believe that the ancient druids (or whoever) spent millions of work-hours constructing a observatory on the plains of Wiltshire from stones quarried hundreds of miles away (not the local stuff — it wouldn’t do) and then dragged to the site. And it wasn’t completed all at once, either. After the primary stones were cut and stood, and the lintels cut and lifted to the tops, an outer circle of stones was constructed, torn down, revised, reconstructed, and revised yet again. Why all this intense effort just to assure themselves that the Sun would return from the solstice?

Could the Sun actually have gone away at one time?

Let’s assume for a moment that it HAD. Could that be the reason for the repeated ice ages in our past? And what else could it mean? Hmmm.