Posts Tagged ‘Stonehenge’

Heavenly Obsession

January 20, 2010

The ancients were obsessed with the heavens. Their gods were up in the heavens above – many were planets, for some strange reason – and they kept a keen eye on their movements and the portents above. As the planets are not visible during the day, this had to have been a nocturnal activity. They must have been insomniacs and there must have been some important reason for their sky-watching rather than some idle whim. The basic struggle to survive lent little time for such “academic” pursuits on anything but a modest scale. There must have been some worldwide pressing need to keep such a vigilant watch.

Again, historians aid our understanding by pronouncing it superstitious fear. They tell us Stonehenge was built for this reason: they feared the Sun was disappearing, going away southward, and needed some reassurance it was returning.

(I don’t know where anyone got this notion. Surely the ancients, more in tune with their environment than most modern mankind, would have noticed that the Sun came back every year. And without the intercession of a priest. How could anyone convince them otherwise? Perhaps if they had just crawled out of some hole and never witnessed the seasons… No, probably not.)

Obsessed, though, they were. They could see the planets moving independently of the background star-field and were able to plot their courses, predict their future positions, as if they had nothing better to do. Why go to the bother if there is no pressing reason?

Fear is a good motivation. Not some hypothetical superstitious fear but something tangible. For us, Friday the 13th is a symbol of bad luck; for the Templars it was a deadly reality. Many today still fear the 13th but it lacks the punch.

We find it remarkable that the ancients understood precession – use it, in fact, as a standard for intelligence – but how important is it, really? How does it impact our daily lives? Most people would be hard pressed to define what it is and even fewer could say if it had any bearing on anything.

Precession is the by-product of the slow wobble in our planetary axis. Astronomers think the entire process takes a little longer than 26,000 years to complete the circuit. As this wobble progresses, the equinoxes (spring and autumn) appear to move backward through the signs of the zodiac. Hence the term: precession of the equinoxes.

Many think this slow progress through the zodiacal houses is the mechanism the ancients defined the “world ages” of the past. But for the variation in the equinox there is nothing that actually affects the world and the people on it. Why would the changing of the positions of the equinoxes be any matter of importance to the ancients unless there was a momentous event attached to the change? Easter and Thanksgiving fall on different dates each year and yet very few people could describe the mechanism for the change. It is merely a calendrical appointment and nothing to require the changing of an age.

Precession is, in essence, nothing of any great importance to our day-to-day world. From its study over the centuries, observers have come to understand that the Earth is not the center of the universe. Precession shows us the motions of the solar system on a grand scale. Any effect on us is miniscule. It is a mechanism for denoting the passage of time not unlike the rotation of the planet or the length of revolution of the Moon around our world or the Earth around the Sun.

So that could not have been the change in the heavens watched so carefully by the ancients. They tracked the planetary motions and something more as well: they seemed to know features about some of the planets they should not have. Jupiter’s red spot and Saturn’s rings were known to the ancients even though they could not have seen these features without the aid of a telescope.

Scholars scoff at the notion that the ancients had such intimate knowledge of the planets but the facts speak for themselves. Cultures around the globe mention these features. Were they simply lucky guesses? Incredibly so to be made in diverse localities.

Can the ancient world have been so different from our own? And what might these changes have meant to the people in the world, like the Maya? Certainly it would have affected their world view, their philosophy, and the priorities of their culture. By studying their histories and artifacts we might come closer to understanding.

Studying the modern Maya may help in our understanding but one should not confuse them with their historical counterparts. How many Catholics today would relate to their Church in the ninth century?

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.

a Note on the Premise for Stonehenge

December 3, 2009

Scientists and historians tell us with certainty that Stonehenge was built as an observatory based on some religious need these primitives had to determine when the shortest day of the year was, for ceremonial, mystical, and anxiety-prevention purposes.

But the question that begs an answer is: WHY?

If they knew the shortest day of the year already (which they would need to know to align the structure in the first place), then why go to the bother of creating a massive structure to “reassure themselves that the sun would return”? Why invest millions of man-hours constructing this supposed observatory when the time of the return of the sun was already known?

People who live close to the land know the way of the weather patterns and the tides and the seasons and the return of the sun. Primitive peoples would have been closer to this phenomenon that modern city dwellers – and modern scientists. So the need for such a large structure for that purpose is a figment of modern imaginations.

The other question about their interpretation is even more bizarre and I have heard no one asking it yet.

Why were they worried about the return of the sun? People living close to the land, understanding the seasons, would know the sun returns annually to usher in the spring time, and summer, and autumn, et cetera. Can you actually imagine some ancient con-man promoting the idea of building the structure to ensure the Sun would return… his neighbors would just shake their heads. They would think he was quite mad: all that work just to see if the sun would return? Surely someone would say: “You’re crazy! The sun comes back every year. Where would you get the notion it WON’T come back?”

Ah, and that is the rub.

And my primary question about the modern interpretation: why would they consider that the Sun would NOT come back? Could it have been some sort of religious mania, gripping the populace, thinking that for some bizarre reason it might NOT come back? After the supposed billions of years it HAS returned, annually, where would they get the notion?

And where would the moderns get the notion, to then superimpose it onto the ancients? How could such a notion even gain any purchase?

The only reason to fear such a thing, of course, is if it had already happened.

That, however, opens a can of worms no one seems to want to touch. What a Velikovskian concept! Are even the modern scholars trying to tell us – indirectly, of course – that in the living memory of these primitive people, the Sun went away…

How can this have been possible? Current theory holds that the Sun and the Earth have been in the same present situation for billions of years. No one’s memory could possibly have considered a time when the sun WASN’T there, not even Methuselah!

I think researchers had better either rethink the Solar history or rethink the reasons behind the structure as the theories previously advanced do not seem to hold water.

Or was there a time in the past when the Sun had disappeared?