Posts Tagged ‘Velikovsky’

Looking In & Out, Up & Down, Heaven and Hell

December 6, 2012

In my studies, I have dealt at length with the mythologies of the gods from cultures all over the world and they seem to fall into two categories: the gods in the heavens (the planets) and the gods on the planet (“earth spirits”).

The gods in the heavens are the usual: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and so forth. Some include Uranus, which can be seen with the naked eye even today (if you’re well away from the cities’ light pollution and you know where to look).

The gods on the planet include rulers of rivers, oceans, mountains, crops, fertility, childbirth, harvest, and so forth, including forest spirits, guardians of the sailors, the hunters, et cetera.

In normal parlance, historians usually divide these two “religious” systems into two distinct types. Those who worshiped the gods above are said to have “complex” religions, and the others are said to have “pagan” religions. The complex ones are based – they claim – on abstract ideas of divine influences whereas the others are far too pragmatic to delve into the abstract.

Another reason the complex religions are given “favored” status is that they were the ones who are believed to have evolved into the major religions of today. Pagan religions, assigning deification to physical objects and forces, could not delve into any deeper, abstract thoughts. Meaning, in other words, the pagan aspects were something we higher thinking mammals have thankfully moved away from.

I’m afraid to disillusion such historians. The “god in heaven” group was no more abstract thinkers than the “pagan” groups. Their concerns were just beyond the everyday while the others were more concerned with day-to-day matters. The latter figured if the gods in the heavens were battling it out, it was no concern of theirs. The up-lookers were guided by fear more than prophecy but they eventually saw the gods interfere with the affairs of Man. At which point, the gods above even interfered with the more pagan types.

What they both experienced during these encounters was far from abstract thought. See the writings of Velikovsky (Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval specifically) to see descriptions of those encounters.

The upward gazers came to prominence because their gods suddenly had an influence “down here” and their power seemed to far override the paltry forces of all the earth spirits combined.

In some systems, the elements of both wound up combined. The number of gods in the heavens may have increased but the ones who were also the planets also stood out as the “major” players in the pantheon. Earth spirits and such were always “lesser lights” though several of these were assigned places in the sky as stars or constellations.

The view had shifted from the energies and powers of the planets and nature, to the unbridled passions of the planets when they run rampant through the signs, exhibiting their personalities and threatening to upset the wonderful balance that had been life on Earth.

Just a few rambling thoughts on the subject.

Cleaning Out the Notes

December 5, 2012

After researching the subject of the Mayan Calendar for several years, I have a huge pile of notes, books, and so forth, and I have been cleaning it up as the run up to the end of the calendar is almost over.

One thing I came across was a note I seem to have missed mentioning elsewhere. And – believe me! – I have had a lot of threads that have fallen through the cracks on this journey.

Some were easily overlooked but this one I probably should have included somewhere.

Beyond 2012 by Geoff Stray, was another small and rather bland work on the End-Date of the Mayan Calendar. Most of the stuff he had was simple regurgitation of other writers – primarily John Major Jenkins – adding nothing of substance to the general study, and would have quickly been forgotten but for one item.

On p.107, he says Velikovsky had assigned the birth of Venus to 1500 BC (without any reference or footnote) and so it does not coincide with the Mayan Calendar. I read further but could not find any mention of where he got the notion but he referenced only Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collission in his bibliography. (I had assumed he got the data from one of the many articles Velikovsky published… many of whom I do not have access to.)

So I took out my dog-earred copy of Velikovsky’s opus and checked for myself.

Stray got it wrong.

Velikovsky said the earliest “close encounter” with Venus occurred at 1500 BC but because of its earlier “birth from Jupiter” and erratic motions, it had been watched carefully by the ancients. But it did not actually enter our “history” until 1500 BC. The author does not date the “birth” of the planet.

The careful watching of Venus is why so many ancient cultures kept lists of the movements of the planet. The vast majority of those lists that have survived were compiled after Venus became regular in its motion… though there are texts that scientists cannot quite make sense of (see Velikovsky’s work for more details or the works of Alfred DeGrazia, free on the internet).

It is easy to see why Stray made the error but strange that he would not also reference where he came up with the data that would be used as the lynch-pin for his hypothesis that Velikovsky was wrong.

But that seems about par for a lot of the slip-shod scholarship on this subject.

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.

Proposed Revision of the Start-Date

April 16, 2010

They counted days rather than years and the estimated start date was estimated backward by counting days/years in our current system.

What if, as Velikovsky theorized, the years had only been 360 days in the past? The evidence of the ancient calendar-makers from around the planet point to this reality.

Does that alter the start date? (And not the End-Date?)

Actually, this revision would not alter the End-Date, just the Start-Date? How so? The days that correlate the Gregorian Calendar – our present system – with the GMT are in the middle range of the Mayan Calendar. And, apparently, the length of the years have not changed since the ninth century. Therefore, counting from that time to the end of the calendar on December 21st, 2012, was a rather simple task.

Counting backward to the Start-Date, however, is where the problem lies.

Since the Maya counted the days, and if the years were of a shorter duration (i.e. 360 days) then the Start-Date would be even further back in the past.

From the evidence I have seen over the years, I would compute the Start-Date of the Mayan Calendar to be somewhere in the middle of 3141 BC rather than 3114 BC, I believe. The dating is, of course, extremely speculative.

If the change in the Solar Year took place in 1114 BC, that would put the Start-Date at October 22nd, 3142 BC. It is just a guess as I am not sure of when the calendars changed, exactly, or the date of the years when it occurred. It could be a couple of years earlier or a couple later.

But it does give you an idea of the magnitude of the change it would create. As the year length alone had changed it is still the same number of days, just a different number of years, each five days shorter than the present time.

However, as I have said, it does not alter the End-Date in any degree.

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 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.

a Thought on the Earliest Long Count Record

March 15, 2010

Some historians hypothesize that the Long Count was completely finalized in the first century BC as that is the occurrence of the oldest known Long Count inscription (36 BC at Chiapa de Corzo). It could be that earlier inscriptions have simply not made it to our time (being on destructible materials) or that earlier stone representations have just not yet been found.

Either way, the 36 BC occurrence remains the oldest about which we know. So, why did the Maya date the beginning of their calendar so much further back, like 3100 years further back?

And did they keep record of the days and years since that time in the prototype of the Long Count or some other system until it was finalized? Or was it truly as John Major Jenkins hypothesized that they simply back-dated the calendar to a random starting point in the past?

It is difficult to do more than speculate on this question. One thing that would help is knowing why they started it on the date in question. What happened then that should have been monumental enough to give birth to a new calendar?

There are many theories about this issue. The usual definition given from the Mayan documents was that it was the “birth” of the planet Venus. Most historians today brush that aside, saying it was only the appearance of Venus as the morning star before the Sun rose. I cannot see that would be such a momentous thing since it happens quite often. And I have not seen anyone offer any proof that this was the case.

Immanuel Velikovsky theorized that Venus was born out of the planet Jupiter (see his Worlds in Collision for the particulars. Practically all the scientific community, however, stick to their belief that Venus is about the same age as Earth so there should have been no life to witness it’s “birth” from Jupiter or elsewhere.

But, if Velikovsky was correct in his timeline of the birth of Venus and the subsequent encounters of our planet with others, the last encounter would have been around 685BC. This might have allowed the orbits to stabilize and the Maya could have made any adjustments required to complete the various cycles in their calendars. They could then have finalized the Long Count. This may have taken a few centuries to completely nail it down.

Hence the earliest records of the first century BC. There may be even older ones, but if this timetable is correct, they may not be too much older.

But, time may prove me wrong.

Why 360 Days?

February 28, 2010

Many historians are astonished to find that the early Maya, otherwise so exact in their day-counts, should mistakenly give the length of a year as 360 days. Later, they very neatly computed the exact length of a year even better than modern man had, until midway through last century.

So, why the 360 day “mistake”? Well, it was no mistake at all. It is merely a mistake in our perception of the cosmos.

Before you shake your head in disbelief and stop reading, consider that the Maya were not the only ones to come up with that number. Other observers from China through the Middle Eastern civilizations also had that number. And, surprisingly, they all got into a quandary about the same time when the year suddenly grew longer.

If it was only one isolated group that had made the embarrassing error it would be one thing but when all the literate civilizations went through the same adjustment, at the same time, the only rational explanation is that the year had suddenly changed from 360 days to 365 days! Impossible as it may seem – especially to the Sagan-oriented among you – but that is the best explanation for the situation.

Immanuel Velikovsky had developed an interesting theory to resolve this apparent insanity of the ancients. In his Worlds in Collision (1950), he explained that some of the planets had left their orbits (through what agency he promised to reveal in a later volume) and one had pulled or pushed the Earth into an orbit slightly further out from the Sun, thus changing the period of our revolution from 360 days to about 365.25 days.

The Babylonians had neatly correlated the earlier 360 days into 12 periods of 30 days – and this is why our circles have 360°, one degree for every day of the year. They did not adjust their numbering system or the degrees in a circle to reflect the new calculations. Can you imagine working in a geometry with the circle having 365.25° in it?

Another interesting thing was that the Moon had a 30 day period at that time, slightly longer that in today’s cosmos. And, yes, the orbit of the Moon changed at the same time as Earth’s year.

Which brings up an interesting point: it the Babylonians used the Moon’s period for the month, why didn’t the Maya do the same? Rather than twelve months of 30 days each, they used eighteen months of twenty days each. Why? It’s not like they couldn’t see the Moon in the sky, right?

Well, again we can turn to Velikovsky’s book to discover an answer. You’re not going to like the answer, I am certain. The scientists in his time did not like it either – but then neither did the historians.

Early inhabitants of the Greek Arcadia (Pelasgains, according to Aristotle) claim to have held the land before the Earth had a Moon. Most historians count this as myth, giving the myth-maker a chance to describe how we got the Moon.

But the Maya also had this period before there was a Moon, otherwise it should have been utilized in their calendar and figured more prominently in their stories of the early cosmos.

The Babylonians developed their calendar and mathematics based on the temporal patterns of the Sun and Moon yet the Maya system apparently predates it, as they seem to have developed it “before the Earth had a Moon”.

At least that is one explanation. If you have another idea, please share it with me.

The Nature of Memory

January 23, 2010

The Maya Calendar could be intended as an aid to memory. Not just for one person or a generation, but to pass knowledge onto future generations. Through specifying days of importance, they pass along insight into what they considered important.

Uneventful days are not commemorated, non-occurrences not remembered. Great circumstances are. The more memorable the event, the greater the commemoration.

I have been through many New Year’s in my life but can remember only a few of them. Some retained importance because of the persons I was with or some other passage in my life, but most have passed into oblivion as non-eventful. New Year’s Day is an important day on our present calendar but is not necessarily a memorable day.

The Sun crossing the Galactic Center is such an event. It happens annually but its occurrence on the Winter Solstice is a rare event. But if nothing had ever happened during such a crossing, why would the event be important?

Social memory works in the same fashion. The Sun crossing a certain point in the sky may be heralded as it is approaching but if the day passes without some event to punctuate the passage there is no reason anyone would mark it down in memory – there is nothing to remember. The memory requires something to latch onto. A normal day – and most of us that work a forty-hour week have plenty of those – simply does not lend itself to being remembered in any detail, much less commemorated.

Many doomsdays have been predicted in the past, and the days are now forgotten because exactly nothing happened. The doom and destruction of Y2K may be remembered today only as a laughing matter. In a century, it will be less than a footnote.

Many historians create time-scales to plot the great moments in history. This is highly subjective and often say more about the historian than our history. The “great moments” they pick are from our perspective, gauged by what is important to us now. Usually, great battles and wars find their way onto such charts but they really important in the greater scheme of things?

I think an epochal moment in history was the year 1950. No great wars or battles took place, nothing most people would call momentous happened, but I always considered it the birth of the New Age. In that year four rather special books occupied the top of the bestseller lists: 1- Kon Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl, which would forever change our view of the capabilities of ancient man; 2- the Sea Around Us, by Rachel Carson, which gave birth to ecology and our consciousness of the natural balance around us; 3- Worlds in Collision, by Immanuel Velikovsky, which gave life to modern catastrophism; and 4- Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health, by L. Ron Hubbard, which hoped to change psychotherapy but evolved into the Church of Scientology and a myriad of New Age philosophies. (An interesting footnote that Hubbard – author of #4 on the list – based his book, Dianetics, on the theory of the “engram” which was hypothesized in a 1939 paper by Velikovsky – author of #3.)

No one includes this epochal year in any list. Perhaps most do not see anything of importance in these events. Milestones and catastrophes, however, are remembered. Milestones? Like the American Bi-centennial? Hey, where were you during the Bi-centennial? No, that’s not very memorable for most of us.

Where were you when President Kennedy was shot? Or, for the current generation, where were you on 9/11? Now, there’s a memory!

Epochal events are those that get remembered. So what is it that triggered the Maya? Certainly nothing as “memorable” as the Sun conjuncting the Galactic Center or passing over some other point in the heavens. Some sources tell us the 3114 BC date concerned the “birth of Venus” although that seems ludicrous to us as science informs us it has been around at least as long as our own planet. Or has it? Wasn’t that the subject of the book by Velikovsky mentioned above?

The birth of a new planet should be momentous enough to initiate a calendar, especially if the event was accompanied by some world-changing side-effects. But even then, the effects would dissipate over the centuries and when nothing similar repeated, the event would become less and less important than the celebration. Until all that was left was the date.

And the date alone has come down to us. But why, and why now?

Ancient Chaos

January 14, 2010

One problem I find with the Saturnian Model(s) and such is that they either disregard the myths of the world ages or they give no mechanism for the change of ages. Most simply have some unknown outside agent – i.e. comet or meteor – arrive to change the conditions.

Unfortunately, if they followed the mythologies closer they would see that most ancients mentioned the ages repeated on a cyclic basis, as if there were an established sequence. This means the objections I have mentioned about most doomsday theories on the Mayan Calendar End-Date apply here as well. The theories of random events to further along the Saturnian model disregard the ancient evidence.

Alfred de Grazia lamented in one of his works that he was probably the “last Velikovskian” since so many of the followers of Velikovsky have gone in other directions. I guess that makes two of us as I still think Velikovsky was essentially correct.

Dwardu Cardona said he used to think Velikovsky was correct in the big picture but incorrect in the details, but later changed his opinion to think he was correct in the details but wrong in the big picture.

So many of the catastrophist community has endorsed one or another of the Saturn models. Most endorse either the Talbott/Cardona (/Thornill/Cochrane) model wherein the Earth sat “beneath” the gas giant so that it appeared to be a “god of the North Pole” or the equally popular model that simply has the Earth as a satellite of Saturn. In both models, Saturn is seen as a “dark star” or possibly a binary partner to the Sun, although not in all models.

There is still no consensus on the matter.

One problem with taking the ancient myths and aligning them is that they do not all say the same things, regardless of the statements of Talbott, Cardona and company to the contrary. There are variations as not everyone’s memory is the same. No one’s mythology is the same as another. They claim that all societies proclaim this Saturn as the god at the North Pole – but what about the societies south of the equator? Could they have revered the god of the north that they could not even see?

Who knows?

Did the Maya refer to any of this in their mythology? Perhaps. There is the tale of the Hero Twins shooting Seven Macaw (the previous Sun) out of the World Tree. Some say Seven Macaw is another representation of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) in the Northern Sky, so one could argue this is a tie-in. But that is about as far as the similarity goes.

If someone knows a better correlation, I would love to hear it.