Posts Tagged ‘Venus’

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.


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.

the Book of Destiny

March 23, 2010

I recently finished reading the new book by Carlos Barrios, a Mayan Shaman and member of the Council of Maya Elders. It is really a must read for anyone interested in the whole Maya End-of-Days Calendar craze.

There are so many insights given to the way of thinking of the Maya, past and present, that one can almost sense the marvel of the ancient and classic Maya themselves. Their world view is refreshing – as opposed to our usual instant-gratification planned-obsolescence – and reminiscent of the old pagan societies around the world.

The one major turn-off for me in the volume was the tease with “unrevealed” Mayan lore that he would introduce and then explain that the Council of Elders said they were not going to release that data just yet. What’s the big deal, huh?

There was also a few points where he was commenting how good their prophecies were and mentioned a few things they had predicted. It would have helped if he had mentioned exactly where they had predicted these events so we could see the wonders of their prophecy for ourselves, but that was not forthcoming. Many writers mention the Books of Chilam Balam as great prophetic works but they seem as definitive as the quatrains of Nostradamus. I prefer my prophecy a little more exacting.

In another spot he mentioned that the Maya had computed the Venus cycle during the Sun just previous to the current one. But I thought the birth of Venus coincided with the start of this Sun. That could, however, be a misunderstanding somewhere along the line.

Those couple of bits aside, the book transported me into the different world of the Maya, past and present. Their spirituality was so infused in their culture that it is easy to see how Jenkins, Calleman, and the other major writers on the subject continually stress the spiritual aspect of the End-Date. One begins to think that perhaps the “golden age” of human enlightenment is the true meaning of the completion of the Long Count.

Another interesting note in the volume is the inclusion of the extended history of the Maya people and the location they came from across the eastern sea that preceded their sojourn in Mesoamerica: Atlantis. This notion dovetails fairly well with what Edgar Cayce said about the Atlanteans as well.

I do not know how long the Elders are going to wait before revealing the remainder of their hidden knowledge but I will be on the watch for the next volume in the set.

Whenever they decide to release it.

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.

the Birth of Venus

July 7, 2009

Supposedly, the Mayans had the start of their calendar (the Long Count, not the Tzolkin or Haab) coincide with what they called “the Birth of Venus”.

Many writers think this was nothing more than the first appearance of Venus as the Morning Star (some say Evening Star) after some momentous event – perhaps the death of the man who became the legend of Quetzalcoatl. But then why would Venus have been so important? Why not the first appearance of Mars, or Jupiter? Or even the Moon?

Why Venus? Certainly Venus had importance to most ancient cultures… hmmm, but why was that so? If you’ve ever read the works of Immanuel Velikovsky you will immediately see the connection. According to his theory, Venus WAS born around 3000 BC. Perhaps the Maya even pinpointed the exact day: August 14th. Perhaps they were actually commemorating the birth of the planet.

But why then do they equate the earlier period ending with the death of the Sun, the previous Sun? Could the two celestial events have been born of the same event?

Like I have always contended, trying to understand the Maya through the lens of our world view may not work. We may have to discard our preconceptions (translation: “scientific theories”) in order to fully understand what they were getting at.