Discourses on an Alien Sky #44 | Ancient Myths and Symbols: Identifying the Celestial Provocation

You’ve just entered the
theater of an alien sky. If the words and images seem strange
to you, there’s a reason for this. Our world was once a
vastly different place. To experience this won’t hurt you,
and there is nothing to fear. The Archetypes
Reconsidering the origins of world mythology It was perhaps 15 years ago that we
first used the phrase of “meeting of myth and science” to describe
The Thunderbolts Project. But now, as
we’re continuing to attract a crowd of newcomers, it seems
that a little background could be useful. My original inspiration for this work
came from the controversial theorist Immanuel Velikovsky and his 1950
bestseller ‘Worlds In Collision.’ It was that inspiration that provoked my own
lifelong investigation, which is focused on the origins of ancient myths and
symbols bringing to light hundreds of mythic archetypes and
connecting these patterns to extraordinary planetary
events in ancient times. In 1972, my brother Stephen
and I had published a special issue of the student journal Pensee
titled Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered. To our surprise, the
issue became a best-seller at local campus bookstores
encouraging us to advertise the publication internationally and
commit to a full series on Velikovsky. In the course of this series, in 1974, the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, the AAAS,
held a symposium on Velikovsky at its annual
meeting in San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, I
submitted a proposal to Doubleday, the world’s largest
publisher at the time, for a book growing out of my own research,
the book to be called The Saturn Myth. My proposal included an
article I’d written, titled ‘Saturn the Polar Night Sun’ and I
included an outline of a comprehensive interpretation of ancient
myths and symbols. Starting with the Velikovskian
perspective, the article claimed that in ancient times Earth and Saturn were
joined in a unique planetary system unlike anything known today; and it
suggested that the vast world of ancient myths and symbols had its direct
inspiration in this human experience. To prepare for the task, I had learned
French and German enabling me to translate key sources
not available in English. I also acquired
a ground-floor knowledge of the Egyptian hieroglyphic
system without which no satisfactory interpretation of Egyptian mythic and
symbolic content would be possible, since my work would challenge virtually all
common understanding on this subject. Happily, the communication with Doubleday
led the company to offer me the largest advance they had ever given
to a previously unknown author. As for the rest of the story, completing
the book proved to be an endurance test beyond anything originally
anticipated, and yet, when Doubleday published The Saturn Myth
in late spring of 1980, I’d really only opened the door to the four
decades of study that followed. The Saturn Myth set
forth a radical idea. It claimed that every
ancient culture memorialized an extraordinary phase of
human history called ‘the age of the gods.’ Though the words could have a familiar
ring today, the historic meaning was lost many centuries ago and that meaning is
precisely what we’ve claimed to recover. For many years now, I’ve used the image seen
here as a ground floor referent in an uncompromising analysis of global
patterns, and I’ve claimed that every mythic theme since the emergence of the
great civilizations can be explained by what happened to these bodies. To which I’ve added, just as surely, the observation
that no archetype ever named has the slightest connection to any
natural experience today. The archetypes closest to the heart of the
reconstruction would include: memories of a primeval Sun before the
present Sun, remembered also as the father of creation, the
ancient celebration of this power as the celestial prototype of
kings, the enigmatic location of the primeval Sun at the celestial pole, the
center of the sky around which the heavens visually turned, the
unexplained identity of this primeval Sun as the planet
Saturn in the early astronomies, identity of this supreme god as
a fallen or displaced power. In fact, no description
of that earlier condition is more to the point
than that given by the Babylonian astronomer priest
Berosus, in the 3rd century BC. Berosus observed that in an earlier time the planets were,
quoting here, “so arranged in one row that a straight line may
pass through their spheres.” What a remarkable and
preposterous idea, a perfect and sustained planetary conjunction,
something never seen in our time. And yet a stunningly accurate description of
the ancient polar configuration, to which we’ve devoted priority attention
for more than 40 years. In the months
ahead, we intend to show that there was indeed a
myth-making phase of human history from which the full spectrum of
ancient ideas including hundreds of mythic and symbolic archetypes
arose, no coincidence involved. Our goal will be to expose the unified substructure to show that one
ancient experience recorded through a diversity of mythic interpretations reached
across every domain of commemorative activity. There’s a reason why we state our
conclusions with such confidence. Simply grant the reconstructed
events, and all well documented archetypes
become predictable. As strange as this
may seem, after the myth-making epoch no new archetypes
arose, not a single one. Now, that is
a critical fact. One that can force an
investigator to ask what set the myth-making epoch apart
from the era that followed? But now of course the implications should be clear, the
archetypes arose in response to extraordinary celestial provocations,
and nothing in today’s natural world would lead one to expect a single
archetype that has been named. For us, no prior cause
other than the dynamic and evolving polar configuration
will ever meet that test. In retrospect, it’s not
surprising that, month by month, new information has continually
expanded the picture. I say not surprising because
every ancient culture on Earth memorialized a
prior rule of towering gods. So as the underlying cross-cultural agreement stands out, the radical
contrast to today’s natural experience becomes progressively more obvious and
persuasive, including: the ancient identification of the Mother
Goddess as the planet Venus, the corresponding identity of the Venus
goddess as the luminous eye, heart and soul of the sovereign power, the hub of the Cosmic Wheel
and the animating outflow or radiance itself. Worldwide myths of a legendary
Warrior and Hero born from the Mother Goddess to vanquish chaos
monsters, global myths and symbols of the ancient conjunction or marriage of the
Mother Goddess and Warrior Hero, meaning of course Mars and Venus,
and finally the ancient memory that unifies the planetary traditions, the
memory so powerfully expressed by Berosus, of planets previously gathered
along a single axis. For several decades, I’ve described a system
episodically punctuated by planetary instability and world altering
disruptions, all occurring in an environment unlike anything
we experience today. It’s that contrast that
led me to encourage investigation by others, under
the obvious acid tests. For an independent researcher,
the tangible and concrete nature of the reconstruction will
leave no ambiguity as to implications. If the claimed events occurred,
what would you expect to find? And most critically, does the
reconstruction leave any recognized archetypes of world myth
and symbol unexplained? No other test than
this should be needed.