This site author knows David Talbott very
well, and considers him to be the foremost mythologist in the world, if not
the foremost scholar. He is a polymath of extremely high intelligence and
integration capability. More importantly, in scholarship his integrity and
valuation of the truth is at the highest level. The genius of David Talbott as a
mythologist is that he has made a science out
of the comparative method to winnow out identifications and historical
and he has identified the acid tests to support or falsify the proposals.
The Polar Configuration and Cosmic Thunderbolt
by David Talbott
To see the divine thunderbolt's true role in world mythology, the sense
of context provided by a physical model will prove crucial.
What we've called the "Saturn theory" or "Saturn model" provides a
unified reference, enabling us to interpret and account for the
extraordinary commemorative activity of ancient cultures. It offers a
coherent explanation of global patterns, and does so at a level of
extraordinary and highly specific detail. Moreover, we claim that a
fundamentally incorrect theory could never achieve this explanatory
The model rests upon a verifiable substratum of human memories and
traditions. Beneath the surface of world mythology and symbolism,
certain points of agreement shine through. In fact, scholars as a whole
have never acknowledged the great volume of broadly distributed themes.
The reason for this is that the experts themselves lack the necessary
references; they cannot distinguish the underpinnings of the original
human experience from the flood of random and contradictory details
added by the various cultures as they localized, interpreted, and
elaborated aspects of the universal experience.
In fact, the most significant motifs, the ones that reflect the
archetypes most directly, are often the most likely to go unnoticed or
to be swiftly dismissed. That's because these motifs arose from
unfamiliar phenomena, events that do not occur in our time, whereas
later elaborations of the motifs sought to ADAPT them to familiar
phenomena. The archetypes, the root patterns, are neither random nor
contradictory. All archetypes belong to a coherent substructure, and
all are inseparably connected to each other. Hence, a logical and
consistent explanation must be possible, even if all prior attempts at a
unified theory immediately collapse when critically investigated.
MEMORIES OF DOOMSDAY
Of course, certain official tenets of science will obstruct the
historian's ability to recognize patterns. Over the past two centuries,
suppositions cultivated within the sciences placed rigid boundaries on
historical investigation. How many archaeologists, anthropologists, or
ethnologists, for example, have paused to notice the underlying
agreement of the first sky-worshippers on the Doomsday memory? Every
ancient culture insisted that a "world-destroying" catastrophe occurred
in former times. For the Greeks this was the KATAKLYSMOS, when the
world ended in flood and a cosmic winter, or EKPYROSIS, the destruction
of the world by fire. We call the Doomsday memory an archetype because
no culture failed to recall such an event, marked by great prodigies in
the sky and a violent shift in the celestial order. On this vital
point, Immanuel Velikovsky's presentation of global evidence still stands.
But just consider how severely our scientific assumptions will limit the
historian's imagination, as he confronts this recurring memory. Without
a second thought, he already "knows" that the sky remained fundamentally
unchanged across all of human history. So he can only appeal to
unconstrained imagination for his explanations. And his "explanations"
will invariably discourage attention to detail and cross-cultural
patterns. In almost thirty years of investigation, for example, I never
found a mainstream scholar wondering why, on every habitable continent,
the Doomsday accounts recall a biologically absurd serpent or dragon
thrashing about in the sky. One would think that such an obvious enigma
would capture the attention of the experts! Eventually, it became clear
to me that unproven scientific assumptions, stated as fact, have
fostered an intellectual trance, closing off the possibility of discovery.
MEMORIES OF PLANETARY DISORDER
As we descend to specifics, the observed rigidity becomes even more
severe. What about the evidence for changes in the motions of planets
only a few thousand years ago? With the birth of empirical astronomy in
the first millennium BC, every priest astronomer knew that the planets,
then seen as distant points of light, were once towering forms in the
sky. The astronomers knew that, in a remote age of gods and wonders,
the planets ruled the heavens, determining the fate of kings and
kingdoms, and indeed the destiny of the world. Planets brandished
weapons of thunder, fire, and stone. In their earliest-remembered
appearance, they inspired awe and reverence, but in the end their
behavior was both capricious and violent, leading directly to the
The testimony is indisputable in the case of the Babylonian astronomer
priest, Berossus, as cited by Seneca, and the same memory is echoed by
Lucan, citing Nigidius. Plato, in the Timaeus, noted the change in the
movements of celestial bodies in connection with world-destroying
disaster. And he ascribed the great conflagration of Phaeton's fall to
a shift in the motions of celestial bodies. More than one source reports
the transformation of Phaeton into a planet (the "Morning Star") in our
now-orderly solar system. Similarly, ancient Persian, Taoist, Chinese,
Mesoamerican and other sources, gathered by Velikovsky, declare
PLANETARY motions to be the source of the great cataclysms that
punctuated world history, causing the collapse of world ages or the
displacement of former "suns" prior to the re-birth of the world.
So it's no wonder that, even with the arrival of planetary stability and
predictable orbits, a deep anxiety hung over all of the early cultures.
We see this anxiety most vividly in the rise of astronomy and the
systematic study of planetary motions. For thousand of years after the
myth-making epoch, the astronomer-priests were still oppressed by the
primeval fear, incessantly scanning the heavens, meticulously recording
diaries of planetary motions, seeking out the signs of the one thing
they feared the most–the return of Doomsday.
But how will modern historians, under the spell of a clock-like solar
system, comprehend this Doomsday anxiety? Is it possible that ancient
testimony, by the power of its consistency, could actually CORRECT
science at a level so fundamental as to invite an intellectual
revolution? For myself, I believe that this correction is inevitable
and when it occurs, it will not reduce our interest in scientific fact,
but re-direct our attention, infusing scientific investigation with a
profound sense of discovery and new possibilities.
THE SATURN MODEL
The strongest advantage of the Saturn model is specificity. It connects
hundreds of verifiable patterns to tangible and highly unusual forms in
the sky, all vitally linked to equally tangible and unusual sequences of
events. It further demonstrates that the archetypal figures of myth–most fundamentally the universal sovereign, mother goddess, and
warrior-hero–can be fully comprehended. It is only necessary that we
see these archetypes in their root identity, as planets and aspects of
planets close to the earth, in defined spatial and dynamic relationships
to each other, and in a celestial environment dominated by ELECTRICITY.
In prior installments of this newsletter we've introduced several dozen
themes, some of these appearing as integrated complexes, such as the
following themes relating to the earliest remembered time.
ARCHETYPES CONCERNING THE GOD OF BEGINNINGS
1. a universal sovereign or central luminary of the sky, the father
of kings, and founder of a lost Golden Age;
2. displacement of that former sovereign in overwhelming, world
3. a primeval sun, superior sun, best sun, or motionless sun in
former times, before the appearance of the present sun;
4. a great luminary or chief of the sky at the celestial pole;
5. ancient language and symbolism of the pole as the motionless spot,
the place of rest; or the cosmic center;
6. the holiest day of the week (Sabbath) as a commemoration of the
primeval epoch, the day or time of the "resting god."
Generally, these closely-related traditions occur in contexts and
locations far more widespread than the limited influence of empirical
astronomy. Consequently, in the majority of instances, no direct
information will give us the planetary identifications of the mythical
personalities. But Babylonian astronomical diaries of the first
millennium BC give motions of planets extremely close to their present
orbits, thus allowing us to identify the references. And this, in turn,
enables us to document the extraordinary and unexplained associations of
the planets as mythical gods throughout the Near East and beyond. For
the planet Saturn, we find these unusual associations, as we've noted in
prior THOTH articles-
1. Saturn as universal sovereign and father of kings, ruling at the
beginning of time;
2. Saturn as founder of the lost Golden Age;
3. Saturn as an ancient ruler displaced by overwhelming catastrophe;
4. Saturn as the archaic "sun god";
o Saturn as motionless or resting god;
5. Saturn ruling from the celestial pole;
6. Saturn's day of the week as the holy day, the Sabbath, or day of
We find, therefore, that while the first list includes separate
fragments and nuances of a general tradition preserved around the world,
the second list integrates all of the components by reference to a
single planet. It thus substantiates a sense of underlying integrity.
But it does more. It puts an exclamation point to the huge gap
separating ancient memories from observed phenomena today. All
"Saturnian" attributes directly contradict the actual behavior of the
planet. This extraordinary situation surely does not permit the skeptic
to merely claim that myth is foolishness and make believe. The
situation requires the skeptic to explain how countless cultures,
dispersed around the earth, could have relentlessly denied everything
actually experienced, yet produced a universal accord on such unusual
Moreover, to note the Saturn connection is only to place the first
surface scratch on the unified substratum. Once we take up the themes
of the mother goddess and warrior hero, the universal motifs grow
explosively, for these are, beyond question, the most fully documented
figures of myth. And in both cases a gigantic library of global themes
will converge on two planets–Venus and Mars.
Since we could quickly become lost in the great volume of material
relating to the goddess and hero archetypes, I'll let the following list
suffice for now.
1. goddess as central eye of the primeval sun or universal sovereign;
2. goddess as luminous heart of the sovereign god;
3. goddess as animating soul of the sovereign god;
4. goddess as radiant "star" depicted in the center of archaic "sun"
5. goddess as inner glory, power, strength of the universal
6. goddess as hub and radiating spokes of a great wheel turning in
7. goddess as omphalos or navel;
o goddess as departing eye, heart, or soul, raging in the sky at the
time of world-threatening catastrophe;
8. goddess taking the form of a chaos-serpent or dragon at the time
of world threatening catastrophe;
9. goddess as Great Comet presiding over the end of a world age.
These goddess themes, all of which we've discussed previously, are
extremely widespread, and are most clearly expressed by the earliest
cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia. But it is the links to the planet
Venus that give the definitive clues. With the birth of empirical
astronomy, every listed theme was connected to the planet Venus.
Indeed, Venus is the ONLY planet identified as a goddess by astronomer
priests of the first millennium BC.
1. hero born from the womb of the mother goddess;
2. hero appearing as pupil of the eye, or born from the eye'
3. hero conceived in the heart or soul of the sovereign god;
4. hero leaping from the "star" depicted in the center of archaic
5. hero wearing the inner glory, power, or strength of the universal
sovereign as a radiate crown;
6. hero as axle of a great wheel turning in the heavens;
7. hero as "navel-born" god
o hero pacifying the raging eye goddess;
8. hero vanquishing the cosmic serpent or dragon;
9. hero wielding symbols of the Great Comet to restore the world
after a great catastrophe
Here, too, the respective themes are far more widely distributed than
any astronomical identification, though the clear and undisputed
planetary associations that ARE available will lead to one conclusion
only. The warrior-hero was the planet Mars.
A SNAPSHOT OF GATHERED PLANETS
It should go without saying that none of the common mythical themes, nor
any of the associations with planets noted above, will find explanation
in familiar natural events. But can this disparity justify an entirely
new vantage point? To answer this question, we do not propose to take
the reader on all of the sinuous paths of the original investigation.
Rather, we shall simply offer a model which, we claim, WILL make sense
of the global traditions, integrating and accounting for the field of
evidence more completely than any prior theory. The underlying
principles of the model are these:
1, The planetary system we observe today is new. Only a few thousand
years ago planets followed vastly different courses, in an
unstable solar system.
2. Our Earth formerly moved with several planets in close
congregation, through a rich, electrically active plasma
environment. The planets included (among others) Earth, Mars, and
Venus, in a close dynamic relationship to the gas giant Saturn.
3. In periods of relative "stability," the dominant planets in the
system moved in COLLINEAR equilibrium. That is, the primary bodies
remained in line as they moved through space.
4. At an early phase of the configuration, the planet Saturn–prior
to acquisition of its present ring system–appeared as a
stationary, towering form at the celestial pole. This means that
the axis of the earth was pointed directly to the aligned planets.
5. Both Mars and Venus played highly prominent roles in the
configuration, these two bodies appearing one in front of the
other in the center of Saturn, positions confirming the collinear
equilibrium of the system.
6. It is tentatively assumed that the planet Jupiter was also part of
the ancient assembly, though Jupiter was apparently hidden behind
Saturn until a period of profound instability.
7. Evolution of the configuration was marked by continuous electrical
discharging, profoundly affecting the visual appearance of the
celestial forms–and presumably the dynamics of collinear
equilibrium as well.
8. It was the highly unusual configurations taken by the discharge
phenomena that inspired the ancient symbolism of the divine
thunderbolt. Hence, the entire range of thunderbolt images in
antiquity will add a vital layer for testing our hypothesis as a
There are two Youtube videos that should be watched, which will
illustrate the theme referenced in this article:
Remembering the End of the World–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oophJNlP-fk
Symbols of an Alien Sky–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7EAlTcZFwY
These videos depict the hypothesized configuration as seen from Earth,
together with prehistoric rock art images from Ireland and
California, etc. The pictographs, inscribed on stone, illustrate the
relationship we intend to document, between planetary forms seen in the
sky, the patterns of world mythology, and verifiable formations of
plasma activity in the laboratory. It was the dynamic evolution of this
planetary assembly, we shall contend, that inspired the mythical
histories of the gods.