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The Polar Configuration and Cosmic Thunderbolt
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 power.
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 Doomsday catastrophe.
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;
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;
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 details.
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;
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;
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 whole.
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.