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Venus the Great Comet-3
THE MYTH OF THE GREAT COMET
In these brief articles we have asked whether Immanuel Velikovsky's comet Venus finds support among Mesoamerican cultures. Our conclusion is that, to a stunning degree, the symbols or hieroglyphs of comets stand in an unexplained conjunction with the planet Venus in Mesoamerica. Not only the five most frequently-occurring hieroglyphs for the comet around the world, but virtually all of the variations on these symbols are attached to each other and to the planet Venus. On their own, the symbols do not provide any basis for the observed merging. But grant the proposed history of a COMET Venus, and all of the enigmas are removed in a single stroke.
In support of this conjunction, we have also cross-referenced the Mesoamerican traditions with more general traditions about comets in other cultures, and found an underlying consistency far too broad to be explained by chance.
Additionally, we have seen that the deepest fears of Mesoamerican culture turn out to be the specific fears which ancient astronomies associated SIMULTANEOUSLY with the arrival of a comet and the risings of Venus, as we should expect: the end of the world, death of kings, overwhelming wars, plague, pestilence, drought. Those who are familiar with our larger thesis will recognize that these fears are not random, but inseparably tied to a more fundamental story: that of the ancient god-king--the celestial "father" of kings--whose death or ordeal brought a former world age to a catastrophic end, and whose "heart-soul" took flight as a comet-like star. This prototypical, cometary heart-soul is nothing other than the planet Venus.
One discovers this equivalence of Venus- and comet-fears in all of the symbolic and ritual contexts by which Mesoamerican cultures expressed their deepest anxieties: we see it in calendars of world ages, in superstitions associated with unexpected disruptions of natural cycles (eclipses, etc.), in massive ritual sacrifice, in relentless war, and in a never-ending stream of commemorative festivals and rites. Repeatedly, the stargazers looked to VENUS as the cause or sign of the very disorder that world myth ascribes to the feared GREAT COMET.
It has long been assumed that the great civilizations of the past oriented themselves to a sky appearing almost exactly like our sky today. I have suggested, however, that an entirely new approach to ancient myth and religion is warranted. Early races were obsessed with a prior "age of the gods," a time unlike any period of human history to follow. It is the living memories of this epoch that reveal the true source of collective fear, as generation after generation anxiously followed the movements of PLANETS. Driven by fear and guilt, the starworshippers incessantly re-enacted the critical junctures in that prior age, when planets moved out of control. There is a reason why the myth of the comet Venus is so deeply entwined with a more general memory of planetary upheaval.
In truth, the evidence for an UNFAMILIAR sky is massive. But to appreciate even the first levels of that evidence one must break the trance of prior teaching and beliefs. Evidence must be seen AS evidence, rather than as witness to the absurdity and contradictions of the star worshippers. When clearly-defined patterns of memory are impossible to explain under prevailing assumptions, those assumptions must be re-evaluated.
To comprehend the equation of comet symbols and Venus symbols, one need only ask what we should expect to find if Velikovsky's thesis was fundamentally correct. (I do not accept Velikovsky's Venus chronology or his detailed scenario.) If Venus formerly appeared as a world-threatening comet, but subsequently lost its cometary aspect, should we not find that later fears of comets attached themselves BOTH to the now-peaceful planet Venus and to the wisps of gas periodically coming into view? Wherever systematic, empirical astronomy kept alive the Great Comet's connection with Venus, we should EXPECT that the symbols of comets would pervade the culture's images of that planet. If the thesis is correct, it could not have been otherwise. So we can hardly be surprised to find that, in Mexico, the five universal glyphs of the comet are attached to the planet Venus! That a comet is the ONLY known astronomical reference for these symbols makes the point all the more emphatic.
In terms of our larger thesis, it should not surprise us either that the planet Venus was, in a hundred different ways, the regulator of the fate of kings and kingdoms in Mexico. (The Great Comet DID "determine" the fate of the king's celestial prototype; (see earlier discussion of the Saturn theory.) A compelling logic will thus be seen in Venus' definitive mythical role--in regulating the cosmic cycles, ordaining festivals pointing backward to the age of the gods, sending the kingdom's strongest men to war, and sending the victims of war to the sacrificial stone. Given the full story of the Great Comet, we should expect nothing else. And even in the more tempered rituals of daily life, the keeping of the sacred fire, the morning sweeping of the shrine, and other rites too numerous to mention here, one discerns the ever-present memory of a world falling into confusion, but subsequently renewed to the drumbeat of the Dawn Bringer.
When Bob Forrest said that he could find "no direct historical reference" to the Venus-comet, I believe he spoke from conviction. But the language of the first civilizations was not "historical;" it was mythical, having its reference in events no longer occurring. Thus, no civilization could meet Forrest's test. There are no "direct historical references" to the age of the gods, because that age precedes earthbound, historical chronicles.
Did the underlying events implied by the myths and by the ritual acts of remembering actually occur? Given the nature of the language involved, the sheer scale of evidence is stunning; and one might wonder how the Mexican star worshippers were supposed to have told us something more about the remembered catastrophes, without a crash course in the language of modern science.
In taking up such issues, cross referencing is imperative. No approach that isolates each evidential fragment, "explaining" that fragment without explaining parallel evidence pointing to the same unusual conclusion, can diminish the case for a remembered Venus-comet. No self-respecting scholar will lack the imagination to conjure an "explanation" of a particular comet symbol attached to Venus: it is simply too easy to claim that an ancient tribe or race may have accidentally confused a comet tradition with a Venus tradition. But it is the CONSISTENCY of the comet images of Venus that makes the case, and in this sense Forrest's analysis breaks down completely with the very first instance cited. The comet Venus is a global myth, and the one credible explanation of the myth is that Venus DID look like a comet--that it did participate in literally earthshaking events, not that long ago. One only has to follow the evidence to know that this is so.