Guest Post: Review of Star Myths of the World, Volume Four (Norse Mythology)

Guest Post: Review of Star Myths of the World, Volume Four (Norse Mythology)

vol four front cover 02.jpg

Thank you to longtime correspondent and independent researcher Didier Lacapelle for his recent review of Star Myths of the World and how to interpret them, Volume Four: Norse Mythology.

I have reprinted Didier's review below, but you can and should visit his website Theognosisto read some of his other analysis on related (and somewhat related, or even unrelated) topics. Theognosis is written in French, but if (like me) you are not fluent in the French language, you can use Google Translate to get a sense of Didier's arguments and research. Also, Didier occasionally writes a post in English, as he did with this review of Star Myths of the World, Volume Four, or as he does in this intriguing post about the region of Brittany in France which he published a year ago and which is also worthy of careful examination.

As you can see from his review, as well as from some of the arguments he advances in Theognosis, there are many areas upon which Didier and I have some differing conclusions. However, I personally believe that differing conclusions are to be expected when researchers are faced with an extremely complex puzzle, and that the differences may in fact help to highlight important "pressure points" or "nodes" which may, upon further analysis, turn out to hold the key to unlocking the mystery.

Below is the complete text of Didier's review. Rather than spending too much time on the points of agreement, Didier focuses on areas in which he has disagreements or differing conclusions. I think that you will agree that the subjects upon which he disagrees are extremely interesting and important, and that he brings up several points which are worthy of much further contemplation and examination.


Norse Mythology (Mathisen)

Didier Lacapelle

I have just read the volume IV of the « Star Myths of the World » by David Warner Mathisen, dedicated to the Norse mythology.

It is as good as the previous volumes, probably better, due to the experience acquired with the writing of these ones. For those unaccustomed to his writings, David Mathisen proves – beyond all doubts – that ALL the mythologies of the world depict the same system of constellations to play the role of the different characters, and that they can all be deciphered as the destiny of the human soul when she lives the experience of incarnation. Maybe some proposed identifications of characters with one constellation are not the ones intended by the creator of the myth, but Mathisen openly discusses the case when two or three of them can be the rightful candidate, and – really – it is not easy to spot a myth where he could be off the mark.

After the decipherment of the myths of ancient Greece, of Old and the New Testament, maybe there are other popular myths that could benefit from this treatment. I think of the Arthurian cycle for example !

Though I have elements of disagreement that are not new. David knows my points, but I want to recall them to the reader, in order to use this fantastic result to go further in other fields of research that are dear to me.

First, if ALL the systems of myths follow the same set of constellations, my guess would not be that a more ancient system, known to all the cultures of the world, was at the origin of them. The points of similarity are limited to one or two names shared by two cultures, and similar stories can be spotted. This has lead to a whole field of academic research, the comparative mythology, which uses the notion of typology to explain these points of similarities. Some authors will say that the gospels have been made upon the homeric epics, according to the supposed epoch when these different texts were put down to writing. Some will say that there is an original myth from which all the myths of the world come from. Mathisen is without doubt a partisan of this school. Yet they were unable to frame this « original » system. It is due to the fact that each system has a very different « taste ». We know that Thor is a nordic god, Apollo greek, and Osiris egyptian.

My own guess is that if the set of constellations is the same, then the authors of the myths are the same. And if christian literature – I mean the roman catholic literature – the very texts that were chosen by the roman clergy to tell the life of Jesus and his apostles, contain these sacred teachings about the destiny of the soul, and these constellations, it means that the roman clergy wrote all of them according to this knowledge, which they had in full.

Mathisen points the fact that Argo navis and Centaurus are clearly used in the set of constellations that frame the norse mythology, though they are not to be seen in the night sky in these northern latitudes.

The story that we are told is that the « literal » christianity have smashed the ancient pagan lore and cut us from the gods that live among us, and even inside us, for an unique god whom only the priests could reach for the benefit of the community. The christian church is guilty of the creation of a feudal system, for the benefit of the clergy and the nobility too. The whole system was a yoke for the people in a terrestrial meaning, as it was destined to a life of servitude and even slavery. It was a yoke in a spiritual meaning too, as the people was forbidden to use his own spiritual ressources, and cut from his divine part. This is the scheme David Mathisen depicts in his book.

And he is not really wrong : our modern world can be described as an « undercover » caste system – the caste are still there, but they are not depicted as such, as we are led to believe in democracy through the electoral system and a general system of « contractualisation ».But were the systems we call « traditional » among the ancient cultures, here and  elsewhere, not at all caste systems ? They were caste systems, no doubt about this ! The hindu system comes immediately to the mind. The Romans and the Greeks had citizens, plebeians and slaves. Women were not given right to participate in the life of the city.

One can argue that these civilizations, though using a full knowledge of the spiritual system described, were a degenerate offspring of the goold old shamanic cultures. But when we listen to the shaman Elena Michechtkina, people in Siberia are not free to practice shamanism in the same individual way that western neo-shamanism practicioners are free to experience. No one can decide to be a shaman : the spirits choose the person authorized to be a shaman, and one cannot decide he does not to want to be a shaman. As the shamans are public figures, a shaman enter a pyramidal hierarchy of shamans among whom he must accomplish his duties. It was NOT the right of everyone to access to the realm of the divine.

So what the roman catholic faith did was to keep the knowledge away from a general misuse. What the old trial papers teach us is that the population was upset about the wide use of sorcery and often there were unlawful retaliations. More and more the public courts admitted these trials and were inclined to severe punishments, even death sentences. What the roman catholic inquisition did was to give the right for the presumed sorcerers to defend themselves with the help of the « devil’s advocate ». The papacy published bulls to forbid to kill a sorcerer, and the sentences that should be applied for a crime related to sorcery. « Being » a sorcerer was not a crime, one would have to kill someone with magic to receive a death sentence. But this was not an easy enquiry. Most of the time, all that was left as proof was an accusation. Judicial errors were numerous. So was « the right of everyone to have access to the divine ». The catholic church chose to hide the teachings. And I believe that this is exactly what the siberian shamans try to do with their order of shamans. The caste system was probably in ruins in Europe, and many « freelance operators » had appeared.

The catholic church is responsible of other important innovations : she put an end to the « original sin », the sin to be born in flesh, which lead all men and women to have a debt from birth to repay. The son of God died once and for all to wash away our sins. In the same time, this was the end of the practice of human sacrifice at different moments of the year to appease the gods, and – yes – wash away the sins of the tribe. And it was this very same catholic church that preserved – and probably created – many of these worldwide myths that we currently study.

Michael Hudson is an academic in the field of economics. David Mathisen quotes him to put the blame on the roman catholic church for the creation of feudality and slavery for debt. But this is the kind of society in Babylon, ancient Rome, Old Testament and – I would add – the order of the Knights of the Temple. This is precisely what the roman catholic church, Paul at first, was willing to overcome. Though clearly the church hides the spiritual teachings from view precisely while she pretends to give full access to the secrets to each and every one of us.

We are used to say that traditional societies did not view death as a taboo, while the modern world tries to forget about it in an insane way. But maybe while doing this, we project upon them the virtues we think are lacking inside of us. Many ancient societies viewed the birth on this Earth as the original sin, and the planet as a purgatory. We are the fallen angels, we are the morning star that crashed upon Earth (Lucifer aka Christophoros). So when a myth as Ragnarok speaks of the end of a golden age and a global cataclysm, he conveys the signification of the end of life in the realms of the divine (where the stars do not set) to an incarnate life. More on this soon.

We can feel there are lies spread concerning the modern history of the church. We are told that the roman catholic church forbid to read the Bible. Which Bible ? The Geneva Bible in english is one of the first to have a year of publication in the second part of the 16th century. In catholic Brittany, every catholic family had one or several bibles at home in the 20th century. We are told that the roman catholic church cast fear upon the people with the original sin. But in the gospels, Jesus washes it away for ever (with the condition to believe in him, but this condition is not so hard to fulfill for the roman church).

We are told that the Reformers wanted to be free to read the Bible for themselves, in a kind of « democracy » as we like it. But they believe that salvation is only for the elected ones, the ones that share the gift of the grace given by God to believe in him. And this belief is proven by the wealth of the person ! Jesus for them washed away the original sin for ever for the rich ones. The poors had to give up the sin of birth to welcome the sin of being an unbeliever.

As the canonic literature is proven to be gnostic in essence, could what we call « gnostic literature »  be proven to follow such a set of constellations ? I believe that yes, it can. But what is possible is that the set is not exactly the same, maybe a prior one.

Another point that I do not agree with is the importance given to the phenomenon of precession of the equinoxes. Following the opinion of Giorgio de Santillana et Hertha Van Dechend, the authors of the famous book « Hamlet’s mill », David Mathisen suggests that the end of the « golden age of the gods », or the end of the next age of heroes came through another constellation rising in the east at dawn at the equinox of spring. This is described in words of a worldwide cataclysm. I shall say my arguments against this statement :

  • A change of the constellation rising at the equinox does not put an end to nothing in real life. Comets are more likely to be feared

  • The « ages » of the zodiac suggest that each age remains for a time equal to 2160 years, as a portion of 30° of the sky, corresponding to the the size of a constellation. But 30° is the place the « sign » occupies in a tropical zodiac, when the real constellation has been replaced by the houses they represent. The real constellations of the zodiac are of different sizes. Some are very large as Virgo, and some smaller, as Cancer.

  • The exact size of the constellations have not been given prior to the 19th century, and there were debates and revisions even at the beginning of the 20th century. I was impossible for prior civilizations to know where a constellation started or ended

  • Old lore speak of ages that end in cataclysms. Sometimes ancient astronomists show a knowledge of precession. There is absolutely no basis in texts that prove that the ages end when precession leads to a change of the constellation rising at dawn at the equinox of spring. And most of the times, old astronomists do not know of the phenomenon of precession, or widely fall off the mark. The « Great year » in Egypt is 1400 years long, far from the real value of a precessional age : 2160 years. The expressions « Age of Taurus », « Age of Aries », etc. have been popularised in the 19th century by occultist authors

  • A zodiac is at first linked to a calendar. All the ancient calendars are tropical (and even lunisolar), which means that they follow the course of the sun in one year, not the stars. The only « sidereal » calendar, which could suggest an interest for the change of place of the stars, is the egyptian « sothic » calendar. I have shown that Sothis has been mistaken to be the star Sirius, but it is the constellation of Taurus. This means that the « sothic » calendar is in fact the tropical and lunisolar calendar of Nippour.

  • A precessional cycle is unnecessary to provide an explanation to the « cycle stories ». A yearly cycle is enough.

It is much more logical to conclude that the name of twelve constellations were chosen to represent the twelve « houses » of 30° that complete the circle of 360°, but that they were never meant to be identical. The slipping of the constellations could possibly help us to calculate the time when the zodiac we now use was drawn.

But this suggests that men use the same zodiac from a time immemorial, and a calendar where the years are very close to a gregorian modern solar year. This is not the case : the muslim year, the jewish year, the celtic, the greek and the nordic year used to be made of months starting at a full moon or a new moon. With twelve months they approach a solar year (355 days for a jewish year) and additional months are needed, either added by observation of the skies, or by the use of a system, as the metonic cycle (seven years among the 19 years cycle are given an additional month). It can be proven beyond doubt that France used the hebrew calendar before 1582 and the introduction of the gregorian calendar. That is what all the books from the epoch say, except the liar Scaliger.

In these lunar calendars, the current sign of the zodiac is often the one that appears at dusk in the east, and not at dawn. The Pleiades, near Taurus, are the sign of Samonios (near november) in the celtic calendar, not may or april. This would be illogical as the constellation of the month would appear and immediately disappear as the sun rises. I suggest that an important constellation for the month would be seen well this very month. So when the gregorian calendar was put in place, the zodiac system had to be reversed.

There is no basis in the old calendars to speak of an Age of Gemini, that would be the Golden Age, when Gemini had its heliacal rising at the equinox of spring, because this kind of « heliacal rising » at dawn are unknown to observers of the lunisolar calendars.

Though this is a clever assumption made by the authors of Hamlet’s mill. It is clearly proven in this book that the Milky Way is the bridge (or tree, etc.) by which the deceased one reach the « undying stars » at the top of the stellar sky, or even where they dwell, as the orphic and pytagorean teachings seem so say. This is the channel by which the shaman access to the other realm too. The authors quote Macrobius when he writes that the souls ascend through « the gate of Capricorn » (which they suggest to be Sagittarius, the constellation at the foot of the Milky Way) and descend through the « gate of Cancer » (Gemini, at the top of the column). Alvin Boyd Kuhn say that one equinox would code for incarnation and the second one for death. And this is precisely the problem because in order for both ideas to be right, Gemini or Sagittarius must be the « sign of the equinox » (true in modern astrology only), and the reason why good communication could only happen in the golden age of Gemini.

Well, how did we do since ? The first statement is right, the second one is not. Clearly, there is a time in the year coding as the time for incarnation, and the opposite point of the year is the time of death. But these points were not the equinoxes : they were at Samhain and Beltaine in the celtic world, Tishri and Nisan for the jewish cult (which are closer to the equinoxes than their celtic counterparts). And while some civilizations are very literal – as the dead will rise to the other realm precisely at these moments of the year – most of them consider an allegory, as the dead shall not wait for Samhain to journey to the heavens. Quite possibly the opposite is true : the feast would convey the idea that the dead come to visit us and incarnate, as incarnation is the real « death ».

The Golden Age is not depicted at the Age of Gemini, anywhere in the greek texts. It is a time when the stars did not set nor rise, revolving « like a hat upon the head ». This is a realm where the stars are eternal, so it is the realm of the souls, not the time when we had easy access to it. This is the realm of Cronos and other dying gods/sleeping gods when they represent the soul that descend into the flesh (not precession !). This Golden Age can be allegorized with two other pictures : the stars that can be seen inside the arctic circle (they do not rise nor set), and the stars in the upper part of the sky (which do not rise or set either).

The egyptian Book of the dead speaks of a « confusion of years, disturbing of months ». How is this supposed to code for a precession of the equinoxes when the calendar is lunisolar, not stellar ?

« The sign of thy coming and of the end of the world », « the sign of the Son of man in the sky » in Matthew is Aquarius. This is the sign that is associated with the first month of the year in the system of Eudoxus. This is the end and the renewal of the solar year. And why suddenly is this not Gemini, if it is a precessional reference ? This « end of the year » in Aquarius can be a reason why the action in the Ragnarok episode goes in the direction of the Great Square of Pegasus/ Pisces, then go backwards many times in the story.

The numbers thought to be precessional (432 000 warriors come to battle from Vallhala at Ragnarok), 72 henchmen with Seth to murder Osiris, 10 800 bricks for the building of the altar of Agni, 108 suitors in the palace of Odysseus…) are in close relation to the 360° cycle, as fractions or multiples of 60 or 12. Yes, 72 is close to 71,6 years, the time for the precession to reach 1° of sliding. But was the circle of 360° made upon this 72 ? I don’t think so.

The scraps of nails cut from the dead warriors to build the ship Naglfar, the scraps of leather cut from the shoes of the warriors that makes the shoe of Vidarr, bits of precession ? In a lunisolar year, I prefer the fraction of a lunar month that is necessary to complete a full solar year, about ten days after 355 in the regular year, not a full lunar month of 29 or 30 days.

A darkened sun, water that replaces ground (some stars that were under the line of horizon replace some other stars that can be seen in summer), a displacement of the stars, all of this can be related to an end of the year in winter, soon to be followed by a new sun reborn. This is not true of the end of an Age of Gemini. If the connexion with the realm of the gods has been lost due to the end of the time when Gemini was the sign of the equinox, then this was a long time ago and not soon to be seen again. There is no renewal to hope.

Has the Bifrost bridge (the Milky Way) been broken because of the precession of the equinoxes that brought a loss of the connexion between our realm and the realm of the divine ? If it is the end of the Age of Gemini that is depicted, the channel has been lost a long time ago and is not soon to come again. Though a breaking of the Bifrost bridge is clearly suggestive of a loss of the ability to reach the realm of the dead. What I suggest is that at the beginning of a new incarnate life, or at the beginning of a cycle of incarnate lives, the connexion between the two realms is really difficult, quite impossible. The soul has to recall herself in order to rebuild the connexion, piece by piece.

The end of the world happens in many myths because divine beings – angels in the Bible, Titans in the greek myths, Aesir in the norse myths, etc. – have broken some limits or laws. The end of a golden age comes when an angel (a soul) comes to incarnate. This is precisely the same template in the Bible, when the incarnation of Adam and Eve is said to be « the original sin ». And this is why in all these ancient cults, man is born with a debt from birth, in order to repay for his original sin. The deluge and all kinds of coming of a great mass of water or episodes of drowning, as David Mathisen have many times shown, are symbols for the incarnation. This is not an allegory of the precession of the equinoxes !

All these episodes depicting a « mass incarnation » are describing a worldwide catastrophe. Possibly this is the view all these ancient cultures had upon life on earth, as the Cathars or the reformed christians in the 16th century (which are not reformed christians at all, but old fashioned catholics) had. And there is a good possibility that the civilisation of the « norse myths » shared this mind. To « honor the gods » was seemingly a synonym for « fight the enemy with bravery and face death without fear ». This is a bit of true and a lot of false morals, similar to the exoteric interpretation of every lore. We are very far from shamanic abilities made available to each and every one. And far from the modern neo-shamanism where earthly experience is valued as a school for the soul.

There was another important sin besides the original sin to be born in flesh in these ancient cultures : it was the mortal sin. This one was synonym only to sorcery. A murderer could be prayed for. A sorcerer not. Mathisen tells us precisely this regarding the old german civilization.

It is suggested that all these shamanic practices were common in former times, and that we lost these abilities when our ideologies became more materialistic. This is not true : the 21st century western people possess far superior abilities to connect to the invisible realm than the people who lived in the old times and even than the more traditional societies. Our spiritual bodies are far larger, which can make the mental or the astral trip available to most of us while the shamans were rare in the old societies. It can be a reason why some rulers try to make us busy with meaningless jobs, and a lot of entertainment.

-- The above review and analysis is by Didier Lacapelle, writing in his site: Theognosis

Meet the Gods in the Stars, Part 2: Aquarius

Meet the Gods in the Stars, Part 2: Aquarius

I've just posted a new video entitled "Meet the Gods in the Stars, Part 2: Aquarius" as a follow-up to the previous video, which was also entitled "Meet the Gods in the Stars" and which focused primarily on the constellation Hercules and some of the gods and mythical figures of the Infinite Realm whose characteristics we understand by seeing the visible stars of Hercules in the heavens.

The goal when making this latest series of videos is to keep them short and focused.

Nevertheless, despite its relatively short length, this new video examines some deities not previously discussed in any blog post, book or video thus far, including the goddess Ganga of India and the  somewhat hermaphroditic god Hapi of ancient Egypt.

The constellation Aquarius is an extremely important celestial figure, and hundreds of other connections could be discussed in addition to those touched upon in this video.\

The gods and all the figures of ancient myth, from virtually every culture on our planet, can be seen in the stars of the infinite heavens.

The ancient wisdom imparted to our ancestors in remote antiquity as a precious inheritance is as necessary today as it has ever been -- perhaps even more necessary. We can go to the ancient sources themselves to hear the message they want to tell us, but in order to do so, it is most helpful to listen to them in the language that they are actually speaking: the language of celestial metaphor, the language of the stars.

Know the stars -- Change the world.

The Truth is Up There.

Meet the Gods in the Stars

Meet the Gods in the Stars

I've been thinking about ways to make some shorter videos for those who may prefer to see a more focused topic than a twenty- or thirty-minute video that covers more ground but which also takes longer to watch.

Here is a new video entitled "Meet the Gods in the Stars," showing some of the figures in ancient myth who are associated with the constellation Hercules.

The gods and all the figures of ancient myth are seen in the stars of the infinite heavens. You can see them for yourself, but only if you know the outlines of the constellations -- and as this video demonstrates, the outlines of the constellations continue to be deliberately obfuscated, as if to prevent us from seeing the truth, that the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories are built on a world-wide foundation of celestial metaphor.

We can meet the gods ourselves if we learn how to listen to the myths in the language they are actually speaking: the language of the stars.

Seeing the Star Myths: Capricorn, Aquarius and the Southern Fish

Seeing the Star Myths: Capricorn, Aquarius and the Southern Fish

I've just posted a new video entitled "Seeing the Star Myths: Capricorn, Aquarius and the Southern Fish."

This is the fifth in a series of videos aimed at improving our "constellational literacy." Most men and women have a difficult time seeing the connections between the myths and the stars (or even understanding what I mean when I say that the world's ancient myths and scriptures are based on a system of celestial metaphor) because most people cannot actually draw out the shapes of the major constellations or even envision in their minds, due to the general obscuration of the system of outlining the constellations that was used by the ancient sages who gave these myths to humanity.

In this video, we examine some extremely mythologically-important constellations, and discuss their relation to a few ancient myths -- including the story of "Doubting Thomas," which was explored in some detail in previous blog posts including:


This is the fifth video in the "Seeing the Star Myths" series. Previous videos are linked below:


Please feel free to leave feedback and to share the videos with those who might find them helpful, and I hope they will help you to confidently locate Capricorn, Aquarius and the Southern Fish in the night sky for yourself -- perhaps for the first time!

September 11, 2018

September 11, 2018

Above is a video documentary which was recorded in summer of the year 2004, entitled "The Great Conspiracy," featuring Canadian journalist Barrie Zwicker which presents some of the most damning analysis of the lies in the official explanation of the events surrounding the mass-murders perpetrated on September 11, 2001 of any documentary that has been produced to date.

If you have not previously watched this video from start to finish, you should watch it in its entirety.

Even if you do not agree with all of the conclusions that the documentary suggests regarding motives or perpetrators, the evidence that is laid out in this video is absolutely devastating to the official storyline of the events of September 11, and absolutely devastating to the credibility of the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report which was published on July 22, 2004.

The incontrovertible facts presented about the complete lack of air defense response (including a total absence of military interceptor aircraft), the additional detail and facts surrounding the infamous photo-op visit of the president to the Florida elementary school while the mass-murders were taking place, the flatly inaccurate statements presented in the official report which are contradicted by the facts, and the universal failure of the supposedly free press to critically examine these failures and inaccuracies (a failure in the conventional media which continues to this day, so many years later) reveal quite clearly that the ongoing official narrative of "9/11" is a lie and a fraud.

"The Great Conspiracy" totally demolishes the official narrative based primarily upon those lines of investigation, and does so for the most part without even resorting to the physics-based evidence surrounding the freefall-speed collapse of the twin towers into their own footprints, as if fires could somehow instantaneously and simultaneously vaporize the 110 floors in each tower and all the reinforced steel holding up those floors, and the even more damning evidence surrounding the freefall-speed collapse of WTC Building 7 (also supposedly due to fires), which was a 47-storey reinforced-steel skyscraper which was not even struck by any aircraft and which must obviously have been destroyed by controlled demolition. 

That additional "architectural and engineering" evidence is equally devastating to the fraudulent official narrative of the murderous events of that day, and if you have not seen David Ray Griffin's discussion of this evidence, you can see one of his presentations on that line of investigation here, and at the bottom of that same post you can see a discussion by Barbara Honegger regarding serious discrepancies in the official narrative of the Pentagon attack of September 11, 2001 as well.

One of the strongest aspects of Barrie Zwicker's "Great Conspiracy" documentary is the film's examination of the historical context of previous false-flag attacks which have consistently been employed to whip up public support for launching illegal wars of aggression, as well as to create "states of emergency" to falsely "justify" the elimination of civil liberties and the increase in surveillance and control over the domestic population.

Another of its most important points is made by researcher and author Webster Tarpley during a video clip which begins at approximately 0:35:00 in "The Great Conspiracy." During his presentation, Mr. Tarpley makes the assertion that the "indispensable ingredient" in such a false-flag operation is the corporate-controlled media (this assertion begins at 0:37:37 in the video). The media is required, he explains, in order to "pound the official version of the events into the minds of the people, and to smooth-over the inevitable absurdities, contradictions, impossibilities, and so forth of the official story."

This role of the controlled media in propagating and sustaining the fraud in the face of all evidence to the contrary cannot be emphasized enough. The importance of this point simply cannot be overstated. 

The continued widespread (and largely unquestioning) acceptance of the false official narrative, and the continued repetition of that narrative in the media, along with the simultaneous suppression of the glaring "absurdities, contradictions, and impossibilities" of that same official story by the media themselves, right up to this day (seventeen years later), should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the media dutifully plays this role in the "western world" and that its representatives will lie shamelessly when directed to do so.

As we approach the seventeenth anniversary of those world-changing mass murders, which launched illegal wars of aggression costing millions of lives, and which led directly to the gross and ever-increasing infringement of Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and liberties, it is absolutely imperative that we educate ourselves to the fullest possible extent regarding the facts of the September 11th attacks, which have been and continue to be used as the central and unquestioned argument for all of the ongoing illegal wars of aggression, illegal surveillance of the citizenry and illegal violation of the rights, freedoms, and privacy of men and women.

It is absolutely imperative that we wake up to the duplicitous and unrepentant lies of the corporate-controlled media, and to their role in shamelessly suppressing the truth regarding events such as the murders of President John F. Kennedy, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and the mass murders of September 11, 2001.

It is absolutely imperative that we avail ourselves of information and evidence that is presented by conscientious researchers and analysts through various outlets, including YouTube videos but also through alternative media platforms such as Global Research and others like it (while exercising our own critical thinking to assess the evidence and arguments presented). I have previously recommended (see here and here) going back and listening to just about every archived interview of  Bonnie Faulkner's Guns & Butter, and I would continue to recommend doing that if possible (once again while exercising your own critical thinking to assess the evidence and arguments presented).

Gathering data from a wide array of viewpoints and a wide variety of researchers, journalists, and authors is the only way to possibly assemble any hypotheses regarding the big picture of what is going on.

Finally, I would argue that it is absolutely imperative that we understand the remedy available through democratic governance for the redress of criminal conspiracies and the prevention of illegal wars of aggression. I personally do not agree with those who (primarily from a "libertarian" or even anarchist point-of-view) argue for getting rid of, or at least radically diminishing, quote-unquote "the government." 

To the contrary, I would point out that a democratically-elected government which is following and upholding the principles enshrined in, for example, the Bill of Rights, is probably the best way to address the media monopolies and the blatant infringement by tech giants upon the rights to free speech and "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects" that we have seen accelerating since September 11, 2001 -- as well as for reining-in and reversing the egregious militarization of the police which has also been accelerating since the launch of the so-called "War on Terror" following the mass murders of September 11th. 

In fact, I would argue that such a democratic government, backed by a well-informed and educated populace, and upholding the principles articulated in the Bill of Rights (as well as the many anti-trust laws and laws such as the Posse Comitatus Act, which are already on the books and which were won by the generations which went before our own), would be among the few things that criminal cabals and conspiracies fear the most -- which is why their manipulation of the people through the controlled mass-media is the "indispensable ingredient" in their fraudulent schemes, and why educating men and women (as well as the children of the upcoming generations) in these subjects and rights is an absolutely critical project and one which we should all adopt as our responsibility to ourselves, to the men and women around us, and to those young people who are depending on us for the future they will inherit.


We need to Wake up and Focus on Neoliberalism

We need to Wake up and Focus on Neoliberalism

I've just published a new video entitled "Focus on Neoliberalism."

Smug video commentators are pointing to the crisis in Venezuela and saying "That's what happens with socialism: eventually you run out of other people's money to redistribute." 

But those who use that talking point are displaying ignorance about economics, while obscuring the ideology that is actually destroying Venezuela: Neo-Liberalism. 

Neoliberalism is causing tremendous suffering to millions of men and women and children in Venezuela, but the problem is even worse than that because neoliberalism is running amok in many other parts of the world, with horrendous results. 

The fact that you rarely even hear this word mentioned in the popular media or in social media is a strong indication that those who promote neoliberal policies (and benefit from them financially) would prefer that you don't understand it, or even know that neoliberalism exists. And they deliberately teach outright mis-information and lies in economics textbooks at all levels, so that most people are unaware of how money is actually issued and what policies could actually benefit the wealth of nations and the individual men and women in those nations.

Many of those who promote neoliberalism would actually label the policies that led to the exponential growth of the wealth of the united states in previous decades as "socialism," and they have been actively dismantling those policies since at least the 1980s, and burdening future generations with crushing debt to obtain necessities (such as an education) which their own generations were able to obtain without taking on such debt. 

But they'd much rather tell you to focus on "socialism" so that you don't focus on the real problem -- and the real solutions which are possible, and which are not even that difficult to implement.

I would argue that neoliberalism is actually part of a centuries-long (and in fact millennia-long) campaign "against the gods." As I have explained in previous posts such as this one and this one,  neoliberalism can actually be characterized as "neo-feudalism." Feudalism is a form of exploitation and oppression and appropriation which surfaced in Europe following the imposition of literalistic Christianity and the suppression of the ancient wisdom given to humanity in the world's myths and sacred stories.

My most-recent book focuses on the Norse myths, the record of which is primarily preserved in two texts from the land of Iceland -- a country which in recent years has been hit very hard by the negative effects of neoliberalism. Not long ago, I wrote a blog post about the story of Thor's visit to Olaf Tryggvason (a story which also comes to us from an Icelandic author, writing about 200 years after the conversion of that country to literalist Christianity), in which the subject of the oppression of the people -- and the fact that the gods always stand ready to help put an end to such oppression -- plays a central role.

I would argue that the issues we see playing out today are actually part of an age-old struggle. Part of that struggle includes the imposition by some of a false mentality of scarcity -- and thus it is perfectly understandable that proponents of that false mentality want to cut men and women off from the awareness of the Invisible Realm, the realm of the gods, which is actually the infinite source of all the blessings and resources we enjoy in this seemingly-material realm of this incarnate life.

We need to wake up and become aware of this reality. The ancient myths which were given to every culture on our globe, at some time in remote antiquity, stand ready to help us reconnect with the wisdom that is the precious inheritance of every man and woman, even to this day and in this modern time.

Special guest article: the festival of Onam

Special guest article: the festival of Onam

 image: Vamana, an avatar of Vishnu, taking his three tremendous steps which measure the entire cosmos, and in the process sending King Mahabali of Kerala to the netherworld. Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Vamana, an avatar of Vishnu, taking his three tremendous steps which measure the entire cosmos, and in the process sending King Mahabali of Kerala to the netherworld. Wikimedia commons (link).

Note: My most recent book, Star Myths of the World, and how to interpret them, Volume Four: Norse Mythology, was officially published on August 1st of this year, although it is still taking some time to make its way to all the various book-selling channels and book-stores. Just a few days after its official publication date, and well before any actual copies of the book could have made their way to local book-sellers here in the united states, let alone to book-sellers in India, I received an email from an interested reader in Kerala, India, who had noticed many celestial aspects within the traditional annual celebration of Onam, which is particularly associated with Kerala and which is akin to Chinese Lunar New Year in its significance to the Malayali community in India and around the world. 

Intriguingly enough, the ancient mythical foundation of Onam, which the festival commemorates, each year involves an encounter between a powerful Asura, Mahabali (a beloved king who ruled Kerala during a mythical Golden Age) and the deity Vishnu -- and I had actually discussed some of the aspects of this Vishnu myth in the chapter on Ragnarok in this recent book on Norse mythology, without even being aware of the festival of Onam which is connected with this particular myth and which is commemorated every year among the people of Kerala.

The following essay, written by Kamala Nayar of Kerala, India, was sent to me on August 6th, and I was planning to post it during the month of August during the traditional celebration of Onam (which typically spans ten days and which would have been observed beginning on August 15th this year), along with commentary and perhaps some photos from this year's festival, but the state of Kerala was devastated by historic floods which caused the observation of Onam to be canceled or at least postponed and greatly restricted this year (see this previous post).

In this essay, Kamala provides arguments linking aspects of this annual festival to the sun's annual passage through Leo and Virgo during the Malayalam month of Chingam (which corresponds to the August-September period), and gives some insight into rituals and traditions associated with this complex and extremely significant traditional celebration. 

I have edited Kamala's original text only lightly -- at the end of the article, I will provide some additional observations based on my understanding of the celestial language of the world's Star Myths and thoughts about some aspects of the festival in light of my own experience in studying the system of metaphor which forms the foundation of myths and sacred traditions around the world and which certainly seems to be involved in the structure underlying some of what takes place each year in the celebration of Onam.

During the text of Kamala's article, I will have occasion to interject a couple of comments to note points where I might suggest a different celestial interpretation -- I will place these "editor's notes" within brackets [brackets], in italics, and will explain more fully in my own comments on Onam which will follow Kamala's article.

The connection between the world's myths are remarkable, and overwhelming in their abundance and richness. Here we find a celebration in Kerala, India which has as its mythical origin an episode involving the god Vishnu which has strong connections to episodes in Norse mythology (as well as to other important Star Myths from other cultures around the world). 

These connections, I am convinced, are due to the fact that the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories can be shown to be built upon a common system of celestial metaphor. It is apparently a very ancient system -- there is no need to believe that the culture of the Norse in far northern Europe and the culture of the Malayali in southern India were in direct contact with one another at some point. It is far more likely, I believe, that their ancient myths and sacred traditions descend from some common predecessor culture, probably of extreme antiquity and now forgotten and unknown to conventional history, as do the myths and sacred stories of virtually every culture around the world.

It is fascinating to me that Kamala would be moved to write to me about the celestial aspects of the Onam festival (which I did not know about) but which celebrates an episode involving Vishnu which I did write about in Star Myths of the World, Volume Four: Norse Mythology, just a few days after the publication of that book (which discusses the "three steps" of Vishnu in relation to specific aspects of the Ragnarok accounts, some of them suggested in a 1965 article by Georges Dumézil which is referenced in the book), and before Kamala or anyone else could have known that my book discussed this episode in the sacred stories surrounding the god Vishnu. 

Below is the essay by Kamala Nayar:


"Chingam: When the constellation Leo heralds the mother goddess wielding the sickle"

by Kamala Nayar          August 6th, 2018

Chingam, the first month of Malayalamera resounds with festivity and gaiety in the small south Indian state of Kerala, popularly known among the people as "Gods own country." Chingam, which corresponds to the period of English months from early August till early September, is the reminder of the arrival of the bountiful harvests from the lush green rice fields that once upon a time sprawled throughout the state. Although at present agriculture has dwindled to a great extent in Kerala, there is still no dearth in the rejoicement of the harvest festival "Onam" that falls during this month. It is the festival of bounty produced by the seeds sown during the middle of May, with the first fall of rains and which nourished by the heavy rains during the following months attain their full elegance, through the bounty of the land. The prosperity of this month is considered as a precious boon from Mother Earth for the hard work rendered on her soils. In return, as a mark of gratitude to Mother Earth (addressed as "Amma"), many offerings were traditionally made from the harvests -- usually in the form of rice puddings, since rice is the main staple crop of Kerala. 

There is more to describe about this significant month of the Malayalam calendar, called Chingam, which is pronounced in a way that sounds like yet another Indo-Asian word: Simham, meaning "Lion". The etymology of Simham, when analysed, reveals its common usage in many of the Indo-Asian countries, particularly in Indonesia, for the majestic animal that holds its head high; including in the name of the small prosperous country, Singapore. One wonders what prompted the ancient people of Kerala to name the first month after this proud king of the jungle: was it because it is the foremost among the animals, even though Kerala has always been home to tigers in the Sahyagiri region from very ancient times, rather than lions? What, then, might be the reason behind the choice of this animal's name for the month?

Let's turn to archaeo-astronomy to help crack the puzzle of the naming of this prime month of the Malayalam calendar after the lion. Astronomy certainly influenced the day-to-day activities of our Malayalam ancestors. In Kerala the Malayalam calendar from very ancient times appears to connect the names of the months to the constellation in which the sun is traveling during that period. Thus during the period of Onam which marks the harvest of the staple crop -- rice -- the sun reaches the constellation "Leo". It is therefore evident that our forefathers shared the same knowledge of stars and constellations with people of other cultures such as Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Morrocans, and even Mayan, even through the dark ages when communication between different parts of the world was very negligible. 

 A constellation is an apparent configuration of stars when seen from Earth, formed in a pattern with mythological associations. Though it appears to have been recognized by the ancient Egyptians, the constellation of Leo was first catalogued in a surviving text by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century, along with all the other constellations of the zodiac. 

Leo is a star formation resembling a crouching lion facing westward. It has a distinctive head and mane formed by a sickle-shaped set of stars with bright Regulus, marking the handle of the sickle. The sickle of stars looks like a reverse question-mark and the star Regulus serves as the handle of the sickle. Behind the sickle, toward the horizon in the east, three stars form a small triangle that marks the rear of the Lion. Leo has always been associated with the Sun and was thought to regulate the seasons. 

Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesopotamians had a constellation similar to Leo as early as 4000 BC. The Persians knew the constellation as Shir or Ser, Babylonians called it UR.GU.LA (“the great lion”), Syrians knew it as Aryo, and the Turks as Artan. Babylonians knew the star Regulus as “the star that stands at the Lion’s breast,” or the King Star. This evidence reveals that the leonine outline of the constellation Leo was well known to the different ancient cultures in an age when communication is conventionally held to have been absent between different regions of the world.   

Goddesses who wield the sickle

The sickle shape of the constellation is very interesting in this context particularly due to the sickle's association with agriculture as a tool for harvesting rice and other cereals. Could there be any link between the constellation's sickle-shape and its association with ancient farming rituals? It is in this context that the role of religious deities in ancient agriculture is important. 

Many cultures around the world, including in ancient India, associated goddesses with natural phenomena such as fertility, the harvest, rivers, mountains, animals, and the earth itself. On account of the importance of the harvest in sustaining the people, gods of agriculture were highly revered from very ancient times as these earth gods were believed to bring fertility to the fields of their worshipers. Prominent among these goddesses were Demeter, Ceres, Aphrodite, Parvati, Innana, Ishtar and a long list of others. They were mostly "goddesses of grain" who shared kind and benevolent qualities -- the Roman Goddess of agriculture, Ceres, is the typical of them. She was invoked on a daily basis as the true nurturer of humanity, and revered to such an extent that the Romans had a common expression "fit for Ceres," which meant "splendid." 

Thus agriculture around the world was often associated with a female divine element, and this association is reflected in Indian villages as well, which historically have been primarily agriculturally based. Female deities of the villages are referred to as grama-devatha, meaning "goddess of the village." These female deities of the village often display fickle and fiery temperaments, while the male village deities, when present, are often worshipped as subordinate to the goddess, and whose role is primarily the protection of the village from outside forces. In many stories about the origin of a female deity of the village, she is described as once being a mortal woman, to whom injustice is done and whose wrath then unleashes her power, and causes her to take on a Goddess form. Her worship then might serve as a reminder to uphold ethical standards, and might serve to instill the fear of being punished otherwise. The grama-devathas are considered to be the guardian deities of the village and the local places where they are worshipped. 

The less localized Hindu Gods such as Siva and Vishnu are more universal and "idealistic" Gods, taking care of the Universe as a whole, and only descending to Earth in times of desperate need, perhaps once in thousands and thousands of years. The grama-devathas, on the other hand, are considered to be the villagers' own deity, concerned solely with the welfare and day-to-day needs of the local people. And the fact that grama-devathas are not specific to religion or caste makes their worship open for all. Perhaps it is these grama devathas who were later consecrated in the famous Bhadrakaali temples of India. 

Now, a common feature noticed in all these deities or grama-devathas is the sickle they carry in their hands and this sickle symbolizes harvest. The tool is believed to have a dual purpose, harvesting  physical crops or human souls. As mentioned previously, these female dieties were understood to guard the prosperity of the villagers and also to unleash punishment for an injustice meted out upon the devotees of the goddess, and these devotees are primarily the local women. This power of the "sickle" is portrayed in Goddesses of agriculture world over, as seen in Goddess Artemis who also wielded the sickle both for harvest as well as in her role as Virgin Huntress of retribution. In fact the ancient agricultural model, Ceres, is portrayed holding a scepter in one hand and a basket of flowers, fruits and grains in the other. Her name has become the root word for cereal, describing all manner of grains.

Is it possible that the sickle that represents Leo's head also connects to the one that the revered "Amma"or Mother Earth holds in her hand, as is seen in her images? 

The Hand that holds the scythe mounts the lion

There is no doubt that the mother goddesses or grama-devathas in India are depicted as holding the sickle, and we have already seen that the stars of the constellation Leo contain a sickle-shaped outline in the night sky. Thus, the fact that goddesses in India are also frequently depicted as mounted on the king of beasts, argues that these goddesses are closely associated with Leo, and that the sickle may thus connect to the same constellation as well. The association with lions is especially notable in the deities of the north Indian temples, perhaps because the lions in the northern regions are portrayed as a symbol of prosperity or strength an are referred to as Sakthi. The most popular monument is that of  the goddess Durga Mata who came riding the fearsome lion on the occasion to slay the the vile demon Mahishasura. Clearly, then, goddesses in India can be shown to be connected to lion imagery and thus likely to Leo.

It’s quite noteworthy that this powerful beast was also the bearer of Goddesses from many other ancient cultures throughout the world. David Mathisen, for example (2012), has discussed various manifestations of the Great Goddess and their association with lions, citing numerous examplesof images from various cultures. Many goddesses in mythology are described as riding on a lion, riding in a chariot that is pulled by a lion, or sitting on a throne flanked by lions. In ancient Greece, the goddess (or Titaness) Rhea was often shown seated on a throne flanked by lions. The same goddess known as Cybele in Anatolia or Phrygia (often called the Earth Mother) was also associated with lions and closely identified with Rhea by scholars. The Babylonian goddess Ishtar was also closely associated with lions, and the Ishtar Gate features lions. The Sumerian goddess Inanna is often identified with Ishtar and thus would be associated with lions as well. 

four serpents 01.jpg

Mathisen further explains that if we take a look at the sky chart above, we can see  that the the large and important constellation of Virgo, the Virgin (Kanya in the Indian language) is rising behind Leo. He discusses that in spite of the great volume of literature written about these extremely important goddesses in the ancient world, very few historians appear to make the connection of the fact that Virgo following Leo probably accounts for the image of the goddess either riding in a chariot pulled by a lion or riding on a lion herself.

In the great temple at Hieropolis, the Syrian Goddess Atargatiswas supported by lions and she held a scepter in one hand and a spindle in the other (Johanna Stuckey, 2009). August is shared by the astrological signs of Leo the Lion and Virgo the Virgin, and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Ceres, the Corn Mother, Demeter, Lugh, and all goddesses who preside over agriculture (Witches Of The Craft -- Lammas).

Goddesses and antelopes

Many goddesses in mythology are therefore connected to agriculture as symbolised by the sickle and sheaves of grains they hold -- and their association with lions seems to portray their strength, justice and connection with prosperity. The association of goddesses with antelopes, however, particularly in India, requires further analysis.

Apart from the connection to the lion, archeological depictions and rituals of ancient cultures of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and other parts of northern and southern India portray goddesses flanked by a deer or antelope. Goddess Durga also has a black buck as her vahana or "vehicle," as indicated in the Tamil Thevara hymn (Pathikam 921) that praises Durga as Kalaiyathurthi, or "the one who rides a deer". 

In Tamil Nadu, the blackbuck (Kalaimaan) is considered to be the vehicle of the Hindu goddess Korravai [6][7]. Korravai (Korṛawai) or Korravi was the goddess of war and victory in the ancient Tamil pantheon. She was considered the mother of Murugan, the Hindu god of war, now the patron god of Tamil Nadu,[1]. The earliest references to Korravai are found in the ancient Tamil grammar Tolkappiyam, considered to be the earliest work of the ancient Sangam literature. Korravai is identified with the goddess Durga, especially in early iconography where she is presented as fierce and bloodthirsty. Harvest and war were important aspects in the life of the ancient Tamils and they worshiped Korravai for the success in both the fields and upon the battlefield. Later Korravai was adopted into the Hindu pantheon and connected to the goddesses Durga, Kali and Parameswari.

At the Mukteshwar temple at Bhubhanehwar in Orissa, a goddess is depicted as dancing on a black buck (10th century) and this goddeess dancing frantically on the antelope's back is reminiscent of the southern martial goddesses of victory Korravai. In Tamil Nadu, the connection between the blackbuck (Kalaimaan) and the goddess Korravai is indicated in the stone carving at Mamallapuram, where the goddess is seen flanked by both an antelope and a lion.

So the association of the antelope with the grama-devathas or goddesses of agriculture needs to be analysed. Could there be a connection to the goddess's role in farming rituals?

When Goddesses ride through the seasons

In Greek mythology the Horae were the goddesses of the seasons. They were originally the personifications of nature in its different seasonal aspects, but in later times they were regarded as goddess of order in general, and of natural justice. Traditionally, they guarded the gates of Olympus, promoted the fertility of the earth, and rallied the stars and constellations. The course of the seasons was also symbolically described as the dance of the Horae, and they were accordingly given the attributes of spring flowers, fragrance and graceful freshness. 

The story of how the four seasons came to be, originates with Demeter, the Greek mythological goddess of the harvest. She was the goddess who blessed the earth and made sure that everyone had a great harvest. However, according to the stories, whether or not the harvest would be good depended largely on her moods. The myth of Demeter and Persephone explains the origins of the seasons. Demeter is assigned the zodiac constellation Virgo the Virgin by Marcus Manilius in his first century Roman work Astronomicon. In art, the constellation Virgo is often depicted holding Spica as a sheaf of wheat in her hand and sitting beside the constellation Leo the Lion.

During the month of August, the Great Solar Wheel of the Year is turned to Lammas, one of the four Grand Sabbats celebrated each year by Wiccans and modern Witches throughout the world. Lammas marks the start of the harvest season and is a time when the fertility aspect of the sacred union of the Goddess and Horned God is honored. This union may help in our analysis of the antelope connections among goddesses in India.

A parallel symbolism of seasons can be observed in the ancient culture of Kerala based on the extensive research which highlights that many of the goddesses of the Kerala region, who are now enthroned in grand temples, were in previous times local village deities (gramadevathas) who -- like Demeter, Ceres and Ishtar -- were worshipped for protecting their crops. With the encroachment upon rice fields and other agricultural lands due to urbanization, the goddesses were enshrined in larger abodes which became the present popular temples such as those at Kodungalloor, Atukaal, or  Chottanikkara. The main deities of all these temples, Bhadrakali or Kali Devi are therefore closely linked with seasons as indicated by the annual festivals and associated rituals which are celebrated mostly during the Malayalam months from Kumbmam through Meenam and up to Medam (corresponding to English months from mid-February through mid-May). The Malayalam month Kumbham which coincides with the lapse of winter, marks the initiation of productive phase in plants, when they get ready for fertility soon after their hermitage in the previous period of chilly nights. 

According to Nair (2016) when the Sun reaches at the tenth degree of  the constellation Aries (pathamudayam in Kerala -- late April of the Medam month corresponding to spring in Europe), it is a festive occasion in many of the Bhadrakali temples of Kerala, especially in the villages which were the once rice bowls of the region. On this occassion a kanyaka (virgin) carries the sacred antler of a deer in the belief that Goddess Parvathi is riding on the antelope. The temple where the antler is worshipped in reticence is opened only on the eve of pathamudayam to facilitate the annual ceremonial offering -- puja and ponkala -- to the Goddess of the temple, after which the temple remains closed during the rest of the year.  This day on pathamudayam when the temple is opened is very auspicious as the sun passes on this day into Aries at the vernal equinox, a solar event that is believed to be an appropriate time for commencing rice cultivation. It is on this day that farmers plough a few yards and sow a pinch of paddy seeds to mark the begining of the agricultural year following which the seeds sprout and the rice plants flourish in the seasonal monsoon showers that unfailingly visit the region during that time of year.

The sun's entry into the constellation of Aries in Medam (the corresponding Malayalam month) thus marks the begining of the advent of the glorious Sun up the starry vault of heaven to reach His golden throne during Chingam (mid-August to early September) in the constellation of Leo, when  rice is harvested from the fields, thus paving the way for a sumptuous Onam (Nair, 2016). 

Therefore the ceremonial procession of the gramadevatha or Goddess Bhagavathy mounted on an antelope may reference the zodiac sign Aries (associated with the symbol of a horned ram), during the patahmudayam in Medam. Aries transports Her through the forthcoming seasons, finally to see her mount the Lion during the harvest of rice in the month of Chingam which represents the constellation Leo; while the benevolent Sun smiles at Her all the time. So we see the  transition of the Goddess from zodiac sign Aries, on the antler / antelope which may be an ancient ritual of worshipping the agricultural cycle, because according to Nair (2010), the antler was the first plough to be used by the ancient people of India [editor's note: I will present some discussion following this article upon the possibility that the antler in these traditions and rituals represents a constellation other than Aries]. And then at last the kanya or virgin arrives for the grand festival of Kerala, Onam, during the month of Chingam Singam, when she has finally reached the constellation of Leo. The rise of Virgo closely following Leo was celebrated in many other ancient cultures as seen in the association of Demeter and Lammas Sabbat with this time of year, thus revealing the importance of the goddesses in ancient agriculture.

The mingling of the seasons with Mother Earth can be seen clearly through these rituals and ceremonies of the goddesses or grama devathas. Mother Earth after her hibernation during the chilly nights of the Makara season of the Malayalam calander  (mid-December to January) gets ready for her productive phase in Kumbham season (February to mid-March) when she is anointed with much pomp while the festivity continues up to the Meenamseason (March to mid-April ) with the arrival of Vasantham (spring). 

During Medam (early May) the fields are getting ready with the first ploughing on the auspicious day of pathamudayam, which is symbolised by the virgin gramadevatha, often represented in traditional ceremonies by a young girl who has not attained puberty, crowned by the antler, who is taken in a ceremonial procession. The antler, reminiscent of the first tool to be used for ploughing, is kept as an object of worship in certain temples. 

Following the ceremonious ploughing and land preparation, rice (the main staple crop of Kerala) is sown in the fields during early period of the Malayalam month Edavam (mid-May) with the rains arriving to nurture them during mid-Edavam (late May to early June) and taking them to maturity. The crop then becomes fertile as the rain recedes and the wind dances briskly among the stalks during Mithunam to Karikkidam seasons (late June to mid-July). By this time the productive earth stands proudly adorned by golden sheaves rustling in the strong breeze and thereafter the smiling sun takes her hand to start his ascent towards the constellation of the king of beasts, the Leo, where we see the shy Virgin Mother Earth joining the radiant sun in a waltz of seasons, as the constellation Virgo rises closely behind Leo.     

Thus the puzzle of the "Lion" after which the harvest month Chingam is named, its association with the benevolent Mother earth who is also the Mother of Agriculture as a  symbol of prosperity or harvest, and the question of association of the antelope or deer with its elegantly branched antlers which was apparently used as a plough by the first farmers of our fields, are all answered, while from above, Heavens blesses the virgin mother who has become productive with the arrival of the Chingam-Kanni, corresponding to the English months from early August to early September. Only the question of sickle remains to be answered as to whether the sickle outline found in Leo's is connected to the harvesting tool used by women in agriculture and symbolized in the depictions of the gramadevathas and goddesses, holding them in their hands. 

So with renewed awareness of our connection to generations stretching back for thousands of years, and their connection to the cycles of the heavens, we can get ready to welcome the arrival of the Virgin Mother of Earth crowned by antlers and riding on her mount, the king of beasts, towards the constellation of Leo, as we prepare to celebrate the festival of Onam during the month of Chingam.


1.    Horae  in https:/en Horae

2.    JohannaStuckey (2009)  Beltane Vol.8-3

3.    Koravi. http Durga-Korravai.jpg

4.    Mathisen (2012). The Mathisen Corollary-January 2012, MatriFocus –Cross-Quarterly For the Goddess Woman

5.    Nair, V.S. (2016). History-Straight From The Horse’s Mouth; The State Institute of Languages, Kerala pp.268


My comments on this subject:

I am grateful to Kamala Nayar for her insights into the festival of Onam.

In fact, this important festival (the existence of which I was previously unaware) is absolutely overflowing with connections to the worldwide celestial system which underlies the Star Myths of many other cultures, including the myths of ancient India.

The time of year surrounding the point of the September equinox is associated in the ancient system of celestial metaphor with the soul's plunge out of the realm of spirit and into the "lower realm" of the   incarnate condition. Note, for instance, that the famous Eleusinian Mysteries of ancient Greece (whose origins stretch back far into the centuries prior to the "classical" period) were also celebrated at this particular season each year (around the beginning of September), and were closely associated with the goddesses Demeter and Persephone, as well as with the understanding of our situation during this incarnate life as a soul that has been plunged into the lower realm, taking on a body.

The festival of Onam is traditionally associated with the legend of King Mahabali, who was a benevolent ruler of a mythical Golden Age in ancient Kerala. Concerned that Mahabali has acquired too much power, Vishnu takes on his avatar of the dwarf Vamana, and attends a great sacrifice festival which Mahabali is holding as a means of consolidating and demonstrating his great earthly power. 

Disguising himself as a mendicant holy man, Vamana requests a boon from the king, which was customary at such formal rituals. Mahabali asks what boon Vamana would have Mahabali give, and Vamana requests as much land as Vamana can cover in three paces. Amused, Mahabali grants the wish, at which point Vamana (who is in fact the god Vishnu) grows to enormous size and begins to take his three universe-encompassing strides.

With the first step, Vamana covers the entire earth. With the second step, he strides across the heavens. For the third step, the king offers his own head, and Vamana steps upon it, sending Mahabali to the underworld. 

Thus, the prosperity of the Golden Age is ended -- but Mahabali is permitted to return once each year, at the festival of Onam, during which the abundance of that mythical time is again celebrated, with feasting, ritual dances, decorations of flowers, the wearing of new clothes, and other similarly symbolic activities.

I am convinced that this myth, which has echoes in myths found around the world (including in Norse myth, as discussed in my latest book) has a celestial origin. This celestial origin, in fact, explains the many parallels of this important episode. 

As touched upon in my latest book, the various avatars of Vishnu (and the other gods of ancient India) often relate to nearby constellations in the vicinity of the constellation most commonly associated with that god. This pattern, in fact, is similar to the transformations of the god Zeus in Greek myth, for example -- Zeus is most closely associated with the constellation Hercules in the heavens, but he takes on different "avatars" during different mythical episodes, often while in the process of seducing mortal women, such as when he takes on the form of a Swan (see the nearby constellation of Cygnus), or the form of a celestial shower (the nearby column of the glorious Milky Way itself), or even the form of a Bull (during the abduction of Europa).

Similarly, the various avatars of Vishnu can be shown to be associated with various different constellations (some of which are discussed in Star Myths of the World, Volume Four: Norse Mythology). The avatar of Vamana, which is the dwarf avatar of Vishnu, is almost certainly associated with the constellation Hercules, a constellation which can be shown to play the role of a dwarf in many myths from around the world, including the god Bes of ancient Egypt, as well as dwarf-figures in the Norse myths (also discussed in the new book).

Note that the constellation Hercules appears to be taking mighty strides across the heavens -- and that indeed the forward leg of the constellation (as outlined by H. A. Rey) appears to be stepping on the "head" of the constellation Ophiuchus, just as Vamana steps upon the head of Mahabali in the Vishnu mythology:

four serpents 01.jpg

See again the image of Vamana stepping upon the head of Mahabali in the image at the top of this post. Below is another depiction of Vamana stepping upon the head of the king:

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Note that the banishing of a benevolent figure (often one associated with a Golden Age) to the netherworld for a period of time (but with a promised return) is an extraordinarily important and widespread mythical pattern. The authors of Hamlet's Mill (1969) spend some time tracing out this myth pattern around the globe, and note that it is found in the story of the Titan Kronos (banished to the underwater cave of Ogygia by Zeus), and the myth of Saturn, of Jamshyd, of Osiris, of King Arthur, of Prometheus, and of many others (we could also add the descent of Christ to the underworld for a period of time before returning).

The banishing of the benevolent king or ruler of the Golden Age to the underworld has important parallels to our own condition in this incarnate life -- as Alvin Boyd Kuhn explains throughout his masterful 1940 text Lost Light, the image of the god sleeping beneath the waves (for example) is a figure of our own slumbering divine spark, buried within our incarnate body which is composed primarily of the lower elements of earth and water (the mortal "clay"). See for instance pages 159, 182 and 564 through 567 of that text.

The festival of Onam, and the myth with which it is associated, thus reminds us of the reality of this "sleeping divinity" -- and of the multitude of blessings which are available when we reconnect with that Infinite channel. We have, in fact, access to unlimited abundance in our connection to the divine realm, although most of the time we live and act as though we do not.

The association of the festival with the local goddess and with the harvest, which are highlighted in Kamala's article above, are also extremely important. The goddess in these rituals is clearly associated with the constellation Virgo, who is associated with the time of harvest and with the plunge down into the "lower half" of the year which takes place at the fall equinox (the sun passing through the sign of Virgo just prior to the point of September equinox). The sun's descent into the lower half of the year was also associated with the descent of the divine spark into the "lower realm" of this incarnate life.

It is very noteworthy that Kamala points out a connection between the goddess and a horned antelope, in addition to the fairly well-established connection between the goddess and the lion (which can be seen in ancient artwork from many cultures). Kamala suggests that this may indicate a connection to the zodiac sign of Aries, and while that is a possible explanation, I believe that it is much more likely that the nearby constellation of Centaurus is being indicated in these myths and rituals. The constellation Centaurus is located in the immediate vicinity of the constellation Virgo, and (as I first discussed in my 2014 book The Undying Stars and in all of the Star Myths of the World books since then) can be envisioned as a great stag with sweeping antlers just as easily as it is envisioned as a Centaur. 

The constellation Centaurus (especially in its role as a deer or stag) is closely associated with Virgo in many world myths, including in the story of the sacrifice of Iphigenia (ancient Greece), as well as in the Native American myth of the Old Man and his Daughter. I would argue that it is very likely that the connection between some of the goddess figures of India and the antelope or blackbuck which Kamala Nayar discovers in her article, as well as the rituals and worship involving antlers (and in one case, a virgin carrying or wearing an antler or antlers) find their foundation in the constellations Virgo and Centaurus (as does the myth of the goddess with the Horned King, to which Kamala also makes reference in her article).

These connections which Kamala has found are very important. 

There are many more celestial connections in the Onam festival which could be profitably explored -- enough, in fact, to fill an entire book. Most will have to await examination and discussion at another date. However, we should briefly mention another traditional aspect of the Onam celebration with echoes in many other cultures: the serpent boat races, or Vallam Kali. The shape of these boats is reminiscent of the great war canoes (or waka) of the Maori, and the sleek ocean-going canoes of the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest. They are also reminiscent of the famous Viking longships, the dragon boats used in festival races in the Chinese culture, and even of the reed boats used by the Indigenous people of the Lake Titicaca region, and the ships buried at Giza in Egypt and depicted in ancient artwork from the Egyptian civilization.

Below are snake boats used in India for the traditional Kerala snake boat races:

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

I would argue that these boats may also reflect a celestial original: the constellation Scorpio, which can be shown to play the role of a boat or ship in many myths around the world, from the myths of ancient Japan to the myths of the ancient Norse. The constellation Ophiuchus, which almost certainly plays the role of King Mahabali as discussed above, stands directly above Scorpio, and in some myths is envisioned as standing in the "boat" or "ship" formed by Scorpio (when Scorpio is envisioned as a boat or ship).

Finally, the Onam festival features elaborate costumes in which men and women dress up as gods and goddesses -- and indeed take on their identities. It can be shown that many of the characteristics of these costumes (and the deities they represent) have celestial origins and connections to specific aspects of certain constellations. 

A detailed examination of each of these costumes and deities could easily fill an entire book. Some of them are more difficult to decipher, but others are quite self-evident. Perhaps the most important point to make about the parading deities who appear during the Onam festival is the message that Onam (like other ancient rituals and festivals around the globe) reminds us of our connection to the divine realm, and indeed our own inner divine spark. Many previous posts have explored the concept, depicted in the ancient myths, that the gods stand ready to help us, and even to "act through us," if we are attuned to their presence.

The modern world, it seems, wishes to sever the connection of men and women to the Infinite Realm, the Invisible Realm, the realm of abundance and pure potential, the source of all blessings . . . the realm of the gods. But the ancient myths, and the world's surviving ancient festivals, remind us of our connection to that realm, and remind us that even if the divine spark is "banished" to the netherworld (which, as Alvin Boyd Kuhn would argue, represents this lower realm of the incarnate life), there is the promise that the sleeping divinity will return or re-awaken.

We have access to that abundance, and the world's ancient myths -- and rituals -- point us towards that truth.