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Procession of the gods, part three

Procession of the gods, part three

If you're inclined to rise up early in the morning to drink in the glorious lineup of the five visible planets in the pre-dawn sky, you only have a few more mornings on which to do so during 2016.

I definitely encourage everyone to try, if it is at all possible to do so. For best results, you'll need a good unobstructed view of the eastern horizon (if there are hills, buildings or trees in the way of your view, you may need to plan a route to a better observation location, if possible).

Mercury and Venus are now both continuing their way around their tight solar orbits and as they do so, they "sink back" closer to the rising orb of our sun and will soon be lost in its effulgent brightness. By the end of this week, Mercury will no longer be visible above the horizon prior to the sun's appearance, no matter how good of a terrestrial observation point you have available to you.

Above is a diagram showing the lineup one more time, if it can be of help to you in your efforts. There are many sites on the web which can also give you good instructions for identifying each of the five visible planets before dawn, such as this article on Sky & Telescope's site, and this discussion from their "This Week's Sky at a Glance" page.

Most sites giving you instructions on how to find the morning lineup, however, will not give you much discussion of the spiritual significance of this phenomenon, and how it can have direct and positive messages for our daily lives.

In the diagram above, I have included the names of the deities associated with the planetary powers, from the myths of ancient Greece. Other cultures and mythologies around the globe had different names for the gods and goddesses, of course, but it is extremely noteworthy that the attributes and powers associated with the "different" gods and goddesses in different parts of the world can be seen to have clear resonances and correspondences with one another.

In the diagram above I have also added labels for a few bright stars and constellations which can serve as landmarks when you are locating the five visible planets, and also can help you to distinguish between a bright star and a planet (note that the planets don't generally appear to "twinkle" the way the stars do, just as the moon does not "twinkle" when we see it in the night sky). 

In the diagram, I have labeled Arcturus, the bright red-orange-tinted star in the heart of Scorpio. The awe-inspiring shape of the massive Scorpion is rising almost straight up in the southeast in the predawn hours, and if you can recognize the Scorpion and Antares, you can easily locate the planet Saturn to the east of it (left if, as in the above diagram, you are looking south from an observation point in the northern hemisphere).

I have also labeled Spica (in Virgo) and Arcturus (in Bootes). These two stars are often familiar to those who know the saying "follow the Arc to Arcturus (and continue the same arc to drive a spike to Spica)" or some variation of the above. The "Arc" that the saying is describing is the sweeping curve that is suggested by the handle of the Big Dipper -- continue that arc on past the end of the handle and it will sweep you right into the red-glowing star of Arcturus, or Hokule'a (see previous post on Hokule'a, here).

In the above diagram, I have also given the ancient Greek name of the god or goddess associated with each planet: Zeus (Jupiter), Ares (Mars), Kronos (Saturn -- and there were other important Greek gods associated with Saturn, but the Titan Kronos can certainly be argued to be one of them), Aphrodite (Venus), and Hermes (Mercury). I have also added an arrow pointing to the glow coming from the pre-dawn sun (Helios, and also associated with the god Apollo, although they are distinct entities).

As we have seen in many previous posts, one teaching found in the ancient wisdom across many different cultures around the globe is the knowledge that the individual actually has access to the invisible realm at all times, and that gods and goddesses can and do appear instantly when called upon in certain situations -- appearing instantly, I believe, because they were present all the time, or because the individual's internal access to the infinite realm is in fact always present. See for example the previous discussion entitled "Why divinities can appear in an instant."

That this same knowledge was understood in conjunction with the divinities of ancient Greece is quite evident from an examination of any of the bodies of sacred mantras or hymns of the ancient Greek civilization such as the Homeric Hymns or the Orphic Hymns. In these ancient poems, the speaker addresses one of the divinities and extols his or her specific characteristics, powers, and areas of greatest action, and then -- in almost every case -- request that the god or goddess come now, or at least hear the prayer and act now.

An outstanding new translation of the Orphic Hymns, by Professor Aposotolos N. Athanakassis and Benjamin M. Wolkow, published in 2013 (first published in 1977, and available in a new and updated edition), is well worth adding to your library, if you are interested in those ancient hymns to the divine powers.

Some sample lines from hymns addressed to the five gods and goddesses you can see together in the predawn heavens over the next few mornings are included below, but better is to read each hymn carefully and thoughtfully, in its entirety, if possible.

15. "To Zeus" (selected lines)

O king, you have brought to light

divine works -- 

earth, goddess and mother,

the hills swept by the shrill winds,

the sea and the host of the stars,

marshaled by the sky.

Kronian Zeus, strong-spirited god,

the thunderbolt is your scepter,

father of all,

beginning and end of all,

earth-shaker, increaser

and purifier, all-shaker,

god of thunder and lightning,

Zeus the sower.


65. "To Ares" (selected lines)

Ever bespattered with blood,

you find joy in killing in the fray of battle, O horrid one,

your desire is for the rude clash

of swords and spears.

Stay the rage, stay the strife,

relax pain's grip on my soul,

yield to the wish of Kypris,

yield to the revels of Lyaios,

exchange the might of arms

for the works of Deo,

yearning for youth-nurturing peace,

bliss-brining peace.


13. "To Kronos" (selected lines)

Everlasting father

of blessed gods and men,

resourceful, pure and mighty,

O powerful Titan,

you consume all things

and replenish them too.

Unbreakable is the hold you have

on the boundless cosmos,

O Kronos, begetter of time,

Kronos of the shifting stories,

child of Earth, 

child of starry Sky.


55. "To Aphrodite" (selected lines)

Everything comes from you:

you have yoked the world,

you control all three realms,

you give birth to all

to everything in heaven,

to everything upon the fruitful earth,

to everything in the depths of the sea,

O venerable companion of Bacchos.

[. . .]

Come, whether you ride your swan-drawn chariot

over the sea's billows,

joining the creatures of the deep

as they dance in circles,

or on land in the company

of the dark-faced nymphs

as light-footed they frisk

over the sandy beaches.

[. . .]

Come, O beautiful,

O comely goddess,

I summon you with holy words,

I summon you with a pious soul.


 28. "To Hermes" (selected lines)

Hear me, Hermes,

messenger of Zeus, son of Maia,

almighty in heart, lord of the deceased,

judge of contests, 

gentle and clever, O Argeiphontes,

you are the guide

of the flying sandals,

a man-loving prophet to mortals.

A vigorous god, you delight

in exercise and in deceit.

Interpreter of all you are

and a profiteer who frees us of cares,

who holds in his hands

the blameless tool of peace.


9. "To the Sun" (selected lines)

Hear me, O blessed one,

eternal eye that sees all,

Titan radiant as gold, 

Hyperion, celestial light,

self-born, untiring,

sweet sight to living creatures.

[. . .]

A paragon of justice,

O water-loving lord of the cosmos,

you guard pledges and ever the highest,

you do help all.

Procession of the gods, part two

Procession of the gods, part two

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The preceding post contained some discussion and encouragement to go out and observe the dazzling lineup of planets now appearing like fairly closely-strung jewels along a beautiful necklace that brings all five visible planets into view in the pre-dawn sky.

At the time of that publication, Mercury was still too close to the sun to really be visible prior to sunrise (that post explained why we always have to look fairly close to the sun in order to see Mercury, visible either just ahead of the sun before sunrise, or just behind the sun after sunset). Now, however, as the swift-footed Messenger of the Gods speeds on his course around the sun, he is reaching the "corner" on his track that brings his "elongation" or distance from the sun as seen by an observer on earth to an angle that is making this small orange-red planet increasingly visible in the morning hours before sunrise (see the diagram in the previous post linked above to see how Mercury's swift path is now taking him to the point of "rounding the corner" where the planet is easiest to see).

In addition to Mercury's becoming visible, another goddess has also entered the picture: the Moon, which is now just passing the point of Full Moon and is presently positioned at the "head of the procession" in the sky, and will begin a stately walk all the way down the line to pass each of the planets in turn.

This will happen because the Moon's orbit around our earth makes her "lose ground" on the sun on each successive night as we go through the month, so that the sun seems to "gain on" the Moon and "pass up the Moon" or "lap the Moon" each month at point of New Moon.

Because of this phenomenon -- of the Moon being "caught" or "passed" each month by the sun, the Moon will be seen to be further and further east at the same time on each successive night, which means that as you go out to observe the five visible planets now lined up in fairly close array (beginning with Jupiter, then Mars, then Saturn, Venus, and Mercury just ahead of the sun), the Moon will be moving along this line beginning with Jupiter and moving towards the rising sun, passing them each in turn.

Right now, the Moon is ahead of Jupiter. On successive nights, she will pass by the rest of them, waning further and further into a crescent until the point of New Moon:

The image above shows the situation at present (note the date-time bar at the bottom right). The nearly-full Moon is just east of Regulus (we are facing South from a location in the northern hemisphere) and ahead of (west of) Jupiter. As we go along at the same time each night (this is actually early morning, prior to sunrise) the Moon will pass by Jupiter, then Mars, then Saturn (already waning to a sliver) and then Venus as New Moon arrives:

Above is an image from before dawn on the 28th of January. The Moon has proceeded to walk past Jupiter (to the east of Jupiter). The Moon is orbiting along a path that takes her towards the sun as she hurtles around the earth (the Moon is flying from right to left on her orbit, as we look at the above image).

Below is an image from before dawn on February 1 -- as the waning Moon passes the planet Mars:

And one more image below, as the Moon (now a sliver) passes just above Saturn on the 3rd of February. Note that the time is slightly later -- allowing Venus and Mercury to both rise well above the eastern horizon before the sun pops up:

So, we can now say that the "procession of the gods" which was discussed in the previous post has grown by two additional deities: Hermes or Mercury (previously not visible prior to sunrise, but now visible if you have a clear view of the eastern horizon, and becoming more and more visible as we move into February) and the Moon, anciently associated with Artemis the twin sister of Apollo (Apollo being associated with the sun, although these relationships and associations were somewhat complicated).

If you have the opportunity to go observe this beautiful and awe-inspiring lineup, and watch as the Moon moves through the procession towards the sun, then it is worth contemplating as you do so some of the characteristics anciently associated with Artemis. In particular, she is a goddess who is supremely devoted to the protection of women and children. She is also closely associated with childbirth and was anciently understood to be the one who permits and presides over every birth.

In the Orphic Hymn number 36, "To Artemis," these aspects of the goddess are expressly evoked:

Hear me, O queen,
Zeus' daughter of many names,
Titanic and Bacchic,
revered, renowned archer,
torch-bearing goddess bringing light to all,
Diktynna, helper at childbirth,
you help women in labor,
though you know not what labor is.
[. . .]
Orthia, goddess of swift birth,
you are a nurturer of mortal youths,
immortal and yet of this earth [. . .]
come, dear goddess,
as savior to all the initiates,
accessible to all, bringing forth
the beautiful fruit of the earth,
lovely peace,
and fair-tressed health.
May you dispatch diseases and pain
to the peaks of the mountains.

translation from the excellent edition by Professor Apostolos N. Athanassakis.

The unwavering consistency with which the goddess can be seen to protect women and children in the ancient sacred myths should cause us to consider how much importance we ascribe to this same consideration.

In particular, when we see the degree to which women and children even (or especially) in the present modern global economy are exploited to provide sweatshop labor in the making of "inexpensive" clothing and many other goods (stories of which are reported again and again through the years, without ever seeming to make much difference -- see for instance herehere, and here among dozens and dozens of others along the same lines), we should ask ourselves why we are not as solicitous and as fiercely devoted to the protection of women and children as the goddess Artemis encourages (and admonishes) us to be.

To Leucotheia: Epiphany 2016

To Leucotheia: Epiphany 2016

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

In the Odyssey of Homer, Odysseus is frequently saved by divine intervention, often by a goddess (Athena especially), but in one important instance by the goddess Leucothea (or Leukothea), a sea goddess who was once a human woman.

Having, by the intervention of Athena, been released from his many years' captivity on the island of Ogygia, Odysseus makes his way across the sea in a raft he has fashioned himself -- but he doesn't get far before Poseidon notices him and, infuriated, sends a mighty storm which churns the waves into mountains and unleashes powerful winds roaring from all directions.

Odysseus is washed from his deck and nearly drowns, but the poem tells us that someone noticed him:

Ino, a mortal woman once with human voice and called
Leucothea now she lives in the sea's salt depths,
esteemed by all the gods as she deserves.
She pitied Odysseus, tossed, tormented so --
she broke from the waves like a shearwater on the wing,
lit on the wreck and asked him kindly, "Ah poor man,
why is the god of earthquakes so dead set against you?
Strewing your way with such a crop of troubles!
But he can't destroy you, not for all his anger.
Just do as I say. [. . .]
Odyssey 5. 367 - 376, translation of Professor Robert Fagles (discussed here).

A shearwater is a long-winged ocean bird: the goddess is compared to a shearwater two times in the Odyssey, once in the passage cited above, and again in line 389 when after speaking with Odysseus (presumably in the form of a woman, as she gives him her scarf to tie around his waist for protection), she again disappears into the storm-tossed seas, in the form of a shearwater.

In light of the fact that Leucothea is a goddess who was once a mortal woman, it is extremely interesting that she is described as appearing to Odysseus in the form of a bird. 

In the New Testament accounts of the event known as the Epiphany (celebrated after Twelfth Night, and discussed in this previous post from a year ago), the divine nature of the Christ is revealed in the form of a dove , at the moment of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.


The Epiphany is a recognition of the divine hidden nature -- the goddess Leucothea was once a mortal woman but is now a goddess. 

The symbolism in each case involves a bird and the immersion in water (or the pouring of water upon). The parallels are striking, and argue that the same celestial pattern

is being clothed in different metaphors in the different cultures or sacred traditions. The celestial foundation for the Baptism in the Jordan are discussed in the post linked above from a year ago -- and the celestial foundation for the Odyssey event likely involves many of the same figures.

In the Orphic Hymns, ancient mantras for the invocation of the divine, used by those initiated into the Orphic Mysteries, there is a hymn to the goddess Leucotheia (Hymn 74). Each Orphic Hymn specifies the type of incense to be used when meditating upon that particular hymn and the divinity who is the subject of the hymn -- in the hymn "To Leucotheia," the incense to be used is "aromatic herbs."

In the excellent translation of Professor Apostolos N. Athanassakis, Hymn 74 (which he spells "To Leukotheia") reads in part:

I call upon Leukothea,
daughter of Kadmos, revered goddess,
mighty nurterer
of fair-wreathed Dionysos.
Hearken, O goddess,
O mistress of the deep-bosomed sea,
you delight in waves,
you are the greatest savior to mortals [. . .]

The hymn proceeds to make specific requests to the goddess, to come to the aid of all those upon the sea -- but note that in the passage cited above, she is addressed as "the greatest savior to mortals" without qualification (the hymn does not say "to mortals who venture out to sea" or "mortals who sail in ships" -- it says "to mortals"). 

Later on, the hymn describes her as a savior especially of those at sea, but the hymn begins by calling to Leucothea as the greatest savior to mortals without qualification -- and I believe that is because the sea was anciently used as a metaphor for this incarnate life (when we are plunged down into a human body which is, as we are frequently told, made up primarily of water, and when we cross the lower region of the great cycle, the realm of the lower two elements, massy earth and salty water, as opposed to the realms of air and fire above through which the sun, moon and stars travel and were used by the ancient myths to convey truths about the realm of spirit).

Alvin Boyd Kuhn, who wrote at length regarding the metaphor of the sea as the incarnate condition, through which we toil (a "crossing of the Red Sea," he called it at more than one point), argues in Who is this King of Glory (published in 1944), that the name of the New Testament character Pontius Pilate (under whom the Christ suffered) is suspiciously similar to the Greek word pontus, meaning "sea" (as in the Hellespont). He argued that the name originally came from words meaning "dense sea" -- the dense "sea of matter" in which we are immersed when we come down from the realm of spirit to inhabit a body. 

This connection has been vigorously disputed by those who reject Kuhn's proposed origin of the name of Pontius Pilate, but the linguistic similarity, at least, does seem difficult to dismiss entirely, and conceptually the idea appears to be worthy of at least some consideration.

In his discussion of the significance of the sixth of January (as the day of the revelation of the divinity hidden in the incarnate Christ) beginning at about page 250 of that book (in the original pagination), Kuhn discusses the possible symbolism of the day, and then beginning on page 252 begins to explore the significance of the crossing of the Great Deep. He argues that this is how we should understand the phrase in the Apostles' Creed:

"he suffered under the dense sea, was crucified, dead and buried." "Dense sea" would have been merely a euphemism, familiar to all in Mystery Ritual custom, for "he suffered under the limitation of dense matter" -- a shorthand expression in Mystery language. 253.

Note also that in artistic representations of the Baptism of Christ (shown in several examples in the blog post on Epiphany linked above), the hand gesture that the Jesus figure is almost invariably depicted as making is one of "palms together" -- the very mudra (sacred hand gesture) used in India and other related cultures and traditions for the namaskaram or namaste greeting, a greeting which literally means a recognition of the divinity in another person, and in oneself. 

It is also the same hand gesture which is traditionally used when saying Amen, a word which is also the name of the Hidden God in ancient Egyptian sacred mythology: Amun or Amen.

And note, of course, that in virtually all of those depictions of the baptism scene, in which that hand gesture is used, the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove is shown at the top of the painting. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Jesus figure in the paintings almost invariably wears only a sash around his waist.

Which brings us back to the scene in the Odyssey, in which the goddess rescues the long-suffering Odysseus, as he crosses the stormy sea. It is only by her aid that he is able to survive the storm. 

This tells us something about our own present condition: in fact, I believe that all these incredible details in the inspired ancient wisdom imparted to humanity in the form of myth were put there to teach us, not about the adventures of a cunning warrior returning from the Trojan War (as fascinating as his story is) but about the adventure of each and every human soul in this dual material-spiritual cosmos in which we find ourselves right now, in this life.

Leucotheia is a goddess who was born a mortal woman. The myths are in fact filled with stories designed to show that, although we do not realize it, we all have a divine component within us. And Odysseus cannot negotiate the Great Deep of this incarnate life without the help which comes from somewhere beyond the material realm, and to which (as he demonstrates throughout the epic) he has unique access.

But, as the Orphic Hymns show us, we also at all times have access to the same infinite realm. The Orphic Hymns typically begin with a call to the god or goddess in question to come and be present, and that is not just a literary device but a request that was made with the expectation that it could be instantly granted.

"Last-minute" gift ideas?

"Last-minute" gift ideas?

With the December solstice only a few days away, all readers have undoubtedly finished all their Christmas (or other appropriate holiday) shopping, but for those who may still be trying to come up with that last gift idea, I would suggest that anyone could hardly ask for more this holiday season than to receive his or her own copy of one of the ancient sacred texts of humanity.

You may agree with me that a copy of the Mahabharata belongs on every bookshelf -- perhaps several copies of the Mahabharata, since there are many different translations, and there is also the original Sanskrit for those who enjoy learning new writing systems and languages and reading texts in their original format.

Above is a link to an abridged retelling of the Mahabharata by Krishna Dharma, which I believe has much to recommend it.

A complete English translation of the massive original epic (which is over seven times longer than the Iliad and Odyssey, combined) is also available online, by Kisari Mohan Ganguli, published towards the end of the nineteenth century. While it does contain some anachronistic language (most notably the use of the older forms of the second-person personal pronoun, such as thouthee, and thine, and of the verb forms which go along with them, such as wilt and hast and so on), it also has a great many virtues, including a lively style and a true appreciation for the spirit of the text, and most importantly its completeness.

However, if you want to actually put the entire Ganguli translationon your bookshelf (twelve volumes), it is fairly expensive to do so. It is also probably a rather daunting read for those who are not already dedicated Mahabharata fans. Therefore, one of the abridged retellings is probably a better place to start, and I believe that the Krisha Dharma version linked above is a good start (there are several others as well, each with its own strengths and weaknesses). Those who fall in love with this epic can then explore other retellings and translations, perhaps acquiring the entire Ganguli translation, and perhaps even venturing into the Sanskrit as well.

The other great Sanskrit epic is the Ramayana, and here again Krishna Dharma has an outstanding retelling, which moves along briskly, conveys the majesty of the legendary setting and ancient culture, brings out the depth of the characters, confronts the deep questions of duty and consciousness present in the text, and provides much to meditate upon and consider for what it has to tell us about our own journey through this incarnate life.

If anyone you know does not have a physical copy of the Ramayana in his or her home library, this retelling would certainly be a welcome addition, in my personal opinion.

Continuing with the theme of ancient epics that belong on every bookshelf (if practicable), and can by themselves provide years and years worth of profitable reading and re-reading, contemplation and meditation, the great Homeric epics of the Iliad and the Odyssey have never been translated into the English language so magnificently, perhaps, as they have been by the late scholar of ancient Greece, Professor Robert Fagles.

I personally had the opportunity to meet Professor Fagles and hear his thoughts on the power and personal relevance for each and every one of our lives of these great epics attributed to Homer, as well as to teach his translation of the Odyssey at the college level to young cadets at the US Military Academy back in the early part of the last decade.

Some of my colleagues who had been there in the English Department at West Point before I arrived also had the opportunity to teach the Iliad, and although I did not actually teach the Iliad to students, I can attest that the translation of the Iliad by Robert Fagles is moving, powerful, and worthy of reading in front of the fireplace late into the night, with frequent pauses to ponder the impact of the ancient wisdom which can be found on every single page.

Reading the Iliad, one is presented with the undeniable evidence of Peter Kingsley's assertion that the "original instructions" have been tragically lost somewhere in the ancient history of "western civilization." Here, you will find a worldview in which the realm of the gods is understood to be both an extension of and intimately intertwined with the ordinary reality upon which our consciousness is usually focused. 

And you will have occasion to wonder at those Seers described as skilled in interpreting the flight of birds, and where along the timeline of human history that knowledge may have been lost (and if it somehow survived). Perhaps you (or the one to whom you give this ancient text as a gift) will never look at a passing dove or hawk or sparrow or vulture quite the same way again!

But as much as I do love the Iliad, and as much as I believe it has to teach us right now even in this most modern moment of the present day, I have always loved the Odyssey even more, even from my pre-teen days.

I have had several "favorite versions" of the Odyssey through the years. Before Professor Fagles published his translation, I think the W. H. D. Rouse translation was the first one that I read, followed by the Robert Fitzgerald translation, but the Fagles translation of the Odyssey has to be the superlative English translation (in my opinion), and it also has the great advantage of being a verse translation of what is, after all, epic poetry.

Having access to multiple translations can never be a bad thing, of course, and this recommendation should not be interpreted as a criticism of other translations: but if it is at all possible, I personally believe that every home should have a copy of the Fagles translation of the Odyssey (unless that home's occupants are fluent in another language, of course, in which case there may be better translations in other languages upon which I am not qualified to comment). It has to be the next best thing to being able to read the original ancient Greek (which of course would be the best option, but certainly not a trivial undertaking).

So, those are a few "ancient wisdom" ideas for last-minute gift-giving assistance, if anyone is still wondering. You should be able to obtain any of those from a variety of different bookseller options, including your local neighborhood bookstore.

Another option, not exactly an ancient text although it does offer some commentary upon the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, as well as offering examples and instructions from the Vedas and especially the Upanishads, is the classic Light on Yoga (Yoga Dipika), by B. K. S. Iyengar.

This text is probably very familiar to anyone who is already a practitioner of Yoga, but even those who are not (or who are "not yet") may be very grateful to have access to its clear and compelling explanation of the practice and purpose of Yoga, which goes far beyond the practice of the asanas (as important and as beneficial as those can be). 

From its outset, the book explains that Yoga is a system given to humanity which teaches "the means by which the jivatma can be united to, or be in communion with the Paramatma, and so secure liberation (moksa)" (19). In other words, its aim is to facilitate the connection between the "individual human spirit (jivatma)" and the "Supreme Universal Spirit (Paramatma or God)" (19).

Reading the lucid explanations of Yoga's role in this pursuit, one who does not already follow the path of Yoga may experience a strong inclination to start!

In one passage in Light on Yoga, while discussing the concept of

Aparigraha ("not hoarding or collecting" -- one of the five principles of Yama), we read:

Just as one should not take things one does not really need, so one should not hoard or collect things one does not require immediately. 35.

This passage, perhaps, suggests another "last-minute gift idea" we might consider at this winter-time of giving and receiving gifts: the idea of giving away things we no longer need, or do not require immediately, or generally helping those in need even if we do not know them personally.  

This particular virtue (of "not collecting") is not one that I myself am especially good at, but the spirit and teaching of Light on Yoga has certainly spoken to me on this subject, and caused me to think about doing more to give away those things that I "do not require immediately." 

In any case, the above "gift-giving" ideas are offered as possibilities in the category of gifts that contain a breath of that ancient wisdom given to humanity in the distant past -- which remains as relevant today as ever (perhaps even more so).

Welcome new visitors from Truth Frequency Radio

Welcome new visitors from Truth Frequency Radio

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Special thanks to hosts Chris and Sheree Geo of Truth Frequency Radio for having me on their show last night, December 05, 2015.

We covered a range of topics related to the celestial foundations of the world's myths, ancient scriptures, and sacred traditions -- including some more extensive discussion than I have previously published regarding the spiritual message in the story of the inebriation of Noah, pictured above in a painting (oil on canvas) from the early 1600s by Carlo Saraceni (1579 - 1620).

We also went into some extended discussion of the importance of Thomas in the New Testament texts and in Gnostic tradition.

This interview is currently available for online listening or downloading at this link, and for subscribers to their show it will be available for listening or downloading in their show archives indefinitely.

I believe that for all other listeners, it will be available for listening or downloading only so long as it is the most recent interview, after which it enters the archives.

The part of the show containing my conversation with Chris and Sheree begins at about -145:00 (that's "minus one hundred forty-five minutes") on the embedded play bar found at the link above, which looks like this (you can click on this image to go there as well):

To navigate around to different points in time on the show you can simply click anywhere along that blue line with the high-voltage corona discharge resembling a streamer arc between the spark gap of a Tesla coil(which is a form of radio frequency oscillator, and hence highly appropriate for a show entitled "Truth Frequency").

You can also pause the playback at any time by clicking on the triangle inside the blue circle on the left of the play bar, which starts and stops the audio.

Prior to that -104:00 mark in the show, Chris and Sheree discuss various topics of their own. Of course, I don't necessarily agree with everything that anyone else on earth might say, or everything that might be said in that part of the show, but it should be obvious that none of us really ever agrees with anyone else on every single topic, and I believe that we are all here trying to figure out the complex set of data that we encounter as best we can -- I myself have had to change the entire paradigm through which I view the world on more than one occasion, based on new information that I encountered (my first published book, in fact, was written while I still believed that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament were intended to be taken literally, which I obviously no longer see as consistent with the overwhelming evidence in the stars).

I'm personally not comfortable with frequent references to a "New World Order," and suspect that the "Old World Order" might in fact be much more of a concern and a subject which requires careful examination and consideration. 

I also do not believe by any means that everyone in the police is corrupt, which appears to be implied in one of statements in an ad during a break. I actually believe that police forces and militaries are necessary, but I absolutely agree that they can be misused and also deceived (the metaphor of the orangutans and the gorillas in the extremely important original Planet of the Apes film from 1968 is very helpful in this regard, in my opinion -- see additional discussion here).

However, I most definitely agree with the sentiment that Chris expresses at around -108:00 in the portion of the show before I came online, in which he says: 

But the only way to overcome, I should say, is to realize the power that we have -- and to realize the power of unity, as a human species. You know, forget about all of the labels; forget about all of the religions -- forget about everything else, and just start seeing each other for just . . . human beings. And I guarantee you -- they won't be able to bring in a New World Order, because we won't be controlled at that point.

Chris and Sheree were very gracious hosts and I am very grateful to them for inviting me onto the show and allowing me to discuss a subject which I believe to be extremely important to all of the above subjects. They offered some of their own very insightful perspectives during our two hours that led the conversation in what I hope you will agree were some interesting and fruitful directions.

I have not had the opportunity to talk with them before but I think it is clear that they are exploring important questions regarding human consciousness, and seeking to elevate awareness and consciousness through their insights and their work -- a cause that I think we can all agree to be of the utmost importance.

The show ended just as I was getting ready to thank them for having me on to their program -- so, in case it was cut off by the closing music, I would like to express my deep appreciation to Chris and Sheree for having me on to Truth Frequency Radio.


Below is a list of links to things that I have previously written about some of the subjects that we touched on during the conversation (and, as mentioned above, we went a little deeper into some of these subjects than I have previously, during one or two parts of the interview):

Welcome to all new friends who found this page through the Truth Frequency Radio broadcast or website!


H. A. Rey outlines the ancient wisdom

H. A. Rey outlines the ancient wisdom

My new book Star Myths of the World and how to interpret them: Volume One is the first installment in a series which attempts to provide a comprehensive and systematic guide to the celestial system of metaphor which underlies virtually all of the world's myths, scriptures and sacred traditions.

Understanding the way this system works -- learning the celestial language in which the sacred stories of humanity are composed, all around the globe -- allows us to see actual evidence to support the assertion that all the ancient traditions are actually closely related on a very fundamental level, and that the stories found in the Bible or in the ancient myths of Egypt, Greece, China, Japan, India or Sumer, and those found among the indigenous people of Australia, Africa, the Americas, or the islands of the Pacific, are all just different ways of allegorizing the same celestial actors and the same majestic heavenly cycles.

But this evidence would be very difficult to see, and the celestial language would be extremely difficult to learn, had it not been for the efforts of the well-known author and illustrator H. A. Rey, creator (along with his wife Margret Rey) of the Curious George series of stories, who shared his abundant love for the stars and constellations in two wonderful books which remain in print to this day:

Find the Constellations (first published in 1954 according to the inscription in the edition I saw, and designed primarily for younger readers), and

The Stars: A New Way to See Them (first published in 1952), which is simply the best introductory guide to the night sky imaginable, in my opinion.

The importance of these two books (particularly the second one) and of the system which Rey introduces in these books for envisioning the constellations of our night sky simply cannot be overstated.

Without Rey's outlines, unlocking the celestial metaphors which can be found in virtually every body of mythology and sacred tradition from around the world would be exponentially more difficult.

With his outlines, the celestial metaphors fairly leap out of the stories, once we become familiar with the constellations and their characteristics, and the ways that the various heavenly actors are usually employed in the different character roles of the world's sacred texts and stories.

To understand the significance of the H. A. Rey system for envisioning the stars, it is only necessary to contrast the section of sky shown above, in which I have outlined just a few constellations using a traditional ("non-H. A. Rey") method still used today in many available apps and diagrams and illustrations, with the exact same section of the sky below, in which I have outlined the very same constellations using the outlines suggested in Rey's books:

Look at the illustrations in the top image for a moment, and imagine yourself out on a walk through the night, looking at the sky and trying to find the constellations. The outlines provided are virtually useless: they are very difficult to remember, they bear almost no resemblance to the actual fish, animals, or people that the constellations purport to represent, and because of this they would be almost no help in actually seeing the constellation if you were out on a walk, no matter how hard you tried.

In fact, the typical non-Rey outlines are so atrocious that it makes one seriously wonder if whoever came up with the modern outlines was taking an almost perverse pleasure in seeing how unlike a fish or a whale or a charioteer or the hero Perseus they could make the lines connecting the stars of these constellations look: if they were deliberately distorting the outlines in order to avoid revealing the fish or the whale or the charioteer or the hero that the ancients must have seen when they named those constellations in the first place.

Because not only do the typical modern outlines make the constellations unnecessarily difficult to envision, remember, or actually locate on your own: they also (whether deliberately or not) leave out some of the most important mythological characteristics of the constellations -- the characteristics which help reveal which mythological character or event relates to which constellation in the sky.

For instance, in the outline of Perseus shown in the top diagram, the peaked cap of the hero is omitted altogether -- and yet this cap is a very important feature of the constellation, and one that helped Professor David Ulansey determine that the figure of Mithras found in the central "tauroctony" painting or bas-relief in every single surviving mithraeum is an allegorized representation of the celestial figure of Perseus, an argument which completely overturned much of the academic scholarship on Mithraism of previous decades going back nearly a hundred years, and which you can read about in Professor Ulansey's book Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries (1989).

Additionally, the standard "non-H. A. Rey" outline of Perseus in the top diagram does not even include the "right arm" of the outline of the hero (the one on the left as we look at the star chart). This arm ends in a very distinctive "curled" shape, which is featured in a great many different myths around the world -- including, I believe (following the pioneering analysis of the great "astronomico-theologist" Robert Taylor from the early 1800s) the story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. 

As discussed very briefly in this video I made last year entitled "Star Myths: 1,000 times more precious . . .", when the serpent and Eve and Adam are successively expelled from Paradise into "the dust from whence they came" (when their constellations sink down out of the sky and disappear belowthe western horizon), the constellation of Perseus is rising up out of the eastern horizon: he is the angel (or the plural Cherubims: single constellations sometimes appear in myths in plural form) placed "at the east of Eden" spoken of in Genesis 3:24. 

The same verse describes "a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." Because it is very likely that the angel placed at the east of Eden is played by Perseus, and because Perseus has that distinctive almost-circular aspect to one of his two hands, I believe it is very likely that this characteristic of the constellation is connected to the description of the sword which "turns every way" in the Biblical text: the text is giving us an additional clue in order to help us to understand that it is talking about the constellation Perseus.

If you want additional evidence to support that connection, have a look at any of a number of representations of the actual hero Perseus which survive from the culture of ancient Greece, in which the hero is shown carrying a very curved sword in the same hand that curves in a crescent-shape in the celestial outline, such as the ancient hydria (water-pot) shown below:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

But you would not have had an easy time discovering any of those connections if you were using the conventional and completely non-sensical constellation outlines presented for the constellation Perseus, instead of the inspired outlines presented by H. A. Rey in his books from the 1950s.

I happen to have grown up with the outlines of H. A. Rey, thanks to my father who bought both of the above-mentioned books for the family when I was so young that I don't remember ever not having access to Rey's system of finding the constellations, and his illustrations suggesting the most natural way to envision them.

The above examples could be multiplied many times over, using different constellations and different myths. For instance, a standard and typical outline of the extremely important constellation Bootes the Herdsman is shown below:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Once again, it is almost useless for actually trying to envision a Herdsman (how does one get a Herdsman from that oddly-shaped kite-looking figure, one might wonder), and thus it is very difficult to remember or to use as an outline for actually locating this constellation in the night sky.

But even more problematic is the fact that the above method of outlining Bootes completely obscures his most important mythological characteristics: the fact that Bootes appears to be either patiently sitting or kneeling, with a very tranquil, almost distracted air, and the even more important fact that Bootes has a very distinctive "pipe" rising up from his mouth, ending in a kind of triangular shape. 

The H. A. Rey-suggested outline for Bootes -- and the one that was almost certainly envisioned by whoever it was who gave to humanity the profound ancient myths with their inexhaustible fountain of spiritual teaching -- conveys all of the above characteristics. It is shown below in an illustration I made for the discussion in this previous post about the Annunciation described in the New Testament (and painted by Leonardo da Vinci in remarkably "celestial" fashion):

That previous post discussing the celestial aspects of this episode from the New Testament showed evidence that the "pipe" of Bootes functions as the wand which is invariably depicted in paintings of the angel Gabriel going back for hundreds of years -- and functions as well as the flute carried by the Lord Krishna in the sacred scriptures of ancient India.

But once again, you would probably have a very hard time figuring any of that out using the conventional outline often presented for the constellation Bootes.

Thankfully, the constellation diagrams of H. A. Rey not only provide the most intuitive way to envision, remember, and find the constellations of our night sky: they also match up remarkably well with the characteristics that pop up again and again, across cultures and across the oceans and even across the millennia, in the myths and sacred traditions of the human race. 

In fact, the level of correspondence is absolutely uncanny, and causes one to wonder just how much Rey himself knew about the connection between the stars and the ancient myths.

We should all be thankful that, whatever his understanding of such a connection (if any), and however he came up with his system, H. A. Rey shared his system of outlining the constellations with the world.

It is abundantly clear that H. A. Rey also loved the constellations and wanted to share the gift of the heavens with as many others as possible. In the beginning of Find the Constellations, he said:

Few people can tell one star from another. Most of us can tell an oak from a maple or a jay from a woodpecker even though we don't see woodpeckers often, but the stars, which we see any clear night, remain a mystery to us.
Yet it is not difficult to know them. 3.

Becoming familiar with the stars does take some time and effort -- the best way to proceed in my opinion is to do so slowly, with the goal of learning just one or two new constellations a week and then going out to locate them on many successive nights. 

If at all possible, making a habit of going for a walk at a similar time each evening (or early morning, well before sunrise) in a location with a reasonably dark sky and a fairly unobstructed skyline will help you to begin to understand which constellations are in the sky during which times of the year, and to watch as they move further west at the same time each successive night, and new ones cycle into view from the east. 

If you can make this nightly walk follow a circuit that gives you a view of all the different directions (all the different "horizons" in all directions) during different parts of the walk, that will also be extremely beneficial and will help you slowly build up your "vocabulary" of constellations with which you are familiar, a little at a time.

But, thanks to H. A. Rey and the system he outlined, you can and will build up familiarity that will be absolutely invaluable to understanding the celestial language of the myths and sacred scriptures of the world.

That language will enable you to actually see the abundant evidence that supports what many have suspected regarding the fundamental connection of all the world's ancient wisdom, across the different cultures and continents of our planet.

Even more importantly, knowing their celestial language will enable you to converse with the myths for yourself, in order to learn what they may be wanting to tell you.

Remember the Maine: False Flag patterns, and a very significant date

Remember the Maine: False Flag patterns, and a very significant date

Above is a video version of an astonishing interview on The Higherside Chats between host Greg Carlwood and researcher Ole Dammegard which was published on April 11 of this year (04/11/2015).

In light of recent events, it is worth going back and carefully listening to this interview, because many of the patterns of recent events that Ole and Greg explore during this conversation from seven months ago are shockingly similar to patterns we have seen over the past seven days.

The interview explores the abundant evidence which suggests that fear-inducing events may be deliberately employed in order to shock the emotions of a large number of people, in order to enable the pursuit of policies that the majority of the people would strongly oppose or vigorously protest had it not been for the emotionally-manipulative event that was staged in order to overcome that resistance (and in fact to change the popular opinion towards demanding an action that they would  have otherwise opposed).

Such deliberately provoked or artificially manufactured events, designed to arouse the populace to clamor for actions that they would previously have opposed, are often referred to as "false flags," a term from the days in which sailing ships flew their colors to show their nation of origin: if a ship falsely displayed the flag of an enemy, and then committed some kind of atrocity in order to blame that act on the enemy and arouse the anger of the population so that they would demand revenge or other violent action as a response, then that incident could be termed a "false flag" event.

Beginning at about 0:06:10 in the interview as time-stamped in the YouTube version embedded above (and linked here), the conversation between Greg -- who is an excellent interviewer and prepares pages of questions before an interview -- and Ole proceeds as follows:

GREG: That is tragic and strange enough, but let's get into some of these shootings, these -- quite possibly staged events, I mean: we've seen several here in the United States, but now it seems like they're on a world tour -- just going all over the place. Just in the past six or seven months we have events in Paris [referring to the Charlie Hebdo shootings of January 2015, since this interview was published in April 2015], Copenhagen, Sydney and Ottawa and a couple of others -- and they all seem to fit a pretty predictable pattern, which is one of the first clues someone can look at to see if these events really are random, or if they're part of a larger agenda, but -- you know -- you've been looking into these pretty heavily: what are you finding, man?
OLE: I've spent some thirty years of my life looking into these things, and learning how they think, and how very strict they are: they are not very flexible, I would say, they haven't got a lot of imagination either when they carry these things out. They are all based on the old Roman tactic: Problem -- Reaction -- Solution. 
I know we've talked about that before -- I'm just going to repeat it because it's so essential to understand what's going on. The people in power -- in so-called "power" -- they secretly create a problem. The reason for that is to get the reaction, from the population: we're talking globally, now. The reaction is always fear-based, like: "Oh my GOD! Something needs to be done!" Where, it's an emotional reaction they're looking for, so we do not use our skills of observation or good-thinking -- we just freak out, and say "Oh my GOD! We are under attack -- something needs to be done!" and then we turn towards these people, that we are not aware of secretly created the problem, that will then serve us the solution -- and we will welcome it; we will even see them as heroes, you know. 
And the solution is every single time something we would never ever have accepted, had it not been for the problem: Problem -- Reaction -- Solution. And every single time as well, you will see the solution -- if it's a "false flag" or if they are the ones behind it -- the solution is the same, every single time: "You  have to pay." You have to  give up your civil rights, your human rights, you have to accept more and more militarized police, robo-cops, military vehicles in the streets, martial law -- give up the rights for privacy, for your computers, for the surveillance cameras, for scanners, for you-name-it [. . .]
So this is the signs to look out for. When you see them, before you even start looking into the details of what's going on: see what happens straight after these things [. . .]

Much later in the interview -- actually during the "Plus" part of the show which is for subscribers to Greg's THC+ program (which enables Greg to pursue this valuable radio-podcast format without any commercials and thus without having to worry about leverage or pressure being applied on him to change his show by those paying for the commercials) -- Ole and Greg explore the possible significance of dates upon which suspicious events (which may have been false flag events designed to arouse the anger of the populace) have taken place, and the locations where they happen:

OLE (beginning at around 1:18:00 of the "Plus" version of the interview): [. . .] OK, so, we look at the date -- and if you remember right it [. . .] was also Valentine's Day, which they use that for Satanic rituals as well -- and the name of the place was Khoten, which in Danish means "the Gunpowder Keg," and if you look at one of the most famous false flags ever, it was the Guy Fawkes thing, the "Gunpowder Plot," you know when he was about to blow up the Parliament and so on. I'm just pointing these out -- I'm not saying it is totally sure -- I'm just pointing them out, OK? 
And the second part of this happened on the 15th of February. And many of these false flags happen on the same dates but different years. And the 15th of February was when they -- another false flag -- when they blew up the USS Maine in the harbor of Havana, on Cuba, in 1898 I think. This was -- it's been proven now to have been an inside job, either an accident or an inside job. But, Spain was blamed for it -- that they had blown up this American ship -- and it gave the US an excuse to start a war with Spain, and the result was that Spain had to give up the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam. I mean, those were stolen, and that was the first part of the American Empire, that was started on a false flag, and that was exactly on the 15th. [. . .]

The fact that the explosion on the Maine (the masts of which I'm told have been claimed to serve as the flagpoles at two different military service academies in the US -- West Point and Annapolis -- as well as at Arlington national cemetery, which is ironic because the ship itself only had two masts) was used as justification to launch a war when in fact the ship was not destroyed by enemy action would appear to indicate that the Spanish-American War was thus an illegal war of aggression launched under false pretenses, either deliberately or mistakenly.

The same can be said for the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident from the 1960s which led to a massive buildup of troops and combat action in Vietnam, which would probably have been much more strongly opposed had the extremely suspicious supposed attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin (which turned out not to have been attacks at all) not been exploited in much the same manner as the USS Maine incident had been exploited nearly seven decades earlier.

These historical precedents, in which an incident which in hindsight can now be seen to have been presented to the people in a completely misleading manner in order to effect a profound change in popular opinion, and in fact to start wars under false pretenses, should be examined very carefully today, in light of the events of the past week and in light of the evidence which Ole Dammegard presented in his April interview based on the patterns he has found in studying possible false flag events from the recent past.

Most concerning is the pattern he points out regarding the importance of looking closely at what happens after the event in question. In the case of the horrible events in Paris last week, we are told that the crime was solved in an amazingly short amount of time, so quickly that the movements of all the perpetrators and their origins could be definitively determined, and then large-scale military actions could be planned and actually carried out, less than forty-eight hours after the Paris event took place.

So, given the patterns described by Ole and Greg in their interview from April of this year, and based upon details which can be seen surfacing again and again in suspicious "public-opinion altering events" going back all the way to the USS Maine, are there any significant patterns present in the date and location of the horrendous public-opinion altering event that took place in Paris last week?

In fact, it is possible to find some extremely significant correspondences.

The attacks took place on Friday, November 13th (just as the financial markets in the US were closing, which amazingly is yet another pattern that Ole brings up in his interview with Greg from April of this year, in which Ole points out how many suspicious, shocking, public-opinion altering events take place late on a Friday, as the markets in the US are closing).

November 13 happens to be a date of tremendous significance in the tremendously important myth of Isis and Osiris, as related by the ancient philosopher (and initiated priest of the ancient mysteries, including possibly those of Isis) Plutarch or Plutarchus (AD 46 - AD 120).

In his very important account of the Isis and Osiris myth, entitled De Iside et Osiride in Latin, Plutarch writes that the murder of Osiris (the husband of Isis) by his treacherous brother Set (or Typhon, as Plutarch calls Set, based on Greek mythology) took place at a big party amidst much revelry -- and Plutarch relates:

They say also that the date on which this deed was done was the seventeenth day of Athyr, when the sun passes through the Scorpion [. . .].

This is significant, because according to the footnote in the Loeb classical edition of 1936,

the seventeenth day of Athyr on which Osiris was said to have been slain corresponds to November the 13th.

If you want to look that up for yourself, see footnote number 72 (a very significant number, oddly enough, and one that corresponds to the number of henchmen who helped Set kill his brother Osiris, according to Plutarch's account) in the web page linked above containing a translation of Plutarch's text.

So much for the significance of the date.

The significance of the place is fairly obvious -- many authors and analysts down through the years  including the insightful Robert Taylor (one of the pioneers of what today is sometimes called "aztrotheology") have opined that Paris is the city especially dedicated to the goddess Isis

(Par-Isis). And indeed, the fact that the city's most famous cathedral is dedicated to Notre Dame -- our Lady, the Queen of Heaven -- who can be shown to correspond to the goddess Isis in the celestial system underlying all the world's mythology (including the stories in the New Testament) seems to be evidence supporting such an identification of Paris and the goddess Isis.

It is also significant that the initial bombing by the US of the terrorist group which the western media chooses to refer to as "ISIS" commenced on September 22, 2014 -- a date of tremendous significance on the zodiac calendar, associated with the fall equinox, and presided over by the zodiac sign of Virgo the Virgin, who can be shown to relate to both the goddess Isis and the Virgin Mary (see for instance the analysis presented in this video).

The accusation that a nation or entity is using a false flag event in order to deliberately inflame the people to clamor for military action that they would otherwise not support is very serious, and it is of course too soon to draw any conclusions about the very recent events of November 13, 2015.

However, the shocking number of significant points of correspondence with the patterns that Ole Dammegard has found in his examination of serious and suspicious events from the past, and which he described in an interview with Greg Carlwood which aired back in April of this year, should cause everyone to pay very close attention to what Ole and Greg are talking about in that interview, and also to think very carefully about the implications of events such as the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898 and the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964.

Those incidents caused massive changes of public opinion in support of wars which in hindsight may well have been illegal in nature, not wars of self-defense but something else altogether.

I would even go so far as to suggest that every single human being has a responsibility to consider these matters very carefully -- and to peacefully but vigorously oppose the escalation of military force, physical violence, and the massive violations of human rights which are predicated upon the wide-spread fear-based responses to events whose full significance and origin are still not completely clear.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).