Monday, October 17, 2016

Evidence in the World's Myths for a Lost Ancient Civilization

Here is a new video I just published entitled "Evidence in the World's Myths for a Lost Ancient Civilization," posted on October 13, 2016.

It discusses the indisputable evidence in archaeology for an advanced ancient civilization existing over 12,000 years ago -- even though the guardians of the conventional historical paradigm continue to have difficulty admitting it (or changing their dating for ancient colossal monuments such as the Great Sphinx at Giza).

The video also discusses the evidence arguing for an advanced ancient civilization, prior to ancient Egypt and Sumer, which is found in the Star Myths of the world -- and the common system of celestial metaphor to which both ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia can be shown to have been heirs, along with virtually all the other known cultures on our planet.

For some additional posts on this and related topics, please see:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Geology, mythology, cataclysms, and the world's ancient wisdom

Photo from 1859 showing Sphinx buried in the sand, with only the head protruding, Wikimedia commons (link).

In the late 1970s, the pioneering researcher, author, lecturer, guide and "rogue Egyptologist" John Anthony West published Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt. There, he set forth a revolutionary proclamation: overwhelming evidence points to the conclusion that "Egypt did not 'develop' her civilization, but inherited it."

In the final chapter of that book, he set forth evidence that the weathering on the Sphinx indicates a date of original construction far older than the conventional dating for its construction or conception between 2500 BC and 2600 BC (conventional history dates the construction of the Sphinx to the reign of Khafra aka Chepren, c. 2570 BC). 

John Anthony West attributes the germ of this revolutionary idea to a comment included in a book published in the early 1960s in France (and not yet published in English when Serpent in the Sky was first written) by R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, entitled Sacred Science: the King of Pharaonic Theocracy (published in France in 1961 as Le Roi de la theocratie Pharaonique, first published in English in 1982). 

There, on page 96, Schwaller writes:
A great civilization must have preceded the vast movements of water that passed over Egypt, which leads us to assume that the Sphinx already existed, sculptured in the rock of the west cliff at Gizeh, that Sphinx whose leonine body, except for the head, shows indisputable signs of aquatic erosion.
At this point, Schwaller includes a footnote, where he continues:
It is maintained that this erosion was wrought by desert sands, but the entire body of the Sphinx is protected from all desert winds coming from the West, the only winds that could effect erosion. Only the head protrudes from this hollow, and it shows no signs of erosion. [footnote 28 on page 96].
Schwaller then goes on to cite some ancient sources saying that the Sphinx was actually buried in the sand even in ancient times, and that pharaohs (specifically Thothmes IV, an 18th dynasty king who reigned until his death which may have been in 1391 BC, and who is thought to have been the father of Amenhotep III, the father of Akhenaten, thus making Thothmes or Thutmose IV the grandfather of Akhenaten) were visited in dreams and advised to clear away this sand buildup, a task that Schwaller suggests probably took place more than once over the centuries during dynastic Egypt.

All of this, John West perceived, meant that the Sphinx must be much older than 2500 or 2600 BC (to have sustained such weathering, despite spending long centuries buried up to the neck in sand -- and, what is more, to have sustained weathering that strongly suggests water erosion rather than wind erosion). 

John Anthony West's realization of the significance of this remark by Schwaller de Lubicz was absolutely essential to the research which was to follow, regarding the evidence pointing to the existence of advanced ancient civilizations centuries or even millennia before dynastic Egypt.

Equally significant was the move that John West made next, after publishing the first edition of Serpent in the Sky: he contacted a friend who was an English professor at Boston University, to see if that professor knew any geology professors who might be interested in looking at the evidence in order to help corroborate this revolutionary hypothesis. 

Fortunately for those who value the quest to uncover the true story of our planet's past and humanity's ancient history, that English professor decided put geologist Dr. Robert Schoch in touch with John Anthony West -- a Yale-trained professor who was open-minded enough to travel to Egypt to see the Sphinx for himself in 1990 . . . and the rest is history.

Dr. Schoch confirmed that the body of the Sphinx as well as the walls of the Sphinx "enclosure" showed unmistakable signs of water erosion -- and not just a little water erosion, but what may have been many centuries of water erosion. Because the available evidence and the accepted climate models  posit that the Giza plateau has been extremely dry and arid since at least 5,000 BC, this undeniable evidence of massive water erosion on the Sphinx suggests that it was originally conceived and created no later than 5,000 BC, and by the extent of the weathering probably several centuries or even millennia earlier than that.

Along with his lifelong curiosity about ancient history and his extensive training and expertise in the field of geology, Dr. Schoch has the ability to see important connections between different sites and different evidence which relates to this critical subject, and in the decades since that first visit to Egypt he has published many books detailing this evidence, and its revolutionary implications for our view of humanity's ancient past, including Voices of the Rocks (1999) and Forgotten Civilization (2012), and he will be releasing a new book written with co-author Robert Bauval and detailing additional developments which support the overall thesis in March of 2017, entitled Origins of the Sphinx: Celestial Guardian of Pre-Pharaonic Civilization.

When Dr. Schoch first lent his expertise in geology to the observations of John Anthony West (who caught the idea from Schwaller de Lubicz's 1961 articulation of the idea) beginning in 1990, the idea that a culture capable of creating the Sphinx could have existed prior to 5,000 BC was so revolutionary that it was attacked mercilessly by conventional Egyptologists as well as conventional historians, archaeologists, and defenders of the prevailing paradigm that argues humans were primitive hunter-gatherers or nomadic shepherds and herders prior to the first agricultural civilizations in the third or fourth millennia BC. As the pioneering geologist supporting that idea, Dr. Schoch's work and professional reputation were also viciously attacked by the same defenders of the conventional paradigm.

However, the evidence for the existence of extremely sophisticated civilizations prior to 5,000 BC received incredible confirmation in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the excavation of the complex at the site known today as Gobekli Tepi, which dates to at least 10,000 BC, and which was deliberately buried for reasons unknown by massive amounts of transported dirt, rubble and debris not later than about 8,000 BC. 

This fact of the burial of the site means that whatever civilization conceived of and executed the breathtaking artwork and massive but exquisitely engineered stones in the Gobekli Tepi complex must have done so well before 8,000 BC.

This discovery vindicates the arguments of Robert Schoch and John Anthony West (and Schwaller de Lubicz) about the evident antiquity of the Sphinx, and the undeniable evidence pointing to the existence of an incredibly sophisticated ancient culture long before conventional historical timelines will admit to such a possibility.

I had the opportunity to listen to both Robert Schoch and John Anthony West deliver terrific presentations at the 2016 Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge about two weeks ago, and it is no exaggeration to say that the magnitude of the importance of the paradigm shift which they and subsequent researchers have ushered in since the first publication of Serpent in the Sky in 1979 is difficult to quantify.

All those who realize the importance of better understanding the true story of the ancient history of our planet and of humanity should be extremely grateful for the insight -- and the courage -- that both of them have displayed in tackling this vital question, and the graciousness with which they both continue to share their knowledge with the world. The discovery at Gobekli Tepi was not even dreamed about when their study of the Sphinx began -- but fortunately their earlier work (and earlier "trial by fire" of defending their observations and insights) enabled them to immediately grasp its significance and see how it (and other evidence around the world) may fit into the big picture, and their work also set the stage for subsequent researchers and enabled new insights from others who have brought other new evidence to light.

It should at this point be widely accepted that some sort of very advanced and very sophisticated civilization existed on this planet thousands of years prior to the time that the conventional paradigm has been telling us that human civilization first appeared.

In addition to the overwhelming geological evidence and overwhelming archaeological evidence which points to such a conclusion, I would like to suggest that there is also undeniable mythological evidence which supports the very same conclusion of an advanced but now forgotten ancient civilization.

As I have detailed with several hundred examples in this blog and in my multi-volume series Star Myths of the World, and how to interpret them (Volumes One, Two and Three so far, totaling 1,966 pages) as well as The Undying Stars (444 more pages of evidence), the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories found in virtually every culture on our planet, on every inhabited continent and island, can be shown to share a common foundation which employs a very specific way of looking at the constellations and celestial cycles, and a very specific way of encoding those constellations and cycles into myth.

This system can be shown to be operating in myths and sacred stories from Africa, Australia, ancient China, ancient India, ancient Japan, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, northern Europe, other parts of Asia, the Americas, and across the length and breadth of the Pacific.

Elements of myth-systems founded upon this metaphorical methodology can be seen in the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt, dated to the period between 2300 BC and 2400 BC -- and it is fairly evident that the system was already extremely mature and well understood at that point in time (it was not being introduced for the first time in the Pyramid Texts: of that we can be fairly certain). 

Clear examples of this same worldwide system can be seen to be in full operation throughout the Gilgamesh series of myths found in the cuneiform tablets of ancient Sumer and Babylon, some of them thought to have been etched in the same third millennium BC that saw the inscription of the Pyramid Texts in Egypt.

Star Myths of the World, Volume One, gives some examples and explication of the celestial system as it is seen in these ancient texts from Egypt and Mesopotamia.

But Volume One also provides conclusive evidence that this very same system of celestial metaphor can be seen to be at work in the sacred stories of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia -- thought to be one of the oldest continuous cultures to be found anywhere on the planet, with some scholars attributing their arrival in Australia to dates of unbelievable antiquity, perhaps 45,000 years ago or even earlier according to some theories. It is thought that their culture may easily go back 10,000 years in fairly unbroken succession, making the Aboriginal people of Australia contenders for the title of very oldest continuous and surviving culture to be found anywhere on Earth. 

If they somehow possess this same system, then this seems to be strong evidence arguing for an origin in extreme antiquity, perhaps among the now-forgotten civilizations or cultures responsible for the Sphinx and for the ruins at what we know today as Gobekli Tepi. It is possible to argue that the Aborigines of Australia or their predecessors originated the system, and somehow spread it to all the other cultures of the world in the subsequent millennia, but given the general consensus regarding the relative isolation of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia from ongoing contact with peoples on other continents, this hypothesis seems to be less likely at this time.

It seems to be much more likely that some very sophisticated ancient culture (both technologically sophisticated -- judging by the incredible workmanship at Gobekli Tepi and Giza, as well as their apparent understanding of phenomena such as precession and other advanced astronomical and mathematical concepts -- and also  spiritually sophisticated, judging by the beauty and power and subtlety of the worldwide esoteric system of myth and celestial metaphor) was nearly wiped out by some sort of massive catastrophe that may have operated on a global scale, at some time in the distant past (probably earlier than 9000 BC).

Robert Schoch puts forth reasoned arguments backed up by ice-core data and scientific papers published in academic journals which indicate the possibility of a Coronal Mass Ejection from our Sun at a point in time he believes would correspond to 9700 BC. For details of his argument, please see his book Forgotten Civilization, and also his online article here

Other researchers have proposed comet strikes or other catastrophes. Longtime readers of this blog and of my first book will know that I also believe there is overwhelming evidence on our planet which points to one or more cataclysms of almost unimaginable violence in Earth's distant past.

Intriguingly enough, the sacred site known as Painted Rock (located in the same county in California where I live and make my domicile), appears to provide important additional evidence supporting the revolutionary paradigm of ancient human history described above. I have written two extensive blog posts about this incredibly significant ancient sacred site -- most recently this post published earlier this week, as well as this post published about a year ago.

Even conventional archaeologists agree that Painted Rock, located in a long narrow valley known today as the Carrizo Plain, and the surrounding country was a site of extensive human occupation and activity stretching back to at least 10,000 years before the present (to at least 8,000 BC). 

That date in itself is obviously significant in regards to the paradigm of ancient human history -- but even more so because the Painted Rock formation itself is home to a class of unusual and distinctive rock art which (even in its tragically damaged and vandalized condition) bears the unmistakeable evidence of the very same system of constellational outlining that informs the myths, scriptures and sacred stories found everywhere else in the world, from Australia to Africa to ancient China to ancient India, ancient Japan, ancient Greece, ancient Mesopotamia, across the Pacific Islands, and even in just about every story in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible!

Even in its now criminally-defaced condition, the sacred enclosure can be seen (to this very day) to display outlines that  I am convinced correspond directly to the constellations Scorpio, Ophiucus, and Aquarius (some recent photographs of these are shown in the previously linked posts). Additionally, photographs taken prior to the deliberate destruction of some of the artwork appear to indicate undeniable correspondences to the constellations Pisces, Aquila, and Gemini (and probably to others as well).

Although some scholars believe that the rock art itself may not date all the way back to 8,000 BC, that is not firmly established, and because there are datable markers of human habitation that may go back all the way to 8,000 BC, the presence of sacred rock art with clear use of recognizable constellational (and indeed zodiacal) outlines in the most distinctive rock formation in the landscape of the Carrizo Plain appears to be a strong argument for the use of these constellations in a sacred capacity in North America at dates approaching or even surpassing the antiquity of the earliest surviving Pyramid Texts of Egypt or cuneiform tablets of Mesopotamia.

Perhaps equally important and intriguing is the fact that this ancient sacred stone enclosure, which preserves the rock art described above, is itself evidence of potentially catastrophic or cataclysmic geological processes in Earth's distant past.

The massive stone ring known today as Painted Rock is a sandstone extrusion located towards one edge of an elongated basin or canyon, which even now contains an alkali dry lakebed consisting of a layer of mineral salts, similar to the salt flats of Utah.

Below is a screenshot from Google Maps showing the location of Painted Rock in the Carrizo Plain:

image: Google maps.

Note in the above image the white patch in the center of the plain which is the satellite image of Soda Lake, a dry lakebed composed of alkali salts in powdery form. On either side of this dry lakebed we can see ranges of mountains extending in a kind of "V-shaped" pattern that comes together in the southeast (bottom right of the screen). The upper chain of uplifted ridges or mountains is the Monte Diablo range, and it follows and is undoubtedly a product of the long, straight line of the San Andreas fault, which can be seen running alongside the southern edge of the ridgeline.

Below is the same image, with the above terrain features labeled for your convenience:

image: Google maps.

In the image, I have labeled Soda Lake and pointed towards it with a yellow arrow. I have labeled the Monte Diablo Range in a cream or tan color. And I have labeled the San Andreas Fault in bright green, with a series of small green arrows pointing to the fault line itself.

Painted Rock itself is located due south from the southernmost point of Soda Lake. 

Here is a closer view, zoomed in to the horseshoe-shaped natural stone enclosure of Painted Rock:

image: Google maps.

And here is an aerial photograph of Painted Rock, showing the same outline. Note that in the above image, we can clearly see that the opening of Painted Rock is to the north (even though Painted Rock itself looks very small in the satellite photo above). The image below, from Wikipedia, is taken from an angle that positions the opening to the lower-right corner of the screen (that way is generally north in the photo below):

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Note that the upper arm of the formation as we face the image shown above is smooth and contains countless parallel striations over its surface. Most geological descriptions of this formation describe it as sandstone. 

I believe that Painted Rock shows clear signs of being a liquefaction mound, as defined and described by hydroplate theory originator Dr. Walt Brown, in a chapter of his book devoted entirely to the important geological phenomenon of liquefaction.

Liquefaction is a geological phenomenon that can be described as generally "catastrophic" in nature, or as a phenomenon that is primarily found in conjunction with catastrophic processes -- specifically earthquakes and flooding. It is a phenomenon in which the water already present in soil is forced upwards by the sinking and settling motion of the soil particles (usually caused by the vibration of earthquake forces, or by the compressing action of waves moving above the soil, if there is a body of water or an ocean above the soil in question). This upward-moving water can cause the soil particles to suddenly lose their cohesion and solidity and turn into a liquid slurry.

Here is the Wikipedia article describing liquefaction.

Here is a page in Walt Brown's online book describing liquefaction, its causes and results (in much more detail than the Wikipedia article).

And here is a blog post I published almost five years ago, discussing the evidence that the mighty terrain feature known as Uluru in Australia (also known as Ayers Rock) is a liquefaction mound, based on the discussion of this geological phenomenon presented by Dr. Brown. 

As that post (and the above-linked page from Dr. Brown's book) explain, a liquefaction mound is created when the upwelling slurry in liquefacted soil erupts out of the ground and spills out in a kind of slumped-bowl shape. You can see examples of such eruptions in photographs and videos from recent major earthquakes of the past five years, such as in Christchurch, New Zealand or Tokyo, Japan. Here is a photo of some such eruptions from Christchurch:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

As Dr. Brown explains (in a quotation I cited in my discussion of Ayers Rock / Uluru), these slushy "volcanoes" will usually wash away -- but if they happen to erupt into a basin of warm water that remains relatively still for hundreds of years and cools, the sandy mound can harden into sandstone -- and then it may survive, even after the water in the natural basin eventually breaches and drains away, or evaporates over hundreds or thousands of years. 

In fact, as I point out in that article discussing Uluru, liquefaction mounds (and their cousins, liquefaction plumes) are often found in ancient basins that once contained trapped inland lakes or seas. 

And this description matches exactly what we find in the formation of Painted Rock in the Carrizo Plain (even though I was completely unaware of the existence of Painted Rock and the Carrizo Plain back in 2011 when I wrote that post about Uluru in Australia).

Clearly, Painted Rock is situated in an ancient basin -- the Carrizo Plain. 

Equally clearly, that ancient basin once held a trapped inland sea -- the dry lakebed known today as Soda Lake is unmistakable evidence of this fact (and the fact that the water in the basin probably had no outlet, leading eventually to the formation of a salt flat once the shallow inland sea dried up).

Additionally, the Carrizo Plain is traversed along its long axis by the line of the San Andreas fault -- which indicates the possibility of earthquakes in the distant past. Earthquakes are often associated with the eruption of liquefacted soil, or the creation of liquefaction mounds.

Below are some recent photographs I took of the awe-inspiring terrain feature of Painted Rock, showing that it possesses all of the attributes described by Dr. Brown in his discussion of liquefaction mounds:

The above image is looking towards the southeast, and approaching from the northwest. The opening is to the left of the photo as we face it (the leftmost portion of the formation is pointing almost due north -- our left). You can see the first-quarter waxing moon of October 08, 2016 directly above the highest portion of the liquefaction mound that forms Painted Rock. The moon in this photo is moving across the sky from the east but has yet to reach its zenith. 

Deep striation can be seen along the back of the mound's shoulder, as we face the formation, towards the right side as we view it.

It may not be easy to view from this distance, but the distinctive "undercut edge" which is seen in many liquefaction mounds (including some on the page from Dr. Brown's book, linked above) can be observed on the far right lower edge of the formation of Painted Rock. This undercut edge will be more visible in subsequent photos.

Below we see another aspect which is very characteristic of liquefaction mounds: "water vents" along the sides of the feature. These vent-holes are caused by water escaping the liquefacted soil when the mound is still erupting. They are not caused by later weathering -- and thus are not found along the top surfaces of liquefaction mounds, as we might expect if they were caused by rainfall over the centuries, for example.

The vent-holes in the side of Painted Rock as we approach it from the northwest resemble a face giving a fierce warning to all who approach (certainly appropriate, given the disrespectful vandalism that took place to the sacred site's artwork during the first part of the twentieth century):

Once again, we can clearly see the smooth striation which curves over the "shoulder" of this ancient liquefaction mound. Similar striation can be observed on Uluru / Ayers Rock in Australia.

Below is another view of the smooth striation of Painted Rock:

The very existence of this terrain feature argues that the entire Carrizo Plain was once under water, and for a long enough period of time that the erupted sand from below the surface was able to harden to the point that it would not be swept away when the water in the basin either drained out or evaporated.

Note also that the presence of massive salt deposits in the Soda Lake formation argues that the water that was trapped in the Carrizo Plain geographic feature was not "freshwater," if the mineral salt remaining in the dry lakebed was once in the water that later evaporated away and left the salts behind. Below is an image looking east towards Soda Lake (visible as a thin white stripe), with the line of the Monte Diablo range in the background:

this image taken by David Mathisen, as are all other images in this post not attributed to another source

I personally am not prepared to make an definitive pronouncements regarding the time period in which this flooding and liquefaction may have taken place. The event (or events) that produced Ayers Rock and Painted Rock and the other liquefaction features around the globe (and especially in the American southwest) may have happened long before the catastrophes that researchers such as Dr. Schoch are proposing for the event that may have disrupted the cultures that created the Sphinx or Gobekli Tepi.

 However, the fact that Ayers Rock (which is far larger than Painted Rock) also appears to have been formed by similar processes (but in a basin of water that must have been much deeper and more extensive) does appear to argue for the possibility of a massive flood at some point in our planet's distant past. 

If these features in California and Australia were formed under the water remaining from the same flood, that would argue for a massive flood indeed (and note that the entire American southwest is home to numerous liquefaction features and other evidence of massive trapped ancient bodies of water).

What I am prepared to say is that the above discussion should demonstrate very clearly that the subjects of geology and of the possible ancient catastrophes which may have wracked our planet is vitally connected to the question of a now-forgotten ancient civilization. The evidence on our planet for both (for both an advanced ancient culture, and for some sort of cataclysm or cataclysms which may explain the disappearance of that culture) appears to be virtually undeniable.

Finally, it is very noteworthy (I believe) to observe that both Ayers Rock and Painted Rock are sacred sites to the indigenous cultures of the continents on which these two ancient terrain features are found. We have evidence that these places were (or are) places of contact with the Spirit Realm, and possibly with beings from the Other World.

Is it possible that there are aspects in their formation which cause these natural formations to have certain qualities that are conducive to such contact? The above discussion touched on some of the aspects of the conditions under which liquefaction mounds tend to form, usually involving the deep wave action of earthquakes or of powerful ocean waves, setting up a settling motion in the soil particles and an upwelling motion in the saturating water molecules, creating a lifting motion and sometimes an eruption of soil that has temporarily turned to liquid.

Is it possible that the liquefaction mounds themselves retain some of the structural alignments caused by these ancient low-frequency vibrations (from the earthquake or ocean wave-pounding that set them off in the first place, so long ago)? Perhaps in some way, they function as physical conductors of wave energy, even to this day.

Note also that the sacred natural rock temple of Painted Rock is located in a long, very linear valley, with the distinctive line of the San Andreas Fault itself clearly visible for many miles: a possible natural line conducting Earth energy (see this previous post on "dragon lines" and related subjects).

Clearly, ancient traditional cultures understood that these specific places on our Earth's surface could be used for making contact with or even traveling to the Invisible Realm.

Perhaps, in the year 8,000 BC (when we know men and women were conducting activity in and around Painted Rock on the Carrizo Plain), these generations who were not so far removed from the cataclysm that may have struck around the year we call 9,700 BC (or BCE) still retained much of the sophisticated understanding that informed the now-forgotten culture or cultures responsible for giving us some of the mysterious monuments we still see at significant geological locations around the globe -- and responsible as well, perhaps, for the incredible worldwide system of celestial metaphor which informs the myths of all the cultures on earth.

The other pressing question we might ask ourselves would be -- how is it that so many today have forgotten it, and how was this ancient understanding lost (or even deliberately stamped out) in so many parts of the human family at some point?

Monday, October 10, 2016

The ancient wisdom of Painted Rock

Painted Rock, Carrizo Plain; October 08, 2016.

The introduction of large numbers of European settlers and colonists to the Americas had a catastrophic impact on those whose ancestors had lived here for thousands of years. Their population was decimated and their culture deliberately targeted for destruction. 

Native American cultures with a powerful and pervading understanding of the spirit world and its very real presence in all of nature and the cosmos were invaded and overrun by a culture which had lost that understanding and sense of connection, with tragic results. The devastation inflicted upon the populations and cultures of North, Central and South America fits the definition of the word genocide (a word invented in the twentieth century, after the destruction inflicted upon the Native American populations and cultures was largely completed). 

There can be no argument that literalistic interpretations of the ancient scriptures of the Bible played a role in this tragic outcome. Literalistic interpretation of scriptures that were not intended to be understood literally tends towards inversion of their esoteric message, because taking them as literal history by definition externalizes the stories, making them about literal and historical figures who lived a long time ago -- when in fact they are esoteric allegory, describing the spirit world and our relationship to that invisible realm which permeates all things and to which we always have access at all times.

Cut off from the awareness of the spirit world and the inner connection to the infinite, literalist cultures teach that the divine is external, and its blessing must be chased after or bestowed from without, instead of being present and available and attainable at all times by all persons. Literalist teaching divides humanity into those who accept a particular literal understanding of a certain group of stories or scriptures and those who do not, because the literalist approach fails to perceive that all the world's myths, scriptures and sacred stories are in fact built upon the very same system of metaphor (taking them literally, of course, requires the denial or rejection of their metaphorical and non-historical nature). 

For these reasons, literalistic religion has historically been used to secure popular support for the idea of eliminating the sacred traditions of other people and converting them to the "true" or "correct" (literalistic) tradition. Literalistic interpretations of ancient scriptures can be seen providing false "justification" for unjust and even murderous behavior, and this undoubtedly took place within the  within the settler populations as a way of providing false justification for the genocide inflicted over the course of centuries upon the Native cultures of North, Central, and South America. 

First, the literalistic interpretation of ancient scriptures which actually teach the importance of the spirit realm severed the awareness of the connection to the spirit realm and led to a culture that was deprived of that connection. Then, literalist teachers within the culture that had been deprived of that connection taught that the forcible conversion and elimination of those who had a different understanding was somehow justifiable.

The ancient rock paintings at a great natural stone temple known as Painted Rock in California provide an incredible example of the callous destruction of the sacred traditions of other cultures by descendants of the literalist cultures that came to the Americas from Europe -- as well as an eloquent testimony to the fact that the literalistic assumption is completely mistaken and that in fact the very same system of celestial metaphor upon which the stories of the Old and New Testament can be shown to be built is also present in the ancient sacred traditions of the cultures of the Americas.

They are thus doubly important for us to understand -- both as a horrible example of cultural desecration, and as a clear example of the celestial nature of all ancient esoteric wisdom.


The ancient sacred site commonly referred to as Painted Rock, located in what is today designated as the Carizzo Plain National Monument in California, contains the remnants of rock art paintings which may have been the work of an artist or artists living 4,000 years before the present day, according to some archaeologists -- several centuries before Tutankhamun or Akhenaten in ancient Egypt, for example. 

Some archaeological remains in the immediate vicinity suggest measurable human activity in the area stretching back to 10,000 years before the present day, according to researchers. See for instance page 4 in this strangely redacted government document, which describes "a remarkable concentration of villages, camps and other sites dating from 10,000 to 200 BP (8050 BCE to 1750 CE)."

These rock paintings and others in the same general area traditionally belonging to the Chumash and Yokuts people are distinctive for their vivid coloration, using primarily red, black, and white pigments, and often dramatic design.

The rock formation known today as Painted Rock (and in previous centuries often referred to by its Spanish name, La Piedra Pintada), were photographed as early as 1875 by R. A. Holmes -- and may thus be the very first rock art ever photographed.

That photograph -- as well as later drawings of the Painted Rock figures which were done in subsequent decades -- reveal that the artwork which researchers believe may date back an incredible 4,000 years was still intact into the first decades of the 1900s. 

Below is a reproduction of the photographs by R. A. Holmes taken in 1876, and published in 1911 on page 52 of a book  about Painted Rock written by Myron Angel. The photographs were published upside-down for some reason (perhaps the publisher had not seen the rock paintings in person), but I have rotated the entire page in the image below:

The entire book containing the above photographs can be found online here

Tragically, sometime during the first half of the twentieth century -- perhaps as late as the 1930s, these priceless ancient paintings were deliberately desecrated, both by chipping off large portions of the artwork and by discharging firearms at the images.

Today, only a fraction of the paintings survive. 

What a tragic and criminal mutilation of a precious ancient treasure, an act of desecration which should be condemned by all people, and which must be especially repellant to the Native Americans of that region, who still hold the site in tremendous reverence and visit it for specific ceremonial and spiritual purposes at certain times during the year. 

And yet, in spite of their terribly damaged condition, the rock paintings -- silent messengers from another age -- continue to give their testimony, which can still be perceived in some of the least-damaged sections of the panels shown in the photographs above. 

They are clearly speaking in a celestial language -- the very same celestial language which I believe can be shown to be used by virtually all the world's myths, scriptures and sacred stories from every single inhabited continent on our planet (and all the islands as well). Further, I am convinced based on my study of the celestial patterns in the myths that the ancient wisdom uses the starry heavens as a means of pointing us towards the Invisible World which we cannot physically see with our ordinary vision. This would suggest that Painted Rock may well have been seen (and continue to be seen) as a point of connection and communication with the Invisible Realm or Spirit World as well.

Below, I have assembled the images from some of the photographs of R. A. Holmes into a montage which shows an important section of paintings within the great enclosure of the stone:

It can be clearly seen in the above composite that the damage to the rock art was minimal or nonexistent in 1876. However, as I describe in a previous blog post discussing Painted Rock, by the 1930s, firearms had been used to deliberately blast away some of the ancient art, and some writers describe tourists chipping off sections of the painted panels as souvenirs.

In 1959, artist Campbell Graham -- a Disney artist who had worked on Fantasia (1940), Snow White  (1937), and Pinocchio (1940), and voiced the character Angus MacBadger from the Wind in the Willows in the Disney adaptation The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) -- first saw the rock art of the Chumash and Yokuts region of California, and at some point in the next few years set about doing the research to depict the full panel from Painted Rock that had already suffered so much damage by that point in time.

He conducted extensive on-site examination of the artwork, as well as consulting photographs and interviewing locals about the images. His recreation of the scene is shown below, juxtaposed with the photo-montage composed of the panels of photographs from 1876:

As I have explained in a previous post about Painted Rock, which I wrote following my own first visit to the site in August of 2015, these images are almost certainly celestial in nature. 

The first very solid clue -- to me -- is found in the double row of black triangles surrounded by red outlines, which can be seen directly above the "1876" in the above comparison: this immediately struck me as very reminiscent of the Milky Way galaxy as it rises between Scorpio and Sagittarius. 

Significantly, there is a long black "tail" or "hand-shaped" design reaching across the base of this "double track" feature -- very suggestive of the constellation Scorpio in the sky, which is located at the same part of the Milky Way as seen by viewers at the latitude of Painted Rock in the northern hemisphere (at about 35 degrees north latitude). 

Furthermore, just to the right of this Milky Way track is an oblong figure very reminiscent of the constellation Ophiucus, complete with an "upraised hand" on the same side of the figure as the "head of the serpent" in the Ophiucus constellation (the west-side of the serpent held by Ophiucus). All of this, as well as other constellations in the artwork depicted above, is described in that previous blog post, with labels and outlined illustrations.

Tragically, much of the above rock art is no longer visible, due to the deliberate desecration inflicted upon this precious sacred site. However, the "Ophiucus section" is still quite recognizable, and is shown below in a photograph from October 08, 2016:

Below is another view of the same section of the artwork, this time juxtaposed with a photograph published in 1917 of the same portion of the panel (this photograph reveals a bit more detail than the 1876  photograph by R. A. Holmes):

That photograph, which may have been taken in 1916 or 1917, can be found on a plate between pages 24 and 25 of The History of San Luis Obispo County and Environs (1917).

Other surviving figures which can be seen today and matched up to the 1876 photograph and the Campbell Grant recreation include what I believe may be an "Aquarius figure" (a figure in the rock art with a distinctive "pitched forward" posture reminiscent of the constellation Aquarius, as well as some wavy lines descending from his hand region in the same way that the Aquarius constellation can be seen to be pouring out water -- and in the same way that Aquarius figures in ancient art from other cultures were also shown with similar wavy lines, such as Hapi from ancient Egypt):

Note that the figure which I suggest may be an Aquarius figure is depicted running towards a "Great Square" figure just to the right of the yellow outlined box shown in the image above (formed by the "crossed legs" of the tall lizard-like figure who looks like he is wearing a black "top hat" in the Campbell Grant artwork. This would be consistent with the positioning of Aquarius in the heavens. The top of that "Pisces and Great Square" figure is still visible today, although the lower part (containing the Square itself) is severely damaged.

Other figures from the panel shown in earlier photographs and in the recreation by Campbell Grant clearly indicate the Twins of Gemini, who can be seen at the far right of Grant's depiction (see the first images above containing the recreation by Grant). And there are others as well, including the "bullseye" style turtle-figure in the Milky Way track just above the long tail of what I take to be the Scorpion -- this bullseye turtle is almost certainly a depiction of the constellation we know as Aquila the Eagle: the ancient rock art even has three dots to indicate the three stars in the head of Aquila (Altair being the center star of those three in Aquila).

As I have explained in many of the previous discussions of the world's Star Myths, I am convinced by the preponderance of evidence that the world's ancient wisdom uses the infinite heavens as a  visible representation of the Invisible Realm. The ancient artist or artists who painted the above panel in the awe-inducing enclosure of the great Painted Rock are almost certainly pointing not only to the stars which can be seen crossing the sky but also to the Spirit World which cannot be seen with our ordinary vision -- but which generations of men and women may well have visited from within the towering walls of that ancient natural temple.

The literature available about Painted Rock online and in early publications often describes the natural enclosure as "opening towards the east" (see for instance here and here). Personally, I am really not sure why so many accounts (including those from the California Journal of Mines and Geology) would say that it opens towards the east. The opening is clearly towards the north, as can be seen in the screenshot from the satellite imagery on Google Maps, below:

In the image above, north is up. The dirt road leading to the parking area is seen snaking in from the top of the image, light brown or tan against the surrounding plain, and looking like a serpent eating an egg (the parking lot has a kind of "turnabout"). From there, a thinner trace-line shows the footpath that leads to the rock itself, which is the grey stone feature near the lower edge of the screen, to the right of the center of the lower edge. The trail approaches the rock from the north and west.

There is no way that the opening can be mistaken as being from the east. It is surprising that a journal of geology would publish such an error.

Perhaps early writers assumed that a temple should have its opening towards the east -- the direction of the rising sun. Certainly, many churches and other religious structures are designed so that their opening is towards the east. However, the Painted Rock enclosure has towering walls on all three sides and an opening towards the north (just slightly east of north). Its walls increase in height towards the back of the enclosure, with the southern wall being the highest.

As I sat on the ground in meditation next to the panel of celestial figures reproduced above (which is on the inner portion of the eastern wall), I realized that the sun, moon, planets and zodiac constellations would trace an arc across the sky above the curve of the southern wall. In fact, as I was sitting there inside the enclosure in the afternoon, the sun was making its way towards the west along the top of the southern wall:

In the above image, we are looking towards the south. East is to the left, and west is to the right. The sun is tracking along the top of the south-west wall, on its way towards the western horizon beyond. It is very clear that a man or woman seated within the enclosure and looking towards the southern sky would have dramatic views of the march of the zodiac constellations, as well as the motions of the planets and of our own moon, traveling as they do along the ecliptic path.

In fact, at the southern edge of the enclosure (at the top of the upward-sloping ground which rises up towards the back of the enclosure) there are some shallow caves, one of which contains rock-art resembling a "solar boat" from the artwork of ancient Egypt -- complete with a sun-like object above it from which rays can be seen to descend, just like the solar imagery found in many other cultures:

The reader may even agree that one would not go too far in suggesting that the figure with the rays descending from it resembles an eye -- even an Eye of Horus (note the "eyebrow" shape arching over the eye).

Personally, I believe that the somewhat "boat-shaped" design we see above may well represent the back wall of the Painted Rock temple itself -- the southern wall, that is -- and the sun traveling above represents the sun in the sky that is indeed seen tracking across the sky above the southern wall (viewers in the northern hemisphere will always see the sun travel through the sky above the southern horizon, if they are located above the tropics).

In other words, the above rock art is located at the southern wall of the temple, and probably depicts the sun traveling above the wall (here depicted by the ancient artists on the more eastward part of its daily journey, as it travels from east to west or left to right as we face to the south). The "solar boat" seems to have a large square "notch" in its upper lines, because the Painted Rock enclosure itself actually has a deep notch in it as well, which can be seen in the photograph immediately above this one.

Below is another image showing the opening into the Painted Rock temple, looking towards the south. This time, arrows are provided to show the relative locations of the "solar boat" image (at the back of the enclosure, at the base of the south wall) and the "celestial panel" rock art (along the inside of the east wall of the enclosure, to the left as we look south):

I believe that it is very likely that the "celestial panel" of zodiac constellations, with the Milky Way band depicted rising in the center of the panel, flanked by Ophiucus above Scorpio, marks a location where the motions of the sun, moon, stars and planets could very easily be observed, wheeling in the sky above the enclosure of the temple, with the zodiac band tracing an arc above the sweep of the south wall.

From there, the presence of the Spirit World -- the Infinite Realm -- would be very palpably felt.

In fact, on my most recent visit, the entire plain was so silent that I could most definitely feel the presence of that invisible world.

The likelihood that this ancient temple was used for contact with the Other World is indicated not only by the celestial nature of the rock art, but also by the presence of at least two staring figures to the left of what I believe to be the Milky Way band in the celestial panel of artwork, who are shown below:

Can you see them, just to the left of the shallow cup-like indentation that can be seen near the center of the photograph above? They have large staring eyes and a mouth full of very tall, skull-like teeth.

Here is a closer view of the same figures:

To see them, look to the left of the darker-brown circular cup-shaped hole or indentation in the photo.

I am not certain that these correspond to any constellations. In fact, the large black circle to the left of them in the Campbell Grant depiction (the one with two triangular "horns" on its top edge and two more along its bottom edge) may not be a constellation either. An astute participant on Graham Hancock's message boards suggested to me that this feature may represent the Painted Rock enclosure itself -- tying the feature on the terrestrial landscape to the stellar figures who move across the celestial landscape above.

If so, then the two figures to the right of the circle, shown in the image above, may either be shamanic travelers going into or arising to the heavens from the Painted Rock enclosure, or else they may represent spirit beings manifesting to Painted Rock participants from another realm or dimension.

In any case, I believe it is absolutely beyond doubt that the rock art of Painted Rock connects the ancient temple to the heavens -- and thus to the Invisible Realm.

The fact that it uses imagery which can be clearly identified as following the same outlines used for constellations as outlined by H. A. Rey and as used in the ancient myths of virtually all cultures, outlines which can be detected informing the figures found gracing the pottery of ancient Greece or the artwork of ancient Egypt shows that all of the world's sacred traditions are somehow very closely related -- perhaps descended from some common source of extreme antiquity.

This same worldwide system of celestial metaphor can also be positively shown to operate as the foundation for all the stories in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as well, which makes it tragically ironic that literalist devotees of the Biblical texts would feel justified in defaming the sacred traditions of other cultures and trying to convince men and women around the world that they need to reject their own traditions and adopt a literalistic view of the Biblical texts.

Painted Rock thus stands as a symbol of the destruction that has been wrought due to the loss of connection with the celestial and spiritual message of the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories -- as well as powerful evidence that the stars are at the heart of the ancient wisdom, and that the starry realm points us to the Invisible Realm, the realm of spirit and the realm of the gods.

In this way, it also stands as a double condemnation of the impulse to divide, despoil, and destroy -- and as a powerful testimony to the ongoing importance of the spiritual realm, and of our connection to it: a connection that should unite us instead of dividing us.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Announcing "Stars over Wine Country" October 29 - 30

Announcing the first-ever Stars over Wine Country event, to be held on the evening of Saturday, October 29 in the region of Paso Robles, California. 

I will lead a "guided tour" of some of the constellations visible in our night sky, using a laser-pointer to indicate specific stars and outlines (weather permitting). You won't have to walk anywhere to go on this "tour," since it will take place in the stars overhead. Warm clothes and portable folding chairs or blankets are recommended, to enable you to look up at the sky from a comfortable position.

The next morning, those able to attend are invited to visit a sacred ancient Petroglyph site of tremendous significance, which is located about an hour's drive away (directions will be provided upon RSVP).

The plan is to meet at 6pm on Saturday night, and conclude later that evening (optional meet for dinner afterwards at a restaurant that stays open late). The sacred Petroglyph visit the next day should conclude by noon: the plan is to make it easy for those who may need time to travel. 

I will have copies of my several books available for purchase for those interested, and will be happy to inscribe them for you (alternately, feel free to bring copies you already own if you'd like them signed).

If you're not able to attend this particular gathering, I will also be setting up a web-based option to purchase books directly from me if you'd like them inscribed, and that should be ready in plenty of time for those wanting books to give as gifts during any of the major solstice-related holidays from the world's various ancient sacred traditions. However, that web-based option will require you to pay shipping costs, which you won't have to pay if you purchase books in person.

There is no charge for this special event. Of course, you have to handle your own travel, lodging and food expenses. We'll ask for separate tabs at dinner to keep everything as simple and uncomplicated as possible.

The weather for star-gazing has the potential to be outstanding, but there is always the possibility of fog rolling in from the Pacific ocean, so there are no guarantees that we'll be able to see any stars or planets.  If the sky is blocked out by fog or clouds, we'll just set up a projector and a screen and discuss a few constellations and myths that way, instead.

We'll do our best to see some constellations, however, and the hope is that you might identify a constellation that you might never have "positively identified" previously!

If you are interested in participating in this special Stars over Wine Country event, please RSVP at the Star Myth World website's "contact form" page which can be found here, and indicate names and how many will be in your party. Please specify "RSVP" in the subject line of that form. 

The area has a number of lodging options, including hotels, bed & breakfasts, and "AirBnB" and "VRBO" locations. There are also some camping options in the area: if camping interests you, take a look at some of the sites listed here, as well as the campsites located in the Cerro Alto area of the Los Padres National Forest.

The Paso Robles area is home to some of the best grape-growing terrain and soil in the world, as well as literally hundreds of wineries. Folds and gaps in the hills create numerous microclimates and the cold air coming in from the ocean at night can create temperature swings of over fifty degrees in a single twenty-four hour period.

This online brochure lists many of the wineries and their locations and websites, if you're interested in checking out wine-tasting during your visit. Most have tasting rooms on site which are open from 10am to 5pm or 5:30pm daily (check individual sites for details), where you can sample their wines, purchase bottles to take with you, join their wine clubs, or have bottles shipped.

Below is a map showing the layout of the region, indicating wineries by name (original here). Someone (not myself) subjectively decided which wineries should be indicated as "recommended wineries" on this map:

This website contains more information, including links to lodging and other recommended attractions in the area.  Here is one additional website with some further details on the specific grapes and varietals most commonly encountered in the Paso Robles AVA.

In addition to wineries, there are also some well-known breweries in the area, including Firestone-Walker and Barrelhouse.

You may also want to check out the beaches and coastline, day hike opportunities, downtown shopping and boutiques, and other area attractions while visiting the Paso Robles and surrounding region.

I realize that not everyone who may want to attend will be able to make it to this particular event. Hopefully it will be the first of many, to be held in different locations with good dark views of the night sky, during different times of year. This one will be fairly modest in scope, so unless this part of California is within driving distance for you, it may not make sense to go too far out of the way, unless you are already looking for a vacation in this particular area (or wanting to visit the sacred Petroglyph site).

Obviously, the days leading up to Halloween are a busy time for many people, but the following months will only become even more busy, and this particular weekend will have a New Moon, which often enables some of the best nights for stargazing.

Also, the Halloween period is one of the most important time periods on the entire ancient calendar, according to Alvin Boyd Kuhn (and others). See previous posts here, here and here, for example.

This is also the wine-harvesting time in many vineyards in the northern hemisphere. In the myth-system of ancient Greece, the god of wine is of course Dionysus, who is shown in the amphora below holding a wine-vessel and standing beside a long-horned goat. We may have occasion to see the constellations which are almost certainly associated with this scene, presently crossing the center of the night sky during the "prime time" star-viewing hours after sunset and before midnight.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

I hope to see you at this special Stars over Wine Country event, if you're interested in attending and able to come to Paso Robles, California at the end of October!