Category Archives: Astronomy

The Analemma: The Secret in the Sky

 The Analemma is the figure 8 image we discovered based on the recording of positions of the sun seen at the same time and from the same fixed point throughout a full year.

The reason for this is because of two factors: firstly, the Earth is tilted on its axis at 23.5° in relation to the plane of its orbit going around the sun and secondly, the Earth doesn’t actually orbit the sun in a circle, but in an ellipse, which is a more elongated curve.

When we combine these two effects we get the Analemma.

Although today this phenomenon can be recorded using a camera, it is something that most of us would be unaware of based on everyday perception.

And yet the symbolism of the Analemma is apparent in many ancient and esoteric traditions. Perhaps those who first noticed the sun’s movements were alluding to an unconscious bond with its path which was then represented throughout mystical and spiritual writings and paths.

Very often, though, this significance is hidden within occult symbolism and arcane doctrine. These traditions represent not only the cycle of the year and eternal return but symbolize the belief in the immortality of the soul and its indestructible essence.

To the ancients, light was the cause of life; and God was the source from which all light flowed; the essence of light, the invisible fire, developed as flame manifested as light and splendour. The sun was His manifestation and visible image; and the Sabaeans worshipping the light-God, seemed to worship the sun, in whom they saw the manifestation of the Deity.” (1.)

These are the words of Albert Pike, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, taken from his work, Morals and Dogma.

There are countless examples of solar deities throughout world religions and myths. A solar deity would be a god or goddess representing either the sun outright or an aspect of its effect and influence.

Famous solar deities include Sol (Variants include German, Greek, Roman and Norse figures), Apollo, Mitra, Shamash, Ra, Horus, Etain, Buddha, and Jesus.

Some of the most obvious traits to look for within the lore and associations of these deities are twelve helpers, important events in their lives associated with equinoxes and solstices, and descriptions of their influences relating to the attributes of light.

In this particular article, however, we are looking for evidence of the Analemma within the context of mythic and religious figures.

Writing in The Esoteric Tarot, Ronald Decker comments upon the wide-brimmed hat worn by The Juggler in the early Tarot, “The curving brim of The Juggler’s hat is commonly believed to embody the infinity sign (∞) called a lemniscate.”

Decker goes on to write, “The Juggler’s hat identifies him as a native of a remote region, which, in this context, I take to be the abode of souls before birth.” (2.)

How telling it is then, that in later Tarot the Juggler is replaced by The Magician and his hat is simply replaced by a ∞ over his head.

If we remain on Tarot cards for a moment we can look to the number 8 card for an even more, symbolic example of the sun’s journey throughout the year.

This is the number of the Strength card and immediately we can notice the Analemma or Lemniscate infinity symbol above the androgynous figure’s head.

As we have seen, the journey of the sun is about its eternal cycle from the lowest point, on December 21st, to its zenith, on June 21st.

This is the story of the solar deity, the dying in the winter, the resurrection in the spring and the peak on the summer solstice.

We also see the number 8 represented in the Wheel of the Year, celebrated by ancient Pagans and within Wicca today; the solstices and equinoxes divided by their midpoints, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain.

We see the Analemma within some of the oldest representations of the Ouroboros, representing, again, the return to the beginning and the cycle of time.

There are so many solar motifs relating to Jesus within the Bible that it is impossible to include them all, but it is interesting, instead, to draw attention to some that are not so apparent at first glance.

For example, in the Bible, and after his death, Jesus (The Sun) is shown alive again 8 times. (3.)

In Greek Gematria, the number of Jesus is 888. We are then left to wonder about the triple figure 8: why three times and where is the solar connotation?

Significantly, the number 3 in Pythagorean mathematics is the number of new life and balance. Pythagoras said that Apollo (An earlier sun God) gave oracles from a tripod and the number 3 represented the Vesica Piscis, the symbol of the fact that God gave birth to his world out of himself. (4.)

It is no coincidence that the fish shape of the Vesica Piscis became a Christian symbol for Jesus although it is interesting to ask how many Christians know of its original pagan meaning. (5.)

The Pythagoreans also spoke of the number 8 in terms of law and holiness. They believed it derived its form from the twisted snakes on the caduceus of Hermes and partly from the serpentine motion of the celestial bodies. (6.)

Finally, one has to wonder about the cryptic words of Jesus in the Gnostic text The Gospel of Thomas. When the disciples ask Jesus how will their end come, he answers, “Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.” (7.)

Again, we see beneath the words the association with infinity and the continual cycle of the Analemma.

Throughout our lives, we are continually moving between moments of happiness and sadness, times that bring us hope and times that make us despair.

The Analemma teaches us that none of this is permanent and that we are always given a chance to begin again. Sometimes, like the movement of the sun, we may not notice these moments. They may appear to be so subtle that their arrival is only noticed by our unconscious minds.

But the secret of the ancients was that time is cyclical and that the end is found at the beginning and is most noticeable from a place of stillness, a fixed self that can become aware of the cycles of the planet, the stars and, when we are ready, the soul.

© David Halpin 08/01/ 2016.

  1. Albert Pike Morals and Dogma 1. Apprentice
  2. Ronald Decker. The Esoteric Tarot. (P.12)
  3. Mark 16:9–11, Luke 24, John 20:19–24, John 20:26–29, 1, Corinthians 15:4–7, Matthew 28:16–17, John 21:1–24, and finally, before his ‘ascension to ‘Heaven’ again in Acts 1.
  4. The Secret Teachings of all Ages. M. P. Hall. Tarcher Penguin Edition. (P.217.)
  5. http://symboldictionary.net/?p=1127
  6. The Secret Teachings of all Ages. M. P. Hall. Tarcher Penguin Edition. (P. 220.)
  7. (7.) The Gospel of Thomas. Saying 18.

Are the rich using solar cycles to make money?

J.P. Morgan once said, “millionaires don’t need astrologers, but billionaires do.” Now, I don’t want to create an argumentum ad verecundiam, but such a statement makes you wonder.

Could there be something we’re not aware of regarding the stars and our solar system? Perhaps there actually is a way of using the stars to predict things. Morgan believed there was and used astrologers to guide his business and investments. He’s not alone, though. A lot of investors use astrology as a basis for their investments. In fact, the founding date of the New York Stock Exchange may have been based on astrology. Astrological symbolism and allegory can also be seen in the origin and meaning of the bull and bear market expression. There are even companies, such as MMA Cycles, based on using astrological cycles to make investments.

“Astrological economics is not fortune cookie baloney,” said Robert Gover, author of the book Time & Money: The Economy and the Planets. “We go back deep into history to see where the planets were in the sky at the time of certain events. Years ago you had to come up with star charts and calculate their radiuses by using complex math. Now we have computer programs that can chart that out for us. What you see over time is that there is a lot of movement up there in the solar system and that movement can affect individual lives as much as it can affect nations.” [Forbes]

Does this seem absurd? Of course but people HAVE made money by investing based on solar cycles. In another Forbes article, Bill Sarubbi explains the process in further detail.

There is no hard science to astrology but there could be a ‘science’ based on the philosophy and ideology surrounding astrology and that’s what we believe is happening here if anything. Regardless, we don’t encourage anyone to invest based on solar cycles but it is something people are doing and it’s interesting nonetheless.

In my eyes, this is probably a practice built sheerly on metaphor and allegory, creating trends based on historical belief systems that form patterns to create market predictability. In other words, it’s the same old solar mythology but applied to the markets.

The origin/meaning of the Bull and Bear Market expression

According to Investopedia, “the actual origins of these expressions ( the bull and bear market ) are unclear.” If, however, you understand what Albert Pike referred to as the “Sacred Science of the Mysteries”, then it’s crystal clear.

“There was an intimate connection between the Sacred Science of the Mysteries, and ancient astronomy and physics; and the grand spectacle of the Sanctuaries was that of the order of the Known Universe, or the spectacle of Nature itself, surrounding the soul of the Initiate, as it surrounded it when it first descended through the planetary gates, and by the equinoctial and solstitial doors, along the Milky Way, to be for the first time immured in its prison-house of matter.” — Pike, Albert., Morales & Dogma, p. 415


Continue reading The origin/meaning of the Bull and Bear Market expression

Carl Sagan on The Sirius Mystery

The Sirius Mystery is the hypothesis that the Dogon of Mali, in west Africa, retained an ancient tradition of extraterrestrial contact from the Sirius star system.

These extraterrestrial beings are supposed to have taught the arts and sciences to the human race and are claimed to have originated the Pharaonic system of ancient Egypt, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and Greek mythology, etc.

The “mystery” of the hypothesis is how the Dogon supposedly gained knowledge of Sirius B, a white dwarf star, the companion star of Sirius A, which is invisible without visual aid. Robert Temple argued that since the Dogon had knowledge of that star invisible without visual aid, they must have made contact with alien life.

Carl Sagan spoke on The Sirius Mystery in his book Broca’s Brain. Sagan believed that since the Dogon seemed to have no knowledge of another planet past Saturn, that their knowledge most likely came from a European source, and thus, not an extraterrestrial source. Sagan asserts that it is a matter of cultural transfer that explains the Dogon’s awareness of Sirius B.[1]

1:  Sagan, Carl., Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science (1986) p. 86.

As Above, So Below: True Meaning of The Cross With Crichton Miller

As quoted from the article I did for Disinformation.

“We are on firmer ground when we reflect on how our ancestors used the stars — for timekeeping, calendar-making, and navigation at sea.”
The History of Astronomy by Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest, p.8

The Golden Thread of Time by Crichton E. M. Miller traces the history of the cross from Paleolithic and Neolithic hunter-gatherers to stone age seafarers and megalith masons. He argues that the cross was not merely a religious symbol but a device used to measure time, navigate, make astronomical observations, and create architecture. He first came to this realization when attempting to discover an ancient theodolite capable of accuracy to 3 minutes of arc in order to measure the pyramids of Giza. He suddenly found himself kneeling before such a device in the form of a cross. It was this discovery, or rediscovery, that initiated his journey to understand the true meaning and history of the cross.

“How did the cross originate?” I asked.

“Seafaring hunter-gatherers had to find a way to measure time in order to navigate the seas and to survive by intercepting migrating herds, shoals of fish, and to account for harvests of fruits and nuts,” Miller explains. He goes on to say that the ancients created a device in order to understand astronomical cycles by measuring the angular changes of the Earth and Moon by their spin and orbit. By measuring such changes based on the fixed signs of the Zodiac, the ancients were able to calculate time and thus, survive. Miller explains that Taurus the Bull was the first sign used to measure time.

“The first sign used to predict the season was Taurus the Bull to represent the migration of the Auroch. The reflection of the Auroch as a symbol of time can be seen in wall paintings in Lascaux in France,” he said.

"Lascaux painting" by Prof saxx - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Miller reasons that the signs of the Zodiac were developed from an animistic perspective in which the animals were seen as sacrificing themselves to sustain the hunter. From this perspective, you begin to understand how the symbolism between that which is above and below began to form. The ancients literally came to use the great stars above to measure and understand the world below. Millers says the cross itself is a miniaturization of the “As above, so below,” motif.

There are prehistoric Scandinavian petroglyphs that depict the hunting of herds, sailing of ships, and cross-wheels. These petroglyphs may act as possible evidence since they fit perfectly into Miller’s hypothesis of the cross as a time-keeping device. He also believes that evidence can be found in the Great Pyramid of Khufu and that devices such as the Antikythera mechanism lend credence to his hypothesis. The proper understanding of words and particular excerpts of literature may also act as linguistic repositories that are indicative of the process in which the ancients measured time.

“How our ancestors measured and perceived time is written in the Bible, and the meaning of all non-contemporary translations of words used in their correct context can be found in any good college dictionary. For example, Genesis 1:14 describes the method of keeping time in the following extract from the King James Bible.” Miller said.

“And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.”

• Sunday means day of the sun.
• Monday means day of the moon
• Rod descends from a reed which is segmented and means ruler
• Rood means cross in Scotland
• Ruler means measurer.
• Temple means place of measuring Time
• Church means Ruler of the Circle. (Temple)
• Horizon means belt or circle of time
• Heaven means the sky above
• World means epoch or civilization of man
• Sign means constellation
• Zodiac means wheel of creatures

Miller believes that shamanic rulers who understood how to measure time grew in power to guide the people and became the first rulers or “measurers.” This makes sense because many of the first astronomers were priests and their understanding of the “heavens” was seen as “divine.” Of course, Miller’s hypothesis is that these rulers had a cross-like device which allowed them to do so. He believes that the cross itself is very ancient, but that the true understanding of it was lost or suppressed. He asserts that its meaning became lost or suppressed during the reign of Constantine the Great and was not understood again until the Knight Templars rediscovered its true meaning.

 

The Secret Behind Sirius

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons

The star Sirius has been surrounded by a strange and mysterious lore since the beginning of human civilization. In fact, the world’s oldest known temple, Göbekli Tepe, might have been built to worship Sirius. Sirius was observed by the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, Babylonians, etc.

In the ancient mystery schools, Sirius was considered the “sun behind the sun” and therefore, became the true and sacred source of light shining in the East. It has long been an object of veneration among various civilizations and secretive orders but why? Some would have you believe that alien inhabitants descended from Sirius to seed life and knowledge on Earth but I am not one of those people. I believe there is a very simple but meaningful explanation for its worship.

Continue reading The Secret Behind Sirius

Ernest Becker’s “Immortality Project” Hypothesis and The Pyramids

Featured Image: Wikipedia Commons

As quoted from Disinformation and written by our very own Sammy R. LaPoint.

Anthropologist Ernest Becker proposed a particularly interesting premise in his 1973 book, The Denial of Death, which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1974. The book proposes that civilization is driven by a symbolic defense mechanism created by the awareness of our mortality, which acts as an intellectual and emotional response to our survival mechanism. In other words, people attempt to outlive their own lives by doing or becoming a part of something that will symbolically transcend their own death. It reminds me of the eerie quote at the beginning of the movie Troy.

“Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?” — Odysseus in the movie script of Troy

Becker suggests that there exists a fundamental duality between a symbolic world of human-defined meaning and the perceived physical world of objects. He refers to this attempt to transcend our own mortality as an “immortality project,” in which people essentially fight their inevitable death by symbolically escaping it. He states that this is most often achieved through acts of heroism that perceivably allow us to become a part of something eternal; something that won’t decay like our bodies.

I found this concept of an immortality project very interesting but wondered if there were any conclusive examples. Perhaps, a significant object or structure that not only created developments in civilization but was specifically created to immortalize someone. It dawned on me many years later that the greatest example of this is the Great Pyramids. The pyramids were not only developed by a religious philosophy of an afterlife and hope for immortality but were used to immortalize the pharaoh it was constructed for. In fact, the whole evolution of pyramid building in ancient Egypt perfectly matches the immortality project concept proposed by Becker. To understand, you have to take a brief look at the physical and philosophical evolution of ancient Egyptian pyramids.

The dead were buried in very basic and shallow burial pits for thousands of years in Predynastic Egypt, but this wasn’t adequate considering the religious philosophy of the ancient Egyptians. Their belief in the afterlife or hope for immortality created a necessity to preserve the human body. So, what you see is a very long evolutionary process that extends from basic burial pits to mastabas, step pyramids, and finally to the “true” pyramids that we commonly recognize. In fact, mastaba means “house of eternity” or “eternal house.” So, underpinning the entire burial process is the religious philosophy of an afterlife and each pharaoh’s hope to immortalize himself in stone. In a way, immortality was achieved considering the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only intact ‘wonder’ of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The pyramids of ancient Egypt are a prime example of Becker’s immortality project, in which societal and architectural developments that were vital in the creation of civilization were sparked by a symbolic escape from our own mortality. In fact, the successful utilization of stone building is often accredited to Imhotep, the designer of the pharaoh Sneferu’s pyramid at Djoser, and he is often considered the first architect and engineer. His designs were crucial in developing the pyramids, but consider for a moment, why? This was all done to essentially preserve the pharaoh’s path into the afterlife and to immortalize him. As Becker describes, that’s precisely how this symbolic defense influenced various aspects of civilization.

This whole concept isn’t only limited to architectural developments. The economy itself was influenced by the belief in the afterlife or hope for immortality. For example, gold was viewed as a durable or “immortal” substance, which is why it was buried with ancient Egyptian pharaohs. It wasn’t merely a pompous display of wealth but was to be taken with them into the afterlife for all eternity. These examples give Becker’s theory credence.

In the wake of our own inevitable death, we seek to immortalize ourselves, thus informing the development of civilization.

“Why do you weep? Did you think I was immortal?” — last words of King Louis XIV

Sammy R. LaPoint © 2015

Sources:
(The History of Ancient Egypt – Ph.D. Bob Brier)
(The Denial of Death – Ernest Becker)
(The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt – Ian Shaw.)
(Egyptian Mythology – Geraldine Pinch.)
(The Pyramids Of Egypt – Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards.)
(The Pyramids – Ahmed Fakhry.)
(The Ideology of the Superstructure of the Mastaba-Tomb in Egypt – Alexander Badaway.)
(The Complete Pyramids – Mark Lehner.)
(Gold in Antiquity – Mark Cartwright.)

Freemasonry Is An Inference Of Ancient Wisdom

Some have suggested that Freemasonry is a religion or a cult. This isn’t true based on close examination of the craft of Freemasonry. Freemasonry is an inference of ancient wisdom ( mostly ancient astrotheology ) and not a religion or cult. It does have religious aspects and concepts but the craft itself isn’t religious nor does it ask or demand any specific forms of worship.

The allegories of Freemasonry are mostly veiled inferences about the ancient astrotheology that was embedded within various religions of the ancient world and even masonry. It cannot, therefore, be a literal belief in any theological aspects or concepts that it depicts outside of the moral or philosophical realm. That is why Freemasonry claims not to be a religion but why it also accepts all religions.

It would be quite ironic if it were a religion since that would mean it’s a religion that accepts all religions, which is contradictory given the conflicting messages of various religions.
Continue reading Freemasonry Is An Inference Of Ancient Wisdom

The Sacred Tetramorph

The sacred tetramorph was derived from the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Babylonian sphinxes of antiquity symbolizing the body of a bull (Taurus.svg), the wings of a falcon (Scorpio.svg), the paws of a lion (Leo.svg), and the face of a man (Aquarius.svg). The four creatures are symbols of the age and constellations of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. These four constellations symbolize the fixed signs of the Zodiac. The tetramorph also represents the four seasons of the great Platonic year. NASA defines the Platonic year as “The period of one complete cycle of the equinoxes around the ecliptic, about 25,800 years.”

  • Taurus (Taurus.svg): Spring Equinox: St Luke
    Taurus
  • Leo (Leo.svg): Summer Solstice: St Mark
    Leo
  • Scorpio (Scorpio.svg): Autumn Equinox: St John
    Scorpio
  • Aquarius (Aquarius.svg): Winter Solstice: St Matthew
    Aquarius

In Christianity, the Tetramorph represents the Four Evangelists or four living creatures derived from the Book of Ezekiel. St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke, and St John are depicted accordingly. Ezekiel describes his vision as such.

“As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” – Book of Ezekiel

”And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.” – as described in the Book of Revelation

So, how did this come to be represented in Christianity? Well, the prophet Ezekiel was among the Jews exiled to Babylon and his vision from which the Tetramorph was brought into Christianity was likely influenced by the art of ancient Assyria.


 

17,300-Year-Old Star Map In Lascaux Cave

The Lascaux cave paintings are estimated to be 17,300 years old and they also feature the oldest identified star map on Earth.

Michael Rappenglueck of the University of Munich argues that many of the images in the Lascaux cave depict the constellations of Taurus, the Pleiades, and the celestial grouping known as the “Summer Triangle.”

French researcher Chantal Jègues-Wolkiewiez further suggests that the gallery of images in the Great Hall symbolizes an extensive star map and that key points accurately correspond to the main constellations as they would have appeared in the Paleolithic age. She also believes these locations were specifically selected since most of them are illuminated by the setting sun on the day of the Winter Solstice.

The cave paintings feature appropriately configured images that appear as constellations, correspond with the constellations as they would have appeared in the Paleolithic age, displays a lunar calendar, and are mostly in locations illuminated by the sun on the day of the Winter Solstice. For many, the above mentioned eliminates coincidence from the equation.

For more info on this ancient star map, check out the two (1, 2) interviews BBC News did with Michael Rappenglueck.

stly in locations illuminated by the sun on the day of the winter solstice. For many, the above mentioned eliminates coincidence from the equation.

For more info on this ancient star map, check out the two (1, 2) interviews BBC News did with Michael Rappenglueck.