Showing posts with label Saturn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saturn. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 May 2017



The Motley Fool:


The Motley Fool:
How did you come by a name like that? 

It's the diminutive of my proper name, Perpugilliam. 

The Motley Fool: 

" One morn, a peri at the gate of Eden stood disconsolate. "

Who wrote that? 

I haven't the faintest idea. 

The Motley Fool:: 
Of course you don't. 
You don't even know what a peeri  is, do you, Peri


The Motley Fool:: 
I'll tell you. 
A peeri is a good and beautiful fairy in Persian mythology. 

The interesting thing is, before it became good, it was evil

And that's what you are

Thoroughly evil. 

Doctor, stop it! 

No. No, not even a fairy.

 An alien spy, sent here to spy on me!

Well, we all know the fate of alien spies...!!!

(The Doctor lunges at Peri and grabs her around the throat. She manages to grab the mirror from the console before he throws her to the floor, then she shows him his reflection. He lets her go, recoiling in tears.)

Original Transcription courtesy of

The Ultimate Foe :

The Motley Fool (6) and The Evil One

Why waste your breath on that simple minded oaf? 

 You cannot speak as though reality is a one-dimensional concept. 

 Fortunately, there is a reality that you and I can both agree on. 
The Ultimate Reality. 

The Motley Fool
The Undiscovered Country - from whose bourn no traveller returns. 

The Motley Fool
 Puzzles the will. Hamlet, Act Three Scene One.
I really must curb these urges. 
I've no wish to be contaminated by your whims and idiosyncrasies. 

The Motley Fool
Quite so. But what I don't comprehend... 

He's over here, Doc. Slippery customer, your other persona. 

The Motley Fool
What I don't comprehend is why you want me dead. 

No. No, let me rephrase that. 

It would satisfy my curiosity to know why you should go to such extraordinary lengths to kill me

Come now, Doctor. 

How else can I obtain my freedom, operate as a complete entity, unfettered by your side of my existence? 

Only by ridding myself of you and your misplaced morality, your constant crusading, your...

Idiotic honesty? 

Oaf. Microbe. 

Pardon me for trying to help. I'm neutral in this set-up, you know. 

Only by releasing myself from the misguided maxims that you nurture can I be free. 

Sounds to me like Armageddon's beckoning you, Doc. 

With you destroyed and no longer able to constrain me, and with unlimited access to the Matrix, there will be nothing beyond my reach. 

Original Transcription courtesy of
The Hex on Planet 6

Well - so, that was unlucky...


Yes, because in 1963, they saw "Lolita" and thought THIS IS THE GUY WE NEED..!!

This is the guy for The Job!!

Well, the chronology in the song presents it as "We gotta get the President out of the way and hire Stanley Kubrick".

You know - the Spartacus guy...!

All of which Kubrick/Apollo nonsense is, for me, a MASSIVE distraction from the REAL question :

 Why is Stanley so afraid of Saturn...?

The God who ate all his own children and castrated his own father with a scythe in his sleep to steal his power and his throne -

Well - Wouldn't You Be...?


 15 - Discovery

 The ship was still only thirty days from Earth, yet David Bowman sometimes found it hard to believe that be had ever known any other existence than the closed little world of Discovery. All his years of training, all his earlier missions to the Moon and Mars, seemed to belong to another man, in another life.

 Frank Poole admitted to the same feelings, and had sometimes jokingly regretted that the nearest psychiatrist was the better part of a hundred million miles away. But this sense of isolation and estrangement was easy enough to understand, and certainly indicated no abnormality.

 In the fifty years since men had ventured into space, there had never been a mission quite like this.

 It had begun, five years ago, as Project Jupiter - the first manned round trip to the greatest of the planets. The ship was nearly ready for the two-year voyage when, somewhat abruptly, the mission profile had been changed.

 Discovery would still go to Jupiter; but she would not stop there. She would not even slacken speed as she raced through the far-ranging Jovian satellite system. On the contrary - she would use the gravitational field of the giant world us a sling to cast her even farther from the Sun.

 Like a comet, she would streak on across the outer reaches of the solar system to her ultimate goal, the ringed glory of Saturn. And she would never return.

 For Discovery, it would be a one-way trip - yet her crew had no intention of committing suicide. If all went  well, they would be back on Earth within seven years - five of which would pass like a flash in the dreamless sleep of hibernation, while they awaited rescue by the still unbuilt Discovery II.

 The word "rescue" was carefully avoided in all the Astronautics Agency's statements and documents; it implied some failure of planning, and the approved jargon was "re-acquisition." If anything went really wrong, there would certainly be no hope of rescue, almost a billion miles from Earth.

 It was a calculated risk, like all voyages into the unknown. But half a century of research had proved that artificially induced human hibernation was perfectly safe, and it had opened up new possibilities in space travel. Not until this mission, however, had they been exploited to the utmost.

 The three members of the survey team, who would not be needed until the ship entered her final orbit around Saturn, would sleep through the entire outward flight. Tons of food and other expendables would thus be saved; almost as important, the team would be fresh and alert, and not fatigued by the ten-month voyage, when they went into action.

 Discovery would enter a parking orbit around Saturn, becoming a new moon of the giant planet.

 She would swing back and forth along a two-million-mile ellipse that took her close to Saturn, and then across the orbits of all its major moons. They would have a hundred days in which to map and study a world with eighty times the area of Earth, and surrounded by a retinue of at least fifteen known satellites - one of them as large as the planet Mercury.

19 - Transit of Jupiter

 Even front twenty million miles away, Jupiter was already the most conspicuous object in the sky ahead. The planet was now a pale, salmon-hued disk, about half the size of the Moon as seen from Earth, with the dark, parallel bands of its cloud belts clearly visible.

 Shuttling back and forth in the equatorial plane were the brilliant stars of Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto - worlds that elsewhere would have counted as planets in their own right, but which here were merely satellites of a giant master.

Through the telescope, Jupiter was a glorious sight - a mottled, multicolored globe that seemed to fill the sky. It was impossible to grasp its real size; Bowman kept reminding himself that it was eleven times the diameter of Earth, but for a long time this was a statistic with no real meaning.

 Then, while he was briefing himself from the tapes in Hal's memory units, he found something that suddenly brought the appalling scale of the planet into focus. It was an illustration that showed the Earth's entire surface peeled off and then pegged, like the skin of an animal, on the disk of Jupiter. Against this background, all the continents and oceans of Earth appeared no larger than India on the terrestrial globe.

 When Bowman used the highest magnification of Discovery's telescopes, he appeared to be hanging above a slightly flattened globe, looking down upon a vista of racing clouds that had been smeared into bands by the giant world's swift rotation. Sometimes those bands congealed into wisps and knots and continent-sized masses of colored vapor; sometimes they were linked by transient bridges thousands of miles in length. Hidden beneath those clouds was enough material to outweigh all the other planets in the Solar System. And what else, Bowman wondered, was also hidden there?

 Over this shifting, turbulent roof of clouds, forever hiding the real surface of the planet, circular patterns of darkness sometimes glided. One of the inner moons was transiting the distant sun, its shadow marching beneath it over the restless Jovian cloudscape.

 There were other, and far smaller, moons even out here - twenty million miles from Jupiter.

 But they were only flying mountains, a few dozen miles in diameter, and the ship would pass nowhere near any of them. Every few minutes the radar transmitter would gather its strength and send out a silent thunderclap of power; no echoes of new satellites came pulsing back from the emptiness.

 What did come, with ever growing intensity, was the roar of Jupiter's own radio voice. In 1955, just before the dawn of the space age, astronomers had been astonished to find that Jupiter was blasting out millions of horsepower on the ten-meter band. It was merely raw noise, associated with haloes of charged particles circling the planet like the Van Allen belts of Earth, but on a far greater scale.

 Sometimes, during lonely hours on the control deck, Bowman would listen to this radiation. He would turn up the gain until the room filled with a crackling, hissing roar; out of this background, at irregular intervals, emerged brief whistles and peeps like the cries of demented birds. It was an eerie sound, for it had nothing to do with Man; it was as lonely and as meaningless as the murmur of waves on a beach, or the distant crash of thunder beyond the horizon.

 Even at her present speed of over a hundred thousand miles an hour, it would take Discovery almost two weeks to cross the orbits of all the Jovian satellites. More moons circled Jupiter than planets orbited the Sun; the Lunar Observatory was discovering new ones every year, and the tally had now reached thirty-six. The outermost - Jupiter XXVII - moved backwards in an unstable path nineteen million miles from its temporary master. It was the prize in a perpetual tug-of-war between Jupiter and the Sun, for the planet was constantly capturing short-lived moons from the asteroid belt, and losing them again after a few million years. Only the inner satellites were its permanent property; the Sun could never wrest them from its grasp.

 Now there was new prey for the clashing gravitation at fields, Discovery was accelerating toward Jupiter along a complex orbit computed months ago by the astronomers on Earth, and constantly checked by Hal. From time to time there would be minute, automatic nudges from the control jets, scarcely perceptible aboard the ship, as they made fine adjustments to the trajectory.

 Over the radio link with Earth, information was flowing back in a constant stream. They were now so far from home that, even traveling at the speed of light, their signals were taking fifty minutes for the journey. Though the whole world was looking over their shoulder, watching through their eyes and their instruments as Jupiter approached, it would be almost an hour before the news of their discoveries reached home.

The telescopic cameras were operating constantly as the ship cut across the orbit of the giant inner satellites - every one of them larger than the Moon, every one of them unknown territory.

 Three hours before transit, Discovery passed only twenty thousand miles from Europa, and all instruments were aimed at the approaching world, as it grew steadily in size, changed from globe to crescent, and swept swiftly sunward.

 Here were fourteen million square miles of land which, until this moment, had never been more than a pinhead in the mightiest telescope. They would race past it in minutes, and must make the most of the encounter, recording all the information they could. There would be months in which they could play it back at leisure.

 From a distance, Europa had seemed like a giant snowball, reflecting the light of the far-off sun with remarkable efficiency. Closer observations confirmed this; unlike the dusty Moon, Europa was a brilliant white, and much of its surface was covered with glittering hunks that looked like stranded icebergs. Almost certainly, these were formed from ammonia and water that Jupiter's gravitational field had somehow failed to capture.

 Only along the equator was bare rock visible; here was an incredibly jagged no-man's-land of canyons and jumbled boulders, forming a darker band that completely surrounded the little world.
 There were a few impact craters, but no sign of vulcanism; Europa had obviously never possessed any internal sources of heat. There was, as had long been known, a trace of atmosphere. When the dark edge of the satellite passed across a star, it dimmed briefly before the moment of eclipse.

 And in somr areas there was a hint of cloud - perhaps a mist of ammonia droplets, borne on tenuous methane winds.

 As swiftly as it had rushed out of the sky ahead, Europa dropped astern; and now Jupiter itself was only two hours away. Hal had checked and rechecked the ship's orbit with infinite care, and there was no need for further speed corrections until the moment of closest approach. Yet, even knowing this, it was a strain on the nerves to watch that giant globe ballooning minute by minute. It was difficult to believe that Discovery was not plunging directly into it, and that the planet's immense gravitational field was not dragging them down to destruction. Now was the time to drop the atmospheric probes - which, it was hoped, would survive long enough to send back some information from below the Jovian cloud deck. Two stubby, bomb-shaped capsules, enclosed in ablative heat-shields, were gently nudged into orbits which for the first few thousand miles deviated scarcely at all from that of Discovery.

 But they slowly drifted away; and now, at last, even the unaided eye could see what Hal had been asserting. The ship was in a near-grazing orbit, not a collision one; she would miss the atmosphere. True, the difference was only a few hundred miles - a mere nothing when one was dealing with a planet ninety thousand miles in diameter - but that was enough.

 Jupiter now filled the entire sky; it was so huge that neither mind nor eye could grasp it any longer, and both had abandoned the attempt. If it had not been for the extraordinary variety of color - the reds and pinks and yellows and salmons and even scarlets - of the atmosphere beneath them, Bowman could have believed that he was flying low over a cloudscape on Earth.

 And now, for the first time in all their journeying, they were about to lose the Sun. Pale and shrunken though it was, it had been Discovery's constant companion since her departure from Earth, five months ago. But now her orbit was diving into the shadow of Jupiter; she would soon pass over the night side of the planet.

 A thousand miles ahead, the band of twilight was hurtling toward them; behind, the Sun was sinking swiftly into the Jovian clouds, its rays spread out along the horizon like two flaming, down-turned horns, then contracted and died in a brief blaze of chromatic glory. The night had come.

 And yet - the great world below was not wholly dark. It was awash with phosphorescence, which grew brighter minute by minute as their eyes grew accustomed to the scene. Dim rivers of light were flowing from horizon to horizon, like the luminous wakes of ships on some tropical sea. Here and there they gathered into pools of liquid fire, trembling with vast, submarine disturbances welling up from the hidden heart of Jupiter. It was a sight so awe-inspiring that Poole and Bowman could have stared for hours; was this, they wondered, merely the result of chemical and electrical forces down there in that seething caldron - or was it the by-product of some fantastic form of life? 

These were questions which scientists might still be debating when the newborn century drew to its close.

 As they drove deeper and deeper into the Jovian night, the glow beneath them grew steadily brighter.
 Once Bowman had flown over northern Canada during the height of an auroral display; the snowcovered landscape had been as bleak and brilliant as this. And that arctic wilderness, he reminded himself, was more than a hundred degrees warmer than the regions over which they were hurtling now.

 "Earth signal is fading rapidly," announced Hal. "We are entering the first diffraction zone."

 They had expected this - indeed, it was one of the mission's objectives, as the absorption of radio waves would give valuable information about the Jovian atmosphere. But now that they had actually passed behind the planet, and it was cutting off communication with Earth, they felt a sudden overwhelming loneliness. The radio blackout would last only an hour; then they would emerge from Jupiter's eclipsing screen, and could resume contact with the human race. That hour, however, would be one of the longest of their lives.

 Despite their relative youth, Poole and Bowman were veterans of a dozen space voyages, but now they felt like novices. They were attempting something for the first lime; never before had any ship traveled at such speeds, or braved so intense a gravitational field. The slightest error in navigation at this critical point and Discovery would go speeding on toward the far limits of the Solar System, beyond any hope of rescue.
 The slow minutes dragged by. Jupiter was now a vertical wall of phosphorescence stretching to infinity above them - and the ship was climbing straight up its glowing face. Though they knew that they were moving far too swiftly for even Jupiter's gravity to capture them, it was hard to believe that Discovery had not become a satellite of this monstrous world.

 At last, far ahead, there was a blaze of light along the horizon. They were emerging from shadow, heading out into the Sun. And at almost the same moment Hal announced: "I am in radio contact with Earth. I am also happy to say that the perturbation maneuver has been successfully completed. Our time to Saturn is one hundred and sixty-seven days, five hours, eleven minutes."

 That was within a minute of the estimate; the fly-by had been carried out with impeccable precision. Like a ball on a cosmic pool table, Discovery had bounced off the moving gravitational field of Jupiter, and had gained momentum from the impact. Without using any fuel, she had increased her speed by several thousand miles an hour.

 Yet there was no violation of the laws of mechanics; Nature always balances her books, and Jupiter had lost exactly as much momentum as Discovery had gained. The planet had been slowed down - but as its mass was a sextillion times greater than the ship's, the change in its orbit was far too small to be detectable. The time had not yet come when Man could leave his mark upon the Solar System.

As the light grew swiftly around them, and the shrunken Sun lifted once more into the Jovian sky, Poole and Bowman reached out silently and shook each other's hands.

 Though they could hardly believe it, the first part of the mission was safely over.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Rogue One : Saturnalia

A Long Time Ago,
In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

“My children, gotten of a sinful father, if you will obey me, we should punish the vile outrage of your father; for he first thought of doing shameful things.”

So she said; but fear seized them all, and none of them uttered a word. But great Cronos the Wily took courage and answered his dear mother: “Mother, I will undertake to do this deed, for I reverence not our father of evil name, for he first thought of doing shameful things.”
So he said: and vast Earth rejoiced greatly in spirit, and set and hid him in an ambush, and put in his hands a jagged sickle, and revealed to him the whole plot.

Life under the total domination of Saturn



Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all the deathless ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth, and Eros (Love), fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men within them. From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night; but of Night were born Aether and Day, whom she conceived and bare from union in love with Erebus. And Earth first bare starry Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought forth long Hills, graceful haunts of the goddess-Nymphs who dwell amongst the glens of the hills. She bare also the fruitless deep with his raging swell, Pontus, without sweet union of love.


[134] But afterwards she lay with Heaven and bare deep-swirling Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Cronos the Wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire.

And again, she bare the Cyclopes, overbearing in spirit, Brontes, and Steropes and stubborn-hearted Arges, who gave Zeus the thunder and made the thunderbolt: in all else they were like the gods, but one eye only was set in the midst of their fore-heads. And they were surnamed Cyclopes (Orb-eyed) because one orbed eye was set in their foreheads. Strength and might and craft were in their works.

[147] And again, three other sons were born of Earth and Heaven, great and doughty beyond telling, Cottus and Briareos and Gyes, presumptuous children. From their shoulders sprang an hundred arms, not to be approached, and each had fifty heads upon his shoulders on their strong limbs, and irresistible was the stubborn strength that was in their great forms. For of all the children that were born of Earth and Heaven, these were the most terrible, and they were hated by their own father from the first. And he used to hide them all away in a secret place of Earth so soon as each was born, and would not suffer them to come up into the light: and Heaven rejoiced in his evil doing. But vast Earth groaned within, being straitened, and she made the element of grey flint and shaped a great sickle, and told her plan to her dear sons.
And she spoke, cheering them, while she was vexed in her dear heart: “My children, gotten of a sinful father, if you will obey me, we should punish the vile outrage of your father; for he first thought of doing shameful things.”
So she said; but fear seized them all, and none of them uttered a word. But great Cronos the wily took courage and answered his dear mother: “Mother, I will undertake to do this deed, for I reverence not our father of evil name, for he first thought of doing shameful things.”

So he said: and vast Earth rejoiced greatly in spirit, and set and hid him in an ambush, and put in his hands a jagged sickle, and revealed to him the whole plot.

[53] Them in Pieria did Mnemosyne (Memory), who reigns over the hills of Eleuther, bear of union with the father, the son of Cronos, a forgetting of ills and a rest from sorrow. For nine nights did wise Zeus lie with her, entering her holy bed remote from the immortals. And when a year was passed and the seasons came round as the months waned, and many days were accomplished, she bare nine daughters, all of one mind, whose hearts are set upon song and their spirit free from care, a little way from the topmost peak of snowy Olympus. There are their bright dancing-places and beautiful homes, and beside them the Graces and Himerus (Desire) live in delight. And they, uttering through their lips a lovely voice, sing the laws of all and the goodly ways of the immortals, uttering their lovely voice. Then went they to Olympus, delighting in their sweet voice, with heavenly song, and the dark earth resounded about them as they chanted, and a lovely sound rose up beneath their feet as they went to their father. And he was reigning in heaven, himself holding the lightning and glowing thunderbolt, when he had overcome by might his father Cronos; and he distributed fairly to the immortals their portions and declared their privileges. 


But Rhea was subject in love to Cronos and bare splendid children, Hestia, Demeter, and gold-shod Hera and strong Hades, pitiless in heart, who dwells under the earth, and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, and wise Zeus, father of gods and men, by whose thunder the wide earth is shaken. These great Cronos swallowed as each came forth from the womb to his mother's knees with this intent, that no other of the proud sons of Heaven should hold the kingly office amongst the deathless gods. For he learned from Earth and starry Heaven that he was destined to be overcome by his own son, strong though he was, through the contriving of great Zeus.

Therefore he kept no blind outlook, but watched and swallowed down his children: and unceasing grief seized Rhea. But when she was about to bear Zeus, the father of gods and men, then she besought her own dear parents, Earth and starry Heaven, to devise some plan with her that the birth of her dear child might be concealed, and that retribution might overtake great, crafty Cronos for his own father and also for the children whom he had swallowed down

And they readily heard and obeyed their dear daughter, and told her all that was destined to happen touching Cronos the King and his stout-hearted son. So they sent her to Lyetus, to the rich land of Crete, when she was ready to bear great Zeus, the youngest of her children. Him did vast Earth receive from Rhea in wide Crete to nourish and to bring up. Thither came Earth carrying him swiftly through the black night to Lyctus first, and took him in her arms and hid him in a remote cave beneath the secret places of the holy earth on thick-wooded Mount Aegeum; but to the mightily ruling son of Heaven, the earlier king of the gods, she gave a great stone wrapped in swaddling clothes. Then he took it in his hands and thrust it down into his belly: wretch! he knew not in his heart that in place of the stone his son was left behind, unconquered and untroubled, and that he was soon to overcome him by force and might and drive him from his honours, himself to reign over the deathless gods.

After that, the strength and glorious limbs of the prince increased quickly, and as the years rolled on, great Cronos the wily was beguiled by the deep suggestions of Earth, and brought up again his offspring, vanquished by the arts and might of his own son, and he vomited up first the stone which he had swallowed last. And Zeus set it fast in the wide-pathed earth at goodly Pytho under the glens of Parnassus, to be a sign thenceforth and a marvel to mortal men.

And he set free from their deadly bonds the brothers of his father, sons of Heaven whom his father in his foolishness had bound. And they remembered to be grateful to him for his kindness, and gave him thunder and the glowing thunderbolt and lightening: for before that, huge Earth had hidden these. In them he trusts and rules over mortals and immortals.

The Saturn Myth

» » Saturn Theory
The Saturn theory offers a radically different approach to understanding the recent history of the solar system.1  Briefly summarized, the theory posits that the neighboring planets only recently settled into their current orbits, the Earth formerly being involved in a unique planetary configuration of sorts together with Saturn, Venus, and Mars.  As the terrestrial skywatcher looked upwards, he saw a spectacular and awe-inspiring apparition dominating the celestial landscape.  At the heart of heaven the massive gas giant Saturn appeared fixed atop the North polar axis, with Venus and Mars set within its center like two concentric orbs (see figure one, where Venus is the green orb and Mars the innermost red orb).  The theory holds that the origin of ancient myth and religion—indeed the origin of the primary institutions of civilization itself—is inextricably linked to the appearance and evolutionary history of this unique congregation of planets.
Figure One
How does one go about documenting this extraordinary claim?  Extraordinary claims, it is said, require extraordinary evidential support in order to believed.  While I believe the Saturn theory can meet this crucial test, it goes without saying that a discussion of the various lines of evidence pointing to the polar configuration would require several volumes in order to make a fully compelling case.  In this brief overview I can do no more than offer a small sampling of the relevant evidence.  
If the truth be known, the Saturn theory suffers from an embarrassment of riches with respect to evidence which supports the central tenets of the theory.  Early descriptions of the "sun" and various planets from Mesopotamia and elsewhere describe them as occupying "impossible" positions and moving in a manner which defies astronomical reality (as currently understood, that is).  The ancient sun god, for example, is said to "rise" and "set" at the heart of heaven upon a sacred mountain.  The planet Venus is described as standing at the "heart of heaven" or within the crescent of Sin.  Mars is pointed to as a principal cause of "eclipses" and other natural disasters.2  While not one of these scenarios is possible given the current order of the solar system, each is consistent with the history of the respective planets in the polar configuration as reconstructed by Talbott and myself.
The testimony from ancient myth and folklore is adamant that the respective planets once moved on radically different orbits and rained catastrophe from the skies, even if that message has been overlooked and "ostrachized"3 by virtually everyone. Thus, numerous cultures tell of the time when different suns ruled the heavens.  This belief was especially common in the New World: "The idea that the sun was not eternal was shared by other American Indian tribes so widely that we consider it must have been part of their belief long before any high culture had arisen in the Americas."4
The Popol Vuh, lauded as the "Mayan Bible," attests to the same idea.  There a previous sun god is described as follows: 
"Like a man was the sun when it showed itself…It showed itself when it was born and remained fixed in the sky like a mirror.  Certainly it was not the same sun which we see, it is said in their old tales."5
Equally widespread are traditions which report that a dragon-like monster once eclipsed the sun and brought the world to the brink of destruction.  Countless cultures preserve memory of the terrifying time when Venus assumed a serpentine form6, or when a spectacular conjunction of planets dominated the celestial landscape.7  Such traditions can be documented from one culture to another and, upon systematic analysis, reveal numerous analogous structural details, a telltale sign that they were inspired by common experience of spectacular celestial events rather than creative imagination and fantasy.
In addition to the remarkably detailed and consistent testimony from ancient myth and folklore, the artistic record likewise provides compelling evidence that the planets only recently moved on radically different orbits.  Consider, for example, the three images depicted in figure two.  As I have documented8, such images are ubiquitous in the prehistoric rock art of every inhabited continent.  Hitherto they have been interpreted as drawings of the Sun by virtually all leading authorities on ancient art and religion, this despite the fact that they do not have any obvious resemblance to the current solar orb.

Figure two
It is noteworthy that the ancient sun-god was depicted in the very same manner by the earliest civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia.  Figure three, for example, shows an Akkadian seal in which the Shamash disc is represented as an "eye-like" object, as in the first image in figure two.  Figure four shows the Shamash disc as an eight-pointed star or wheel.  Figure five shows the Shamash disc as an eight-petalled flower.  Numerous other variations upon these common themes could be provided, all impossible to reconcile with the appearance of the current solar orb.
Figure three
Figure four
Figure five
It is at this point that the researcher is presented with a theoretical dilemma, the successful resolution of which promises to unlock the secrets of our prehistoric past.  If one chooses to dismiss the specific and consistent imagery associated with these ancient solar images as the product of creative imagination—the typical approach of conventional art historians—one is also forced to dismiss the equally widespread testimony that different suns prevailed in ancient times.  This approach has little to recommend it, for it involves nothing less than turning a deaf ear to the testimony of our ancestors and, in any case, has thus far produced precious few insights into the origin of ancient symbolism.  
The alternative is equally unthinkable, for it involves accepting these endlessly repeated images as accurate drawings of the ancient "sun", albeit one different in nature and appearance than that currently prevailing.  As bizarre as this possibility appears at first glance, it does have much to recommend it.  The ancient Babylonians were careful to distinguish Shamash from the current sun, identifying the god with the distant planet Saturn.9  It was this little-known datum which led Velikovsky to consider the possibility that Saturn formerly appeared more prominent, perhaps even serving as a sun-like object for the satellite Earth.10Velikovsky's seminal insight, in turn, served as the theoretical foundation for the subsequent researches of Talbott, Cardona, myself and others who succeeded in documenting the basic claim that Saturn once dominated the heavens, a fact reflected in the otherwise puzzling prominence accorded this planet in the earliest pantheons
Further support for the alternative "Saturn theory" comes upon considering the representation of the planet Venus in ancient art.  A straightforward interpretation of the various images superimposed upon the "solar" disc in figure two would understand the first as an "eye"; the second as an eight-spoked wheel or "star"; and the third as an eight-petalled flower.  Now it is a remarkable fact that the planet Venus is consistently associated with these very forms from one ancient culture to another.  The ancient Sumerians, for example, represented Venus (as Inanna) as an eye-goddess, eight-pointed star, and eight-petalled flower or rosette.  Consider the figurine represented in figure six, one of thousands discovered by Max Mallowan during his excavations of the Inanna-precinct at Uruk.  Similar "eye-goddesses" have been found throughout the ancient world, from Neolithic Europe to India.  Figure seven shows an early cylinder seal from the Jemdet Nasr period (c. 3000 BCE), depicting Inanna as an "eye-goddess" alongside her familiar eight-petalled rosette. 
Figure six
Figure seven
The very same images are prominent in the sacred iconography surrounding the Akkadian Ishtar.  Thus, figure eight shows Ishtar/Venus together with an eight-spoked wheel, while figure nine shows Ishtar/Venus together with an eight-pointed star.  Figure ten shows Ishtar in conjunction with a rosette-like star.
Figure eight
Figure nine
Figure ten
The fact that the planet Venus was associated with the very same forms in Mesoamerica, where the observation and worship of that planet formed an obsession, strongly supports the conclusion that such images have their origin in the ancient appearance of the planet.  The same conclusion is supported by the fact that cultures as disparate as those of the Australian aborigines, Maya, Polynesians, and Chinese described Venus by epithets signifying "Great Eye," "Great Star," and "luminous flower."11  
How are we to explain this curious state of affairs whereby Venus is associated with the very symbols seemingly depicted in prehistoric "sun"-images?  Surely not by reference to the current solar system, for Venus does not even vaguely resemble an "eye," eight-pointed "star," or "flower."  Yet if Venus only recently appeared superimposed against the backdrop of Saturn/Shamash, as per the reconstruction offered by Talbott and myself in figure one, the mystery is explained at once.  Subsequently, upon further evolution of the polar configuration, Venus assumed a radiant appearance, sending forth streamers across the face of the ancient sun-god (see figure eleven).  This situation is reflected in the latter two images in figure three.  
Figure eleven
Planets in Ancient Lore
At the turn of the century it was widely held that the central themes of the most ancient myths, telling of the Creation, Deluge, Golden Age, Dragon combat, etc. were all "nature" myths describing the stereotypical behavior of the two primary celestial bodies, typically in allegorical or euhemeristic fashion.12  The Saturn theory offers a very similar conclusion, with the all-important proviso that the planets formerly dominated the celestial landscape rather than the current Sun and Moon. 
That the earliest gods and mythical figures of the various cultures are celestial in nature is easily shown.  The Sumerian goddess Inanna, explicitly identified with the planet Venus already at the dawn of the historical period (c. 3300 BCE), is a case in point and might well serve as an exemplar for comparative analysis.  Virtually every ancient culture will feature a goddess with notable structural affinities to Inanna, although the identification with Venus is not always preserved.  The Skidi Pawnee Indians of the American central plains, for example, celebrate the wondrous deeds of the primeval goddess cu-piritta-ka, identified with Venus.13  It was her union with the warrior-god u-pirikucu, explicitly identified with the planet Mars, which signaled the crowning event of Creation:
"The second god Tirawahat placed in the heavens was Evening Star, known to the white people as Venus…She was a beautiful woman.  By speaking and waving her hands she could perform wonders.  Through this star and Morning Star [Mars] all things were created.  She is the mother of the Skiri."14
As the Skidi traditions attest, the planet Mars played a prominent role in ancient myth and religion.  Wherever one looks, one will find the red planet accorded a numinous power seemingly out of proportion to its present modest appearance.  The Sumerian war-god Nergal, early on identified with the planet Mars, forms a pivotal figure in comparative analysis.  Thus, it can be shown that war-gods and warrior-heroes from every corner of the globe share numerous characteristics in common with the Sumerian god, including some of a strikingly specific nature.15  To take but one mythical theme of hundreds available: The Makiritare Indians of the Amazonian rain forest tell of the time when the hero Ahishama, identified with the red planet, climbed a giant stairway to the sky.16  The fact that a very similar story was related of Nergal in ancient Mesopotamia17 suggests that the mythical theme originated in objective historical events involving the red planet.18  Yet one looks in vain for a satisfactory explanation of this particular mythical theme given the current order of the solar system, wherein a celestial stairway is not to be found.  Neolithic rock art, however, offers countless examples of "stairway"-like appendages extending from the ancient sun god, thereby complementing and helping to illuminate the universal myth of a luminous stairway spanning the heavens (See figure twelve).  If we are to be faithful to the evidence, the most logical conclusion is that the stairway to heaven was a visible apparition associated with the ancient sun god during a particular phase of the polar configuration.
Stairway 2. jpg

Figure twelve
Towards a Science of Mythology
In an attempt to develop a rigorous scientific methodology for the study of ancient myth, the Saturnists would offer a series of basic groundrules deemed to be essential if researchers are to discover the original significance and fundamental message of ancient mythical traditions.  First and foremost, perhaps, is the general proposition that ancient myth constitutes an invaluable and generally trustworthy source for reconstructing a valid history of our solar system.  Far from being a leap of faith, this fundamental finding of the Saturn theory derives from several decades of extensive research into ancient myth and can be demonstrated using the normal methods of logic and evidence
A second basic tenet would emphasize the comparative method.  Simply stated, no ancient myth or primary cultural institution is fully understandable in isolation.  Egyptian myth, to take but one example, is essentially incomprehensible apart from detailed analysis of analogous themes and motifs from ancient Mesopotamia and the New World, both of which provide the indispensable link to the early astronomical traditions that are all but lost in Egypt itself  (Horus's identification with the Morning Star and Mars offers a notable exception in this regard and forms a close analogue to the Pawnee traditions surrounding the red planet).  Hathor's identification with the "Eye of Ra," for example, can only be understood by reference to the widespread idea whereby Venus once formed the central "eye" of the ancient sun god.  Note further that Hathor's name, which signifies "House of Horus," captures perfectly the essence of the relationship of Venus and Mars as illustrated in figure one.  The planet-goddess Hathor, as the "Eye of Ra," literally housed the warrior Horus.
A third basic tenet of the Saturn theory holds that ancient myth and ritual typically commemorate extraordinary events witnessed by human beings.  If myth constitutes a creative interpretation of the traumatic celestial events in pseudo-historical terms—the flooding of the world, a great hero's consorting with a beautiful goddess—ritual originated as a purposeful and remarkably faithful attempt to reenact the fateful events in question. Mars' climbing of the celestial stairway, for example, was reenacted in countless sacred rites throughout the ancient world.19  The archetypal rite of the sacred marriage, attested already at the dawn of history in Mesopotamia, purports to commemorate the king's union with the planet Venus (Inanna).  The original inspiration for this bizarre rite, as I have theorized, was the spectacular conjunction of Venus and Mars in prehistoric times.20
A fourth basic tenet of the Saturn theory holds that historical evidence together with consistent (or widespread) human testimony must be given credence, even if a ready explanation of such testimony is not immediately obvious or appears to contradict current scientific opinion.  Velikovsky's admonition in the preface to Worlds in Collision serves as a rallying cry here: "If, occasionally, historical evidence does not square with formulated laws, it should be remembered that a law is but a deduction from experience and experiment, and therefore laws must conform with historical facts, not facts with laws."
The famous controversy over the likelihood that rocks (meteors) could fall from the sky, a possibility denied by several of the best minds of the 18th and 19th centuries, might well serve as a prototype here.  Formerly dismissed as too ridiculous to merit serious discussion, the fact that meteorites occasionally fall to Earth from heaven was perfectly well known to the ancient Sumerians.  All but lost for several millennia, such knowledge is once again commonplace amongst schoolboys everywhere.  
Equally instructive is the on-going controversy over the possibility that rocks from Mars could somehow find their way to the Earth, fervently denied by various leading authorities until quite recently (c. 1987).  The eventual triumph of the Martian meteorite hypothesis is yet another classic example of the leading paradigms of the modern scientific Age being instantly overturned by a series of anomalous findings.21  Such examples could be multiplied ad infinitum.  Science, much like religion, proves to be notoriously malleable in this regard: What is considered impossible or fantastic by one generation might well come to be accepted by future generations unencumbered by similar prejudices.  
A fifth basic tenet of the Saturn theory holds that recurring anomalies in ancient myth and tradition offer a key to discovery.  Certainly it is most unlikely that one culture would invent traditions of fire-breathing dragons (or witches) that once threatened to eclipse the ancient sun god.  Yet one finds the very same improbable motif from one ancient culture to another, yet another sure indication that common experience of spectacular celestial events holds the key to a scientific analysis of ancient mythical traditions.
A sixth central tenet of the Saturn theory holds that the history and evolution of the polar configuration constitutes nothing less than the history of the gods.  The "birth" of the warrior-hero, the war-like rampage of the mother goddess, the "death" or "eclipse" of the primeval sun god—and a thousand different themes alike—all have their inspiration in the spectacular events associated with the evolution of the polar configuration. 
A seventh basic tenet of the Saturn theory holds that future discoveries vis a vis the geology and geomorphology of the respective planets will act to either support or undermine the model.  For it stands to reason that, if the extraordinary events described here have any basis in reality, such events must have left an indelible mark on the planets that participated in the polar configuration.  It is also expected that some of these telltale signs of participation in the polar configuration will prove to be difficult, if not impossible, to explain by any other model.
A Fundamental Objection to the Saturn Theory
The most obvious objection to the Saturn theory is its apparent incompatibility with conventional astrophysics.  This is indeed a formidable objection, one deserving of serious attention and, ultimately, a valid answer, ideally in terms of offering a viable physical model for the polar configuration.  While promising steps towards achieving a viable physical model have been achieved (the models of Thornhill and Peratt, for example), much work remains to be done in this area, preferably by scientists trained in the requisite fields of astronomy, physics, and mechanics.  Personally, I remain confident that an answer will be found if for no other reason than that it is highly improbable that a theory with so much historical evidence in its favor could prove entirely illusory.  
If the history of science teaches us anything, it is that there is ample precedent for reserving judgment on an historical thesis well supported by evidence but lacking a viable physical model.  Darwin's theory of evolution, to take a particularly notorious example, languished for decades under the objection that it lacked a viable model of heredity which could explain how the much needed genetic changes could originate and come to be fixed (rather than blended, as per earlier models of heredity).  Already by the time of Darwin, there was a wealth of evidence that evolution had occurred—how else are we to explain the fact that modern whales occasionally show traces of vestigial hind limbs and hip girdles?—but a viable model of heredity was not yet at hand, to say nothing of a chemical model for genetic mutation or embryonic differentiation.  Even today, well over a hundred years later, many of the most fundamental questions surrounding the biochemical mechanisms of evolution remain unanswerable.  We still have little understanding of how the various phyla originated or why some species proved successful while others became extinct.  In the meantime, however, while modern biology awaits a solution to these truly perplexing and formidable mysteries, no informed scientist can doubt the historical reality that biological evolution has occurred.  The question is how did life evolve and by what precise means?  A similar situation surrounds the Saturn theory, in my opinion.  Here, too, the historical evidence is unequivocal that various planets once participated in a polar configuration and wrecked havoc with the inner solar system.  The question is how we are to understand this history from the standpoint of physics?   
1. While I would not presume to speak for David Talbott or Dwardu Cardona, the two senior pioneers in this field of study, it is nevertheless the case that the three of us share similar viewpoints in many respects.
2. For a thorough discussion of these issues, see E. Cochrane, Martian Metamorphoses (Ames, 1997).
3. This word, coined by Samuel Butler, describes the propensity of some to stick their heads in the sand in order to ignore the obvious.
4. C. Burland, The Gods of Mexico (New York, 1967), p. 140.
5. D. Goetz & S. Morley, Popol Vuh (Norman, 1972), p. 188.
6. I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (New York, 1950), pp. 162-191; D. Talbott, "The Comet Venus," Aeon 3:5 (1994), pp. 5-51;  D. Cardona, "Cometary Venus," in D. Pearlman ed., Stephen J. Gould and Immanuel Velikovsky (Forest Hills, 1996), pp. 442-466; E. Cochrane, "On Comets and Kings," Aeon 2:1 (1989), pp. 53-75. 
7. See the discussion in D. Pankenier, "The Bamboo Annals Revisited…Chronology of Early Zhou, Part 1," BSOAS 55 (1992), p. 281.
8. E. Cochrane, "Suns and Planets in Neolithic Rock Art," Aeon 3:2 (1993), pp. 51-63; see also the discussion in E. Cochrane, "Venus, Mars…and Saturn," Chronology and Catastrophism Review (1998:2), pp. 16-20.
9. Already common knowledge by the time of the astronomical reports sent to Assurbanipal and other Assyrian kings (c. 700 BCE), the identification of Saturn and Shamash likely goes back to the first systematic attempts at monitoring the heavens.  See here the discussion in U. Koch-Westenholz, Mesopotamian Astrology (Copenhagen, 1995), pp. 122-123.
10. I. Velikovsky, Mankind in Amnesia (Garden City, 1982), pp. 99ff.
11. E. Cochrane, "Suns and Planets in Neolithic Rock Art," Aeon 3:2 (1993), pp. 51-63.
12. The so-called solar school of mythology championed by F.M. Muller and others.
13. J. Murie, "Ceremonies of the Pawnee," Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology 27 (Cambridge, 1981), p. 39.  
14. Ibid.
15. See E. Cochrane, Martian Metamorphoses: The Planet Mars in Ancient Myth and Religion (Ames, 1997).
16. M. de. Civrieux, Watunna: An Orinoco Creation Cycle (San Francisco, 1980), pp. 113-114.
17. S. Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia (Oxford, 1991), p. 171.  See also the discussion in E. von Weiher, Der babylonische Gott Nergal (Berlin, 1971), p. 52; J. V. Wilson, The Rebel Lands (London, 1979) p. 98; and O. Gurney, "The Sultantepe Tablets," Anatolian Studies 10 (1960), pp. 125, 130.
18. E. Cochrane, "The Stairway to Heaven," Aeon 5:1 (1997), pp. 69-78.
19. See, for example, the numerous rites involving the symbolic ascent of the polar axis or World Tree in M. Eliade, Shamanism (Princeton, 1964), pp. 487-494.
20. E. Cochrane, "The Female Star," Aeon 5:3 (1998), pp. 49-64.
21. See the discussion in E. Cochrane, "Martian Meteorites in Ancient Myth and Modern Science," Aeon 4:2 (1995), pp. 57-73.
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