THE BEDROCK OF MYTH
by Roger Ashton
1. Tracing the Origin of Myth
In The Sun of Night, published in Kronos in 1977,
Dwardu Cardona proudly flourished what seems to be an exception to the
late dates of links of planets with gods. It is from a Sumerian source.
Therein, Shamash the god, usually identified with the Sun, is identified
with Saturn the planet. Cardona confidently asserted that the only possible
interpretation was that Saturn was once a Sun of the night.
Figure 1 below shows Prajapati, the Primordial Cosmic Man. The immobile orb, the head, is attached to the immobile Support or Cosmic Pillar, the body. The protruding arms are formed by the protruding ends of the moving crescent that circles the orb, at the North Celestial Pole, in one day. The Polar Assemblage or image is seen as the Cosmic Man only very shortly before, during, and after midnight, when the crescent is appropriately and symmetrically placed.
Etymologically, Prajapati means Lord of Procreation, or the actual Phallus. The Cosmic Phallus is shown in figure 2 above.
In Bhagavata Purana V.23.7, Saturn the planet is situated on the generature organ of a Cosmic Porpoise, shown in figure 3 above. Of vital importance is the fact that in myth and ancient hymns, various metaphors are used as if the orb, crescent, and pillar were interchangeable parts. From the cited passage one may place Saturn either in the orb or in the Support to which the orb is attached. Elsewhere, as we shall see, it could be in the crescent.
Of equally vital importance is the fact that in order to perceive the 3 figures in their specific and varied guises, the lines of division and spatial relationship of the parts must in each case be different. Only with a protean apparition would this have been possible. Doubt is cast upon the planetary interpretation.
The most commonly known word for planet, graha, also specifically means ladle. Figure 4 below shows the ladle, graha, whose bowl is the crescent. Evidently the crescent, an element of the bedrock of mythical metaphor, became corrupted in the course of time to planet.
Figure 5 above illustrates graha as meaning a grip, grasp, hold. That which grasps is the hand, seen in a partly threefold crescent. This illustrates the notion of God holding in his hand the 'world'. It is a celestial orb, and not the terrestrial world.
In the myth of the Shatapatha Brahmana, Prajapati divided himself
threefold, as in figure 6 above, becoming Agni, fire, Vaya, 'wind', and
Surya, Sun. Agni is the Primordial Priest. What belongs to a priest, Brahmanya,
is an epithet of Saturn the planet. Clearly, Saturn is a corruption from
the outermost crescent, 'wind' a corruption of the middle
At some stage, confusion between the first two displacements of metaphor has occurred. One of the many names for Saturn is Anilaprakrti, of the nature of the wind. Crescent to wind and crescent to Saturn makes Saturn the wind in the mind of some inept interpreter, just as in the minds of inept Sumerian interpreters of myth, crescent to Saturn and crescent to Sun meant a sunlike Saturn illuminating the night.
Three parallel myths of the Shatapatha Prahmana unite into the
narrative that Prajapati uttered three words, Earth, Air, and Sky, which
were lights, which were Agni, Vayu, and Surya. In the interchangeable
metaphors of myth, 'words' are a perception of light.
Herein has been seen the Celestial Earth as both orb and crescent. Thus are the parts exchanged in the metaphors. Myths of floods over the 'earth' were originally myths of floods of light over the orb or the crescent. The story of the Earth covered everywhere by the Great Flood was originally never told. Velikovskians have been naive enough to suppose that it happened because they have come nowhere near to examining their evidence, myth, with proper care.
It is noteworthy also that from the preceding, Earth could just as readily
be identified with Saturn as Wind and the Sun. This would be a companion
for the spurious Great Flood. This betrays the nonsensical nature of taking
planetary identifications at face value, for Velikovskians must invent
a priori rules at every step to justify conflicting standards of
In conclusion, it is clear that in Sumer as in India, corruption of myth led to the Sun and Saturn arising from items of a formerly identical nature, the original north celestial polar crescents. Incompetent Sumerian priests identified Sun-Shamash with Shamash-Saturn instead of leaving the incomprehensible traditions as they were. Thus it was, doubtless, that the later Greeks came to call Saturn Heelion Asteer, and the Romans came to call it Stella Solis.
A presumed sunlike Saturn is not even arguable from myth, let alone
the basis of objective material for a purported lost celestial history.
In or at least seemingly in the North Celestial polar sky, the crescentoid
formation is another matter. That is part
It may well after all be that the visual designs of the Polar Assemblage
which have been unearthed primarily by David N. Talbott and used and extended
herein do in fact form the documents, as it were, of a lost celestial
history. It is a history in which the
Apparently, the Polar Apparition became triple from single, and then sevenfold from triple. In the hymns of the Rgveda, Sarasvati the goddess is usually one of a trio, but in Rgveda VI.61.12 she is sevenfold, having arisen from a threefold state. There seems to be no serious warrant for finding indications of any other number of crescentoid elements in the basic design of the image.
An identical formation is found from the parallel tradition of the Maruts. Careful sifting through and comparison of the epithets of these gods as set forth in a scattered fashion through the hymns of the reveals that there were originally seven of them. Their midnight aspect was Rgvedaof seven concentric cows or men as in figure 7 below.
The Maruts were sons of Rudra. Figure 8 is a diagram of the essentials
of a composite illustration on a Harappan seal of about 4000 years ago.
Rudra and the seven Maruts are obviously depicted. The crucial clue is
that in the myth of the Shatapatha Brahmana, the Maruts lived in
an Ashvattha tree, Ficus religiosa, the leaves of which are shown
in the design. Another Sanskrit name for the tree is pippala. The
leaves resemble most extraordinarily closely those of Black Poplar, Populus
nigra, a northern tree. The
Against most academic opinion, the latter implies that the Harappan
or Indus Valley civilization was Vedic in nature, in spite of horses being
extremely rare in the area at the time. It must have been Vedic, for otherwise,
there would not have been enough time
The story of the Maruts living in an Ashvattha tree, the substitute
for Black Poplar, derives from a prehistoric Aryan or 'Proto-Indo-European'
original. A Greek derivative is the story of the Daughters of the Sun,
Heliades, who were changed into Black Poplars
It is noteworthy that on the Harappan seal, the Maruts have been separated
into mutually isolated individuals. The crescent of each stands upright
on his head instead of constituting his pair of arms. By this time, the
original form had been forgotten,
Figure 9 below represents schematically the frontal aspect of the seven
pairs of cow's horns set upon an altar at Çatal Hüyük
in Anatolia. Dated at 6000 BC, this relic provides physical evidence that
the concentricity of the seven pairs of horns or crescents
In the Rgveda, an attribute of the godly apparition is that
of dripping in clarified butter.
The whole of this figure may readily be seen as Zeus holding up his
tasseled aegis or shield. Both clarified butter and hassled shields are
productions of archaeologically identifiable stages of human culture.
The Polar Apparition must have been visible when the stage of using these
items was reached by that part of humanity which transmitted these metaphors
to posterity. There could hardly have been a retroactive description of
the image which used current metaphors which were unknown when it was
In attempting to arrive at what would at the same time be the simplest and least simplistic visual design for the irreducible origin or bedrock of myth, it is necessary to adhere as closely as possible to the oldest forms of mythical imagery. This is to be free from the restrictions and the highly distorting subjectivity and selectivity of the planetary prejudice.
In other words, it is desirable to accommodate the largest possible
body of mythical metaphor while simplifying the design retrospectively
in order to reach the supposed bedrock from which divergence of virtually
all of the idiom is assumed to have
The dripping ghee or tassels are an important clue to the nature of the phenomenon. They are auroroid, comparable with the shifting curtains of the aurora borealis. Just as the vertical parts of the aurora rapidly move about, so could Zeus have shaken his tasseled aegis. [n.b.: Zeus is the sky-god par excellence, as A.B. Cook makes abundantly clear in his massive three-volume compilation ZEUS: A Study in Ancient Religion. CLE]
Rotational polar space is magnetically empty. In it, there is no magnetospheric physical basis for the Celestial Pillar or Support or for the immobile celestial polar orb atop it, because this region is far outside the terrestrial magnetosphere. This Earth cannot have the magnetospheric extension shown in figure 11 below, which would be required for the polar orb to be distant enough to seem immobile.
That part of the magnetosphere which surrounds the empty rotational
polar space is distorted by the solar wind. The shape of it does not provide
a setting for the circle or crescentoid formation around the mythical
orb. Apart from that, the inferred or known
The foregoing is the forbiddingly difficult context of providing a magnetospheric model for the Polar Apparition. It must agree with the variety of metaphors of myth. It must be present when human technological metaphors require it to be so. It must be visible in the same form to people scattered over wide areas of North America and Eurasia. I therefore propose a hologrammatic phenomenon of polarization of light of stratospheric particles which is manifested only at certain points in a series of intensities of solar radiation at harmonically related electromagnetic frequencies.
At an appropriate intensity, the radiation at various frequencies is
in a proper mutual
I propose further that between the activating intensities of solar radiation,
there is an
If this is in fact what has been happening, then sprays of particles
from flares on the Sun serve in part to counteract the interference, but
in a weak and disjointed fashion. In present aurorae, what look like fragments
of the Polar Apparition reconstructed from
This conjectural model overcomes at least five basic problems at once.
A truly vexing question is how mythical metaphors retain their ancient
character at all, for history is quickly forgotten. A still more vexing
question is how any elements of myth at all are
An example of the fluctuation between forms which generate different
metaphors is that of the Support, the broad beam of light which extended
and narrowed upwards from the North Polar horizon to the North Celestial
Pole. Sometimes it was wide enough at the
The form of the crescents must necessarily have varied greatly, also,
far beyond the shape strictly belonging to crescents. They were not always
parts of a perfect circle. They sometimes took the form shown in figure
12 below, so that around midnight, people
Figure 13 above shows a leafless but otherwise more complete Polar Apparition
at midnight, in the Populus nigra form. The conjoined mirror branches
form 3 concentric human eyes. Thus the Heliades who became Black Poplars
wept tears of amber, a metaphorical equivalent of the dripping ghee or
the tassels of the aegis earlier discussed.
Drachenloch cave, in the Swiss Alps, is at an altitude of about 2,450 meters or 8,000 feet. In the Ice Age it was accessible and inhabitable only during interstadials of considerably warmer climate. During and interstadial, which was apparently warmer than the present, about 43,000 years ago, Neanderthalers lived in the cave. They made a stone chest on the floor, each side 1.05 meters, with a massive stone slab as a lid. Inside they put seven skulls of the ferocious Cave Bear, neatly stacked so that the muzzles faced the entrance of the cave.
One of the shifting forms of the Polar Apparition is that of Seven Bears. In a simplified diagram, using the triple crescent phase, figure 14 below shows how at midnight, by a blunting and splaying of the ends of the crescents, a suppression of the orb, and by the sprouting of earlike bumps on the support, the image could have metamorphosed into what the Neanderthalers could easily have seen as three cave bears rearing ferociously upwards.
The skulls under the slab are arguably powerful sympathetic magic. They substitute for seven fierce cave bears guarding the cave for the inmates.
If the Polar Apparition had been present at the time, the magic would seem out of joint. The Great Bears in the sky could have taken umbrage at this impertinent imitation. If the magic recreated something powerful which had been seen recently enough for the Neanderthalers to recall it vividly, but which was no longer there to be seen and inspire the fear of retaliation, it would appear more fitting.
In the scheme of appearances which I shall set forth herein, the lowering of solar activity which created the preceding intensely cold phase would have brought the intensities of radiation at the various relevant frequencies down to one of the points at which the hologram was frequently and intermittently activated. The Polar Apparition may have been virtually a fixture of the heavens throughout the icy epoch.
During the very short warm interstadial, in which it was possible to reach the elevated cave through the terrain which was otherwise a mass of ice and snow, and then actually live in the cave, the next higher step in the series of intensities of radiation would have been reached and passed. There would have been a passing brief manifestation of the image and then, as the climate became ever warmer for a very short interval, there would have been no image.
The Neanderthalers who stacked the bear skulls together could have seen the image hardly more than a decade earlier. During the maximum warmth which permitted them to use the cave, solar radiation was too high for the image, creating interference which blocked it out.
After that, the solar activity began a rapid decline. While it was still warmer than at present, the average temperature had started to drop, and the image may have flickered on again before the solar radiation fell still further.
After that, the cold returned very rapidly due to sinking solar activity. At the subsequent greatly lowered level, the climate was far colder than at present, and the image again returned, perhaps to be seen on and off for about 29,000 years, until about 13,000 years ago.
The Polar Apparition then vanished once more when solar activity again increased, the temperature rose, and the brief period of the Allerod Interstadial began, about 12,000 years ago. A brief period of greatly lowered solar radiation then supervened, and the glaciers grew and spread again in far western Europe and in the Pacific Northwest of America, and the Polar Apparition may have reappeared for some more centuries. After this, solar activity again increased, the climate warmed, and the Apparition vanished yet again, about 10,000 years ago.
Some 2,000 years later, at about 6,000 B.C., the people of Çatal Hüyük still recalled the concentricity of the 7 crescents. They had forgotten the concentricity of the crescent in the preceding triple crescent phase. On a wall in a shrine at the site, three pairs of cows horns are put separately side by side, some distance apart, instead of being on a raised base in a row, whereby their concentricity would have been evident from a frontal viewpoint, as with the earlier cited set of seven.
Some centuries later, possibly from about 5,500 B.C. to about 4,500 B.C., in the later phase of the Climatic Optimum, the solar activity, slightly greater than at present, frequently or at least intermittently reached that next point in the series of intensities, whereat the auroroid hologram, the image, the Polar Apparition, was once again made visible. This was Jupiter, the god, presiding over an age of agriculture which was at this time already ancient and in a state of problematically increasing development.
At about 3,500 B.C., the image had been absent for as long as 1,000 years. Some predynastic paintings of the Gorzean period of Ancient Egypt include an emblem consisting of a composite wheel on the outside of which are radially mounted five animals of the sheep or goat variety. This is a markedly corrupted depiction of the image in that windmill phase to be discussed shortly.
The Suns activity had lessened, and the climate had cooled a little, although it was still warmer than todays. Until now, apparently, solar acctivity has neither risen nor fallen so high or so low as to activate the hologram at all.
It is worth noting that in the sequence of successive phases of the existence and the nonexistence of the Polar Apparition, as set forth herein, no single manifestation is the root cause of the generation of the content of myth. The generation has no utility in time.
In the myth of the Shatapatha Brahmana, the seven Rishis or Primordial Sages or crescent men became seven rikshas, or bears, then becoming the constellation Ursa Major. Here, the displacement of metaphor is from crescent ot star instead of to planet.
Apparently, the Polar Apparation was never absent for a sufficiently long time for the Neanderthal perception of seven bears to fail to be transmitted over 40,000 years to the human perception of 3,000 years ago. Before the idea could die or become hopelessly distorted, the template always reappeared and stimulated an accurate idea of it in the minds of the viewers and their subsequently unseeing posterity, once again.
Since in the last cited myth, the men became bears, the metamorphosis of the crescentoid formation to outstretched bears paws, the suppression of the orb which had formed the mens head, and the sprouting of bumps on the support which looked like bears ears, was not only seen in this way, but clearly transmitted as part of myth. This documents the protean nature of the hologram, and shows where mythical bedrock has been undeniably reached.
The image, the template of ideas, has now been absent, perhaps, for more than twice as long as at any time since the last Interglacial Period, long before the Drachenloch bears. During that Interglacial, known in Europe as the Eemian and perhaps corresponding to the Sangamon of North America, the image may have been absent for many millennia, because the climate was much warner than todays, and the solar activity was doubtless higher than that which reawakeend the image about 7,500 years ago.
Still warmer climates prevailed during earlier interglacials. A still warmer climate preceded the intensely cold glacial periods, during what is called the Villafranchian period in Europe, which may correspond with the Blancan of the North American southwest. As one looks further backwards, one sees epochs of ever warmer climates, the warmest being the Radiation Maximum period at the end of the Cretaceous.
Several points in the level of intensity of solar radiation may have been manifested during these changes, which actived the hologramfor more time at each such stop, or sometimes for very long extended periods. In the entire stream of time during which our ancestors evolved from shrewish creatures into present humanity, the image may have often been visible.
To the primitive animals, for which only survival mattered, the image was irrelevant. It was periodically part of the natural environment, nonetheless. The sheer repetitiveness and naturalness of it might be why the minds of the people gravitate to its forms. Even if they know nothing of myth, they recreate the visual symbols thereof. This need not be explained by the baseless and fanciful notion of racial memory, or genetically inherited ancestors experience. It is a bias in the framework of visual perception in the mind, towards recognition of natural elements in the environment. Exposure to this impression during the course of evolutin has been sufficiently prolonged and repeated for the impression to have become to some minute digree neurologically imbedded. It is so slight and so subtle that those who express it use metaphors and symbols which are not found in the ancient myth, but which have the same basic intent. The entirety of the polar Assemblage is never questioned.
In what I have said about the interglacial and galacial periods and the interstadials which subdivide the durations of the latter, I have assumed ath the Milankovic cycles of Earths orbital eccentiricty, orbital tilt, precession, and wobble, are only incidental factors int eh Ice Age successions, and not at all the root cause. Recent research has shown the changes in climate to be far too abrupt for such a limited theory as that of the Milankovic cycles, which is out of joint with and takes inadequate account of additional factors. Stratigraphic considerations demand over 200,000 years for the Holstein or penultimate Interglacial, vastly more than the Milankovic scheme could allow. Each Interglacial was warmer than the succeeding, the last having been warmer than the present. Preglacial climats were still warmer, and apparently without such frequent oscillations as the Milankovic scheme would demand. What remains as a cause of the entire sequence of climatic change is periodic alteration of the level of solar activity, within limits which as yet have not been fatal for life on Earth.
Before citiing additional prehistoric material, I shall summarize the various forms which my research into mythical metaphors have necessitated for the polar Apparition. In this I have been guided by the easily documentable assumption that the basic set of forms unearthed by David H. Talbott are essentially correct. To accommodate much more of the total of surviving mythical metaphors than this basic set permits, these forms have to be duplicated, displaced, and subject to a number of internal alterations, some of which have already been discussed herein.
Up to a certain point, we may suppose that imaginative prehistoric humanity could see various shapes in the image, just as the more impressionable among us readily isolate faces in cracks and patches on ceilings and walls, or even in the shapes of flowers. Beyond that, only Protean changes in the image could have inspired those mythical metaphors which we find, as with the black poplars, barley, and bears.
Many of the metaphors seem unrealted to one another at first, but their mutual identifications in such texts as the Rig Veda make clear which metaphors come from which part or form of the basic set of elements of the image. The most parsimonius collection of those forms or incarnations is what is now set forth. As far as possible, for simplicitys skae, the single crescentoid phases of the forms are shown.
In figure 15 below, the basic elements are the support, thje central immobile org atop it, the crescent, and the opposite continuation of the crescent, forming the mirror crescent, or the rest of the celestial polar circle. During and very shortly before and after midnight, the figures symmetry allows the two ends of the crescent to be seen as cows horns, a mans arms, a birds wings, or with the crescent thicker and splayed at the ends and with the orb suppressed and with earlike knobs on the support, a bears front legs.
Figures 16 and 17 above show the disposition of parts at 3 hours before and 3 hours ager midnight. Figure 18 above shows the appearance at 9 a.m.
It is clear that the cowlike, humanoid, birdlike, or bearlike form is seen in convincing symmetry during at themost the limited period from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. For the rest of the time, the image is either distorted or wholly disrupted. This causes acute probelms in the visual interpretation of numerous items in ancient myth, which cannot be resolved by recourse only to those elments and ofrms of the image thus far considered.
Figure 19 below shows a rotating independent column transfixed through theh centre of the crescent, approaching at 9 p.m. the immobile support or Cosmic Mountain with which it will seem to merge at midnight, and out of the other side of which it will subsequently emerge. In some incarnations, the support is formed of coiled twists. It is then the Cosmic Serpent in the vertical aspected as contrasted with the curved serpent seen in the crescent. When the rotating independent column merges with it, the herograpples with the dragon. When the column comes out of the right side after midnight, being worsted, the hero flees from his opponent, only to repeat the performance on the following night. It is essential that this moving man retains his shape in order to be recognized as such throughout the entire episode. Only with the moving column fixed at the centre of the jointly moving crescent is this possible.
In his circling, in a day, his arms traverse the entire periphery of the celestial Earth, the polar circle. Ath the same time, the foot of his column, his body, his single leg, traverses the entire horizon of the terrestrial Earth. This correspondence and consequent ambivalence of earthly metaphors is the source of the corruption of myth after the Polar Apparition last vanished, whereby the celestial Earth became readily mistranslated as the terrestrial Earth.
Figure 20 above shows a rotating independent column fixed at the juncture of the crescent and the opposite side of the circle. Indra, sword in hand, approaches the mountain, cleaves it, and as the arm-sword-crescent emerges from the other side, the crescent-waters are released, flowing out and up through the circle to the right.
This last figure is fundamentally lopsided, but mythical metaphor demands it. Regardless of the difficulties of the physical explanation in relation to the hologram, this form of the image serves to explain some peculiarities of archaic elements of the Sanscrit vocabulary. Verb roots whose meanings include to give, as if the figure with arms outstretched to the right brings gifts, often also include the meaning of to attack, as if the figure holds forth a sword with hostile intent.
Figure 21 below shows a mirrored rotating independent column which passes through the middle of the crescent, retaining that alignment throughout the rotation around the celestial pole. It is effectively a dual independent column. In one perception thereof, the figure at the lower left is Indra, and that to the upper right Soma, Indra consumes the sacred drink, Soma. In another perception, at the upper right a lean cow circles the pole in pursuit of the fact cow at the lower left, in a singlefold version of the stroy of Josephs dream in Genesis XLI.4.
Figure 22 above shows a dual independent rotating column wherein the columns are fixed at the juncture of the crescent and the opposite or mirrored crescent. Here, and at only around the midnight position, a hero of ealirest Mesopotamia or Egypt strangles two attackers, two lions. Just as lines in English could corrupt to a more understandable lions, so also could the lions of the early MiIddle East version have been a corruption of some other similar word. The original exact alignment of the figures was apparently forgotten by the time the sculptures were made.
Another perception of figure 22 at midnight is that the figure at left with arms outstreched down and round to the right, and the mirror figure at right with arms outstretched in the opposite direction to meet and merge with those of this counterpart, jointly churn or twist the central entity. As they rotate through 24 hours, they churn the Celestial Ocean.
Figure 23 below shows the windmill phase, a fourfold independent rotating system of columns in the threefold crescent phase. Each column extends down to the relevant moving point on the terrestrial horizon. Each column can be seen as a treetrunk, and the attendant portions of crescents as the branches. This is reflected in the illustration of the 4 Cosmic Trees in a famous Mexican manuscript or codes, Fejervary-Mayer, in which the trees are upside down. In the myth of the Shatapatha Brahmana, the gods split into 4 parties, bore the 4 moving columns and the sets of arms of each. In the case where there are 7 sets of crescents and opposite and attached at the end to them, 7 mirro crescents, the total number of cosmic persons, including the 7 attached to or springing from the lower central and immobile support, is 35, and indeed it is found in Rgveda X.55.2-3. If each column with the attached orb atop it is a phallus, there are then 4 anticlockwise rotating phalli, forming the original of the story of 4 naked men who robbed a bees nest in the Fabulae of Hyginus. The bees will be discussed shortly.
Figure 24 above shows six orblets in the polar enclosure. A Mesopotamian seal suggested this phase or form. The spikes to which the orblets are attached are suggested by the implicit connection of the orb with the fruit of Dhattura or Jimson Weed, Datura stramonium, or D. metel L., in turn suggested by the rich store of linguistic associations in Sanskrit of this plant. The jewelled spikes on kingly crowns or the spikes on the crown of the American Statue of LIberty, likewise reflect this aspect of the image.
Figure 25 above shows 9 orblets or metaphorical coriander seeds attached to the central celestial polar orb. Hindu mythical metaphor, etymological considerations, Mesopotamian seals, the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian Ennead, and Andean iconology have provided this design. With their coriander seed stalks, the orblets are apparently the bees that attacked the men, their long stings attacking the head of the phallus.
Herein, in all, there are 6 arrangements of the stationary Support or Cosmic Pillar and the addtional single, double, and quadruple mobile column or columns. For each of these there are perhaps nine, six or no orblets. For each of the consequent 18 arrangements, there are 1, 3, or 7 crescentoid entities, yielding 54 combinations. If there is eitehr an orb at the centre, or no orb, in which case there is darkness or purple in the deep, there are 108 possible arrangements.
Be this artificial, gratuitous, or fortuitous, but at least by wisdom genuinely after the event, these totals correspond with the fact that 108, 540, and 5400 were numbers of great significance in myth and symbolism for the early Hindus, early Mesopotamians, and northwest Europeans. It is at least conceivable that the foregoing provides the reason.
The 4 independently rotating columsn were evidently different colors, and not always the same set of colors. This led to a number of traditions of colors of the cardinal directions.
In the case where in anticlockwise order the colors were a hypthetical yellow, white, red and black, corruption of myth would then have associated the 4 sectors of the polar enclosure or circle with gold, silver, copper and iron. The latter are the symbolic characters of the mythical millennia, the progressively degenerating ages of mythical human pseudohistory. In Maya tradition, each color-tree-pillar was associated with a destruction of the world, and end of an age of the world.
It was earlier noted that during the Climatic Optimum the Polar Apparition may in fact have existed as the presiding god Jupiter during an age of accelerated development of an already ancient agriculture. This particular millennium may thus have some basis in fact. The detailed explanation of how the quarter circle of the image could be corrupted into a thousand years of mythical pseudohistory must perforce be the subject of a separate extended study.
Gold is very prominent among the godly metaphors in the Rgveda. This implies that gold was being worked when some forms of the Polar Appartition were still seen. This implies in turn not only that the ancestors of the composers of the hymns of the Rgveda were the metallurgists of southeast Europe of 4500 B.C., but also that the image could be seen from that region.
Only a very few of the transitions between one and another of the supposed 108 forms of the image have been preserved in myth. An incomplete number of incarnations appear in isolation. In the designs and patterns of sculpture and pottery, the assemblage is almost never complete, often lacking a fundamental part.
About the latter, two reasonable suppositions may be made. First, the vast variety of forms and the sometimes huge collection of metaphors by which each was characterized formed a corpus beyond the transmissive capacity of people who no longer saw it and who certainly did not understand what it had been. Second, in the most recent spells of visibility of the image, in the Younger Dryas glacial phase and in the Climatic Optimum at its height, fluctuating intensity of solar radiation could have caused one after another of the various forms to appear in a chaotic succession. That htis might be the origin of the notin of primeval chaos is worth serious attention. Two Sanscrit words for chaos, sankara and snakulam, have together 24 etymologies which one and all derive from aspects and incarnations of the Polar Apparition, implying that in at least one strand of tradition, those were recalled as being in turmoil. Space herein precludes discussion of the numerous details.
If aspects of the image are reconstructivel in one tradition from one collection of metaphor and likewise from another with another collection, the tradition of common origin knew all of those metaphors and was far richer in content. Thus, the rich collections of metaphors of the Rgveda and the Pyramid Texts must formerly have been united in one collection, while each is far richer than those of later traditions. Ther has been a steady and easily documentable impoverishment, a progressive loss of a relatively incorrupt description of aspects of and especially the cohesion within the Polar Apparition. This forms the basis of a strong argument in favor of the former existence of a physical basis for all of the godly forms.
Finally, it was noted that in mythical metaphor, one part of the image is often substituted for another. This argues that they belong to an indivisible whole, a unified assemblage. This is why the various forms of the image I have proposed herinabove areas close to each otehr in basic elements as can be contrived. Another reason is that in ancient myth, there is frequently a transposition of a god from what is one form to what is evidently another, as with figures 19, 20 and 21 above. This requires that in the tentative reconstructions, the original gods should look alike in as many ways as possible.
Figure 22 earlier discussed a form in which there were two independent mobile columns, each opposite the other, symmetrically, fixed at the juncture between the crescent and the opposing mirror crescent. An interchangeable pair of gods or the Rgveda, Brhaspati and Indra, are suited in their manifestation as a pair by this design. In the myths corruption, Brhaspatis ame was passed on to Jupiter the planet. In at least one later Hindu source, Indra is also Jupiter. Jupiter is not a pair, however, and they were.
Their real context is revealed when it is noted that they shared a number of exploints and attributes with the Nasatyas, or Ashvins, the Heavenly Twins. They are evidently an alternative version thereof, a parallel derivative of a single earlier tradition or vision.
The most simplified visual aspect of these gods which can be extracted from the metaphors can be illustrated as below. Figure 26 shows the 3 a.m. position. To the lower left one Nasatya stands, reaching out to the right, holding the rins which curve round and up through 180° to the other Nasatya, a mirror image in attitude and gesture. One of these is otherwise Brhaspati or Indra, and the other, Indra or Brhaspati. The crescents and their mirror crescents or opposite circular continuations are the frequently mentioned 3 whells of the Nasatyas chariot. Since each column or body goes down to the horizon, the observer would have seen each god as standing upright.
Figure 27 above shows the position reached at 9 a.m., and figure 28, midnight. The support or fixed vertical pillar at the base which the Nasatya assemblage circled every 24 hours is one or another of the mythical persons to whom the Nasatyas tended as heavenly physicians, or rescued from the metaphorical ocean waves of the shimmering auroroid crescents. In figure 28, the central immobile figure seems at the midnight position to be seated upon any one or all of the three crescents, the three seats of the Nasatyas chariot.
Chariots with 3 wheels and with 3 seats were evidently invented by the time at which this last form of the image was seen. It remains for archaeology to uncover proff that such chariots already existed no later than 4,500 B.C.
Archaeology has unearthed remains indicative of the Nasatyas themselves from much earlier times. If the Nasatyas were not perceived as sharing one head, they were seen to be arranged in mutual opposition, head to head. At a site called Sungir, in a suburb of Vladimir, near Moscow, this is how two boys were buried, one between 7 and 9 years old, and the other between 12 and 13. Their ornaments consisted of thousands of pierced mammoth ivory beads sewn as ornaments intotheir clothing. To these beads in their headdresses were added canine teeth of polar foxes. Artifacts included sixteen spears, darts, and daggers. Found in 1969, this grave and the cemetery in which it was included, were dated to 23,000 B.C.
Evidently, the boys were of rich and prominent families in a community having a far more sophisticated material culture than anyone would have imagined within the Ice Age. Their mutual disposition in the grave can be understood as a physical confirmation of the reconstructed disposition of the Nasatyas in the above figures. In spite of the difference in ages of the boyas, their placement implies sympathetic magic which required them to merge with or become elevated like the Nasatyas. That this cannot have been otherwise is indicated by the fact that their clothes were covered with thousands of ivory beads, corresponding with the thousands of sparks or jewels upon the person or persons of the Polar Apparition.
According to the thesis set forth herein, the Polar Apparition would have been very often brilliantly visible during the icy era of the burial. Either it was at that very time visible in the Nasatya form or incarnation, in which case the magic applied dubiously to something present, or, more credibly, it was visible in another form, the Nasatya form at that moment being a thing of years or decades or even centuries earlier, in which case the magic conforms to the reconstruction or recreative variety characteristic of recent history.
The latter bias is evident in the many forms of religious ritual which recreate mythical conditions whith symbolic acts and objects. What is most significant is that the attributes of the gods are stated in the present tencse, as if they had never vanished. There is no story of the final disappearance of the Polar Apparition. It would not in the least have suited the priests to admit that their authority was based upon something whose former frequent or periodic manifestations had ceased altogether. We can merely speculate upon how the very difficult decades and centuries after the disappearance were managed by the custodians of dogma.
The latter considerations throw unresolvable contradictions in the way of deciding of the Sungir burial was a human sacrifice designed to bring back the absent Nasatyas into the sky. Thus far north, the Polar Apparition may have provided on occasion some valuable light at night for hunters, and it may have been absent when the boys were buried, the solar radiation being at the wrong peg of intensity.
In 1939, at Monte Circeo in italy, A. C. Blanc entered a cave which had been sealed for more than 50,00 years. On the floor was a Neanderthal skull surrounded by a ring of white stones. This suggets the central orb surrounded by the orblets. Beside the skull there were the bones of pig, deer and aurochs, or wild cow, Bos Primigenius. Asusming that the 3 animals somewho reflected the current or immediately preceding form of the triple crescentoid formation, the form of the Polar Apparition as in figure 29 below is suggested. The projections of the deers antlers may be compared with the leaves of the Black Poplar in figure 13 earlier discussed.
Here, the crescents are deformed, consistent with the conceivable variations of the auroroid phenomenon. That three different animals of this sort were periodically suggested int he course of the shifting forms of the image is reflected in the Roman sacrifice, suovetaurilia, of a pig, a sheep, and a bull, and also a similar early Chinese sacrifice.
In 1938, in a cave at Teshik Tash, Uzbekistan, a Neanderthal childs skull was found, surrounded by a ring of 6 pairs of ibex horns whose cores were rammed into the soil. The circular arrangement evidently substitutes for 3 crescentoid components on one side of the celestial polar circle, faced by the 3 perhaps slimmer and dimmer mirror crescentoid components on the opposite side.
In the cave of LHortus, in southern France, a mass of debris was found which included Neanderthal bones, fragments of 4 lynxes, and 3 ibex skulls. The latter sugest the triple crescentoid formation on one side of the celestial polar circle.
What has been proposed as the origin of myth and religion, the bedrock, the template, is an auroroid hologram reaching from the horizon, in some phases sweeping thorugh all points thereof, up to the celestial polar region of the observer. The presence or absence of it, brilliantly manifest or totally inapparent, arises from polarized light from magnetospheric particles, in turn due to the intensities of radiation at various frequencies, say for example in the harmonic series (here harmonic applies to octaves of frequencies) 250, 500, 100, 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000, 32000 Angstroms and so on, here proceeding from abiotic ultraviolet through visible light into the farther infrared. The present relative intensities at the supposed set of wavelengths inhibit the auroroid hologram with an interference phenomenon which completely destroys all traces of it.
As proposed earlier, there must be a harmonic relationship between intensities of radiation at the various relevant wavelengths, for the normal interference to be nullified. This aspect of the problem could be quite intricate.
The curves of intensities for various wavelengths of solar radiation for a) the recent Climatic Optimum, b) the last glacial period, and c) whichever preglacial era was as much warmer than the Climatic Optimum as the Climatic Optimum was warmer than the glacial period, or, alternatively, that equivalent period at which a point in the intensity of solar radiation was reached whereby the image would have been lighted, would doubtless differ from each other only slightly. It is, as indicated, the fine and precise detail in the intensities at specific wavelengths which are of prime importance.
It is conceivable that a laboratory simulation of the impact upon the terrestrial magnetosphere of varying intensities of solar radiation, as well as the impact of bursts of particles like those from the solar flares, could be made. If so, information about the reality or nonreality of the hologram could be obtaine din the process. Since such a simulation may in any event provide information relevant to terrestrial electronic communications, the experiment is tempting and worthwhile.
It was indicated earlier that whether present aurorae have any hologrammatic aspect is worth testing. Interested persons stationed in the Arctic and Antarctic regions could take simultaneous photographs from several different distantly removed points of viewing. Something new would in any event be learned.
Another possibility is that the Polar Apparition is not visible only in the ultraviolet and the infrared, just beyond each edge of the narrow band of frequencies at which light is visible to the human eye. That is to say that the image would shine at 3750 and 7500 Angstrom, but not in between. If there were a slight shift upwards, any light seen would be purple. It is worth noting that the Chinese called the north celestial polar region the Purple Forbidden Palace. Ultraviolet and infrared photography of the north and south celestial polar skies might in general be instructive.
The latter takes no account of the fact that in the various traditions, one may find red, yellow, green, blue, black and white as colors of the pillars at the cardinal points. How such sets of colors, in addition to the evidently predominant gold, could be made manifest in the Polar Apparition, may pose a challenging theoretical question.
Another theoretical question is where the immobile orb around which the assemblage turns is really located. In Rgveda II.6.4, Agni the god is identified with the Pole Star, dhruvah. A bothersome question is whether the Pole Star, as with so many other items, results from a displacement of metaphor which occured after the image disappeared. this question cannot be answered without recourse to reliable information.
Copyright (c) 1987, Roger Ashton