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A 20 20 vision

So from today it is 2020, whatever that really means. Traditionally it would have meant 2020 AD, Anno Domini, in the year of the Lord. Two thousand and twenty years since the birth of Jesus the Christ. The AD/BC calendar only came into being in 525 AD; created by a monk, Dionysius Exiguus, so that everyone in Christendom could align their calendars and celebrate Easter on the same day. There was a schism between the Orthodox Christians of the East and the Roman Christians of the West and Pope John 1 felt the need to synchronise Easter globally. The Pope adopted Dionysius’ calendar for all nations under his control.

Historians have now concurred that Dionysius was out by a few years in his calculation. From the gospels we know that Jesus’ family fled to Egypt to avoid Herod’s slaughter of the innocents but historians know that Herod died in 4BC. The Gospel also said the family went to Bethlehem to register for the Census of Quirinius, Governor of Syria, but Quirinius was appointed to that post in 6AD. The inability to reliably use BC/AD to align with true historical events is why historians now refer to CE (Common Era) and BCE. My identification of a likely star of Bethlehem puts the birth at 6-7 bc.

But whatever year it happened, the birth of Yeshua, son of Myrium, by way of a visitation by non-earthly beings and consequential artificial conception, and adopted son of Yasaf, has probably been the most influential event of the Common Era.

And this is where things get really interesting from a cosmic viewpoint. You will recall I have written about the Great Year whereby the earth moves around each of the twelve houses of the Zodiac over a period of 25,920 years, giving us an average time in each house of 2160 years. Well according to this cosmic observation, based on the location of the sun at the March equinox of the year, we have been in the house of Pisces for the past 2,000+ years (Click photo to enlarge).

The name ‘Pisces’ means the fish. The symbol of Christianity is also a fish and had been adopted as such by the Greeks about two hundred years prior to Dionysius. Jesus first recruited fishermen as his disciples and told them they would become ‘fishers of men’. The miracle of the multiplication of the fishes and loaves features as a significant event in the Bible and the ‘153 fish miracle’ was the demonstration of the miraculous powers of the resurrected Jesus.

Pisces is ruled by the planet Neptune and is known as the water planet; the mission of Jesus was first announced with Jesus’ baptism in the waters of the Jordan River and to this day adoption into the Christian faith is done by baptism with water.

Pisces health is characterised by issues with the feet (fish were never meant to walk). It is a practice of the leaders of Christianity, beginning with Jesus himself, to ceremonially wash the feet of the common people.

Pisces is also characterised by the creative arts. Indeed the last few hundred years of the age presented the greatest surge of artistic creativity in humanity’s known history. In painting from the renaissance period of Da Vinci and Michaelangelo through the phases of impressionism of Monet and Van Gogh to the cubism of Braque and Picasso. The Renaissance also saw the invention of the printing press and the emergence of great writers of the era such as Shakespeare and Chaucer.

The previous age was Aries, dating from approximately 2100 bc. Aries is a fire sign ruled by the planet Mars which has the characteristics of male aggression, strong passions, relentless determination and a direct, uncomplicated approach in carrying out their ambition. While much of global history BC is unrecorded, the Age of Aries did seem to climax over the latter five centuries with almost constant battles amongst the main civilisations of Greece, Persia, Sparta, Egypt, Rome and China. Some of the most notable generals were Alexander the Great, with thirteen years of conquests of seventy cities between 336 and 323 BC; Qin Shi Huang 258-210 BC was the founder of the Qin dynasty and was the first emperor of a unified China; Julius Caesar lived from 100BC – 44BC and conquered most of Europe including Britain.

That is not to say the age of Pisces was without war; far, far from it. But war took on a totally different guise. While Aries was characterised by blunt, transparent ambition of military leaders, Pisces by contrast was a sheep in a wolf’s clothing or in Piscine terminology, a shark in a dolphin suit. It started with Emperor Constantine absorbing the established Christian Church under his control and using the Christian Church as Rome’s divinely-authorised cover for it’s political, military and economic control of Europe. This was followed by the Crusades against Islam, the Inquisitions against Protestants and the sending of Christian missionaries to conquer the souls of South Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Filipinos. Conquest in the Age of Pisces was done in the name of a patriarchal religion and its higher authority. It conquered by fear and it was, commercially, very successful. The Church of Rome which dates right back to the strategic takeover of Christianity by Emperor Constantine of Rome became the wealthiest institution on the planet.

The astrologers tell us we are now in the early stage of the age of Aquarius. If that is true, what would that mean, if anything, in our day to day life? While you would think Aquarius is a water sign, it is not. It is one of the air signs; preferring intellectual debate over emotion. Aquarius is symbolised as the water bearer, a humanitarian sign bringing water to the thirsty and quenching the parched earth. The emergence of the climate response by the millennial generation seems clearly a sign of the times.

Aquarius is ruled by the planet Uranus; the planet that governs innovation, technology and surprising events. Indeed I have to concede that our new religion is technology. Today our people increasingly consult Google, not the priest of a patriarchal religious corporation, to seek the answers to life’s mysteries. Our reverence towards Gaia, the earth, is growing. We ar developing renewed respect for paganism (from pagani, Latin for ‘person of the countryside’) in our quest for organic and free range food supplies. Increasingly we are using machines to do much more of the work from factories to hospitals while humans travel from one conference to the next to have intellectual conversations about the state of the world and humanity. I hope that the most obvious problems of overpopulation and disparity of wealth will be solved by technology; it is the smart decision. And we know that if we do not solve it then Gaia will do it for us.

I wrote the above at the same time that, unsuspected by me,  a mystery new virus was already on its mission to do the job for us. Oddly our leaders spent time during the critical early weeks of the outbreak debating the name we would give it as though it was a commercial branding exercise. Diplomatically it could not be identified with any location or race. It’s brand name became Covid-19, complete with typography, design and colour scheme. As though by branding it we could gain control over it. Perhaps even market it for commercial or political profit. When will we ever learn?

We had failed to address the fundamental issues by ourselves; the gift of technology was being corrupted and abused. By March, due solely to an unseen virus that can defy our technology, the skies are almost clear of jet planes; the polluted air over congested cities has cleared to show the colour of the sky and heavens; the flood of waste into our oceans has slowed to a trickle; huge amounts of the oil extracted from the bowels of the earth sit stored and unburned. And we are, as a global civilisation, finally forced by nature into a state as close as close to unity as we have ever known in our 12,000 years of this era of our civilisation. 

I am a thoroughbred Pisces; born in the age of Pisces, during the March equinox under the star sign of Pisces, on the night of the new moon and with the ruling planet of Neptune in retrograde. In 2020 I feel a bit like a fish out of water but I have no doubt that the Universe knows what it is doing. Aquarius, I think it is your time.

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Twinkle, twinkle

The star of Bethlehem is the defining cosmic symbol of the birth of Christianity. The star that attracted the three Magi to travel for several months to bear witness to the birth of the Messiah. The one who would be king of the Jews. This of course made the three magi themselves also an essential part of the birth of Christianity and yet we never hear of them again in the books of the New Testament..

We read in the bible they visited the Court of King Herod on their journey and were instructed to report back to him when they had found this royal baby. We read that after the Magi witnessed the birth they returned to Persia by a different route to avoid Herod; and we read that Herod then issued orders for all Jewish males under the age of two to be slaughtered to ensure the death of this potential threat to his line.

We also read that Mary and Joseph were warned of the threat and departed urgently with their new born for Egypt; and that when Herod died two years later, the family returned to Judea. But after that we read very little about Yeshua (subsequently amended to Ioasus by Greek scholars and later Romanised/Anglicised to Jesus). The only reference during his first thirty years of his life was a time that the family went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. We read from the bible that Yeshua, at age twelve, astounded the Hebrew scholars with his knowledge of scripture; but then we know nothing again of Yeshua’s young adult life until he publicly began his ministry with his baptism at age thirty, quite a mature man by the standard of the day.

He was baptised by John, the son of his mother’s cousin although we also know nothing of their relationship prior to that point. We have no idea where he gained the knowledge that he impressed the scholars with, or where and how he spent the subsequent eighteen years preparing for his mission to gather “the lost sheep of Israel”. His mission appeared directed against the religious hierarchy of Judea who had ‘turned God’s house into a den of thieves’.

What was the wandering star that caused the Magi to set off around 6bc (minor errors in creating the modern Gregorian calendar have demonstrated that the birth of Jesus would not have been at the beginning of 1ad as we assume. King Herod the great, who is also central to the nativity story, is recorded to have died in 4bc.

Computers today enable us to actually back-trace the location of planets and even comets two thousand years ago. An obvious first point to check is whether the star of Bethlehem was Halley’s comet on its regular circuit. But that passed through earth’s sky in 12bc, at least 5 years before the birth. Apart from which, in ancient times, comets were considered forerunners of catastrophe, not the joyful birth of a saviour.

Of interest, the original Aramaic text of the Magi’s explanation is that they had seen Yeshua’ star “in heliacal rising.” This means a star that appears immediately prior to sunrise. The most significant planetary observation is the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn which make an exceptionally bright ‘star’. This alignment randomly appears in different constellations each time but when it occurs in the constellation of Pisces it is recognised as the Star of David.

It was Johannes Kepler, the father of modern astronomy, who had studied the writings of a medieval Jewish scholar, Rabbi Abarbonel, and discovered the significance to the Jewish people of the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, which together shine like a superstar, in the constellation of Pisces. This alignment was regarded as the ‘star of David’. Kepler also calculated that during 6-7 bc this alignment of Jupiter and Saturn made the rare appearance in Pisces and was in fact a triple conjunction, occurring three times in the period. This has been confirmed by modern computer-generated calculations as occurring in 6bc on May 22, October 8 and December 2 with the heliacal rising of Jupiter in the dawn sky. This is a very plausible source of the legend that a king to restore the line of David would be signalled by this ‘star of David’ appearing. With such a favourable birth star in Jewish beliefs, Yeshua was well worth a lifetime of training by the leaders of Persia to become a future leader of Judea and Israel.

So the Magi were literally looking for the Jewish baby boy born under the star of David. This would certainly spark the interest of Magi given such a rare conjunction and even more so spark the alarm of the current King of Judea, Herod. Triple conjunctions are rare, the next after 6bc was 786ad, and the next after that in 1583. A triple conjunction in Pisces, the Star of David, is even more rare. It should also be noted that this time was also when the vernal equinox was moving from the age of Aries into the age of Pisces, the fish. This is notable with the significance of the symbol of the fish in Christianity. The last 2,000 years with the vernal equinox in Pisces has certainly been the age of Christianity. The Spring equinox is now changing to the age of Aquarius.

So what then became of the three Magi? The Magi were the astronomer-priests from Persia, adherents of the religion founded by a Persian astrologer/ philosopher named Zarathustra.  It seems peculiar that three foreigners who followed the religion of Zarathustra, an opposing religion to Judaism, would be summoned by the Jewish God, Yahweh to witness the birth of Yeshua for no other reason than to bring gifts and then depart. But yet  the Bible speaks no more of them. There is a reference in an excerpt from a medieval saints calendar printed in Cologne which read, “Having undergone many trials and fatigues for the Gospel, the three wise men met at Sewa (Sebaste in Armenia) in A.D. 54 to celebrate the feast of Christmas. Thereupon, after the celebration of Mass, they died: St. Melchior on Jan. 1, aged 116; St. Balthasar on Jan. 6, aged 112; and St. Caspar on Jan. 11, aged 109.” The Roman Martyrology also lists these dates as the Magi’s respective feast days.

So did the Magi play a real part in the mission of Yeshua throughout his life? Did they continue a role in his education after his birth and the family’s return from Egypt? Did Yeshua live with them in Persia to prepare for his mission? And did they see his mission as purely spiritual to bring Zoroastrianism to Israel or as the cosmically anointed inheritor of the kingship of David to restore the sovereignty of Israel as a defence against Rome?

Rome was a serious enemy to Persian Empire and Judea was right on their western border; it was earlier ruled by Persia before Alexander the Great conquered them. So it was certainly in the Persians’ political interest to have an allied, independent Judea between them and Rome. Whatever you think of this theory, clearly the Roman governor of the time and his Jewish religious puppets took the possibility seriously.

It raises the question about just how much influence the Persian magi had on the politics of Judea and whether they were continually working towards the eventual 66AD great uprising of religious zealots in Galilee and Judea when the Romans were actually finally driven out of the region. If so it was a short-lived victory as Rome returned with a vengeance in 70AD and the Jews were driven from the land which was given to the Philistines.

Incidentally the next great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be in November/ December 2020. I can’t wait, but this one will be in Capricorn, not Pisces so don’t expect a descendant of David to appear in Israel.

That is earth on the left of the sun with Mars behind us. Top of picture the giants Saturn and Jupiter (father and son in Greek mythology) one behind the other in direct line with the sun, forming a superstar.

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Is it in the stars?

Being a Pisces it would have been remiss of me not to acknowledge that today is a solar eclipse in Pisces. And not just any solar eclipse but actually the grand finale act of two years of solar eclipses and the likes of this solar eclipse in Pisces will not be seen again for a very long time. And a long time in cosmic terms is very long time. I watched a great series on the Pyramid Code on Netflix (yep finally got internet flowing from a trickle to a river) and from this great series realised that a great year in earth terms is actually 25-26,000 years; that is the time it takes us to wobble the 360 degree circuit of the twelve constellations, moving at a snail’s pace one degree each 72 years. So approximately one degree every single human lifetime. 360 x 72 = 25,920 to go from the winter solstice sun being in, say Aquarius, moving all the way around the circuit until it is in Aquarius again (according to my memory of the 70’s, even though cool cats claim that if you remember the 70’s you weren’t there, and the musical “Hair” (yep saw it in Melbourne in ’71) then this is actually the dawn of the age of Aquarius. If my maths is correct we will spend just over 2,000 years in Aquarius so we are still just starting on that trip, man.

Any-old-how, back to the pyramids and just how old they are. Carbon dating and the records of the local pharaoh has us dating the construction of the pyramids as 4,500-5000 years ago. But carbon dating cannot date stone! It can only date organic matter. So that is the archeological equivalent of painting your house 10 years ago and having a carbon-dating analyst declare your house is 10 years old. No doubt there was a bit of repair work done during the time of the pharaohs as the limestone coating crumbled away, leaving a carbon footprint 4-5,000 years old and no doubt the pharaohs did build replicas of the Giza pyramids for their own grand tombs and these are genuinely 4-5,000 years old. But let us focus on the originals, the three pyramids of Giza. The big question is that we know the Egyptians of 4-5,000 years ago simply did not have the technology to build them. Anyone who has studied the pyramids or even visited them concurs with that. There is a flat surfaced circular stone at the site that simply cannot have been carved by primitive tools. The location over a magnetic lay line, the mathematical and cosmic precision of the dimensions and location on the planet’s surface, the alignment with the stars, none of this is coincidental nor within the non-computerised capabilities of the Egyptians of 3,000 bc. At this point everyone just shakes their heads and thinks of something else.

Back again to the “great year” of 25,920 years. That is real and mathematically undeniable. From this there is the theory that just as in our 12 hour day we humans have energy cycles going high to low, creative cycles, mood cycles, and just as our planet has seasonal cycles, all perfectly natural, so too does the planet and the human species have great “age” cycles. We move from light, or enlightened, ages to the dark ages in cycles. It is the natural way of things.

Some speculate that humans have destroyed the planet and undermined the morality of our species so irreversibly that we face an imminent “Mad Max” scenario. But what if, in reality, our species has already had its Mad Max age; here is the chart that those naked onstage performers in the Hair Musical  were working off. In the 25,000 year great cycle, the last Golden or enlightened age ended about 18,000 years ago. great_year_smAccording to this chart of the great year cycle, our civilisation then gradually deteriorated into silver and bronze phases until it slumped into the darkness of the iron phase. Enter Mad Max when hordes of barbarians roamed Europe with armour plated bodies riding chariots, tanks and eventually aircraft to inhumanely slaughter people at a whim. As an example, in 2013 the oldest known megalithic temple was discovered at the enormous site of Gobekli Tepe in Southern Turkey. The oldest parts of this great temple are accurately dated back to 12,000 years ago. But what is most interesting is that the newer parts of the complex are markedly less impressive than the oldest parts of the complex. What started as brilliant engineering and architecture became progressively much less impressive as the centuries rolled on in complete contrast to what we would expect. The standard of civilisation was in a noticeable decline. But now we are now just emerging from that dark place and it is all upwards and brighter as we enter the next golden, enlightened age of Aquarius. I can sense the mocking coming through the screen already but look at the extraordinary progress in technology in the 40 years since the 1970’s relative to the 4000 years before. We really have to stop thinking of civilisation in terms relative to our own personal lifespan. We cannot be so small-minded as to think that anything beyond our written and witnessed history books simply never existed. Or that history existed only in the most primitive forms until it evolved to the ultimate glory which is us (well, I mean me, not us).

And the pyramids are staring at us, stone-faced, as monuments that long before us was an age of inhabitants, presumably human, with technology that we are only now starting to catch up with.  It is only in the last 50 years that we have developed (or remembered?) the computer technology that may now enable us to contemplate a technological achievement like the great Pyramid of Giza.

So back again to the question of just how old the Giza pyramids and Sphinx are. The Sphinx is an astrological alignment facing due east for the Spring equinox, which is no accident. It is in lion body form, which also was not just a whim of the architect and the sun at spring equinox was last in the constellation of Leo in the 9,000 bc era. At the moment of sunrise then, if you turned 90 degrees to face due south you would have seen the three stars of Orion’s belt appear in the exact same alignment as the three pyramids of Giza. This again is not coincidence; the Egyptians were very astrologically astute. This is far more scientific than the age of some organic matter on the current surface of the pyramid. This would put the construction of the Giza pyramids back in the silver age and, coincidently, about the time the planet had to start recovering from the great comet strike and global deluge as detailed in an earlier blog,

But if we could build a great pyramid, why would we? Well, perhaps as a far superior energy source than fossil fuels for a start. You see the latest studies of the Giza pyramids have concluded that they were in fact super power plants producing an ecologically friendly ‘implosive’ power source rather than the fossil-fuelled ‘explosive’ power source. They were all built in hard granite and, as we all know, granite makes the highest quality batteries. granite-batteryThen they were sheathed in a low conductive limestone to contain the energy within.

The largest of the great pyramids was actually gleaming white in its original state. The other two smaller pyramids were red and black granite respectively; very AC/DC. There was a water table beneath the pyramids, they were built on a magnetic lay line and they had the direct energy source of the sun. In effect, all the elements of a power generator that could supply the nearby city.

Let there be light. And there was light.

Recovered memory of ancient technology will save our planet and bring us into the next golden age. It is written in the stars. This is the dawning of enlightenment.

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Oh mighty Zeus…..

we are here to worship you and seek wisdom. After forty plus years of flirting with the supreme deity of Zeus, aka planet Jupiter, yesterday NASA put a spacecraft, Juno, into orbit around the planet for the ultimate research project which will, hopefully, unlock the secrets of the origins of our solar system and our own creation. Powerful stuff when you get a computerised audience with the supreme deity of humanity’s ancient cultures.

Since the 70’s we have sent nine space missions up that way; it is the best part of 600 million kilometres away, or in more manageable terms, from Dunedin to Oamaru and back again once a day, every day for 7,000 years and when you say it like that it doesn’t seem so bad.

In 1995 Galileo actually entered Jupiter’s orbit and stayed there until 2003 and observed Jupiter. Juno’s mission is to get to the very core of Jupiter and get answers to some fundamental questions about the creation of our solar system, and of us. Juno will orbit in a path that passes over Jupiter’s poles and will measure microwave emissions, the gravity field and the magnetic field, which apparently is how the scientists will gain the vital clues into the formation of our solar system. 
Zeus_2Don’t ask me to explain how all that works, I was bewildered just watching a real estate agent hovering a camera drone over the house next door. But if you ever wondered why  Zeus (Greek)/ Thor (Norse) / Taranis (Celtic)/ Jupiter (Roman) was associated with the lightning, hammer and shield wielding warrior deity, considered the chief of the planet-gods in their mythologies, you might be interested to know that Jupiter is in fact a protector of earth. The massive energy of magnetic field and gravity of the gaseous giant has either deflected comets back out of our solar system or taken one for the team when its gravitational pull has dragged asteroids and comets to their death and preventing them turning their attention to earth. Such impacts are noted regularly and there is calculation that Jupiter’s size and gravitational pull drag in up to six asteroids/ comets per year. But some of the comets and asteroid strikes that our astronomers have actually observed have been real monsters.

Back in the eighteenth century there was a comet that appeared in our skies known as Lexell’s Comet, named after the astronomer Anders Johan Lexell who first calculated its orbit. He showed that the comet had made a close approach to earth of just 2.2 million kilometers. That was the closest a comet has ever been witnessed to approach the Earth and, in astronomical terms, it was a very near miss. Lexell worked out that with the speed the comet orbited around the Sun, we would see it again in 12 years, possibly a lot closer to earth and, if in an attack formation, would actually smash earth. In 1782, however, the comet was nowhere in sight.

The French mathematician Pierre Simon-Laplace then calculated that the comet had experienced a set of encounters with the giant planet Jupiter. After the 1770 sighting from earth, the second encounter with Jupiter modified the comet’s orbit, ejecting it from the Solar System altogether and removing it as a potential hazard.

A very serious comet in more recent times was named Shoemaker-Levy 9. The comet had orbited the Sun for billions of years but, in the 1960s or 1970s, it changed orbit and made a close pass at Jupiter and the giant planet captured it and it orbited Jupiter on a highly elongated path. On July 7, 1992, it passed so close to Jupiter that the planet’s mighty tides (hammer/ magic belt?) tore the comet apart. When it was re-discovered a year or so the comet had a squashed look due to having been smashed into fragments.

Fragment GBy observing the orbit of the comet, the astronomers calculated that it would collide with Jupiter in July of 1994. Having broken up the comet into bite-size chunks, the first piece of the comet that was pulled onto the planet’s surface was about 2 kilometres in diameter and hit with the equivalent of over a million one-megaton nuclear bombs exploding at the same time. It was probably Zeus’ version of having a really good curry, I imagine. That, however, was not the largest chunk which was fragment G. As illustrated, it made quite a bang.

More recently again in 2009 an asteroid impact, from a rock some 500 metres long, created a created a surface dent the size of the Pacific Ocean. Jupiter is just like our great big personal bodyguard. And the latest asteroid strike to be captured on camera was in fact on St Patrick’s day this year.

So if  Jupiter is the mighty protector deity of earth then that explains why, as a planet, it was so respected and revered by ancient cultures as the warrior hero-god. In Norse Mythology, Thor (Jupiter) rode through the skies during a thunderstorm to kill the giants, the enemies of the gods (planets), and to kill the mighty serpent that flies through the skies with the lightning from his hammer and his magical ‘belt’ that doubles his strength.

In Greek mythology, Zeus, the presiding deity of the universe, ruler of the skies and the earth, was the god-master of all natural phenomena in the heavens. The personification of the laws of nature; the ruler of the state; and finally, the father of gods and men. At his command, mighty thunders would flash and lightnings would roll; he represented the grand laws of unchanging and harmonious order, by which both the natural and the spiritual world were governed.

Just how the ancients had any knowledge from which to create such myths about Jupiter performing such god-like protection roles is a matter of speculation, but the reality is, they did. But whatever the ancients thought, this is the moment when we finally have the technology to approach this chief planet deity that can unlock the secrets of the solar system and finally ask ‘what’s it all about, Alfie?’ 

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Come in Number 9

Having discarded Pluto as a real planet, we now once again have our real Number 9 planet. We cannot see it because it is about 56 billion miles from the sun, where we are a very neighbourly 150 million miles away from the sun. Where we take one year to orbit the Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 10.31.33 AMsun, Planet 9 takes a leisurely 10-20,000 years. It’s a long time then since it got anywhere near the sun to possibly be observed by even the most powerful telescope. But two researchers, Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, observed the movements of bodies within the Kuiper belt, where Pluto lives, and computer-modelling of the orbits of space bodies convinced them that there is a body about 10 times earth’s mass and 2-4 times our diameter out there inflicting its gravitational pull on these other bodies’ orbits. 

So there it is, come in number nine, your time is up, you have been deduced. A magical number, is number nine. There is definitely something cosmic about it. It is the last number in the decimal system of 0-9. Ten is a combination of 1+0. It is the last and the limit of all that is. The ancients believe number 9 contains a hidden code that effects everyone on earth and reveals the great truth. Ok aside from the occultists, we can look at the interesting mathematical facts about number 9. Did you know that the sum of any multiplication equals nine? 2×9 = 18, 1+8 = 9; 6×9 = 54, 5+4 = 9,638 x 9 = 5742 —> 5 + 7 + 4 + 2 = 18 —> 1 + 8 = 9, And on and on it goes. Another little trick of #9 is that any number divided by 9 simply has no end. The final digit repeats ad infinitum. For example 8/9 = 0.8888…….; 50/9 = 5.55555555……; let’s try another one: If 12345679 (excludes number 8) multiplied by 1-9 multiples of 9 then the result will contain the numbers over and over. So:
12345679 x 9 = 111111111
12345679 x 18 = 222222222 —> 12345679 x 9 x 2
12345679 x 27 = 333333333 —> 12345679 x 9 x 3
12345679 x 36 = 444444444 —> 12345679 x 9 x 4

The weird flip side to this pattern is that if you add #9 to any other number, the sum of the answer is always the other number, not the nine. So

6+9 = 15;  1+5 = 6

2+9 = 11. 1+1 = 2

17+9 = 26; 1+7=8, 2+6 = 8

and on ad infinitum

Not sure what this means but I have a feeling if you work it out you will have solved the secret of the universe.

Ok so we now have a mysterious planet number nine in our solar system. The last planet in our decimal solar system if the Sun = 10. That is probably why ancient knowledge decided the decimal system was more cosmic than the ‘base 12’ or duodecimal system which was based on the number of Titans and Gods of Olympus. The duodecimal system actually has four non-trivial factors whereas the decimal system only has two non-trivial factors if that helps you differentiate them.

But why do we care? If Planet 9 is so far away, we will never see it, so what does it matter? Perhaps it matters because we have a quest. We have a curiosity born of intelligence. We want to know what is out there. We want to know who our creator is in the same way that those abandoned children on reality TV shows search out their birth parents. Everyone wants to know: ‘having created us, why have you forsaken us’? Fair enough.

But we, in Dunedin, New Zealand, live on a tiny dot of a planet that floats in a relatively small solar system (our sun is a dwarf sun) which is located in a remote corner of the Milky Way which itself is a remote little galaxy within the incomprehensible universe.

It sort of reminds me of an interesting part of a David Attenborough documentary about the Kalahari desert in Namibia. They filmed down a cave, named Aigamas cave, 60 metres below the desert, in which there is the earth’s largest known underground lake.Down in this lake lives a little fish named the golden catfish.Golden cave catfish It grows up to 16 centimetres long. It is an air-breathing fish and as such could move a short distance on land, like an eel. To the golden catfish, this lake of almost 2 hectares is the entire universe. They have no conception of the narrow portal that leads to a completely alien world of the Kalahari desert with its huge night sky above it and the rest of Africa surrounding it.

But imagine if that fish had a genetic desire to search for its DNA relatives beyond its own universe. ‘Why have you forsaken us, oh great Golden Catfish?’ It is, after all, what drives other fish species to travel huge distances back to their birthplace. And, with that drive, the golden catfish explores the edges of its known universe and finds a small underground stream that eventually finds its way to another river or swamp down in the southern rainforests. What a discovery. What a new world with sunlight above it instead of the darkness of its cave. Imagine the change in organisms to feed on, the change in temperature and the new creatures it would meet along the way. But it would not find any more little cave golden catfish; their cave environment has resulted in them evolving as unique to that little universe; and I am not sure they would survive meeting their closest dna relative in African rivers and swamps, the sharp-tooth catfish, which gets to an average length about a metre. But, if they made it to shore and crawled briefly onto land, they would then be confronted with all manner of terrifying flying insects and birds, crawling ants and scorpions; they would hardly comprehend larger animals of hippos or elephants; hyenas or lions; it’s life Jim, but not as we know it. At what point does the catfish wonder why he left the cave.

So why do we get so excited about Planet #9 and beyond? About black holes and space portals. We are far more intelligent and imaginative than a catfish. We have watched the entire Star Wars series as well as Star Trek. We would not just stumble unknowingly into terrifying alien worlds to become nothing but a rather unmemorable snack before lunch. We may believe we are the divinely anointed masters of all beasts of the land and birds of the air, but that franchise is only for this planet. We have no rights beyond our atmosphere.

Similarly in the Aegamas cave the Golden catfish rules all the organisms in its own little universe. But that doesn’t mean much if they come up against a metre long saw-toothed relative who doesn’t feel the same family connection or a scorpion looking for lunch. As a life-form they were created from base organisms just like us. Then they evolved over millions of years to the creature they are now.

If we believe that homo-sapiens evolution has been fast-tracked from primate beasts to become super intelligent species, then we are suggesting that, between us and the primary divine creation of all life from which our forebear primates evolved, there is an alien life-form that re-wired our brains and dna 200,000 years ago to achieve that intelligence. If we find them we should be prepared in case they may not welcome us as children, rather they may say ‘Hey look at our little monkeys, how did they get here?’

But I don’t know why I bother to write this. Fifty percent of my readership would not contemplate space exploration because, at the end of it, zero-gravity golf would just seem silly; the other 50% is of the firm conviction that ruling of the beasts and the birds is solely for the purpose of having them lightly sautéed in a brandy sauce, served with a pear and blue cheese salad and washed down with delightful chilled chablis; the thought of being, in turn, a sautéed lunch for an extra terrestrial is not appealing. So I am fairly confident that neither of my two readers got past the first three lines before disengaging. My words therefore simply go into the ether, just in case ‘they’ are out there and monitoring me: ‘I come in peace’.

Of course the other theory could well be that the sun itself is the 1st heavenly body, not Mercury, in which case, Neptune becomes #9 and the search is over.

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Stars in their eyes

Well, having recently suggested that the Matariki star group replace the Southern Cross on our national flag, it behoves me to actually learn a little bit about the Matariki and why this star cluster was  such a significant influence on Maori tradition. And quite an interesting little journey in space and time it was.

Matariki (translated as ‘ little eyes’) is a star cluster that appears in the South-East horizon of the night sky in May/ June in New Zealand and the Maori new year is now said to start on the first new moon after its appearance. Other tradition has this cluster has also been associated with the winter solstice and the star cluster named as Matariki, the mother, surrounded by her six daughters whose role is to assist the weakened sun to return to strength

Identifying notable stars and associating them with natural phenomena or religious significance is well recorded from ancient times, but still, it makes you wonder how the Maori actually came to settle on this cluster of seven stars, (usually with the naked eye only six can be identified; officially there are nine named with hundreds actually in the cluster, but for some reason, Maori myth refers to seven).

After a little further investigation, I learn that this same cluster of stars is recognised in Hawaii where it is named Makaliʻi hiki (also translates as ‘little eyes’). The Makaliʻi hiki in Hawaii rises shortly after sunset and is visible for four months from October/November to February/March. In Hawaiian tradition, this was a four month period of celebration of the harvest called Makahiki. Warfare was forbidden and it was a period of feasting, sports, dancing and celebration. The Makaliʻi hiki were also a navigational guide for the Hawaiians. Since the Maori have referred to their spiritual homeland as being Hawaiiki, joining these two geographical dots is a reasonable conclusion.

This same cluster of six stars is also recognised in Japan under the name Mutsuraboshi (“six stars”) in the 8th century Kojiki and Manyosyu documents. The constellation is also known in Japan as Subaru (“unite”) and you may note that the Subaru car logo contains six stars. Interestingly Japanese often saw seven stars instead of six. Travelers to Japan may be familiar with Shichifukujin (literally “seven happy gods”) which are often seen at temples and in miniature at souvenir shops throughout Japan. Locals in some prefectures of Japan still call the cluster “Shichifukujin”.  In Japan, as in Hawaii, this is recognised as the harvest time.

As with many things Japanese, the recognition of this cluster of stars was imported from Chinese astronomy observations. This cluster of stars seem to be among the first stars mentioned in astronomical literature, appearing in Chinese annals of 2357 B.C. The Chinese were a very advanced civilisation in the study of astronomy.

Seven stars Sumerian tablet, circa 2500 bc

Seven stars Sumerian tablet, circa 2500 bc

The Babylonian star catalogues name this same group MUL.MUL or “star of stars”, and they head the list of stars along the ecliptic, reflecting the fact that they were close to the point of vernal equinox around the 23rd century BC. Several Sumerian tablets have depicted the seven stars that reference the harvest period.

But the common name for this cluster of stars is Pleiades. The Pleiades cluster is within 4° of the ecliptic and is in the constellation of Taurus. The heliacal (pre-dawn) rising of the Pleiades marks late May/ June mid winter season in the Southern Hemisphere, likewise in the Northern Hemisphere the cluster can be seen in November from dusk to dawn.

Pleiades is mentioned in Greek mythology in the poems of Homer and Hesiod around 1,000 BC, in which the Pleiades were seven sisters: Maia, Electra, Alcyone, Taygete, Asterope, Celaeno and Merope. 

According to Greek mythology, after a chance meeting with the hunter Orion, the seven sisters became the object of his pursuit. Enamoured with the young women he pursued them over the face of the Earth. In pity for their plight, Zeus changed them into a flock of doves, which he set in the heavens. 

Even though the Greeks actually name nine stars of the Pleiades, they acknowledge that only six stars are distinctly visible to the naked eye. Apart from the seven daughters they also name Atlas and Pleione as the parents. These two stars do exist although they would have been invisible to the searching eyes of ancient Greeks, Chinese or Persian astronomers. But of the seven sisters, they write that the star Merope is often called the “lost Pleiade” because she was not seen by astronomers or charted like her sisters. The ancient Greeks explained that Merope was most faintly visible because she took a mortal husband, Sisyphus, the King of Corinth. It is a mystery how they knew of more than the six visible stars.

This same cluster of six/ seven stars appears in the folklore throughout the Americas, from the Cherokee to the Aztecs (Tianquiztli , the marketplace). In Norse folklore the same cluster was known as Freyja’s hens, identified as a hen with six chicks. In Celtic tradition the rising of this cluster between the Autumn equinox and Winter solstice was a period to mourn the dead which led to festivals of “all souls day” and Halloween. They also appear in Hindu writings.

So, that was quite a trip around the world and through history from something that I thought was a unique Maori tradition. That makes it not only significant, but also very curious. The cluster is, after all, over 400 light years away, so it’s certainly not as luminous as, say, Venus the morning/ evening star which is only about 4 light minutes away from earth. Matariki/ Pleiades is a collection of six specks in the night sky amongst a million specks that could be viewed in the sky of the ancients which was free of urban light pollution.

This is all based on the knowledge that the cluster was identified around 2500 BC in Persia, China and possibly even Britain with Stonehenge as appearing at the right time for the annual harvest. That this knowledge would travel with the people from Asia during their migrations would be the logical process upon which the referencing of Matariki came to be in Aotearoa around 1200 AD.

But then, with further investigation, I learn that the Australian Aborigines also include this same Pleiades star cluster, which they call the Meamei, in their dreamtime folklore. According to their mythology, the cluster represents seven girls chased by the hunter, Djulpan. This is an identical myth to the Greek myth of Orion, the hunter chasing Pleione and her six daughters. Again they speak of seven stars although only six are visible to their naked eyes.

So the Australian Aborigines, who have been living on the Australian continent for 60,000 years, have the same mythology about the same star cluster as was written by the Greek poets less than 3,000 years ago. The Aborigines, isolated from Greek poets and Chinese or Persian astronomers had acquired the same knowledge and myth about this small cluster of stars up to 55,000 years prior to recorded discovery in the northern hemisphere. And the Australian Aborigines had no need to monitor harvest time, they did not plant crops. However sites of the celebration of Meamei still tended to be where bush foods grew or where water was found. But for them the rising of the Meamei (Pleiades) was a sacred celebration involving the dramatisation of the fleeing of the seven sisters from the advances of the  hunter, Djulpan (Orion) as passed down from their dreamtime mythology. The narrative does have variation between tribes/ nations within Australia.

I was easily able to link the dots from Aotearoa to Hawaii and then onto the ancient Chinese astronomers. But there is no way I can connect any dots between classical Greece and the Aboriginal dreamtime. And when we look at the night sky as it would be seen in the clear night skies before the intrusion of the night lights of cities, and follow the star map that takes us (in the south) from the Southern cross via Orion’s belt to Matariki, just a quarter of the night sky, we can only wonder how all these cultures from all around the globe, focused on this single star cluster:

Someone must have told us very early in our ‘sapiens’ consciousness that this cluster was a special part of the heavens and given us all a star map to hand down through the generations as a place of veneration.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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