Archive for the ‘culture’ category

Canticle for a Lost Nation—Unlocking Ancient Interlace Woven into Cultural Myth

March 17, 2019

CANTICLE FOR A LOST NATION
Unlocking the Ancient Interlace woven into Cultural Myth

Neolithic Carved Stone Ball, found at Towie, Aberdeenshire 3000BC, in Museum of Scotland Edinburgh

For a nation proud of its heritage, its oral tradition and roots–supported by faithful descendants in all corners of the globe–we Brittonic Scots are remarkably careless with it. In part this stems from a history of being conquered. But suppressed belief and myth have a way of being treasured: a precious relic to be hidden from secular eyes.

Twenty-first century culture today celebrates fifth-century Brittonic peripatetic monk, Patrick who ‘brought the Church’ to Ireland. They wave shamrocks, hold parades and declare green themes in diverse locales through New York, L.A., Dublin and Hounslow. Rio de Janeiro and Boston, too.

A little background may be in order.

Britannia was an island of subdued people, glad to be abandoned in AD420 when the Romans walked out, left to themselves in a rich land with its own ancient culture.

Many great historical documents have been lost in intervening centuries of ‘acquisition’ or political manipulation by other races since Patrick’s time. He preached when sacred secret knowledge of the Dark Age was kept dark–maintained in recesses of the cultural mind, secrets rehearsed in saga and song–known in the historic Pictish era–to all.

Brittonic Patrick sent as a Slave to Ireland

Illuminated Chi Rho Gk. first letters of name of Christ in A.D. 8thC Celtic gospel Book of Kells, held Trinity College, Dublin

Ninth-century church annals, the Book of Armagh, includes a work by Patrick, his Confessio, in which he describes his life at a Roman villa in Britain, his capture by Irish raiders, and his seven years of slavery in Ireland.

Recovering his freedom, he returned to Roman Britain, recording that he was educated and ordained into the priesthood. He eventually succeeded in being sent as a missionary back to Ireland. He concentrated on the north and west of the country, achieving strong connections.

Patrick never claimed to have converted all of Ireland. But tradition has it that his mission began around A.D. 432. It was C.7th biographers Tirechán and Muirchú who credited him with converting ‘all the Irish to Christianity’ and won for him the status of national apostle.

Confused chronology in Patrick’s life came about when tradition merged the work of two monks—continental Palladius and (‘Irish’) Patrick of the Confessio.

There is not enough evidence to support traditional date, A.D.432, for the start of his mission, but a date of 492/493 is given for his death in Annals and biographies.

Little is known of the first impact of Christianity in Ireland. Traditions in the south and southeast refer to early saints who allegedly preceded St. Patrick, whose missions may have come through trading within the Roman Empire. The earliest date is A.D.431, when St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre in Gaul, with the approval of Pope Celestine I, proposed to send ‘Palladius to the Scots believing in Christ.’

After that, missionary history in Ireland is dominated by St. Patrick.

Caledonians Unsubjugated, Rome Withdraws
By A.D.368, just thirty years before Roman withdrawal from Britain, Ammianus Marcellinus describes tribes of the Priteni [Picts] split into two by the Mounth: northern Dicalydones and Verturiones in the south. To Roman authors, Priteni-Britanni were linguistically just another people of Prydein. By the post-Roman Dark Age, Caledonians had re-possessed their northern forests, the Fortriu people their rich lands of Perth and Fife.

Although Scots history is still untaught in schools, few deny knowing that Kenneth mac Alpin, c.AD843, united the kingdoms of Picts and Scots. Fewer seem aware that his dynasty–so bold and so desperate for fertile plains–carefully perpetuated the title of those he deposed, calling themselves Kings of Picts for another sixty years.

Alongside Pictish lands they annexed Pictish Law–a remarkable piece of diplomacy which survives in the basis of Scots law today.

Between the fifth and seventh centuries, the great forests of the Northeast were the domain of kings–Stocket, Kintore, Deer–a resource which ensured royal entertainment [the boar hunt] and feasts [deer and lesser animals] for warriors and entire communities, as well as wealth of timber and grain.

While none but the lordly burned wood in the fireplace of the great hall–most people cast peat for fuel–bounty of the forest—kindling—was available to all. This convention remains today in the understanding between tenant farmer and landowner/laird that while he may not cut down the laird’s trees, all windfall is his.

At least two royal strongholds survive.

These are not small domains like those confirmed in later medieval charters to royal burghs, but whole estates crowned by forests, nourished by rivers and centered round the ‘castle-hill’ [Brit.caer] of a noble family: in the south the Kingdom of Fife points to the king’s mound–Cinrimonaid, St.Andrews—made famous by Constantin king of Picts [789-820]; in the north the Kingdom of Forgue has its Place of Ferendracht–‘place’ in old Scots indicating a ‘peel’ or fortified mound of the heroic age.

There are others.

A.D.5th century pre-Christian Pictish carved stones in Aberdeenshire heartland Romans couldn’t sudue

In the North, earliest placenames give fairly good timelines, where the castle-hill [Brit/Pict. caer, castell] usually denotes early-historic occupation of the pre-Scotic Pictish period, like Kintore, Inverurie, with attendant royal chapels [Lat. capella, Welsh/Brit. eglys]-in the Northeast often seen in telltale ‘chapelton’ within ancient church boundaries, but separate from the later parish church. Compare rath/roth element at Rathmurriel, Rothney in Insch, which derive from 12th century settlements, like Flemings [Flinders] at Leslie.

Second early element Brit. eglys, easily identified south of the Mounth like Ecclesgreig in Mearns, ‘church of Giric’, is more elusive farther north, but does occur. There is one on the Banff coast–conveniently close to Pictish stronghold Dundarg–Strahanglis Point, ‘point of the valley of the church’.

Another clue to Pictish Christian foundations is the presence of a circular enclosed burial ground, like the one at Deskford within the precinct of the medieval laird’s Tower. At Fordyce on the North (Banff) Coast where remains of a Pictish tower dedicated to St. Talorcan stand, there is another. At Tullich-Aboyne one remains where the former church was dedicated to St. Nathalan, [d.679].

Language survival of Pictish Doric in Aberdeen
There are delightfully archaic, short, stubby single-syllable names in the language too, to satisfy our yearning for earliest beginnings.

It helps to remember that the parish system, discarded by modern mapmakers, transmits a clear layout of medieval churchlands, themselves descended from earlier chapels attached to Pictish strongholds.

By the seventh century, Pictish kings were fully Christian, educated from youth in the cultural milieu of a monastery. In the centuries before Gaelic became a court language, it was the language of the Northern Irish Scot [Americans have a convenient term for these Ulstermen: Scots-Irish]. More significantly, it was the language of Irish monastics, keepers of annals, copiers of sacred texts, educators of the nobility.

It is no accident that Iona came into prominence following the ministries of saints like Columba [d.597] and Adamnán [d.704].

The Church was common education for young nobles of ‘all four peoples’ of Britain, according to Northumbrian cleric Bede, writing at the end of the seventh century–Angles, Britons, Picts and Scots. By 690, there was a long tradition of wandering British monks, educated in the Irish church, returning to convert the peoples of their homeland.

Patrick, interestingly, is one of the few Britons who took the Christian message to Ireland [mid-fifth century].

Four apostles in simple illuminated manuscript endpages of Book of Deer, Aberdeenshire, c.f. Book of Kells below

British Ninian, d. c.432, founder of Whithorn in Galloway, is credited with inspiring several Pictish clerics of Northeast tradition. Drostan, Medan and Colm are sixth century saints, giving their names to foundations at Deer/Insch, Pitmedden/Fintray on Donside and St.Coombs in Banff.

Finnian and Brendan, both mid-sixth-century travelers, spread the word and their names to churches planted throughout Pictland; Brendan, known as the wanderer, did his conversions by sea; his name in Banffshire is Brandan or Brangan where his dedications run along the North Coast.

Ethernan patron of Rathen in Buchan died, according to Irish annals, in 669 ‘among the Picts’. He is patron of Kinnernie (Donside) and Banchory-Ternan (Deeside) [contra Brev.Ab where he is called St.Ternanus].

Illuminated apostles: 10thC Iona Book of Kells, now in Trinity College, Dublin shows Matthew as Man, Mark winged Lion, Luke the surgeon as winged Bull and John as Eagle

A contemporary Briton celebrated in southern Pictavia was St. Serf whose dedication at Culsalmond is rare north of the Mounth. St.Sair’s Fair was held here near Colpy until well after the Reformation. His other foundation was at Monkeigy [Keithhall], now Inverurie.

Marnan, 7thC patron of Aberchirder-Marnoch and Leochel, Lumphanan was celebrated long after his death with Marnoch Fair, held traditionally on second Tuesday in March.

Recent research suggests that portable crosses–roughly circular stones like pillows carved with a simple cross and pre-dating the eighth century [class II] Pictish cross slabs were the hallmark of these holy men. They reach far and wide.

Fish-shape ogham carved on rear of Pictish stone at St Fergus Chapel, Dyce-Aberdeen hidden in mortar for 12 centuries

Such compact Christian amulets surface in Aberdeenshire, temptingly close to early foundations. Cross-inscribed stones—with no other ornament—appear at Aboyne, Afforsk, Banchory, Barra, Botriphnie, Bourtie, Clatt, Crathes, Culsalmond, Deer, Dyce, Ellon, Fintray, Inverurie, Kinnernie, Logie-Coldstone, Logie-Elphinstone, Monymusk, Ruthven and Tullich.

A saint’s well where converts were baptized invariably lies close to these foundations. After the patron died, their relics—ranging from pillows of stone to crozier and bell—were treasured by the community.

A Fintray legend persists that St. Medan’s head was kept—wrapped in beaten silver—until melted down to make a communion cup for the (reformed) kirk. The head of the saint was kept at Banchory where t’Ernan’s bell, the ‘Ronnecht’ did not survive the Reformation; t’Ernan was patron of Findon, Arbuthnot and Slains.

One further legacy is the former pagan alphabet—ogham—carved in stone, reintroduced by early pilgrims as means of explaining Christian doctrine to the illiterate. Few remain in the north [Newton, top and Dyce, left] but their clear fish-tail shape had meaning to a populace venerating the salmon, carved locally on pre-Christian Pictish [class I] symbol stones. To new converts it simultaneously represented the fish symbol of Christ, Gk. Ikthos.

Ogham served as (Christian) stopgap until the art of [class II] cross slabs appeared in the next century. These cross-carved monoliths heralded nationwide conversion under King Nechtan who was to drag his kingdom out of the Dark Age and shine the light of revelation into early medieval Europe.
©2019 Marian Youngblood

Warlord Centres of Pictland: a Glimpse into the Lost History of the Scots

January 25, 2019

Renewed interest in Britain centers on outlying rural (pagan) carved stones & sacred Pictish strongholds/objects left by the Romans when they withdrew in A.D.420. Aberdeenshire heartland holds greatest treasures: Bronze Age beakers in museums; Roman pavements leading to C.5th Pictish carved stones of 12 sacred creatures & symbols; early-Xtian ‘Fite Kirks’ made of stone, when England was living in Dark Age straw huts.

Derilea's Dream: Memoirs of a Pictish Queen

Pictish horse and stronghold mound, Bass, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

The bard was asked who of the kings of Prydein
is most generous of all
‘And I declared boldly
That it was Owain’
The Gorhoffedd, 12thC heroic poem

The subject of royal lineage brings out the romantic in the scholar and the scholar in the romantic.

Lordship and kingship in a Pictish context has been given both treatments over centuries of scholarship, each with its version of history. Lately tolerance between disciplines allows students of literature, language and art history to communicate with archaeologists and pre-historians in a renewed attempt to investigate the rôle of royal centres in the Pictish kingdom.

Pictish kings and sub-kings ruled a nation which grew from a loose confederation of tribal groups in the third century to become a major political and land-owning force at the time of their takeover by the Scots in the ninth.

To describe them as a lost society…

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Winter Ends with New Year Beginnings

December 21, 2018

WINTER ENDS with NEW BEGINNINGS
Emerging from the Longest Night into a New Year

It is Solstice—the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. This year—2018—it is also the night of the Full Moon—a cosmic coincidence which will not happen again until 2094.

Hogmanay now a World-Scots Celebration

Traditional Christmas pudding, oozing flaming brandy, courtesy Delia Smith

Meanwhile festivities are revving up for a week of celebrations in all corners of the globe—more glitzy in countries with the Santa Claus connection: the USA welcomes his reindeer to school halls and shopping malls. Yule logs burn in grates from Scandinavia to Scotland.

While New Year’s Eve is still a week away, around the globe Scots are preparing. They have their own name and a long rich heritage associated with the last night of the Old Year—Hogmanay.

Theories abound on the derivation of Hogmanay. While I favor the translation given by the Scots Dictionary—aguillaneuf=gift for a new year, below—there are others. The Scandinavian word for a feast preceding Yule was “Hoggo-nott” while the Flemish words (many have come into Scots) hoog min dag=’great love day’. Hogmanay can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon, Haleg monath, Holy Month, or the Gaelic, oge maidne, new morning.

Remembering that Mary, Queen of Scots grew up as child bride at the French court, the most likely source seems to be the French translated bodily to Scotland with her when she became Queen. ‘Homme est né’ (‘Man is born’) in France is the last day of the year when gifts were exchanged. Aguillaneuf is still celebrated in Normandy, and presents given at that time are hoguignetes.

Tar barrel flaming at Burghead on Auld ‘Eel ends with burning the Clavie at the ‘Doorie’ on the ribs of Pictish promontory beach fort

In Scotland a practice similar to Normandy was recorded, disapprovingly, by the Church:

It is ordinary among some Plebeians in the South of Scotland, to go about from door to door upon New Year`s Eve, crying Hagmane
Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence, 1693

Christmas was not celebrated as a festival and virtually banned in Scotland for 400 years, from Protestant Reformation c.end of C.17th until around 1950s. The reformed Kirk portrayed Christmas as a Popish or Roman Catholic feast and it was forbidden. Many Scots had to work over Christmas and their winter solstice holiday was taken at New Year, when family and friends gathered for a party and to exchange presents—especially for children.

Earliest known Gaulish Coligny ‘moon’ calendar of 13 months dates to A.D. 150

In the earliest known Celtic calendar, the Coligny Calendar of 13 moons (months), now in the Palais des Arts, Lyon, the year began at Samhain, November 1st Fire-Festival of the Dead. At this time the veil between this world and the Otherworld was believed so thin that the dead could return to warm themselves at the hearths of the living. And some living—especially poets, artists, clairvoyants and shaman/healers—were able to enter the Otherworld through the doorways of the sidhe, fairyfolk, like the stone-lined entrance to passage graves in Scotland and Ireland

When the Julian calendar was in place in Rome, the Coligny caledar was seen as the Gaulish equivalent of a 10-month/13moon year, beginning November.

Traditions before midnight on Samhain perpetuated in rural communities when the calendar changed to Gregorian (at the Reformation) such as cleaning the house on 31st December—including taking outside ashes from the fire, when coal fires were in vogue. There was a superstition to clear all debts before “the bells” at midnight.

On the stroke of midnight it is traditional to sing Auld Lang Syne. Robert Burns claimed his verse was based on an earlier fragment, and the melody was in print eighty years before he published in 1788.

Partying from Hallowe’en through Hogmanay
An integral part of Hogmanay partying which continues today is to welcome friends and strangers alike with warm hospitality; and to wish everyone a Guid New Year. The underlying belief is to clear out any vestiges of the old year—ancient tradition included literally sweeping the house clean—and preparing to welcome in a young, fresh New Year on a happy and positive note.

“First footing”—i.e. the first step over the threshold into the house after midnight—is less common now in cities, but continues in rural Scotland. To ensure good luck for the house, the First Foot should be male, dark-haired (believed to be a throwback from Viking days when blond strangers arriving on your doorstep meant trouble) and should bring symbolic coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and/or whisky. These days, however, whisky and perhaps shortbread are the only items still prevalent—and available.

“Handselling” was a custom of gift-giving on the first Monday of the New Year, but this may also have died out.

Magical fireworks displays and torchlight processions through Edinburgh, Elgin and many cities in Scotland are reminiscent of ancient custom at pagan Hogmanay parties which persevered until the late C.20th.

Traditionally one New Year ceremony more reminiscent of American Hallowe’en involved dressing up in cattle hides and running around the village being hit by sticks. The festivities included lighting bonfires, rolling blazing tar barrels down the hill—as is still practised in Burning the Clavie at Burghead, Morayshire—and tossing torches. Animal hide was wrapped around sticks and set on fire. This dense smoke fended off evil spirits. The smoking stick was also known as a Hogmanay.

Giant fireballs hefted by strongarm celebrants swing through Stonehaven harbor near Aberdeen on ‘auld ‘Eel’, old Yule

Some customs continue, especially in small, rural communities in the Highlands and Islands where tradition—along with language and dialect—are kept alive. On Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, young boys form rival bands, the leader of each wearing a sheepskin, while another member carries a sack. The gangs move through the village from house to house reciting a Gaelic rhyme. On being invited inside, the leader walks clockwise around the fire, while everyone hits the skin with sticks. Formerly, the boys would be given bannocks (fruit buns, similar to focaccia) for their sack before moving on to the next house. This tradition is reflected in American Hallowe’en, two months earlier.

Scotland’s Legacy of Ancient Customs
One of the most spectacular fire ceremonies to take place is in Stonehaven, just south of Aberdeen on the Northeast coast. Giant fireballs, weighing up to 20 pounds are lit and swung around on five foot-long metal poles that need sixty men to carry them, as they march up and down the High Street. The origin of this pre-Christian custom is linked to Winter Solstice December 21st, with giant fireballs signifying the power of the sun’s return. The fireballs were believed to purify the world by consuming evil spirits in the New Year.

Confusing Samhain/Hallowe’en with Hogmanay is understandable. Longtime tradition holds them inter-dependent. Only the numbers have changed.

Eagle Nebula Pillars of Creation, NASA Space telescope

A theory of gravity is also a theory of space and time — Albert Einstein

According to current thinking, we have gone beyond conventional spacetime and are now floating somewhere in a ‘construct’ of our own imagination.

One hundred years ago Albert Einstein had his great insight.

A decade afterwards he revised his general relativity to include quantum theory. And yet a century later physicists are still beating the quantum drum, trying to figure how to work outside theoretical time, when physicists have always formulated their theories within a space-time framework.

Let the New Year reveal.
And don’t forget. Raise those glasses on Hogmanay.
©2018 Siderealview

Hallowe’en was Always Weird—A Look at Wynton’s 1420 Chronykil

October 31, 2018

MACBETH & THE THREE WEIRD SISTERS

The three witches—current version—in forecourt of Glamis Castle, ancient thanage in Angus, Scotland

Andrew Wyntoun, known as Andrew of Wyntoun (c.1350-c.1425), was a Scots poet, canon and prior of Lochleven & St Serf’s Insch, Aberdeenshire, where he is thought to have written this poem to his hero, Macbeth—11thC King of Scots, who died at Lumphanan fifteen miles distant. Wyntoun then became canon at St. Andrews, a most hallowed position for a cleric of his time. His greatest work (1420) is his Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland

‘All night he thought in his dreaming
That sitting he was beside the King
At a seat in hunting where his sire
Unto his leash had greyhounds two
He thought while he was seated thus
He saw three women going by
And those women then thought he
Three weird sisters most likely be

MacBeth cairn, Lumphanan, where the King of Scots was slain by Malcolm in 1057

A nycht he thowcht in hys dreamyng,
That syttand he wes besyd the kyng
At a sete in hwntyng; swa
Intil his leisch had grewhundys; twa
He thowcht, quhile he wes swa syttand,
He sawe threw wemen by gangand;
And thai wemen than thowct he
Thre werd systrys mast lyk to be.

*The first he hard say, gangang by,
‘Lo, yhondyr the Thane of Crumbawchety!’
The tothir woman sayd agane,
‘Of Morave yhondyre I se the thane!’
The thryd than sayd, ‘I se the kyng!’
All this he herd in his dreamyng…
Sone eftyre that, in his yhowthad,
Of thyr thanydoms he thane wes made;

Queen/St. Margaret’s arms—Lion Rampant & sacred Martlets around Christian cross

The fantasy of his dream
Moved him most to slay his overlord
…And Dame Gruoch, his sovereign’s wife
He took and left with her his lands
And held her both as his wife and queen
Which, before then, she had been
To his sovereign—queen living Queen
—who was Kyng with Queen Regnant
For few honours then had he (Macbeth)
Only the grace of lineage affinity

Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor
Shakespeare’s stirring predictions by the three witches to a dreaming king reaching for the throne describe the cauldron scene magnificently. Macbeth will not only become thane (mormaer) of Glamis (Forfar, seat of current Earl of Strathmore), thane of Cawdor (Cawdor Castle is Nairn seat of Campbell Thanes of Cawdor since 1320), but King of Scots—whose royal court in MacBeth’s time was the Palace of Scone, Perthshire.

Dupplin 6thC Pictish Cross Forteviot before removal to museum names Constantin son of Fergus King of Picts

Syne neyst he thowcht to be king,
Fra Dunkanyis dayis had tane endying.
The fantasy thus of his dreme
Movyd hym mast to sla his eme;
As he dyd all furth in-dede,
As before yhe herd one rede,
And Dame Growky, his emys wyf,
Tuk, and lef wyth hyr hys ly,
And held hyr bathe hys wyf and queyne,
As befor than scho had beyne
Till hys eme qwene, lyvand
Quhen he was kyng with crone rygnend
For lytil in honowre than had he
The greys of affynyte.

*Wyntoun’s Cronykil refers to Cawdor in Morayshire, as Moravia, but the closest the first witch comes to Glamis? is the Thanage of Glenbuchat? in nearby Donside as his Crumbuchaty. The second sees him as Thane of Moray, leading to the third witch’s prediction: ‘I see the King’.

Wyntoun clarifies: “Soon after that, still in his youth,
“Of those thanedoms he Thane was made.”

All this when his Lord was dead
He succeeded in his stead;
And seventeen full years he reigned
As King, as he was then, of Scotland.
During his reign were times of plenty
Abounding both on land and sea.
He was in justice right lawful
His laws fair to all.
When Leo X was Pope of Rome
As pilgrim to his court he came
And in his alms he gave silver
To all poor folk who had none
And always tried he to work
Profitably for Holy Kirk

Illuminated apostles: 10thC Iona Book of Kells, now in Trinity College, Dublin show Matthew as Man, Mark winged Lion, Luke surgeon winged Bull, John as Eagle

All thus quhen his eme was dede,
He succeedyt in his stede;
And sevyntene syntyr full rygnand
As kyng-he wes than in-til Scotland.

Corgarff Castle on the Lecht pass military route between Braemar Castle, Ft.George and Cawdor

All hys tyme wes gret plente
Abowndand, bath on land and se.
He was in justice rycht lawchful,
And till hys legis all awful.
Quhen Leo the tend was Pape of Rome,
As pylgryne to the court he come;
And in his almus he sew sylver
Till all pure folk that had myster;
And all tyme oysyd he to wyrk
Profitably for haly kyrke.

Wyntoun extols the virtues of his hero, Macbeth, who claimed the throne of Scotland through his mother’s kinship with Duncan—whom he killed in Elgin (Moravia, Moray). Rival Malcolm also claimed the throne through the female line. In Lumphanan, he succeeded in killing the wounded Macbeth and, (after stepson Lulach’s pitiful six months as king), took the crown to become Malcolm III (Canmore) of Scots in 1058. He married Saint Margaret of Scotland (1070-1093), bringing peace and prosperity to northern lands during his (long) reign of 35 years.

He and Margaret are credited with pulling Scotland out of the Dark Ages and into Medieval Europe.
©2018 Siderealview

Giza’s Electric Pyramid Lighting Ancient Techno Tombs

January 26, 2018

NEW PYRAMID SCIENCE MAY UPSTAGE KING TUTANKHAMUN
Science Exhibit in Los Angeles March 24th, 2018

The California Science Center, in cooperation with Cairo’s GEM [Great Egyptian Museum] is taking a 3,300 year glimpse back in time as part of a new exhibit displaying authentic artifacts from King Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The exhibit, titled “King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh,” opens March 24th, and will feature more than 150 artifacts from the young king’s tomb, many of which were used by him in life—and after death.

Egypt antiquities’ chief Zahi Hawass removes linen-wrapped mummy of King Tutankhamun from his stone sarcophagus in the Valley of the Kings Luxor, November 2007

The precious relics include gold jewelry, gilded wood furniture and ornate ritual objects, sixty of which the Center confirms have never before been seen outside Egypt. Visitors will be able to marvel at rings found on the young King’s fingers, jewelry that adorned his body and golden sandals placed on his feet for his burial rite.

“King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh,” is being billed as the largest Tut-ankh-amun exhibit ever, as the priceless treasures, after the tour, will return to Egypt ‘forever’.

YOUNG TEENAGER AS KING OF ALL PHARAOHS

Howard Carter reveals gold death mask of young Tutankhamun in 1922 Luxor excavation

The young king’s fame shocked pre-Victorian England, as Howard Carter’s excavation in 1922 was responsible for nearly one-third of the then British Museum’s ‘oriental’ department—including the five-thousand-year old Assyrian Gate Guardians, still housed in London. Tutankhamun, was the son of famed Egyptian beauty Queen Nefertiti and her [banished after his death] husband King Akhenaten. The teenager king even had his name changed [from Tut-ankh-Aten, after his father’s faith], when he took the throne briefly as pharaoh for ten years until his death aged 19, around 1324 B.C.

Neighboring Pyramids Shone Light
Within a camel’s spit of Luxor still stands the Great Pyramid of Egypt—the last of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. Ancestor of Tutankhamun by another thousand years, the tomb for Pharaoh Khufu—Gk.Cheops—sits on the Giza plateau a mile and a half SW of Egypt’s capitol Cairo, and it’s huge.

Full height:from erosion, slightly less than 147 meters/482ft. high and 230.4m/755ft.9ins on each triangular side. It was constructed out of approx. 2.3 million limestone and rose quartz granite blocks, cut hundreds of miles away, and hauled (somehow) to the site.

Fourth dynasty pharaoh Khufu and his pyramid—now more accurately dated to 2560 B.C., have long posed some fascinating but irritating mysteries:
How did the ancient Egyptians transport all of these stones to Giza?
How did they build such a monumental object?
What superhuman technology was used to raise stone to that height?

Howard Carter, left, at 1922 excavation as Tutankhamun grave treasures emerge after 3500 years in their tomb

All sorts of exotic ideas have been floated, including assistance from aliens visiting earth.

Now, as the result of an amazing find in a cave 606 kilometers-300 miles away, an answer has come in the form of 4,600-year-old, bound papyrus scrolls—the oldest papyri ever found. They’re the journal of one of the managers who helped build the Great Pyramid. It’s the only eye-witness account of building the Great Pyramid that’s ever been found.

Did rose quartz slabs arrive at Giza by camel or by canal boat? Newly discovered papyrus reveals all

Written by a scribe named Merer, who reported to “the noble Ankh-haf,” Khufu’s half-brother, it describes, among other subjects, a halt of his 200-man crew in the Tura—Maaasara—limestone quarries on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez, and filling up their boat for the seven-to-eight mile sail back up the river to Giza. Since this type of limestone was used for the pyramid’s outer casing, the journal is believed to document work on the tomb during the final year of Khufu’s life, around 2560 B.C.

Snake as Electrical Medium
The most widely quoted evidence that ancient Egyptians used electricity is a relief found beneath the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, which shows figures standing around a large light-bulb-like object.

‘Light-bulb’ crypt engraving under Dendera Temple of Hathor, Egypt, photo Lasse Jensen

The socket is represented by what appears to be a lotus flower with a stem that runs like a cable along the bottom of the “device.” Inside the “bulb” is a snake-like line winding its way out of a lotus flower socket. According to the current followers, it depicts an electrical light, the snake representing the filament of the bulb.

The Baghdad Battery dating from 250 B.C.-A.D.250 was a simple version of today’s batteries—a clay jar with a stopper made of asphalt. Through the stopper is an iron rod surrounded by a copper cylinder. It is believed that the jar would have been filled with a common acidic substance, like vinegar, that would allow it to produce about 1.1 volts of electricity. Replicas of the battery have shown it works.

1.1 volts may not seem like a lot, but if several of these batteries are strung together, the voltage increases. They were used in early electroplating—bonding a layer of one metal on another.

Some claim that one of the most iconic structures in Egypt is the most misunderstood device on the planet. Specifically, supporters of the ancient Egyptian electricity hypothesis say the Great Pyramid of Giza was actually used as a power plant.

Giza’s Great Pyramid, its quartz crystals shone in sunlight, tunnels of limestone lit it up at night

The King’s Chamber is located in the heart of the Great Pyramid and was once the central power generating apparatus of the super structure. It is constructed primarily of pink granite, a material rich in micro-quartz-crystals.

The Great Pyramid is mostly pink granite, and granite is made up of tiny quartz crystals which, when exposed to pressure or energy vibrations, generate electricity. This is its the piezoelectric effect.

Desert Caravans and Ships Loaded with Treasure
Now it has come to light that the pink granite—and copper for plating or wiring within the tomb—was quarried on the shores of the Red Sea, dug, shaped and transported by a community of 3,000 laborers, who lived and worked by the quarries, sending their treasure back by boat, via Suez and Cairo, to Giza, 300 miles away.

In the Egyptian resort town of Ayn Soukhna, along the west coast of Suez, Egyptian heiroglyphs were first found on cliff walls in 1997 by French Sorbonne archaeologist Pierre Tallet.

“I love rock inscriptions—they give you a page of history without excavating.”
Pierre Tallet on discovery of Suez papyrus

He read one from the newly-discovered papyri: “In year one of the king, they sent a troop of three thousand men to fetch copper, turquoise and all the good products of the desert.”

Egyptian boat-building for transporting granite blocks and copper along 300 miles of waterways

Then a series of caves was uncovered—a hidden harbor and storage for river vessels, completely confounding experts who were critical of Egyptian seafaring capabilities. Docks and loading bays were unearthed, the caves themselves being methodically cut into precision blocks for transportation back for Khufu’s tomb. The desert was unveiling its treasures, but it wasn’t going by overland caravan. Khufu’s project was high priority, but the quarries were closed again, after the Great Pyramid was complete. Effort required to transport two and a half million rose granite and limestone blocks for 300 miles was a single daunting task.

Excel Spreadsheet of the Ancient World

Cairo’s GEM Museum experts visited Wadi al-Jarf and concur with Tallet about its meaning: “The power and purity of the site is so Khufu,” GEM’s Zahi Hawass agreed. The scale and ambition and sophistication of the site—size of the galleries cut out of rock like Amtrak train garages, huge hammers made out of hard black diorite they found, imposing scale of the harbor, the clear and orderly writing of the hieroglyphs in the papyri, which Tallet likened to “Excel spreadsheets of the ancient world”—all of it has clarity, logic, power and sophistication of the pyramids, with particular characteristics of Khufu and the early fourth dynasty.

GEM—while understandably wrapped up in the secure transportation of the Golden Pharaoh to Los Angeles—believe the pyramid stones were transported by boat from ports like Wadi al-Jarf and Ayn Soukhna via canals to the construction site at Giza, because the ancient Egyptians were master builders of such waterways for annual irrigation.

GEM and California Science Center, L.A. are celebrating a trans-cultural success in the prelude to its March 24th opening, and we in the Archives wish them great good fortune. It is our cultural similarities/differences which surge when we humans try a little harder to get along.
©Siderealview 2018

Equinoctial Ascension Guide—Enter Eternity up the Servant’s Staircase

September 20, 2017

EQUINOCTIAL ASCENSION GUIDE: Set Worldly Cares aside; Enter Eternity with a Serving of Grace

Heavenly Maiden with Flowers in her Hair—Equinox 2017 cluster of planets in Virgo & Leo

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there
Scott McKenzie, Forrest Gump

Woodstock wound up the summer of flower power fifty years ago this month, cementing musical friendships and crashing through new sound barriers which are audible today. Many of those groundbreaking musicians continue to perform the circuit. David Crosby, James Taylor, Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell come to mind…they/we thought then we were creating a New World…


RECIPE FOR SURVIVAL IN THE END TIMES

Now a great sign appeared in heaven:
A woman clothed with the Sun, with the Moon under her feet,
And on her head a garland of twelve stars.
Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
REVELATION 12:1-2

On September 23, 2017 an alignment which has been forming in the heavens all summer comes into sharp focus alongside the prediction of Revelation 12. As far as can be determined from computer models, this is the only time such a celestial sign will occur in history.

Strong solar wind and extra-large sunspots have brought early aurora borealis

It literally marks the Great Sign of Revelation prophesied to appear in the heavens. The woman clothed in stars is Virgo–the Virgin. The Sun appears to be ‘clothing Virgo’ and the Moon will lie under her feet on Equinox. The garland of twelve stars are the nine stars of Leo—including Regulus—plus three wandering ‘stars’ which have been approaching conjunction within Leo at this time—to make twelve. Those wandering ‘stars’ are planets Mercury, Venus and Mars. The last element of the Biblical sign is that the Virgin is with child. That planet—’star of the Messiah’—is Jupiter.

The Hajj—Saudi Arabia’s millions circling the Prophet’s sacred tomb in Mecca—in 2017 fell 3 weeks before Ramadan

During the months of August and September 2017, Jupiter rested in the womb of Virgo. Again, no replication of this sign has yet been found by researcher Mark Chiswell who scoured astronomical records for the last 7000 years.

The Sign of Revelation can be seen to represent the birth of Messiah from the Virgin of Israel, but Chiswell insists it be taken as an actual sign to be visible, seen by the masses as a way to understand the context of (post-Historic) times in which this significant event occurs.

“It happens within the timeline of the End of Days,” he says. That, too, was catalogued in Judaic scripture: Biblical prophecy says it will occur in correlation with the 70th Week of Daniel–the final period of seven years before Messiah comes to rule the planet.

Another solution may lie within Micah 5.

Mermaid or Sea Maiden with Unicorn wave-riders

Mermaid or Sea Maiden with Unicorn wave-riders

The proximity of this year’s August 21st total solar eclipse over North America relates closely to the Saudi Arabian Hajj, ten days later, above right, as well as the Revelation-12 Sign one month later, on September 23rd, 2017, Equinox. Rosh Hoshanah synchronously ends at dusk the night before.

The metaphor of an eclipsed America is not lost on world critics. But more significantly, the equinox date marks a coming together of three major world religions, as well as the culmination of an astronomical event which began nine months ago on November 20th, 2016, when Jupiter—the King planet—entered (retrograde) into the body of constellation Virgo.

Because of its retrograde motion, Jupiter spent 9-1/2 months in the womb of Virgo, until Equinox, September 23rd, 2017, when it will be ‘delivered’ by exiting—going direct—with the Sun rising directly behind the Virgo constellation—the Moon at her feet and a crown of twelve stars—nine of Leo constellation, including Regulus—with planets Mercury, Venus and Mars—in her ‘hair’.

SIGNS IN THE SKIES
Galactic Seed Reflected in the Heavens and in the Corn

Crop circle August 17 ’17 at Sutton Hall, Essex, proclaiming a message we may not be able to hear

Quietly, on August 17th, 2017 a crop circle appeared in a harvest field at Sutton Hall, Essex declaring to all who view it a blared message in the corn. Few have been able to decipher it, though it touches the inner soul and we have an itch to scratch it.

At the time, there were still four more days to go, and the northern hemisphere was gearing up for the total solar eclipse across middle America. Now, in retrospect, the design appears to use the eclipse as sending point—origin—of an important message.

Feathered Serpent Kukulkan descends staircase at sunset on Equinox at Chichen Itza

While humanity is gazing at the skies, why not grab their attention and tell them what’s in store…

One scholar of Mayan Calendar detail is Maya (sic) Todorova who gives this interpretation:
On the left side of the formation is the circle ‘S’, which symbolizes the Source. Within this circle a lunar crescent ‘М’ is depicted and a smaller circle, that symbolize the First Moon with Tone 1.

Magnetic Moon Descends Staircase with Equinoctial Sun

On the right side of the formation can be seen 22 closed squares, which represent the first 22 days of the 1st Magnetic Moon, which on 17 August are already ‘closed’—they are already past. 

The symbol ‘G’ is a sign for Goal. With this sign the formation reminds us, that we have few days left until the end of the 1st Magnetic Moon (26 July—22 August), in which we can identify our Goals (our Purpose) for the Yellow Crystal Seed Year.

 Symbol ‘K’ depicts a Key. Tone 1 is the Magnetic Gate of the New Galactic Year. The Key symbolizes the opening of this Magnetic Gate.
Maya Todorova CropCircleConnector, Wiltshire, England
Ms. Todorova was not to know that the August 17th crop circle was to be the LAST of the 2017 season—a blared message indeed.

Daykeeper Hunbatz Men, modern Elder of the Guatemalan Maya, foresees no apocalypse

Daykeeper Hunbatz Men, modern Elder of the Guatemalan Maya, foresees no apocalypse

“According to the prophecy in the year 2013 the first stage of higher understanding will begin. If we are willing to work with our subconscious, we will then be able to reclaim the information that has been impregnated in the deepest parts of our being. In this way, the ancient knowledge will rise again.”
Hunbatz Men, Daykeeper and Mayan Elder

Meanwhile—one month later—in Chichen Itza, heartland of the Maya, visitors and tribal devotees prepare for the annual dance of the sun—in the body of feathered serpent Kukulkan—down the sacrificial staircase of El Castillo at equinoctial sundown.

Signs of the [End] Times or Birth of a New Age?
Judaic scripture uses sacred numerology and dramatic descriptions of the Rapture and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—war, pestilence, famine and death which symbolize the End of Days. Arab sacred texts repeat the need for constant prayer by the devoted in order to be saved. The Maya believe that sharing their higher understanding—handed down by their elders from the time of the Ancients—will save the human race from itself. Maya wisdom says the New Age began four years ago!

Will a once-in-7000 years’ stellar happening be dramatic enough to wake up three-quarters of the world’s major religious groups three days from now and get six million people out of bed before dawn to scan the eastern horizon? Will it change the way we look at the sky? view our amazing universe with more awe? more respect?

While difficult to pinpoint with the naked eye against the backdrop of dawn, 7a.m., binoculars will help immensely: Mercury and Mars rise at 5:27 and 5:37a.m respectively. Venus shines superbly, rising ahead of them at 4:40a.m., all three lighting up Virgo’s ‘hair’ (in the constellation Leo). It takes a little extra imagination to picture her giving birth to Jupiter, whose light is eclipsed at sunrise, but who will miraculously appear that same evening in the west immediately after sunset, 7p.m., alongside the newest of new moons! reclining within the body of Virgo.

We ask for heavenly signs to show us the way forward?
Voilà.
©2017 Siderealview

Legacy of Goldrush—California’s Water Crisis

March 7, 2017

CONTROLLING THE FLOW
California’s Water Supply Eroding under Pressure

Water trickles down massive failure in Oroville spillway February 8, 2017, causing town to be evacuated

Water trickles down massive failure in Oroville spillway February 8, 2017, causing town to be evacuated

Building a dam spillway—theoretically for excess water release in storms—can have its engineering headaches, especially when material chosen for landfill is a legacy of California’s 1849 Goldrush.

Silt built up during 19thC. gold-panning days was used in early 1960s, alongside local sandstone, to construct a backup system for California’s second-largest [electricity-generating] dam at Oroville, despite knowledge that sand and silt from river erosion takes years to settle. And preferably a series of dry years, without rain storms. When it rains, the emergency—earth sluice—is expected to handle any excess.

This year at Oroville both main spillway and emergency failed.

Dammed if we Do and Damned if we Don’t

Oroville Dam, California's 2nd largest, overflows February 2017

Oroville Dam, California’s 2nd largest, overflows February 2017

Department of Water Resources has charge of maintaining an adequate water system for agriculture in the adjacent Central Valley, but it is also responsible for maintaining water aqueducts and two pipelines to supply 3.8million households in Southern California.

In addition to the bonus of the Dam’s production of hydro-electric power for the State.

But background to this important water resource reveals shaky foundations.

Despite a crucial rainstorm flood over Christmas 1964, the incomplete dam was launched by Gov.Ronald Reagan in May 1968, during a week-long festival in Oroville attended by 50,000 visitors.

Ten years later, a massive series of earthquakes hit Oroville in August 1975.

Lori Dengler, Professor Emeritus of Geology at HSU, then a graduate student at UC Berkeley, was obsessed with the seismic ‘swarm’ that shook the dam and its surrounding “surface faulting”—a cluster of fault lines—similar to Petrolia. To her, earthquake reaction came after water levels were dramatically changed.

During the winter of 1974-1975, the lake was drawn down to its lowest level since inauguration, to repair the intakes to the power plant. It was then rapidly refilled and followed by the earthquake sequence of 1975.

Cluster of seismic fault lines, with epicenter at Oroville, CA

Cluster of seismic fault lines, with epicenter at Oroville, CA

August 1, 1975 a Mag.5.8 earthquake hit Oroville. Quakes of this size can occur anywhere in the state, so its size was no surprise. This had been a seismically quiet area, however, and those of us working in the lab noticed when seven earthquakes in the Magnitude-3 range occurred in a tight cluster near the lake. On August 1st, the seismicity ramped up—a Mag.4.7, a Mag.5.8 and 35 additional tremors in the Magnitude-3 range. Vigorous aftershocks continued with over 200 earthquakes in the magnitude-3 range recorded over the next 18 months. Then things quieted down and no earthquakes of Magnitude-3 or larger have been recorded near Oroville since 1992.

It’s not unusual for an earthquake sequence to pop up out of the blue, but the difference in Oroville was two factors linking the earthquakes to the filling of the reservoir. The first was the proximity to the lake, the location of surface faulting and the tightly clustered epicenter locations. The second factor was that the earthquakes followed an unprecedented seasonal fluctuation in lake levels.
Lori Dengler, Prof. Emeritus, Humboldt State University

Time Travel to the Tertiary

Taking a time machine back to 1975 and 1968, Oroville might never have been built

Taking a time machine back to 1975 and 1968, Oroville might never have been built

The Foothills Fault System—which includes faults like Cleveland Hills, Spenceville, Deadman, Maidu, Prairie Creek, Swain Ravine and Willows—skirts east of Folsom Lake and runs through Auburn, Placerville, El Dorado Hills and Shingle Springs. The system runs from Mariposa to Chico. The 1975 Magnitude 6.1Richter Oroville earthquake was caused by movement along the Cleveland Hills fault.

For more than a century, the Foothills were considered seismically inactive. That changed with the 1975 Oroville earthquake. The temblor did not cause much damage outside the sparsely-populated Oroville area, but it did have a major impact.

The scientific community had to reassess the large Sierra Foothills area as seismically active, according to the California Geological Survey.

Sutter Butte extinct cinder cone, foreground, overlooks valley of Sacramento River channeled, top, east to Oroville dam along Sierra Foothills Willows fault-line

Sutter Butte extinct cinder cone, foreground, overlooks valley of Sacramento River channeled, top, east to Oroville dam along Sierra Foothills Willows fault-line

“The Auburn Dam was being built at the time and for design purposes we were asked to estimate how large an earthquake the system could generate. We estimated a Magnitude-6.5 Richter, capable of displacing the dam’s foundation by about three-quarters of a foot. That sent the dam back to the drawing board. The cost multiplied over time, and the dam was never built.”
Michael Reichle, Asst. Director Dept. of Conservation
California Geological Survey


Oil and Gas Wells in Sunken Bedrock Add Instability

Data from a number of (USGS) sources indicate that the Willows fault is far more extensive and complex than previously thought and that Tertiary deposits in the Foothills are in motion. The first clue that the Willows fault branched into a multistrand fault system was provided by an analysis of seismicity of the northern valley and Sierra foothills after the Oroville earthquake. USGS (in 1978) located a number of small-magnitude earthquakes along a zone that originated near the Marathon “Capital Company No. 1” well in the Willows-Beehive Bend gas field and extended north, rather than following the northwest trend of the Willows fault. A slew of seismic events suggested that a north-trending fault splayed off from the main stem of the Willows fault and passed west of the Corning domes.

On the east side of the valley, Upper Cretaceous sandstone and shale rest uncomfortably on metamorphic and plutonic rocks of the Sierra Nevada.

These bed companions are not made any more comfortable by the instability of the great seismic rift which stretches from Mariposa (Yosemite) in the south to Chico and Cottonwood, just S of Redding, in the north. The bedrock first went through onset of marine sedimentation (W to E) in the late Mesozoic era, and through intermittent periods of uplift and subduction the sand and shale—along with their mountain bedfellows—tilted to south and west. In late Cretaceous the reverse occurred and the sand/shale deposits slid westwards—’marine regression’ (E to W).

During these upheaval and subsidence cycles, four submarine canyons developed—cut and then filled, rifting and then flooded with sediment. Where they meet, near Sutter Butte cinder cone, above, movement both east and west continues.

Riverbank Collapse on Dam Shutdown Leaves Salmon Floundering

Riverbank collapse after dam spillway shut off March 3, 2017 leaving salmon hatcheries & farmers floundering

In the Corning gas fields, analysis of well records by the Sacramento Petroleum Association (1962) showed an anticlinal fold in the area of the Corning domes, with about 121m of maximum closure on the base of the Tehama Formation in the north dome and a steeply dipping southeast-trending fault located at the north end of south Corning dome, but it did not identify a fault west of them.
California Geological Survey

With a new gap in the main spillway now stretching like a fifteen-lane freeway across the cement foundation, immediate closure of Oroville Dam was announced this week. Such a drastic move is in part attributed to safety of those displaced valley residents who have since been allowed to return to their homes and orchards.

Oakdale Heights school children release Chinook hatchlings into Feather River last fall

Salmon young and riverine residents are now without a river bed, as most of the banks have collapsed. Almond, peach orchards and fruit farms, dependent on a seasonal flow of water, were unprepared for such extreme measures, their irrigation systems now high and dry. Salmon fingerlings and immature Chinook die in stranded pools, life-expectancy zero.

Children from Oakdale Heights school, above left, releasing babies last fall into the river, expected their hatchlings to have at least a one-percent chance of survival, on their return from the ocean, are now dismayed by the zero percent outcome for the salmon after dam failure.

Governor Jerry Brown has pledged financial help for storm-affected communities, but the state of California has already unmet infrastructure costs of $187 billion, not including roads. While $2.7 billion has been approved [Prop.1, 2014] for new water storage, that doesn’t cover old dams.

Remembering the warning of seismologists Reichle and Dengler, above, against any sudden changes in water body movement—which can trigger volcanic fault movement—we await the outcome of the shutdown decision with anxiety. It’s not only the salmon spelt, rescued manually from puddles, it’s the water supply for most of the Great Valley.

At times of flood and deluge like these, the slow approach to dam containment—like that of the Klamath River tribal community, with four Atlas Copco dams to maintain until they are dismantled and removed—seems preferable to acting on impulse.

Where Mother Nature rules, we mortals are still fallible.
©2017 Siderealview


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