It is important to understand that this section contains chapters from a book I was going to publish - and still may - however, the importance here is to realize is that at the time I was writing this I had no idea that all of these foundational items had anything to do with alchemy, subsequently, any conclusions here are no longer valid for me and based solely on my state of mind at that time. I wanted to include this information so that you too can see how it all began.
The Sleeping Prophet
and his Lost World
I suppose I should thank my grandmother for all of this (see photo above).
It was in the cluttered basement of her home in Queens, New York that I found the books that started me on my journey. I know you’re thinking, “Playboy” magazines, but the sad truth is that the pyramidal forms I was fascinated with were not of the female variety; first of all, there were three of them, they were made of limestone, and were located in Egypt. Of course, I’m sure the “Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon Six” (from Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) did cross my mind at some point. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Grandma Biecker was an avid fan of Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) and over the years had collected many of his books. In case you’ve never heard of Edgar Cayce, he became famous in the 1930s for diagnosing cures for people with terminal illnesses, and because of this, many people came to him when traditional medicine failed to help. Over a period of 43 years, Cayce gave over 14,000 readings; the majority of them concerned healing. In fact, President Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, George Gershwin and Harry Truman sought him out to cure their illnesses.
One of his many titles was the Father of Holistic Medicine, and I suppose you could blame him or praise him for starting the “New Age” movement. With an epithet like Father of Holistic Medicine, it was basically a requirement for Cayce’s methodology to be a bit unorthodox as well. He would fall into sleep-like trances, diagnose his patient and then prescribe herbal remedies to heal them, even if the patient was hundreds of miles away. Cayce tapped into something he called a “stream of consciousness.”
Of the many things that fascinated me about Edgar Cayce, his readings concerning the lost civilization of Atlantis was what ignited the imagination of my ten-year-old mind. Again, while deeply in trance, Cayce gave detailed descriptions of his past life as “Ra Ta” (an Atlantean high priest). He also gave intricate detail concerning the lost civilization.
A rather pensive Edgar Cayce (image courtesy of the A.R.E)
Of the many things that fascinated me about Edgar Cayce, his readings concerning the lost civilization of Atlantis was what ignited the imagination of my ten-year-old mind. Again, while deeply in trance, Cayce gave detailed descriptions of his past life as “Ra Ta” (an Atlantean high priest). He also gave intricate detail concerning the lost civilization.
Because of this ability, he was given yet another epithet; the Sleeping Prophet. His readings and predictions have been meticulously recorded and preserved in the vaults of Cayce’s organization, the A.R.E (Association for Research and Enlightenment) located in Virginia Beach; fascinating stuff, when you’re only ten years old!
Cayce would hold “past-life regression” readings for people as well. The purpose of these sessions was to assist them in dealing with issues in their “current incarnations” from mistakes they’d made in their past lives. People who believe in past-life regression techniques also believe in reincarnation (which is a Hindu belief). Basically, if you don’t get it right in this life, or your past lives, you’ve got another chance to get your act together in a future life. Sounds good to me; I don’t know about you, but I need all the chances I can get.
Although interesting, Edgar Cayce’s advice to people having difficulties with their health was of little concern to me. It was his expositions on Atlantis that was my inspiration. More specifically, it was the megalithic structures built by the “Atlanteans” that intrigued me most of all.
According to academia (that’s the people who have lots of abbreviations after their names), Atlantis sprung from the mind of Plato, one of those Greek philosophers you were forced to read about in school. Plato recounts the history of Atlantis in something he wrote entitled, "Timaeus" and "Critias"; these are his earliest known references to Atlantis. In Plato’s story, Critias describes the origins of Atlantis to Socrates and some of his friends. Plato followed up with the Timaeus, which is a continuation of Critias's tale, where he delivered a more detailed history of Atlantis. Academia asserts that Atlantis is nothing more than a myth propagated by Plato.
Plato looking particularly stern about things. Maybe he’s upset that no one believed his stories about Atlantis.
Edgar Cayce had a very different spin on Atlantis; he believed it was real. According to Cayce, Atlantis was an antediluvian (before the flood) pan-global civilization utilizing very high technology. He claimed that Atlantis sunk because people abused the technology. When you mention the “A” word (Atlantis) to university professors, they throw things at you, and then they get very upset because it does not fit within the accepted time line of human civilization. Oh, and there is that minor issue of there being no physical evidence of Atlantis either - details, details!
Nevertheless, Cayce was convinced that there was physical evidence of this culture. He believed the pyramids and massive, ancient stone structures in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Central and South America and other places were the remains of Atlantis, and the civilizations that claimed to have built them had inherited them and laid claim to them.
The use of crystals was in vogue in Atlantis, and Cayce contends that the area submerged beneath the dreaded and spooky Bermuda Triangle was not only part of this civilization, but was home to a vast crystalline power source below the ocean. Actually, before the Bermuda Triangle was given its moniker, Cayce claimed that dreaded and spooky area as the last part of Atlantis to sink. At one point, people believed that there was a giant crystal that remained at least partly operational, and from time to time created time/space distortions causing the disappearance of planes and boats in the area. I used to believe this was possible until I came to a profound realization; people are really good at getting lost and really bad at reading maps.
In addition to delving into the distant past, Cayce also made predictions about the future. One of his most controversial involved the discovery in the 1990’s of a hidden chamber beneath the paws of the Egyptian Sphinx. Within that chamber, Cayce predicted, the lucky explorers would find something known as the “Hall of Records.” According to Cayce, the Hall of Records is a repository of the entire history of the world before the flood, including information concerning Atlantis. It is hoped, by Cayce’s followers, that once found, Cayce will finally be exonerated, and all the university professors will stop throwing things at their students when they hear the “A” word.
The “hidden chamber” prediction has inspired many researchers to travel to Egypt in an attempt to dig around the paws of the Sphinx in the hopes of finding it. Their idealism, however, is quickly tempered by the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass. Hawass, an Archaeologist, and extremely passionate man shuns these “alternative” theories concerning the pyramids and is quick to point out that it was the Egyptians, not Atlanteans, that built the pyramids. He will add that the pyramids were not constructed by slaves, (specifically Hebrew slaves), but were built by the Egyptians themselves, who happily volunteered to (somehow) quarry, transport and lift two-ton limestone blocks to unforgivable heights in the desert heat. So you can imagine his disdain for someone like Edgar Cayce, who enticed many people to travel to Egypt to dig holes under the paws of the Sphinx.
Technically, Cayce could have been considered a Shaman. The Shaman is the conduit between the world of reality and the spirit world. He enters the spirit world via trance, and once there is psychologically transformed and is able to negotiate with the entities of the spirit world on behalf of his community. If we look at other cultures like the !Kung or the San of Africa, whose Shamans enter altered states of consciousness by a variety of means, Cayce fits the bill. But more of this later on.
Edgar Cayce had a profound influence on my thought processes as a young boy. He convinced me that there was an earlier civilization that had high technology and left us the great, enigmatic structures around the world. This was fun stuff! But Edgar Cayce was only one guide on my journey, and I was soon to be overwhelmed by the mysterious and reclusive Edward Leedskalnin.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, former Director of Antiquities of the High Council of Egypt
The Night Builder
Once again, Grandma Biecker was an unwitting guide on my journey. When I was thirteen years old, she took me to visit my Uncle Henry in Florida. He worked for NASA at the time but was kind enough to take us to see something that would inspire me to continue to dig into in my pockets for bread-crumbs. That place was Coral Castle.
Built by Edward Leedskalnin in 1936, Coral Castle is an enigma. Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant, was jilted by Agnes Scuffs a day before his wedding. Officially, Agnes is known to us as “Sweet Sixteen”, Leedskalnin’s epithet for her. A sensitive man, he moved from Latvia to Homestead, Florida to forget about his humiliating experience. Leedskalnin was heartbroken, so much so that he set out to build a beautiful monument dedicated to his love for Agnes.
Over the course of 28 years, using 1100 tons of coral rock hewn from the ground, Ed single-handedly constructed one of the most mind-boggling collections of sculptures with tools made from an automobile junk yard. In fact, over time, many researchers have determined that the pulleys and chains that Leedskalnin left behind in the castle are red herrings; they were simply not capable of lifting the coral blocks that were put in place. Why would he do this?
The mysterious, brilliant and reclusive Ed Leedskalnin!
What is remarkable about Coral Castle is the fact that somehow, this five foot tall, one hundred pound man was able to lift and move massive coral blocks (some weighing as much as 30 tons!) by himself. Leedskalnin not only lifted and moved these massive stones, he also cut them and quarried them from the ground. Horizontal marks on the wall sections reveal this. No one ever saw him achieve this because he worked exclusively at night. He claimed to have understood how the pyramids were built, but unfortunately, he took that knowledge and the knowledge of how he built Coral Castle to his grave.
Ed’s 9 ton entrance gate. You can see the horizontal marks on the ends of each wall segment
Piercing a 9 ton piece of coral with the an axle from an old Ford truck, Leedskalnin created the entrance gate to Coral Castle. I remember pushing this giant door with my hand and marveling at how it rotated so easily - smoother than a revolving door. In 1986, the massive door finally came off its axle. A team of engineers, six men and a 50 ton crane were brought in to repair it. It has not operated the same since. Yet somehow, this 98 pound man managed to cut, lift and balance the 9 ton door on his own!
Leedskalnin became a recluse, and at one point, when developers informed him they were to build a subdivision near his castle, he moved the entire complex ten miles away. Again, no one helped him, and one knows how he did it. People saw him transporting the monuments on an old truck, but no one saw him put them onto the truck or take them off and erect them.
The 20 ton “Polaris Telescope”
There are theories that suggest Leedskalnin did not move the Castle because he wanted privacy, but because Leedskalnin realized he made an error in their placement on something called the Earth Grid which in turn affected their celestial alignments. Like many things concerning Ed Leedskalnin, we’ll never know the whole story.
Once inside, I was amazed at what Leedskalnin had done. Everything was hand carved. To start with, each section of wall (8 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide by 3 feet thick) surrounding the complex weighed an average of 10 tons! The largest section of wall was the North wall, weighing in at 30 tons!
Tables, benches - even an intentionally designed uncomfortable “Mother-in-law chair” adorn the interior of the complex. But surely one of the most incredible monuments he constructed was christened the “Polaris Telescope”. It is twenty five feet tall, weighs twenty tons and is perfectly aligned to the North Star.
In fact, the majority of monuments appear to be celestial in nature. There are giant replicas of the planets Saturn and Mars, with a palmetto plant situated next to Mars, because Leedskalnin believed Mars harbored life. There is also a colossal Sun dial which is calibrated to the Winter and Summer solstices (December 21st and June 21st respectively).
A bird’s eye view of the Coral Castle complex
It appeared to me that the entire complex was designed as some sort of cosmological observatory. It was just a feeling I had, but it was strange that I got that impression at such an early age.
When asked how he moved these massive stones, Leedskalnin responded, “I understand the laws of weight and leverage”, and further commented, “Matter consists of individual magnets, and it is through the movement of these magnets within materials, and through space, that produce measurable phenomena, magnetism and electricity. These concepts involve the relationship of the Earth to celestial alignments.” Pretty heady stuff for a man with a fourth grade education. People spying on Ed at night claim they saw him singing to the stones, after which he was able to move them around like “helium filled balloons”.
While I was there, I bought Leedskalnin’s book entitled, “A Book in Every Home”. It is a perplexing book, with each facing page being blank. Here is the rationale in his own words:
“Reader, if for any reason you do not like the things I say in this little book, I left just as much space as I used, so you can write your own opinion opposite it and see if you can do better.”.
How accommodating and humble this Leedskalnin feller was?! But was he being accommodating, or giving us some space to decipher his encoded messages? Only Leedskalnin knows.
The book is divided into three sections, “Sweet Sixteen”, “Political Views” and “Domestic Views”. “Sweet Sixteen” is Leedskalnin’s very traditional views on male and female sexuality. His “Domestic Views” concerns raising children (again, very traditional), and the “Political Views” addresses paying taxes and owning property.
Where Cayce made me wonder what form of technology was used by the ancients to construct their monuments, Leedskalnin made me realize that mere humans can accomplish anything, and that with the proper inspiration and understanding, can literally move mountains. Keeping with the clothes motif, I still wear clothes inspired by the night builder.
Lines of Wonder in the Sand
Sometime later, again, in my teens, another person altered my perspective on these ancient puzzles and put a new spin on things. And who better to sensationalize alternative theories than Erich von Däniken? Keep in mind that Von Däniken is not an archaeologist, anthropologist or historian, yet he has sold 63 million books on this subject! So you can imagine how upset university professors and archaeologists are when you mention his name. They just might throw a desk at you.
I vividly recall being enthralled first by his book, “Chariots of the Gods,” and then the television special, "In Search of Ancient Astronauts." But when the film, “Chariots of the Gods” was released, I went to see it and was hooked. Apparently, Von Däniken had this all figured out. He claimed that ancient people did not possess the technology to build these structures; they couldn’t have done it alone. So who did Von Däniken claim helped them?
Erich von Däniken searching for his own truths. Why doesn’t he use a flashlight?
Let’s face it, Edward Leedskalnin’s and Edgar Cayce’s ideologies never stood a chance against ancient astronauts from another planet! This was cool and sexy. It was the stuff of a young boy’s dreams and Yours Truly was in dream land. I wondered if they used their ray guns to cut the stones (just kidding - I knew that ray guns were for killing humans and game show hosts).
According to Von Däniken, it was the ubiquitous ancient astronauts (you know - those spooky, spindly little grey guys with the big heads and black eyes) who built the Egyptian pyramids, not the Pharaohs (you can be assured that Dr. Hawass would never invite Edgar Cayce or Erich Von Däniken to high tea.).
But like Von Däniken’s theories, his benevolent space aliens didn’t stop there - they built pyramids in Central and South America too, and even had some of the people of South America build huge and intricate sacred symbols across 30 miles of desert to guide their space craft to a safe landing.
You will find these in a place called Nazca, Peru. Local inhabitants etched enormous geoglyphs (large drawings on the ground) and straight, narrow roads stretching for miles by removing small pebbles that lay atop soft, bright, yellow soil. When the pebbles were removed, the underlying soil had such contrast with the rocks that it could be seen from the air. And because Nazca is so remote and has been historically devoid of violent weather patterns, these images have been left untouched for hundreds of years (the Nazca inhabited the area from approximately 200 BC to 600 AD).
From the ground, these images look like random lines traversing the landscape. From the air it’s a different story; giant images, some of them anthropomorphic, including an owl man, a monkey, a spider and a hummingbird, are several hundred feet in length.
The Nazca spider; this geoglyph is 150 feet long
So how did they do it? Did anyone have a rational, scientific explanation for the Nazca lines? The answer is yes and no. One very clever theory was proposed by the International Explorers Society. Jim Woodman, one of its members, suggested that the Nazca were able to construct some type of hot air balloon for ceremonial purposes, thus enabling them to supervise the creation of the images and also view their creations from above.
The “balloon” that was constructed by the International Explorers Society and flown over the Nazca plains. Although very clever, Archaeologists consider this theory pure fantasy. You can see the hummingbird geoglyph replicated on the balloon.
Jim Woodman and his colleagues from the International Explorers Society used cloth, rope, and reeds found in and around the Nazca plateau to make a balloon and gondola for their experiment. British balloonist Julian Nott nearly lost his life flying 300 feet above the Nazca plains when the balloon came crashing to the ground after a malfunction. Although interesting and imaginative, this theory is considered fanciful in the eyes of many Archaeologists.
One of the fascinating geometric designs on the Nazca Plains. This geoglyph is nearly a mile long and can only be seen from the air, which prompted Von Däniken’s unorthodox theories.
Without a doubt, the Nazca lines were one of the most fascinating archaeological sites I had ever seen; and when you’re a teenager watching “Chariots of the Gods” in the movie theatre, staring at these enigmatic geoglyphs from an airplane as it swoops down into the Nazca valley, you are filled with a sense of wonder and awe. And because that is the only way one can view these images, without the voice of scholarship, Von Däniken’s theories began to take shape in my very impressionable mind. As a result, I started buying these theories, no matter how outlandish they appeared to be.
Of course, it never occurred to me to ask the question (no offense to the good people of Nazca, Peru); “If these space aliens had such sophisticated technology, why would they have primitive people make runways for them out of dirt and pebbles? Wouldn’t they have much smoother take-offs and landings on a nice asphalt runway?” But when you’re a wide-eyed teenager, you don’t ask questions, you just accept what is in the books you read and the movies you see. At least I did.
And so I began searching for more books on Atlantis and ancient astronauts. I began to believe Von Däniken’s theories; after all, how could people have built structures like the Great Pyramid so long ago if we can’t build them today? I forgot all about the lesson from Coral Castle. I began to think that people like Edward Leedskalnin were products of modern day culture and that the ancients could not have done what he did. Here was my rationale as it began to take frightening shape:
Civilizations older than ours are less intelligent because as time goes on humans get smarter, therefore, ancient people cannot possibly have been as smart as we are today. In the book that changed my life, Hamlet’s Mill, De Santillana calls this “Evolutionary Prejudice.”
There were no Albert Einstein's or Buckminster Fullers - people of this ilk only come from “sophisticated” societies like ours.
Ancient people had to have had help from our spindly gray friends because space aliens are inherently smarter than us because they were flying around in spaceships while we were making arrowheads.
When I think back on my past, I am amazed that I could have thought this way. But then again, I used to listen to music by Magma; a progressive rock group who had their own language and claimed to be from another planet (okay, I still listen to Magma - they are truly amazing but they're not from outer space.) Remember the wardrobe metaphor from the introduction? These clothes don’t fit me anymore...
The Book of Mysteries and Brave Explorers
Undaunted and comfortable wearing the cloak of ignorance, and abandoning all rational thinking, my search continued as I entered my twenties. It was at this point I realized this was indeed a journey of discovery; one that may not be able to provide me with a conclusion or an answer to my questions. And to be perfectly honest, I’m wasn’t sure I fully understood the ramifications of the answers! Sometimes I was frightened to find out. I was only sure of one thing; I wanted to know the truth. I wanted to know why ancient people built these gigantic structures - this was becoming more important to me than how they built them.
At some point, I also became very interested in Astronomy, although at the time I had no idea how tasty a bread-crumb it would become, and how important it was. It took me years of study and my return to school to finish my degree to come to this realization. But I’m getting ahead of myself here...
This time it was my mother who became an unwitting guide on my journey. One day she brought over a box of books that someone had given her, asking me to look at them and see if there were any I’d like to keep. What she brought me was a Pandora’s box; containing one of the most influential and comprehensive books I have read. Unlike Von Däniken’s book, it was well researched and did not jump to outlandish conclusions. It re-ignited my passion for the journey, but this time the focus was on a specific subject.
Written by Peter Tompkins, “Secrets of the Great Pyramid”, is a masterpiece. It is an exhaustive and fascinating history of the monument, and the myriad theories concerning its construction. It reveals the adventures of the many explorers of the great pyramid; intrepid people like Caliph Al Mamun, Colonel Howard Vyse and William Flinders Petrie - forget Indiana Jones - these guys were the real thing!
For those of you not familiar with the great pyramid, it is four hundred and fifty feet tall (about the height of a forty story building) and covers an area equivalent to thirteen football fields. The Great Pyramid sits within a complex of other pyramids, temples and mortuary structures known as the Giza Plateau.
This colossus is composed primarily of limestone blocks with the exception of the inner chambers which are constructed of larger polished red granite stone. The limestone blocks average two tons each, while the larger granite stones weigh as much as 30 tons each, bringing the total weight of the Great Pyramid to 6.18 million tons.
Tompkins begins by explaining how Caliph Abdullah Al Mamun (circa 813 AD) was determined to find the treasure of Pharaoh Khufu. He believed it was still hidden inside the Great Pyramid. Because of his ambition and greed, the Caliph unwittingly became the first "modern day" explorer of the Great Pyramid. However, Mamun quickly discovered that this endeavor would not be a walk in the park. At first, he could not find the entrance to the monument. According to ancient legend, there was a secret door on the North side of the pyramid, several courses up its side.
After several months of unsuccessfully attempting to chisel through the granite casing stones that envelope the superstructure, Mamun resorted to heating them until red hot and then dousing the stones with vinegar. Once they began to crack, Mamun used a battering ram to dislodge them. After tunneling one hundred feet into the North side and finding no passageways, the Caliph was ready to give up until one of his workers heard a noise from inside the pyramid which sounded like a stone falling.
Following the sound, Mamun’s men tunneled Eastward until they discovered the dark and foreboding “descending passage.” This passage leads to an unfinished chamber deep below the pyramid. As Mamun made his way down the dark and cramped tunnel, he found the fallen stone. He found that the stone that had fallen from the ceiling of the descending passage. Upon further investigation, he realized that the stone was hiding an entrance to yet another passageway which led upward, possibly into the superstructure. This passageway is formally known as the “ascending passage.” Both ascending and descending passages have 32-degree slopes and are only three feet wide by four feet in height. To navigate these passageways, one must crawl, or walk in a crouched position.
Unfortunately for the great Caliph, the ascending passage was blocked by three huge granite plugs weighing several tons each. Unable to move these stones or destroy them to tunnel through the ascending passage, Mamun tunneled around them hoping to reach the other side. After many days, he was able to bypass these massive stones. Upon entering the ascending passage, the Caliph found it so filled with bat guano (and to add to his pleasure, bats with six-foot wing spans!) - to prevent passage. Mamun resorted to burning sulfur to clear the passages and enable his workers to breathe. As they traveled up the ascending passage, they found two chambers, described in excruciating detail in Chapter three.
These chambers are known as the Kings Chamber and the Queen’s Chamber. The epithets have nothing to do with burial practices or findings within the Great Pyramid, as nothing has ever been found! If you want to know the gory detail concerning these chambers, the passageways and internal structure of the monument again, see Chapter three.
One of the more famous fans of Egypt was Napoleon Bonaparte. He was fascinated with Egypt, and not only brought along his army to conquer it, but also a group of savants to study, catalog and illustrate the ancient temples, sphinx, and pyramids.
Tompkins also brings to light Napoleon’s obsession with the Great Pyramid and his little known “episode” in the King’s Chamber. Apparently, after crawling up the ascending passage and entering the King’s chamber, Napoleon experienced some sort of vision which evoked an overwhelming emotional response. He never revealed the nature of the vision, but we are told he left the pyramid “white as a ghost”. For years, when pressed about what he experienced, Napoleon refused to discuss it. On his deathbed, however, one of his assistants asked the world conqueror what he had seen inside the pyramid. “If I told you, you would never believe me” was his response. Napoleon took that vision to the grave.
I scanned my intensely read version of this most incredible book that changed my perspective on the Great Pyramid.
Tompkin’s attention to detail enthralled me, and his study of the Great Pyramid made me realize that its makers were indeed, nothing short of brilliant. After reading his book, I became obsessed with the mysteries of the Great Pyramid.
It also introduced me to many new concepts, one of which is the Golden Mean, a mathematical proportion that is explained in frightening detail in Chapter X. For those of you who are terrified of mathematics, I’ll be gentle - I promise. You can also pretend that you’ve read it and tell your friends that it was fascinating - they’ll think you’re really smart because they’ll skip over it too, and they won’t be able to ask you questions about it because they haven’t read it either. See how that works?
As Von Däniken’s theories began to look more and more ridiculous, and Edward Leedskalnin began to sneak back into my mind like an old friend, I began thinking once again that people built these things, not ancient astronauts. It could be that they didn’t tell us how or why they built them because it was secret knowledge reserved for the elite. To do so would be sacrosanct. Here I go again; getting ahead of myself. But there’s so much more to come, and the next influence came in the form of a group of writers. They are currently classified under the academic category of “Pseudo Science”; and academia is justified in categorizing them as such, but they have some very interesting ideas. Read on.
As Above, So Below; the Language of the Cosmos
During my twenties and thirties, a series of books began to infiltrate my world and once again transform my perceptions of the ancients and their enigmatic monuments. These books began to give me an inkling into the types of clothes I wear today. They are the best fit yet, and I’m not ashamed to wear them, although their rebellious style can be a bit overwhelming.
There was nothing terribly special about 1994, it was a year like any other in my life, with the exception of one event; two researchers, Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert published their book, “The Orion Mystery”. This book argues that the three pyramids of the Giza Plateau and the Sphinx were deliberately aligned to their celestial counterparts at a very remote time in history.
I never made a connection between archaeological sites and celestial alignments; with the exception of Stonehenge. To clarify: I never made the emotional and mental connection personally. I had a “so what?” attitude about it because I thought that ancient people did those kinds of things to create seasonal markers to tell them when to plant crops - very important and interesting, but certainly not something to get terribly excited about!
Bauval and Gilbert’s book was the jumping off point for a new and exciting concept for me: as above, so below. This phrase originated from the Egyptian god Thoth in his teachings to the ancients.
Here’s my spin on it; this concept came about largely because the ancients had to deal with the chaos of their environment on a daily basis, and as human beings, we look for - and many times long for - patterns in this chaos. They, unlike us, were at the mercy of their environment. Each year was different, and each year brought with it a plethora of environmental issues that had to be dealt with. Sometimes it would rain, and people would have an abundance of crops that year, however, sometimes there would be terrible drought which was followed by famine, which was chaos in its most horrid form.
There was, however, one system that functioned like clockwork: the celestial sphere. Although some of these cycles were complex (like the 18.5-year lunar cycle), they were cyclical and they were, for the most part, reliable. There was an order to the cosmos that elusive Earthly cycles did not share, and the ancients wished to capture it and bring that same order down to Earth. They did it in the form of structures that replicated celestial imagery; planetary orbits and cycles of the Sun and Moon. They did it through observation; sometimes over generations, as some of these cycles reached beyond a human lifetime.
Bauval’s revelation came to him in the same manner; through simple observation. After spending the day at the Museum of Cairo, a particular image remained in Bauval’s mind; it was an aerial photograph of the three large pyramids. That evening, as he sat in the desert stargazing because he had the aerial photograph of the three pyramids, he was struck by the similarity of the pattern of “belt” stars in the constellation of Orion. It hit him like a freight train. It appeared that the three stars in Orion’s “belt” mirrored the three large pyramids on the Giza plateau! Naturally, this observation has been highly contested by academia, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Orion the great hunter. Note the three belt stars that are perhaps the most recognizable pattern of stars in the sky.
Orion is one of the most recognizable constellations in the winter sky, primarily because of the three stars in a diagonal formation at the center; Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka. These are the stars that form the great hunter’s belt. Hanging just below this belt of stars is a gaseous region where stars are born. This region is known technically as the “Orion Nebula”, categorized as M42. Astronomers catalog these features and give them numbers like M42 (“M” for Messier, a French Astronomer who spent allot of time looking through his telescope, and 42 because this was the 42nd object he’d spotted in the night sky). This object and some additional stars comprise Orion’s sword.
Orion is typically depicted as a hunter, holding a club in one hand and an animal skin in the other, but this depiction is culturally defined. Naturally, the Egyptians had their own imagery for this constellation. To them, Orion was the great god Osiris; a prominent figure in their pantheon. Osiris was the god of the underworld, and as such, his celestial place in the heavens was the resting place for Pharaoh upon his death. Pharaoh would be transformed into a star and ascend to the night sky in this wondrous constellation - such beautiful and profound imagery!
The constellation of Orion, a close up of the belt stars, and an aerial view of the pyramids. It is easy to understand how Bauval came to his conclusions
Bauval incorporated this imagery into his theory and brought new meaning to the constellation. In the overhead image, if you were to draw a diagonal line through the center of each pyramid, you would see that something is amiss. If you look closely, Khufu’s and Khafre’s pyramids (the two larger pyramids) are nicely aligned along the path, but you can see the Menkaure’s pyramid is slightly deviating from the diagonal, as is the smaller star of Orion’s belt. Bauval felt that this was a further justification of his theory, and defended it by asking the question; if the builders of the pyramids were so obsessed with geometric accuracy, why this glaring error? It appeared to Bauval as if Menkaure’s pyramid was deliberately constructed off the axis of the two larger pyramids.
Bauval and Gilbert reasoned, if this were the case, then logically, the Nile river’s celestial counterpart would indeed be the Milky Way. To further solidify Bauval’s observations, he and Gilbert went beyond the simple visual recognition; they combined it with Egyptian mysticism as well.
Unlike the Great Pyramid, the interior of the pyramid of Pharaoh Unas is adorned with beautiful images and hieroglyphs known as the Pyramid Texts. These utterances speak of the perilous celestial journey Pharaoh must take in the afterlife. Several references are made to the constellation of Orion as a celestial representation of the god Osiris, (just as the star Sirius is said to be the celestial counterpart to the goddess Isis).
By Orion, father of the gods.
The King has appeared again in the sky,
He is crowned as Lord of the horizon (Utt. 173-4)
Isis was Osiris’s sister and wife ( I can’t imagine being married to my sister ) in Egyptian mythology, and the two constellations (Orion and Canis Major) are in close proximity in the sky. In fact, when the star Sirius rose heliacally (simultaneously with the sun) at the summer solstice, it heralded the annual flooding of the Nile river, which brought rich, silty soil for Egyptian farmers, and as a result of this, the star Sirius (celestial counterpart of Isis) became affiliated with fertility.
When Pharaoh died, he would cross the “field of reeds” (the Milky Way) and become a star in the constellation of Orion (Pharaoh was the earthly avatar of the god Horus):
The reed-floats of the sky are set down for Horus,
That he may cross on them to the horizon, to Harakhti. (Utt. 264)
Bauval reasoned that each Pharaoh had his own pyramid and each pyramid had a stellar counterpart in Orion’s belt (Osiris). There are also strange “air shafts” in the King’s Chamber (you really need to read Chapter III), and they too, fit into Bauval and Gilbert’s thesis.
According to the theory, the Northern shaft pointed to the star affiliated with Khufu’s pyramid in Orion’s belt, and the Southern shaft pointed to Sirius. A neat little package, or so it seems. The problem here is that the shafts do not align perfectly - that is unless you go back in time.
...Way back in time.
Somewhere around 10,500 BC. Ouch!
The Nile, the Sphinx, and the pyramids align to their celestial counterparts eons ago.
Bauval teamed up with Graham Hancock and followed up with yet another book, “The Message of the Sphinx”, which drew our old friend the Sphinx into the fray, stating that the Sphinx mirrored the constellation of Leo the Lion. Because the gaze of the Sphinx is to the East. Using astronomy software, Bauval postulated that all of these alignments heralded back to something the Egyptians called, Zep Tepi (no relation to Led Zeppelin), the first time. In this era, the constellation of Leo sat on the eastern horizon, Orion was directly above the pyramids, and the Nile mirrored the Milky Way. Everything locked into place on the Earth and in the sky; as above, so below.
As you might imagine, this infuriated academia; suggesting not only that the pyramids were aligned to Orion’s belt, which they considered to be pure speculation, but that they were constructed at a much earlier age than what was proposed in the timeline of Egyptian history (uh oh - shades of the “A” word here again).
It is understandable, coming from an academic background myself, that this concept rattled Archaeologists and Egyptologists. When someone from the academic world comes up with a hypothesis, they must go through a process called “peer review”. Academics scrutinize the work and critique it, but more importantly, their peers review it for accuracy.
People like Robert Bauval and Eric Von Däniken (I’m not putting these authors in the same category) don’t have to go through this process. They just publish books based on their ideas. Of course, this doesn’t devalue their ideas, it just makes it frustrating for people who must go through the “proper channels”, if you will. The process of peer review can take years, now you know why university professors throw things at you when you mention these people. That is why they are classified under the category of “Pseudo Science”; not a complimentary moniker, I will tell you.
Although nearly everyone I’ve mentioned thus far falls under the “Pseudo Science” category, I promise that my professors and other academics did indeed profoundly influence me and change my perspective - we’re just not there yet!
One of the people to challenge the Orion Correlation Theory was Dr. Ed Krupp, an Archeo-Astronomer from the University of California. Krupp argued that the Orion Correlation Theory was flawed because according to Krupp's calculations based on using the same astronomy software, the builders of the pyramids constructed them in the opposite direction.
Nevertheless, Bauval’s Orion Correlation Theory and Hancock’s theories concerning the Sphinx did have a big influence on me in that they opened my mind to the idea that ancient people may have had a profound connection with the Sun, Moon, and stars beyond using them for seasonal markers. I began to realize that the cycles of these celestial objects were possibly more important than the objects themselves. Whether the theories were pure speculation or not, this was an important breakthrough for me and led me to even more interesting concepts.
MORE COMING SOON