|Satan, Venus, Christ and the Gas Giants: A Miltonic Parable
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|Author:||Robert Tulip [ Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:48 am ]|
|Post subject:||Satan, Venus, Christ and the Gas Giants: A Miltonic Parable|
Milton's epic tale of the battle between Satan and God in Paradise Lost can also be presented as a metaphor for the physical structure of our solar system. At the moment, 24 February 2009, the planet Venus is visible in the evening sky each night. However, as happens precisely every 1.6 years, Venus is noticeably lower in the sky each night than the night before. Until the end of January Venus was sitting high above the sunset each night, and its rapid fall began in February. This is a result of its faster orbit catching the Earth, leading to conjunction on 28 March.
The connection with Satan, also known as Lucifer, is that the ancients knew Venus in its appearance as the morning star as Lucifer, while they generally called the evening star Venus. The mythical plunge of Lucifer from heaven to hell recounted in Paradise Lost was mirrored in the plunge of the morning and evening stars, occurring in precise rhythm five times every eight years. The five points of the Earth-Venus conjunction form an astronomical pentagram in space, long seen as a magical occult symbol, with error of one hour per 1.6 years.
Venus, also known as Aphrodite, is the goddess of beauty in Greco-Roman mythology. The conceptual link between Lucifer and Aphrodite in mythology arises from their use of deceptively beautiful surface appearance to gull their victims, concealing a vain absence of deeper values and a desire for unmerited control. Both are pretenders to real power, but both lack the substance to sustain their lies. When they gain power the result is disaster, as in Aphrodite's responsibility for the Trojan War and Satan's responsibility for the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden.
What of Christ and the gas giants? Here I beg your indulgence as I explain a cosmic discovery I have made. I have an interest in aligning the mythical narratives of human history with regular cosmic structures of the solar system, on the fancy that planetary cycles which have been in regular stable existence since the dawn of the solar system four billion years ago are somehow hardwired into our genetic makeup.
Two such planetary cycles have an interesting congruence. The first cycle is of the earth, which spins like a wobbling top, with each wobble taking 25764 years, a period known as the Great Year. This causes a phenomenon called the precession of the equinox, and the famous Zodiacal Ages. Due to precession we are now nearing the end of the Age of Pisces and will enter the Age of Aquarius in about 140 years, when the position of the sun at the March equinox will precess into the constellation of Aquarius. Based on the Great Year, each Zodiacal Age takes 2147 years. This is an astronomical function of the relation between the earth and the sun.
The second cycle, which I myself discovered, links the orbits of three of the four gas giant planets, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. These three planets come together in conjunction every 178.9 years, at a position one zodiacal sign past their last meeting, with error 0.3 years. Uranus, the fourth gas giant, is the odd man out from its three brothers which together make up most of the system's planetary mass. The interesting thing here is that precisely 12 of these Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune 178.9 year periods equals one terrestrial zodiacal age of 2147 years, so there is a near-precise harmony between the periods of the gas giants and the long term cycle of the earth.
But what of Christ? Here my interpretation becomes more speculative and mythological. For years I have been intrigued by an interpretation of the Bible in terms of the precession of the equinox. The time of Christ, the year 0, the beginning of the Age of Pisces, was in a sense the Alpha and Omega of the Great Year, the end of one cycle after the preceding Age of Aries and the beginning of a new 25764 year astronomical cycle. So there is congruence between the title of Christ as Alpha and Omega and this astronomical observation. More than this, the Age of Pisces is also the Age of Virgo, because there are two equinoxes at spring and autumn in these signs each year. An abundance of images link the Christian epoch to these celestial signs, from the Christian fish to the Virgin Mary, ideas of faith, the parable of the loaves and fishes, judgment day, the tree of life with twelve fruits for the twelve months, and most interestingly, the twelve jewels which are the foundation stones of the holy city of New Jerusalem described in the Apocalypse.
How does all this come together? The moral of this story is that our planet is in harmony with solar system cycles. A small cycle every eight years links Earth and Venus in an image of magical beauty. A much longer slower deeper cycle links Earth with the giant gas planets Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune every 179 years, neatly structuring the Earth's long cycle of precession against the twelve months of the year, in close harmony with the earth's Great Year.
The mythological inference from these astronomical correlations is that we can associate Venus with Satan, and Christ with the gas giants. Venus seeks to dominate by its flashy appearance in the sky, but in reality it cannot compete with the real deep power of the outer planets, except by temporary deception.
These astronomical observations correlate with the relative power of Satan and Christ in Milton's Paradise Lost. Satan's vain arrogance seems to temporarily win the day, but the real enduring power sits with Christ, who is the real representative of ultimate cosmic power and the incarnation on our planet of a deep universal truth.
|Author:||Penelope [ Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:52 am ]|
Robert, How interesting.
Also, I have heard that if you trace the orbits of Venus, it creates a perfect five pointed star.
I have also thought it odd, that the name Lucifer means Lord of Light.
I thought it interesting that Moses, often depicted by artists, with horns.....is of the age of Taurus, the Bull.
I don't know that this is the right place to discuss this.....so I'm not posting any more.....but I will be enthralled to read anything more you have to say on this subject.
Thank you again Robert.
|Author:||Interbane [ Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:26 pm ]|
This is scary, I don't like Satan.
|Author:||Penelope [ Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:42 pm ]|
No, neither do I....
although I can't say I know him personally......
Best not to broach the subject......
|Author:||Robert Tulip [ Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:23 pm ]|
The five point star is another name for the pentagram, as mentioned in paragraph 2 above.
|Author:||Robert Tulip [ Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:10 pm ]|
Nor do I. The great thing about Paradise Lost is that it opens up this deep mythic archetype of the Satanic nature of evil in a way that exposes it to the light of rational analysis. As explained here, and as discussed elsewhere in this Paradise Lost forum, Satan is a seductive figure. Many readers of Milton have seen Satan as the hero, as a modern Prometheus standing up to God in the name of human autonomy. The planetary analogy presented here is intended partly to show that falling for the wiles of deception is a dangerous and superficial path, cutting us off from our deeper real identity. Analysis can provide the path to understanding and liberation. At the same time, this analogy indicates, as does Milton, that Satan is a real part of life, but one that needs to be contained within the bigger framework of the overall divine reality and not allowed to dominate.
|Author:||Interbane [ Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:15 pm ]|
RT: "The planetary analogy presented here is intended partly to show that falling for the wiles of deception is a dangerous and superficial path, cutting us off from our deeper real identity."
As the ultimate deciever, he doesn't do a very good job if we're aware of the deception. Perhaps he has done his job after all, and what Christians actually worship is Satan in disguise, while thinking they worship only God. That's a good plot for a book, fiction mind you!
Your post is also an interesting example of the power of the human mind to seek patterns. Meaningless, I think, except as metaphors and story background data. Interesting how the mathematical nature of our micro universe manifests in the macro scale, as it inevitably should.
|Author:||Robert Tulip [ Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:18 pm ]|
Interbane, your comment reminds me of The Matrix, where the deception produced by the machine world is near total. It is a good parable for the modern technological world with its delusions about how to sustain global civilization, and as such also has strong Miltonic themes. We may have previously discussed this (here is my review).
Christianity sees the world as largely in thrall to Satanic delusion, similar to the Buddhist view that delusion is the cause of suffering. Both religions argue, respectively, that Christ and Buddha explain the path to enlightenment. Christ tells a good parable about the road to hell being broad and easy while the path to heaven is narrow and difficult. While this should not be understood as a simple spatial metaphor, which Milton does in PL, it gives a good indication of how widespread delusional beliefs are. Of course as atheists well know, delusion is particularly widespread within religion, so your point about Christians is actually rather apt. By and large people are not aware of the deception/delusion under which they live, and this is a main cause of suffering.
Your term “the power of the human mind to seek patterns” is a good description of science, but your rush to describe what I said as “meaningless” is far too hasty. I claim that these ideas provide the basis for a coherent and elegant cosmology which is actually quite meaningful. The brief biblical references cover a wealth of interesting material. Perhaps it is your own delusions about the validity of the modern world view which prevent you from giving credence to what I say!
Yes, I am drawing a correspondence between the macrocosm and the microcosm. This old idea, as above so below, was a key theme for Kepler and Newton, for example in Newton’s translation of the Emerald Tablets of Thoth. To me 'as above so below' has a compelling logic, but the problem is that the correspondence is so weak that it is difficult to detect. Rather like finding the causal links between the fluid dynamics of water at opposite banks of a wide river, necessary in theory but very hard to see in practice. The problem with this mystical approach is that it lacks empirical correlation and validation, which is precisely what I am trying to develop, looking at weak cosmic patterns which nonetheless underpin all terrestrial reality, emerging into human consciousness in intuitive mythic form.
|Author:||Interbane [ Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:30 am ]|
RT: "Your term “the power of the human mind to seek patterns” is a good description of science"
I think it's rather a result of our behavioral evolution. But yes, it results in us being good practitioners of science.
RT: "...your rush to describe what I said as “meaningless” is far too hasty. I claim that these ideas provide the basis for a coherent and elegant cosmology which is actually quite meaningful."
Your ideas are a bit esoteric, and my criticisms are of the connections that are perceived. These coincidences exist, sure, but it is the human mind that instills any meaning. Cosmos by Sagan is one of my favorite books, and does well to describe the elegance of the universe without adding the human construct of deeper meaning.
RT: "Perhaps it is your own delusions about the validity of the modern world view which prevent you from giving credence to what I say!"
What is this modern world view that I may examine it more closely? I question everything, including myself and my ego. If I'm deluded, please, point it out to me!
RT: "The problem with this mystical approach is that it lacks empirical correlation and validation, which is precisely what I am trying to develop, looking at weak cosmic patterns which nonetheless underpin all terrestrial reality, emerging into human consciousness in intuitive mythic form."
I'm not against propositions that aren't empirically testable, but they must survive critical examination. My problem is that there is much proposed which is not only not testable, but also unnecessary in our understanding of reality. Again I'd use the analogy that I could add an "A" to the end of every word, but why? I'm sure many brilliant minds could come up with plausible correlations between the stars, celestial orbits, and concepts from books such as Thus Spoke Zarathustra that have a solid conceptual footing. Most of human thinking is devoted to creating false ideas or rationalizing them, and by that very rationalization it is difficult to see that they are false.
Most times when I read your ideas I feel an ulterior motive to support religion. I still consider your ideas deeply and offer my thoughts, against an instinct to attack the religious aspects. The problem isn't so much that there is religious underpinning, it's that there seems to be an ulterior motive. I apologize for being blunt.
|Author:||Frank 013 [ Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:10 am ]|
The problem here is that you are using the modern commonly accepted definition of Satan which was developed over hundreds of years.
The original Satan was a title for an angel who spoke to the records of the sins of the people who were being considered for admittance into heaven, who was a trusted aid of god (a prosecutor) who acted under the direction of god, not a devil who fought against god.
In short Satan was an agent of god and even when seemingly acting as an independent entity it was largely assumed that god was working behind the scenes because it was impossible for the Satan to work against god.
The Satan name was later installed upon an evil angel that fought against god and was condemned to rule over hell, it was also implied that the snake in the Garden of Eden was this Satan even though it is not named so in the actual story.
So all of the correlations about the Satan/Morning Star (Actually a Planet) and the Jupiter/Christ star (Also a planet) are purely based off of modern interpretation and not what was believed at the time of their creation.
Although I suppose it is possible that the Greeks did do the math before hand and applied it to their gods, they had a much greater understanding of the Earth and Heavens that then the later Christian “scholars”.
If there is any writing establishing a link between Venus (A god of love and fertility) and Satan (a celestial prosecutor or later a devil), I would be greatly interested in seeing it, with the exception of the star (Planet) that was adopted by both myths I see almost nothing in common, it is an association I find to be rather weak.
It is also noteworthy to mention that Christ names himself as the “Morning Star” in the end of the bible where he lies and says that he will return swiftly… possibly exposing himself as Satan?
Makes you think…
|Author:||Robert Tulip [ Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:46 am ]|
You are right that these ideas are esoteric, in that they are new and unknown and touch on the possibility of a rational cosmic religion. That reasonably makes these ideas suspect, but it does not make them wrong. I suspect that there was considerable esoteric cosmic wisdom in the ancient world, including in relation to precession, which was put into the Bible in popular form, as argued by Tom Harpur in The Pagan Christ. My aim is partly to reconstruct this esoteric wisdom present in fragmented code in the Bible. Eastern religion also has a precessional framework, notably the Hindu use of the period 2160 years and its myth of churning the milky ocean. The connections perceived are intended more as a meaningful parable than a precise scientific argument, given that Christ and Satan are hardly precise concepts or entities. Even with this imprecision, the parallels with Venus and the gas giant planets seem to me to provide a useful picture of the power balance between Christ and Satan.
Yes, the human mind finds meaning, but why is this illegitimate?The coincidence with the role of Jesus, who sought to present a universal perspective in a human mind, is intended as a way to find our solar system humanly meaningful. You would debate this, but I see it not so much as instilling meaning into the cosmos as drawing out an implicit meaning already inherent in the cosmic complexity of human evolution. Surely if we can construct a narrative that explains our place in the universe in terms of a meaningful direction and purpose for our lives, and if this has some objective resonance, this is a good thing? My hypothesis entails that deep religious thought arises from a profound cosmic intuition.
Religion tries to explain why and how we belong here, so any sound intuition it has should be based on underlying cosmic truths. One of my favourite theologians, Wolfhart Pannenberg, defends the Christian idea of the trinity by saying relationship is intrinsic to the human concept of truth. Regarding Jesus and God, he says the father is not a father without the son and vice versa, so a dynamic connection is built into the cosmology. This approach contrasts with scientific objectivity which excludes such posited relationships as merely subjective.
Mainstream astronomy is very arid with its exclusion of the human dimension. I am simply trying to look at the actual cosmos of which we are part in order to articulate how the human mind can be in harmony with it. In a sense, it is trying to bring up to date Milton's cosmology of a universe in which divine meaning was an intrinsic reality. This wholistic perspective requires what you call 'the human construct of deeper meaning' as a grounding axiom. This construct is justified by the claim that language can reflect how we relate to our cosmic context, noting that this statement of the role of language is outside the bounds of conventional scientific method.
I was teasing you there Interbane for calling my ideas meaningless. By the modern world view I mean the assumption that there is no meaning outside scientific rationality. This is a powerful belief, but it excludes the religious framework which starts from asking how the individual is connected to his or her numinous context. Within its own context the scientific outlook is not deluded, but I think it unfairly excludes spiritual philosophy which has its own validity and rigor.
Parsimony can be taken to dogmatic extremes. The idea that the myths of Christ and Satan are imbedded in cosmic structures is veryA differentA fromA addingA AA toA everyA wordA. I consider this cosmic approach as a way to bridge science and religion.
Much appreciated Interbane, thank you. Yes, I do approach thought from a religious framework, but I don't understand how this would constitute an ulterior motive as I am trying to be transparent in my explanations.
|Author:||Thomas Hood [ Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:59 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Satan, Venus, Christ and the Gas Giants: A Miltonic Para|
Robert, I am sympathetic to your approach but differ in interpretation. If I am not mistaken, the planet Venus represents Satan because it passes through phases, that is, darkens against man.
The cosmic correspondent of Christ -- again, in my opinion -- is the Great Man whose head is Aries and whose feet are Pisces.
|Author:||DWill [ Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:01 am ]|
Paradise Lost is not to everyone's taste, but I'm glad it got this discussion going. In the epic, Milton's Satan is still presented as constrained by God, but with the important though problematic element of free will thrown in. Satan still can't do anything without God allowing it, but Milton insists his actions are free. Therefore Satan (and Adam and Eve) are responsible for their acts against God or goodness. So there is not 100% constraint on the characters' actions; it's just that their actions are 100% futile against the all-knowing and all-powerful. God is always acting behind the scenes in Paradise Lost, and all his maneuverings have taken into account, in advance, the free-will choices of Satan and A & E, since he is omniscient. But this is where the mind boggles at Milton's insistence that omniscience does not equal predetermination. Seems to me that either the choices weren't free after all, or omniscience over agents with free will is completely impossible.
Regarding the Satan-as-hero theme, the preference of Satan as hero over the years can be seen simply in terms of epics needing someone to fulfill the hero role. Who else but Satan could possibly be a candidate? This is not saying that Satan acts virtuously, of course, as true epic heroes do, only that he acts with boldness, endures torment, and most importantly acts against his fate, as tragic heroes do. These qualities have always resonated in literature. Milton was almost certainly aware of the risk he ran in bringing Satan to life in an epic/drama. It's always the flashy ones that carry the day.
|Author:||Interbane [ Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:19 pm ]|
RT: "Yes, the human mind finds meaning, but why is this illegitimate?"
I did not mean the human mind 'finds' meaning, it instills it. There is no objective connection that is to be investigated until it is illuminated and plucked of it's meanings. We are pattern seekers who need meaning to understand our reality. Our reality, being fundamentally mathematical, has many patterns, but they are manifested from the laws of nature.
RT: "Religion tries to explain why and how we belong here, so any sound intuition it has should be based on underlying cosmic truths."
Here is part of the problem, religion arrogantly tries to answer questions for which the answer would require us to be godlike ourselves. We are humans who need our curiosity sated, as such we create answers to the difficult questions. But these creations are nothing more than to sate our curiosity for understanding and meaning.
RT: "Parsimony can be taken to dogmatic extremes. The idea that the myths of Christ and Satan are imbedded in cosmic structures is veryA differentA fromA addingA AA toA everyA wordA."
They are only different in complexity, not in type. It is not a type of dogmatic extremism, it is a pragmatic type; why add that which isn't necessary for understanding? One reason is verisimillitude, but there is none that I can see. Only within your worldview is there verisimillitude, and that is a worldview constructed on anti-parsimonious beliefs, so the correlative sliding scale is little more than bias and doesn't survive critical analysis. It may seem you pre-empt the bible and it's less than sound contents by re-binding, but this re-binding would never exist unless the bible was written first.
RT: "Within its own context the scientific outlook is not deluded, but I think it unfairly excludes spiritual philosophy which has its own validity and rigor."
I think the very act of classifying and categorizing oneself is a limiting exercise. I don't see myself scientific any more than I'm philosophic. However, I see no reason to accept much of what you call spiritual philosophy. To me, it's the inability of intelligent people to see how the higher level manifestation of collections of neurons can be so beautiful and coherent and still only composed of it's physical constituents. I see nothing other the the physical, simply because there is no need to. The physical system fully explains us and our reality. I'm not advocating any worldview any more than I'm relying on my critical thinking skills.
|Author:||Thomas Hood [ Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:52 pm ]|
To play devil's advocate, or Venus's as the case may be:
Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune are in conjunction every 178.9 years.
Conjunction means alignment as viewed from the earth, but astrologers allow themselves an 8 degree range. How exact is this alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune every 178.9 years? And why should this contingency of observation have anything to do with the earth's wobble?
What does "with error 0.3 years" mean? What error? 0.3 years = 3.6 months, quite a bit of maneuver room.
Did you discover the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune conjunction every 178.9 years or that this period of conjunction times 12 equals 2147 ? Or both?
There is a near-precise harmony between the periods of the gas giants and the long term cycle of the earth.
Do you mean that a Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune conjunction occurs at or near the date the sun enters a new zodiacal sign at the spring equinox? That is, did a conjunction occur in the year 0 when the sun is supposed to have moved into Pisces ? If a conjunction does not occur when the sun enters a new sign, why should there be any relation between the Great Year and the period of conjunction?
Why is the Age of Pisces the Alpha and Omega of the Great Year? Why isn't the Age of Aries the the Alpha and Omega of the Great Year?
"More than this, the Age of Pisces is also the Age of Virgo, because there are two equinoxes at spring and autumn in these signs each year."
Symbolism is very flexible. For example, if we begin with the Age of Aries, (the Lamb of God) then the second equinox occurs in Libra, in which Christ reconciles us to the Law. Christianity is so rich in symbolism that any pair chosen for equinoxes would make sense.
"The time of Christ, the year 0, the beginning of the Age of Pisces, was in a sense the Alpha and Omega of the Great Year, the end of one cycle after the preceding Age of Aries and the beginning of a new 25764 year astronomical cycle. So there is congruence between the title of Christ as Alpha and Omega and this astronomical observation."
A cycle is a circle, and a circle may be begun at any point.
"But what of Christ?"
Christ as logos represents cosmic order of any sort.
"The moral of this story is that our planet is in harmony with solar system cycles."
I doubt that the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune conjunction proves that the story has a moral or that the wobble of the earth is in harmony with solar system cycles. I do, however, think precession may be important. The earth's wobble is a possible reason for the cycle of glaciers. Mythologically, the discovery of precession is supposed to be the reason for Mithraism that Christianity replaced. So Christ too may be taken as the slayer of the horned beast.
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