Aliens, Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts… I’m not sure I believe in any of that these days.
However, time was, when once a green teenager, that books like Andrew Tomas’ ‘Beyond The Time Barrier’ published in 1974 by Sphere Books Ltd., fired my imagination, which is no bad thing.
What first drew me to the book was the cover, naturally. The connection between flying saucers and the sphinx, or Egyptian civilisation as a whole is intriguing, and there have been many books written since which hint, if not exactly prove, that human civilisation owes its origin to alien interference.
However, once you get into the core of this short book (160 pages), Tomas’ thesis, as far as I understand it, is that time may not be what it seems, that the so-called rules of time might be broken, or that the past and future can be seen by sensitive individuals using various mediums.
The Meaning of Tarot
Most intriguing for me, however, is his interpretation of the Tarot cards, which he thinks may have originated in Egypt. He seems to say that they do not merely predict what happens in an individual’s future through divination, but perhaps could also encapsulate the essential meaning of each century from the first century BC to our own twenty first century.
How is this? He takes the traditional images of the cards, ‘The Emperor’, ‘The Hermit’, ‘The Devil’ etc., and sees a summation of each century’s character. For instance, take the card called ‘The Pope’. If we are counting from the first card, ‘Il Bagattel’ standing for the first century BC, then ‘The Pope’ coincides with the fourth century AD – the most significant event (most might agree) of that century being the Emperor Constantine making Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire.
It’s all very interesting, especially when one looks at the card standing for the twentieth century, ‘Il Matto’ (The Fool), who seems to be blindly walking towards a precipice, despite a dog’s futile attempts to prevent him falling over. I think you can see that such a symbol might very well fit when describing the tragedy of two world wars and all the other conflicts of that time.
However, it could also be argued that it’s easy to find events which match the pictures on the cards. This may be true.
Similarly, he takes a look at the prophecies of Saint Malachy, the twelfth century Irish Bishop of Armagh, who allegedly predicted future popes from his time using allegory and symbols, each pontiff given an epithet, like Pope John the Twenty Third who died in 1963.
One rather imaginative interpretation of Malachy’s description of Pope John, ‘Pastor et Nauta’, or Shepherd and Pilot, is that it’s meant to be ‘Astor et Nauta’, or Astronautics, which certainly did begin during his reign.
The End of Time?
One worrying aspect of these prophecies is that we are now, as of 2019, apparently living in the time of the last Pope that Saint Malachy gave an epithet to, namely Pope Francis, ‘Petrus Romanus’. Some have interpreted this as to mean that we are living at the end of the age, but people have been saying this for hundreds of years… so who really knows?
There are also references to Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, Jeane Dixon and Nicholas Roerich, the latter whom he believes made prophecies through the medium of painting rather haunting landscapes. He is certainly one of my favourite painters.
However, like I said above, I do not subscribe to all this conjecture, except to say that it was books like this which set me on the path of ‘free thinking’, not necessarily believing anything I was told, nor ruling anything out. I believe we should be open to anything. Uncertainty is the usual state of affairs and is actually quite good in the long run – the truth will probably never be known.
Leofwine Tanner 2019