If J.R.R. Tolkien were still in his grave, it is likely that he would be turning in it. The cause of his consternation would be the gollumizing of …Middle-Earth Goes to the Movies
If walking around for a good few hours admiring European art sounds like your idea of a good time, SMK may just be the place for you. It’s not necessarily my favourite museum, or the most impressive collection I’ve seen – but the way this place was designed to be experienced has something of a […]Stadens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen — Life in Copenhagen
When Katherine Of Aragon wrote a heartfelt plea to her father, she held the title of Princess of Wales through her marriage to Prince Arthur of England. The couple had not been married long before the prince’s untimely death in 1502 at Ludlow Castle. Faced now with widowhood and all alone in a foreign country, […]Tudor History: A True Royal Struggle | Letters From Katherine of Aragon — THE CHRONICLES OF HISTORY
*** This is a great site. Here are some of my own pieces kind of related to this reblog, but with an astrological slant:
The strongest quality Blackbeard had were his ability to terrify others. It was a skill that allowed him to be a successful pirate without having to spill a lot of blood. He had a long black beard that would cover his whole face giving him a very menacing appearance. He is known for being one […]Blackbeard | The Man Behind One of The Most Notorious 18th Century Pirate That Ever Lived — THE CHRONICLES OF HISTORY
The rare and elusive, mythical, magical unicorn has been part of folklore and legend for centuries, evolving spectacularly into the modern age.Medieval Lore: The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries — Under the influence!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. PREVIOUS TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS: July 14: Books That Make Me Smile […]
*** It’s not Tuesday anymore but this is a really great site and should be seen every day — and a wonderful post here too. Books are so important to us and our civilisation.
Back in the early 1970s when I was a teenager, I grew to love this kind of book. I, like many, was fascinated by ufos, aliens and space, that maybe the myths of the Greek gods were a retelling of ancient visitation of spacemen from other worlds.
Such books would have been scorned by my history teacher, yet these were far more interesting to me than the learned tomes we were supposed to study for O level.
This is the one I bought in 1973, which, as you can see I covered with plastic, as lovingly as any schoolboy would cover a textbook. It’s in very good condition.
Of course it was Erich von Daniken‘s famous book ‘Chariots of the Gods‘ which had really fired my imagination a little earlier. Although he was to receive much criticism from both the scientific and religious communities, I still believe there is much to be learned from his books and from other authors like Drake.
I recall one school assembly put on by some pupils around 1973 which even brought up the subject of ancient aliens. Was God and astronaut? The following day the headmaster took to the stage himself and attempted to shoot down the theory in flames. Despite this, the theory is still out there and as popular as ever.
The great thing about Drake’s writing is that whilst he is clearly learned, he writes in such an accessible way – it had to be for me to read it! I particularly enjoyed the chapter about the Ramayana of ancient India and his interpretations of it.
The general thesis of all these books is that extraterrestrials have visited ‘our domain’ in the past and have effected the course of human civilisation, perhaps even to the extent of altering our DNA through one method or another.
For me it is a wonderful adventure, and even if not all of it is true, it is highly entertaining, nevertheless. One qualification I would insert is that the understanding of the word ‘extraterrestrial’ has become more complex in recent years. I am quite sure there are other dimensions to reality, and that ours is only one.
Therefore the origin of these interlopers, whether they be in spacecraft or not, could be from the same third dimension as our own, or from the fourth or fifth dimensions, the latter which may surround us invisibly.
I think it’s important for us to keep an open mind, to explore and yes… to imagine.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
Speaking as a long time astrologer, I get frustrated by the trivialising of this ancient subject, which is often simply referred to as ‘star signs‘.
Recently we had the reemergence of that ‘old chestnut’ regarding the supposed 13th sign of the zodiac, namely Ophiuchus. For me and many astrologically minded people, this is wrong. The zodiac, the equal division of the ecliptic into twelve, that’s the apparent path of the sun around us, is only nominally related to the constellations.
There was a time when astrology and astronomy were the same sacred science. There was the matter of observation, followed by prognostication and prediction.
A Royal Practice
The scientist-priests of Babylon were some of the earliest known exponents of this noble function, which was propagated by many a royal family over the millennia from ancient China to Britain.
This broadly remained the same until the so called ‘Enlightenment’ of the 18th century. Astronomy, the observation of celestial phenomena was finally divorced from astrology, the latter being largely demonised and ridiculed ever since.
Triviality and Bifurcation
Whilst it is true the present day astrological community might not do itself any favours by giving too much credence to sun sign astrology to ‘make a living’, it is also true that the practice of astrology has bifurcated to an alarming degree, a bit like the church into a myriad denominations.
Although I would not like to see more control of astrological ‘tenets’, per se, I do think there is a need for simplification and tradition being reintroduced. At the moment I believe it is up to every individual astrologer to self assess.
So is astrology a science? Yes it is – but it is also an interpretive art based upon what should be a sacred science. May the sacred return to us all – and soon.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
he world’s first known author is widely attributed to have been the daughter of Sargon (1) of Akkad in the 23rd century BC. We know her today as Enheduanna, which may have been a title of office, in which case her real name is unknown. She was the High Priestess of Nanna-Suen, a moon deity of Mesopotamia
Recently I posted a puzzle of a piece regarding the sudden, strange appearance of an individual in Prussia in 1850, a man calling himself Jophar Vorin. This man of mystery does not appear in many books but his supposed story can be gleaned online.
Just over a century later in 1954, another unusual bearded man arrived at Haneda Airport in Japan. At first sight the man appeared to be a any regular well dressed European businessman on a routine trip to the Far East.
Evidently his first language was French, though he was capable in other languages too, including the vernacular. He was even carrying several European currencies in his wallet, so nothing much seemed awry – at first.
It was when he was asked about his home country that things took a rather peculiar turn. Not one of the officials at the airport had ever heard of ‘Taured‘, even though he purportedly showed them a passport issued from his native land containing visa stamps, supposed proof of previous trips to Japan and elsewhere.
Unfortunately for this man, whose name is unknown, the company he was due to have a meeting with in Japan did not know of him, neither did the hotel he had supposedly reserved a room with, nor did the bank whose name was emblazoned on his checkbook.
The man seemed to be nonplussed by the situation. When he was shown a map of the world he pointed to the small Pyrenees principality which we know as Andorra, yet which he called Taured.
The perplexed officials decided to detain him, housing him in a hotel for that evening, in the hope that they could cast some light upon this strange situation.
Unfortunately the mystery only grew more complex by the following morning. The man from Taured had disappeared, despite the vigil kept outside by immigration staff all night. What is more all of his documentation also vanished from airport security.
Despite a strenuous search no sign of this man or his effects ever came to light again. It was as if it never happened. So what are we to make of it? It could be a story, a hoax, to tease or confuse. Conversely, if this odd event was factual – and there is no reason to doubt it – what are we to make of it?
If it was a hoax, for whose benefit was it to propagate the story? To me logic suggests that this is not a hoax, though the story may have grown a little in the telling.
Are we looking at an example of the existence of a multi dimensional universe? If they are limitless, then it is possible that the world he knew may have only differed in a few details, such as the name of his homeland in the Pyrenees.
And does the name of his country, Taured, which to his mind corresponded with the known land of Andorra, hold the key to solving the riddle?
A Load of Bull?
The name Taured suggest Taurus, or bull in English astrology. The Iberian lands, which could include Andorra, are still famous for bull fighting and the bull is an ancient astrological and cultural symbol.
If we accept that there are astrological ages brought about by the so called precession of the equinoxes, the age of Taurus would have been, roughly, spanning from 4000 to 2000 BC.
If there are multiple timelines there could be sensitive points at various times and locations where perhaps certain individuals can ‘cross over’, so to speak.
However, this probably doesn’t explain the fact that he knew French, or that he looked like any regular westerner of that time. A timeline diverging from a period as far back as 4000 BC would look very different from our own, one would suspect.
My idea that Taured is somehow related to the previous Taurean Age is probably just another red herring, though it is intriguing to speculate. Nevertheless, if there is an allegorical element to this story, then the name Taured may still be represent a significant clue.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
In part one of this topic I commented on the social and cultural changes instigated around the mid 1960s, breaking off my narrative around the end of 1965 with the supremacy of The Beatles. I argued that the deep, fundamental astrological influence of the outer planets, most particularly the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1965/6 was symbolic of these changes.
The first meeting of Uranus and Pluto was in October 1965, followed by two more conjunctions on April 6 and June 30 1966. The changes were truly worldwide, seemingly polarised in nature, all enhanced by media manipulation and/or the growing promotion of drugs like LSD. The latter is symbolised by Neptune’s positive sextile aspect to the other two outer planets at this time. Even sex was liberalised with the introduction of the pill, pushing the idea that women could be as ‘free’ as men.
At the same time we may have viewed the Cultural Revolution in China as being the opposite of the ‘liberation’ going on the ‘West’, perhaps seen in ‘reactionary’ Saturn being in opposition to the Uranus Pluto synod.
Yet when we analyse the rather divergent political systems, the actual processes were the same – revolution fostered by a saturation of propaganda, all to gain maximum power and control. Uranus upturns, Pluto grabs the reins, with Neptune providing a little deceitful cover in the form of film and other media propaganda as a way to persuade and ultimately deceive.
China aside, just like the Uranus Pluto conjunctions of 1850/1, London and England once again seemed to be pivotal to the cultural changes, with the so called ‘British Invasion‘ and London becoming the hub of the new fashion scene, epitomised by such manifestations as Carnaby Street.
Interestingly the Beatles landmark album ‘Revolver’ (that is, revolution) was released in August 1966, a summation in music of what was going on. It was indeed a very revolutionary catalogue of songs, utilising unusual, highly sophisticated writing and recording techniques. This was truly one of the cultural icons of the age, symbolising innovation and change (Uranus) in music (Neptune), to instigate a change in the guard (Pluto).
Back in September 1966 Jimi Hendrix, arguably the most brilliant and influential guitarist ever, was brought to England, a step which was to propel him to superstardom at rocket speed within weeks. Although he would be dead within four years, Hendrix typifies the period of sudden change and vast, worldwide influence – a meteoric career indeed. Yet his star still burns bright in the minds of many today.
’68 – Year of Revolution
If 1966 really was the pivotal year, it led directly to the ‘Summer of Love‘ in 1967 and the explosion of creativity in art and culture, transcendental meditation et al. Accepted paradigms were being questioned, which in turn led to the 1968 year of revolution, which came very close to bringing down the French government, for example.
1968 was probably the most tense and tragic year of the decade. The Vietnam War was at its height, as were the protests against it. The call for change, positive or otherwise, was reaching a crescendo. Political leaders who might have been able to bring about such change, such as Martin Luther King Jr and Senator Robert Kennedy, were assassinated in the melee of confusion and hate.
Trying to assess the situation is difficult because of its complexity and the benefit of hindsight is indeed a valuable thing. It does not appear to be a simple case of left versus right, or even right and wrong.
Astrologically, Uranus has often been seen as ‘right wing’, but I disagree. I think Uranus simply represents the force for change, revolution, literally turning things over, as in the name ‘Revolver’. I therefore see Uranus as more what we might call ‘left wing’.
Pluto is fundamental, often the hidden power behind the scenes. As I have said, Neptune working in tandem provided the medium (music, art, film) through which such changes could be started in that 1965/6 period.
Yet behind the passion play which was the 1960s narrative, was another, the so called ‘Space Race’, ultimately won by the USA when America landed a spacecraft visibly on a lunar surface.
Race to Oblivion?
The date was July 20 1969. Intriguingly, on this very day Uranus, planet of change and breaking barriers, was exactly conjunct the Greater Benefic Jupiter at 0 degrees Libra. To me this symbolised a conquest, not merely through the fact of the news headlines which followed, but in the long term reconfiguring of humanity at a global level. The lunar missions would peter out by the end of 1972 in a climate of disinterest: few would have predicted that.
Uranus is often credited in creating ‘individual’ tendencies when strong by position or aspect; it can manifest in individual personalities in traits like eccentricity. Nevertheless, Uranus is ultimately trans-personal and collective.
Continual Revolution – and Disillusion
It is no surprise all three outer planets were ‘discovered’ at times of great, revolutionary change; 1781, 1846 and 1930. The political manifesto most associated with all three the outer planets is socialism, a collective philosophy which has now spread to the entire world in various forms.
The 1960s began as an era of much promise, with a young American president taking office. The mid 1960s witnessed a vast cultural revolution, manifesting in various ways, depending on the political milieu of each country, though the same radical tactics were used. These were based on disruption and chaos (Uranus), confusion and deception through promotion of drugs and media (Neptune in aspect to both) and surreptitious power grabs (Pluto).
It is a sobering thought that the 1960s symbolically ended with the tragedy of the Altamont Festival on December 6. What had it all been for? Yet we are still living with the effects of the 1965/6 synod of Uranus and Pluto. The opposition will not be for a couple of decades. What kind of world will it be by then?
Copyright Francis Barker 2020