Tanka: Cat

adorable angry animal animal portrait

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The cat owns nothing
he’s the solitary one
who owns all of you
The Egyptians worshipped him
the silent watcher of souls

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Book Review: ‘The Sirius Mystery’ by Robert K. G. Temple

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Was this planet really visited by space travellers from the star Sirius in the ancient past?

This is the question posed by author Robert K. G. Temple. His book, ‘The Sirius Mystery’ (Futura 1977) is another of my favourite books from yesteryear. I remember the day I bought it, in a train station, the arresting cover drawing me to it. I still thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the possibility of ‘ancient aliens’ and human culture in general.

It’s a complicated book that you have to persist with, though it’s well worth it, and this paperback has very small type, which these days would not add to the reading enjoyment. Nevertheless, although several decades old now, it’s still in very good condition. I’m kind of good with books that way.

Sophisticated

The starting point of the book is that it seems the Dogon tribe of Mali (former French Sudan) in west Africa, have sophisticated astronomical knowledge of the star Sirius, which is in fact a binary star, that is, two stars spinning around each other; it takes Sirius B (the dense smaller, actually invisible companion to Sirius A) around fifty years to orbit its larger, very bright sibling. Sirius itself is important to mythology in general, particularly in ancient Egypt, where its rising was used in the timing of the flooding of the Nile; it is often called ‘The Dog Star’.

The work of French early twentieth century anthropologists Griaule and Dieterlen forms the basis of the main evidence for the book. They spent much time with the Dogon, unravelling their art, culture and mythology which embody this knowledge. It’s from this that the startling information about the Dogon’s knowledge came.

Simples

But to boil it down here for simplicity’s sake, how is it possible for the Dogon, in fact any people on earth, to have what appears to be complex, accurate knowledge of far off star systems, without telescopes, or without going there themselves? After all, it was only in the twentieth century that knowledge of Sirius’ invisible companion star came about, using modern, sophisticated telescopic technology.

Ruling out co-incidence, or that the Dogon could somehow remotely see Sirius B orbiting Sirius A light years away, what possible conclusions can we come to, apart from someone else giving them that information?

Ancient spacecraft?

It transpires from the work of the anthropologists that the Dogon do describe what we might today call aerial craft, possibly spacecraft, their various states of ascent and descent as seen from the ground. There are even suggestions that the being(s) on board these possible aerial ships, was called ‘Nommo’ and that he might be semi-aquatic, due to tribal drawings.

Interestingly, this description and knowledge does appear to link up with ancient Mesopotamian/Middle Eastern mythology, which describes similar ‘craft’ and ‘beings’, who imparted their knowledge to ‘primitive’ mankind.

So, as the saying goes, there’s a lot of smoke here, but where’s the fire? The evidence, such as it is, is highly persuasive. But do we need to re-examine it? Are we in danger of being guilty of imposing our own (modern Western) notions and sensibilities on to different cultures?

Keeping an open mind

The truth is, I don’t know. Twenty years ago, I was pretty much a full on believer in extraterrestrials and this was one of the best ‘go to’ books for ‘proof’ of them and their hand in humanity’s development.

Now, having re-read the book again in recent years, it’s still one of the best in this category you can find. Even so, as fascinating and well written as it is, I keep an open mind about it all.

I suppose it’s asking a little too much to demand aliens to disclose themselves, but if they’ve always been here, with us, then there’s nothing to disclose, is there?

Leofwine Tanner 2019

Book Review: ‘Beyond The Time Barrier’, by Andrew Tomas

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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.

Saint Malachy

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

Flesh of the Gods

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пи...

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” Matthew 13:12

His wish was for eternity, flesh
of the sun to mask his corruption; yet
he got his wish the instant Carter’s
torch shone through that chiseled hole: An afterlife
lived only through posterity, outshining
his ignominious end, all
made possible by legions of lackeys who worked
and then died.
Fast forward the centuries
and see little has changed, though
the flesh of the gods
is in bars, hidden in vaults underground, never
seen— like the hopes and dreams of peace,
these rigged scales of elusive justice. We are
left to scrap and save what we can
in a manufactured, finite
world, this theatre underfoot
none like us shall inherit. There is, after all,
only one sun in the sky
and Osiris lies in pieces, unable
to be mended again

© copyright Davidi F. Barker 2012

Poem ‘Silent Wings’

Silent Wings

Looking up into darkness
he asks if that smudge is Andromeda.
She thinks it may be.
He’s heard its light takes
two million years to reach his eyes,
stories on swift silent wings;
galaxies so far away,
so near at hand
like froth spinning round
in her coffee cup.
‘I’ll go there one day,’ he says
‘Why not go right now?’
she asks – ‘in your mind!’
He looks up once again
his mind big like the light-filled sky,
recalling her story of Horus
crossing millions of years

© copyright David Francis Barker 2011

*illustration done wholly digitally