Early in his career, Senmut, the Grand Vizier of ancient Egypt 3,500
years ago, had a secret burial chamber made for Queen/Pharaoh Hatshepsut -
brilliantly well concealed in a high rock wall. And when for himself he had
made no less than two tombs, the latest and most secret of these was
adorned with an exceptional celestial map, the world's oldest known
'complete' star map.
The one part of the star
map is showing the largest and most dominant reproduction of the World-axis
(axis mundi) known from any Egyptian star map. So far, the importance
of the axis has been neglected by Egyptology - let alone that the very image
has not at all been recognized as the World-axis. - The World-axis was not
the Earth's axis but the line of the sky's three most radiant stars:
Canopus, Sirius, and Vega (Lyra).
The oldest obelisks are
found in the Lower Egyptian city called Junu or On (also mentioned in the
Bible) which was always a renown theological centre mostly connected to the
Sun-god, who was related to the obelisks. Later the Greeks called the city
Heliopolis, i.e. 'the city of the Sun'. In the New Empire of Egypt of 18th
Dynasty, from ca. 1580 BC, a very tall, new-type obelisk was often favoured
in Upper Egyptian capital Thebes. All these cultic stone objects
represented the first earthly ('mountain') top receiving the first beams of light
that lit up the world.
These, consequently, gold
covered obelisks (with gold on the small pyramid shaped top - the capstone
or pyramidion; - however, some researchers suggest the obelisks were covered
entirely with gold) were named like persons and made sacrifices for, and had
a sun cultic function. They expressed ideas of the same kind as the World-axis
concerning relations to the primal light of the world.
Senmut was known
for having planned and headed extensive works of cutting, transporting, and
erecting giant obelisks. He was also known as a master in concealing puzzle
pictures on his buildings and sculptures, a habit which became a fashion in
Egypt and a model through many following centuries. Also his star map
contains several riddles.
Below: The goddess Isis representing Sobdet, the
Sirius Star, on the grandiose star map in the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I,
DETAILED ASTRONOMICAL, ASTRO-MYTHOLOGICAL, COMPLETE STAR MAP
The Mystery About the Senmut Star Map
Senmut presents an entire celestial system for the first time
Ancient star knowledge included astronomy, astrology, and chronometry, and in
the past it was an especially important subject in knowledge. A
characteristic Egyptian version of this celestial knowledge was in use long before a specific expressed Babylonian astrology was taken up openly in Egypt.
In the Karnak/Thebes
temple already at an early stage, an observatory was placed on top of the
sanctuary of Khonsu, the Moon god-son. And from most ancient times astronomical
lines of sight were used in planning the axes of the temples.
The great number
of the vezire Senmut's many posts - and even being the administrator of the
Egyptian calendar - was not unreasonable; for instance, the secretary of
Pharaoh Amenhotep II was the chief-astronomer at the Karnak (Thebes) Temple
and also a surveyor as well as the inventor of the world's first public
The oldest astronomical
traditions in Egypt are scarce and merely a few drawings of constellations. They
show in particular Sirius - and the Great Bear, called khepesch
(or sometimes meskhetiu) formed as a leg of an ox. Fragments have been
found showing the 36 decan-constellations (earliest findings from 2300 BC) marking the Egyptians' division in 36 sections of the ecliptic (the apparent
course of the sun).
However, in the second
and latest tomb of Senmut (in Thebes: no. TT353) the presentation was far better
than by fragments, because the ceiling of the main chamber is adorned with a
detailed astronomical and astro-mythological, complete star map, which
for the first time presents an entire celestial system. This impressive map was
both a landmark and an invention in Egyptian astronomy. And at all, they are the
oldest coherent, complete astronomical images.
This unfinished and never
used, secret tomb of Senmut was discovered in 1925 and dated to between
1500-1470 BC. The dating will be further elaborated and it will appear that in
1493 BC the construction of the tomb ended abruptly.
It is peculiar that
Senmut, whom many researchers presume was of a middle-class descent, has
equipped his tomb in this special way not even a Pharaoh had been up to.
Thus the tomb contained a
special astronomical equipment, not only the oldest known in Egypt, but still
for the next almost 300 years also the only example of such an elaborated,
complete star map. It is a fact that after Senmut a few star maps have been
found, and normally only with the Pharaohs. But later on, in the tomb of Seti I
1200 BC, such a regular, astronomical and astro-mythological celestial
arrangement of stars was found again. And after this there is one with Ramses
II, however not so elaborated.
What kind of a man was
Senmut, when he could compete on equal terms - even surpass the pharaohs in this
for that time so important area? All traces and inscriptions show that although
Senmut, besides having a deep knowledge about the stars, was the country's
greatest man after Hatshepsut, and although he was backed up by a strong party,
he mysteriously fell in disgrace all of a sudden and disappeared completely.
Therefore, Senmut never took this tomb into use, and there are obvious traces
showing that the work was interrupted suddenly. Materials from the Senmut tomb
show dates made by the workers. The latest dates are from the interruption,
which contribute to pinpoint the time when he disappeared.
Below: The World-axis stretching from the Canopus Star
via the Sirius Star up to Vega in the constellation Lyra, the sky's
three most bright stars and they appear on a perfect, straight line. To
compare with the Senmut map's axis - a cosmic factor thus resembling
the obelisk symbolism presented in the Egyptian creation myth.
Both as regards time and place, Senmut lived in focus of an expansion in
many levels within religion, especially coming from Thebes. The concept of
religion included also the special, celestial relation of cosmology and its
arrangement - again in many levels - with which Senmut has been acquainted.
However, even if Senmut
also in this field showed much intelligence, he has not himself invented the
division system of the celestial maps - they are known to be a result of a long
tradition of star based chronometry ("star clock"). But apparently he has
invented decisive improvements with extensions (cf. Ove von Spaeth's book: "The
Enigmatic Son of Pharaoh's Daughter", the entire Appendix 2 is dealing with this
star map) and even innovations in the construction of the star maps.
This first, complete star
map installed in Senmut's secret tomb had set a fashion of which in principle
was copied during the following 1,500 years in Egypt. However, a special motive
- which in other star maps in tombs of later pharaohs and in the temples was
gradually less emphasized and sometimes being disappeared completely - is
originally the most dominant with Senmut: the World-axis.
As this axis is
established by the three most brilliantly shining stars of the sky, i.e. Canopus,
Sirius, and Lyra/Vega (see Ove von Spaeth's book: "The Suppressed Record", Chapter 10 is dedicated to these facts), this phenomenon should not be mixed up
with the axis of earth. Together these three stars show the straight line along
the shining Milky Way across the sky.
Although Senmut's star map has the oldest picture of the World-axis known
anywhere, it is called "a mast" by the few Egyptologists who have at all noticed
it. Maybe the only researcher known to have recognized the World-axis on the Senmut
star map was Ernst Zinner, German astronomer, astronomy historian, and Manager
of the Bamberg Observatory. In his treatise, "Die Sternbilder der alten Ägypter"
in the 'Isis' Science Magazine (1933, Vol. 16, pp. 92-101), he mentions it
directly as "the World-axis on the star map" - few years after the finding of the
tomb and thus the map.
Senmut's star map
constitudes also a celestial portrait, which in fact is the world's oldest known
'horoscope' in the original understanding of this term, which expressed to "read
the sky" - especially in order to determine the time based on certain
figurations of stars in the
horizon. A close analysis of the inscriptions of Senmut's star map reveals that
almost all planets are gathered around the Sirius Star and thus the World-axis.
This indicated a certain date:
The position of
the planets and their special succession at the Sirius section of Senmut's
star map is such a rare combination that this individual form has only
appeared less than four times in several thousand years in the celestial
sector in question - e.g. in the case of Senmut: in May 1534 BC. It concerns
all the years between 2200 BC and 200 AD having been examined (cf. analysis
in the big table in
Spaeth's treatise about the star map, or in his
2, in its Appendix 2 on Senmut).
Research, however, has
not noticed this ability in the Senmut map so far. Apparently nobody has
examined if the said arrangement on the map concerning the planets has existed -
the very planets have long ago have been identified by the Egyptologists -
although such a special group of planets in fact could be seen in the sky
exactly at the time of Senmut.
Below: The Horus, here as the sun-related sacred falcon, is connected to
the World-axis which (now as the Horus' perch) is the very mooring post for
Isis' celestial barge (to the left, and carrying the Hathor sky-cow goddess) - all of
The Denderah temple's celestial relief showing a mixture of ancient
Egyptian tradition and a Babylonian-Greek influence, late in the
Other Egyptian star maps with the same kind of dating information
With the discovery of the dating message in Senmut's starmap some exact
traces were disclosed and may support the indications of a concealed
background of Senmut and his actual status. But first:
exact examinations of other Egyptian star maps disclose the fact that in the
1,500 years to follow, the versions of star maps were modelled after
Senmut's map in those cases when the planets were in a similar way gathered
around Sirius - often placed in a succession of only minor difference.
The differences show in
what way the planets were individually placed in the sky at the exact times to
which these later star maps were made. Only in the more late periods of Egypt's
history, circumstances and conditions of a connecting time may seem a bit more incidental.
However, the time
correspondence of the earliest maps is exact. Consequently, the dating of the
Senmut map might be able to establish more correctly the period of Senmut and
his contemporaries: Hatshepsut and the Tuthmosis-kings.
on the visual statements of the star map, evidently this period in Egyptian
history of the 18th Dynasty is often determined 20-30 years too late, if the
so-called low-dating seen in the works of many Egyptologists is being used,
and according to which Tuthmosis III only ruled from the year 1479 BC -
instead of the real time (of his coup d'état) in 1486 BC.
Their dating however, is
also a passing trend. Cf. that in the more than 200 years of 'history' of
Egyptology (from when Napoleon's scientific staff started off in 1799) it
has often been tried to improve the dating which have thus been moved and
redefined after intervals of approx. twenty years. Every time twenty years
have passed and a new generation of researchers has arrived, a new dating
was suggested - but still without a confident result.
Below: The Senmut map's "mast", the World-axis with its
revolving constellation Meskethiu (Great Bear) which is connecting with
Horus and his harpoon. Above, there is the star goddess of the Scorpion
star (which in the real sky also is placed exactly here, and thus being
near the constellation Cygnus-Swan).
In the Egyptian religious tradition the highest god Amun(-Re) was the
father of the king, and the king himself was a god. The religious teaching
included one god of creation - Amun in Thebes in Upper Egypt, and in Memphis
in Lower Egypt the name of the god was Ptah. Cosmologically the Egyptian
religion was like all the other major, ancient religions - and thus it also
included knowledge of the stars.
A certain concept appears
again and again in ancient religious cults: "the World-axis". From cultures
simultaneous with the Egyptian culture there are several traditions which
refer to it as a certain column - often in a temple where it represents the World-axis in cultic form.
Very few historians have
ever dealt with the idea of the World-axis. In order to better understand
the background for some of the cultic ideas popular in antiquity, it is
essential to understand how much importance the World-axis (often also
called World Column or World-Tree) was given in the great, ancient cultures.
The World-axis -
not to be mistaken for the Earth's axis - was originalle connected with the
ancient religion's doctrines about the stars. All over the world the this
axis was perceived - as already mentioned for especialy the East
Mediterranean civilizations - as consisting of the sky's three most radiant
stars, i.e. Canopus as the root of the World-axis, Sirius a
bit above this, and Vega (Lyra) as its top pole, high in the northern
celestial region. The positions of these certain stars can be seen as placed
on a straight line across the sky along the radiant band of the Milky Way
stretching all the way from the south up to the far northern sky.
Because the Earth's own
axis is constantly moving its position in relation to the surrounding space,
the star Lyra will again be Northstar about 12,600 years, like this star
already has been for about 13,000 years ago when the World-axis - as seen
from Earth at that time - was positioned as a direct extension of the
position of the Earth's axis out into space: a perspective also being
suggested in several early star myths.
The ancient Greeks
demonstrated a kind of knowledge concerning this. In his world history
(2:142), written 2,400 years ago, Herodotus says that the Egyptian priests
had handed down knowledge about the beginning of major changes in the world
11,000 years earlier, i.e. now approx. 13,000 years ago. The commencement of
that era was understood to be a decisive, cyclic starting point.
The World-axis or the World Pillar
was known by the ancient cultures all
over the Earth - and still in much later times among the ancient tribes in the
northern Sibirian plains, from where this drawing was recorded around 1910.
The World-axis or
the World Pillar was known by the Philistines, the peoples in India, the
Chinese, the Celts, the Norsemen, and the Teutons - and by the Finnish
Samians until only 200 years ago. I was even known in the beginning of
modern times among the ancient tribes on the Siberian plains - cf. above
Also, the World-axis was even on the American continent among Indian
cultures. To the Mayas it was the World Tree called the giant of the jungle, the
Xibalba tree (or ciba-tree), with roots in the underworld and branches in the sky. Likewise
with the Babylonians - as well as in Norse mythology.
In the Norse mythology
the World-axis was called the tree Ash (Ask), often further named as
Yggdrasil - or the Joermin pillar, linguistically a version of Irminsul which was the name of
the ancient Germans' World Pillar.
To the Norsemen even the
very name of the tree, Ash, signified also the first man and the
linguistical historically related Scandinavian word 'aeske'
meaning: 'box', 'coffin', 'ark'; this will show an extra connection
between the ark and the World-axis/tree.
The Greek philosopher
Pherecydes (about 550 BC) said "the World-oak was draped with the
star-cloak". - In the Bible the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge are
in the heaven - and in reality they may be seen as out of one entirety - the
World-tree - the crown of the one tree is the roots of the other.
Metaphorically this axis
has been mentioned or described as a vine or vine stem in many ancient
narratives as well as in the Bible.
When he was a child, King
Cyrus of Persia (559-529 BC) was hidden away placed in custody at a man with
the cultic initiation title 'shepherd' and the name Mithridates. In this
Mithras-cultic name the word mithras means 'pact' - likewise a later
biblical name 'testament' - originally Moses' biblical writings was known as
The Law and The Pact.
The wife of the
"shepherd" in question had the Medic-Persian name Spaka and in the Greek
version Kyno which in both languages means 'dog', which in turn was a
well-known name everywhere for the star (and constellation) Sirius, "Great
Dog", situated in the sky on the World-axis.
One of the many times in
accounts from Antiquity the World-axis is referred to as a vine, was, for
instance, in connection with Agoste, the mother of the Persian king Cyrus
the Great. She is mentioned as being at her place at "the vine's footing",
namely - according to the narrative of Herodotus (1:107-130) - at this
vine's ground base.
Also in the Bible the
World-axis is figuratively rendered as a grapevine. According to the Bible
(Genesis 9:29) Noah planted a vine where the Ark was run aground, - cf. that
the World-axis in the sky passes through the constellation The Ship
which was also called The Ark or Argo Navis. In the
Hebrew Bible is mentioned (Genesis, 49:11):
"… binding the she-ass's colt to the vine …",
- which in addition - and
with each of Jacob's sons symbolically connected to a constellation
(according to Philo and Josephus) - seems as reflecting the intersection,
the "stargate"-kind of place of the Sun passing the World-axis. The
'she-ass's colt', in Hebrew aton, is an Egyptian name for 'the Sun'.
Latest known astronomical use of the
World-axis was carried out by
Ole Roemer, the Danish astronomer and discoverer of the speed of
light, who, around 1695, had this scientific drawing made showing the
axis - now turned upside down, considering the Sirius star as the most
important fixed point for his measuring and celestial references.
Today, the astronauts use the Canopus star (not included in this drawing) - at
the 'bottom' of the World-axis' Lyra-Sirius-line - as an important point of
reference for orientation in space.
Still, this axis
phenomenon should not be mixed up with another factor, the axis of the
Earth. The mentioned three stars establish the straight line
along the shining Milky Way across the sky, this line of sight was used as a
stabile factor, for example, by measuring stellar mutual distances.
The World-axis is a
forgotten item in works of present-day research literature about world
history as well as the history of astronomy. The latest known use of this
celestial phenomenon was by Ole Roemer, the Danish Astronomer (discoverer of
the speed of light) who in ca. 1700 by means of a measuring technique for
certain star relations, used this distinctive axis - but only from Lyra to
Sirius because Canopus in the south cannot be seen from north of the
Mediterranean area. A so far almost complete
lack of knowledge of circumstances relating to the World-axis has created
many enigmas and often naive interpretations among researchers concerning
cosmology in ancient religion, ways of thinking, and perception of the
(The above text is
reproduced with permission, - source: Ove von Spaeth's work, "The Suppressed
Below: Beams of light are brightening up the brilliant gold-plated
the pyramidion top of the Ramses II obelisk. It weighs 230 tons and
stands 22.83 metres high in the centre of the Place de la Concorde, Paris,
since 1833 - a gift (1829) from the Viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet Ali.
The obelisk had lost its top already in 6th century BC.
Based on the original concept in ancient Egypt the French Government, in
1998, provided it with a gilted capstone - now being the only antique
obelisk in the world with a gold covered pyramidion.
Star Cults, Oracles, Conception Magic and World-axis
The World-axis - as Perceived by Egyptians and Israelites
The oldest known Egyptian image of the World-axis is on the
exceptional star map from ca. 1495 BC - the time of Hatshepsut - in the tomb
of Senmut, the magnate, in Thebes.
known image in Egypt is dating from ca. 45 AD - the time of Emperor Claudius
- in the famous 2.5 metres wide star map on the temple ceiling in Denderah
(now in the Louvre in Paris). It has been a riddle why the star map is
positioned obliquely in relation to the corners of the world, and so far it
has not been noticed that its bearings are exactly according to the
World-axis, shown here as an Egyptian column - a mooring post for
the travelling celestial bodies depicted as placed in small boats - placed
correctly in relation to all the constellations.
The Egyptian text,
"The Book about Day and Night" also known
at the time of Ramses VI, calls the
axis menit (mnj.t), the 'mooring post' of the celestial boats sailing
between the planets. Another text, "Papyrus Harris", calls it:
"... a column from the Earth up to the sky ...".
This version of the axis
as mooring post is so far unknown to the Egyptologists. In the 4,500 years
old texts, called the "Pyramid texts", this pole is hailed clearly in its
role as the World-axis:
"... Heaven's gates are open for you, the mooring woman is called for as
Here the coherence is
very obvious, as the goddess Isis was always identified with the Sirius-star
at the World-axis' root or lower end.
The World-axis was
connecting to sky-cultic rituals: the World-axis or the World Tree in the
form of a certain pillar or post - to be found in some of the ancient
temples and sanctuaries - is also recognized in the Hebrew Bible's text of
"... do not plant a tree .. as a holy post close to the altar of Yahweh,
your god ...".
In Antiquity it was
common tradition on special occasions to sleep in the temple (especially
known from the later Greek temple of Asclepius, the god practitioner of
medicine) - in the place called the incubatory - often arranged to
take place at the foot of such a pillar or column. This pillar was
understood as being connected to special powers allowing the sleeping person
to receive information in his dreams, for instance about remedies for his
recovery or something of importance for his future. Votive gifts could pile
up around the foot of the pillar. Whole collections of temple treasures
could be established in this way.
Still, 400 years after
Moses a tradition was existing concerning the Israelites to have revelations
about what had previously been connecting the foot of the World-axis, the
Ark of Covenant. The Bible refers to an episode, about 1100 BC, when the
prophet Samuel was a boy and lay to sleep just in front of Ark of the
Covenant at that time placed in Eli's temple at Silo. - According to the
same biblical text Samuel often received wisdom and prophecy during "talks
with Yahweh" by such arrangement.
The healing or magic
thing about the World-axis/post/pillar was recognized in the biblical text
about Moses, who during the desert wandering proclaimed that Israelites who
were ill could to be restored if they lay down in front a holy post placed
by him in the desert. The Bible describes how a copper snake had been placed
on the post. It was later kept in the Jerusalem temple from where it was
removed by King Josiah in 622 BC. Moses' post/staff with the snake is the
oldest known version of what is still used as a medical symbol - later,
since Greek-Roman times, it is known as the "Aesculapius staff".
In the Hebrew Bible's
"First Book of the Kings" (18:19), the prophet Elijah (Elias) has a
religious dispute with King Ahab's 400 Ashera prophets, i.e. priests
of the holy post.
From the years around 700
BC you can read in the Hebrew Bible's "Second Book of the Kings" (21:3) and
"Second Book of the Chronicles" (33:3) that Manasseh, the Judaic king, in
the Jerusalem Temple had:
"... holy posts placed ... and bowed to the army of the entire heaven
and worshipped them ... and practiced magic and took auguries ...".
- Several times the Bible
uses the expression "armies (hosts) of heaven" meaning the many 'stars of
The Hebrew text of
"Second Book of the Kings" (23:3) recounts about Josiah, king of Judea, 622
BC, in the "House of Yahweh" - i.e. in the very temple of Jerusalem - where:
"... the king stood by the pillar, and made a covenant before the face of
The World-axis - and the Paternity of the Spirit of the Descended God
The World-axis was considered a magic place where the gods would reveal
themselves and descend along the pillar or the post as a Jacob's ladder from
the upper regions of the heavens. Cf. Jacob's dreaming at the foot of the
ladder - in the Bible (Genesis, 28).
By this holy pillar - or
the holy tree, i.e. the World Tree - linked with these special powers, the
said cultic ritual called hieros gamos, 'the sacred coitus', could be
executed by the royal couple of the country or by the crown prince and crown
princess. Apparently, this special ritual at a holy cult site or a special
section of the temple seem to have developed later into the custom of temple
prostitution. - In Egyptian temples the World Pillar is not normally seen or
even mentioned as an actual physical pillar but is only referred to in
relation to the heavens.
If a child was conceived
in a royal hieros gamos ritual act with this celestial connection it
was agreed that "the god was the father of the child". Much of this concept
is for instance shown in the Luxor Temple, where the main room of the Amun
cult is dedicated to the divine pharaoh and has images showing the
"theogamic dogma", i.e. unity of the superior god Amun with the queen - and
from these circumstances a pharaoh's superhuman being would appear.
In the Egyptian mythology
Horus was conceived and reborn in the coffin of Osiris at the foot of the
World Tree pictured as a kind of Erica, i.e. the approx. 2 metres tall
benu heather tree. This is a play on words on the "bird of rebirth", the
Phoenix, which likewise by the Egyptians was called benu.
Later, a Greek myth
mentions that the god Zeus descended like a swan and fertilized Leda
(Ionic for 'woman'), who later gave birth to twins, Castor and Pollux - the
The entire narrative is
related to the astro-mythological expression of the mysteries, as the
position of the constellation The Swan (Cygnus) near the star, Vega (Lyra),
at the upper pole of the World-axis was considered the starting point of a
divine power that followed this course of the magical World-Axis from the
upper sky and down to earth to the "woman at the foot of the axis"; the sons
are the Gemini stars situated directly above this lower part of the
recounting of the Greek mythology it appears that when Odysseus was reunited
with his wife, they lay in a conjugal bed carved from the stump of a huge
olive tree - still with its roots in the ground. The holy intercourse took
place under the stars and at the very root of the tree, its lower "Canopus-part".
The basic idea of this -
being placed under the canopy of the tree's crown up in the sky or even the
entire starry heaven stretched as a baldachine, a canopy - can
be seen later in European royal conjugal beds for the wedding ritual and
they were the first having a star-decorated canopy, called the canope
"as at Canopus".
Star cults were
often connected with worshipping of the post, the World-axis, supplemented
with oracle observance - and possibly temple prostitution.
The Bible also mentions
for instance temple prostitution connected to the cult for the goddess
Astarte (Balith or Ashera) in Jerusalem, which the previously mentioned King
Josiah banned in 622 BC. In ancient Israel a figure of her was wide-spread,
a type where she was as slim and straight as a pillar: as mentioned,
Ashera is Hebrew for 'sacred pole'.
In Egypt Hathor, the sky
goddess with a cow's head, can be seen in the shape of pillars bearing "the
sky", which is the star-adorned ceiling - for instance in the Hatshepsut
Temple in Deir el-Bahari, which was specially dedicated to this goddess.
Also, in Sinai in the small Egyptian temple in Serabit el-Khadim, the cult
was dedicated to Hathor in her Semitic shape, Balith/Astarte, depicted here
just as a copy of Hathor.
Already Pharaoh Amenhotep
II (1456-1430 BC) introduced the Canaanite-Cainitic goddess Astarte - also
known as Balith or Anath - and later included her as part of the Egyptian
The World-axis - Also Important Tradition of Ancient India and China
In ancient India a special cosmic-religious-philosophical tradition
also had focusing the North Star (Stella Polaris) which is connected in
reference to the Turtle Star, Kurma. It is all mentioned in the
ancient text, "Patañjali's Yoga Sutras", The star is the thirdmost brightest
star in the sky and is known in the Near East and Europe both by the
(Arabic) name Vega and Greek name Lyra.
This star is to be located as an uppermost centre in the northern sky
and was known in Egypt, India, China, as well as by the Greeks. The genuine
North Star or Turtle Star, Kurma, i.e. Vega, was the original North Star
13,000 years ago, however, it constitutes still and always the top of the
When the altars were founded in ancient Indian temples these altars
contained on the inside a tortoise shell - contributing to the temples' implementing connection with the sky above.
Inside Beijing, in
its separate, holy Prohibited City for the emperors of China, an enormous
turtle cast in bronze is placed in the exact centre of a special area of the
foundation-architecture's celestial inspired layout. Among other things, the
Milky Way is here included - and even named as such - in the architecture of
the whole square.
The above mentioned "Yoga Sutras" contains 195 stanzas of learning -
and is connected to ancient India's "collection of supreme knowledge", the
Vedanta-doctrine in the texts of the Upanishads. Approx. 2,300 years ago,
the sage Patañjali wrote the "Yoga Sutras" in their final form.
A special group of stanzas in Patañjali's Yoga Sutras, Book III, Sutras
25-31, informs about the stars and their cosmic arrangement of placement in
space. The Sutra 28 reads:
"... By intensive meditation (Samyama) on the Northstar (Polar star)
the person who practice this yoga shall obtain knowledge about the movements
of the stars. ..."
Nut, the Sky goddess.
The vital spirit of
the world concept
As in the mythological inspiration of ancient Egypt the tall, slim obelisks
expressed: in "the beginning" when the first top of physical mass raised up
and receiving the first beam of light; and the Benu bird -
representing life of eternity - manifested itself to sit on the top. Light
and life thus connecting in the arch-cosmical origin.
From the Earth we can see
our own galaxy almost like the slim area of a diametrical cut of a dish, the
very cut as the nesau - the Egyptian expression for the 'Milky Way' -
with its light surrounding the cosmic World-axis crossing over the sky from
the south to the north.
light of the universe has a special quality for the life and this light is
being "amplified" when passing through a galaxy. This is what
happens - also when the light is passing diametrical via our galaxy's
outside through its curved rim and, as seen from the Earth, beaming out from
the long narrow surface which appears as "the cut", i.e. the bright ribbon-like
Milky Way, which in mythology was perceived as the informative and
"nourishing" World-tree of Life.
Likewise, in ancient
cultures people could in their own way perceive the Milky
Way as the true, enlightening life-supporter in the sky. From
the cosmos it is transmitting - according to near future science - the radiation's special bio-energetic light
Such light, the cosmic
all-penetrating radiation light, is forming superstring-like connection and
coherence of the universe.
self-organizing intelligently structured exuding its qualities through our
galaxy, was seen as a tool for creating - filling the universe by being the
formative as well as informative medium. The universal light itself exists
as a superinformation that never goes away or dissolves (but may vary in
levels of appearances) - the consistency of such facts enter into the
coherence of modern astronomy and quantum physics/mechanics.
the ability of transporting data, pictures, and music through light in optic fibre cables -
is today a well-known principle. However, far beyond such limited, 'earthly'
function the power of the cosmos light is everywhere.
There is no such thing as "emptiness", because even the dark energy of the universe - more than 74
percent of the total mass-energy budget in the universe - is also cosmic
radiation of various kind of frequencies, although not directly visible to
the human eye but what we may perceive as light of special qualities of
which some can be measured by today's science. (Dark matter constitutes
about 22 percent of the 'budget', and normal matter - stars, planets and
every such thing you can see - makes up the remaining 4 percent or so).
Galaxy of our Milky Way type
(here Andromeda, M31) - viewed from the side.
At the Beginning the Light Appearing
About "in the
beginning" the ancient Egyptian cosmology account mentions "... the
first beams of light that lit up the world ..." - and the Bible's Book of
Genesis, 1:3, states
conjuringly: "... and then there was light
...". The two American research engineers and Nobel Prize winners, Arno A. Penzias and Robert W.
Wilson, found in 1965 the first physical proofs ("the sound of Big Bang") to
the hypothesis earlier presented by Pyotr Kapitsa and especially by George Gamow.
Penzias and Wilson showed that "light is the origin of the universe" ...
"suddenly the universe arranged itself in order and became transparent".
Gamow had published a Big
bang theory work: the important cosmogony paper, "The Origin of
Chemical Elements" (Physical Review, April 1st, 1948) - it became known as the
Alpher-Bethe-Gamow theory; and then by observing/listening to the vast
universe Penzias and Wilson had discovered background radiation of
cosmological origin - imagine: 300 000 years after the universe was created
darkness reigned. Then, suddenly, the very first rays of light burst through
the shadows - to penetrate the universal darkness freely.
The cosmos has, like a
"fossil", thus being preserving traces of the universe in its infancy, and
retained a trace of this original moment in the form of background
radiation. As such, it constitutes a unique memory, providing elements of a
response to questions of the birth of the universe, its expansion and its
future. It bears witness to the very first rays of light - today we know
that light is emitted by matter in the form of electromagnetic waves or
particles known as photons, i.e. the famous wave/corpuscle duality of quantum
The light's inherent functioning
methods possess some of the same qualities as language which - by itself -
contains information, for instance of distinction, time (present, future
etc.), location (sequence), and many other data (cf. language by itself as
the eternal, great teacher). More so, the light also -
itself - contains data (besides some technical and astronomical information)
among which some are needed for the life forms and their development, expansion, and maintaining (e.g. curing).
These abilities are -
according to the ancient sages - to be found in
the very logos. In ancient civilizations through ages this special
light was visualized as the World-Tree of Life and the World-Tree of
Knowledge united, where the branches and twigs of the one tree constitutes
the root and root-twigs of the other, all in one celestial picture, the
For instance, it is known
that the Egyptians considered the life-giving and supporting River Nile and its course from south to
north as a reflection of the course of the Milky Way in the sky.
All around the world there are many
myths which explain the origin of the Milky Way and give it
its name. The English phrase is a translation from Greek galaxias, which is derived from the word
for 'milk' (gala). In India it is
called the Akashganga or a celestial form of the holy river,
Ganga. In the Greek myth, the Milky Way was caused by milk
spilt by celestial goddess Hera when suckling Heracles. In Egypt as well in the ancient
Scandinavian myths, the sky was the celestial cow with the life-giving
milk as the floating giant stream of stars and the condensed light of these
as being life-supporting, - cf. the Milky Way as the Tree of Life in
combination with the Tree of Knowledge.
Again, the Milky Way was seen as the true, enlightening life-supporter in the sky
- radiating bio-energetic forms of light - as also being quoted from Penzias and Wilson's scientific research: "... light is the origin of the universe. ..."
The Milky Way - infrared view of the centre of our galaxy
The 'World-tree' - the Milky Way panorama photographed all 360 degrees
The ancient Egyptians and
many other cultures before them had a religious, vital knowledge about
several features of these matters, although not comprehended by the
technical details as in a modern sense, but by an otherwise impressive
primal light, the obelisks represent the same features or principles as the
World-axis and - although they are not identical - they have these qualities
measurements of the Egyptian big sizes obelisks mainly produced in the 18th
and 19th dynasties show - in principle - some very special ratios by the
lengths of the shaft combined with the breadth of the shaft both at its foot
and at the slim upper part beneath the pyramidion on the top, and even with
the diagonals. These mathematical proportions should be examined by modern
science and compared or related to measurements or numbers in certain basic
biological features and conditions and also to the influence or behaviour of
Obviously, when some deep
conceptions about the light forms were both known and expressed by the
ancient cultures, we should be inspired to discover some important
information here. Today, such special light as dealt with here, particularly when also
of high frequency radiation, should on this basis - together with its
various ways of strong influence on life - be thoroughly
Below: From the Egyptian creation myth - the phase of creation
and development of Nut, the goddess of the sky, who is elevated above Geb, the
god of the earth, all being done by Shu, the god of the air. Geb and Nut are his
A summary: the cosmic, starry line of sight - a cultic stone symbol
From the Earth the three most bright stars of the sky can be seen appearing
on a complete straight line following the streaming Milkyway crossing over
the sky. In several ancient cultures this outstanding celestial line of
sight was perceived and expressed as a - magic - mast, in fact, as the one
to be seen on the oldest Egyptian star map which adorns the ceiling of the
3,500-year-old tomb of Senmut.
The constellation called
the "ox-loin" (meskitu) by the Egyptians - or Great Bear and
Charles's Wagon by the people at many other places in Antiquity - is
circling around the mast every day (as seen from the Earth) and served as a
cosmic symbol of the cycles of life, rebirth etc. In this way the principle
of the cycles of the eternal life could be expressed also as being
connecting the magical axis of cosmos.
With the Benu bird
of eternal life sitting on the top - the pyramidion being this cap stone above
obelisk shaft - the Egyptians consequently used the designation
ben-ben for this kind of elegantly slim and spiritually shaped
monoliths, these cultic objects of stone, a sculpturing never being surpassed.
However, later the Greeks
- for example, Pythagoras, Solon, Plato and others studied for many years in
Egypt concerning the knowledge, spirit and science also inside the Egyptian
cults - were naming the obelisks by a pun with a word we still use today:
obelisk, meaning in Greek 'ox-spear' or 'ox-spit' because of its turning of
the ox-loin like it was a roast on the kitchen fire. In later times the
Romans often instead used the expression "a needle", cf. the enormous high
"Cleopatra's needle" in Alexandria.
On one of the pairs of
obelisks which Senmut had carried out for the Queen-Pharaoh Hatshepsut and
placed in the Karnak temple, the main temple of Egypt, the very obelisk
inscription by Hatshepsut is strongly expressing the obelisk's vital purpose
by referring to:
"... The Creation and the Vital, Radiating Essence of the Universe. ...".
(The above text is reproduced with
permission, - source: Ove von Spaeth's work, "The Suppressed Record").
Below: Of the Egyptian creation myth:
after creation of Nut, goddess of the sky, -she became the mother of some of
the next gods of power: Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys.
A special treasure of knowledge and wisdom
of Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance had originated in Ancient Egypt -
and was here known to connect also with the historical Moses' dramatic
fate and mystery.
Ove von Spaeth has
written an intriguing, new-orientating work presenting this still
influential background of our civilization. • His interdisciplinary
research on history, archaeology, and anthropology goes deeply into
Egyptian tradition, history of religion, initiation cults, star-knowledge,
and mythology - relating to biblical studies, the Rabbinical Writings,
and the authors of Antiquity. • Each volume offers unique insights not
Special information is
presented by clicking on the individual cover illustrations: