This is long piece and well worth the effort of working your way through it. Unfortunately the site has converted the original text into 1000 separate pages and made itself generally unreadable let alone annotating it as is necessary for a serious reader. Thus i spent considerable effort in reformatting it back to accessible text so it is possible to work with.
For the reader's sake it is enough to understand the dominance of the idea of ratio and to expect to see that constantly. A mathematica without zero works through ratios.
One bit of advice though. All the observed ratios between the sun, the earth and the moon are the result of the artificial aspect of the moon alone and were therefore carefully precalculated to generate the observed effects. Any fantasy that this happened by accident has a probability approaching zero. even greater than that of a comet impacting the north pole at the correct moment has.
This work does appear to pull all of it together.
Today we tackle prehistory and the moon.
Christopher Knight has worked in advertising and marketing for over thirty years, specialising in consumer psychology and market research. His writing career began almost by accident after he had invested seven years conducting research into the origins of Freemasonic rituals and he has written four books to date, coauthored with Robert Lomas. His first book, The Hiram Key, was published in 1996 and it immediately went into the UK top ten bestseller list and remained in the chart for eight consecutive weeks. It has since been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold over a million copies worldwide, becoming a bestseller in several countries. He now divides his time between marketing consultancy and historical research for writing books. Alan Butler qualified as an engineer, but was always fascinated by history, and made himself into something of an expert in astrology and astronomy. Since 1990, he has been researching ancient cultures, pagan beliefs and comparative religion and has published four successful books on such topics as the Knights Templar and the Grail legend. He is also a published playwright and a very successful radio dramatist.
The period of history, known as the Upper Palaeolithic Period, marks a time when modern man was becoming established in Europe and there was an expansion of population, creating social pressures that led to the growth of trade networks, increased mobility, and more complex systems of co-operation and ompetition. We could now understand why observational astronomy became the first real science for humankind. All science is based upon observation of patterns that stand out from the ‘noise’ of simple random chance and then, through understanding, we can make predictions of future events and outcomes. In this way the tides, the seasons and the movements of the heavens could be seen as being parts of a single engine driving the variations in the immediate environment of the early thinkers.
These early observational scientists would also note where patterns from completely different events appeared to be related. Why should high tide happen twice a day and rise higher when the Moon was full or when there was no Moon at all? Did the Moon have some kind of control over something as massive as the oceans? Even stranger, why did women of childbearing age lose blood once for every complete cycle of the Moon? We can be sure that this particular fact was not lost upon these people.
Back in 1911 a French physician by the name of J G Lalanne was xamining caves in Laussel, in the Dordogne, when he chanced upon something that turns out to be very illuminating in terms of the Palaeolithic mindset. Carved into the wall of a limestone rock shelter, he found a 33cm female figure. The artistry involved from so early a period is quite remarkable, the more so given that it was executed with flint tools. The naked and full-bellied woman has her left hand on her abdomen and in her right hand is holding a bison horn, in the shape of a crescent moon. Upon the bison horn there are thirteen incised lines. The Venus of Laussel, as she is called, is at least 20,000 years old. This carving is one of many that strongly suggest there was a very early recognition that human fertility seemed to be tied to the phases and period of the Moon. Human female reproduction is dependent on the menstrual cycle which has an average of twenty-eight days, and approximately halfway through the cycle a mature cell is released from a woman’s ovaries and becomes available for fertilization. If sexual intercourse does not take place and the egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates after a couple of days. At the end of the cycle, if no conception has taken place, menstruation begins and the cycle commences once again.
A series of intriguing studies by Professor LeRoy McDermott of the Missouri State University has suggested that these early ‘Venus’ images of the female figure were self-portraits. His analysis showed that the figurines were made from the point of view of ‘self’ rather than ‘other’ and they could only represent a women’s view of her own body both emotionally and physically as she looks downwards. Using photographic simulations of what a modern female sees of herself, McDermott demonstrates that the anatomical omissions and proportional distortions found in various Venus figurines occur naturally in autogenous, or self-generated, information. The size, shape, and articulation of the objects appear to be determined by their relationship to the eyes and the relative effects of foreshortening, distance, and occlusion rather than by any symbolic distortion. As self-portraits of women at different stages of life, McDermott believes these earliest representations of the human form embodied obstetric-al and gynaecological information and probably signified an advance in women’s self-conscious control over the material conditions of their reproductive lives.
The lunar month symbolism in the Venus of Laussel strongly suggests that women 20,000 years ago knew the length of their menstrual cycles and already equated them with the phases of the Moon. The thirteen lines on the crescent-shaped bison horn could easily relate to the thirteen menstrual cycles an average woman could expect in each year. At the same time, it is not at all uncommon for a human female to menstruate on the same Moon phase each month because twenty-eight days is merely an average, whilst the period between one full Moon and the next is 29.53 days. The historical connection between human fertility and the Moon even extends to the word ‘menstrual’. It derives from the Latin mensis, meaning month, whilst the word ‘month’ is very ancient and refers to the period of four weeks as being one ‘moonth’. The connection between human fertility and the cycles of the Moon is considered to be ‘apparent rather than actual’, but it isn’t in the least surprising that the possibility of a relationship was noticed by our ancient ancestors. The clincher probably came when someone 88 realized that the average gestation period of a human female, from conception to birth, is around 266 days – or nine full lunar synodic cycles.
In a social and a religious sense, fertility undoubtedly played a crucial part in the lives of people at the time the Venus of Laussel was carved. It is more or less universally accepted that female deities were important to human culture for thousands of years of prehistory. Statues of pregnant women with exaggerated genitals and breasts are common from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic periods and there are strong indications of the existence of a fertility-based deity who has come down to us as ‘The Great Goddess’. The Venus of Laussel could quite easily be a representation of this deity, complete with a representation of the heavenly body with which she was equated – the Moon. About 6,000 years ago there was an outbreak of building in stone across the western parts of Europe, particularly in the British Isles, that tells us a great deal about the Neolithic people’s fascination with the Moon.
Dr Philip Stooke, of the University of Western Ontario, Canada had always been puzzled as to why there were no maps or drawings of the Moon older than the one drawn by Leonardo da Vinci five hundred years ago. He decided to look at ancient manuscripts and the records of excavations of the Neolithic sites on the British Isles. Amongst other sites, he looked at the truly amazing prehistoric structures known as Newgrange and Knowth in County Meath, Ireland. And it was at the recently excavated Knowth that he found a 5,200-year-old carving made up of a set of lines and dots. Dr Stooke realized that this was not simply a Stone-Age doodle but a drawing of the face of the Moon. He said: ‘I was amazed when I saw it. Place the markings over a picture of the full Moon and you will see that they line up. It is without doubt a map of the Moon, the most ancient one ever found. It’s all there in the carving. You can see the overall pattern of the lunar features, from features such as Mare Humorun through to Mare Crisium. The people who carved this Moon map were the first scientists – they knew a great deal about the motion of the Moon. They were not primitive at all.’
These people were not merely Moon watchers. Chris, along with Robert Lomas, had already published his analysis of the astronomical function of nearby Newgrange, which was carefully designed and engineered to allow the light of Venus to penetrate deep into the domed structure once every eighth winter solstice.3 This focused beam of light gave these early scientists a very precise tracking of Venus, which allowed them to maintain a calendar that would be accurate to a matter of seconds over each eight-year cycle. There was no doubt that these builders were far from primitive, as archaeological convention once suggested. Investigations at Knowth had already shown that at certain times moonlight shines down the eastern passage of the structure. Dr Stooke has now pointed out that these narrow moonbeams would also fall right onto the Neolithic lunar map. He concluded, men who had a sophisticated understanding of the motions of the Sun, Moon and stars.’ The switch from a powerful female deity, often equated with the Moon, and solar-based masculine deities seems to have taken place at about the same time humanity began to discover writing. This occurred in Sumer (modern Iraq and Kuwait) and Egypt just after structures like Newgrange and Knowth had been constructed. One researcher, Dr Leonard Shlain, Chief of Labroscopic Surgery at the California-Pacific Medical Center, has suggested this connection in his controversial but immensely popular book, The Alphabet versus the Goddess.4 Here Shlain outlines his view that the evolution of writing specifically involved the use of the practical left hemisphere of the brain, as a direct contrast to the many thousands of years during which the more intuitive, inspirational right hemisphere had predominated.
Referring to the Egyptians, Plutarch, the Greek essayist, writing around 60 AD said: ‘Egyptian priests called the Moon “the Mother of the Universe”, because the Moon, having the light which makes moist and pregnant, is promotive of the generation of living beings.’ Although to some early cultures the Moon was associated with a masculine deity, such as the Babylonian Sin for example, in by far the majority of cases the Moon was considered to be female and carried strong aspects of fertility. This goddess had many names across the world. To the Greeks she was Artemis and the Romans called her Diana and Selene. Her Finnish name was Kuu and to the Celts she was worshipped as Cerridwen. Nor was she ignored in the New World; in what is now Mexico the Moon goddess was called Tlazolteotli and to the Mayans she was Ixchup. These names represent only a tiny proportion of those that are still remembered and there can be no doubt at all that Earth’s Moon has been deeply important to humanity across the whole world and for many thousands of years. The Moon was almost certainly the first heavenly body used to measure the passage of time for reasons other than human fertility. In this capacity it is still enshrined in our own systems by the use of months to split the solar year.
Looking back at history it is easy to see the repeated attempts of different cultures to reconcile lunar time with a growing recognition of the length of the year, which is governed by the Sun. A truly ancient culture, such as that of the Sumerians, never abandoned its lunar calendar, beginning each month as the first crescent of the Moon showed itself in the dawn sky. However, at the same time Sumerian Priests adopted a ‘stylized’ month of thirty days in length, which fitted the solar year in a more regular way. Lunar reckoning is still used in Islam, a legacy of the religion’s origins in the Arabian Peninsula.
In a physical sense this intense interest in the Moon is not at all surprising. We tend to forget in our modern world of electric lights that there was a time, not so long ago, when the Moon was a welcome sight on a dark night, but at the same time it was recognized to have awesome powers. It was believed by cultures from across the world that the Moon could have a bearing on people’s mental states (see chapter five). The English word ‘lunatic’ enshrines this belief and, up to very recent times, it was considered that those who were mentally unstable could be triggered into madness and violence by the appearance of the full Moon. In addition, our ancient ancestors were well aware that the Moon was responsible for one of the most frightening and awe-inspiring happenings that periodically ‘stole’ the Sun from the sky. Solar eclipses happen when the new Moon passes directly between the Sun and the Earth. At such times the shadow of the Moon is cast upon the Earth. If the observer is in the right place on the Earth, it will appear that the light of the Sun has been blotted out and day can suddenly become night. A total eclipse is a truly remarkable event because in order for it to happen the size of the Moon and the Sun, as seen from the Earth, must be identical. Nevertheless it does happen and it must have struck absolute terror into the hearts of early humans.
This fear would have been slightly mitigated when it became possible to predict eclipses, something that a number of early cultures sought to do. A second sort of eclipse, which is seen more often because of the planetary geometry involved, is called a ‘lunar eclipse’ – and in its own way this must have been just as potent and frightening. A lunar eclipse happens when the Moon moves through the shadow of the Earth, so the full Moon is seen to slowly disappear in a clear night sky. (See figure 19, pg 246) On these occasions the Moon’s face is not totally blotted out by Earth’s shadow, often appearing as a ghostly blood red disc. Even today this is a chilling sight and one can sympathize with people who viewed the event with a sense of foreboding.
Without a good understanding of the planetary cycles involved, eclipses of both sorts could easily appear to be random events and many early cultures sought to discover the patterns involved, probably working on the assumption that understanding inferred a degree of control. This may well have represented the first serious attempts at astronomy. It is known that both the Assyrians and the Babylonians could predict eclipses. In both cases many of the astronomical skills were inherited from the earlier Sumerians and it is highly likely that eclipse prediction already existed before 3,000 BC.