Brothers of the Serpent epic Star Myth extravaganza!

Brothers of the Serpent epic Star Myth extravaganza!

I recently caught up with the Brothers of the Serpent for an epic discussion of the stars, the myths, and the overwhelming evidence that the conventional paradigm of human history is gravely flawed and in need of radical revision.

This was a video interview with Russ and Kyle Allen of the Brothers of the Serpent podcast -- you can see the video above or by following this link (and consider subscribing to their YouTube channel in order to be notified of future episodes as soon as they are published). Also present on the interview was their ever-present companion, the Watcher, who participated in the conversation with some insightful questions.

Our interview was recorded on August 14, 2019 and not very long into the interview a sudden violent thunderstorm rolled through the Texas hill-country where Russ and Kyle broadcast from their "Ten-by-Ten-by-Ten Tangent Cube of Science" and knocked out their internet connection for about an hour (coincidentally, or not, just as we were discussing "Earth's Big Roll" which may explain paradigm-shifting fossil discoveries on that mysterious continent). Therefore, the interview in the video above is divided into "before the thunderstorm" (up until about 0:38:00 in the video feed) and "after the thunderstorm" (beginning at about 0:38:00) and there is no actual "video" (only audio) until you reach the thirty-eight minute mark in the video.

If you want to download the audio file of the conversation, you can find it on the Brothers of the Serpent page on iTunes, as well as on many other podcast "catchers" on the web.

Kyle and Russ have obviously been seriously researching the subjects of pyramids, cataclysms, ancient cultures, and the amazing treasure of wisdom recorded in humanity's ancient myths and scriptures for many years, which led to some terrific discussion and brought out some new perspectives that haven't surfaced in previous podcast interviews -- I know you will enjoy the conversation, as well as Russ and Kyle's insights and sense of humor (and frequent infectious laughter which is a feature on all of their 108 previous podcast episodes as well)!

The Brothers of the Serpent team will be co-hosting the upcoming Grimerica Contact at the Cabin 2020 at Bryce and Zion Canyons in Utah this coming April. If you would like to participate in that event, which will also of course feature Darren and Graham of Grimericaalong with certified Wim Hof Method trainer Brandon Powell, along with star gazing and ancient myth discussions, be sure to reserve your space soon, because the event is selling out fast.

Welcome to every new visitor who found their way here due to hearing the Brothers of the Serpent podcast or watching the video! Hope you will visit again soon.

Links to some previous blog posts on subjects that we touched on during this conversation, for those who want to explore further, include:

Welcome to new visitors from Lighting the Void! and to returning friends

Welcome to new visitors from Lighting the Void! and to returning friends

Big thank-you to Joe Rupe for inviting me back to the Lighting the Void podcast for another memorable conversation about the stars, the ancient myths, and the message they have for us in this very present moment.

Above is an embedded YouTube 'video' of our conversation (it was an audio-only conversation), and you can download the audio file of this episode by visiting the Lighting the Void page on iTunes, or any number of other podcast catchers and podcast distribution sites.

Welcome to any new visitors to this blog who learned about my research via this conversation with Joe! 

Please visit my primary website about the Star Myths of the World at where you will find links to other podcast conversations, videos that I've made about the connection between the ancient myths and the stars, descriptions of all my books to date along with sample content from each of them (and a link to purchase signed copies if interested, or consult your favorite local bookstore), a link to a variety of "resources" which can be found at the bottom of every page on the site, and of course a fully-searchable blog which at this point is fast approaching 1,200 posts for you to explore!

I hope you will enjoy our conversation. During the talk, we also discussed two exciting upcoming events: the Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge which is coming up in less than two months in October of 2019 in Newport Beach, California, and the Contact at the Cabin event hosted by the team at Grimerica in April of 2020 in between Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon National Parks in Utah.

Note that if you would like to register for the Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge, you can enter my last name MATHISEN in the window that says "Enter a Discount Code" on this CPAK registration page and receive $50 off the regular price of attending this three-day seminar.

During this most-recent conversation on Lighting the Void, Joe and I touched on the following subjects -- below are links to some previous blog posts which contain further discussion for those interested in reading or seeing more:

The Stars: An Extremely Ancient Way to See Them

The Stars: An Extremely Ancient Way to See Them

Above is a new video I've just published entitled "The Stars: An Extremely Ancient Way to See Them," exploring the connections between the constellations and the world's ancient myths.

The video presents evidence using some ancient artwork which regular visitors to this blog and my other videos may have seen before -- because it is one of my favorite examples and is very hard to refute -- but also presents some new angles which I have not discussed before in previous videos or blog posts.

As a special bonus, this video deals with an extremely mythologically-important region of the night sky: the region containing the constellations Sagittarius, Scorpio, Ophiuchus, and the brightest portion of the great Milky Way band -- including the brightest and widest portion of the entire Milky Way, thought by astronomers to be our galaxy's central core. This particular time of year is one of the best times of year to go outside and view these constellations in person for yourself, if it is at all possible for you to do so.

Sagittarius and Scorpio (as well as Ophiuchus above, and the Galactic Core in between) are now wheeling across the sky along the highest part of their arcing path during the hours after sunset and up through midnight and beyond, for viewers in the northern hemisphere.

I hope you will enjoy my latest video and share it with friends and family members who may find this information to be valuable in their own lives.

Also, everyone interested is encouraged to subscribe to the YouTube channel in order to be notified whenever I post a new video!

Thanks for watching.

Naga Panchami

Naga Panchami

Earth, Moon and Sun have just passed through the point of their relationship which creates a New Moon, when the orbit of the Moon passes between Earth and Sun. This positioning occurred on July 31 at 8:11 pm Pacific (or 11:11 pm Eastern) in North America, although if you leave your clocks or your wristwatch on standard time as I do, instead of changing to the artificial and unhelpful "daylight saving time" during the summer half of the year, then those times would be one hour "later" on the clock dial.

The Moon will now return, initially as a very thin sliver just east of the setting Sun, and moving farther east every day, growing ever thicker or "more full" as it does so (also described as "waxing"). Many traditional celebrations in the world's cultures are observed based on lunar calendars and specific days within this lunar cycle -- including the upcoming observance of Naga Panchami which originates in India and commemorates episodes and mythical figures described in ancient Sanskrit texts including the Puranas and the Mahabharata.

While some authorities feel the need to argue that the characters and events described in the ancient Sanskrit scriptures have their origins in literal and terrestrial historical events and figures, I have found abundant evidence to conclude that they are entirely celestial and metaphorical in their conception, at least as recorded in the ancient texts, and that in this regard they are closely related to virtually all of the world's other ancient myths and scriptures, including characters and events described in the scriptures of the Bible, and that indeed they are all using the same consistent world-wide system (itself probably originating in some now-forgotten culture of great spiritual sophistication which long predates even the most ancient cultures known to conventional history, including the cultures of ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, which themselves can also be shown to be using this system in myths and references found in the earliest texts known to us at this time).

Above is a new video I've just created entitled "Naga Panchami: celestial foundations," which explores some of the celestial foundations for those characters and events described in the Mahabharata and Puranas which relate to this annual festival.

** Note: I received some feedback that the sound was difficult to hear in the first edition of the video, so I recorded it all over again -- you can see the new version embedded below this post or by following this link **

Naga Panchami is observed on the fifth day after the New Moon during the lunar month of Shravana (that is to say, on the fifth day after the New Moon which just happened), which this year will fall on the 5th of August.

The name of this traditional day of worship and ritual derives from the Sanskrit word Naga which designates the great cobra serpents (who themselves rule an entire realm in the cosmos and who are sentient and very powerful, in some circumstances being benevolent to humanity and in some circumstances antagonistic) and the word Panchami, which designates the fifth day within either half of a lunar month in the Hindu lunar calendar.

On Naga Panchami, live cobras and effigies of cobras (Nagas) are worshipped, adorned with garlands, and anointed with milk. Additionally, in some areas, ant-hills are similarly adorned and decorated and milk is poured down their ant-holes in order to anoint the serpents thought to dwell within such mounds.

As you will see in the above video, these practices -- and the ancient myths upon which they are founded -- can be clearly seen to be based on celestial metaphor which resonates with myths from other cultures around the globe. The ant-hill connection is particularly intriguing because in my most recent book, The Ancient World-Wide System, I discuss myths involving ant-hills and termite mounds which relate directly to characters and events found in the origin myths for the Naga Panchami worship (see especially the incidents related on pages 42 - 43 and pages 768 - 770 of The Ancient World-Wide System), and the evidence which relates these episodes directly to the constellations Ophiuchus and Scorpio, just as here in the Naga Panchami origin stories.

Thus, the observation of the ancient tradition of Naga Panchami provides us with yet another window into the world-wide connection between the myths and the stars, and their connection to our own lives and the rhythm of great natural cycles, as well as adding still further evidence to the already-enormous pile of evidence which points to the undeniable conclusion that the world's myths are based on celestial metaphor.

As I have been saying more and more in recent videos and writings, I am convinced that one of the central purposes of these ancient myths is to point us towards the reconnection with our own essential Self, from whom we become estranged and alienated during our "downward plunge" into this world and all of its entanglements and complications (akin to the setting of the stars and other heavenly spheres into the western horizon). One aspect of our recovery of the Self relates to the theme of "blessing versus cursing," which can be seen to be very central in many ancient traditions (including in the Biblical scriptures found in both the Old and New Testaments, so-called) -- and the mythical events and figures commemorated in the Naga Panchami observation clearly center around this theme.

I hope that you will find the subjects discussed in the new video above to be helpful in your own journey. It may be beneficial to contemplate these ideas with special intent on the upcoming day of Naga Panchami.

An incredible talk by Dr. Gabor Mate, and the relationship between the egoic mind and our essential self

An incredible talk by Dr. Gabor Mate, and the relationship between the egoic mind and our essential self

Since discovering the work of Dr. Gabor Mate (see previous blog post here), I have listened to a number of interviews conducted with him, as well as several individual lectures he has given -- and the above lecture by Dr. Mate from 2015 given at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive presentations I have heard him give regarding the egoic self, the authentic self, the role of trauma in severing our connection to the authentic self, the physical consequences which are created by chronic anxiety due to the loss of this connection in early childhood, and the path of recovering our self (which is always available to us at all times, because our own authentic self has never actually left).

I would highly recommend downloading the file to a portable device in order to listen to it as soon as possible -- or simply listening to it using the embedded player above.

Dr. Mate in this lecture presents a number of striking and extremely powerful insights -- too many to list here. However, a few are particularly notable in light of my conviction that the world's ancient myths display abundant evidence that they are given to us for the very purpose of pointing us towards the recovery of connection with the self about which Dr. Mate speaks so eloquently in the above talk.

Beginning at 0:52:36 in this lecture, Dr. Mate declares (speaking of the exposure to the authentic self which can be attained through various means, including but by no means exclusively through rituals involving natural psychedelic substances):

We live in a world that rewards us for being inauthentic, and punishes us for being authentic. And we live in a world, and a culture, that seduces us from our true selves with every possible blandishment, reward, and promise of fulfillment through artificial means. And we live amongst a lot of people who are as unconscious today as maybe we were yesterday. So that the difficulty is integrating the knowledge, integrating the insight -- and that's the hardest task. And I don't want to claim that I've discovered the answer to that one. But anybody who does this kind of work, they really have to pay attention not just to what happens in the experience, but also: what do you do with the awareness that may result from that experience? -- and how do you make that work in your life?

The other problem, as Alma says, is that your mind, your egoic mind, always wants to invalidate your essence. Because the egoic mind develops as a replacement for the essence. When essence shows up, the mind is threatened -- the ego is threatened. So it wants to fight back. When the psychedelic substance really reveals the mind -- what's underneath the mind -- and puts the ego onto the sidelines: as soon as the effect is gone, the mind wants to come in and reclaim its territory. And it does that by making nonsense of the experience you just had.

I would suggest that the dynamic Dr. Mate is describing in these paragraphs is beautifully pictured for our deeper understanding in a tremendous number of ancient myths involving the "doubting" and attempts to "invalidate" the encounter with the divine twin who illustrates our essential or higher self. Among these is the familiar story of Doubting Thomas (discussed in numerous previous posts including this one, this one, and this one, as well as in my 2016 book Star Myths of the Bible), and the ancient Greek and Roman myth of Eros and Psyche discussed in previous posts such as this one and this one.

Note that in both of these ancient myths, the doubts of the representative of our egoic mind (Thomas in the gospel story and Psyche in the ancient Greek myth) attempts to "invalidate" the appearance of the figure who represents what Dr. Mate describes as "the essence" in the quotation cited above (Jesus in the gospel accounts, and Eros in the myths of ancient Greece and Rome). In each of these two stories, the doubts and defensive behavior exhibited by Thomas and by Psyche create a temporary period of alienation from the figure representing the divine or essential self (Jesus in the gospel story and Eros in the Greek myth).

Another very important truth contained in the section of Dr. Mate's lecture quoted above is the fact that our "mind" is not actually "who we really are" -- even though we typically assume that this is the case. The ancient myths and sacred traditions of the world illustrate this truth as well: one previous post discusses a passage from the Katha Upanishad (also called the Kathopanishad) of ancient India, here, in which the mind is described as being the reins of a chariot, with which the "horses" of the senses and the emotions can be controlled, but which is not the one who is steering the chariot itself and holding the reins.

Note that in the ancient Sanksrit epic of the Mahabharata, the god Krishna is pictured as the divine charioteer who guides the chariot of the hero Arjuna through the battle of Kurukshetra. Just like Thomas in the gospel story and Psyche in the Greek myth, Arjuna himself is wracked by doubt prior to the great battle (indeed, I would argue that Arjuna like Psyche and like Thomas depicts our egoic mind during this episode of the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita, and the Lord Krishna like Eros and like Jesus represents our higher or essential self).

The important point to note is that the mind is not the essential self -- it is a tool that has a positive role to play, but is actually intended to play a subordinate role to the divine charioteer of our higher or essential self. Similarly, when Thomas is finally reconciled to the risen Jesus, Thomas declares: "My Lord and my God," a proclamation which (I would argue) indicates the proper relationship between the essential self and the egoic self.

As Dr. Mate explains in the passage cited above, the egoic mind wants to usurp the role of the essence or essential self, to the point of denying the authenticity of any revelation or manifestation of the essential self. But as he explains at a different point in this amazing 2015 lecture, the authentic self stands ready to put the egoic mind in its proper place, doing so through the medium of unconditional love (which is just what we see manifested by both Jesus and Eros in the respective ancient myths).

It is out of a superabundance of anxiety and distress and sense of abandonment that the egoic mind behaves the way it does (again, this is beautifully depicted for us in the personalities and behaviors of Doubting Thomas and the equally doubting Psyche). The divine counterpart (Jesus in the gospel story and Eros in the Greek myth) restore the broken relationship and repair the schism through their demonstration of love for the alienated Thomas and the alienated Psyche.

During the 2015 talk recorded above, Dr. Mate provides a particularly powerful example of a woman with an aggressive autoimmune disorder who was able to begin to recover her relationship with her own essential self through the use of ayahuasca, a traditional and extremely potent psychedelic plant brew of the Amazon. You may want to listen to the entire lecture above for greater context before proceeding to the quoted material below.

Beginning at about 0:33:53 in the above presentation, Dr. Mate explains:

Psychedelic substances have been used by human beings for thousands of years, but not randomly, and not in an anarchist kind of way. They were used traditionally, in ceremony, under the guidance of deeply trained and devoted elders and shamans and teachers. And the purpose wasn't to go on a trip but to go on a journey, which is very different. It wasn't to get high: it was to have a higher awareness of yourself and your reality. And so, when I talk about the use of psychedelics in healing, that's the context in which I am talking about it. I'm not talking about you go home with a bunch of friends and you drink ayahuasca, or take acid, or whatever. It has to do with intention, and it has to do with context, and it has to do with guidance.

Now in Mandy's case, the guidance had to be purely internal, because she couldn't leave her house to go somewhere and travel somewhere to do ayahuasca ceremonies. So she actually did it at home, without much guidance. But there was something in her that allowed that guidance to emerge. And Mandy experienced entities, coming to say: "We're in your life, and we will hold you."

[. . .]

So as a California-based pyschoanalyst says, "Developmental trauma occurs when emotional pain cannot find a relational home in which it can be held."

[. . .]

It's enough, that the mother should be depressed. It's enough, that the father should be angry. It's enough, that the parents should be distracted because of their own travails of relationship. And then the child is no longer held emotionally. And that means that the child, in order to survive, will disconnect from himself, because it's too painful to stay connected to your pain.

So, when these entities show up for Mandy, and they say, "We're gonna hold you," -- well, you can understand it in any number of ways. I've done ayahuasca quite a few times. I've never had any entities showing up for me. I've never had Mother Ayahuasca -- you know, "In your hour of darkness, Mother Mary comforts me" -- you know, Mother Mary never shows up for me. I just sit there with a stomach-ache. But that's maybe because I don't need these entities, I don't know. Maybe I'm not ready for them.

The way I understand those entities showing up for Mandy: what are they? They're actually her essential self, that can actually hold her. That can create the internal environment to be held. It's a trust in life. It's a willingness to open up and be vulnerable again. It's a willingness to drop her defenses, her compensatory mechanisms, where she has to be everything for everybody -- those are the entities that are holding her. Now if you want to believe that these are real entities that showed up for her -- why would I argue with you? I don't care: They did their job.

And then Mandy began to look at her life and have some insights. And she then writes, she wrote to me: "It made me realize that all of those traumas that I've experienced in my life could be meaningful. It meant to me that they were also manageable." So the trauma is no longer bigger than she is -- she is now equal to them.

This is an amazing passage and worthy of deep contemplation, and long and careful consideration.

The point Dr. Mate makes near the end, when he says that he understands the entities Mandy encountered as being actually her essential self, but that if you wish to understand them as entities somehow outside of her as well, it doesn't matter, is in my opinion very helpful for our approach to the world's ancient myths. It relates to a discussion found in this previous blog post about the work and message of Paul Selig, who receives and relates messages from entities he refers to as "the Guides," in which I ask "where do these messages come from?"

My conclusion was that it makes very little difference if we argue they come from his own subconscious or from a spiritual plane "outside of himself" -- because it is through our subconscious that we have access to knowledge that far surpasses what our egoic mind can access, including to knowledge which at times goes beyond even the five senses and in some cases transcends the apparent limitations of geographic distance. It is through our own essential self that we gain access to the realm of spirit at all.

We might similarly ask whether the gods who help Odysseus in the Odyssey are external to him or not -- and the answer is that they can be both, but that in any case he has access to them through his essential self. The ancient sacred traditions of the world universally declare that the gods act through men and women (and this is certainly demonstrated in the Odyssey as well). For more on this important subject, see for example this and this previous post (among others).

There are of course many more amazing, powerful, and therapeutic subjects discussed in the above talk by Dr. Gabor Mate. I believe it should be clear from the discussion above, touching on only a few of the points Dr. Mate presented, that the subjects he discusses are central to the message of the world's ancient myths -- and that the myths stand ready to assist us in the vital task of restoring the proper relationship between our egoic mind and our essential self.

The man who almost single-handedly brought the martial arts to worldwide awareness

The man who almost single-handedly brought the martial arts to worldwide awareness


Remembering Bruce Lee 李振藩 (November 27, 1940 - July 20, 1973), the man who almost single-handedly brought the ancient Chinese martial arts to world-wide awareness through his riveting moves and mastery of motion, and his charismatic and magnetic personality and screen presence.

Bruce Lee's first film, released as Fists of Fury outside of Hong Kong, exploded onto the world scene in 1971 and had an enormous impact on the awareness of martial arts, which would only increase with the release of his subsequent films, leading up to Enter the Dragon which was the first one produced in Hollywood instead of in Hong Kong and which was released only three days after his mysterious and tragic death at the age of only 32.

This previous post, published on this day in 2011, reflects on the fact that the ancient martial arts of Asia clearly preserve and invoke connections to the heavenly cycles and to the world's ancient wisdom encoded in the myths and in the mysterious monuments found around the globe. I firmly believe that martial arts such as kung fu and Taiji and others may have been given to humanity as a way of connecting with the cycles of the heavens and the earth, and in doing so to reconnect with nature, with the realm beyond that which we can see, and with our own Self.

As I have discussed in numerous previous posts, including this one, this one, and this one, our alienation from our Self leads directly to self-destructive and self-sabotaging behavior, including all kinds of addictions as well as anxiety, depression, and despair. The ancient myths given to humanity, along with ancient disciplines such as meditation, martial arts, Yoga, Tantra, and others, have the ability to help us recover the Self which has been "lost" through the trauma of this life and our integration into society.

We actually see this kind of trauma and alienation from the Self dramatized in many well-known martial arts movies, including the original Karate Kid (1984) and the Jackie Chan remake (2010), in both of which films the protagonist displays anxiety and disconnection -- and so too does the martial arts master himself who helps point the young student towards a path of healing and recovery.

This is important to note because I would argue that the persona of the martial arts master, which Bruce Lee powerfully portrays in film and which he actually achieved in his own life, provides us with a powerful picture of one who is integrated with and in harmony with his or her own Self -- but we should not imagine that they themselves do not also have the trauma of alienation to work through and overcome in their own life.

It is also noteworthy to observe that Bruce Lee's father was also an actor, a performer in a Cantonese opera group in Hong Kong. This previous post explores the celestial connections evident in Cantonese opera, including the understanding that such opera was given and taught to humanity by the gods, that dramatic performance is a form of ritual, and that during the opera itself the actors take on and embody the persona of the gods themselves, who express themselves through men and women. These are very important concepts to carefully and thoughtfully consider at some length for the lessons they can teach us.

I know beyond any doubt that the practice of martial arts can be extremely beneficial to men and women in this life, and that through disciplined practice they can open a path towards the reconnection with and recovery of their own authentic Self. No one can deny that through his life and his film, Bruce Lee made many hundreds of millions of people aware of the incredible gift of the martial arts (perhaps even billions), people who might otherwise have not been aware of this path.



The Lion King is based on ancient myths, precession . . . and the recovery of your Self

The Lion King is based on ancient myths, precession . . . and the recovery of your Self

The 2019 remake of the 1994 Disney film The Lion King will officially open in theaters tomorrow, July 19th (Friday).

As I explain in one of the very first videos I ever made about the connection between the stars and the myths, which I published just over seven years ago in July of 2012, entitled "Precession = The Key," the storyline of The Lion King can be seen to be directly patterned after some of the most ancient myths known to us at this time.

Specifically, the murder of the rightful king by a jealous brother -- and the quest of the son of the murdered king to restore order -- finds a direct parallel in the myths of ancient Egypt, where we see the exact same pattern play out in the myth cycle of the god Osiris, who is murdered by his brother Set, and whose death is eventually avenged by the god Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris.

References to the story of Osiris and Isis and Horus are found in some of the most ancient extended texts known to archaeologists, including in the spells of the Pyramid Texts inscribed in beautiful hieroglyphs within the walls of the pyramids at Saqqara, thought to have been built in the decades preceding 2300 BC, but preserving mythical traditions which are undoubtedly much older.

And, as Professors Hertha von Dechend and Giorgio de Santillana point out in their seminal 1969 work Hamlet's Mill, this very same pattern of the murder of the rightful king by a jealous brother -- and the requirement of the son of the murdered king to reach beyond his doubts, avenge his father's death, and assume his rightful role -- is also found in other ancient myths from very different parts of the world, including in the myths of northern Europe which provided the inspiration for the plot of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Indeed, the importance of this pattern, found in the ancient Egyptian myths involving Horus and Isis and Osiris as well as in the myths involving Amlodhi or Amlethus or Amleth (aka Hamlet), led von Dechend and de Santillana to name their treatise Hamlet's Mill in the first place! In doing so, they were referring to a great millstone found in some of the Amlethus or Hamlet myths (not mentioned in Shakespeare's play) which comes off of its central axis and rolls into the sea.

The authors of Hamlet's Mill devote an entire chapter (chapter 9) to examining the evidence that this great mill represents the heavens themselves, which churn through their cycles (their circles) -- a theme which is clearly central to The Lion King as well (with its references to the great Circle of Life).

They point out references to the heavens as a great mill in surviving texts from the ancient Greek astronomer Cleomedes, who authored a text entitled On the Circular Motions of the Celestial Bodies, and who declares that the heavens "turn around in the way a millstone does" (see Hamlet's Mill, 137).

They also cite the Roman satirist Petronius (c. AD 27 - AD 66), thought to be the author of the Satyricon. In it, the author has the character of Trimalchio proclaim: "Thus the orb of heaven turns around like a millstone, and ever does something bad" (see Hamlet's Mill, 138).

But why does the grinding of the millstone "ever do something bad" -- and why do the myths of Amlodhi or Amlethus have the mill jumping off of its axle-peg to fall into the sea?

The answer, the authors of Hamlet's Mill imply, has to do with the ages-long celestial cycle known as precession (also called "the precession of the equinoxes"), which I explain and illustrate in my 2012 video "Precession = The Key," which I have embedded below. Note that the causes of the mechanism of precession are still being investigated (in the 2012 video I only present the conventional explanation of the cause of precessional motion).

The motion of precession acts to delay the expected background of stars from rising at their appointed time on the appointed day, although only very slowly (by about 1 single degree of arc every 71.6 years), such that after thousands of years a new zodiac constellation will "usurp" the place of the previous zodiac constellation -- as if deposing the rightful ruler and taking over in his or her place!

This motion of precession, the authors of Hamlet's Mill imply, is encoded in ancient myth in various creative ways, using various evocative metaphors. Among these metaphors would be the great millstone jumping off of its central peg, as well as the chopping down of a great central tree, and of course the slaying of the rightful king by a jealous usurper, upsetting the great circle of the heavens and casting the order of the cosmos into disarray.

But, as the brilliant insight of Alvin Boyd Kuhn reveals in his 1940 masterpiece Lost Light, these myths are not just encoding the motions of the heavens as some kind of intellectual exercise: they are using the great celestial cycles to illuminate truths about our own life -- and about the quest which we ourselves must undertake!

After the murder of Osiris, Isis first undertakes to search throughout the entire world for her lost husband (a pattern which is repeated in many other myths around the world). Then, her son Horus not only confronts the murderous Set in order to avenge the death of Osiris, but Horus also restores his father to life. As Alvin Boyd Kuhn explains, this restoration tells us what we are supposed to be doing during this incarnate life -- searching for and reuniting with the "lost god" (the Higher Self), through which process we actually connect with the realm of infinite potential (the realm of the gods) and allow the gods to act (because the gods act through individual men and women).

Kuhn writes (interspersing his observations with passages from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, more accurately titled the Book of Coming Forth by Day):

The god himself, fallen into carnal mire, had to be raised and restored to sound condition. [. . .]

Horus goes "wherever there lieth a wreck in the field of eternity." This redeemer is announced with joy:

"Hail, Osiris! Horus makes thee to be joined to the gods. . . . He brings to thee the gods in a body. None among them escape from his hand. Horus loves thee more than his own offspring, he unites thee to those of his own body. Horus makes his Ka to be in thee. . . . He makes a spirit to be in thee."

And the Manes again is hailed:

"Ho, Ho! thou art raised up! Thou hast received thy head, thou hast embraced thy bones, thou hast collected thy flesh, thou hast searched the earth for thy body."

Here is strong assertion again that man is to summarize in himself the qualities of the whole scale of being, denominated gods. All their powers and virtue have to be embodied in man's organic wholeness to make him, like the resuscitated Osiris, "Neb-er-ter, the god entire." Every member of the old Atum, deceased and defunct, had to be fashioned anew in a fresh creation. Like a person recovering from amnesia, he had to recollect his former knowledge, reassemble the component elements of his dismembered integrity. [Kuhn, Lost Light, 549 - 550; ellipses in the original except as indicated by brackets]

In other words, the ancient myths depict our condition in this incarnate life. The story of the death and restoration of Osiris is not about the afterlife but about this one!

The ancient myths imbue the great cycle of precession, which inexorably displaces the order of the heavens, with the concept of our own separation and alienation which we almost inevitably experience in this incarnate life. The myths illustrate that, like the unhinged millstone, something is amiss. We find ourselves alienated from nature, from other men and women, from the gods, and ultimately from our own Self.

And yet, as Alvin Boyd Kuhn explains in the passage above regarding the myth of Osiris and Isis and Horus, the myths illustrate a path to our restoration and re-integration with all of those realms from which we have become alienated -- and our recovery indeed of our own Self.

This theme of restoration -- including the recovery of our own lost Self -- is incredibly powerful and moving, which (I would argue) accounts for the enduring popularity of the story of The Lion King, which dramatizes this ancient mythological story in such a way that we all can identify with its message on a visceral level.

Now, as you consider the alienation of young Simba and his loss of awareness of his own Self, and his eventual rediscovery of this very same Self, you can perhaps more clearly understand this central message of the world's precious ancient myths!

Please take the time to watch the video below, from July of 2012, in order to better understand the motion of precession and its enduring importance to this very moment. Even though it's an early effort and a bit rough around the edges, the "metaphor of the dining room table" is (I believe) very helpful to understanding the action of precession -- and the video also goes into the importance of the "precessional numbers" in the world's ancient myths, and in ancient monuments including the Great Pyramid at Giza and the proportions of the layout of Teotihuacan in Mexico.

And, if it is at all possible to do so, please join me at this year's Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge in Newport Beach, California, this October 4th through 6th for more on the stars, the myths, and the recovery of the Self.