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

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

2018 08 07 original show time for LTV.jpg

Big thank-you out to Joe Rupe, the founder and host of Lighting the Void for having me over to his live radio show and podcast, and a most enjoyable conversation about the connections between the myths and the stars . . . and the implications for our understanding of history, our seemingly-material universe, who we are and what we are doing down here.

The interview below was recorded on Friday, August 10th, 2018. You can listen to it using the embedded player, or download the file to a mobile device to listen while driving to work, doing the dishes, working in the garden, or walking down the block. You can also find the interview on Spotify as well as iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and wherever else good podcasts are found.

To those visiting here for the first time after listening to the podcast on Lighting the Void, welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the discussion and hope you will look around the main website at starmythworld.com where you can find links to videos, myths, resources, and all of my books thus far (complete with some sample content and links to order signed copies).

Below are some links to previous blog posts which touch on topics or subjects that came up during my conversation with Joe on Friday:

For those who just learned about Star Myths from Lighting the Void, I hope this information will be a blessing to you in some way, and I hope you will visit again soon!

And for those just learning about Lighting the Void, please give the show some good reviews on Stitcher or iTunes if you enjoyed the interview, subscribe to the LTV channel on YouTube, and support independent media as much as you can!


New video: Seeing the Star Myths -- Hercules and the Northern Crown

New video: Seeing the Star Myths -- Hercules and the Northern Crown

I've just published a new video entitled "Seeing the Star Myths: Hercules and the Northern Crown."

This video is a follow-up to the previous video on "Seeing the Star Myths: Scorpio and Ophiuchus."

In it, I explain that although an overwhelming amount of evidence demonstrates that the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories follow the very same system of celestial metaphor, this evidence is very difficult for most people to perceive (even if someone explains it), because most people cannot envision the outlines and stars of the various constellations.

However, it doesn't have to be this way! In 1952, famous author H. A. Rey (1898 - 1977) published a book entitled The Stars: A New Way to See Them, in which he lamented the sorry state of depicting the constellations used in most texts of that time (a situation which has hardly improved today, more than sixty-five years later), and the resulting lack of familiarity with the heavens among most men and women. 

The brilliant system he set forth in that text for envisioning the constellations makes it much easier to find the constellations in the night sky -- and, although Rey himself never seems to have mentioned it (an no one else seems to have mentioned it either), his system appears to be the very same system used in the world's ancient myths! 

Some of the undeniable correspondences between his outlines and ancient artwork which appears to be based on those same constellations (and which depict gods and mortals who appear in the various myths around the world) are shown in the above video -- and those examples could literally be multiplied into the hundreds or even the thousands.

This latest video discusses the constellation Hercules -- an extremely important figure in the Star Myths of the World -- with tips on how to find the constellation in the night sky, and discussion of some of the myths from various cultures which are connected to this heavenly figure. The video also discusses the nearby constellation of Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), and some of its manifestations in world mythology.

I hope you have an opportunity to locate these constellations for yourself, in the infinite realm of the heavens -- perhaps as you settle into a comfortable spot from which to observe some of the Perseid meteor shower.

Enjoy! Please feel free to share with friends and family, to provide feedback on the video page itself, and to subscribe to the Mathisen Corollary YouTube channel in order to receive notification when new videos are published. 

It's time to make your plans for the 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

It's time to make your plans for the 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

August 11, 12 and 13 are the dates that the annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak this year. These nights correspond to the dates of New Moon for the month (on August 11) and a very thin waxing crescent, which has experts predicting that this year's viewing conditions for the Perseid meteor shower could be the best for decades (on either side).

Here is a discussion anticipating this year's Perseid meteor shower from Earthsky.org

Here is a similar discussion from Sky & Telescope.

And here's one that appeared in Forbes with a little more discussion about the ominous comment Swift-Tuttle whose trail creates the annual Perseid shower each year when the earth passes through the debris-trail left by that comet's orbit.

Here's a link to a blog post I wrote seven years ago about the Perseid meteor shower, in 2011. And here's another which discusses why meteor showers tend to occur on the same days each year, and whey they have "given names."

Below is an image from Wikimedia commons in which a time-lapse camera captures several streaking Perseids crossing the circular paths of the stars (circular star-paths which are caused by the spinning of our spherical earth on its orbit):

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

As the above-linked articles make clear, observing the Perseids does not really require any special equipment: naked-eye viewing is best. A reclining chair (especially a lawn-chair) can be helpful, although you can also lie rather comfortably on the hood and windshield of your car, if you want (but be careful if you're not used to doing that). 

Although the Perseids are named for the constellation Perseus, indicating the direction from which they appear to originate in the night sky, as this article from Alan MacRobert at Sky & Telescope's weekly "This Week's Sky at a Glance" column explains:

A shower's radiant is the perspective point where the meteors would all appear to come from if you could see them approaching in the far distance. In fact we see them only in the last second or two as they streak into the Earth's upper atmosphere, and this can happen anywhere in your sky.

Perhaps more important than focusing on any single point in the sky is getting yourself to a propitious point on earth's surface from which to best observe the stars . . . and the meteors.

Fortunately, in the modern era, there are a plethora of tools available to help you select a favorable point on the terrain from which to observe the heavens. The familiar Google Maps gives you the ability to turn on the "terrain" mode for viewing, which is invaluable for conducting a little "map recon" of your local area in order to find pieces of terrain which are likely to offer an excellent view of much of the heavens. To use that feature, simply select "terrain" from the "hamburger" menu pulldown, and then begin to use the contour lines to tell you where the high ground and the low ground is likely to be located, and where on the map you might offer good unobstructed views of the night sky.

You can use the map to find high points created by hills, ridge lines, and saddles in the terrain. If you are not that familiar with topo maps and grid lines, the Google Maps give you some assistance by "shading in" the sides of hills and ridges, so that you can tell which is the high ground and which is the low ground (another clue is to look for places with water, such as ponds or streams, which will always be the lowest region, since water seeks the lowest places to pool).

Below, I offer some examples of places that might offer good views of the night sky, based on a "map recon" using Google Maps and the "terrain" view feature. I simply looked at the contour lines and terrain features, and drew in several little arrows pointing to spots that are likely to offer good unobstructed views of the night sky. Note that some of the locations may be unsuitable due to street lamps or other light pollution -- once you have conducted your map recon, it is advisable to go do an actual in-person recon during daylight hours in order to check for any dangerous features (such as sharp cliffs) and to see if there are streetlights in the area that might necessitate going somewhere else.

For purposes of showing the kinds of terrain features to look for, I chose two locations in California's historic gold country: Angel's Camp and Placerville (both places where I believe author Mark Twain  [Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835 - 1910] once stayed for extended periods). The first is Angels Camp:

angels camp with arrows.jpg

Note that all the points marked with red arrows indicate likely points which would offer good star gazing on dark nights (depending on streetlights or other light pollution). These are all locations with a road running through them. The methodology for this map recon involves looking at the contour lines to find hilltops and ridges with roads that might offer easy access to stargazers. You should be able to apply a similar type of recon to your local area, using Google Maps, so that you can plan in advance of the peak Perseid observation nights of August 11, 12 and 13.

Below is another example, showing Placerville, California and using purple arrows to mark likely spots for star-gazing (and meteor-shower watching), depending on the light pollution:

placerville 2 with arrows.jpg

I hope you will have the opportunity to get outside to look for Perseids during this year's Perseid meteor shower, if at all possible. Once you find an observation point which offers good views of the sky, and which seems to be safe and easy enough to locate after dark, all you have to do is go outside during the peak viewing hours for the meteor shower, and look to the heavens. 



New video: Seeing the Star Myths -- Scorpio and Ophiuchus

New video: Seeing the Star Myths -- Scorpio and Ophiuchus

I've just published a new video entitled "Seeing the Star Myths: Scorpio and Ophiuchus."

In it, I explain that an overwhelming amount of evidence points to the conclusion that the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories from cultures on every inhabited continent and island of our planet are based on a common system of celestial metaphor -- but that unless people can envision the constellations, this evidence will be very difficult to see or comprehend, even if someone is trying to present it and explain it.

Unfortunately, most people do not get a clear image of a constellation and outline in their mind when you say "Capricorn" or "Aries" or "Aquarius," although this is not at all their fault -- we're never taught it in school, and they are not addressed in any of the media we are exposed to on a daily basis. 

Not only that, but the way the constellations are usually presented is worse than unhelpful for seeing the constellations in the sky (and for seeing the connections between the myths and the stars). As the famous author H. A. Rey lamented in a book published all the way back in 1952, there are two ways that the constellations are usually presented to us, and both of them are worse than useless. 

One way is with flowery and often full-color images of what the constellations are supposedly intended to represent, and the other way is with abstract jumbles of lines which look nothing at all like what the constellations are intended to represent. Neither one will be of much use for finding the constellations, remembering what they look like, or seeing how the characters and episodes in the Bible and the other myths and sacred stories from around the world are all representative of specific constellations and their motions as part of the endless heavenly cycles.

However, it doesn't have to be that way! As mentioned above, H. A. Rey published a book over sixty-five years ago which provides an outstanding way of envisioning the constellations -- and what's more, appears to have either been based upon the ancient system used around the world in ancient myths and sacred traditions, or else to have independently reproduced it through Rey's own genius (although to my knowledge he never mentioned the connection between his specific outlining system and the ancient myths).

Of course, I can already hear someone (in my imagination) saying that since I myself grew up using this system of envisioning the constellations, published by H. A. Rey in the book The Stars: A New Way to See Them, and because I am so familiar with that system, that is what I unconsciously "project" into the myths. However, that argument is countervailed by the overwhelming number of ancient artifacts, sculptures, and reliefs from multiple cultures on different continents which can clearly be seen to be portraying gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines in postures which are distinctly reminiscent of the outlines of specific constellations -- outlines which match the system of envisioning the constellations published by H. A. Rey in 1952.

For a few examples of this correspondence, see previous blog posts such as this onethis onethis onethis one (note especially the ancient sculpture of Buddha and Vajrapani) and this one, as well as any of my recent books which contain hundreds of illustrations and star charts.

This video, and others to follow, will show a system for envisioning the constellations which should help in finding them in the night sky -- and in seeing them in ancient myths and artwork from around the world.

This one discusses Scorpio and Ophiuchus (with some mention of other nearby constellations, and of course the glorious column of the Milky Way), as well as a few myths from around the world which connect to those constellations.

Enjoy! Please feel free to share with friends and family, to provide feedback on the video page itself, and to subscribe to the Mathisen Corollary YouTube channel in order to receive notification when new videos are published.

The universal gods

The universal gods

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

I hope you have had the opportunity to go outside and witness in person the beautiful procession of planets now arrayed across the night sky, if at all possible.

Presently, you can easily see brilliant Venus in the west (setting fairly early, depending on your latitude and local terrain, by about 8:20 pm), followed by Jupiter high up in the center of the sky (just west of the center of the sky after sunset, in fact, and also very bright and a lighter yellow or gold than Venus), followed by Saturn just above the peak of the "Teapot" stars of Sagittarius (the farthest visible planet and thus small from our perspective, and a duller yellow), and finally bright red Mars rising in the east, larger and brighter than I have ever seen this planet:

2018 02 1955 AUG venus jupiter saturn mars.jpg

For more detail on their locations, including a diagram of the outline of the "Teapot," see this previous post.

Today it is generally believed that the names of deities were imposed upon the planets at a later time, such that the concept of the gods came first and their names were ascribed to planets "later" -- but the authors of Hamlet's Mill explain that this understanding is actually backwards, and that the ancients understood the visible markers in the heavens to reveal to us the Powers who operate in the Invisible Realm.

They write:

Today expert philologists tell us that Saturn and Jupiter are names of vague deities, subterranean or atmospheric, superimposed on the planets at a "late" period; they neatly sort out folk origins and "late" derivations, all unaware that planetary periods, sidereal and synodic, were known and rehearsed in numerous ways by celebrations already traditional in archaic times. [ . . . ]

Ancient historians would have been aghast had they been told that obvious things were to become unnoticeable. Aristotle was proud to state it as known that the gods were originally stars, even if popular fantasy had later obscured this truth. Little as he believed in progress, he felt this much had been secured for the future. 3 - 4.

Later they declare, again referencing Aristotle, that:

The most "ancient treasure" -- in Aristotle's word -- that was left to us by our predecessors of the High and Far-Off Times was the idea that the gods are really stars, and that there are no others. The forces reside in the starry heavens, and all the stories, characters and adventures narrated by mythology concentrate on the active powers among the stars, who are the planets. 177.

For more on the text in which Aristotle calls this preservation of the ancient science of a vanished predecessor culture (or cultures) an "ancient treasure," see this previous blog post from 2011.

As perceptive as the authors of Hamlet's Mill were, and as important as their text is for pointing out the existence of a vast, echoing, worldwide ancient system which was already in ruins and covered with the "dust of centuries" by the time the ancient Greeks came on the scene, I do not agree with them that the gods are only seen in the planets, or that the ancient myths are only designed to preserve scientific knowledge about the heavens. Although the ancients clearly understood and taught that the power and personalities of specific gods and goddesses are seen in (and projected by) the planets themselves, I have found overwhelming evidence that the same ancient myths teach us that the characteristics of specific gods and goddesses are also seen in the outlines and movements of specific constellations as well. 

Further, as stated above, it is my conviction based upon my analysis of the ancient myths thus far that the visible actors in the infinite realm of the heavens (the sun, the moon, the stars, and the visible planets) were used as a way of showing us profound and vital truths about the invisible world, the Other Realm: the realm of the gods. I'm not sure the authors of Hamlet's Mill would go this far (and in fact I suspect they would disagree with some of what I've asserted above, as well as other aspects of what I've written in various places over the years).

What is also very evident, and very significant, is that the ancients in their surviving writings (in the time of Aristotle, for example, and in the centuries slightly before and after his day) understood that the gods and goddesses acknowledged by various cultures were the same entities -- even if they were called by different names and described in different adventures and episodes. In fact, the ancient writers seem to have assumed this as a given, and didn't even spend time arguing the point, but rather simply state it as if the reader already agrees and understands the same thing.

For example, in the writings of the ancient Roman historian (and also senator) Tacitus, who lived from about AD 56 to about AD 120, the author describes the gods of the various tribes of Germania as corresponding to the deities worshiped by the Romans, and uses the Roman names when describing them -- and this practice was common among many other ancient writers as well. 

In the ninth "chapter" of the Germania by Tacitus, for example (which you can read online, along with any of the other chapters, here), the ancient writer informs us that:

Mercury is the deity whom they chiefly worship, and on certain days they deem it right to sacrifice to him even with human victims. Hercules and Mars they appease with more lawful offerings. Some of the Suevi also sacrifice to Isis.

Tacitus is here equating (or "conflating") the god Odin or Wotan with the Roman deity Mercury (who corresponds to Hermes in ancient Greece) -- and in fact, we can see that in the naming of the days of the week, Wednesday (named after Odin or Wotan in the English naming of the days of the week) is the same day as the day named for Mercury in the Latinate languages (the day is known in Spanish as Miercoles, for example).

Similarly, in the above passage Tacitus makes reference to deities among the tribes of Germania corresponding to Hercules and to Mars, and I believe he is here referring to Thor and to Tyr, both of whom have correspondences with the Powers whom the Romans referred to by those names. And indeed, as I have discussed in some of my books, there is ample evidence that gods corresponding to Hercules, Zeus, and Thor (all of whom share many characteristics and all of whom are visibly represented in the sky by the same constellation -- the one we call Hercules and which is visible in the star-chart above, near the top of the chart, directly above Ophiuchus) were also recognized in the Americas, such as in the Maya record of the Popol Vuh, where the deity also is associated with a thunderbolt weapon.

Another example you can consult online is found in the writings of the ancient philosopher Plutarch, who was roughly contemporary with Tacitus and is thought to have lived from about AD 46 to about AD 120, and who appears to have been an initiate into certain ancient mysteria and may also have been a priest of Apollo and perhaps also of Isis, in addition to having been a magistrate and an ambassador. 

In his treatise on the deities Isis and Osiris, Plutarch has no problems with declaring that Osiris corresponds to the god Dionysus, Set corresponds to Typhon, Zeus corresponds to the Egyptian deity Ammon, and so forth. You can see some of this discussion in section 12 of Plutarch's study of Isis and Osiris, here.

The significance of this ancient understanding of the universality of the gods should not be overlooked. Indeed, it is pretty much the exact opposite understanding as that which was imposed by the literalists, whose efforts to declare one set of texts as normative and one God as universal and supreme (and all others as false) brought about the end of the ancient world and the loss of much of what remained of that ancient wisdom which Aristotle references in the passages above.

In fact, the ancient view unites all of humanity, rather than dividing it. 

This is something to contemplate deeply -- perhaps as you enjoy the glorious spectacle of the visible planets arrayed in the heavens in the night sky this week.

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Sun enters the Sign of the Lion

Sun enters the Sign of the Lion

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

We're now traveling along our earthly orbit around our central star to the point where a month has elapsed since the point of the June solstice, such that we are entering the period of the year designated as the sign of Leo the Lion.

For those who wonder if the motion of precession, which inexorably "delays" the background of stars as the successive ages roll past, means that this period no longer corresponds to the characteristics anciently associated with the month governed by the sign of the Lion, the answer is "no" according to the analysis presented by Thomas Burgoyne (1855 - 1894) in the first chapter of the second volume of his two-volume Light of Egypt (1889), which argues that it is not the actual background stars which create the conditions and influences which correspond to any particular portion of the year but rather the angle of the sun's light which is a product of the relationship between the earth (and earth's axial tilt) and the sun at any given time of the year.

He explains that "the sunrise on the first of March is wholly different from the sunrise on the first of May" and that "it is the angle at which we, the inhabitants, receive the Sun's light that makes all the difference," and that just as this angle of incoming sunlight changes throughout each day as our globe rotates (changing the angle at which we receive the solar rays from sunrise to noon to sunset), so also it is the changing angle of incoming solar radiation throughout the year which creates the different characteristics of each zodiacal "sign," and not the particular background constellation which might be present from one age to the next.*

Thus, even though precession has delayed the background of stars since the Age of Aries (when Leo was the constellation in which the sun was located during this part of the year), it is still appropriate to refer to the period beginning around July 22 or 23 and lasting until about August 22 or 23 as the period corresponding to the sign of Leo, and to understand that the characteristics particular to this part of our annual journey have not changed. 

In his lectures on the celestial foundations of the ancient scriptures collected into what has come to be known as the Bible, the Reverend Robert Taylor of England (1784 - 1844) demonstrates that many of the descriptions of deity correspond to the Sun's movement through the different constellations of the zodiac band. 

For example, in a lecture on the identity of the Apostle Peter delivered on February 20, 1831, he argues that the verse which declares that "the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (found in Matthew 8: 20 and Luke 9:58) indicates that while the twelve Apostles all have houses, the Christ moves through each house without ever making one of them his permanent home (see Devil's Pulpit, page 148).

Elsewhere, Taylor argues that different aspects ascribed to deity contain explicit references to the characteristics of the different signs of the zodiac, including the "everlasting arms" of the sign of Cancer the Crab (the sign which commences with the highest point of the year, at the summer solstice), which Taylor discusses in a sermon found in Astronomico-theological Lectures, pages 262 - 263, or the vision of the Four Creatures in the Prophecy of Ezekiel, which Taylor mentions in the same sermon, on pages 263 through 268 and which I examine in great detail in previous posts such as this onethis one and this one, as well as in my 2016 book Star Myths of the World, Volume Three (Star Myths of the Bible).

Intriguingly, Taylor argues that the motion of the Sun through the sign of Leo the Lion, corresponding to the hottest time of the year and the time in which the Sun's path through the sky can still be said to be the highest path that it takes throughout the year helps us to understand aspects of the Most High, and that the very word "Lion" itself comes from ancient roots which evoke this concept. 

Taylor argues on page 261 that the word ON itself is an ancient name of the Sun. Note that the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis (the City of the Sun) was known as ON to the ancient Egyptians themselves (a word which also may have been pronounced AWAN). Taylor argues that this word may be the origin of our word "One" (also found in his discussion on page 261), as well as the word Aion or Eon, signifying a tremendously long Age, or by extension the concept of Eternity and the Eternal.

To this word was added another word for deity, El (and note that the name of another ancient solar god, Helios, is closely related to this same sound -- and may well be the origin of our common greeting "Hello"). Combining the divine names EL and ON or EON would give the origin of the ancient word for Lion (which in Greek is a very similar word, sounding like "leon," which comes down into modern English with very little change).  

Taylor asserts: 

To the Amonian title ON, or EON, was frequently added the universal name of God, El, and the compound word EL-EON signifying God Eternal, or the Eternal God; and also the name of the noblest of animals, the LION. The Lion was transferred to the highest domicile of the Zodiac, and became the type of the Sun, being then most high: the Sun in July, as having attained his highest altitude and splendor. 262

One need not necessarily agree with every assertion or argument that Robert Taylor put forth in his lectures (and I myself do not agree with him on numerous points) to perceive the significance of his larger thesis, which is that the ancient scriptures of what we call the Bible are in fact elucidating eternal truths using celestial metaphor, and that they employ the majestic and everlasting cycles of the heavens to convey to our understanding powerful concepts regarding the Invisible Realm to which we actually have access at all times.

By ignoring the undeniable fact that the Bible is built on celestial metaphor (as are all the world's other ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories), those who insist on interpreting them literally risk grievously distorting their message, and at the same time argue that the Biblical scriptures are somehow different from all the other sacred wisdom imparted in the form of myth to the cultures on every other part of our globe, on every inhabited continent and island.

In doing so, those insisting on literalizing the ancient scriptures also tend inevitably toward externalizing their message (because, almost by definition, if the ancient stories are describing literal, terrestrial history then they are describing things that pertain to other people, rather than dramatizing truths which pertain to each and every man and woman who has ever lived and to each and every man and woman alive today).

It is for this reason that Alvin Boyd Kuhn, in his 1940 masterpiece Lost Light, asserts that the ancient wisdom did not "leave out" or deny the existence of the Eternal, but that "it had the discretion to leave it alone!" He argues that the ancient teachers point us towards "contact with a god dwelling immediately within the human breast. No reaching after the moon of the Absolute diverted conscious purpose from actual touch with the god who stood at one's elbow" (45 - 46). 

This focus, Kuhn argues, implies no disrespect for the Absolute -- but instead urges "recognition of deity at the point where it was most accessible. The real heresy and apostasy," he asserts, "is to miss deity where it is to be had in the blind effort to seek it where it is not available" (46). 

With this perspective in mind, have a look at this article on "the Lion's Gaze" published by researcher and teacher Richard Cassaro, who has documented startling correspondences in architecture and symbology found in ancient monuments around the world -- correspondences which demolish the conventional historical paradigm which refuses to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence pointing to the existence of an ancient predecessor culture whose influence can be seen even in the earliest art and mythology of the most ancient civilizations known to us at this time.

In that 2015 article, Richard Cassaro points to an ancient parable, which is related in writings attributed to the 11th century Tibetan yogi Milarepa, which teaches that a dog chases a stick one throws, but a lion instead chases the thrower of the stick!

The meaning, as Richard elucidates in his exposition of the parable, is that like the lion we should not waste our effort chasing after that which is external (exemplified by the dog chasing after a stick) but rather that we should turn our attention to the heart of the issue -- which is to be found within ourselves and not in any external distraction.

In doing so, we ourselves can begin to manifest the characteristics associated with the Lion: majesty and dignity (attributes that cannot be approached by chasing after sticks, even if we dutifully retrieve thousands of sticks thrown for us). 

This is a very powerful teaching indeed, and one which we can profitably practice at any season of the year -- but perhaps most especially during this season of the Lion.




* Note, of course, that just because I agree with Thomas Burgoyne's arguments on this particular point does not mean that I endorse everything else that he asserts in his encyclopedic Light of Egypt texts from 1889, or everything else that he ever wrote in other places.

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Happy Birthday to George Clinton!

Happy Birthday to George Clinton!

 image: Wikimedia commons (  link  ).

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Happy birthday to inspired Funk messenger, songwriter, producer, and creative genius George Clinton! born this day -- July 22 -- in 1941.

The music of Parliament and Funkadelic continues to testify -- for nearly fifty years and still going strong -- to liberation over repression, truth over the syndrome, and the irresistible unstoppable power of funky music. 

And, at the heart of the message of Funk is that you already have a connection to the Funk deep inside you -- you just have to get in touch with it and let it come out, in a world that does everything it can to get you to "fake the funk" instead (or to "trade your Funk for what's behind the third door").

"Ride On" (1975) proclaims: "It ain't what you know -- it's what you feel: Don't worry about being right -- just be for real."
"Flash Light" (1977) proclaims: "Most of all he needs the Funk: help him find the Funk," and "Everybody's got a little light, Under the Sun, Under the Sun, Under the Sun." 
"Deep" (1978) proclaims: "Everybody is deep! Everybody is deep!"

George Clinton's genius uses music to convey this vital message -- but he doesn't stop there: his genius is also to use drama (including memorable funky and un-funky characters, conflicts, and humorous dialogue) to play it out before our eyes (or in our mind's eye).

Below is an incredible twenty-eight minute version of "Flash Light" (complete with inspired musicianship) in which George Clinton leads and coordinates the action -- and in which Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk finds his inner Funk (with the help of the Bop Gun):

So wherever you are, raise a toast to George Clinton ("I'll toast to that! I'll toast to that! We'll Funk to that! Bottoms up!")  --

Happy birthday, Dr. Funkenstein! Keep on spreading your funky message to the world!