Monday, June 30, 2008

Astronaut Theology: Face the Facts

This post has been kicking around the queue for quite a while now. But after trying to wrap my brain around the whole topic, I thought I'd revisit the issue after reading that the whole Council of Nine group were involved with the whole Mars controversy, and that some had claimed that the Face had been seen by remote viewing several years before the Viking missions.

Of course, Jack Kirby seems to have remote-viewed the Face in 1958, as seen above. In honor of Kirby, the Face also has a place of honor in this blog's masthead. I spoke to the group at Esalen about this remarkable synchronicity, which again ties back to the Nine. In Jeffrey Kripal's book on
Esalen, we learn that in one of the stranger episodes in its history, a medium claiming to channel the Nine essentially took control of the institute for several years in the early 80s. Much to Michael Murphy's chagrin, I might add.

There's been such a flurry of activity in the news subliminally linking Mars and Egypt, I thought it would be an opportune time to revisit the controversy.

Here is the object commonly known as "The Face on Mars," as photographed in 1976. Of course, it caused a whole big hullabaloo and became the subject of a number of books. Picknett and Prince allege in The Stargate Conspiracy that somehow someone may have actually looking for this structure at Cydonia, based on the sequence programmed into the Viking satellite.

However, in the late 90s, NASA send up a new satellite to photograph Mars and made a big to-do about photographing Cydonia.

This is the picture of the Face that was released to the press in 1997. Richard Hoagland screamed bloody murder over the doctoring (and indeed it didn't match the rest of the images for quality), but the mainstream media just laughed it all off and that was the end of it for most people. Then the Mars Global Surveyor went up and took a whole new set of photos.

Now I had to go looking for this Surveyor image, which- of course- wasn't widely released to the press. And this is a cropped version of a huge landscape of the Cydonia region, where the Face is one of many features.

And more recently, the ESA created a bunch of computer generated cartoons of the Face based on new satellite images. How they get those interpretations - and why this feature continually needs to photographed (and rendered via CGI) at odd angles is beyond me. But I'm not interested in the facial features per se, I'm interested in the symmetry. I did that graph in a few minutes by tracing the contours of features on the left side and finding they matched up with features on the right. What's more, the whole thing strikes me as strangely geometric, particularly for a "natural" formation. The fact that this structure has been sitting on an extremely violent planet without a protective atmosphere might account for the facial features- if ever there were any- becoming badly eroded.

Whatever the case may be, what should really draw our attention are the weird games being played with this issue- the manipulations, the weird CGI images, the odd angles, the clandestine releases. But also the fact that the space agencies are suddenly awfully horny to put people on the surface of Mars - a planet very far away and presently extremely inhospitable to human life- during an worldwide economic downturn.

What's more, the Face is not the only strange object on Mars by a long shot. And the other conundrum here is if the Council of Nine's psychics saw this thing before it was photographed in 1976, did NASA go looking for it solely based on their advice? What does that say about the influence of a group that most people could be excused for dismissing as a bunch of gullible New Agers? A remote viewer wouldn't necessarily know if this this thing was artificial or not and given my other investigations into Jack Kirby's predictions, it's a good bet he could have remote viewed it as well.

One thing I am absolutely sure of- there are some very strange goings-on when it comes to Mars, and I have a feeling our experience with Martian weirdness is just beginning. Especially when you consider that last Friday the Economic Times- the world's most prestigious financial newspaper- barked out "Will Religion End on Mars?," concluding that "religions would, therefore, have no choice but to modify their dogma to bring extra-terrestrial life into their creation beliefs."

Easier said than done.

Seeing that having hundreds of millions of religious people having their entire cosmology thrown into doubt would cause an enormous problem for the world's governments, one wonders if that might not be a motivation for some of the tomfoolery we see around the Mars issue. Religion has always been the single most powerful tool of social control the power structure has, there are no two ways about it. Billions- if not trillions- of dollars are spent maintaining the world's major religions every year. You'd better believe that they wouldn't tamper with that on a lark, or some New Age wish fulfillment fantasy.

So why all of the interest in Mars now? I can't remember a time when the issue has been more front and center. No matter what is being told to the public, it's been obvious for a very long time that some very powerful people see Mars and ancient Egypt as being intimately linked. As with the Council of Nine situation- which all began a quarter-century before anyone in the public knew anything about it- you're talking about a large group of influential people who in fact believe in these things. And indeed, have often gone to great lengths to hide that belief from the rest of us.

I can't pretend to understand what the Cydonia situation or the Council of Nine situation is all about. I only know that it's definitely not what some conspiracy theorists - all of whom are phenomenally unqualified in every applicable field - would like to dismiss it as. The idea that you could fake an alien landing in a media-savvy time such as ours is simply not credible to me. The first thing everyone- from Boston to Bangalore- would think is that it was all a publicity stunt for some new Michael Bay movie.

The fact that Mars is suddenly at the top of the agenda reminds me of how Iraq was such a fixation for so long. There's the oil of course, but there's also the archeological remains of Sumer and Babylon. Let's not forget one of the first orders of business following Saddam's defeat was looting and ransacking the Baghdad museum. Now that that was accomplished, Mars has become suddenly incredibly interesting to all of the major powers.

Don't think for a minute that's by accident.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Programming Note...

The Secret Sun is going to go on a more sporadic schedule for the summer while I immerse myself in my studies. I will continue to update, but on a less-frequent basis. I feel like I've stumbled into a number of topics that I don't understand fully, and there are some new dots on the horizon that need connecting.

I'm going to be largely incommunicado for the next two months in order that I may follow this new stream of consciousness to its source. I must say a lot of this springs from my recent visit to Esalen and some of the issues raised from that. I will be posting a major article tomorrow, and following that will be mainly delving into pop culture topics, though not exclusively.

Let me just end this by saying this is an excellent time for all of us to keep our eyes wide open and our feet planted on terra firma.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Big Sur Fires rage on

This is awful. The fires seem to be centering on Big Sur, and apparently only 3% of the blazes are contained. This is like Paradise Lost. Truly one of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen in my life. Fortunately, Nature and the people who live in the area are hardy folk. Esalen appears to be untouched by the fire, which gives me a great sense of relief.

Maybe I should stay out of California. I was in LA working on the Aladdin marketing program at Disney two weeks before the Rodney King riots...

"For Seventeen Days..."

The 17 Enigma deepens- The Olympic Games run for 17 days, both Winter and Summer.

Now go watch that 1984 Olympics closing ceremony again...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fripp for Friday: Sorcerer of Sound

Robert Fripp has been ripping the guitar apart and putting it all back together wrong for almost 40 years. He never got the memo that progressive rock is just a label, that it's not actually supposed to be progressive. No one explained to him that prog bands can't have the energy and aggression of a punk band. No one ever told him that little professor looking guys aren't supposed to play with gut-ripping emotion. Nor that- especially in the 70s- prog guitar heroes weren't supposed to play with New Wave weirdoes like Blondie or the Talking Heads or get Daryl Hall to sing punk rock. He's a very obstinate character.

I saw Fripp doing his solo electronic guitar work called Frippertronics in the old Winter Gardens at the World Financial Center. It became obvious seeing him that at heart the man is a sorcerer of sound, and was unleashing huge torrents of emotion throughout the place. It was fascinating to see all of these stock broker types glued to their seats, all misty eyed.

Here is Fripp with prog supergroup King Crimson, who are coming up on their 40th anniversary next year.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Good Morning Spaceship"

Wow, the Kanye West Bonnaroo scandal is certainly very big news this week. Why? Who cares about a badly received performance at a festival? Is there something else going on behind the story itself?

I mean other than the UFO/spaceship theme of the set or the giant, illuminated, green Bonnaroo sign? Boy, green illumination certainly has been in the news a lot this week.

Those Kooky EU Characters! (Updated)

Where do those crazy EU guys go to drown their sorrows after the Irish No vote? Send those nutty clowns to Siberia! Seriously! Get 'em outta here! Wow, that's an interesting eight-sided pyramid....

...but not as interesting as this one! Zowie! You gotta love the Soviet-era name for this; Urgorian Land Pioneers Memorial. I guess "Big Spooky Heroic Peoples Siberian Pyramid" was already taken! And it's a tetrahedron! Wait a minute, do you mean to tell me that those nutty high-placed Hoagland fans are in Russia, too? Oh, now, wait a minute- you're taking this all a little teensy bit too far, buddy!

And Khanty Mansiysk is the future home of a giant glass obelisk, too! Wacky! And a heavenly insemination beam? Those Russkies are a panic!

UPDATE: Hey, wait a minute, you kooky Ruskies! What's the big idea with the illuminated green pyramid! You might have snuck that one by me but not by Daria!

You know, they borrow our green pyramid from our dollar bill and then they're up to some kind of shenanigans with those flags! Man, laugh a minute over there!

The Crystal Skull of "Knowledge"

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is one of those films that absolutely defies synchromystic analysis by shoving it all in your face, down your throat, out the other end and back again. I'm not going to go into too much detail right now, but suffice it to say that everything we've been discussing here- and at several other stops on the synchronmystic circuit - is put out there right in the open: ancient astronauts, remote viewing, automatic writing, channeling, alternative history, Stargates and on and on and on. In fact, I'm not sure I didn't fall asleep and dream all of that- is that in the same movie you saw?

I've talked a lot about my patron goddess and muse Ka-Hathor-Ein Eloah-Isis Blanchett, and she plays exactly the role I would have picked out for her myself. In fact, the entire thing sort of plays like a bunch of smarmy skeptics writing a parody of a synchromystic film, it's so completely over-the-top. There's also a scene in the film that you see a snippet of in the trailer that reminds me of the drive to Esalen.

I love the closing benediction that the real treasure is "Knowledge," ie, Gnosis. Especially what the Gnosis is of in this case. I've always seen the ancient Gnostics as mostly a bunch of poseurs, but I think the original idea came from knowledge of something tangible.

Think about it- all of the conspiracies, all of the wars, all of the time and trouble and sacrifice all of the secret societies and priesthoods and all the rest have gone through- what is it really for? Spiritual enlightenment? Is this some metaphysical secret or is this something that could be exploited- and perhaps even weaponized- if you had it? All of this stuff we talk about has something incredibly powerful and profound at its core- not something ethereal. Bet the farm on it.

Anyhow, the last film that put it all out there in the open- National Treasure- turned out to be telling another story entirely. So I'll have to sit down with the DVD and watch Indy 4 a hundred times or so before what's really being said in this film is revealed. Just the fact that we've gone from Old Testament (Raiders) to New Testament (Last Crusade) to frickin' ancient astronauts is pretty remarkable on the face of it, and I didn't notice anything offhand, but these things take time, as Morrissey once sang.

My other question is why now, and why an Indiana Jones film? I admit I hadn't paid a lot of attention and had no idea there was so much hardcore A.A.T. stuff in this film. And it's not like we've been seeing a lot of this in the movies lately. Why now, and why so over-the-top explicit? And has there ever been a human being more obsessed with aliens than Steven Spielberg?

I realize this isn't a very timely review, but I've been so busy I hadn't time to see the film until recently. I'll be going into much greater detail once I have a chance to maniacally obsess on the DVD.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

OvaryGate Obelisk

Wow, ever see an obelisk atop a high school?

Hibernian Humpday: George Carlin

George Carlin left us on Sunday, leaving a huge void in the Tellers of Uncomfortable Truths community. Anyone who grew up in an Irish neighborhood knows a dozen George Carlins, miserable old curmudgeons whose misery stems from a deep and profound love for humanity. The George Carlins of the world can paint the blackest picture of the world imaginable and leave you laughing and somehow filled with hope.

George never sold out, never stopped bitching and telling the truth, and we have to love him for that. I had a very strange premonition the night he died, so in honor of that and of George and of miserable old Irish curmudgeons everywhere, I'll kick off Hibernian Humpday with a tribute including some laser-sharp snippets of truth from the man....

George takes on Dumblegate and the sick, unfunny joke of our political system. You know, George didn't really tell jokes- he simply told it like it was. He was like a zen master in that regard- you were hit with the absurdity of it all and all you could do in response was laugh.

Farewell, George. May the road rise up to meet you.

More Carlin Truthtelling on Droidy's site, Including the bit I was thinking of just before they announced his death. Very spooky, indeed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Big Sur Wildfires

Looks like I got out of Big Sur just in time- a freak "dry" electrical storm is the culprit behind the latest California wildfires, which have spread all throughout Northern California. They have a number of major streams and springs running through the property at Esalen, I hope that prevents the fires from spreading there.

As if Highway 1 wasn't terrifying enough, there are fires running up and down of it. All of the hills south of San Francisco are all brown this time of year- this freak storm system is extremely bad timing, to say the least.

Hope all of my friends and readers in the area are safe and well....

The Midsummer Fires

How is it that the more technologically advanced this culture becomes, the more pagan it becomes? Or that some of the most enthusiastic pagans seem to be the ones most immersed in technology?

Untold millions of teenaged boys are receiving their daily tutorials in militaristic paganism every day in the immersive online game World Of Warcraft. Remember this is the exact same age group that spent their pre-teen years pretending to play Yu Gi Oh and watching Cardcaptors.

I wanted to do a post on the Saint John's Fires but couldn't find any good images, mainly because no one needs to call them that anymore. I found a couple good ones for the Midsummer Fires (still celebrated in the Celtic Fringe) but this image kept coming up. It turns out this is a week-long celebration of the Midsummer Fires.

On World of Warcraft.

Read this jaunty little blurb aloud in your best Ren-Fair English accent:
Ah, so you weren't chosen for Flamekeeper this year? Don't fret, my friend! The Midsummer Fire Festival isn't merely about that traditional honor; it's a time of merriment, a chance to celebrate the hottest season of the year by lighting great fires across the land and sharing in what the elemental spirits can offer. Come to our camps and join in the revelry!
So war it is, again, and magic. And technology. Quite a concoction. I wonder what the kids cutting their teeth on Wizards of Waverly Place will be into a few years from now.

I asked my son about the Midsummer Fire Festival and he was genuinely shocked- and a little outraged, I might add. How could a non-WoW initiate know about such a thing? Not realizing it's been around in the real world for thousands of years.

I guess this is sort of a virtual Burning Man. Which is fine.

It's very hard to put into words, but I believe the best way to incorporate these ideas and rituals back into our culture is under the auspices of art and entertainment. I'm still working it all out, but I think Jung was leaning towards this as well, once he got over that bout of enthusiasm after his breakdown.

This is basically my working theorem: Paganism was about being absolutely beholden to nature and essentially attempting to appease it. Once humankind learned to harness the forces of nature, the old gods (the Netjer, as the Egyptians called them) began to lose their hold over us. The Mystery tradition- Eleusinian, Dionysian, etc.- was about entering into a personal relationship with the spirit realm and/or the forces of nature. This process was intentionally politicized with Monotheism, which became about being the happily obedient subject of a benevolent dictator.

What I hope we are moving to is a more mature- and less subservient- relationship to universal consciousness, especially through the use of symbol and the study of the archetypes. It's what Jeff Kripal calls the "religion of no religion." I see Synchronicity essentially as universal consciousness responding to our inquiries and guiding us along the path. What I hope this all becomes is an evolution towards an identification with universal consciousness, not more subservience (mind you, I hate terms like "consciousness" but it's all we have for now).

If it all becomes religion we're right back where we started from.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Astronaut Theology: Their (Green) Sun is Different

"Secret Sun" goes back to my childhood. It refers to a recurring dream I've had since I was very young in which the Sun comes out in the middle of the night, but only a select few know about it.

I actually coined the term sitting in the 33rd St Path station one day in 1996 because my publisher (Sirius Entertainment) told me I had to come with a personal imprint name for my comic, Halo, An Angel's Story. A woman was reading a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book that looked like it had an eclipse on the cover, and suddenly the phrase popped into my head. But I've been never able to find the book cover in question after all these years.

It didn't occur to me until very, very recently that there may in fact be a secret sun hiding behind all of the Mysteries and Masonry and all the rest of it. Now, I'm not necessarily saying such a thing exists, I'm saying the symbols seem to be pointing to a belief in such a thing. And it would be a secret because it's where the gods came from.

This whole bit with Ra and his green sun that we looked at the other day has opened up a major can of worms in my already-overcrowded brain. It fills in a lot of gaps in this ongoing mystery story. And on Saturday, I suddenly realized it ties right into Exhibit A of the Masonic character of our ruling class, which even schoolchildren know about today...

To recap, a blogger delved into some Egyptian texts and realized that Ra's sun is green, ringed, and travels from west to east every day. The ringed bit caused some readers to assume this may be Saturn, which is a fair guess. But this is a sun we're talking about, and Saturn has different correspondences altogether. The Egyptians probably also knew about about "sundogs," or parhelions, since they are a rare but not unknown occurance, as we see in this Renaissance painting.

The description of a green sun with a series of rings might be complete fabrication, of course. If in fact they describe Saturn, we're up against a mystery once again, since history tells us Saturn's rings weren't discovered until 1610. We have no record of telescopes being used by the Egyptians and yet we have a heavenly body surrounded by rings described in Egyptian myth.

I know this is impossible and everything, but what the green sun and the rings might describe are the atmospheric conditions on an alien planet, which cause the Sun to appear green and ringed.

Horus and Ra are often syncretized, but in fact are two separate entities in mythology. Horus was said to be an earthly king who instituted the dynasty of the Horus Kings as well as being a Helios-type solar embodiment. Here we see Horus with his father Osiris, whom we'll look at in a moment. Horus is obviously a young man, dressed in the garb of an Egyptian warrior.

Here is Ra: also hawk-headed and wearing the Sun Disk, but an obviously older and more august figure. Noticed the checked pattern of his tunic as well as the black and white design on his chest-piece. Remind you of anything?

Now, we know that Ra is not on Earth- he returned to his home in space where he looks over the Netjer. Of all the gods, only Ra and Osiris are in "The Heavens," meaning outer space. And we know now that Ra symbolizes the green sun...

..and Osiris himself has green skin. So why green? We see green today as representing the Earth; why would it be associated with the two heavenly figures in Egyptian mythology? Note the candy cane crook, which Jake has written about, as well as that alternating dark-light block pattern again).

Ra is also symbolized by the Udjat, the "All-Seeing Eye," as is Horus. Why would this important symbol - which symbolizes monarchy - represent two different characters? Maybe there's been a long-standing misinterpretation- there are two different udjats representing two different suns. One is our yellow sun, and the other is, of course...

...Green. There's your green sun, right there on the back of the dollar bill.

Which poses a question: is this the Eye of Horus or the Eye of Ra? The phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum, which made the news again when Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as Speaker of the House, might be interpreted to argue in favor of Horus. It comes from The Aeneid, written by the Roman poet Virgil:

"The last prophecy has come to the Cumaean Sibyl; a brand new great order of the ages is born; for now the Virgin and the age of Saturn have returned; now a new Child has been sent from the heavens."

But the seal is a jumble in some ways- we have the invocation to Horus, son of the Virgin and Saturn (Osiris), but Annuit Coeptis comes from an invocation to Jupiter. But Jupiter was also identified with Amun, who also later came to be identified with Ra (as Amen Ra). Religion was very confusing back then.

I do think this Eye is Ra, since the headline there has the Jupiter bit, and the announcement of the "coming child" is addressed by the reverse of the seal...

...this is Horus, the war bird. Note the arrows are in the left hand, which reminds us of the "left hand path" and Crowley's conquering Horus of The Book of the Law. We see the same identification of the eagle with Horus (through 17) on the golden dollar.

Now remind yourself again we're talking about the Great Seal of the United States, which we are supposed to believe was founded as a "Christian" nation. It doesn't matter what nonsense your history teacher sold you, these symbols are not vague and amorphous civic niceties, they all had very specific meanings and correspondences in the pre-Christian world. This is all sun god stuff we're looking at, there's no question about it. And it's also all colored in green.

So why is the dollar green? No one seems to know. But the Eye of Ra and all of the rest of Masonic symbolism might be pointing to Ra and his green sun. In a purely mythological fashion, of course.

But it begs the question: what is the real lost secret of Freemasonry?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Weekend Wibble: Sparky's Dream

Sparky can't even escape the Squid in his dreams! The Wibble Train is making a whistle-stop at Ebay, if you want to hop on....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rocket Man

Today is the 56th anniversary of the death of John Whiteside Parsons, founding father of the space program, poet, science fiction buff, libertarian philosopher and self-proclaimed antichrist.

Robert Anton Wilson presents his viewpoint on this enigmatic personality. Click on links for the rest of the interview at the end of the clip.

Click here for an in-progress online comic strip biography.

Go Green

Man, that whole thing with Ra symbolizing the green sun sure opened up a can of worms. Interesting to note that as we march towards 2012- which some people believe will culminate in alien contact/invasion - we see this "Green" craze. Live green, think green, go green.

I can't help but notice how similar the new Green party logo looks to the War of the Worlds poster. Which, of course, has to take place in New Jersey. Another reason to move.

Like I Said, Their Sun is Different...

It turns out that Ra might be even more unusual than we've previously assumed. Dwardu Cardona writes on Thunderbolts:
Consider further the motion of the celestial object called Ra. In a statement found in one of the Coffin Texts, the deity is addressed with these words: "You shall go up upon the great West side of the sky and go down upon the great East side of the earth." Is not this contrary to what the present Sun does? Does the Sun today "go up" in the west? Does it "go down" in the east? Nor is this particular Coffin Text the only one in which the motion of Ra is in reverse to that of the present Sun.

More than that, when sailing in his boat, Ra is said to move down at dawn and "upstream" at night, which is again contrary to what we see the Sun doing in our sky at present.

One does not have to be an astronomer to realize that a celestial body described as being green, shedding a green light, shining at night, encircled in a ring or series of rings, "going up" in the west at night and "going down in the east" at dawn cannot have been the Sun. Mythologists, who usually gloss over these characteristics when they do not ignore them altogether, owe us an apology for having presented Ra as the Sun and Sun-god of ancient Egypt.

Other attributes of the Egyptian Ra also contradict identification with our present Sun, but the above should suffice to make the point. The question, of course, is: If not the Sun, what could the celestial object that the ancient Egyptians venerated as Ra have been?
Um, how about the alien sun from where these god-beings came?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The New City of the Sun?

The Sun's been popping up so much in so many strange contexts that it's really getting past the point of brushing it all off as a design fad. Especially when you look at advertisements like this. Now, when you think of American cities that would be associated with the Sun you think Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, maybe Houston- I guarantee there's probably one city that no one thinks of...

...and that's Philadelphia. I love Philly, but I'm a bit stumped what the exoteric explanation would be for using that alchemical-looking Sun as the new logo for "Historic Philadelphia." But considering that Philly was an historic stronghold for the Freemasons I sure as hell can guess what the esoteric one might be. Just in case you've never seen it, the logo for the Grand Lodge of Pa. is not entirely dissimilar to the logo for this new advertising blitz...
Philadelphia was also the first city on the latest King Tut tour, which was at the Franklin Institute. In case you forgot, King Tut was the regent who restored the old gods to Egypt after a period of strife and plague during the tumultuous reign of the fantatical monotheist Akhenaten.

And -of course- there never seems to be any kind of museum exhibit dealing with Egypt that isn't followed by something to do with Mars. And the Franklin Institute's "Next Stop Mars" exhibit is certainly no exception. Must be those nutty high-placed Hoagland fans again...

Congratulations, Your Credit Score is 17!

Yes, 17 is excellent! It wears the Sun as its crown! Its excellence is proclaimed from the River, which is the source of all life!

The excellence of 17 is even written in the River of the Stars! Not-17 is poor!

17 will help you keep your head above water even in the worst of times!

17 is the new 33- let both be your chariot in the time of Inundation!

Another Great is Gone...

Stan Winston dead at 62.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Well, That Sucked

This is the Ren Fair I used to go to in Mass. There was no jousting or anything in NJ, but a f*ck of a lot of this...

Before we walked into the Ren Fair (this year has a Pirate theme, God help us all) we were approached by a woman who was ranting on about how horrible and what a ripoff it all was. She was pretty irate, but we chalked it up to the fact that the weather was ghastly. NJ is the moistest state in the nation by far and unless you're down at the shore, Summers here are intolerable.

It definitely sucked this year, but no more than usual, I suppose. They all seem the same to me- inept, goofy, cut-rate- but any break from the relentless ennui of NJ suburbia doesn't have to try too hard to divert me for an hour or two. But the weather just naturally makes you all the less forgiving of it all. My daughter loves it and the boys used to enjoy it as well, so it became a kind of tradition for Father's Day. Maybe next year we'll save the money and try the big one in upstate NY in September.

I was struck by how ill-advised it is to plan these things in the horrid NJ summer when most of these people are wearing about 35 pounds of clothing. Maybe other Ren Fairs try a little harder, but I'm also struck by how little effort is put into this particular shindig. It's basically a grammar school field day with sweaty, well-nourished underacheievers who don't seem particularly motivated to create a convincing environment. They seem more interested in staging the excruciating type of mock-comedic theater you see a lot at cons, but just as long as it doesn't distract them from their Wii's or their Taco Bell time. There was the usual Madrigal chorus but no one- not a single person- was attempting to sing in harmony and no one knew how to project. I was standing about 20 feet away from a chorus of about 20 people and I could barely hear them.

It's easy to rag on Ren Fair people but I think the concept can be reasonably entertaining if done well. It can be a good family outing that can offer a nice kind of hippie vibe, if run by people who aren't simply out to take your money and force you to listen to their wretched accents, which often seem to be drawn solely from repeated viewings of Monty Python and The Holy Grail. These people need to try a little bit- well, a lot- harder especially when the weather is so assaultive.

What's interesting in the light of this blog is that the original concept of Ren Faires was to recreate the time of Queen Elizabeth I, which of course is when England fell under the sway of occultists like John Dee and Edward Kelley, as well as Rosicrucian/Neo-Templar master schemers like Francis Walsingham and Francis Bacon. So much of the curvature of world history came be traced to that era, when the idea of a worldwide British empire was first conceived. At the same time, Shakespeare was creating the prototype not only for mass media but also the English language as we know it today. Soonafter, we had the King James Bible which would shake all of Christendom to its core, and then Freemasonry and its attendant revolutions. So even in as humble a setting as a Ren-Faire, you have the Mysteries lurking behind the curtain.

As to the NJ Kingdom people, a word of advice- spend less time in the off-season at Wicca meets and more time in the library. Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for these people, but just because you make a nice costume doesn't mean you have a competent fair.

X-Files Official Site w/New Trailer

The X-Files official site is now up, with a new official trailer. This looks like the most breathtaking film in a visual sense since Insomnia. Plus, you gotta love the whole Scottish angle.

Well, I'm off to the Ren-Fair. I'm taking my anti-cringe meds and hoping for the best. Just kidding- I actually enjoy these things- it stokes my 70s nostalgia. The whole subulture really got a big boost from the Lord of the Rings films- wonder if the Hobbit films will do likewise?

Scottish Sunday: Punker Than You Think

70s cheese doesn't get any more cheddary than the Bay City Rollers, but they also laid the groundwork for the Power Pop movement to come. A lot of you are probably too young to remember just how wretched Top 40 radio had gotten by the mid-70s. You had syrupy balladeering cheek-by-jowl with mewlingly sensitive singer-songwriters and airless Disco- it was a nightmare. So anytime you heard anything close to Rock and Roll, it was cause for celebration. "Rock and Roll Love Letter" has all the elements that Cheap Trick would take to the bank in '79, And "Saturday Night" was the prototype for Oi, whether the skins want to admit it or not.

Holy crap- I just realized that the Undertones were basically the Bay City Rollers on speed...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Religious News Wrapup: By Their Fruits

Well, of course the big news for me this week was processing my Esalen trip. It was a profound experience for me- many gaps in my general exegesis of life, the Universe and everything were filled in, and now I am working towards a much more potent understanding of how psychic phenomena and the UFO enigma play into seemingly unconnected fields such as Synchronicity and shamanism. I had mainly lost interest in the UFO material for the same reason a lot of you out there probably did- it's all so elusive and ephemeral you can't really do much with it all.

However, if you factor it all in a Synchromystic fashion- that is, dealing with the semiotic repercussions of the phenomena rather than trying to establish its physical veracity- you'll find that it can become a very potent weapon in your Synchromystic arsenal. I accept that there are all sorts of things we are as yet unable to quantify, so we need to follow a breadcrumb trail of synchronicity if we are to avoid taking off into the ether and believing everything regardless of documentation or evidence. I still have no idea what the UFO thing is about, I only know the phenomenon has left behind some incredibly potent semiotic fingerprints. And sifting through them is the most important legacy of my Esalen trip.

Speaking of synchronistic fingerprints, just down the road from Esalen, there's a nice little man from Venezuela named Rev. Geronimo Enrique Cuevas, who has a very low opinion of American morality. He said in 2001, "I think people in the American society have washed away their feeling of sinfulness. That nothing is sinful now. People in this country tend to minimize their sense of sinfulness. Nothing is a sin."

Believe me, this guy is an expert on sin...

Speaking of rank hypocrisy, up until very recently the news media was forever telling us how the Religious Right was constantly swelling their ranks- the subtext being we'd better surrender all of our freedoms to them now before its too late - but now we read that Southern Baptists Are Alarmed by Decline in Baptisms:
Baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention have fallen to a 20-year low, a trend that is setting off alarm bells in America's largest evangelical denomination.

The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches and ceremonies, an important indicator of conversions and denominational growth, fell in 2007 for the third year in a row by 5 percent to 345,941.

This follows on the heels of the news that many Baptist churches are changing their names because of the backlash against their denomination's role as the Republican Party's most enthusiastic and most unquestioning cheerleaders.

But while some people at the local parish level are waking up to how dangerous mixing politics and religion is to religion itself, their leaders want to continue feeding at the trough. It turns out that the Southern Baptist leadership plan is to cure their growing woes with the hair of the dog that bit them.
U.S. religious organizations shy away from explicit partisan endorsements which could threaten their tax exempt status and the resolution adopted by the SBC on Wednesday was no exception.

But several Southern Baptists interviewed over the course of the conference left no doubt that they were in the Republican fold even if they viewed the party's presumptive nominee John McCain as the lesser of two liberals in the White House match-up with Democratic rival Barack Obama.

"We plead with all Christians to exercise vigorously their responsibilities to participate in the political process by registering to vote, educating themselves about the issues, and voting according to their biblical beliefs, convictions and values," read the resolution.

Voting by "biblical beliefs" is often code in such circles for supporting candidates who oppose abortion and gay rights and support moves to bring back school prayer.
Wow, some gutsy decoding action going on there- oh, it's a Reuters story. You'd never see any of that in the whipped-dog US news media. Seeing that the Southern Baptist Church was created to justify the enslavement of Africans, it's no surprise they're revving the engines up again with the looming possibility of the election of an African-American as President. I'm sure this is all being done in hopes that the GOP will throw these guys a few extra (taxpayer) bucks, but as far as I can see the glory days are over for all of these people.

I don't know how all of this will play out, and now that Hillary's out, I don't really care who wins the election. I'm way past the point of believing politicians are anything but shills for pre-written agendas and I don't see any candidate for any office talking about how royally screwed we all are. We're looking at 5 dollar a gallon gas this summer and who knows what kind of prices for heating oil in the winter. Whatever's behind it all is irrelevant, if anyone thinks this new energy crisis isn't going to eat away at the foundations of our economy- hell, the world economy- they're dreaming. But since the mid-80s, I've noticed that so much of American society is glued together by cognitive dissonance.

Which brings us to our last story. Part of the Religious Right agenda has been to create religiously correct analogs of pop culture fads for their kids. It doesn't matter whether what they are imitating is remotely compatible with Christian practice. So we have Christian Rap, Christian Punk, Christian Death Metal and Christian boy bands. Never mind that the very architecture of these artforms is inherently inimical to a Christian lifestyle- that everything thing about these styles- not just the lyrics- is about rebellion and individualism. The point is to make money first and to pacify their kids second.

The latest bandwagon jump- and possibly the most offensive- is the "Christian" assprint. We're talking about using the screenprinted equivalent of the tramp stamp- to spread a chastity message at pre-pubescent girls. I'm sorry, did I wake up in a science fiction movie or something?
The nation's chastity advocates can now splash their message across a new kind of billboard - the preteen posterior.

Sweatpants with "True Love Waits," the name of a Christian abstinence group, are now being sold in junior clothing sections of Kmart stores nationwide.

The bubble-lettered slogan is screen-printed on the front and across the backside, telling oglers that it's okay to look - but not to touch.

Where do you start? It defies parody. But Eagle Eye Knowles spots another design in the same line- a pant proclaiming "Life is Sweet" along with an enigmatic 93. I assume most of my regular readers will know that "93" is Aleister Crowley's code for "Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law."

Oh, my. How fascinating.

Jesus said "By their fruits shall you know them." Yet, millions of people- and certainly our spineless media- still judge the leadership of the Religious Right by their words and not by their radically un-Christian actions. I still remember when all of this started up in the 70s- there was a very sincere and vibrant Christian counterculture that was absolutely swamped by all of the hick hucksters who hijacked the trappings of the movement just as the Nazis hijacked the trappings of the countercultural neopagan movement in Germany. Coincidence?

I don't believe in coincidences, you surely know that by now.

Weekend Wibble: Go to the Beach!

Sparky was sorting through some old pictures with the missus and gave her this great old shot of him as a little kitten at the beach. And lo and behold, the Squid was stalking him even as a baby! This pic is available on Ebay, if you need a dose of Wibble....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Always Hurt the Ones They Love II

The map at the top shows the U.S. counties that voted for Bush in 2004. The one at the bottom shows the counties most adversely impacted by Bush's policies, in this case the cost of gasoline. There's not an uniform correlation, but the patterns are staggering.

The parallels are much closer here. When you compare this map to the one above, you generally find that the more religious the county, the higher the percentage of income spent on gasoline. The Bible Belt is both the stronghold of the Republican Party and the region most adversely impacted by their policies.

It's amazing, really.

Study: Nature Scenes Can Reduce Stress

Newswise — Technology can send a man to the moon, help unlock the secrets of DNA and let people around the world easily communicate through the Internet. But can it substitute for nature?

Apparently not, according to a new study that measured individuals’ heart recovery rate from minor stress when exposed to a natural scene through a window, the same scene shown on a high-definition plasma screen, or a blank wall. The heart rate of people who looked at the scene through the window dropped more quickly than the others. In fact, the high-definition plasma screen had no more effect than the blank wall.

Nectar of the Gods

It appears that Anheuser-Busch will be taken over by a Belgian/Brazilian conglomerate, which is yet another milestone in the dismantling of the illusion of American invulnerability. We're talking about one of the core brands of national identity, especially for a large swathe of Middle American working-class men who treat Budweiser as a near-sacrament.

I wonder what they would think of this advertisement from the early 1900s that features the homoerotic Rape of Ganymede with the Anheuser-Busch eagle in place of the pansexual supreme deity Zeus? The first example of target marketing (the ad was placed in a theater magazine)?

Or this ad, in which we see the Budweiser beer wagon emerge triumphantly bathed in the rays of the rising sun like Helios and his flaming chariot? I love the opening line, "Here comes the king/here comes the big number one," as we get a eyeful of Sol-Helios-Apollo- Horus. Coincidence? Maybe.

But did I mention that Busch Gardens Europe has a roller coaster called "Apollo's Chariot?"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Astronaut Theology: "Making This Magic Begin"

Ever wonder what an Olympic ceremony would look like had it been produced by Aleister Crowley? Well, neither had I until an Red Ice interview with Rik Clay turned me onto this unbelievable video from the 1984 Summer Olympics. Now, of course, there's no earthly reason to assume this was some mass-scale occult ritual, but boy, it sure plays out like one. We have an announcer imploring the audience to hold up their (Masonic) blue lights in order that they can do "magic," under a full moon, no less. And we have "Also Sprach Zarathrusta"- which was inspired by the book written by Crowley's hero, Friedrich Nietzsche - blaring as a UFO hovers over the stadium,

Now, I admit I'm not a big fan of the Olympics, but what the hell do UFOs have to do with anything? Remember, this is the closing ceremony to the biggest sports event in the world. And to top it all off, we have a Lam lookalike come out of the ship (and out of Crowley's "Amalantrah Working") and address the crowd while standing in front of a obelisk, all in a stadium designed with a repeating arch motif.

The music here adds multiple layers of strangeness to it all- 1984 was the year the Russians and the Soviet bloc countries boycotted the games, and it also saw the release of the second part of Arthur C. Clarke's ancient astronaut manifesto, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, which also dealt with US/Soviet tension. The book the film is based on also brings us the alien transformation of Jupiter into "Lucifer," the new sun. The book actually uses "Lucifer Rising" for a chapter title, which again ties us back to Crowley. The release dates for these films are fascinating: 1968 was 33 years and 1984 was 17 years before 2001.

Now, that wasn't a real UFO or a real alien, which is why this plays like a ritual and not a working. But you had however many billion people watching this and absorbing this witches' brew subconsciously, which is undoubtedly the largest audience for what looks a devil of a lot like the largest explicitly magical invocation in history.

If you know anyone who still believes that only cranks and backwoods yokels believe in UFOs or ancient astronaut theory, show them this video and then have them take a gander at Picknett and Prince's The Stargate Conspiracy. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't see how you can hit all of those semiotic bases by accident, or stage something like that just for giggles and grins. That looks like someone was making a statement.

EDIT: Michael S. noted that the alien is a giant, and I noticed that at 09:00 we see an ejaculatory firework explosion shoot from behind the obelisk the giant alien is standing in front of. Ah, subtlety.

Check out Clay's blog for more UFO/Olympic symbolism.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Astronaut Theology: Unknowable Flying Objects

If we are to believe ancient and Medieval artists, the Heavenly Beam that we've looked at followed Jesus around for his entire life. Here we see Jesus' birth heralded by the Heavenly Beam in almost exactly the same fashion as the covert depiction of the birth of Mithras at Rockefeller Center.

What is fascinating is that in many of the traditional depictions we see what we could interpret as some sort of Stargate opening during Jesus' baptism by John, which might have an esoteric interpretation of extraterrestrial intelligence being bestowed upon Jesus. Of course, there was no scientific language for such an event in Biblical times, and there are other interpretations to be made of passages describing the parting of the clouds and whatnot, but when you step back and begin to see the larger patterns at work, thematic anomalies sprout like mushrooms.

John's very name traces back to the concept of a doorway. Alternative scholars believe that the name John, or Johannes, is derived from Janus, the god of gates and doorways, and then to Oannes, who is himself associated with the water, just as is John and Osiris. And Oannes leads directly into modern Ancient Astronaut theory through Robert Temple's book The Sirius Mystery. So we have this situation where things that seem scattered, random and unconnected might actually be linked quite intimately once you begin to look past surface appearance.

Jesus becomes part of the Heavenly Beam during his Ascension into Heaven, which in many depictions has echoes of some highly unusual gate or doorway being entered. The Ascension iconography has also become part of UFO abduction imagery as well. One can argue it comes from old science fiction, but how did it get there to begin with? Contrary to some skeptical opinion, art is not some arbitrary process of spontaneous generation.

In many cases, the Heavenly Beam in Christian iconography is probably a vestige of pre-Christian sun worship. We've all seen the Sun's rays burst through the clouds in a concentrated beam. It's quite a sight. So much so that you can see it all over greeting cards and calendars and the like at Christian bookstores. But not all of the heavenly beams we see look that way.

We also see a lot of Heavenly Beam imagery in the iconography of Mary's Ascension, as well as the Annunciation, which wouldn't necessarily lend themselves to explicit solar imagery like we may see with the depictions of Jesus. No one ever seems to question exactly why flight is so important in all of this religious imagery either, or why people would believe the gods were in the heavens or that stars were themselves gods. In my mind, it's counter-intuitive for agrarian societies to look up for these characters, since what they were relying on came from the ground or the water.

Chris Carter brilliantly references the Ascension in the X-Files episode, "The Red and The Black" when the genetically-engineered abductee Cassandra Spender is taken up to a waiting spacecraft. I could write a book simply on the semiotics of casting in The X-Files; Cassandra is played by Veronica Cartwright, who was not only in the brilliant 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, she was also in the first Alien movie, The Right Stuff and in The Witches of Eastwick, which was filmed in Cohasset, Mass (which was my other hometown). And, of course, The X-Files brings us to the topic of UFOs...

Now, maybe I need glasses, but from where I'm sitting that's a picture of Jesus being taken up to Heaven enclosed in a flying disk (that looks a lot like a giant iris and pupil). This image is by no means unique, and of course bears a strong resemblance to the winged sundisk, the brand logo of the mysterious Shemsu Hor. A lot of people might tell me that the disk is actually some sort of representation of the Sun. To which I would reply, yes, exactly.

The semiotic gumbo I'm serving up here at the Secret Sun has savory chunks of ancient astronaut theory, sun worship, shamanic experience, and Synchronicity, seasoned with all sorts of other zesty ingredients like rock 'n' roll and comic books. Around here, sun worship and anomalous technology aren't mutually exclusive, they're very much part of the same continuum.

And I'm not sure exactly how else this 1710 painting ("Le Baptême de Jésus dans le Jordan" by Gelder ) can be interpreted other than as depicting a hovering disk shooting down beams of light while Jesus is being baptised by John. How are we to dismiss this? Was the painter somehow influenced by ET or Close Encounters, or seeing too many Weekly World News headlines in the checkout line at Piggly Wiggly?

Here's a French site with some links to some more eye-opening UFO images in Medieval religious art. I love how some skeptics all of a sudden become clairvoyant when confronted with these images. They always seem to start in with the "oh, that's just..." routine when slapped in the face with evidence contrary to their fourth-hand reductionism. Their minds can travel through the centuries and divine what the artist was really trying to depict.

After hearing Jacques Vallee- a man who's been studying the UFO phenomenon for over half a century - refuse to make any sort of definitive conclusion on the origin of these objects, I began to think UFO should stand for "Unknowable Flying Objects." The fact that they show up in antique religious paintings is proof enough for me that they were flying around back then and made a profound impression on the people who saw them.

It's certainly not a news flash for most people reading this blog that what we're dealing with might be something truly alien- maybe something that comes from another dimension and doesn't follow the laws of physics as we understand them. My interest in it is that we see these images in places where they shouldn't be showing up, like Medieval and Renaissance religious art, and certainly in shamanic hallucinatory experiences undertaken by individuals who haven't see Close Encounters or The X-Files. And that all of these allegedly random memes are starting to look not-so-random in the Google Age.