The Saturn Theory
The Saturn Theory
The notion that the Roman deity Saturn represented the planet Saturn we know today, was Velikovsky’s most monumental blunder. A catastophist named David Talbott became interested in this idea and adopted it in a book entitled The Saturn Theory. Talbott has been encouraged by drawings such as shown in Figure 1, suggesting that they depict the rings of Saturn as seen in ancient times. Unfortunately, the dynamics that could have positioned the Earth in the Saturn system, now some 9 times farther from the Sun, have proven problematic.
Cyclic Catastrophism posits that Mars was repeaedly captured in a geostationary orbit (radius 44,400 km) for 14.4 years and subsequently released into a planetary orbit for 15.6 years. This 30-yearcycle was repeated one hundred times between 3700 and 687 BC. In this orbit Mars appeared some 630 times the area of the full Moon, providing a comparable increase in the illumination of the Earth at night. At the beginning of this 3,000 year period Mars was full of vegetation and water, thus was known in Egypt as ‘the great green’ – often painted with a mix of blue and green – exactly the colors of the Earth when viewed from space today.
In order that the mutual Earth-Mars orbit be stable, i.e. a minimum energy configuration, the tidal bulges of both their oceans had to remain stationary during each encounter. this was accomplished on Earth by a 5,000 meter high bulge surrounding the Tibetan-Himalayan complex above which Mars orbited. On Mars, the presence of the highly distended Tharsis Bulge caused the planet’s north pole to remain facing the Earth, so its tidal bulge was at its north pole. The extreme distortion of Mars was characterized by the head of the deity Anubis, the Egyptian reference to Mars as ‘the dog-faced star’, and the Vedic reference to Indra (Mars) as an ugly child as it approached the earth. This rotation of Mars is reinforced in a multitude of ancient texts in which Mars is described as a (humped) wheel, churn or mill.
It is now possible to see Mars from the same perspective due to photomosaics of its northern hemisphere shown in Figure 2. The island at the north pole of Mars shown in this NASA photo mosaic is the area in the center of the ‘Saturn’ drawing. The small feature at the very center represents the most prominent deity in most cultures. It was actually a pillar or column of vertical hardened lava tubes that pointed directly down toward the Earth. It had many names in different cultures, such as Purusha (Vedic), Brahma (Hindu), Osiris (Egyptian), Zeus and Atlas (Greek), but what Velikovsky did not understand, was its Roman name, Saturn. Its Biblical epithet was the most descriptive – ‘the column of smoke and fire’. Because of the enormous size of Mars when in geostationary orbit, 630 timse the area of the full Moon, this body and the events and features associated with it, completely dominated their attention and brighty lit the Earth at night. Only after Mars left the vicinity of the Earth (687 BC) and settled into its current orbit were the names originally associated with Mars deities reassigned to the planets and constellations we know today.
The myths of many cultures state that this island was encircled by seven rings of land – the result of the rotation of the planet. These rings are actually revealed in Figure 3, where one of the mosaic photos used by NASA was taken at a low Sun angle. The Egyptian deity Shu-an-hur was credited with raising this land, the Am-Khemen (firmament, duat) above the Nun (the tidal ocean that surrounded mars’ north pole) , using seven steps. The same rings are mentioned in in the Rubiat of Omar Khayyam “… And Jamshyd’s seven-ringed cup, where no one knows …”, referring to Mars’ repeated releases and recaptures in Earth orbit. In Sufi mythology, Jamshyd was the counterpart of the Egyptian diety Thoth who came from Horus (Mars) to teach mankind language, mathematics, art and music. Actually, the name Jamshyd was derived from another Vedic name for Mars, Yama–Yami. Counter to the common belief, the firmament or Jamshyd’s cup was not that of an inverted dome or cup, It was the northern hemisphere of the orbiting planet, i.e. the ‘cup’ viewed from the bottom. Thus the figures are depictions of Jamshyd’s cup.
Among a number of additional myths that refer to the ‘seven rings’ is the Greek serpent deity Ophion, which was coiled seven times around the Universal Egg (the northern island). It was also the Babylonian ‘seven-fold tiara of Shamash‘ (Mars). In Hindu myth the rings are described as the coils of the snake Sesha, on which Brahma reclined during each ‘night of Brahma’ – each time Mars left its geostationary orbit. Similarly, the Mayan god Quetzalcouatl was said to depart on his ‘serpent raft’.
Twice each day, as the Earth-Mars pair revolved together, the Sun struck Mars perpendicular to its axis pointing toward the Earth producing the shading which enhanced the rings (Figures 1 & 3). The recognition of even subtle features on its surface repeatedy became enhanced by these low sun illumination angles. This is emphasized in the drawing of the northern island, but was generally true for all features on the planet, enabling ancient peoples on Earth to know many details of every feature on the planet in a way that even the NASA photmosaic cannot match.
These were said to be the seven guardians of the entrance to the underworld. This ‘entrance’ was the volcanic vent from which the column of smoke and fire, or Saturn, rose at the center of the island. The rings surrounding the island would logically be viewed as fortifications protecting the entrance.
The human compulsion to find absolute truths, however noble, too often cumulates in tyranny of the mind, or worse. Only an extreme skeptism toward science – and an open mindedness toward other modes of knowledge and ways of life, however alien – can help us avoid this danger.