2012 Survival Guide: A practical planner for the worst case scenario

Ancient Method for Calculating Cataclysms

cont. from Page 1

Like other claims made about an advanced intelligence influencing human activity in the remote past, the premise of Hamlet's Mill was rejected outright by mainstream historians. They maintain that the Greek astronomer Hipparchus first discovered the Precession of the Equinoxes in 127 B.C. "There is good reason to assume that he actually rediscovered this," de Santillana and von Dechend insist in their book, "that it had been known some thousand years previously, and that on it the Archaic Age based its long-range computation of time."

Moreover, the authors continue: "The theory about 'how the world began' seems to involve the breaking asunder of a harmony, a kind of cosmogonic 'original sin' whereby the circle of the ecliptic (with the zodiac) was tilted up at an angle with respect to the equator, and the cycles of change came into being." Accordingly, the myths appear to explain that as each world age draws to a close, "Great structures collapse; pillars topple which supported the great fabric; floods and cataclysms herald the shaping of a new world." With those high stakes in play, it's no wonder ancient man took such a deep interest in tracking the sky above his head.

But why, you ask, is the book called "Hamlet's Mill"? In the course of their comparative review of old legends, De Santillana and von Dechend discovered that the most famous character of the world stage turns out to be an archetypal hero associated with many precession-related myths. From Finland to Iran, India to Polynesia, this hapless fellow whose father is killed by a wicked uncle pops up over and over in stories about civilizations rising and falling, like a great metaphor to the human condition.

A stone mill for grinding wheat in theAugusta Raurica Museum, Switzerland.

In Egyptian cosmology, Osiris is a godlike being who presides over a Golden Age of the Earth, traversing the globe and teaching different cultures arts, science and literature. His jealous brother Set eventually conspires with others to murder him. Then Horus, the son of Osiris, has to battle his uncle to wrest back control of the kingdom. He gets a little help from his mother, Isis.

In Norse legends, Hamlet's equivalent is a man named Amlodhi, who is identified with "the ownership of a fabled mill which, in his own time, ground out peace and plenty," according to the ancient tale. Later in decaying times, it ground out salt; and now finally, having landed at the bottom of the sea, it is grinding rock and sand, creating a vast whirlpool, the Maelstrom... "

This passage calls to mind the familiar reference to world ages - Golden, Silver, Copper/Bronze and Iron, each one a little less gilded than the previous. The strange Norse tradition caught the attention of an Icelandic historian, Snorri Sturlson, back in the 12th century, who repeated it:

"T'is said, sang Snaebjorn, that far out, off yonder ness, the Nine Maids of the Island Mill stir amain the host-cruel skerry-quern, they, who in ages past, ground Hamlet's meal. The good chieftain furrows the hull's lair with his ship's beaked prow. Here the sea is called Amlodhi's Mill."

After analyzing the mill analogy and its apparent role in disrupting the course of civilization, De Santillana and von Dechend realized that the ancients must be describing the Earth turning on its axis. In one Vedic scripture, the Bhagavata Purana, the connection is explicit:

"...the exalted seat of Vishnu, round which the starry spheres forever wander, like the upright axle of the corn mill..."

And in Greece during the second century A.D., Cleomedes said this about the northern hemisphere:

"The heavens there turn around in the way a millstone does."

There's only one thing more startling than a primitive culture connecting the Precession of Equinoxes to the planet's axis rotation and periodic mass extinctions, and it's this: How can cultures separated by vast oceans, language, customs, etc. all be telling the same story? While the authors of Hamlet's Mill were unable to pin the narrative to its origin, they surmised that a geologic message of doom was nonetheless being transmitted down through the generations.

Encoding a Time Bomb

Nearly three decades after the publication of Hamlet's Mill, British journalist Graham Hancock expounded on the hypothesis in his 1996 bestseller, Fingerprints of the Gods. Hancock's investigation of the past uncovered a treasure trove of precession-related math computations buried in scriptures, legends, and even the layouts of ancient ceremonial centers.

Earlier, in the 1980's, the late scholar Edna Leigh combed through the Iliad, identifying astronomically significant numbers. And later, Maine-based Egyptologist Jane Sellers unearthed still more evidence in her book, The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt.

Hancock goes into some detail reiterating Sellers' conclusion that numbers like 360, 72, 30, 12 (and multiples thereof) were intentionally plotted in ancient myths. It was as if the storyteller were trying to convey a secret code. Here's what the figures signify in the precession cycle:

72 years = the time it takes for the stars to shift 1 degree

30 degrees = one astrological age (a different zodiac constellation rises with the Sun every 2,160 years)

12 = the total number of zodiac signs or astrological ages. 12 times 2,160 = 25,920 years, or one full precession cycle

360 degrees = 12 X 30 degrees, or one full circuit through the zodiac constellations

Hancock moves on to examine the literature from other traditions. From a Norse tale that ends in an apocalypse, he quotes this passage:

"500 doors and 40 there are I ween, in Valhalla's walls; 800 fighters through each door fare, when to the war with the Wolf they go. "

To which the author mused, "With a lightness of touch that is almost subliminal, this verse has encouraged us to count Valhalla's fighters, thus momentarily obliging us to focus on their total number ( 540 X 800 = 432,000)."

Sellers also found that the ancient Hindu temple complex at Angkor is lined with roads containing 540 statues. And back in Egypt, the god Set had the help of 72 co-conspirators in carrying out the murder of his brother Osiris.

In Babylonia, the ancient scribe Berossus wrote that mythical kings ruled before the Great Flood for a total 432,000 years. In India, the Rigvida contains exactly 432,000 syllables. And although the calculation has created some confusion of late, the Vedic Kali Yuga (representing the current world age) is said to be comprised of 432,000 years.

On the other side of the globe, Mayan calendar units reprise the same precessional figures. For example: 1 tun (an astronomical year) = 360 days; 6 tuns = 2,160 days; 1 katun = 7200 days, 6 katuns = 43,200. The standard Mayan base of 20 (ours is 10) is arrived at by dividing 43,200 by 2,160.

"Investigating this kind of material," Hancock concluded, "one sometimes has the spooky sense of being manipulated by an ancient intelligence which has found a way to reach out across the vast epochs of time, and for some reason has set us a puzzle to solve in the language of myth."

Robert Bauval, who has investigated the astrological alignments of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, argued in a 1993 documentary film that both monuments were laid out specficially to track precession and other cycles, including the Venus transit. One plausible reason for such a pursuit may have been warn future generations about the next cataclysm to come.

Perhaps even an ice age might be triggered at a certain point in the precession cycle. Hancock cited a study by John Imbrie, published in 1976 ,called "Variations in the Earth's Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages", which argued the case. Such conclusions remain a matter of conjecture, but it's a fact that the axis of our planet changes its tilt over time, and this affects the amount of sunlight falling on the planet. Known as the obliquity of the Earth, the shifting tilt is generated by the same wobble referred to earlier. Like precession, the tilt is predictable and varies between 24 and 22.5 degrees. Currently, the angle is 23.5 degrees, the altitude of the ecliptic plane.

Another factor that may influence global warming and cooling over the course of many millenia is the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. Although it's a nearly circular tract at present, astrophycists think it occasionally elongates into an elliptical orbit. The result is a more extreme variation of sunlight, heat and cold durin each season. It might also be responsible for the ice ages of the past.

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More Resources

Articles of Interest

"Hamlet's Mill." Attributed to Dr. William Sullivan. From Secrets of the Incas.

"2012 Precession of The Equinox- from Darkness into Light." By Timothy Connolly. Shift of the Age 11/2/09.

"A Primer on the Evolution of Astronomical Calendars" by Bryan C. Bates

"A View of Hamlet's Midnight." By Mather Walker.


Windows to the Universe (University of Michigan)

Chaco Canyon Sun Dagger

The Thirteen Zodiac Constellations


Expanding Earth Knowledge Co.

The Lunar Planner

The Ecliptic

Precession of the Equinoxes video

Suggested Reading

Fingerprints of the Gods (1999) by Graham Hancock. Text available online.

Hamlet's Mill (1969) by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend. Text available online.

The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt (2003) by Jane B. Sellers.

Homer's Secret Iliad (1999) by Florence and Kenneth Wood. (Based on the research of Edna Leigh.)

TV Programs and DVD's

"Closer Encounters." Episode from the Ancient Aliens series (2010) by the History Channel. YouTube

The Mystery of Chaco Canyon (1999) Narrated by Robert Redford.

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