Sacred Number and the Lords of Time

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ANCIENT MYSTERIES

“Heath has done a superb job of collating his own work on the subject of megaliths with the objective views of many other researchers in the field. I therefore do not merely recommend reading this book but can state unequivocally it is a must read.”
–John Neal, British metrologist and researcher and author of Measuring the Megaliths and The Structure of Metrology

“In Sacred Number and the Lords of Time we have an important explanation of how megalithic science was developed. This book is a long-overdue wakeup call to a modern culture that has abandoned this fully developed and astonishingly rich prehistoric model of the physical world. The truth is now out.”
–Robin Heath, coauthor of The Lost Science of Measuring the Earth and author of Sun, Moon and Earth

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The Harmonic Origins of the World

“We have long known, thanks to Ernest McClain, that the ancients were obsessed with harmonic numbers and that the Bible encodes these from beginning to end. Now new evidence appears, as these numbers correlate with the planetary periods, and their discovery is pushed far back into the prehistoric era. Richard Heath’s work, based not on speculation but on objective data, challenges all accepted notions of cultural evolution and religious origins.”

–JOSCELYN GODWIN, author of Harmonies of Heaven and Earth and Atlantis and the Cycles of Time

As modern humans first walked the Earth roughly 70,000 years ago, the moon’s orbit came into harmonic resonance with the outer planets of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. The common denominators underlying these harmonic relationships are the earliest prime numbers of the Fibonacci series–two, three, and five–the same numbers that interact to give us the harmonic relationships of music.

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Harmonic Explorer app

The work of the late Ernest McClain [1918-2014] was based upon a technique in which ever higher numbers appear to have been studied in antiquity as to the harmonic field of intervals possible within that integer limit. Such a single number reference can be mentioned en passant within texts like The Bible, Homer’s Illiad or the Sumerian story of Gilgamesh and be ignored today as a frivolous use of large numbers, such as great ages of the gods, the number of ships, or tithe goods and so on, when in fact the numbers were referring to a musicological field relevant to the narrative and its elements.

McClain’s work was very briefly introduced in  Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness (2011) in its Chapter 3 on the Age of Aries, when such calculational musicology/theology seem to have replaced the megalithic activities in Age of Taurus. After then collaborating with Ernest for a few years, after his death I attempted to make an accessible book on Ernest’ work in my 2018 book Harmonic Origins of the World.

Ernest had a fine sensibility for the Ancient Near East (or A.N.E.), its number science and symbolisms. Through many email exchanges I wanted to be able to generate his tonal diagrams for myself; to both learn more and answer specific questions. I was able to make a web page so that people like myself could more easily enter his world of tonal yantras (that look like mountains) and their corresponding tonal mandalas (the octave circle); without having to learn the method of “limiting the products of powers of three and five and then doubling all numbers to the limiting number”. This Harmonic Explorer app enables ridiculous freedom over the previously required manual calculations, including walking through limiting number space with prime factor buttons, multiplying/dividing by 2, 3, 5, 10 or 12. It can also be very useful for screen grabbing when discussing a given tuning system as in:

TRY IT NOW HERE: Harmonic Explorer

Ernest’s website has study pdf’s of his books and papers plus other resources.

REVIEW of The Harmonic Origins of the World

During the latter part of the twentieth century, three divergent speculative perspectives opened up on the ancients’ cosmology: astronomical, musical, and metrological. The astronomical perspective found its classic expression in von Dechend and de Santillana’s Hamlet’s Mill. The musical perspective was spelled out, almost single-handedly, by Ernest McClain, beginning with his work The Myth of Invariance. The metrological perspective diverged into the practical (descending from Alexander Thom’s surveying in the nineteenth century), and the more theoretical work associated perhaps most famously with John Michell’s View Over Atlantis.  

These three perspectives shared an awareness that number was an indispensable guide. Number is invariant; three is always three, and always one plus two. Mathematics is a realm of order, and recurrent patterns like the seasons or the harmonic scale call for mathematical descriptions precisely because such descriptions find stability in change. 

As scoffers and skeptics like to point out, however, where there is pattern-finding, there is also often unconscious wishful human ingenuity. Moreover, because the astronomical, musical, and metrological perspectives were carried on sometimes in isolation from one another, their results diverged, and an apparent incommensurability emerged: how could they all be true? This gave scoffers an argument that was, on the face of it, difficult to answer: why not none of them instead? Perhaps the real answer was the skeptical shrug: the ancient myth-tellers and builders of stone circles were acting more or less haphazardly or moved by very terrestrial, local, and historical concerns. Was this not the simplest explanation?

Richard Heath for a quarter of a century has been building towards a case diametrically opposed to this.  From the beginning he worked with Thom’s practical metrological results, bringing them into dialogue with Michell and John Neal; then later with a further expansion of astronomical results that far outpaced von Dechend and de Santillana’s speculations on the precession of equinoxes. In The Harmonic Origins of the World, Heath goes a further step, bringing McClain’s results into dialogue with his previous work. Heath provides ample demonstration that the results of these various perspectives can clearly be seen to not diverge from one another. Suddenly it is very plausible that they might indeed “all be true,” because they were never, for the ancients, separate at all. 

According to Heath, there exists in our solar system a harmony of extraordinary beauty among planetary cycles. This harmony was observed by ancient astronomers, and enshrined in megalithic monuments; it was transmitted in oral and literary culture via a musical grammar of proportion, easily reproducible across various cultures, which informs scripture and speculation (in McClain’s phrase) “from the Rg Veda to Plato.”  These assertions are of course controversial and deserve scrutiny. But they give the lie to any facile dismissal of ancient cosmological sophistication on the grounds that reconstructions are inconsistent. Astronomy, metrology (practical and theoretical), and music are all comprehensible under a single analogical system. They hang together in a coherent, living dialogue.

This book is the most recent chapter and the most comprehensive introduction to a vital adventure in ideas. It is a detailed account of how human beings on the ground could make sense of the sky by way of the octave. In it, rigor and common sense meet wonder and awe. 

Harmonic Genesis of the Sumerians

Here I start by publishing an important diagram that shows how the earliest known references to musical tuning (early 4th millennium BC) on clay cuneiform tablets, using “regular numbers” whose factors are products of only the numbers 2, 3 and 5, led to the cosmological vision of their gods, the primary god, Anu, being a balanced mix of all three numbers as 60 but also called ONE. This is the source of their Sexagesimal  or base-60, still employed in measuring angles and time called minutes and seconds. All comes from ONE.

The emergence of 2, 3, 5 from ONE then combining as ANU and leading to the differentiation of the World along various paths. The creation proceeds through three prime number dimensions, Ea (as in Earth) through 2, Enki through 3 , Enlil through 5. Anu remains the fountainhead associated with all three and with the Zodiac, which emerged in later Babylonian as a seasonally relevant calendar.
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