The Geocentric Orbit of Venus

It is helpful to visually complete the movement of Venus over her synodic period (of 1.6 years) seen by an observer on the Earth.

figure 3.13 (left) of Sacred Goddess in Ancient Goddess Cultures
version 3 (c) 2024 Richard Heath

In the heliocentric world view all planets orbit the sun, yet we view them from the Earth and so, until the 16th century astronomy had a different world view where the planets either orbited the sun (in the inner solar system) which like the outer planets orbited the earth, this view called geocentric. The discovery of gravity confirmed the heliocentric view but the geocentric view is still that seen from the Earth.

The geocentric was then assumed to be wholly superseded, but there are many aspects of it that appear to have given our ancestors their various religious views and, I believe, the megalithic monuments express most clearly a form of astronomy based upon numbers rather than on laws, numbers embedded in the structure of Time seen from the Earth, and hence showing the geocentric view had more to it than the medieval view discarded by modern science.

Venus was once considered one part of the triple goddess and the picture above shows her complete circuit both in the heavens and in front of and behind the sun. The shape of this forms two horns, firstly in the West at evening after sunset. Then she rushes in front of the sun to reemerge in the East to form a symmetrical other horn after which she travels behind the sun to eventually re-emerge in the West in a circuit lasting 1.6 years of 365 days, more precisely in 583.92 days – her synodic period.

Continue reading “The Geocentric Orbit of Venus”

pdf: Counting lunar eclipses using the Phaistos Disk

This paper* concerns itself with a unique fired-clay disk, found by Luigi Pernier in 1908 within the Minoan “palace” of Phaistos (aka Faistos), on the Greek island of Crete. Called the Phaistos Disk, its purpose or meaning has been interpreted many times, largely seen as either (a) a double-sided text in the repeated form of a spiral and outer circle written using an unknown pictographic language stamped in the clay or (b) as an astronomical device, record or handy reference. We provide a calendric interpretation based on the simplest lunar calendars known to apply in Minoan times, finding the Disk to be (a) an elegant solution to predicting repeated eclipses within the Saros period and (b) an observation that the Metonic is just one lunar year longer, and true to the context of the Minoan culture of that period.

*First Published on 26 May 2017
web page version

The Cult of Seven Days

Published in Nexus Magazine in 2004

When understanding the origins of human knowledge, we tend not to look into the everyday aspects of life such as the calendar, our numbering systems and how these could have developed. However, these components of everyday life hold surprising clues to the past.

An example is the seven day week which we all slavishly follow today. It has been said that seven makes a good number of days for a week and this convenience argument often given for the existence of weeks.

Having a week allows one to know what day of the week it is for the purposes of markets and religious observances. It is an informal method of counting based on names rather than numbers. Beyond this however, a useful week length should fit well with the organisation of the year (i.e. the Sun), or the month (i.e. the Moon) or other significant celestial or seasonal cycle. But the seven day week does not fit in with the Sun and the Moon.

The Week and the Year

Continue reading “The Cult of Seven Days”

Death of Zeus in Crete

written in 2004

How can an immortal god die? Especially Zeus who was not just a god but head of the Olympians, a new breed of gods that had replaced the Titans and their “despotic” ruler, Chronos. A Rome holding to Zeus/Jupiter perhaps rejected the Cretan tradition of the god’s death with the well-broadcast adage “All Cretans are liars”.

But we all should know that mythology uses contradictory, or at least inconsistent, versions of the same story, to express alternative perspectives and to transmit more knowledge in the process, rather than “a lie”.

The importance of the death of Zeus is that the story emerges exactly from that point in time and cultural transformation in which Zeus is also born and at that time it was familiar for a vegetative god, representing nature blooming in spring and dying in autumn, to die and be re-born within the immortality of the eternal round of the year or yearly daemon.

There were other norms too, including the birth of men and their world of form, out of the Earth and from within The Cave, as a natural sacred space created by the Mother or earth goddess. Directly symbolic of her womb, form emerges as shapes in formation like dreams, travelling towards the definite order found on the surface.

Figure 1 The Dictyan Cave, one of two in Crete claimed claimed to be Zeus’ Nursery 
Continue reading “Death of Zeus in Crete”