Astronomy 2: The Chariot with One Wheel

What really happens when Earth turns? The rotation of Earth describes periods that are measured in days. The solar year is 365.242 days long, the lunation period 29.53 days long, and so forth.

Extracted from Matrix of Creation, page 42.

Earth orbits the Sun and, from Earth, the Sun appears to move through the stars. But the stars are lost in the brightness of the daytime skies and this obscures the Sun’s progress from human view. However, through observation of the inexorable seasonal changes in the positions of the constellations, the Sun’s motion can be determined.

The sidereal day is defined by the rotation of Earth relative to the stars. But this is different from what we commonly call a day, the full title of which is a tropical day. Our day includes extra time for Earth to catch up with the Sun before another sunrise. Our clocks are synchronized to this tropical day of twenty-four hours (1,440 minutes).

The Sun circumnavigates the zodiac in 365 tropical days, within which 366 sidereal days have occurred. There is one full Earth rotation more than there are sunrises within a year. This hidden oneness within the year is recapitulated in the one-unit difference between the number of sidereal days and the number of tropical days in a practical year.

The small catch-up time in every day is about three minutes and
fifty-six seconds long. This unit defines not only a sidereal day with 365 such units but also the practical year of 365 tropical days. The catchup unit is the difference between the duration of a sidereal day and that of a tropical day. It relates the Sun’s daily motion to the rotation of Earth and is a fundamental unit of Earth time (figure 3.6).

Figure 3.6. A polar view of Earth’s equator showing sunrises for two consecutive days. Compared with clock time, the stars rise three minutes and fifty-six seconds earlier each evening. (Drawn by Robin Heath)


The sidereal day (the duration of one rotation of Earth) is a very significant cosmic unit. The Jupiter synodic period of 398.88 tropical days is within 99.993% of four hundred sidereal days long. Therefore, twenty-five Jupiter synods (365 lunar orbital periods) equal 10,000 sidereal days since four hundred times twenty-five is 10,000.

A sidereal day differs from a tropical day due to the motion of the Sun during one tropical day. The three-minute-and-fifty-six-second time difference between these two days, the aforementioned catch-up unit, is quite useful when applied as the unit to measure the length of these days. A tropical day has 366 of these units while the sidereal day has 365 of the same units. The difference between the two is one unit.

Since 365 lunar orbits equal 10,000 sidereal days, it follows that a single lunar orbit has a duration of 10000/365 sidereal days. There are 365 units in a sidereal day, and therefore 10,000 units in a lunar orbit, so this new unit of time is 1/10000 of a lunar orbit. One ten-thousandth of a lunar orbit coincidentally is three minutes and fifty-six seconds in duration. The proportions in the Jupiter cycle combine with the lunar orbit, solar year, and Earth’s rotation to generate a parallel number system involving the numbers 25, 40, 365, 366, 400, and 10,000.

This daily catch-up unit I shall a chronon. Its existence means that the rotation of Earth is synchronized with both the lunar orbit and the Jupiter synodic period using a time unit of about three minutes and fifty-six seconds.

The sidereal day of 365 chronons is the equivalent of the 365-day practical year, the chronon itself is equivalent to the sidereal day, and so on. The creation of equivalents through exact scaling enables a larger structure to be modeled within itself on a smaller scale. This is a recipe for the integration of sympathetic vibratory rhythms between the greater and the lesser structures, a planetary law of subsumption.

The exemplar of the chronon was found at Le Menec: It’s egg-shaped western cromlech has a circumference of 10,000 inches and, if inches were chronons (1/365th of the earth’s rotation), then the egg’s circumference would be the number of chronons in the lunar orbit of 10,000. Dividing 10,000 by 366 (the chronons in the tropical day) gives a lunar orbit of 27.3224 – accurate to one part in 36704! The forming circle of Le Menec’s egg geometry provided a circumpolar observatory of circumference 365 x 24 inches, which is two feet per chronon versus the chronon per inch of the egg as lunar orbit.

The quantified form of the Le Menec cromlech was therefore chosen by the builders to be a unified lunar orbital egg, with a forming circle represented the rotation of the Earth at a scaling of 1:24 between orbital and rotational time.

The form of Le Mence’s cromlech unified the 10,000 chronon orbit of the Moon and 365 chronon circle of the Earth rotation because Thom’s Type 1 geometry naturally achieved the desired ratio. When the circle’s circumference (light blue) was 24 x 365 inches there were 10,000 inches on the egg’s. Underlying site plan by Thom, MRBB.

This design is further considered in Sacred Number and the Lords of Time, chapter 4: The Framework of Change on Earth, from the point of view of the cromlech’s purpose of providing a working model of the lunar orbit relative to the rotation of the circumpolar sky, leading to the placement of stones in rows according to the moon’s late or early rising to the East.

Capturing Sidereal Time

We can now complete our treatment of Carnac’s astronomical monuments by returning to Le Menec where the challenge was to measure time accurately in units less than a single day. This is done today at every astronomical observatory using a clock that keeps pace with the stars rather than the sun.

The 24 hours of a sidereal clock, roughly four minutes short of a normal day, are actually tracking the rotation of the Earth since Earth rotation is what makes all the stars move. Even the sun during the day moves through the sky because the Earth moves. Therefore, in all sidereal astronomy, the Earth is actually the prime mover. The geometry of a circumpolar observatory can reveal not only which particular circumpolar star was used to build the observatory but also the relatively short period of time in which the observatory was designed. Each bright circumpolar star is recognizable by its unique elongation on the horizon in azimuth and its correspondingly unique and representative circumpolar orbital radius in azimuth. …

The knowledge that was discovered due to the Le Menec observatory is awe inspiring when the perimeter of the egg shape is taken into account. It is close to 10,000 inches, the number of units of sidereal time the moon takes to orbit the Earth. The egg was enlarged in order to quantify the orbit of the moon as follows: every 82 days (three lunar orbits) the moon appears over the same part of the ecliptic. Dividing the ecliptic into sidereal days we arrive at 366 units of time per solar day.*

*These units are each the time required for an observer on the surface of the Earth to catch up with a sun that has moved within the last 24 hours, on the ecliptic, a time difference of just less than four minutes.

82 days times 366 divided by the three lunar orbits gives the moon’s sidereal orbit as 122 times 82 day-inches. Instead of dividing 82 by three as we might today to find the moon’s orbit, the pre-arithmetic of metrology enabled the solar day (of 366 units) to be divided into three lengths of 122. If a rope 122 inches long is then used 82 times (a whole number), to lay out a longer length, a length of 10,004 inches results. If 10,004 is divided by 366 units per day then the moon’s orbit emerges as 82/3 or 27⅓ days.

If a moon marker is placed upon the Le Menec perimeter and moved 122 inches per day, the perimeter becomes a simulator of the moon. …
Knowing the moon’s position on the western cromlech’s model of ecliptic and knowing which parts of the ecliptic are currently rising from the circumpolar stars enabled the astronomers to measure the moon’s ecliptic latitude.

Hence the phenomena related to the retrograde motion of the lunar orbit’s nodal period could be studied and its 6800 day length.

Le Menec: Start of Carnac’s Alignments

The Meaning Of Le Menec

“Alignments” are long rows of stones, that run in parallel for long distances through the landscape. The alignments in Carnac, Brittany, often have a starting point in what the French call a cromlech. Based upon a circular geometry, these monuments are made up of stones following arcs to form a single compound shape. The stones of a cromlech can be touching or they can be spaced out and in some cases, stones might have been removed during the historical period but in some cases also, gaps in the “walls” of a cromlech were probably intentional and are there on purpose.
Originally published July 2012

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This paper proposes that an unfamiliar type of circumpolar astronomy was practiced by the time Le Menec was built, around 4000 BCE. This observatory enabled the rotation of the earth and ecliptic location of eastern and western horizons to be known in real time, by observing stellar motion by night and solar motion by day. This method avoided stellar extinction angles by measuring the circular motion of a circumpolar marker star as a range in azimuth, which could then be equated with the diameter of a suitably calibrated observatory circle. The advent of day-inch counting and simple geometrical calculators, already found at Le Manio’s Quadrilateral, enabled the articulation of large time periods within Carnac’s megalithic monuments, the Western Alignments being revealed to be a study of moonrises during half of the moon’s nodal period. Le Menec’s Type 1 egg is found to be a time-factored model of the moon’s orbit relative to the earth’s rotation. This interpretation of Le Menec finds that key stones have survived and that the gaps seen in the cromlech’s walls were an essential part of its symbolic language, guiding contemporary visitors as to how its purpose was to be interpreted within the pre-literate megalithic culture.

Two key lengths are found at Le Manio and Le Menec: The first, of 4 eclipse years is a day-inch count of the Octon eclipse cycle; the second is a four solar year count that, with the first, forms a triangle, marked clearly by stones at Le Menec. The principles worked out at Le Manio appear fully developed in Le Menec’s western cromlech, including the use of an 8 eclipse year day-inch count, consequently forming a diameter of 3400 megalithic inches which equals in number the days in half a nodal period. The scaling of the Western Alignments is found to be 17 days per metre, a scaling naturally produced by the diagonal of a triple square geometrical construction. A single sloping length on the top of the central stone initiating row 9, indicates a single lunar orbit at 17 days per metre, a length of 1.607 metres. This control of time counting within geometrical structures reveals that almost all of Le Menec’s western cromlech and alignments express a necessary form, so as to represent a megalithic study of (a) circumpolar time as having 365 time units, (b) the moon’s orbit as having 82 times 122 of those units and (c) the variations of successive moonrises over most of a lunar nodal period of 18.6 solar years.

Locmariaquer 1: Carnac’s Menhirs and Circumpolar Stars

Read 1458 times when last published on, Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:22

At megalithic sites, the only alignment of note on the northern horizon has usually been the direction of the north pole or “true” North on the site plan. “Megalithic” cultures worldwide, both the later manifestations in the Americas or the old world cultures of Northwest Europe or Egypt, built structures oriented in a very accurate way to North. The builders of the Great Pyramid for example or of the geo-glyphs of the Amazon rainforest, seemed to have had an unexpectedly good method for determining North, no easy task when a pole star is never exactly north and, in many epochs, there is no star near to the pole.

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The Roof Axe as Circumpolar Device

This article explores the use of axe motifs within a form of carved schematic art unique to the megalithic monuments near Carnac, southern Brittany, France. First published in February 2014.

A diagram found on the underside of the capstone of a chambered dolmen called Kercado (see figure 1) appears to hold metrological and astronomical meanings. Classified as a type of AXE, local axe motifs are said to have three distinct forms (a) triangular blades, (b) hafted axes and (c) the Mane Ruthual type [Twohig, 1981[1]]. 

Figure 1 Well preserved sculpted-stone axe-head motif in Kercado dolmen

Types b and c are often found in the singular on the undersides to roof slabs and in the case of form (b), the hafted axe, I have attributed its display below the roof slab of Table des Marchands at Locmariaquer (inset right) as being used to represent the north pole between 5000 and 4000 BC, at a time when there was no star near to the pole itself. The abstract point of the north pole, the rotational axis of the earth, is shown as a loop attached to the base of the axe haft, whilst the axe head then represented a chosen circumpolar star, as this rotates counter-clockwise in the northern sky, at the fixed distance of the haft from the pole itself. Note how compatible this idea of an axe ploughing the northern skies is to our own circumpolar constellation, The Plough. Note also that the eastern horizon moves through the equatorial stars at the same angular rate as the marker star moves around the north pole.

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Three Lunar Orbits as 82 day-inches

Sacred Number and the Lords of Time interpreted Thom’s megalithic fathom of 6.8 feet (as 2.72 feet times 2.5) found at Carnac’s Alignments as a useful number of 82 day-inches between stones in the stone rows of Le Menec. After 82 days, the moon is in almost exactly the same place, amongst the stars, because its orbit of 27.32166 days is nearly 27 and one third days. Three orbits sums to nearly 82 days. But the phase of the moon at that repeated place in the sky will be different.

The stone rows of Le Menec are not straight and in places resemble the deviations of the lunar nodes seen in late or early moon rise or setting phenomenon.
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