24th November 2000
On the 17th November TEM posted the first of a series of articles entitled "Have the End of Days Begun...?". This is the latest offering in Richard Hoagland's theme that (a) the World faces imminent disaster from a sudden shift in the Earth's polar axis, and (b) that there is a Doomsday cult operating within secret societies. Hoagland's thesis appears to be that shifts in the polar axis happen on a cyclical basis of many thousands of years and that a historical record of the last one may have survived to be filtered down from Egypt to a small number of people in esoteric societies today.
As well as uploading the first article onto the TEM website, TEM also uploaded parts two, three, and the beginnings of part four as unlinked test pages. This was noticed by a regular visitor to TEM's message board and as a result many people (including myself) were able to save these yet to be published articles to be read at leisure.
Much of parts 1 & 2 of this series were concerned with the nature of the celebrations in major cities to see in the New Year for 2000 and their possible Masonic significance. However, this is all contentious stuff as one person's identification of Hermetic Masonic symbolism will leave another person totally unconvinced. This is especially true of TEM's novel idea that features representing the Sirigi masks of the Dogon (an African tribe with precocious knowledge of modern astronomy which they say was imparted to them by visiting extraterrestrials from the Sirius system) were woven into the celebrations in Paris and Washington.
For readers who are unfamiliar with TEM's "End of Days?" series the first five parts can be read by clicking on the following "stargates".
µµµ End of Days? Part 1
µµµ End of Days? Part 2
µµµ End of Days? Part 3
µµµ End of Days? Part 4
µµµ End of Days? Part 5
New York, New York. What a wonderful town......What should have TEM's critics "spitting feathers" is the (unspoken) implication from one of their Red Shift charts that the reason so much treasure has been sunk into making New York the financial capital of the World is that (a) the star Sirius transits the meridian (the highest point reached in the sky by a star and known as its culmination) at nearly 33 degrees at this location, and that (b) when the clocks struck the New Year in New York on the 1st January 2000, Sirius was within 8 arc minutes of its transit of the meridian (according to my copy of RedShift 3).
According to the RedShift 3 software the culmination of Sirius at New York is 32 degrees 32 minutes. The latitudes in the northern hemisphere where Sirius has a culmination within a +/- 28 arc minutes degree of error of 33 degrees is to be found between 39 degrees 49 minutes and 41 degrees 41 minutes North. This gives us a band of latitude 1 degree 52 minutes wide (or 112 arc minutes). There is another band of latitude in the southern hemisphere where the same conditions are met, but it lies within uninhabitable Antarctica. There are 180 degrees of latitude between the North and South Poles, so the chances of New York being at a latitude where Sirius's culmination is within 28 arc minutes of 33 degrees is (180 x 60)/(112) = one chance in 96 and a bit.
.....but in 1625 A.D. As an experiment I looked up the year when the Dutch founded their Manhattan colony and used RedShift to see what the culmination of Sirius was in that year (1625) for New York's location. To my surprise.....well not really.....the angle of culmination for Sirius was exactly 33 degrees.
Back to the plot. There are 60 arc minutes in a degree and Sirius will travel through a full 360 degree sweep of the sky every 24 hours. So the chances of Sirius being within +/- 8 arc minutes of the meridian at any randomly chosen time are one in 1,350. However, things get better, because we are not examining a randomly chosen time but the exact start of a millennium year.
The time of day at which a star reaches its culmination, rises or sets shifts earlier by nearly 4 minutes each new day - or by two hours each month. After a full year these times will (of course) more-or-less return to the ones they started from. (The fact that some years have 365 days and others 366 will cause minor variations). So each date of the year has its own rising, culmination and setting times for any particular star. However, the longer term cycle of approximately 25,800 years in the wobble (precession) of the Earth's axis is also slowly shifting these times for any given day of the year.
We would expect the next small group of years when Sirius would be transiting the meridian at the exact start of New Year's day to be in approximately 25,800 years time when the precession of the Earth's axis returns to the same point. However, after experimenting with RedShift over its 15,000 year database it is apparent that Sirius's "proper motion" through space is moving in the opposite direction to the direction of precession causing the cycle for Sirius to lengthen to over 40,000 years. Yet this is besides the point. Lets pretend the cycle is actually 41,283 years. That would place the next set of years in which Sirius was transiting the meridian at the exact start of New Years day at around 43,283 A.D.
Of course 43,283 A.D. is not a millennium year. In fact we would have to run the cycle over and over again until we ended up with a year ending in three zeros. The closest possible date would be 43,283,000 A.D. By that time Sirius's relative position to the Sun in the galaxy could have drifted so far distant that we may no longer see it in Earth's night sky.
Was the alignment observed at Giza that special then? Readers of the newly posted Part 2 of TEM's "End of Day's" articles will know that the coincidence of the start of the New Year and the culmination of Sirius also occurred at Giza. New York is at a latitude of 40 degrees North and Giza is at a latitude of 30 degrees North. It is easy to conclude from this that the Sirius New Year co-incidence occurred over a wide band of latitudes covering a large part of the Earth's surface. However, after experimenting with RedShift I realised that the co-incidence was not dependent on latitude but on longitude - and pretty precise longitudes at that. So far the New York and Giza longitudes are the only ones I've found with this "magic" property, so at the time of writing I haven't been able to work out how little of the Earth's surface enjoyed the New Year Sirius co-incidence.
TEM point out that the only reason why Sirius was at its culmination at Giza as the New Year was welcomed in was because of the calendar reforms of Julius Caeser and Pope Gregory. In the sort of conspiracy theory that only Richard Hoagland could devise, TEM assert that this was no co-incidence - the Vatican deliberately chose the calendar reform that would bring about the Sirius millennium alignment at Giza. In our age when the Pope condemns astrology as a false god this assertion is shocking. However, we must remember that in 1582 astrology was not considered a silly superstition but as a science practised by some of the brightest minds. Kings, queens, princes, nobles, cardinals - and probably popes too, used astrology for long term planning decisions. Readers may find this link helpful in understanding the Churches former attitude to astrology µµµ.
So the questions are these.......In 1582, did followers of an esoteric form of astrology fix the Western calendar so that at the start of the millennium New Year's day Sirius would be culminating at Giza? If so was this intended as a form of magic to usher in a New Age or - as Richard Hoagland contends - did they want to mark the start of what they believed would be the "End of the World"? We will have to see where TEM's "End of Days" articles finally end up.
Readers who wish to know more about the history of calendar reform should try reading David Ewing Duncan's The Calendar: the 5,000 year struggle to align the clock and the heavens - and what happened to the missing ten days.
Those who want to know more about the role of Sirius (and much more) in modern Masonic practice should try reading David Ovason's The Secret Zodiacs of Washington D.C. This book has a preface written by the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, 33 degree Masons, Southern Jurisdiction, USA - which is about as close an endorsement as you're going to get.
For Cydonia Quest's own (less than perfect) efforts to get to grips with secret society mysticism, click here µµµ.
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