The Saturn Saga

The Saturn Saga
Copyright © 1999 Anthony E. Larson


Ancient peoples the world over described the skies above in very different terms from what we see today. Saturn loomed as an enormous, golden sphere sitting motionless over Earth’s north pole. Turquoise-colored Venus and dark red Mars were also much closer to Earth and resided in the middle of Saturn. The images of these planets changed over time and formed the basis for all mythological and religious imagery.

The Saturn Myths and the Restored Gospel
In order to begin unraveling the intricate, tightly woven cloth of metaphor and symbolism bequeathed us by our ancestors, we must initially understand what David Talbott first called the Saturn myths. It is based upon the fundamental fact best articulated by the Apostle Peter when he wrote: “. . . by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: . . . .” (2 Peter 3:5-6.) Thus, the key to understanding most of our cultural and religious traditions lies in remembering the end of the world — the end of the heavens and the earth that “perished” when God “spared not the old world, but saved Noah.” (2 Peter 2:5.) That is, the world we know today and the heavens we see above us are not those the ancients knew. This is the profound message that all ancient cultures strove to pass on and the key to the ancient mysteries: The world they knew “perished,” only to be replaced by the heavens and the earth we know today. It stands to reason that if we wish to understand the messages our ancestors labored to preserve for us, we must understand the

The Saturn Myths and the Restored Gospel


world they lived in and referred to. Only then can we expect to gain a reasonable understanding of their beliefs, traditions and practices. This is also important to us because we live in a day and time . . . in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (2 Peter 3:10, 13.) So, if we, too, are destined to experience the “end of the world,” in this dispensation of time followed by the introduction of a new world — one that will duplicate the lost original our ancestors knew in the earliest epoch — we should know what happened the first time the world ended and began again. The importance of this perspective cannot be over emphasized. It is the key to a more profound understanding of the past, present and future. The first step, then, is to learn how the first heavens and the first earth looked. For that information we turn to the prophet, Joseph Smith, and to the illustration he made of Earth’s ancient appearance. Philo Dibble’s facsimile of that document presents a confirmation of Peter’s assertions and a remarkable proposition: The solar system we know today is a recent development. Earth was once part of a grouping of orbs that shared a common axis of rotation, the defining element of the Earth’s condition anciently. This proposition, purportedly offered by none other than Joseph Smith himself, was so unique, so peculiar, that there was nothing in modern experience to explain it.

symbolism. Joseph Smith apparently recognized it and communicated it to others. They believed there was no evidence that anything remotely like the configuration of orbs Joseph Smith proposed in his illustration once truly existed. The concern that there is no astronomical evidence for this remarkable constellation of planets should be no intellectual hurdle for Latter-day Saints. Mars After publishing his original thesis in Earth The Saturn Myth. ritual and belief — based on his reconstruction — explains nearly all the religious iconography and traditions of mankind — including that of Mormonism — argues eloquently for its validity as well.The Saturn Myths and the Restored Gospel 4 With only one or two exceptions. Venus Mars Earth . traditions. like Dibble. texts. Mormon scholars ignored — even avoided — the claims of Dibble and his facsimile. tombs and temples— including our own modern temples. Perhaps today’s Saints should suspend their doubts long enough Venus to explore the possibility. monuments. Instead of envisioning Saturn with a ring or set of rings around it. The remarkable irony is that modern man has not recognized the evidence for this configuration found in almost every aspect of ancient culture. Talbott went on to refine his thesis. The evidence for its existence anciently exists in the proper interpretation of the records left behind by all ancient peoples in their religions. That Talbott’s reconstruction of the ancient heavens — based on his singular interpretation of tradition and mythology — bears vital similarities to Joseph Smith’s reconstruction leads this author to conclude that Talbott hit upon a primary truth from antiquity that was obviously known to the first prophet of this generation. That his interpretation of ancient tradition. the Earth standing at the “end” or “bottom” of the stack or string. In time he came to believe that the original configuration he proposed was slightly flawed. It was simply too unbelievable to accept—until David Talbott’s research into ancient myth and tradition led him to proffer a similar configuration for the ancient solar system. Jupiter he saw something more like what Joseph Saturn Smith’s illustration implies: three rocky planets.

The Saturn Myths and the Restored Gospel 5 In turn. leaving three visible orbs — again. This is not true. prototypical Saturn symbol proposed by Talbott becomes only one stage in the evolution of the Saturn epic rather than the dominant feature. in a fixed position in the northern sky. each sitting within the orb of another. these three planets were probably fixed “below” two gaseous giants. traditions and beliefs than did the original. In fact. Some have expressed concern that this new conception may not adequately answer to some of the symbolism previously attached to the Saturn configuration. the symbolic use of three rings remains intact because the terminator or “edge” of each planet forms a visible ring as well as the essential crescent when properly lit by sunlight. it was obscured from earthling’s view by Saturn. without the need for orbiting rings as are seen around Saturn today to explain ancient imagery. it will be seen that this new arrangement not only conforms to all the original symbolism. Talbott’s most recent reconstruction of that group of planets. which he calls the “Polar Configuration. as depicted below. While Jupiter was the largest of the planets. as well as that of all ancient religions. when ancient earthlings gazed skyward. with the Earth at one end of the grouping. Saturn and Jupiter.” is composed of these five planets. conforming to Joseph Smith’s idea of three planets. it will also allow us to understand the most well rooted cultural and religious traditions as well as the history and the future of this planet. Thus. but it serves to explain many more symbols and metaphors. No other concept offers so much enlightenment about . For example. this revised arrangement of planets is of primary interest to Latter-day Saints who wish to understand the symbolism and metaphor of our own religion. The original. they saw three nested planets. Thus. Not only that.

larson. the prophets and our temples. metaphors.” (The Thirteenth Article of Faith. then it qualifies as something well worth pursuing.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 6 the world we live in and the new world yet to come. To this author’s way of thinking. lovely. when this theory is tested with the gospel and the words of the prophets. is the light it can bring to bear upon our understanding of the restored gospel. “If there is anything virtuous. as has been amply demonstrated in The Prophecy Trilogy and The Plainest Book: Revelation. rituals and symbols — things that. answer many questions and bring meaning to heretofore largely incomprehensible symbolism and metaphor. Its greatest value. Fortuitously. we seek after these things. seemed to have had no real origin other than the vivid imaginations of the ancients? If so. The magnitude of this undertaking. the Saturn myth passes all such tests. does it give those metaphors. or of good report or praiseworthy. it immediately begins to fill in many blanks.) Since Talbott’s theory does all those things. once perceived in its undiminished totality. according to Joseph’s Smith’s definition. traditions and symbols a consistent system of interpretation? Does it bring meaning and order to traditional cultural and religious beliefs and images? Does it apply to all ancient cultures? The answer is an unqualified “Yes!” For Latter-day Saints. The gospel test is particularly important because. . it not only supports the theory. It is our iron rod. that test is the gospel itself — the acid test. our scriptures. The Saturn myth theory is no exception. 1999 The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning Every theory must be tested. It will be even more apparent as we explore Talbott’s thesis in light of the gospel in this and future essays. David Talbott’s theory of the Saturn myths has one very specific test: Does it explain the origin and meaning of heretofore incomprehensible traditions. stories. as you will see. is truly staggering. by far. Latter-day Saints test all purported truth by the restored gospel. © anthony e. Modern revelation — truths given us by latter-day prophets — is our cornerstone. until now.

bad gods On occasion. 1. parades. over thousands of generations and dozens of cultures. impressive and ominous. Such is their enduring power. mind-and-body-numbing cacophony. stories and traditions those planets spawned have provided grist for the icon mills of all ancient religions and cultures. (Symbols of and Alien Sky. p. Indeed. Good gods. The resolute dedication with which mankind strove to endlessly repeat these celestial exploits in lavish pageants and dramatizations. Talbott estimates that Saturn appeared twenty times larger than does our present full moon. At other times they did feats of unparal- . At one point in its career. we faithfully preserve most of those images in our present religions and cultures without understanding their original source or meaning. And I have proposed that the history of this configuration is the history of the ancient gods. the primary actors in all ancient rites and dramas were originally planets moving close to the Earth. recorded in the fantastic stories. pageants. shaking the Earth until everything collapsed to the ground. throwing interplanetary lightning bolts. standing in close proximity to our Earth anciently. towering over the ancient world. pilgrimages. Mars approached Earth. Those planetary gods were altogether massive.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 7 The planets were gods According to Talbott. imposing. the gods/planets did tremendous damage. pouring out fire and brimstone on Earth’s hapless populace. Its approach must have made it seem exceedingly large. I termed this planetary arrangement the “polar configuration” because it was centered on the north celestial pole. pictographs and ritual reenactments of the first sky worshippers. dramas and sacred services were reenactments of the movements and changes in appearance of those giant planets. is a measure of those manifestation’s degree of impressiveness. appearing to grow from the smallest of the three visible orbs — the celestial gods — to the largest and closest. roaring out of the heavens with an ear-splitting. I have claimed that this fear-inspiring image once stretched across the northern sky. He wrote: For 25 years. The symbols. celebrations. ominous entities.) Those rites.

Either way. they would take on a wondrous appearance. For example. dragons or hideous monsters — striking fear. sacred rituals. while pouring out food or gold upon the world. — came from the example set by great Saturn. sprang up from practices honoring. some in ritual. the heavenly king. imitating and reenacting the events and appearances of the celestial. science. they appeared as vengeful demons. religion. descendency from deity. etc. hags. The remarkable part is that we did not get the message — until now. Yet on other occasions. all the accouterments of kingship — divine right. wonderment and reverence.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 8 leled beneficence. Our ancestors sought to preserve a global record — some in writing. as we know it. their stage was the sky. malevolent beasts. planetary gods. beliefs. sun god and order keeper of antiquity. some in stone — of ancient tumultuous events and catastrophes seen there and on the earth. On occasion. Stories told by later generations brought those gods down to earth and made heroic and fabulous men. in the beginning. passed from sacerdotal . women and creatures of them. The gods brought culture to mankind Civilization. The sacred mystery This was the great mystery of antiquity — whispered in sacred convocations and secret ceremonies the world over. producing delightful musical sounds like heavenly choirs or giant wind chimes. becoming spectacles of light and beauty. fables and traditions teem with representations of good and evil gods. Our ancestors incorporated both aspects of the planetary gods — the good and the evil — into their cultures. as do the symbolic embellishments of architectural monuments everywhere. But. The institutions of government. education and the trades all borrowed heavily from the traditions. practices and icons spawned in the exploits of the planet-gods who ruled heaven and earth. mankind regarded them with the utmost awe. The history of those planetary gods is recorded in the myth. dread and horror into the hearts of mankind. ritual and symbol of mankind. medicine. law. coronation rites. lighting the world. The single most important fact that all ancient records sought to convey was this: The planets were the original gods. Ancient myths. That’s where the first pageants played out. captivating ancient onlookers who observed with amazement and astonishment.

The sacerdotal class had two primary missions: teach the mystery of past wonders and catastrophes. Thus.” Because the planets were the original gods. it is such a vastly different place today from what it was then that it could truly be said that we live on a different world. trumpets and drums were employed in sacred rites to replicate ancient celestial sounds. While we do live on the same globe. Even the sacred name of god. With that elevated position came great power to rule whole nations. all mankind looked to the heavens above as the traditional abode of the gods — a tradition that remains intact to this very day.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 9 disciple to devoted novitiate in countless cryptic rites and rituals: the planets were the gods that once ruled Earth’s skies. All their ancient religions were intimately linked with the heavens. the planetary order being dramatically altered by Earth-threatening catastrophes later . public ritual and architecture. Additionally. religious festivals. Modern musical ensembles — choirs. A new heaven and earth The world we know today — the heavens and the earth — is not the world our ancient ancestors knew. as well as watch for the same things to happen again. It wrought major changes in our solar system. it was spoken of plainly only in the most sacred precincts set aside for this one purpose only. It was the most sacred and fundamental responsibility bestowed on those deemed worthy and sagacious enough to fulfill that role. the primary responsibility of the priestly class was to divine the fate of their people from a diligent observation of the heavens’ occupants and their movements. They anticipated that the greatest chastisements from the gods would also come from the heavens. Shrouded in sacred iconography. bells. was spoken only in holy sanctuaries — uttered as a series of vowel sounds meant to duplicate the sacred name/sound with the human voice. obsessed with anything out of the ordinary in the heavens that might portend a return of past catastrophes. first uttered from the skies in unforgettable fashion. They were paranoid sky watchers. mantras. The transition from that world to this was devastating for mankind. orchestras and bands — evolved from those early attempts to replicate “the music of the spheres.

(Another monograph will address this subject and explain how it is that all ancient records. This is no mean accomplishment. Talbott has given Latter-day Saints the key to understanding the symbolism and metaphor of all religions. cultural celebrations. Mars was a deep red color. Coincidentally.) Exactly how Saturn remained hidden from sight or was unnoteworthy to the Earth’s very earliest inhabitants and how it could have suddenly emerged as the dominant feature in their lives is a matter of some conjecture among catastrophists. But Saturn and its companion planets Venus and Mars may not have always been visible or notable to Adam and his early descendants. Thus. But like Velikovsky before him. is that when it did become visible. much like turquoise (which is .The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 10 remembered in traditional. including our own. Without a doubt. it was Joseph Smith’s insistence on bringing planets. assigning “cult” status to the religion he founded because of its resemblance to the astral worship of pagan religions. it made such an indelible impression on the ancients that it dramatically and completely altered their view of themselves and the world they lived in. holidays and other customs the world over. stars and comets into religion once again — elements that had long ago been expunged from normative Christianity as “pagan” — that the clergy found so repugnant in his day and incited such animosity toward him. Adam. however. Talbott has met with tremendous resistance from the orthodox scientific community for offering a radical. tell that man watched the ‘creation’ unfold in the heavens above. was placed here on Earth. Venus was bluegreen in color. Before Saturn ruled the world It is logical to assume that the Earth had been in the planetary conjunction from the time the first man. including the Hebrew account in Genesis. It necessarily follows that Saturn stood at Earth’s celestial pole in that same early epoch. this is what they saw: Mars in the center of Venus and both in the center of Saturn — an apparent superimposition of planets. What seems certain. new theory of planetary history. when the ancients first lifted their eyes skyward.

What planets were involved? How did they move? What happened to cause them to change their appearance? The ancients were not so discriminating. for the most part. They experienced truly remarkable phenomena that defied analytical description. They interpolated what they saw. occupying ten degrees of arc or more in the sky. . what all mankind viewed as the beginning of “creation. So this celestial phenomenon appeared to be huge to earthly observers. these are precisely the terms the ancients used in their accounts and their icons to describe and depict this earliest stage of the Saturnian configuration of planets. now that the Saturn story is allowed to give them meaning. We have simply to ask ourselves. colorful images in the heavens they also identified Mars as a heart because of its deep red color and its placement in the center. because they saw vivid. but accurate associations. Their impressions were somewhat simplistic. The ancients described their world and their heavens in impressionistic ways rather than in analytical terms. Additionally.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 11 why that stone was preferred for sacred jewelry and the adornment of religious artifacts anciently). what did you see in the first illustration? An eye? A navel? A breast? A wheel with an axle? An island? As it turns out. We know what they believed they saw because they left countless records and icons of these manifestations. The most remarkable part is that now — given our newly found understanding of Saturn’s career in Earth’s ancient skies — we can see and appreciate what they saw. “What does that look like?” For example. So it is that the icons and metaphors created by the ancients to describe the forms they saw are not as mysterious as they once may have seemed. Saturn was probably a light golden color. This was the beginning of Saturn’s career. These are the records and icons we seek to interpret — mysterious and enigmatic forms in stone and story. Talbott notes that Saturn was at least twenty times larger than today’s full moon. dominating a large portion of the heavens—fixed and immovable at the axis or center of heaven. turning it into images of things that were familiar to them.” We see what they saw We ask the more analytical questions. given the overwhelming and unique things they observed.

Indeed. it took on the form of an elliptical cloud when viewed from Earth as it began to discharge electrically. Since we do not see these forces in action today. It was the next step in the creation saga recorded in the sacred annals and traditions of all ancient religions. but as time went on they became more and more pronounced and dramatic. The changes were minor at the outset. the most active of the celestial players in act one of this ancient celestial drama. it was probably Venus that began to change first. when the gaseous material first began to swirl away from Venus. Actually. as shown above.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 12 The ‘creation’ continues After an unknown time. that constituted the most remarkable aspects of the ancient configuration of planets. which they left behind in their records. The wide variety of forms displayed by the gases in this ancient configuration is remarkable. it is necessary to understand that the planet’s atmosphere was dramatically distorted. So it is that by allowing the testimony of the ancients to explain what they saw. which gave rise to a multitude of symbols. rituals and traditions. called “plasma” by physicists. there were forces at play that we are only beginning to understand. it was the pliant nature of the gases. as we will see. began to change. temples. Yet. In order to understand Venus’ multi-faceted role in the Saturn saga. According to Talbott. it is hard to imagine that the atmosphere of one planet could be so dramatically altered. we learn the origins of their symbols. In addition. monuments. twisted and contorted by the colossal forces created in the dynamic electromagnetic interplay between several planets. This resulted in multiple presentations. The first of many changes Thus it was that the original appearance began to change as the atmospheric gasses began to react to the forces within the configuration. This gave Saturn new look for the ancients to ponder. that is the testimony of the ancients. . It was the first of many changes in Venus. the primary configuration of planets.

Where myths come from Depictions such as these make no sense in a modern context. it transformed into what looked like a cosmic egg. white cloud. these plasmas play a crucial role in the Saturn story. this is a vital axiom: Whenever the images presented in the ancient heavens resembled familiar objects. it becomes clear that the ancients borrowed the names of familiar objects by which to designate the various aspects of the celestial marvels they beheld. polar configuration. augmented by ionized gasses. complete with yolk. For this reason. the polar configuration was called a navel. a breast. such metaphors appeared to have no basis in reality. Egyptian priests celebrated the unborn hero (which is what he would become in all ancient traditions) in the center (Mars/ Horus) as “the mighty one in the egg.” Later. So interplanetary plasma and the distended atmospheres of the planets involved played a dynamic and pivotal role in the evolution of this planetary configuration.” and that the celestial eye “shineth with splendors on the forehead of Ra.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 13 What cannot be seen in the collinear planetary configuration illustration above are the gasses stretching between Mars and Venus. they were referred to in those same terms by their earthly observers. a similar plasma stream arose between Mars and Earth. Later. creating the great pillar seen to connect Earth with Mars. Thus. a shield. A grouping of planets that looked like an eyeball. we see the word “cloud” and the cloud icon substituted for “planet” or “star” in a multitude of scriptural (the Exodus “pillar of a cloud”) and symbolic settings (the iconography of the Salt Lake Temple. complete with an iris and pupil became just that. The Egyptians wrote.” Talbott notes that Venus also looked like a small. It is likely that they were elements of the atmospheres of the two planets. Two axioms When considering the many manifestations of the collinear. So. Thus. scholars put the label “myth” . for example). an island and the heart of heaven or the heart of god. We also saw that in its first manifestation. Until now. Nothing we see in our skies would lead us to describe deity in the terms used by the ancients. drawn out by the electromagnetic forces generated in the plasmas into a string or column between the two. Later still. “I am Horus in His Eye.

Or. before birth. for example)? If. If red Mars. only a twinkle in his/her father’s eye. early Saints about the remarkable relationship between Earth’s earliest history and the symbolism and metaphor of the scriptures and religions in general? Is this why the iconography of the Nauvoo and Salt Lake temples is more than a little reminiscent of ancient iconography (the Saturn stones on the Salt Lake and the Sun stones on the Nauvoo. what does the child have to do with the eye at all. These icons and the metaphors they spawned become meaningful in only one context: the collinear alignment of planets in antiquity as proposed by Talbott. what does an apple have to do with the eye? How can the child be considered analogous to the apple? For that matter. contrivances) on ancient accounts employing these symbols. consider how it is often said that the child is the apple of his/her father’s eye. Further. it is part of our cultural heritage. If this is true of these examples. Thus we see that some of the most esoteric language from ancient lore actually has its origins in that collinear configuration. if the largest orb (Saturn) were considered the father of the child/apple in the egg. as stated earlier. inventions. But that begs the question. or a twinkle? From where does such nonsensical whimsy come? It comes from the same source as the above quoted Egyptian texts.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 14 (i. fabrications. might we not conclude that it is also true of most other such metaphor and icons? Could it be that this is what Joseph Smith attempted to teach a few. then it would be metaphorically proper to say that the child was the apple of his father’s eye! It would also be proper to call the egg-looking orb a “twinkle” in its father’s eye if it subsequently . this is the great mystery of the ages. then is it not reasonable to assume that Joseph Smith knew and understood it? Eyes and twinkles An example of how these traditions are so invisibly imbedded in our culture. as it appeared anciently within Venus and Saturn. how often it is said that the child was once.e.’ then it would be as proper to associate that child with an apple (for its red color and roundness) as it would to call it a heart (since it was red and in the center).. which refer to Mar/Horus child in the eye of god. We all understand what is meant. were considered a child in the center of the celestial ‘eye.

yet. Some stars are depicted with three points. All this has come down to us as cultural tradition because it was. the ancients created a unique icon. As our investigation into these matters continues. A demonstration of a similar phenomenon can be made using a piece of notebook paper. a facsimile of the heavenly original. So it is that we find a mix of icons in ancient symbolism—some familiar. together with the resulting imagery. at one time. became the symbolic backbone. The traditional star image or icon is the best example of a unique icon. others very odd. ionized gasses in space makes them extremely susceptible to electromagnetic forces. They are called plasmas.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 15 became the prototype of all star icons. Gasses in the vacuum of space will readily follow such lines of force. No other explanation for these aphorisms has ever been articulated. they fall randomly. The . The plethora of icons the collinear configuration spawned. some fine metal filings and a large magnet. Bringing the magnet up beneath the paper causes the filing to react dramatically. religious tradition. others with four. Where stars come from The reflexive axiom to that previously noted above is: Whenever the images presented in the ancient heavens were unlike familiar objects. five or six. What compelled the ancients to create such an image and why call it a star? Venus’ discharge streamers The nature of the low mass. we will see that this same situation prevails in the gospel. so to speak of the gospel. as we shall see next. When the metal filings are scattered over the paper. Only the Saturn traditions give meaning to them. Even familiar symbols are often juxtaposed with unfamiliar images—all arranged in very strange ways. So it is with a multitude of scriptural metaphors and similes. The pinpoints of light in the night sky that we call stars bear no resemblance to the illustrations or icons we call stars. metaphor and symbolism. The illustration of stars are among the oldest universal icon portrayed in the art of man. no such object or image is present in today’s heavens.

In addition. According to some astronomers. it becomes clear that the lines of force might easily carry gasses away from the planet. Of course. the distance between Venus. Indeed. . leading to some shifting of position within the configuration. Mars and Earth on occasion. changing looks Over time. the two anchors of this arrangement were Saturn and Jupiter. A slight variation in their relationship would cause dramatic movement among the three smaller planets. would be the familiar Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Due to their considerable mass. they would tend to glow — much like phosphorescent light — making them especially visible from Earth and presenting a striking celestial display.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 16 filings immediately jump into patterns that reflect the magnetic lines of force exerted by the magnet. the one being induced by the other). it was the inherent instability that probably caused the ultimate dissolution of the Polar Configuration of planets. A pale analog to this phenomenon. It was this ‘jostling’ effect that probably accounted for many of the changes in the relative position between Venus. the gases would not only assume a multitude of forms as the lines of force varied over time. A similar thing happens to gasses suspended in a vacuum when electromagnetic forces are applied. Thus. it only shows them in one plane. that of the paper. Shifting planets. which can be seen in our skies today. if electric current were present (which would account for the electromagnetic forces. Mars and Earth varied as forces within the congregation of planets caused them to shift position back and forth along the common axis. certain inert gases would tend to phosphoresce or glow — just as our florescent lights do. a collinear planetary arrangement would be inherently unstable. out into space in such a way as to for ‘points’ or streamers when viewed from a polar perspective as Earth’s inhabitants did Venus. Illustrated in three dimensions.

The closer they were. Imagine a great fluorescent light. when any of the three smaller planets left the axis and began to oscillate across it or orbit around it. the forces unleashed would have had a ‘whipsaw’ effect on the plasma. The proximity of the five planets would also determine the degree of eccentricity in the movement of the gases: the closer they were. leading to still more dramatic displays — as shall be seen in later discussions regarding the evolution of the collinear planetary configuration. giving the column greater density and more visibility. which is nothing but plasma suspended in a glass tube. leading to more dramatic changes in arrangement. This would set the stage for some of the most dramatic changes of appearance in the Saturn complex. between Venus and Mars and between Mars and Earth. it gave rise to one of the best known star icons. we have only to remember that these images were not motionless. which apparently did happen. That is probably a close approximation to the situation that existed in the Polar Configuration anciently. they were all three probably part of one continuous plasma column. when the planets distanced themselves from one another. which appear at various stages in its development: between Saturn and Venus. They seemed to be fixed in one place in the heavens — as is today’s pole star. Finally. with these planets suspended within it in a linear arrangement. Polaris — but . the proximity of the planets would largely determine the amount of gaseous material suspended electromagnetically between the two. Venus’ atmosphere next evolved into an equilateral triangle. This is not an image we would call a star. Yet. To understand how this came to be. the more force would be applied to the gases. Venus in evolution We see that after taking the ovoid or elliptical form. In fact. the more material would be drawn into the space between them. All three columns appeared at one time or another in Earth’s ancient heavens. This sets the stage for three separate plasma columns in the Polar Configuration. Then.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 17 Naturally. those same gases would be distended across the widening void. on its way to an even more sensational series of changes.

For example. has found its place in the iconography of mankind. gave rise to the multitude of icons and symbols employed by mankind anciently. imaginative description in ancient sacred literature. Of course. Animation is a well-understood art today because of motion pictures and video. would present a twelve-point icon.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 18 the Earth’s rotation imparted a rotary motion to these images. morning and evening. projected in rapid succession. found in the religions and cultures of mankind. point up and point down — to imply motion. the star. This gave Israel its national symbol. it can clearly be seen that these simple icons. But in this case. The ancients used a similar device: a series of illustrations depicting the various phases or positions of the planets in the great conjunction. the Star of David. the ancients depicted the triangle icon in its two most important position — in its midnight and midday positions. like a wheel around an axle. can be traced to the original manifestations of the Saturn configuration. Derivation provided another entirely new series of icons as well. while such elaborate figures may never actually have occurred. too. their changes and their movement. this. giving rise to some of the most colorful. puzzling and inexplicable images. As it turns out. Hence. . the most bizarre. only this time as a symbol of evil. used to depict good or evil. the various illustrations were superimposed rather than juxtaposed because the sacred icon in question rotated in a fixed position. can be used to create the illusion of motion. the inside of the Star of David forms a pentagram. the superimposition of basic images to imply rotational motion actually gave rise to a whole series of derivatives with a symbolic life of their own. the image seen above seemed to rotate through a full 360 degrees in 24 hours (the diurnal rotation rate of the Earth). this tendency to superimpose images to depict rotation was used commonly in both icons and metaphors. Thus. We know that a series of still pictures. the antithesis of the symbol of good. So. the superimposition on the above figure of two more primary positions for triangular Venus. Incidentally. For example. Thus.

.” Yet. being gradually distended and differentiated over time. the stage Talbott calls “the star of glory” because the ancients asserted that it was resplendent. Venus evolved into its most complex star configuration. this final appearance alone (in what is only the first act of an entire celestial drama) gave rise to innumerable symbols. Eventually the arrangement of gasses metamorphosed into a four-pointed star as the gas streamers gradually evolved from the simple to the increasingly more complex. a whole lexicon of ancient imagery grew up around Venus’ metamorphosis from a circular form to symmetrical “great star. the spokes of the ‘sun’ wheel.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 19 More changes. As we have seen. the ancient ‘comet’ that radiated equally in all directions. and then to a triangle. Ultimately. Finally. following the lines of force. and the ‘eye’ that became radiant and filled all heaven with its glory. From a vantage point on Earth’s northern hemisphere. it became another familiar star icon. those gaseous discharge streamers eventually metamorphosed Venus’ appearance from that of an eye. Mars. Venus was the literal “glory” of the sun god. as the points of the triangle extended. to that of an egg. more stars As we have seen. a physical manifestation of his soul radiating out into all creation. the crowning glory of Saturn’s son. a long-haired goddess. it most likely appeared something like what can be seen in this illustration. From a vantage point at a distance from and perpendicular to the collinear configuration of planets. the sun god’s shield. gaseous streamers erupted from Venus and extended toward Saturn.

It is also the root for words like astronomy and astronaut. did not see this planetary conjunction when they looked to the sky) assumed that the pinpoints of light they saw there were the ‘stars’ of their ancestors — even though the traditional symbols bore absolutely no resemblance to the reality they saw. it is further evidence supporting Talbott’s thesis. Hathor. etc. What other explanation can be given for the origin of the star icons? Is there some other explanation that conforms to its employment by mankind since time immemorial and the multitude of descriptions and names attached to it by the ancients? Note how closely the last image matches the illustration of the lines of force (see earlier illustration) surrounding a planet as seen from a polar perspective. It was a primary feature of the ancient planetary conjunction. Ancient cultural traditions affirm that the location of the ‘stars’ was in the heavens. The word ‘star. those scattered remnants would also be called stars. is derived from one of the multitude of ancient names for Venus: Astarte (astar-te) and its many variants (Ashtoreth. Ishtar. Also. Aphrodite. like us. having its origins in the contemporary appearance of the icons themselves. celestial or otherwise. it is an original icon from the past that endures into modern culture and is an example of how the ancients dealt with an unfamiliar celestial image. all having to do with the heavens. many ancient traditions told of how the body of the ancient goddess/queen/star was eventually dismembered and scattered across the heavens.). The star icon — regardless of the number of points it displays — is unlike any familiar object. It is reasonable to assume that later generations (which. the ancient and modern icon for a star had nothing to do with any sun. Even the name attached to these cultural icons is ancient.’ used today. Additional corroboration of the idea that these icons originated in a unique celestial event can be found in the name of this icon. .The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 20 Thus. Rather. Isis. As such. far or near. Naturally.

placed upon the king’s head. These can be found in the iconography of almost every ancient culture. are basic to Christianity. the best test is to connect these symbols with the gospel. Typically. and darkness was . Indeed. and void. the mother is depicted in a seated position with the child in her lap. From this first form or archetype. kept intact by those translators. The Egyptians placed Horus on the lap of Isis. Mars. the story of Mary and Jesus found a ready icon in the pagan symbol of the mother and child. Allusions to kings. This is so because the child. It is an integral part of the ancient symbolism. In Genesis we read that In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. etc. for a time. Thus. Often. Saturn.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 21 More symbolism Of course. Because this child/planet was the son of the celestial god and his wife/sister. is simply the last in a long line of such religious symbols. queens. Gospel connections Of course. all scriptural allusions to “crowns of glory” refer to Venus in its first manifestation as the prototypical star. When Christianity began to find a place in the Roman Empire.” So it is that much of the language found in the scriptures echoes this arrangement of things. in the anthropomorphic versions. he was heir to the “kingdom of god. they are shown with auras or halos about their heads. are but replicas of Venus as she sat upon the head of her son/child. would soon be ‘born’ in the celestial temple to become the ruler of the heavens. may mother/son images emerged. princes. This ‘nested’ planetary arrangement of Mars within Venus also gave rise to one of the most pervasive icons in history: the mother and child. kingdoms. the Madonna and Child icon. all royal crowns.. eclipsing. Mars. just as it had been in their former. even his father. the images of star and crown are really one and the same. This was not simply an artifice of the King James translators who gave us the English version of our Bible. reminiscent of the crown symbol. as mentioned at the outset. seen to reside within Venus. Roman converts to Christianity brought their pagan mother and child icon into their newfound religion. And the earth was without form. The Catholic incarnation. whereupon it became a cornerstone of their beliefs. pagan religion.

but simply dim. without distinction. when Saturn. And God saw the light.) Here we have a detailed scriptural description of what happened in the beginning of Saturn’s career — what the ancients called the “creation. It was shrouded in a plasma cloud. The above and the below were two halves of the celestial apparition — something that divided the planetary conjunction in half — as we will see shortly. and “the above” did not refer to heaven. and God divided the light from the darkness. It was called “the deep” because. “And the earth was without form.” Taking it statement by statement. And God said. Thus. without the brilliant crescent. Let there be light. the reference to the “earth” in this verse is probably a reference to “the below” or bottom half of the planetary conjunction. as we shall see. and there was light. and then relating it to Talbott’s Saturn story. But “the below” probably did not refer to the earth. Venus and Mars first became visible or notable. and darkness was upon the face of the deep. the words for “heaven” and “earth” were originally “the above” and “the below” — hence the interpretive translation into English. In the original Hebrew. Saturn had not yet emerged from the plasma vortex that hovered . (Moses is traditionally thought to be the author of Genesis. that it was good.” Thus. (Genesis 1: 1-5. and the darkness he called Night. as in the original Egyptian (both evolving from the original Semitic tongue). and void. The “darkness on the face of the deep” is likely a reference to Saturn itself because all the brilliance it would soon display was still in the future.” This was the very beginning. it was said to be “without form. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.) Line upon line “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. it was not dark at all. That is. and void.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 22 upon the face of the deep. This is singled out because the bottom of the configuration was the location of the bright crescent on Saturn as sunlight illuminated the planet’s terminator. And God called the light Day. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” or empty. we can now understand what Moses meant.

they demonstrated motion by appearing to rotate as well. Moreover. the planetary configuration became a handy timekeeping device. that it was good. Once sunlight began to illuminate Saturn’s limb to create a crescent. was considered the glory. even modern timepieces preserve the essence of this ancient symbolism.” When the three visible planets became visible.” If Venus. in general. any student of the scriptures. Earth’s inhabitants saw three orbs with no apparent motion.The Saturn Epic: In the Beginning 23 over the Earth. and the darkness he called Night. though it was greatly dissipated by the plasma fog that enshrouded the skies. “And God called the light Day. and there was light. “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. this was the prototype for all timekeeping. Saturn was also called Kronos (Chronus).” This was not the light of the Sun. For this reason. This vortex. Thus. as the plasma cloud dissipated. In fact. Also. “And God saw the light. And the evening and the morning were the first day. The modern watch uses a circular face divided into 12 one-hour segments (twelve for day. It provided a contrast to the darkness or uniformness of everything else in the heavens. in its initial ‘star’ phase. and God divided the light from the darkness. They marked the time of day by the positions they were in. Thus. it was the perfect light. much like the hands of a clock. as Venus’ brilliant appendages evolved.” The light of Saturn was not just good. readily recognizes this symbolism. in particular. That was to come later in the sequence of creation. This light was probably coming from Saturn. and John’s Revelation. then its metamorphosis across the face of Saturn—the “face of the deep”—to become the “great star” would properly be characterized as movement of the god’s spirit across his face. it gave the ancients the means to detect rotation in the heavens. . life-breath and soul essence or ‘spirit’ of Saturn. as the ancients saw it. mankind first grasped the concept of time — differentiating day from night. twelve for night. majesty. 24 hours total). Father Time. Because it resembled water. they called it the “deep” and the “firmament” or simply “the waters” of creation. Of course. the very basis of all timekeeping. “And God said. a slowly swirling plasma that looked like dark clouds in the sky or a heavenly whirlpool was all the ancients could see. Let there be light. This apparent motion was actually due to the Earth’s sidereal motion.

as the iconography and imagery of those ancient. 1999 The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking The beginning of the Saturn epic. It only stands to reason that a restored religion would have echoes of the ancient traditions. For those schooled in world religions. Greek or Hebrew temple. An apparent example of this in Mormonism is the erection of temples—a practice as old as mankind—complete with rituals.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 24 (See Revelation 4:2-4. even to our ‘symbolically sanitized’ Christian eyes. as we have already seen. That imagery can be seen in our own religion. gave rise to some remarkable imagery. This will become even more evident as we continue to probe the evolution of the ancient polar configuration of planets.) © anthony e. it should be apparent that the imagery is universal. this exercise proves invaluable in our quest to understand our own religion. icons and architecture as authentic and traditionally accurate as any Egyptian. the best explanation for such conformity has been cross-cultural exchange. the Saturn events serve to explain why there are so many profound and remarkable commonalities in world religions. Mayan. the similarities become clearly apparent and continue to multiply before our eyes. While there has clearly been some borrowing in cultural religious tradition. cosmological events. Icons from the most exotic religious traditions become quite understandable. as well as other Christian denominations. Buddhist. Until now. larson. for example. In addition. celestial events continues to unfold. For Latter-day Saints. many more unnoticed similarities between Man’s religions begin to emerge. Islamic. But it goes far beyond that limited scope. . Indeed. called diffusion. Understanding all religion Scholars have long noted similarities in the world’s religions. to the point that we can plainly see that all religious traditions stem from the same original. Babylonian. symbols and metaphors.

modern Saints can now enjoy nothing less. volume 5.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 25 The gospel connection In addition. This Joseph Smith did with statement like that recorded in the History of the Church. Venus and Mars. metaphor and traditions. . began to undergo a remarkable metamorphosis from the simple to the complex. their research serves to support Joseph Smith’s claim to revelation since this remarkable view of ancient history has only just begun to come to light among secular scholars in the last 50 years. standing above the Earth in ancient times. Thankfully. profound connection with recent discoveries. as Joseph asserted. This should give added strength to the witness of any Latter-day Saint who strives to perfect their testimony and their knowledge of the gospel. a planet. Eventually. page 337. where he attributed the miraculous events of the last days to a “grand sign” which he identified as “a comet. symbols and metaphors to the actual events that spawned them. In the process it would assume a variety of configurations.” His considerable work to identify the meaning of certain Egyptian documents in his possession are another. It could have come only by revelation. This is what Joseph Smith strove to do for the Saints of his day. the streamers that formed the “points” of the “star of glory” radiating outward from Venus toward Saturn reached similar length and breadth to form a new image. Recapitulation The appearance of Saturn. each giving rise to a new group of symbols. a restored religion would connect those ancient traditions. There is simply no other way an individual living the primitive intellectual atmosphere of the American frontier in the early 19th century could come by this kind of knowledge. Significantly. Venus’ evolution into the prototypical star was only one phase of its career. What he left us clearly points to the research and insight of modern scholars who struggle to unlock the secrets of Earth’s remarkable past as it relates to Catastrophism and the Polar Configuration. It was simply nonexistent then.

They even made what the archeologists characterize as a toy using a wheel. The wheel of god Anthropologists and archeologists are puzzled by this enigma. knew about the concept and utility of the wheel. (Remember. allowing it free reign and refusing to use it for work . The ancients refer to Venus’ streamers as the “light” and “life” of Saturn. father god with the wheel and so depicted him. they did not have the use of horses until the Spaniards brought them from Europe. There is little doubt that the image above can be described as a wheel. They made numerous illustrations of it.) The Mexicans (Mejica) used the format of a wheel to create their stunningly beautiful calendar stone. It must have been an astounding sight! What we see. To use a sacred symbol as a mere utilitarian device would be the height of irreverence and sacrilege. Much as the horned cow is venerated as a sacred beast by some Eastern cultures. given their religious traditions that hearken back to this wheel symbol. complete with spokes. brightest expansion. but a religious icon instead. for example. So it is that ancient tradition from many cultures associated the primary.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 26 Venus’ streamers had reached their widest. that Venus was the animating or life-giving force behind that birth. Recalling that the plasmas that formed these streamers fluoresced like the neon in fluorescent lights. It is clear that the Meso-American cultures.) The reason for this seeming penchant for physical labor is simple. It is easy to see how filling the ancient heavens with brilliant light gave the impression the Polar Configuration had come to life. It is also the reason why the wheel was not employed as a laborsaving device in many ancient cultures. (It was probably not a toy. Yet. one can understand that the brightness of this display must have been awesome and impressive. To employ the wheel in as mundane a fashion as in a cart or wagon would have been blasphemous to those who venerated this icon as holy. laborers in those ancient cultures carried their burdens of their backs instead of employing a wheeled device. they saw What do you see in the above image? A wheel? A flower? A sun? A shield? A crown? The ancients saw and described this stage of the Polar Configuration as all those and much more.

That symbol was thought to give the shield supernatural protective powers. the best sun. utilitarian reasons. innervating all creation. at the same time. was thought of as a powerful icon to carry into battle as a divine protection. there is no analog to this symbol in the physical world. It also explains why a female nature was attributed to the symbol and why so many ancient goddesses were depicted with a shield. It was probably first rendered as the “plant of life. This was the origin of many “sun” pictographs from ancient cultures worldwide. . many ancients refused to employ the wheel to carry loads — much less touch the ground. Since war itself was considered a sacred ritual — an attempt to bring all humanity under the benevolent rule of a god-on-earth — then the shield. the shield of the ancient god.” since the light it emitted was considered the rebirthing of creation in an event of light/glory/spirit. It is a construct we draw upon that comes from our cultural traditions. Nothing in our experience would lead us to depict the Sun with rays of light radiating out in all directions. As with the star symbols.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 27 or for meat. It is the prototype of all ancient shields carried into battle. The plant of life The Hindu tradition that the world was created when a lotus flower of light opened to reveal all creation stems from this stage of the configuration’s development. It is probably also the origin of the “Tree of Life” symbolism found in the scriptures. common to every culture — ancient or modern. Even when the shape of the shield was altered by later cultures for more practical. standing before him and protecting him from the darkness and chaos around him. designed after and decorated by the ancient sun symbol. a version of the sun symbol was used to decorate it. the sacred sun. also probably traces its roots back to this event. A bright circle of light with radiating spokes of light is virtually universal. The sun-shield It is. The Christian imagery of the light of god or the spirit of god radiating outward. which hearken back to this magnificent image in the sky — the true sun.

Whether Venus and Mars moved away from the center in tandem or whether the Earth alone moved. At that point. This imagery is employed by John in Revelation. the visual effect that it produced for earth-bound observers is not because they recorded and reproduced it in abundance. some traditions spoke of it as a garment of light. Mars and Venus — began to ‘wobble. tradition placed it upon him for protection. the displacement created an offset or parallax view of the polar configuration from Earth. As will be seen in a future analysis of the ancient planetary conjunction. was said to be the crown of Mars.’ That is. there was a great deal of movement among the planets involved before the extraordinary configuration that gave mankind its cultural traditions finally came apart. Lastly. Do you see a bird’s or pea- . the heir apparent of the heavenly kingdom and the son of the fathergod. more variations The next stage of the polar configuration’s evolution is truly remarkable. they began to oscillate slightly back and forth through the centerline or swing about the centerline that they had shared. a garment. Like the shield. It marks a critical phase in the relationships that existed between the several planets that composed the configuration. was altered considerably.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 28 A shield. That movement generated a remarkable variety of images. a crown Because Venus’ streamers of light seemed to cover Saturn. Saturn. as we shall see. One or more of the smaller planets — Earth. from an earthly perspective. The configuration was in the early stages of dissolution. Venus. Displacement of planets. the symmetry of the original icon. This idea should be familiar to most Latter-day Saints. Which of the planets moved first and in what manner is a matter of conjecture. It began to come apart! It would not take much movement away from the common center of alignment during that ancient epoch to create a remarkably different view of the heavens for Earth’s inhabitants. with her streamers. and is another key to understanding that enigmatic book. Once again we have only to ask ourselves what this looks like to know what the ancients also thought of it.

The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 29 cock’s tail? A hand fan? A flowering plant? A headdress? Or a scallop shell? Even a cursory acquaintance with ancient symbolism allows one to see the multitude of icons that might have resulted from this manifestation. as odd as this may seem in practice. It became the source of innumerable artistic motifs for sacred edifices. The Native American tradition of the thunderbird leaps to mind. Such a relationship seems ludicrous to Western eyes. Fans. The peacock is an integral part of the symbolism of Eastern religions. as in this case. it was used in ancient times to cover the face—again. veils. It would be an unmistakable icon. employ the peacock imagery where some of their deities are depicted seated upon a peacock as a throne. feathered bird—would be quite proper in later Christianity to connote the Spirit of God or the Holy Ghost. birdlike celestial image were considered the animating force or spirit of the ancient sky god. Most striking to Christians is the symbol of the white dove. as does the Phoenix legend. Hindus and Buddhists. in particular. If this brilliant. wigs and hats While our Western culture does not put much emphasis on the image of the fan or the veil. It certainly reinforced the “plant of life” or “tree of life” symbolism mentioned earlier because it looked much like a palm tree. rife with meaning. white-feathered. Of course. Eventually it found its way into every kind of decorative pattern — sacred or profane. the fan was used by young women in many ancient cultures to cover their faces—not to hide their face. It was also characterized as a whisk or broom for the same purpose. a sacred covering representing protection and glory. and to banish the powers of chaos and darkness that menaced them. The fan was. For that reason. a device used by many ancient goddesses to protect themselves. there are a plethora of sacred birds to choose from in ancient iconography. Some of the most eccentric images in ancient and foreign cultures become understandable. in myth. yet within the understanding of the Saturn myths comes a new appreciation and understanding of religious iconography from around the world. then the symbol of the dove—a white. as later cultures interpreted the .

Worn in one form or another. share a common origin. If the ancient god. as ceremonial adornments (just as the pharaoh’s head- . white feathers. The ‘headdress’ motif is also nearly universal. This headdress or wig was identical to the appearance of the ancient planetary configuration in this phase of its development. then the hats and headgear worn by men of all cultures likely hearken back the planetary configuration at one stage or another. wore a headdress composed of bright. It was meant to designate the wearer as the heir to godhood. We recognize this symbol in another of its incarnations or variations: the veil. As such. If the veil and the fan were used by women as ceremonial adornments to connect them with the goddess of beauty. we see that the headdresses of vastly different cultures. Venus in this most glorious aspect. then any chief or ruler here on Earth should do the same. Venus. Latter-day Saints will see the special meaning in the veil as a covering.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 30 custom. Saturn. Indeed. this image is the origin of the headdress or wig worn by Egyptian pharaohs. Perhaps the most striking example is found in the imposing feathered headdresses of the Native American peoples. As with all Saturn traditions. the bride of heaven’s ruler. the veil over the face is a symbolic association of the individual with this aspect of Venus so as to identify the bride with the heavenly prototype of beauty. separated by time and distance. Like the train worn by the new bride to symbolically associate her with cometary Venus. In fact. This is certainly true of crowns worn by rulers. but to associate themselves with the ancient goddess of light and beauty that once covered the face of the celestial god. Venus in its various early stages of light may be the origin of all worldly headgear. Mars. the train and the veil become a dual statement of the bride’s association with the prototypical bride of antiquity. that of Tutankhamen being the most easily recognized in modern popular culture.

the same reason that brought all other images to early Mormon temples: They are part and parcel of the iconography that connects modern temple-building to ancient temples. thus giving the appearance of a human hand. At one point. that hand is illustrated with an eye and/or a wheel in the palm. we find the term “hand of God” in Hebrew and Christian scriptural references. Perhaps it was the didactical importance of this symbol that led to its use in the Celestial Room of the Salt Lake Temple. Like so much of that temple’s iconography. One other aspect of this phase of the polar configuration. mythical goddesses. a completely appropriate juxtaposition since the archetypical ‘eye’ and ‘hand’ were both formed in the ancient heavens by the same orbs in different manifestations. Hence. and the number of streamers fell to five. Many have wondered why such an image was included in an LDS temple. the streamers were altered or distorted further. Temple-going Saints should make note of this imagery. Goddess on the half-shell The scallop shell was also associated with many ancient. Cultures worldwide depict the human hand as a sacred object. not readily apparent.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 31 dress). they are universal icons. Those who have . likely. where a young woman stands is depicted standing on a scallop shell. It is. the Salt Lake Temple points the viewer back to the original Saturn traditions. Why bring a pagan image into such a sacred edifice? The reason is probably the same as that which inspired ancient Israelites to bring such images into their temple in Jerusalem. Mythmakers often chose to rhetorically adorn the goddess’ hair with scallop shells to identify them to readers or listeners.’ As the ‘wobble’ in the planets progressed. during rituals rehearsing specific events in the history of the polar column of planets. some appeared longer or shorter than others. is that of the ‘hand. Aphrodite was said to have been born on a scallop shell. More often than not.

the oldest example of this many-headed serpent icon. Medusa. The same ‘serpent’ motif can be found in widely divergent ancient cultures. This may be the origin of the Medusa image. In fact.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 32 observed the exterior of the Salt Lake Temple have seen both symbols used there: the all-seeing eye and the hand (usually clasped hands). John’s use of the imagery of dragons and serpents constituted a borrowing rather than invention. allowing us to understand the relationship between the ancient imagery of all cultures and that of early Christians. The Hindus depict Nag as a serpent with seven heads. It was a syllabus for pagans — full of well-known and well-understood cultural imagery — who wished to understand the . was found by archeologists incised on a Sumerian shell inlay dating to about 2600 BC. was a horrific female creature from Greek mythology with the body of a serpent and hair that became a multitude of snakes emerging from her head. you may remember. this image is crucial because the many-headed serpent or dragon of chapters 12 and 13 finds its prototype in this original image. These examples should amply demonstrate to the reader that these mythic icons predated Christianity and the New Testament. This and a multitude of other examples cited by this author in The Plainest Book: Revelation. For those wishing to interpret the vision of John the Revelator in the New Testament book Revelation. The Aztecs venerated a god with a human body and seven serpents sprouting from his shoulders where his head should be. suggest that almost the entire book was a borrowing of ancient imagery. matching John’s description in Revelation. Another aspect of this stage or phase of the configuration’s development is the apparent oscillation of the streamers from side to side. Interestingly. Thus. giving the appearance of so many serpents emerging from the head. long before John penned his cryptic vision. The Greeks used the Medusa. (Note that this makes John’s vision no less valid. it makes it a kind of scriptural Rosetta Stone.

) Making stories from symbols The Egyptians. This evidence also completely demolishes the popular interpretation of Revelation by modern Evangelists who see the image of the seven heads as some modern political alliance forged between ungodly nations in the last days. we see how a simple icon can give birth to a story that takes on a life of its own. For example. this suggests that some of Moses’ history about being hidden by his mother in the bulrushes may have been borrowed from religious tradition/imagery in order to validate his position in Hebrew tradition as a prophet. each time more detached from their origins. Nevertheless. Why choose the feathers of a peacock for a new electronic technology? Why employ the all-seeing eye for another? Some might scoff . and the story eventually attains the stature of historical fact. often more elaborate and esoteric. This.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 33 beliefs of early Christianity. NBC and CBS. referring to this symbol. Indeed. as we shall see. Thus. Modern uses of these and other Saturn symbols include the logo for television networks. it is not surprising that elements of those traditions have found their way into the histories of prominent Old Testament figures. said that the hair of Isis became a “thicket” of papyrus in which she protected the child/god Horus and is so illustrated on the walls of tombs and temples. the story is elaborated and embellished with detail until the original icon is obscured or lost entirely. was certainly true of Abraham and was also the case with some accounts of the Savior’s life. Since almost all of those traditions stemmed from and conformed to the Saturn myths. they continue to convey some aspect or meaning of the original. this is probably true for most of the prominent Old Testament characters: All or part of their personal history had to conform to sacred traditions in order to validate their sacred role in history. This is an example of how these symbols continue to emerge in the cultures of man. Over time.

it is completely logical that ancient symbols for vision.com/ For online classes. Yet. newsletters and published books exploring this material in depth: http://www. light. © anthony e. more logical reasons for choosing such symbols. from the beliefs and traditions of our idolatrous ancestors.blogspot. in reality.com . saying that there are other. Indeed. we are completely unaware of their origins. the imagery of all mankind’s religions has a common origin in Earth’s ancient heavens — a remarkable revelation in itself. videos. Once again. enlightened culture have not divorced ourselves. larson. However.mormonprophecy. when the appearances of the polar configuration are considered. Ironically it allows us to see that we in our modern. we see that the Saturn traditions brought to light by modern scholars connects us to the symbolism of the restored gospel. knowledge and wisdom should be selected. 2000 For more essays from this series: http://mormonprophecy.com/ Your questions or comments are welcome: anthonyelarson@gmail.The Saturn Epic: Mythmaking 34 at the idea that they hearken back to ancient symbolism.

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