Friday, November 14, 2008

Are double-decker graves a threat to history?

I recently read a news article which reported that Great Britain will start an 18-month trial of creating double-decker graves. They will dig graves deeper, allowing for room to bury another person on top of the elder. Graves to be chosen for stacking would be 100 years old and older. This will create additional burial plots where at present, space is at a premium or non-existent.

You can read the article, "Double-decker graves set for go-ahead," at Ananova's website.

What is my opinion of this practice? Frankly, I'm appalled.

How are they going to determine which graves will be selected to stack? Perhaps they will exempt historical or famous figures and leave their graves intact. In my opinion, stacking another person on top of a historical figure would be an assault on history. Yet, does this leave those who are not well-known open to mandatory stacking and amount to a form of discrimination as compared to a historical person?

Even the old gravestones are not protected in this plan. The additional person's name would be added or gravestones would be taken away.

I realize that we Americans have a different attitude toward our dead than other cultures around the world, and we have lots of space for graveyards as well. However, it just seems to me that this is a threat to history especially in a country like Great Britain where not only paper and ink historical records need to be preserved, but also the human remains along with those records. I would think this would extend to their grave sites as well. If we or our families so choose, each of us should have a little piece of planet Earth, however small but all to ourselves, as our final resting place, and it should be allowed to remain sacred for that purpose throughout the generations. There has to be another solution to the problem. Any kind of mass grave, for me, conjures up scenes of disrespect at the very least.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Planet Nibiru in a Nutshell

I decided to gather all the information I could find about the expected arrival of a mysterious planet called Nibiru which many believe will pass earth in the year 2012, causing global catastrophes of mega-proportions. Currently, NASA and other international governmental space agencies are not saying much about this, either because they don't agree that there is a planet out there headed this way or because they don't want to cause a global panic.

Please keep in mind that I am simply gathering information about this and listing it in an organized fashion. I have no idea if this information is accurate, nor does anyone else actually. Nothing may happen in 2012. Conversely, something might.

Names of the planet:
The Ancient Sumerians called this planet, Nibiru.
The Egyptians named it, "The Planet of a Million Years."
Ancient Babylon renamed it Marduk, the name of their god.
Planet #10 or the 12th celestial body in our solar system.
Planet X
The God's Planet,
Planet of the Empire
Planet of the Cross
The Red Planet

I'm unable to sort these out, but Nibiru is said to have several satellites or other celestial bodies in relation to it with names such as Dysnomia (Gabriel), Santa, 2005 Fy9, Sedna, Orcus, Quaoar, Ixioon, Varuna. Sumerian writings say that a satellite of Nibiru hit another planet called Tiamat creating the Asteroid Belt.

Orbit of Nibiru:
Believed to travel clockwise rather than counter-clockwise in an elliptical orbit around the sun.
Passes earth through the Asteroid Belt between Jupiter and Mars.
Passes earth every 3,600 years or as many as 10,500 years.
First observed and photographed on October 21, 2003, at Mt. Palomar Observatory and discovered by Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinovitz on January 5, 2005, based upon those photos.

Slightly smaller than Jupiter.

Ancient beliefs about the planet:
A reptilian race (dragon/humans) inhabits Nibiru and came to earth from there. The Sumerians called this race, the Anunnaki.
They believed 12 gods came from Nibiru and those gods gave them advanced knowledge.

Timeline for the appearances of Nibiru:
2012 AD
1588 BC
5188 BC
8788 BC
12,388 BC

Possible effects upon the earth:
Climate change - melting of glaciers - ending of gulf-stream circulation
Severe phenomena such as volcanic activation, horrific hurricanes, massive tidal waves
Reversal of the earth's magnetic field
Stoppage of the earth's rotation
Life as we know it ends upon earth

Global warming and volcanic activation on other planets in our solar system may be caused by Nibiru's passing as well.

Bible - Revelation describes destruction from a celestial body.
Some interpret the coming of this planet as the New Jerusalem spoken of in the last chapter of Revelation.
Nostradamus predicts something like this as well in his writings.

Nibiru is a subject which warrants much scrutiny, not only as something that mysteriously happened in the distant past, but also for the possibility that it may occur in the future. Do your own research on this. I have also included a video below which gives an up-to-date report on the sighting of Nibiru. Something does appear to be out there.

Nostradamus, Asteroid Impact 2012 AD & The Comet Planet
Planet X, Nibiru, Marduk and 2012

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sounds Within Our DNA

I recently found a video on YouTube which featured the work of Stuart Mitchell in his quest to crack the code of the cubes in Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh, Scotland. Watch this amazing video:

Be sure and visit Stuart's website where you can purchase a CD of this music as well as find additional information about his work. Stuart also puts various species' DNA to music, such as whales. He can put your own DNA to music as well.

I ran across an interesting article yesterday which speaks about DNA and sound. The title of it is "The New Humans" by Mary Rodwell. Here is a quote from that article:

"Recent Russian DNA discoveries documented by Grazyna Fosar and Franz Bludorf in their book Vernetzte Intelligenz have been summarised by Baerbel. 'The human DNA is a biological Internet' with evidence that DNA can be 'influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies.' This suggests that 'our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body, but also serves as data storage and communication.' The Russian scientists and linguists have found that the genetic code 'follows the same rules as all our human languages.' In effect, human language did not appear coincidentally but is a reflection of our DNA."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Magic of Sound: Produced, Engineered & Mixed

Whether you believe that the universe was started by a big bang or created by the voice of God saying, "Let there be light," I think we can all agree that sound was one of the very first things in history. The sound that emanated from setting the speed of light and bringing the elements forth out of nothing had to have been massive. Will scientists catch up to it as they go deeper and deeper to the outer edges of space and hear that sound still ringing in the rafters of the cosmos? Someone with more knowledge than I would have to answer that question.

Ever since that first sound, other sounds have been used for one reason or another. Our ancestors learned that a certain grunt or yell produced an effect on the people around them, and language was born. Music came on the scene when people learned to hit rocks or tree limbs and behold, it was pleasant! It soothed their emotions and communicated in ways they could not. Sound drew them together as a people, brought progress, and even empowered shamans. Humans have always sought for power through sound, whether by an "abracadabra" or the sound of a gong.

Sound is vibrations in the form of waves at certain speeds or frequencies that can be heard if in the range of our auditory faculties or perhaps felt if it is not. Elephants produce a low frequency sound that can be felt in the chest but not heard. My son's car stereo produces a thump-thump that can sometimes be felt as a "pain in the rear!" Sound waves can shatter glass or show us what our babies look like in the womb. Sound is a powerful tool, and because all matter is energy comprised of vibrations at the atomic level, sound vibrations can affect matter, whether harmoniously or chaotically. No wonder that we have always looked for ways to use sound.

We are even using sound as weapons. The new generation of weapons are non-lethal acoustic weapons that use high-decibel noise to cause pain or infrasound to cause unbearable nausea. Sickening sound is no stranger to the citizens of Kokomo, Indiana, where what has come to be called the "Kokomo Hum" has caused some residents to flee.

Throughout history, sound has been produced for specific effects, such as the sound of bells, gongs, and chimes. Feng Shui teaches that the way to increase chi is to hang wind chimes in entryways. Chinese fireworks were also exploded at certain times in an attempt to maintain the flow of chi. Shamans used strange sounds or special words in rituals. Drums were a well-used instrument of power with their driving beat. Aborigines in Australia played special sounds within the didgeradoo's drone to call their warriors to battle or to send other secret messages.

Music is a pleasant sound of choice for most people. It has been used in worship, to affect moods, and to enchant from the beginning of time. The Bible documents David playing the harp and singing to lift the depression of King Saul.

Today, every cruise boat going down the Rhine River plays the Lorelei song as they negotiate the bend at the Lorelei rock. Lorelei was a mermaid that legend says sat, combing her blonde hair and singing her siren song, on top of the cliff. She was said to lure unsuspecting river boatmen to their deaths on the rocks below.

Since the end of the 18th century, a lot of research has gone into the effects of music in healing. Music has literally played a part in healing ceremonies since antiquity.

For the past 300 years, musicians have used what is called the "equal tempered tuning scale," but it has not always been so. The ancients used just-intonation where chords and intervals were produced in their purity or exact mathematical ratio. Mozart and others composed in just-intonation. Many have lamented the departure from pure tuning. Read about the history of tuning at Historic Music Tuning Problem, Just Intonation.

As I write this article, I'm listening to a CD entitled, "Delusion of the Fury" by Harry Partch (1901-1974). Harry Partch was a pioneer in the creation of music on instruments of his own design that were capable of playing notes in a 43-tone scale using just-intonation. He built such instruments as the Chromelodeon and the Quadrangalis Reversum. Upon first hearing his music, one might think that the elephants of Thailand were playing it. However, once you listen for awhile, you realize something important about it. It can be felt in your physical body in such a way that modern music is not.

The sound of the church bell is one of the most recognizable sounds in the western world. Since temples and cathedrals are built over known energy vortices, some believe that the buildings transmit sound vibrations from the bells, sacred songs and chants along these energy lines and may have a positive effect on the magnetic field surrounding the earth.

The German philosopher, Goethe, once said, "Sacred architecture is frozen music." One Japanese group has been studying the mystical symbols carved into the cubes of the stone ceiling in Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. It is thought the cubes are part of a musical notation system that recorded a melody of great spiritual significance.

Plato instructed his students to activate these ancient buildings by maintaining what was known as perpetual choirs which sang and chanted sacred songs continuously twenty-four hours a day according to times and seasons. Ancient Great Britain had perpetual choirs as well located in Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Llantwit Major in Wales. China had a perpetual orchestra whose purpose was to energize the energy grid. These perpetual sounds were thought to ward off evil and disasters and transmit spiritual power throughout the land.

In an article written by Dr. Karen Ralls entitled "The Spiritual Dimension of Music," she discusses examples of music from the Celtic Underworld and writes that fairy harpers, the songs of mermaids, the power of the saint's bell, the singing of angels in Heaven, and musical trees were said to produce powerful effects in Celtic tradition. Read this fascinating article at Ancient Quest.

What might the ancients have known about sound? In Paul Devereaux's "Places of Power, Measuring the Secret Energy of Ancient Sites," he documents his research into the phenomenon surrounding ancient stone circles. Part of his study is an investigation of the testimony about audible sound heard coming from standing stones at certain times such as dawn. He notes that writers in antiquity documented these sounds including sounds emanating from statues used as oracles.

Perhaps another reason that sound affects us is because our cosmos may be one grand melody. While Pythagoras discovered the mathematical basis of musical harmony, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) took this a step further and found that planetary movements correspond mathematically to musical tones which he believed sounded a continuous celestial song.

How receptive are physical things to sound? In his book, "Messages From Water," Dr. Masaru Emoto shows us photographs of water crystals after they are frozen. He first subjects the water to various types of human emotions or music. Then he freezes it and photographs the frozen crystals. He has found that water that has experienced beautiful music or positive words and sounds undergoes a molecular change into harmonious geometrical forms when frozen. The molecular change from negative words or chaotic music results in ugly crystals. Thus, he has proven what he calls "Hado," meaning "wave" or "move," and that our daily language literally moves physical matter whether positively or negatively.

Perhaps a lost chord or words of power are "out there" somewhere, the missing sound in the great symphony of life, once played or once said, but now forgotten. However, I suspect we'll need to start searching for that great powerful sound much closer to home. In the Bible, James says, "If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man."

Happy Hado to you!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Who put the "Hob" in Hobgoblin?

Sometime ago, I took an unofficial poll of the members of a discussion group that I belonged to as to how many believed in the bogeyman as a child. The majority not only believed in the bogeyman but also had fear of him instilled into them as a form of control. Some bogeyman memories were quite cruel as well.

As a child, I not only had the fear of the bogeyman to contend with, but also I had monsters of my own invention. The most feared were the "Grabhanders," cold, ugly disembodied hands, which I was certain lurked around the sides of my bed at night. I believed the hands could grab my exposed feet, hands or other body parts not under the protection of the bed covers. I did not even want to think about what the hands might do after they grabbed me, so no matter how hot and sweaty I became, I always kept myself under those covers.

My beliefs were quite typical of all who have believed in invisible beings. Every race and group of people in history have believed in different kinds of them and kept those beliefs alive through their children. Passing them from generation to generation is what gave them power over us, and only in more recent times have we begun to come out from under those fears. The beliefs evolved into particular, almost real, characters with names, special attributes, and purposes. Allow me to present this brief list of some of those invisible beings from history:

Bogeyman - vague in appearance, shapechanger, usually a malevolent creature, although some are harmless. Bogeymen have no distinct habitat and can appear out of nowhere. They usually haunt families but have been known to become a friend and playmate for children. Bogeymen might have come from the word "bugis" which were pirates from Indonesia and Malaysia. Sailors told their children that if they were bad, the bugismen would come and get them. Over time, "bugis" became "bogey."

Fairy - probably a combination of the words "fae," friend and "eire," green, meaning "green friend." A fairy's appearance can be beautiful. They are said to bestow gifts upon newborn children. They can only be seen clearly by animals unless they use what is known as "glamour," which is the name of their power, to enable humans to see them. The Fairy Folk of Ireland are the Daoine Sidhe whom legend says were members of the Tuatha de Denann that decided to stay in Ireland after they were defeated by the Milesians. Their name means "people of the mounds" where they are said to live.

Other names for fairies include: Hag, a fairy from the British Isles. She's the personification of winter during which she is old and ugly, but she becomes younger and beautiful when the seasons change. Sprite, a creature around water and found only in serene and cool places. Their job is to change the colors of a tree's leaves in Autumn. Bean Sidhe or Banshee, woman of the hills. She foretells death by wailing. The phrase, screamed "like a banshee," comes from this legend. She is said to have long hair and be dressed in a gray cloak.

Elf, a supernatural being shaped as a human, either beautiful or ugly, and worshipped in trees, mountains and waterfalls. Names of some elves include: Fir Darrig, malevolent elf who plays tricks; Ghillie Dhu, Scottish elf who lives in birches; Urisk, Scottish elf who lives in remote pools and rivers; Apicilnic, knee-high "little people" whose presence is an omen of danger and who also steal children; Hedley Kow, shapechanging elf who played naughty tricks; and Mazikeen, winged elf-like beings.

Brownie, brown elves who live in farmhouses and other country dwellings in Scotland. Protective creatures that become attached to families. Children can see them. While their human family is asleep, they perform various labors for them.

Gnome, small creature that dwells under the earth, guarding treasures. Related to goblins and dwarves. They cannot stand the light of the sun, which turns them to stone.

Goblin/Hobgoblin, a grotesque variety of gnomes. Mostly playful yet can be evil and seriously harm people. Originated in France. Usually live in mossy clefts of rocks and roots of ancient trees. "Hobgoblin" is believed to be an abbreviation of "Robin Goblin," the name Druids gave to the first goblins when they entered Britain.

Leprechaun, small sprites believed to bring good luck and fortune. These are known as fairy cobblers because they make shoes for elves but not a pair of shoes, only one. Their name comes from "leith brogan," or maker of one shoe. Legend says they possess a pot of gold. A human may obtain it if they capture a Leprechaun. But capture is extremely difficult, and the captor may not take his eyes off of him for an instant lest he vanish.

Dwarf, small humanoids, half the size of a man. Skillful with their hands, they made beautiful and magical objects including Thor's hammer and Odin's magical ring. They live in caves, holes in the ground, and hollow trees. Can be hostile.

Heinzelmannchen, a friendly German dwarf or elf.

Ogre, large creatures who eat human flesh.

Troll, ugly creatures who live in caves and hunt after dark. Particularly fond of human flesh. Enemies of mankind.

Phynnodderee, a combination of the Scandinavian troll, the Scottish brownie and the Irish leprechaun. Drives sheep home and helps in the harvest if a storm is brewing.

Pixie, little people who are said to live in the downs and moors of Cornwall, England. Playful and like to steal horses and ponies and ride them at night.

Nymph/Satyr/Faun Nymphs are female spirits of nature represented as young maidens who rule over different parts of nature: forests; springs and rivers; ocean and sea; mountains; meadows; lakes; marshes and swamps; and valleys. The male counterpart of the nymph is the satyr (half human in the upper body and half beast in the lower, usually goat). The Italian version of the satyr is the faun.

Centaur, a creature with a human torso and head and the body of a horse. A follower of the wine god, Dionysus. Known for drunkenness and carrying off young maidens.

Green Man, pagan deity of the woodlands of Britain and Europe. Represents spirits of trees, plants and foliage.

I hope this list helps to explain the differences in these mythical beings. When my children were born, I decided that I would start a tradition of making sure they understood that all of the above (including Santa Claus and my own Grabhanders) were in the pretend world of make believe, although Hollywood can make them seem very real. It is a terrible thing to control a child with fear.


Encyclopedia Mythica

Heinzelmannchen by Definition by Ginger Gehres

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Candle Mystique

One day, while lighting a candle at work that we were using to provide fragrance for the Holiday Season, I stared with amazement at the curious invention that was now burning brightly before me. Who might it have been that came up with the idea for a candle? How do candles burn almost miraculously for such a long time without being consumed? I decided to investigate this beautiful, fragrant, and mysterious curiosity.

The name candle comes from the Latin candere meaning "to shine." Actually, very little is known about the origin of them. No one person is credited with their invention. Early Egyptians used "rushlights," which were torches made from reeds, peeled except on one side, with the pith soaked in molten tallow. Tallow comes from rendered cattle, horse or sheep fat. Historians credit the Romans with developing the wick candle.

How does a wick candle work? The wick is made of an absorbent material. The wick itself only burns long enough to melt the wax around it. It then absorbs the melted wax and pulls it upwards. The heat of the flame vaporizes the wax and it is the wax vapor that burns from that point on, not the wick. The vaporizing wax cools the wick and keeps it from being consumed by the fire. This process only requires a small amount of wax on the wick to keep the fire burning. The length and quality of burning depends upon the quality of the wax.

Getting the wax right was the heart of the matter down through history. Tallow worked for candles, but the acrid smell was unpleasant and it smoked. During the Middle Ages, beeswax began to be used. Beeswax candles burned clean but were so expensive only the wealthy could buy them.

Colonial Americans boiled the berries of bayberry bushes to produce a fragrant wax, but this was not practical because of the large quantity of berries required. Native Americans burned an oily fish called a "candlefish," in which they placed a wick. The candlefish was stuck on a stick.

Then in the 18th century, sperm whale oil began to be used. The first standardized candles were made from spermaceti wax. This substance was used until paraffin wax began to be produced from oil and coal shale in 1850. The discovery of the elements of tallow by Michel Eugene Chevreul led to the development of stearic acid, which was added to paraffin to make it hard and durable.

The actual development of the candle over the centuries seems quite ordinary in comparison to the reputation the candle has acquired. Not only were they the first light source mankind had, but candles also seem to radiate a message. I would venture to say that no one lights a candle without feeling something of its mystique, whether it be simply to illuminate the darkness or to promote romance or spirituality or soften one's mood. That solitary flame can stand for hope, enduring love or comfort. Magical qualities are also ascribed to candles. Wishes are made over them on birthday cakes, and they are also used for healing purposes in aromatherapy or to focus energy upon various purposes in what is known as "candle magick."

The word ceremony comes from the Latin cemonius, meaning "the person who carries a wax candle at public rituals." Due to the fact that candles were popular in various traditions and pagan worship, the early Christian church forbade the use of them in services until the third century when candles became an integral part of church ritual. Most of us have heard the phrase, "bell, book and candle." This was a church ceremony of excommunication wherein the priest rang a bell to symbolize the death toll of the person being excommunicated. Then the holy book on the altar was shut and candles were blown out to indicate casting the person out of the presence of God.

The use of particularly small candles became so common in the church that they derive their name from their usage. The name "votive" comes from the Latin "votum" meaning prayer, desire, promise or vow.

Candles are unique in that although most of us no longer need them for the purpose they were invented, we continue to use them simply because of their mystique. The candle means more to us than mere wick, wax and flame.

For more information:

Candles, Candles & More

Monday, March 31, 2008

Death by Rye Bread

At first glance, the title of this entry might be mistaken for a murder mystery, but indeed, large numbers of people in history were plagued with a host of strange symptoms and died from eating rye bread.

Especially during the Middle Ages, whole populations of towns and regions began manifesting strange symptoms, such as nausea, pain in the limbs, seizures, violent retching, and hallucinations. Their bodies would become grossly deformed. Some would jerk, hop, leap and scream in a wild dance, which would not stop until they collapsed unconscious from exhaustion. Fingers, toes, hands and feet felt as though they were burning with fire, then turned black, became mummified and broke off at the joints.

At the heart of these tragedies was a parasitic fungus which commonly infests rye grain but can also be found in other grains and fodder grasses. The name of it is Claviceps purpurea or ergot (pronounced AIR-got). Ergot is a seed-like fungus which grows within the flower of a host plant. The host is affected by reduced yield and stunted growth, but the real problem arises when ergot infested grain is ingested as food. The deadly syndrome called "ergotism" can devastate and kill humans and animals.

Of course, people in early history had little knowledge of fungi. They knew these symptoms as ignis sacer, "holy fire;" ignis infernalis, "hell's fire;" or "St. Anthony's fire."

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia and MedicineNet, Anthony lived in Egypt around the middle of the third century. He began his ascetic life at age 20 after inheriting his parents property which he gave away in order to devote himself to religious exercises. Anthony completely withdrew from the world and is regarded as the father of Christian Monasticism and the technical religious life in every aspect. His hermetic style became the norm in Northern Egypt. During one period of 20 years, he shut himself up in an old fort and never saw another person. His food was thrown over the wall.

Anthony's life was one long struggle. He had recurrent visions of the devil in the form of wild beasts, women, and soldiers who sometimes beat the saint and left him near death. Those who witnessed these attacks upon him were convinced of their reality. Anthony met every vision with steadfast prayer and penitential acts and these were noteworthy enough to be included as subjects in literature and art. St. Anthony is considered to be the patron saint of lost causes. When all others have failed, he is the one people pray to.

Monks founded the Order of Hospitallers of St. Anthony near Grenoble, France, and it became a center for persons suffering from the disease of ergotism.

In "Ergotism: The Satan Loosed in Salem?," Linnda R. Caporael outlines the case against ergot as the catalyst for the Salem Witch trials. The eight girls who were thought to be victims of witchcraft exhibited the same symptoms as those suffering from ergotism.

One of the most famous derivatives of ergot is lysergic acid or LSD. Two Swiss researchers discovered its effects when one accidentally ingested a small quantity and became the first person to go on an "acid trip."

On the plus side, however, Ergot does have some medical benefits. Although it can cause abortions, in small quantities it aids in childbirth. Ergot derivatives are also used to cure migraine headaches.

These days, we know much about this fungus and how to prevent exposure to it. The last outbreak of the disease occurred in 1951 in Pont-St. Esprit, a small town in France. St. Anthony's Fire has finally been extinguished.

For further information, read Tom Volk's Fungus of the Month for October, 1999.

Friday, March 28, 2008

This Place is Terrible

One does not normally pour a fortune into building at a location described as "terrible." But one man did, and he inscribed "this place is terrible" on the gate of his church. His name was Fr. Berenger Sauniere. The place is the village of Rennes le Chateau in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains in France.

This bizarre story begins with Abbe Antoine Bigou who was the priest in the village a century before Fr. Sauniere arrived in 1885. Abbe Bigou was apparently the one who came into possession of two parchments and hid them in a hollow Visigoth pillar under the altar in the church in Rennes le Chateau. Fr. Sauniere found these parchments during restoration of the church in 1891. Their origins and what is written on them have been the subject of mystery and intrigue ever since, including suspicious deaths of those in possession of them.

Were the parchments merely Latin texts of the Gospels or a code? Translated, one parchment reads: "Shepherdess no temptation that Poussin Tenniers hold the key peace 681 by the cross and this horse of God I complete this daemon of the guardian at noon blue apples."

The other parchment says: "To Dagobert II King and to Sion belongs this treasure and he is there dead."

Seeking the meaning of these words, Fr. Sauniere went to the mayor of Rennes Le Chateau and found that he could not decipher the meaning either. The mayor sent him to the Bishop at Carcassone who was just as puzzled. He sent Sauniere on to Paris where he came into contact with a man named Emile Hoffet. Hoffet was a priest in training as well as an expert in cryptography. While in Paris, Sauniere reportedly had an affair with the opera singer, Emma Calve. Calve and Hoffet circulated in the company of various occult organizations in Paris at that time.

Did Hoffet and Sauniere decipher the parchments? No one knows for sure. Yet upon Sauniere's return to Rennes le Chateau, he found a headstone in the churchyard beside the church that had been erected by Abbe Bigou. The cryptic message on the stone related to the writing on the parchments. Sauniere defaced the stone, removing this public display of the writing. Many have speculated that this action and his strange behavior from that time forward indicated that he did, in fact, discover something for Sauniere suddenly became a very wealthy man. Some believe he may have found treasure from the Merovingians or the lost treasure of the Knights Templar. Others think he may gotten his wealth through the secrets of alchemy or might even have been extorting money from his parishioners through blackmail. The source of his wealth has never been brought to light.

Sauniere began spending large sums of money in the village, and his projects included redesigning the church into a puzzling layout and furnishing it with items having meanings known only to him. For example, his plaques depicting the Stations of the Cross are in backward order with one picture of a child wrapped in Scottish plaid. Pontius Pilate wears a veil. His statues are not according to Catholic tradition either. Joseph and Mary are each holding a Christ child. St. Anthony holds a book. St. Germaine holds roses in her apron, and Magdalene holds a vase. All give the impression that they depict a hidden message not yet deciphered. A statue of a demon called Asmodeus who represents the vice of impurity and is the guardian of hidden treasure stands near the door. Sauniere also built a library and study called the Tour Magdala which hangs over a cliff.

When anyone speaks of Rennes le Chateau, to be sure, the Priory of Zion and the Holy Grail are soon to be mentioned. Some believe there is a link to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. The church of Rennes le Chateau is included with a number of other Cathedrals in that area of France which when connected by straight lines on a map, form a pentagram.

Is the location of Rennes le Chateau really terrible? Is it, as some say, that the Rennes Valley has a message encoded there from a lost race of long ago and may be an opening to Hollow Earth where some of them still dwell? Or as others believe, could it mark the place of a trans-dimensional doorway to another reality?

Perhaps Sauniere's message on the gate of his church was referring to Genesis 28:16-17 where it reads: "And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not." And he was afraid and said, "How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the House of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

Fr. Sauniere died at the age of 65 of a sudden stroke on January 17, St. Anthony's Day, but a priest from a neighboring parish refused to give him absolution and communion on his deathbed upon hearing his confession. And what of his secret? Enter the housekeeper into the story who is said to have been Sauniere's only confidant. To be sure, a mystery is alive and well at Rennes le Chateau.

Unfortunately, I could only scratch the surface of the mystery in this short article. Be sure and visit the links in my source list below to get the full story.

Rennes le Chateau, the Mystery
Mysteries of Rennes le Chateau
St. Francis of Rome, March 9
Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau
Nicolas Poussin

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Strange Disappearances: Here One Minute, Gone the Next

I recall an episode of The Twilight Zone where a little girl tumbles out of bed and falls through a portal into another dimension that had opened up in the wall of her bedroom. Her rescuer reached through and pulled her back. Of course, that is fiction. Or is it? Legend is full of stories just like this where people are here one minute and gone the next, never to be seen or heard of again.

In recent history, science has provided enough evidence of space holes and other dimensions that this Twilight Zone scenario is much more believable. We pretty well accept that a worm hole can lead to either another time or place in the galaxy. Why is it, though, that mankind has suspected this was true even before anyone knew about the science behind it? Probably because history is laced with strange disappearances.

Keep in mind that the following information may or may not be authenticated and all fall into the category of Legend.

Take the case of the Eskimo Village, for example, where the entire population of over 2000 vanished in 1930. A tracker who had been camping in the wilderness returned home to find everyone was gone. The village was still there as if the people could have returned at any moment. Cooking pots simmered on the stoves and rifles and kayaks remained where they always were. Would the whole community have walked away? And why? But there were no tracks leading away from the village and none of the missing tribe could be located anywhere. Only two mysterious clues remained. All the sled dogs were found buried deep in a snow drift in the area. They had all starved to death. Also the graves of the tribe's ancestors had been opened (which would have been extremely difficult with the ground frozen in ice) and the bodies had been removed.

In Bennington, Vermont, during the period of 1920 and 1950, several unexplained disappearances took place. A Mr. Tetford, who lived in the Soldier's Home in Bennington, disappeared from inside a bus where he was sitting with 14 other passengers. They all had seen him sleeping in his seat, but when the bus arrived, Mr. Tetford was nowhere to be found. All his belongings remained as they were, including his bus timetable lying open on the adjoining seat.

Other Bennington disappearances included an 18-year-old student who vanished off a trail in Glastenbury Mountain and an 8-year-old who went missing suddenly off his parent's farm. Neither were ever found.

Dozens of disappearances like these around Bennington caused the area to become known as the Bennington Triangle. Native Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries, believed this Glastenbury wilderness to be a haunt of evil spirits, and they only used it for a burial ground. According to their legend, this spot was a place where all four winds met and an enchanted stone would swallow anything that passed by. But the strange disappearances in this so-called Bennington Triangle have ceased since the last one in 1950.

One of the most well-known disappearances in history is the case of David Lang. On September 23, 1880, David was walking in a field near his home in Sumner County, Tennessee. He was in full view of his wife and two children. His brother-in-law and a local attorney were approaching nearby in a horse-drawn buggy. Suddenly, David Lang vanished before their very eyes. It was said that a circle marked the spot where he vanished. Nothing would ever grow there and animals and insects avoided going into it. It was also reported that his children claimed to hear their father's voice once when they ventured into the center of the circle.

Another disappearance on the order of David Lang's was reported in "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field" written by Ambrose Bierce in 1909. This disappearance occurred in July, 1854, involving Orion Williamson who vanished, like David, while walking across a field.

Quite the reverse of disappearing from our realm is the story of the Green Children of Woolpit who are said to have appeared from somewhere else. Sometime between 1135 A.D. and 1154 A.D., two children were found near a pit at Woolpit, England. Huddled together, the boy and girl were terrified and screamed in an unknown language. Their clothing was made of an unknown material and the children's skin was green. They were taken to the home of Richard de Calne where by trial and error, it was found the only thing they would eat were fresh bean pods which they ate exclusively for quite sometime. However, the boy died soon after they were found. The girl thrived and lost the green hue in her skin when she started eating the local food. She learned English and finally was able to say where she and the boy had come from. She described a land with no sun where the people were all green and lived in perpetual twilight. The two children had heard bells, then found themselves in the pit and emerged into the light of our world. The girl lived long and eventually married, but was never able to explain her origins.

Two accounts of the Green Children of Woolpit were written around 1200 A.D., nearly 60 years after the time it is said to have happened. The names of these writings are 'Historia Rerum Anglicarum' by William of Newburgh, and 'Chronicon Aglicanum' by Ralph of Coggeshall Abbey. These were not eyewitness accounts of the green children but merely included in these collections of stories the authors had heard.

Of course, I cannot fail to mention the most notorious place of disappearances and that is the Bermuda Triangle, an area of 750,000 square miles in a triangle shape from Florida to Bermuda to Puerto Rico and back to Florida. It is said that the first report of a strange occurrence in that place was recorded by Christopher Columbus in 1492. He saw a ball of fire fall into the sea, then his compass did not work properly. Over 50 ships and 20 airplanes have been known to disappear there.

One reference found in the Bible, Acts 8:39-40, could fall into the category of a strange disappearance. Philip may have disappeared from the sight of the eunuch he had just baptized. Then he reappeared at the city of Azotus.

Strange disappearances and appearances are found throughout historical records. Are they based in fact or fiction? Urban legend? Hard to say, but at least the freight train that may be running through your living room in another dimension does not keep you awake.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Not Quite Human

Ancient manuscripts of history present us with an obscure and mysterious race of giants, the origins of which may have serious ramifications for the future of humankind. The Bible, the Book of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, and the Genesis Apocryphon all have similar texts on this subject.

In the Bible, these ones are called "nephilim." Other proper names were Rephaim (meaning, "spirits"), Emim (meaning, "proud deserters"), Anakim (a race of hybrids), Zamzummim (meaning, "evil plotters') and Zuzim (meaning, "roaming things"). The oldest belief about their origins is that fallen angels coupled with human women and produced these hybrids.

Genesis 6:1-2 and 4 reads: 1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 that the Sons of God saw the Daughters of Men that they were fair: and they took them wives of all which they chose. 4 There were Giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men; and they bare children to them, the same became mighty-men which were of old, men of renown."

The word "giants" here is written in the Hebrew as Ha-Napiliym and comes from the word "nephiyl" or "nephil," meaning, "to fall."

Theories about the fallen ones are divided into three main categories:

* The Sons of God were fallen angels who bred with human women.
* The Sons of God referred to the sons of Seth who cohabited with the daughters of Cain.
* The Sons of God were the sons of pre-flood rulers or magistrates.

In Chapters 6 and 7 of the Book of Enoch, we find:

Chapter 6 - 1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto 2 them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men 3 and beget us children.' And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: 'I fear ye will not 4 indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.' And they all answered him and said: 'Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations 5 not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.' Then sware they all together and bound themselves 6 by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn 7 and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, 8 Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaqiel, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.

Chapter 7 - 1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms 2 and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they 3 became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed 4 all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against 5 them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and 6 fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

A bread crumb trail of the belief that those of other dimensions or angels copulated with the human race runs throughout human history. For example, Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythologies also contain stories of offspring with superhuman abilities and gigantic proportions.

Is it physically possible that fallen angels could come to earth and have children with human women? Scripture speaks of angels having the ability to take human form and even eat. Some people believe that even as far back as the Garden of Eden there might have been more happening than just eating an apple between Eve and the serpent, the result of which resulted in a Reptilian line through Cain.

Others believe that the reason God sent the flood was to destroy not only the bloodlines of these ones but also animals that had been corrupted. The Book of Jasher speaks of the fallen ones mixing animals of one species with another and corrupting all flesh, not only humanity. One wonders where the idea of unicorns and centaurs (half man, half horse) came from. Did fallen angels have anything to do with these?

The Book of Enoch says that fallen angels brought mankind various types of knowledge that were not known up until that time. These included the making of swords and knives, shields and breastplates; the knowledge of metals and the working of them; making bracelets and ornaments and applying makeup; costly stones and coloring tinctures; enchantments and root cuttings; astrology, the constellations and clouds; the signs of the earth, sun and moon.

These ideas seem quite "science fiction" to us, but were accepted as fact by the ancients, including such ones as Josephus and Philo of Alexandria.

This brings an important question to light. If it were possible that angels could leave their established places and come into this world and interbreed with women, might it happen again? After all, angels do not die. If they did such a thing in history, it seems reasonable that the ability is there to do it again.

The Bible indicates that some of the fallen ones are restrained at the present time. In the Bible's Book of Jude, it reads:

(Verse 6) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Could history be repeating itself in UFO abductions? Some believe it is, especially since many who report experiencing an abduction have memories of alien medical tests of a sexual nature and even egg and sperm harvesting.

Indeed, some even say that there is a secret underground alien installation at Dulce, New Mexico, where all kinds of genetic testing are taking place on humans and animals. Read this theory at On the other side of the controversy, this site, The Dulce Report, refutes the existence of such an installation.

Many other sites hold to the theory that the Nephilim will return and numerous videos are posted at sites such as YouTube and Google which speculate about it.

What do you think? Is it possible that there were those on earth that were not quite human? If so, could we still have them with us? Could it happen again?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chillingham Castle is not all chill

I held my hand in front of my face in the darkness and marveled that I could not see one detail, not so much as any movement or shadow. My trusty flashlight stood at the ready on the table by the bed in case I had to get up. There I lay in pitch blackness that would normally not be anything out of the ordinary, but I happened to be in a bed in the Lookout apartment at the very top of the northwest tower of Chillingham Castle.

Dubbed the "most haunted castle in England," sightings of various supernatural phenomenon have been reported there. I did not know quite what to expect. Three friends and I had arrived late on this cold night of December, 2002, so late in fact that the main gate was closed. One of my friends banged on the window of the caretaker's house by the gate for several minutes before anyone responded. We received directions on how to go into the grounds via a back road.

The groundskeeper met us at the door and escorted us inside. The steep, circular, rough stone stairway went up and up a long way before we got to our rooms. The groundskeeper helped to get our suitcases up there, otherwise we would have had to take only necessary items in a smaller bag and leave the rest in the car.

Space heaters soon had each of our rooms and the bathroom feeling cozy. The beds were comfortable with lots of warm covers. We were the only visitors staying in the castle that night.

The groundskeeper told us that we could explore some of it, but other areas were off limits because they were protected by alarms. So at 9:00 p.m., we set out to see the open areas which included the courtyard, torture chamber, and dungeon. I must say the atmosphere in the torture chamber was most oppressive, especially toward one end of the building. The Iron Maiden, rack and other instruments of torture are a collection from all over England and brought to Chillingham for display.

The skeleton visible through a grate in the floor of the dungeon may have been left there for effect, but I wish they would give it a proper burial.

I maintain, however, that Chillingham Castle is not all chill. This castle is too lovely to be known only for ghosts, torture and past misery. Information Britain says "situated spectacularly, the castle is the finest example of fortified domestic architecture in the country." The castle grounds include an Elizabethan topiary garden, a private lake, lawns and woodland. Recent restoration has provided seven apartments where people can vacation. Chillingham also hosts weddings!

Owned by the Grey family for over 700 years, the castle is also famous for its wild white cattle, the only such cattle in England. The origin of these cattle remains a mystery. They roam in Chillingham Park in an area of about 300 acres. Their genetic makeup has been found to be unique among western European cattle. A small reserve herd of these animals was started in Scotland after the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 1967. The Chillingham Wild Cattle Association inherited the ownership of the cattle in 1971 upon the death of Lord Tankerville, then owner of Chillingham.

Without a doubt, Chillingham has quite a history. Part of the castle is built over a 7th century abbey, and it has changed little since the 14th century. This has been the site of bloody feuds as well as a place visited by royals.

Since 1536, the castle has undergone reconstruction of one sort or another. In 1956, however, the Historic Buildings Council declared it to be past the stage in which it could be restored. By the time it was sold to Sir Humphrey Wakefield in 1982, the castle was in a sad state. A massive emergency reconstruction program was launched, and Sir Wakefield is responsible for the magnificent building that is open to the public today.

When morning came during our visit, we took the tour of the main parts of the castle some of which house a mini-museum. The rooms are spectacular examples of what we would expect a castle to be. Then we watched deer graze on the lawn from the window of our apartment and on the way out, listened to the groundskeeper explain how he cut the beautiful hedge designs in the garden. In case you are wondering, he measures it by his hip.

Chillingham Castle is well worth seeing. I slept like a log. Don't be put off by its reputation. It is not all chill.

Chillingham Castle is open May through September and all year by arrangement. To find the castle from Wooler on the B6348 or from Alnwick on the B6346, the castle road is located between the A697 and the A1, a few miles southeast of Wooler in Northumberland.

The official website: Chillingham Castle.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why did the Ancient Mayans go after the hearts?

Chichen Itza is one of the new seven wonders of the world, but I never really considered visiting this place. You know how you read about certain destinations, but you know in the back of your mind, you'll always be an armchair traveler there. However, an actual trip to Mexico sort of fell into my lap recently without much effort on my part. As life goes on with its changes and surprises, my daughter and her fiance live in the Yucatan peninsula now. I will be going there to visit them on a yearly basis. Consequently, I just returned from a week in Merida, with a visit to Chechen Itza under my belt, and it was a most pleasant experience for my first time in Mexico. I'm looking forward to going back again.

We rented a car and went on a road trip to Tulum one weekend and stayed overnight in Playa del Carmen. The beach at Tulum is fabulous! Blue water and white sugar sand. I joyfully wallowed in that sand like a pig in mud, avoiding contact with any wayward sharks by staying out of the water, and settled down for a nice nap in the sun with my sun hat balanced over my face.

The next day, we stopped for an afternoon at Chichen Itza. My daughter and her fiance wanted to surprise me, so they had me close my eyes while they led me into the site. As we passed the vendors selling their wares along the pathway, someone started playing a flute. Farther along, another started playing a drum. Being led in that way with my eyes closed, I thought, "this is like a ceremonial procession." I imagined myself as a Mayan Princess blindfolded and being led in for some special purpose centuries ago.

At the base of the pyramid of Kulkulcan, they positioned me so that when I opened my eyes, I would be looking straight at it.

"OK, you can open them now," said my daughter's fiance.

I opened my eyes and nearly suffered whiplash. (OK, I exaggerated about the whiplash, but that pretty well described my feelings.) I sucked in my breath as my spirit leaped within me, and I could hardly speak for a few moments. Pictures don't capture the imposing nature of this pyramid, especially with it suddenly appearing before me "in the flesh" so to speak.

As I walked around, my thoughts turned to what I have read about this place, and it was quite mind-boggling. Not only was this a society that practiced human sacrifice and all the horrors of that from a captive's (bound for death) point of view, but also these people are a mystery. How could they have built such structures, studied the stars, and come up with a calendar that is the focus of so many today as we approach the end of that calendar in 2012? Yet their civilization declined and their work was seemingly abandoned.

One thing for sure, all of us tourists walking so boldly around the site would have been dead if we were back in the times of the Maya! One structure at Chichen Itza called The Tzompantli or Temple of the Skulls was a place to display severed heads on pikes as a warning of the consequences to anyone who might want to trespass.

Archeologists have been studying the sacred well (cenote) at this site where they have found human remains and other objects that were thrown into the well. (Note: there is evidence of severe head injury on the remains so perhaps they were knocked out or even dead before hitting the water? Let's hope so.)

Previous to arriving at Chichen Itza, we had visited another cenote in the region where my daughter pointed out that she had read reports that all the cenotes in the region are interconnected by underground cave systems. These cenotes were the source of water for the Mayans, and if it is true that they are all connected, I'm wondering what effect throwing humans into the sacred well at Chichen Itza might have had on all of the water supply in the surrounding area. Rotting bodies must have fouled the water at least in the sacred well. Could disease have spread through the underground cave system and contaminated other cenotes? This is just a theory on my part, but it sounds plausible as perhaps one way an entire group of people might disappear from drinking contaminated water, leaving a few survivors to be absorbed into other tribes.

I did have one particular question that I sought the answer to in my preparation for visiting Chichen Itza. Why did they sacrifice humans, and in particular, why did they go after the hearts? The Maya sacrificed via auto-sacrifice the majority of the time which was bloodletting of the genitals or other areas of the body by both high ranking men and women. Blood was a very important part of their worship practices as it is in many religions across the globe, but the treatment of the human heart stands out in my mind as somewhat of a mysterious addition to what might be expected in religion focused upon blood.

Statues are found at various ruins of a reclining figure with a plate on its stomach. These are called Chac Mools. Sacrifices were placed on the plate, not always of human hearts, but also of fruits, grains, etc.

But what about the heart? I found an interesting reference to the importance of the heart to the Maya in a copy of a press release for a book called "Mayan Hearts" by Robert M. Laughlin. You can read the full version at Google Answers. Here is a brief quote from that press release:

" . . . While documenting the Tzotzil language of Santo Domingo Zinacantan, the friar discovered that the indigenous group considered 'the heart not only the source of emotion but also the true seat of thought and reason.' 'Everything we call "human" was there in the heart,' Laughlin said, recalling that 'only under Spanish rule did the mind become divorced from the heart and set in the head.' Modern Mayas still use dozens of metaphors for heart in everyday speech and still hold the same understanding of its importance."

As Mr. Laughlin is a Smithsonian anthropologist, linguist and pre-eminent Mayan scholar, I think we can safely conclude from his statement that the Maya considered the heart to be of utmost importance and that offering a heart to the gods was the greatest gift of all, representing the entirety of all they considered human.

I believe I also found some clues as to how human sacrifice and the method of presenting a heart to the gods might have come about. This is found in the book entitled, "Aztec & Maya Myth and Mankind: Gods of Sun & Sacrifice" by Time Life Books.

The legend goes like this: One day all the Mayan fires in Tulan Zuyua went out in a hail storm. They prayed to their god, the one-legged, Tohil, who was the bringer of fire, and petitioned him to restore their fires. So Tohil made a deal with them. If the people would allow the god to "suckle on their side," he would restart their fires. To them, this meant that hearts were to be cut out through a hole in the ribcage, and produced the practice of holding a sacrificial person down, ripping out the still beating heart, and offering it to the gods. The heart was then burned for the god to consume it.

According to in their article Maya Civilization, "for the Maya, blood sacrifice was necessary for the survival of both gods and people, sending human energy skyward and receiving divine power in return."

As I walked around the grounds of Chichen Itza and felt the heaviness of its history lying upon it, I thought how ironic that a place where thousands were brutality killed, is now one of the seven wonders of the world.

You'll be hearing more and more about the Mayans as the end of their calendar approaches on December 21, 2012. Learn more at:

Wikipedia: Sacrifice in Maya Culture
The Mayas
Secrets of the Mayan Calendar - Video Teachings by Ian Xel Lungold