Chapter 8: The Ways of Heaven

“Thus did the biblical Psalmist describe the marvels of the heavens and the miracles of days and nights following each other, as the Earth rotates in its axis (the biblical “line” that goes through the Earth) and orbits the Sun that sits at the center of all (as a potentate in his tent)…

“…For millennia, ever since Man acquired civilization astronomer-priests looked to the heavens for guidance for Man on Earth – from the Ziggurats of Sumer and Babylon, the temples of Egypt, the stone circle of Stonehenge or the Caracol of Chichen Itza. Complex celestial motions of the stars and planets have been observed, calculated, recorded; and to make that possible, the ziggurats and temples and observatories were aligned to precise celestial orientations and provided with apertures and other structural features that let the light of the sun or another star enter as a beam at equinox or solstice times.

Image: Ancient ruins of Ur, (ancient Sumer), modern day Iraq. Remains of Ziggurat at far left.

Ancient ruins of Ur, (ancient Sumer), modern day Iraq. Remains of Ziggurat at far left.

Image: Ancient ruins at Babylon, modern day Iraq.

Ancient ruins at Babylon, modern day Iraq.

Image: Grand Entrance to an Egyptian Temple at Luxor.

Grand Entrance to an Egyptian Temple at Luxor.

Image: Egyptian Temples south of Aswan.

Egyptian Temples south of Aswan.

Image: The Welsh hill where the massive Stonehenge stones came from.

The Welsh hill where the massive Stonehenge stones came from.

Image: Stonehenge, where the Solstice was observed.

Stonehenge, where the Solstice was observed.

Image: El Caracol Observatory, Mayan, Chichen Itza.

El Caracol Observatory, Mayan, Chichen Itza.

Image: El Caracol Observatory, Mayan, Chichen Itza.

El Caracol Observatory, Mayan, Chichen Itza.

“…A farmer tilling the land year after year can judge the change of seasons and the coming of rains better than an astronomer, and has the groundhog to tell him a thing or two. The fact is wherever pockets of primitive societies (subsisting on agriculture) have been found in remote parts of the world, they have lived and fed themselves for generations without astronomers and a precise calendar. It is also an established fact that the calendar was devised in antiquity by an urban, not an agricultural, society.

“…Yet ancient man studied the heavens and aligned his temples toward stars and planets, and linked his calendar and festivals not to the ground upon which he stood but to the ways of heaven. Why? Because the calendar was devised not for agricultural but for religious purposes. Not to benefit mankind but to venerate the gods. And the gods, according to the first-ever religion and the people who gave us the calendar, came from the heavens.

“…It was knowledge, the Sumerians asserted, that was given them by the Anunnaki (“Those Who from Heaven to Earth Came”) who had come to Earth from their planet, Nibiru. Nibiru, they said, was the Twelfth member of the Solar System, and that is why the celestial band was divided into twelve houses, the year into twelve months. Earth was the seventh planet (counting from the outside in) and therefore as twelve was a hallowed celestial number, seven was a sacred terrestrial one.

“The Anunnaki, the Sumerians wrote upon numerous clay tablets, had come to Earth long before the Deluge. In The 12th Planet we determined that it happened 432,000 years before the Deluge – a period equivalent to 120 orbits of Nibiru… equivalent to 3,600 Earth-years per orbit… and there is no doubt whatsoever that the Sumerians began to observe the heavens not to know when to sow, but in order to see and celebrate the return of the celestial Lord.

“This, we believe, is why Man became an astronomer. This is why, as time passed and Nibiru could no longer be observed, Man sought signs and omens in the phenomena that could be seen, and astronomy bred astrology. And if the astronomical orientations and alignments and celestial division that began in Sumer could also be found in the Andes, an irrefutable link would be proven.

“…The care and great astronomical knowledge that were required for building temples in Sumer are evident from the Inscriptions of the Sumerian King Gudea (circa 2200 B.C.). First there appeared to him “a man who shone like the heaven” who “was standing beside a “divine bird.” This being, Gudea wrote, “who by the crown on his head was obviously a god,” turned out to have been the god Ningirsu. He was accompanied by a goddess who “held the tablet of her favorable star of the heavens.” In her other hand she held “a holy stylus” with which she pointed out to the king “the favorable planet.” A third human looking god held in his hands a tablet made of precious stone, on which the plan of the temple was drawn… And it was, the text indicates not a Solar but a Star + Planet Temple.

“…It was in Sumer that all the concepts and principles of modern spherical astronomy were laid out. The list can begin with the division of a circle into 360 degrees, the devising of zenith, horizon and other astronomical concepts and terminologies, and end with the grouping of stars into constellations, the devising, naming, and pictorial depiction of the zodiac and its twelve houses, and the recognition of the phenomenon of Precession – the retardation, by about one degree every seventy-two years, of Earth’s motion around the sun.

“…After the phenomenon of day and night the easiest to recognize are the seasons. As the simplest and abundant stone circles attest, it was easy to establish markers delineating the four points in the Earth/Sun relationship:

“…the Sun’s apparent rising higher in the skies and lingering longer as winter gives way to spring; a point when day and night appear equal; the gradual distancing of the sun as days grow shorter and the temperature begin to drop. As cold and darkness increase and it seems that the Sun may vanish all together, it hesitates, stops and begins to comeback; and the whole cycle is repeated – a new year has begun. Thus were the four occurrences in the Earth/Sun cycle established: ‘the summer and winter solstices (“solar standstills”) when the sun reaches its outermost positions north and south, and the spring and autumn equinoxes (when day and night are equal).

Image: Sun at Horizon.

Sun at Horizon.

Image: Stone Circle at Cuzco.

Stone Circle at Cuzco.

Image: Stonehenge as Sun sets.

Stonehenge as Sun sets.

“…It was necessary to provide the observer on Earth with a celestial point of reference. This was achieved by dividing the heavens, the great circle formed by the Earth going around the Sun, into twelve parts – the twelve houses of the Zodiac, each with its own group of discernible stars ( the constellations).

“…Because Earth’s axis is inclined in relation to its orbital plane around the Sun (23.5 degrees nowadays) and it spins as a top, forming a great imaginary circle in the heavens that takes 25,920 years to complete, that means that the selected “fixed point,” shifting one degree every 72 years, shifts completely from one zodiac house to another every 2,160 years. Some two millennia after the calendar was begun in Sumer, it was necessary to order a reform of the calendar and select as the fixed point the House of Aries. Our astrologers still chart their horoscopes based on the First Point of Aries, although our astronomers know that we have been almost two thousand years in the Age of Pisces (and are about to enter the Age of Aquarius).

“…By Baylonian times, in the second millennium B.C., temples required a triple alignment:

  • to the new zodiac (Aries)
  • to the matching four solar points (the most important of which, in Babylon, was the spring equinox)
  • to the lunar period

The principal temple of Babylon honoring its national god Marduk, the remains of which have been found in good preservation, exemplifies all these astronomical principles.

“…That astronomy, combined with archaeology, can help date monuments, explain historical events, and define the celestial origins of religious beliefs, has been recognized fully only in recent years.

This discipline is today known as archaeoastronomy.

“…In 1894, Sir Norman Lockyer noted… “a remarkable thing: in Babylon, from the beginning of things, the sign for God was a star”; likewise, in Egypt, “in the hieroglyphic texts, three stars represented the plural ‘gods.'” He also noted that in the Hindu pantheon, the most venerated temple gods were Indra (“The Day Brought by the Sun”) and Ushas (“Dawn”), gods related to the rising of the Sun.

Image: God Indra on a three headed Elephant.

God Indra on a three headed Elephant.

“…Lockyer recognized that temples in antiquity were Sun Temples or Star Temples. The former were temples whose axis and ritual or calendric functions aligned them with either the solstices of the equinoxes; the latter were temples not connected with any of the four Sun points, but designed to observe and venerate the appearance of a certain star on a certain day at a certain point on the horizon. Lockyer found it amazing that the older the temples were, the more sophisticated their astronomy had been.

Image: El-Karnak, in ancient Egyptian capital Thebes.

El-Karnak, in ancient Egyptian capital Thebes.

Image: Obelisk beyond Temple of Karnak.

Obelisk beyond Temple of Karnak.

Image: A bit more recent! A group of people sitting at the foots of the columns of the Great Temple to Amon-Ra, Karnak.

A bit more recent! A group of people sitting at the foots of the columns of the Great Temple to Amon-Ra, Karnak.

“His major example (Lockyer’s), was the complex of Temples at Thebes in Upper Egypt (Karnak). There the older, more sophisticated orientation of the earliest sacred cities (to the equinoxes) had given way to the easy orientation toward the solstices. At Karnak the Great Temple to Amon-Ra consisted of rectangular structures build back-to-back on an east-west axis with a southern tilt. The orientation was such that at solstice time a beam of sunlight would travel the whole length of a corridor (some five hundred feet long), passing from one part of the temple to the other between two obelisks, and for two minutes the sunbeam would strike the Holy of Holies with a flash of light at the far end of the corridor, thereby signaling the moment when the first day of the first month began the new year.

“But that precise moment was not constant; it kept shifting, resulting in the construction of subsequent temples with modified orientations… Over time, the Sun’s movements seemed subject to yet another phenomenon in the Earth/Sun relationship, this was the discovery by astronomers that the Earth’s obliquity, the tilt of its axis against its orbital path around the Sun, has not always been its present one…

The point Mr. Sitchin makes by giving all these astronomical details (more in his book) is, that it gives indication of the times the ancients built their Sun and Star Temples, and observatories>. Rolf Muller applies the Earth/Sun relationship to Andean archaeology, coming to the conclusion that such buildings were built at least 4,000 years ago.

“…Such application of archaeoastronomy to Andean remains, as we shall see, has upset even more notions regarding the antiquity of civilization in the Americas.

“Modern astronomers were slow to come to Machu Picchu, but eventually they did…

“At Machu Picchu Muller focused his attention on the Intihuatana… he realized was placed atop the highest point of the city. It could command a view of the horizon in all directions, but walls of megalithic ashlars confined the view to only certain directions, ones that were in the mind of the builders… Muller determined that the various inclined surfaces and angled sides were so devised as to enable the determination of sunset at the summer solstice, sunrise at the winter solstice, and of the spring and autumn equinoxes.

Image: Intihuatana


Image: Intihuatana


“…An old Spanish woodcut suggested to Muller that the great Temple of the Sun at Cuzco was so constructed as to allow the sun’s rays to shine directly into the Holy of Holies at the moment of sunrise on the day of winter solstice. Applying the theories of Lockyer to the Coricancha, Muller was able to calculate and to show how the pre-Columbian walls together with the circular Holy of Holies were able to serve the same purpose as the temples of Egypt.

“…In the 1980’s two astronomers from the Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, D.S. Dearborn and R. E. White (Archaeoastronomy at Machu Picchu) went over the same ground with more precise instruments… they did not join, however, in Muller’s discussion of the structure’s age… Neither they nor Muller attempted to trace back, to millennia ago, the lines of observation through the most ancient megalithic structure, the legendary Three Windows. There, we believe, the results would have even been more astounding.

Muller did, however, study the orientation of the megalithic walls in Cuzco. His conclusion, whose far-reaching implications have been ignored, was that “they are positioned for the era of 4000 B.C. to 2000 B.C.”

This puts the age for the megalithic structures (at Cuzco, Sacsahuaman, and Machu Picchu, at least) in the 2000- year period preceding the 2000 B.C. of the Torreon and Intihuatana at Machu Picchu… Muller concluded that the structures form the pre-Inca period stretch over two zodiac ages: the megalithic ones belonging to the Age of Taurus; the ones from the times of the Ancient Empire and the hiatus at Tampu-Tocco being from the Age of Aries.

“In the ancient Near East the shift caused by precession required periodic reform of the original Sumerian calendar. A major change, accompanied by major religious upheavals, took place circa 2000 B.C. with the transition from the zodiac of the Bull to that of the Ram. To others’ (but not our own) amazement, such changeovers and reforms are also evidenced in the Andes.

“…It took however several studies, beginning in the 1930s, to confirm that these people not only had a calendar but also recorded it (though they were supposed to have no writing). A pioneer in the field, Fritz Buck, produced archaeological evidence to support such conclusions, such as a mace that was a time-reckoning instrument and a vase, found in the ruins of the temple of Pachacamac, that denoted four periods of twelve with the aid of line and not markings akin to those of the Maya and Olmecs.

“…Because the Gregorian calendar was introduced in Cuzco only after Molina‘s time, the day of the New Year related by him corresponds to May 25 or thereabouts. Observation towers that had been described by Garcilaso have been discovered in recent years by astronomers from Texas and Illinois… According to the chroniclers the Incas considered their year to begin in the winter solstice (equivalent to the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere). But this event occurs not in May, but on June 21… a difference of a full month.

“The only plausible explanation for this can come from a recognition that the calendar and the system for observation on which it was based was bequeathed to the Incas from an earlier Age; a retardation by one month results from the precessional shift that lasts 2,160 years per zodiac house.

“…Reports (from chroniclers and researchers such as L.E. Valcarel) tell that the Incas went to great lengths to determine the precise days of the equinoxes and venerated them. This custom must have also stemmed from earlier times, for we read in the early reports that the monarchs of the Ancient Empire were preoccupied with the need to determine the equinoxes.

“…What was happening circa 400 B.C. that required a reform of the calendar? The length of the time span 2000 years, parallels the time spans of zodiacal shifts due to precession. In the ancient Near East, when the calendar was begun at Nippur, circa 4,000 B.C., the spring equinox occurred in the House or Age of Taurus. It retarded to that of Aries circa 2,000 B.C. and to Pisces by Christ’s time.

“The Andean reform circa 400 B.C. confirms that the ancient empire and its calendar indeed began circa 2500 B.C. It also suggests that those monarchs were familiar with the zodiac; but the zodiac was a purely artificial and arbitrary division of the celestial band around the Sun into twelve parts; a Sumerian invention that had been adopted in the Old World by all the people who had succeeded them (to this very day). Was this possible? The answer is yes.

“…The names ( of the zodiac), to scholars’ surprise, but not to ours, bear an uncanny resemblance to the ones with which we are all familiar and which originated in Sumer. Thus:

  • January, the month of Aquarius, was dedicated to Mama Cocha and Capac Cocha, Mother Water and Lord Water.
  • March, the month of Aries when the first moon signified in antiquity New Year’s eve was called Katu Quilla, Market Moon.
  • April, Taurus, was named Tupac Taruka, Pasturing Stag (there were no bulls in South America).
  • Virgo was Sara Mama (Maize Mother) and its symbol was the female member, and so on.

“Indeed, Cuzco itself was a testimonial in stone both to the familiarity with the twelve-house zodiac and the antiquity of that knowledge.

“…One must wonder whether the knowledge required for such astronomical information and calendar reforms could have been retained and passed along over so many millennia without some kind of record-keeping, without being written down in some form. The Maya codices contained, as we have seen, astronomical data copied and obtained from earlier sources.

“…‘Primitive’ calendar-zodiac circular stones must have preceded the perfected Aztec “calendar stones,” several of which have been found and a golden one of which, the most hallowed of all, was presented to Cortes by Moctezuma when the latter believed that he was only returning to the God of the Plumed Serpent what was his.

Image: Image of the Sun God is surrounded by celestial glyphs. Maya.

Image of the Sun God is surrounded by celestial glyphs. Maya.

Image: Round Stone found at Tikal.

Round Stone found at Tikal.

“Were there such records – in gold – in existence in ancient Peru? At least one such relic remains. It is a golden disk, about 5½ inches in diameter. Discovered in Cuzco and now lodged in the Museum of the American Indian in New York.

There were several interpretations of what the disk signified… Mr. Sitchin writes, with regard to scholars: “None have shown, however, how similar it is to the calendar discovered at Tikal – perhaps because it would add another nail to the coffin in which the notion that there had been no contact, no ‘diffusion’ between Mesoameria and South America, must be laid to rest.”

“…The physical destruction (of the Spanish force) could not eradicate what the Incas retained in their memories. The Coricancha was built, the Incas recalled, by the very first monarch; it began as a hut with a thatched roof. Later monarchs enlarged and enhanced it, until it assumed the final dimensions and shape as seen by the Spaniards. In the Holy of Holies, they related, the walls were covered from floor to ceiling with plates of gold…

“…The most detailed description of the centerpiece (in the Holy of Holies)… was provided by Salcamayhua: it was the first king of the Inca dynasty who “ordered the smiths to make a flat plate of gold which signified that there was a creator of heaven and earth.” Salcamayhua illustrated his text with a drawing: it was the unusual and rare shape of an oval.

“That first image was replaced by a round plate when a certain monarch later declared the Sun supreme. It was changed back to an oval image by a subsequent Inca “a great enemy of idols; he ordered his people not to pay honors to the Sun and Moon”; rather, to the celestial body represented by the oval shape; it was he who had “caused images to be put around the plate.” Referring to the oval shape as “The Creator,” Salcamayhua made it clear that it did not mean the Sun, for the images of the Sun and the Moon had flanked the oval. To illustrate what he meant, Salcamayhua drew a large oval flanked by two smaller circles.

“…Inca Huascar, one of the two half brothers involved in the struggle for the throne when the Spaniards arrived, he removed the oval image and replaced it “with a round plate, like the Sun with rays.” “Huascar Inca had placed the image of the Sun in the place where the Creator had been.”

“…Explaining that the gabled wall with the oval as its principle image represented “what the heathen thought” regarding the heavens and the earth, Salcamayhua drew a large sketch showing how the wall had looked before Huascar replaced the oval shape with the Sun’s image. (By this, Huascar also adding to his name the epithet Inti (“Sun”) meaning that it was he, and not his half brother, who was the true offspring of the original Sons of the Sun). The sketch has survived because Francisco de Avila… kept it among his papers. He also scribbled on and around the sketch notations explaining the images, using the Quechus and Aymara terms given by the natives and his own Castillian Spanish. When these notations are removed one gets a clear picture of what had been depicted above the altar.

Following are guidelines, Mr. Sitchin goes to more detail in his book:

  • long crisscrossed object at the bottom;
  • terrestrial symbols: people, an animal, a river, mountains, a lake, etc. at the bottom part;
  • celestial images: Sun, Moon, stars, the enigmatic oval, etc. in the upper part.

“…Markham saw in the upper part “a stellar chart which is a veritable key to the cosmogony and astronomy of ancient Peru,” and was certain that the gabled triangular tip was a hieroglyph for “sky.” S.K. Lothrop (Inca Treasure) stated that the images above the great Altar “formed a cosmogony tale of the creation of heaven and earth, the Sun and Moon, the first Man and Woman.” All are agreed that Salcamayhua had stated, it represented “what the heathens thought” – the sum total of their religious beliefs and legendary tales; a saga of Heaven and Earth and the bond between them.

“…Since the Sun was thus depicted (to the left of the oval), what did the central image, the great oval, represent? The tales describe how this symbol alternated with the Sun in being worshipped and venerated in Inca times. Its identity is clearly explained by a notation that reads, “Illa Ticci Uuiracocha, Pachac Acachi. Quiere decir imagen del Hacedor del cielo y de la tierra.” Translated, it means “Illa Ticci Viracocha, Maker of All; that is to say, image of the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”

“But why was Viracocha depicted as an oval?

“One of the principal researchers of the subject, R. Lehmann-Nitsche… developed the thesis that the oval shape represented the “Cosmic Egg,” a theogonic idea that is echoed in Greek legends, in Hindu religions, “even in Genesis.” It is the oldest theogony whose details have not been grasped by white authors.” It had been represented in the sanctuaries of the Indo-European deity Mithra as an egg surrounded by the constellations of the zodiac. “Perhaps one day Indianologists will see the similarities in the details and cult of Viracocha, Brahma with the seven eyes, and the Israelite Yahweh… In the classic antiquity and in the Orphic cult were sacred images of the Mystic Egg; why shouldn’t the same happen in the great sanctuary of Cuzco?

“…But he (Lehmann-Nitsche) and others seem to ignore the fact the elliptical shape has superimposed on it (at the bottom) a star symbol. If, as it seems, the elliptical or oval shape applies to one more celestial body (besides the five above and four below), it spells to us the “oval” that is found in nature – not on Earth, but in the heavens: it is the natural curve of a planet’s orbit around its sun. It is we suggest, the orbital path of a planet in our Solar System.

“What the sacred wall depicted, we must conclude, was not distant or mysterious constellations, but our own Solar System, with the Sun, the Moon, and ten planets, adding up to a total of twelve… The two groups (of celestial bodies) are divided by the vast elliptical orbit of the twelfth member of the Solar System. To the Incas, it represented the celestial Viracocha.

“Should we be surprised to find that this was exactly the Sumerian view of our Solar System?

Mr. Sitchin explains more at length (in his book) other symbols found on the depiction, like:

  • In the skies:
  • a starry sky, depicts bright nights in “summer”;
  • clouds, depict “winter”;
  • fierce animal under clouds, represents a zodiac sign for winter “Leo,” which is unusual because there are no lions in South America;
  • a star under the starry sky, represents the solstice (then) when the Sun was seen in the zodiac constellation of the Lion (UR.GULA in Sumerian).

And on Earth:

  • the first Man and Woman, Eden, a large river, a serpent, mountains, a sacred lake. An Incan “panorama of the world,” in the words of Lehmann-Nitsche. It would be more accurate to say, the Pictorial Bible of the Andes.

“…The elements in this part of the pictorial composition could well serve to illustrate the Mesopotamian-biblical tales of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden… The Sumerian E.DIN (from which Eden stems) was the valley of the great river Euphrates, emanating from the high mountains in the north. This geography is clearly depicted on the wall’s right, where a globe representing Earth bears the notation “Pacha Mama” – Mother Earth. Even the Rainbow which featured in the Near Eastern tales of the Deluge, appears here.

“(While all accept that the globe or circle marked Pacha Mama represents the Earth, none have stopped to wonder how the Incas knew that the Earth was round. The Sumerians, however, were aware of the fact and depicted the Earth and all the other planets accordingly).

“The group of seven dots below the Earth (in the Inca depiction) has given scholars endless problems… adhering to the erroneous notions of the Pleiades… that portion of the constellation Taurus… “the seven eyes of the supreme god…” But we have already shown that the seven dots, the number seven, was the designation of Earth itself in the Sumerian enumeration of the planets. The symbol “seven” is thus exactly where it belongs, as a caption for the globe of the Earth (rather than at the top or bottom of the depiction).

The last image on the sacred wall is that of a great lake connected by a waterway to a smaller body of water. The notation on this is “Mama Cocha,” Mother Water. All are agreed that this represents the Andean sacred lake, Lake Titicaca, by depicting it, the Incas had taken the story of Creation from the Heavens to Earth and from the Garden of Eden to the Andes.

Lehmann-Nitsche summed the meaning and message of the composite depiction on the wall above the Great altar by saying, “it takes man from the ground to the stars.” It is doubly amazing that it takes the Incas to the other side of the Earth.

Continue to Chapter 9: Cities Lost and Found