Friday, January 18, 2019

Why Lost Civilizations Matter


SHOWN: Rx symbol 12,500 BC, Gonnersdorf, Germany. Translated Duncan-Enzmann: Medicine Lady and Her Medicine.

For decades I have followed the trail left by symbol-makers who practiced their craft in what we call prehistory. Here it is that a language of pictures was used to record the lives and knowledge of a civilization long since obscured by those that followed. As I first began to discover the origin of these images I experienced a sense of wonder and excitement as a revelation of our ancient world emerged. The story told by this picture-language is that of an intelligent and extraordinarily resourceful culture, one that studied the stars, built observatories, survived ice ages, and voyaged on the oceans.

Symbology is the study of images and symbols in context, and the decoding of their origin and meaning. Context is all about geography, history, climate, and timeline. Context helps us determine whether an interpretation is likely to be correct or not. Take cave men for example. First of all, during the Ice Age there were few caves. But that is the smallest problem. It is easily 70 degrees below zero, and lighting a fire in a cave would not be smart. You would not generate enough heat to warm the cave with any opening, and if you blocked off the opening you would die of carbon monoxide poisoning. So I asked myself - how did they survive? That they did is obvious, we are here.

The realization that there were no such thing as “cave men” began to create doubt as to other things I had been taught. I experienced a paradigm shift, and began to ask questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how? These questions plagued my mind, and I had to find the answers the only way I knew how – by researching and comparing the origin of more symbols, in context, to find their meaning. Knowledge comes in stages. I discovered that my geography was sadly lacking. Is it too much to ask that we at least know where things are on this rock called Earth? After all, we live here.
12,500 BC, Plans for a Paleolithic House, Gonnersdorf, Germany

I consulted regularly with Dr. Duncan-Enzmann, who has translated inscriptions from the Paleolithic Ice Age. Among the translations is one for how to build a house. A triple walled house, with a fireplace vented under the house to circulate outside air into the pit to be warmed and mix with the air in the house. But that would not be enough to keep a family warm in fifty below zero weather. They also had heating stones, like the bed warmers of the pioneer days. Still not enough. Dr. Duncan-Enzmann shared with me inscriptions showing records of weaving, of looms, of collecting eider duck down, and quilting clothing. I began to see why they survived.

Shown: A lady (stick figure) with a shuttle in her hand standing in front of an upright weighted-warp loom, with her oil lamp and three lumps of fuel. 12,500 BC, Gonnersdorf, Germany, translated Duncan-Enzmann. 

The next question now is: why isn’t this known? Does it matter?, you might ask. I believe it does. Our perception of who we are today is affected greatly by what we believe history to have been. Be cautious – winners write history. So how do we know what is true? Look for yourself at what is there. Pictures tell us a great deal. Why bother, you might be thinking; I am concerned about my future, and the future of my family. But it is important. Our knowledge of the past is the foundation of the present. And our vision for the future depends upon our understanding of today. Learn about the past, and build a better future.  

I have spent decades researching and writing the story these ancient pictures are telling. This knowledge is powerful for many more reasons: Knowledge is a catalyst for personal growth, and knowledge shields us against lies and deceit. There is something uplifting about knowing that our ancestors were intelligent and industrious. They named the days of the week eight thousand years ago, and we still use the names. What has been forgotten is why those names, and why in that order? There were good reasons. Why is a good question to ask. Why is Venus female? Why is there a Gorgon in the center of the Aztec calendar? Why did we teach generations of people that the Earth was flat when its circumference had been measured before 6000 BC? Why don’t our latest generation of college students know about the Hudson Bay Slush Out (6000 BC) and its effect on the European waters like the Black and Caspian Seas? Those two bodies of water were once connected, and that affected where humans could have been and how they got there not to mention subsequent history.

Perhaps you, like me, are also intrigued by the megalithic structures that mysteriously dot our landscape, or by civilizations that just disappeared without any record of why, or by stories and legends of places that might have been. Symbols are the door to this information. Decoding symbols, myths, legends, folklore, and fairy tales is the key to open the door. Many symbols are the records left by the people who built Gobekli Tepi and then buried it. This civilization was thousands of years old, and we can piece together their history by decoding the images they made. A good start is to know what the world was like geographically and geologically, and what the climate was.

It all begins by asking: who, what, when, where, why, how. Context is crucial for accurate translation. 


Michelle Paula Snyder, MPhil Divinity


Michelle Snyder is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She  did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.

Symbologist Michelle Snyder
Non-Fiction - Symbology:

Symbology: Decoding Classic Images
Symbology: Decoding Symbols through History
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered
Symbology: Art and Symbols
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: ReVision
Symbology: World of Symbols
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Michelle Paula Snyder
Fiction – Fantasy Wonder Tales:

The Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time Lessons, First Book
Call of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book one: The Lost Unicorn
 A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book two The Lost Mermaid 
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book three The Lost Dragon

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Masonic Tau



Freemason symbolism is based on ancient tools that have changed the world dramatically for the better.

For tens of thousands of years our ancestors studied events in the sky and recorded them: an approximate seven day lunar week, ca. 4200 BC, twelve zodiacal houses (ca. 22,000 BC) emphasizing fire-making, constellations Auriga and Cygnus, 365 sunrises per year, and ca. 20,000 BC - 366 star-rises per year. Information gathered improved their quality of life by creating more and more accurate planter's calendars. According to Duncan-Enzmann, simple pillars became accurate set pillars represented by Tau, when perfectly vertical and horizontal. 

Level is achieved with water. Here we could ask: Why did Jack and Jill go up the hill? Dew ponds collecting on top of chalk hills provide clean fresh water flowing down and out through little springs on the side of the hill. They are also perfectly level – wonderfully reflecting the heavens for observation from a level horizon.


Vertical is found with a plumb-bob, which is mentioned in Christian Scripture: "Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline." (Amos 7:7-8) Nothing has changed. True vertical is still achieved with a plumbline, or plumb-bob.


With near perfect vertical and horizontal, a fundamental tool of masonry developed: the square, the symbol of ethical living "on the square;" living with integrity and sincerity. These tools enabled a more accurate planter's calendar, used ca. 8200 BC by the Green Man, plowing the fertile Danube flood terraces. By 6200 BC a much improved agricultural calendar was in use by very fair Maglamosian Green Girls, who's fair skin and hair developed from surviving centuries of fog and overcast weather. During times of little sun, fair hair and skin absorbs more vitamin D, preventing Rickets. True north is not always marked by a star. Sometimes it a dark space in the sky. Ca. 5200 BC, Vanir Green Girls, to find north when there was no north star, bisected the circle made by the stars' rotation, finding its center - true north. They then bisected the north/south axis mundi to find east/west.

     
Oral tradition, symbols, rituals, games, myths, stories, and fairy tales all play a role in preserving the history and knowledge of humanity. The art of weaving, net making, the string game Cat's Cradle, and the knitting pattern of casting all embody the mathematics of dividing lines and circles, convey the art of stretching the cord, and determine the length of the rod - the Megalithic Yard used to standardize a continental utility of planters' and mariners' observatories such as Carnac, Goseck, Stonehenge, Newgrange, and Externsteine.


Set pillars accurately divided time, making a better planter's calendar which increased the production of food and tools, greatly improving human life and creating wealth through trading. Two pillars, straight and true, became J & B, today symbolized in the world's currency, universally displayed and sadly ignored. Coins and currency made trading easier and swindling more difficult.


Michelle Paula Snyder, MPhil Divinity



Michelle Snyder is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She  did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder
Non-Fiction - Symbology:

Symbology: Decoding Classic Images
Symbology: Decoding Symbols through History
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered
Symbology: Art and Symbols
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: ReVision
Symbology: World of Symbols
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Michelle Paula Snyder
Fiction – Fantasy Wonder Tales:

The Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time Lessons, First Book
Call of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book one: The Lost Unicorn
 A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book two The Lost Mermaid 
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book three The Lost Dragon

Monday, December 31, 2018

Sirius Rising - Happy New Year!






A new year. 

We have orbited the sun again, and now it is time to change the numbers; 2018 becomes 2019. The past year is memorialized in blogs and posts and newscasts and photos and instagram, portraying images and stories considered important during the past 365 days. 

Perhaps you have always practiced a turning-of-the-year tradition, perhaps you are new to New Year celebrations at midnight on January 1st. In some cultures like Egypt the new year starts at harvest time. Why does our year change when it does? It all has to do with Sirius, a very bright star that has guided navigators for millennia; in fact it is the brightest star in the sky. It is actually a binary (double) star which has been observed since prehistory. 

Ptolemy of Alexandria used Sirius as the location for the globe’s central meridian when he mapped the stars. Sirius is called the Dog Star, due to its position in the Canis Major (Greater Dog) constellation; many cultures associate this star with dogs. Sirius marked the coming of winter for the Polynesians, for the Egyptians it foretold flooding of the Nile, in Greece it accompanied the hot, “dog days” of summer. Its name means sparkling, or scorching. In the children’s rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle Sirius makes an appearance: The little laughing dog is Sirius in Canis Major, marking the growing season which “laughs” bountiful; the dish and spoon are so full - it is more than we can eat. 

In ancient times Sirius was called the "Star of the Sea," and was depicted as an inverted pentagram. Some early American flags connected with the Navy displayed inverted stars, like the one flown by Commodore Perry in 1854. A rare contemporary usage of the inverted pentagram symbolizing Sirius  is the American Medal of Honor. 

Eight thousand years ago the Vanir astronomers worked out the geometry and trigonometry necessary to accurately measure the distance and movement of the stars and planets (Enzmann). They devised the calendar, named the days of the week, and discovered the accuracy of the Venus clock – with which we set the world’s clocks until the 1970’s. They also observed the cycle of Sirius, and began the year with its pinnacle. The symbol for the Venus clock - the pentagram - is sometimes used for Sirius. Knowing the time is one thing, knowing when to reset the clock is another.  

Once a year, when Sirius is opposite the sun, it rises when the sun sets. This marks a new beginning: A new year rings in at midnight, the moment it reaches its highest point in the sky on the celestial meridian. To us it is the New Year Star, a blazing reminder that our orbit starts again. 

At this new beginning humans like to make a new start. New Year’s resolutions abound, good intentions are had by all. We promise ourselves we will avoid the seven deadly sins, be nice to our in-laws, go to the gym three times a week, and give up that one sweet treat we always regret eating. Sometimes we keep our promises, sometimes not; but each year Sirius gives us another chance. Another new beginning. 

As long as we live the Earth will turn, the Sun will rise, and Sirius will start a new year. This year, promise to do something that will last, something that will create precious memories, new traditions, or a family legacy. That way, when we are gone and the Sun still rises, something of ourselves will continue; an immortality of sorts. 


And have a Happy New Year!! 



Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She  did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder
Non-Fiction - Symbology:
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images
Symbology: Decoding Symbols through History
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered
Symbology: Art and Symbols
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: ReVision
Symbology: World of Symbols
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Michelle Paula Snyder
Fiction – Fantasy Wonder Tales:
The Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time Lessons, First Book
Call of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book one: The Lost Unicorn
 A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book two The Lost Mermaid 
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book three The Lost Dragon

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Tis the Season

Noel - Michelle Snyder
Many traditions and mythologies tell of the birth of a special divine child. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ as told of in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The birth of the sun-god is an ancient event; male gods such as Shamash, Ra, Horus, Tonatiuh, Taiyang Shen, Mithras, Krishna, Surya, and Abraxas all tell the story of the mighty sun that gives us life. In prehistory until about 3000 BC, the sun was represented by a beautiful female named Helen; like the sun, females bring forth life. The Magdalenian culture of 12,500 BC symbolized the sun with the sun child - their precious blonde daughters. As millennia passed the sun child grew to become a maiden, a queen, then a goddess, Helen. 

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of a child. A Paleolithic calendric for human reproduction from c. 12,500 BC instructs that babies be conceived in spring, to be born around winter solstice. Winter babies had the best chance of survival: Families stayed inside, and newborns got a maximum of attention. Babies who were born in spring were exposed to pollen in the air and in mother’s milk, producing more people with allergies. Summer produced a high percentage of colic babies who had to compete for parental care with hunting and building activities; the preparations for the approaching glacial weather were paramount. Fall babies risked animal worms, viruses, and bacteria, which in winter would be uncommon. For them, winter solstice was a time to celebrate the birth of babies – all babies. Every life was precious and insured the survival of the human race through the iron cold ice age. The birth of babies became associated with the return of the sun, the light of life. 

Winter Solstice Cross
Michelle Snyder
Festivals celebrating the return of the light have been traditional for millennia. Even thousands of years ago our ancestors knew what we know today: that on December 21st the sun reaches its lowest point on the horizon at the Tropic of Capricorn. The golden ball of light lingers at the bottom of the analemma for three days, then rises again toward the Tropic of Cancer. Many symbols have grown from this event. One is the Celtic cross; a symbol for winter solstice. Its predecessor, the equal-armed (+) cross, appeared tens of thousands of years ago as a symbol for direction: north, south, east, and west. Over time one arm of the cross was lengthened to designate which arms were which; the extended arm of the cross denoting south. The circle of the Celtic Cross (more accurately an ellipse) where it intersects the southern arm symbolizes the position of the sun at the winter solstice, its other intersections being equinoxes and summer solstice. This beautiful image is a popular decoration in homes during the Festival of Lights which is celebrated around the world. Hindu Diwali, Buddhist Tazaungdaing, Jewish Hanukkah, and Christian Christmas are all holy days associated with this time of year; some according to the lunar calendar. Sacred candles and lights on trees, bushes, houses, and in windows reflect the anticipation of the return of the sunlight.  

Another tradition of Christmas time is Santa Claus, most commonly associated with Saint Nicholas, an historic fourth century saint. Many miracles were attributed to his intercession, and because of that he became known as “Nikolaos the Wonderworker.” He also had a reputation for secret gift-giving, which many conclude made him the model for Santa Claus.

Further back in history, as far back as 45,000 years, we find another root for Santa Claus: a Paleolithic Siberian reindeer herder. Duncan-Enzmann tells of this character in Ice Age Language. The reindeer herder traded in reindeer hides, which are both warm and waterproof. He delivered his good by sled, often being charitable to those in need. 


Whatever your tradition is this season, remember that a smile, a kind word, and a warm hug are gifts that money cannot buy. Whether you are young or old, warm or cold, winter solstice is the longest night of the year. It signals longer days, more light, and warmer weather, all encouraging new life. That is a reason to celebrate. 

Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She  did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder
Non-Fiction - Symbology:
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images
Symbology: Decoding Symbols through History
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered
Symbology: Art and Symbols
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: ReVision
Symbology: World of Symbols
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Michelle Paula Snyder
Fiction – Fantasy Wonder Tales:
The Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time Lessons, First Book
Call of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book one: The Lost Unicorn
 A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book two The Lost Mermaid 


A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book three The Lost Dragon