This is the last part of an investigation concerned with the stability of the Solar System and possible variations from the norm that may or may not have taken place in the historical past. The results have been presented here in condensed form in seven sections with much of the initial numerical and astronomical details necessarily provided in the first three sections and the appendices to the seventh. In the second section a theoretical planetary model of the Solar System is derived utilizing logarithmic data, mean orbital velocity, mean synodic motion and mean planetary periods in contrast to ad hoc schemes based on mean heliocentric distances alone. The inclusion of mean periods and mean synodic motion leads in turn to a quadratic equation that provides the underlying constant for a complete planetary framework. The constant in question is the ubiquitous value Phi (1.618033989..) known since antiquity. The framework itself is most suitably represented by an all-inclusive equiangular period spiral that incorporates phi, pi and e. Those who do not care for the resulting planetary model are invited to produce a superior approach and a better framework of their own; any and all variants of Bode's "Law" and similar ad hoc schemes are naturally excluded. In passing, rather than elevate the present approach one can only wonder why something of this nature was not pursued with vigour at a much earlier date, and further, why Bode's "Law" flourished at all.

Although a number of avenues are left unstated and unexplored in the present work, the last four sections dealt primarily with the historical ramifications of the spiral form found in many diverse and ancient cultural settings. Readers were asked here to question (if not reevaluate) their preconceptions concerning a a relatively large number of fields, and many may well have choosen not to do so. Some specialists may also feel that the links provided here are tenuous while others may not be comfortable with the use of esoteric sources and materials. On the other hand, it is suggested that over-specialization and an unquestioning insistence on the status quo are contributing factors that have all too often acted to restricted our knowledge and understanding of the history of Humankind. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly apparent that an inter-disciplinary approach is becoming a necessity if the massive flow of information from the Internet--essentially an immediate, global network--is to be successfully integrated. Much of the last part of the present discourse stemmed in fact from this source, which is one reason why it is being fed back here and now. Another is that the underlying message that surfaces here appears to have commenced at least 5,000 years ago and that it is both fitting and appropriate that it be made available via the same medium to any and all who care to access it.

The latter subject is pursued in detail in this final section. It is also intimately related to a topic that has concerned many researchers in the past, namely the reason why so much emphasis was apparently placed on the Sun and the Moon in ancient times, why this concern was reflected in so many ancient luni-solar monuments and why the spiral configuration is essentially a world-wide occurrence. It is hypothesized in the latter two Sections that many of the ancient astronomical monuments were an important component of a multi-faceted humanitarian response to pass on what the ancients had come to understand concerning the astronomical causes of periodic major upheavals that have afflicted life on Earth. This suggestion itself is not new. Where the hypothesis differs from others is in the detailed mathematical and astronomical material provided by texts from two separate cultural sources (Hindu and Babylonian) given in the appendices to the last section. Based on the technical data and available indicators, it is possible to suggest that part of the major disruptions in the past were most likely caused by symmetrical bi-polar inversions - symmetrical in the sense that they appear to be almost exact, and bi-polar in so much as two half-cycles (i.e., North-to-South and South-to-North reversals of the geographical poles) are required to arrive back at or near the original state. This said, however, it must also be admitted that by and large the causative factors still remain unknown.

Nevertheless, in general terms the polar inversion hypothesis is not new; in fact it was implicit in Immanuel Velikovsky's controversial 1950 publication "Worlds in Collision". The latter's substantial compendium of global myths and historical material is of particular relevance in the present context, especially those references that describe both North to South and East to West reversals . Although not immediately obvious, the reader should be aware that the reversals of East and West reported in Velikovsky's material requires no physical reversal of the rotation of Earth whatsoever, in fact the apparent reversals of East and West are most logically understood to be the natural consequences of North to South (or South to North) polar reversals alone.  Against this, however,it must also be accorded that Immanuel Velikovsky's work remains unpopular and controversial; for this reason a selection from the latter's historical compendium is provided for those who may wish to judge this aspect for themselves before proceeding further.

Historically there appear to have been two major reasons why this matter may have proved to be so elusive and so difficult to track down. The first lies in the complexity of the phenomenon itself. The second arises from the distinct possibility that even now we are in the process of pulling out of the last event and are still essentially in the Dark Ages, which is why a substantial degree of chaos prevails at present.
As for what may have taken place further back in time, it remains possible that what follows here is partly a beginning, and also the retelling of a thrice-told tale ....

The previous section ended by stating that in this final segment we would seek the second and third parts of the three wisdoms - the instructions and the understanding of the phenomenon in question. We have reached this point with a strong interest in luni-solar monuments, especially those in Megalithic England, Ireland and Scotland. To this end we seek an external group well versed in astronomy and mathematics, but we also need sufficient reason for their being there and some understanding of their intentions. In general the same applies to the massive expenditure of time, effort and resources evident in the construction of major structures in Egypt, Mexico, Bolivia and Peru. The information we have used so far has included the phi-based equi-angular period spiral and the realization that it not only represents the Sun, but that is also emanates from this source. We have also pursued a long, golden thread that winds through the writings of the ancients - through those from Egypt, from Chaldea, through Plato, Aristotle, the contributions of later commentators, and ultimately the understanding provided by the work of Johannes Kepler. We have considered the widespread occurrence of the spiral in antiquity, the shamrock as "the trefoil grass", and examined further obscure references and riddles from alchemy, especially those provided by the well-known Emerald Green Tablet of Hermes, with its obvious emphasis on the Sun and moon in association with the cryptic adage "as above, so below."
One of the suggestions made in the first part of this section was that there may have been a westward and northward out-migration from the Mediterrean by way of the Iberian Peninsular and France that carried with it the impetus (if not the mandate) to construct luni-solar monuments at each new location. This again is part and parcel of the concept of massive redundancy; it may also, as suggested in the first part, have represented a measured response to the worst-case scenario - real or otherwise. Possible reasons for so much construction in Megalithic Britain have also been stated in Part I, namely its suitability for the delineation of the prime movers on one hand, and its considerable north-south extent with ready maritime/riverine access on the other. Once this location was established the concept of massive redundancy would presumably come into play again, hence the proliferation of the monuments themselves and the mathematical/astronomical features incorporated in so many of them.

Since the redundancy aspect discussed in Part I is taken to be an overkill response to the major disruption we seek to determine, it is inevitable that Catastrophism occupies an important position on the agenda. That there existed some strong underlying motivation for the construction of the many ancient luni-solar monuments is beyond question; where opinions differ lie more in whether the motivation was the result of the outpouring of religious zeal and/or despotism, or a measured response to something far more compelling. But if such activities were indeed almost global in nature and as massive as we have come to suspect, then it follows that the event must have been of unprecedented magnitude. It is at this juncture that we need to consider Graham Hancock's variation of an ancient theme, the polar inversion hypothesis. This Hancock met head-on in Fingerprints of the Gods (1996) when he included a direct quotation on the matter by geologist S. K. Runcorn and then added further remarks of his own. Runcorn's conclusions were given first as follows:

There seems no doubt that the earth's magnetic field is tied up in some way to the rotation of the planet. And this leads to a remarkable finding about earth's rotation itself ...[The unavoidable conclusion is that] the earth's axis of rotation has changed also. In other words, the planet has rolled about, changing the location of the geographical poles.1
Hancock next observed that:
Runcorn appears to be envisaging a complete 180-degree flip of the poles, with the earth literally tumbling - although similar paleomagnetic readings would result from a slippage of the earth's crust over the geographical poles. Either way the consequences for civilization, and indeed all life, would be unimaginably dreadful. Of course, Runcorn may be wrong; perhaps field reversals can occur in the absence of any upheavals. But he may also be right.2
We have already considered Hancock's theoretical expansion on this and other potential hazards in Part I, but it is worth repeating again here. His hypothesis was as follows:
Suppose that we had calculated, on the basis of sound evidence and beyond any shadow of a doubt, that our civilization was soon to be obliterated by a titanic geological cataclysm - a 30 displacement of the earth's crust, for example, or a head-on collision with a ten-mile wide nickel-iron asteroid traveling towards us at cosmic speed.
Of course there would at first be much panic and despair. Nevertheless - if there were sufficient advance warning - steps would be taken to ensure that there would be some survivors and that some of what was most valuable in our scientific knowledge would be preserved for the benefit of future generations.3
After the manner of Velikovsky, Hancock then proceeded to supply textual material in support of this hypothesis. Some of this material we have already included in Part I, but it is here that we also take up one of the main threads that weaves its way throughout the present discourse. The inversion hypothesis has indeed ancient precedents, and not least of all it occurs in Plato's Timeaus (43e) and it is also in Theaetetus in association with both the Sun and Homer's "Golden Rope" as discussed in Section V:
Socrates: Need I speak further of such things as stagnation in air and water, where stillness causes corruption and decay, when motion would keep things fresh, or to complete the argument, press into service that 'golden rope' in Homer, proving that he means by it nothing more nor less than the sun, and signifies that so long as the heavens and the sun continue to move round, all things in heaven and earth are kept going, whereas if they were bound down and brought to a standstill, all things would be destroyed and the world, as they say, turned upside down? [THEAETETUS 153e-d, Translation by Francis Macdonald Cornford, emphasis supplied]
Here we find a link between the spiral, the Sun, and what would undoubtedly qualify as a major event, but then should we pay any real attention to such isolated references? Perhaps not, but can we really afford to dismiss the above out of hand? Not that it is that difficult to research in any case since polar inversions were discussed in some detail by Immanuel Velikovsky almost half a century ago in Worlds in Collision4(1950). Although the following discussion necessarily involves the latter's work, it is not concerned with the pros and cons, his scientific theories, or ongoing debates on the matter. Nor is it concerned with Velikovsky's cometary and planetary theses and the events ascribed to them, except to note what eventuated in 1950 should not continue to obscure an issue that has yet to be resolved, namely the identity of a separate phenomenon that may also have precipitated reports of unusual celestial events in the historical past.Those unacquainted with the controversies stirred up by Worlds in Collision in 1950 may wish to read the original work, a summary from Velikovsky's own viewpoint in his last book, Stargazers and Gravediggers5 (published posthumously in 1983) and the biographical essay Velikovsky in America by Duane Voorhees.
Lastly, Henry H. Bauer's conservative (and largely establishment viewpoint) Beyond Velikovsky (1984)6 provides a detailed but somewhat severe assessment of Velikovsky, the scientific community at the time and the controversy itself.
    The immediate problem discussed here, however, arises from the uncomfortable fact that in Worlds in Collision there are simply too many references to similar events and consequences from diverse sources distributed across the globe, many of which appear to concern massive disruptions on the surface of the planet. And say what you wish about Velikovsky's theories (or mindlessly repeat prevailing viewpoints rather than read the work itself), it still makes little sense to completely dismiss his material out of hand. Velikovsky's theories were subjected to a great deal of criticism, but they were nevertheless the rarely appreciated outcome of lengthy research and a truly monumental collection of diverse historical documents. Many of the accounts he collected speak of natural disasters accompanied by celestial events so unusual that the similarities in the reports can hardly be considered "the like working of like minds," or be simply explained away by cultural diffusion. Especially difficult to accept or even comprehend are the numerous reports that, at certain times, both East and West, and North and South apparently reversed. On the other hand, regional similarities and differences between such reports provide a means to investigate the possibility that the first phenomenon was possibly the natural consequence of the second. In other words, whether the East-West phenomena can be explained in terms of the apparent effects of complete reversals of the North and South geographic poles.
    The "polar reversal hypothesis" includes Velikovsky's own early awareness of the possibility as explicitly stated in Worlds in Collision,7, 8, 9 although he did not pursue it exhaustively. However, a technical treatment was given by Peter Warlow10 in 1979 in paper concerning: " the required mechanism for an inversion of the Earth and a ' reversal ' of its rotation - without stopping and starting it" (see also The Reversing Earth, Dent, London, 1982). The topic was subsequently discussed by Slabinski11 and Reade 12 in 1980, (all in The Society of Interdisciplinary Studies Reviews); tackled again by Warlow13 (1987) in the same journal (now Chronology and Catastrophism Review), debated in 1989 by Field14and Salkeld,15 and followed by further papers on axial tilting by Huggett,16 Field,17 and Salkeld again in 1990.18 Thus the present discussion and analysis assumes that polar reversals are theoretically possible, but that severe difficulties exist with respect to the causative and temporal mechanisms involved. But unlikely or not, the polar reversal hypothesis at least requires no changes whatsoever to the orbital motion or the axial rotation of Earth to account for an apparent reversal of sunrise and sunset. This initial discussion is therefore concerned with whether the information in Velikovsky's compendium fits the polar reversal hypothesis and whether this can provide us with further insights into the reasons behind the construction of so many ancient astronomical monuments.
    The following groundwork introduces the material, the controversy and the relevant issues involved.
    In September 1950, as a prelude to criticizing astronomical aspects of Worlds in Collision, the British Astronomer Royal (Harold Spencer Jones) provided a summary of the book's contents which well suits our present purposes; it also pleased Velikovsky to the extent that he included it in his last work (Stargazers and Gravediggers, published posthumously in 1983), explaining that:
He (the astronomer royal) started with a concise description of the catastrophes, so good that I should like to reproduce it here:
'The central theme of Worlds in Collision is that, according to Dr. Velikovsky, between the fifteenth and eighth centuries B.C. the earth experienced a series of violent catastrophes of global extent. Parts of its surface were heated to such a degree that they became molten and great streams of lava welled out; the sea boiled and evaporated; rivers ran with [the color of] blood; mountain ranges collapsed, while others were thrown up; continents were submerged; tremendous earthquakes occurred; enormous tides were raised causing great floods; showers of hot stones fell; electrical disturbances of great violence caused much havoc; hurricanes swept the earth; a pall of darkness shrouded it, to be followed by a deluge of fire. This picture of a period of intense turmoil within the period of recorded history is supported by a wealth of quotations from the Old Testament, from the Hindu Vedas, from Roman and Greek mythology, and from the myths traditions and folklore of many races and peoples. The reader cannot fail to be impressed by Dr. Velikovskys' extensive knowledge of such lore and by the wealth of references which he gives.'
He then told the story of the single catastrophes, 'awe-inspiring cosmic cataclysms.' There occurred collisions between major planets, which brought about the birth of planets. In the time of Moses, about the fifteenth century B.C., one of these comets nearly collided with the earth, incessant violent electrical discharges between the comet and planet took place.' Spencer Jones went on:
'This comet is supposed to have collided with Mars in the time of Joshua in the year 747 B.C. and, as a result of the collision, to have lost its tail and to have become transformed into the planet Venus ... Further catastrophes according to Dr.Velikovsky ensued. The new planet Venus collided with Mars; as a result the orbit of Venus became nearly circular but that of Venus was shifted nearer to the earth so that in the year 687 B.C. (March 23rd being the crucial date) Mars nearly collided with the earth.' 19
From this point on, however, Spencer Jones launched into a heavy criticism of what he considered to be the unproven and unlikely aspects of Velikovsky's theses, especially the latter's proposed Venus-Mars scenarios. And here, perhaps, lies the crux of the matter and one of the main reasons behind much of the subsequent bitterness and misunderstanding that arose between the Establishment and those who supported Velikovsky and likely still do. Fifty years later it is still difficult to fully comprehend the uproar and the degree of outrage that attended Velikovsky's theories though it seems necessary to point out that the latter's presentation occurred before the establishment of Chaos Theory and the realization that the Solar System was not after all immutable. But even so what Velikovsky claimed was and still is highly heretical in terms of orthodox scientific views, and moreover, his assertions concerning changes in the orbits of Venus and Mars were likely too forthright on one hand and too inclusive on the other. Even now the situation continues to simmer and hard lines remain drawn, but that said, one cannot help but wonder how the matter might have proceeded had Velikovsky initially confined his theorizing to comets rather than attempting to explain matters directly in terms of radical shifts in the orbits of Earth's neighbouring planets. The latter represented difficult theses that were almost certain to generate controversy, whereas it is likely that few astronomers would have taken great exception to the notion of cometary intrusions per se, although they might well have required more direct proof that such momumental events had indeed taken place during historical times.

Thus one more apology for the over-reaction of the scientific community at the time? Not exactly, but rather the suggestion that because the matter became so volatile, one of the more important elements in Velikovsky's research -- the possibility of polar reversals -- was unfortunately and largely lost in the shuffle. Or better stated, perhaps as much as 90 percent of the unusual effects and "consequences" reported by Velikovsky could likely be explained by this particular occurrence, and this occurrence alone. Which is not to over-simplify an already contentious and complex matter. However, with respect to the suggested orbital shifts of Mars and Venus, suppose a rapid polar reversal of the type under discussion accidently occurred around the time Venus was observed rising in the east and Mars setting in the west. After the polar reversal, with no changes whatsover in rotational speeds and orbital positions, Mars could nevertheless appear to be rising in the "east" with Venus correspondingly setting in the "west," albeit in a somewhat disordered manner. In such circumstances -- especially following a period of global chaos and dimly perceived new order in the heavens -- Mars and/or Venus might well have been viewed as harbingers of disaster, while notions of conflict and "battle" between the two planets might also have arisen from the same event. Unfortunately, instead of exploring the polar reversal aspect in such contexts, the matter became lost during unnecessary battles fought over long-entrenched concepts and well-established views. As it now stands we remain little the wiser about the polar question, its fundamental importance notwithstanding. Velikovsky's emphasis on planetary shifts undoubtedly has its place in the subsequent misdirections and hostilities that followed, but even so the latter can hardly be excused in its entirety.

Returning to the initial reception of Worlds in Collision (an unfortunate, if not inflammatory title in retrospect), although the Astronomer Royal was negative about this aspect of the work, he nevertheless acknowledged the extent of the research and the effort expended. The nature of Velikovsky's historical material and its sources were clearly stated, but he was often chastised for utilizing myths, folk-lore and other material considered scientifically unverifiable; so much so, in fact, that it influenced the approach to his next work, Ages in Chaos (1952). But whether this material was myth, legend, or whatever, it was still a valuable and fascinating collection of global information not universally available before. Nor were there any reasons to exclude biblical sources in such a compendium. Indeed, as the alchemist Roger Bacon explains and cautions in: The Fourth Part of the Opus Maius: Mathematics in the Service of Theology:

(Page 180) .. scripture has many (p.181) puzzling passages about the heavens ... the very first chapter of Genesis presents all sorts of astronomical problems-witness not only the text itself, but its expositions of Basil, Ambrose, and Bede in their books entitled The Six Days. Again, there is the passage in Joshua [10.13] about the length of the day when the sun stood still, and, most important of all, how the sun went back ten degrees [lineis; II Kings 20.12] at the command of the prophet Isaiah; between these two passages there seems to be a contradiction. According to Jerome, Solomon says in the book of Ecclesiastes [1.5] that every day the sun returns to its starting-place in the; not a single scientist can make head or tail of this, for everybody knows that from the winter solstice to the summer the sun moves north roughly a degree a day, and the other way in the other half of the year. In Ecclesiasticus [1.3] we find the question of the height of the firmament; this, and the question in the same book of how the sun scorches the land at midday [Ecc. 43.3], are astronomically insoluble. The remarks of the blessed Job about the Hyades and Pleiades, about Arcturus and Orion, and about the "chambers of the south" [Job 9.9], present serious difficulty, especially since the blessed Jerome, commenting on Isaiah, maintains that Orion has 22 stars, of which the nine brightest are of the third magnitude, nine others of the fourth, and the other four of the fifth-and has no more to say. This can only be understood by reference to Book 8 of the Almagest, where six degrees of stellar magnitude are distinguished, and the stars of each degree are listed. There is a practically endless number of points in Scripture and the commentaries of the saints on it, matters which affect the science of the heavens and the judgements of astronomy; (183) a theologian must, then, have a good knowledge of the phenomena in the heavens, not just because treatises and commentaries are concerned with such questions, but for the sake of the text itself.

The second astronomical root of theology, and especially of the sacred text, comes from its concern with the geography of the world, for the whole Bible is full of geographical passages, and nothing certain can be learned about the text unless we first study these passages ... ... Origen, called Adamantius, is said to have written about the text proper of Joshua, and a sort of commentary on chapter 18 [23. Migne, Patrologia Greca 12. 938 C,D. (Origen, tr. by Rufinus]. In this he speaks of the great number of places mentioned in the Scriptures, and among his praise of these places he admonishes us in these words: "Do not read all this with raised eyebrows, or regard it as a trifling bit of Scripture padded out with a lot of proper names. No; you may be certain that in these names mysteries are concealed too great for human speech to expound or human ears to hear."Now If our reverend scholars, our holy teachers, have labored so in these matters, (185) and have declared what mysteries they contain, we can be sure that it is imperative for us to use every device we can to understand the Holy Scriptures. But the very reason for the existence of astrology and astronomy is the imparting of rational and certain information about the regions of the universe, and in this regard these sciences are most necessary. [italics and emphases supplied. The full quotation is from the working translation (including notes in square brackets) Copyright (1996) by Herbert M.Howe Emeritus Professor of Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison]

Nevertheless, in one of the earliest criticisms of Worlds in Collision, Cecilia Payne-Gaposhkin (an astronomer at Harvard University) wrote scornfully:
If the biblical story which Mr. Velikovsky seeks to establish is to be accepted at its face value, the rotation of earth must have been stopped within six hours. All bodies not attached to the surface of the earth (including the atmosphere and the ocean) would then have continued their motion, and consequently have flown off with a speed of 900 miles an hour at the latitude of Egypt.20
Looking back on this this heavy-handed attack, it remains one of the more depressing incidents in a sorry and sordid tale, for who would be better qualified than an astronomer to see that the polar inversion hypothesis was at least a possible answer to the phenomenon in question. And once understood, who should have been able to take the matter further for the benefit of all? Not that Payne-Gaposchkin was the worst offender here, however, for far worse were the similar misconceptions and on-going activities of her fellow astronomer, Dr. Harlow Shapely, the then director of the Harvard Observatory (see Horace Kallen's Harlow Shapely Reconsidered for the latter's less than savoury role in the matter). A malaise of the times and the immovable opinions of staunch Newtonians? Perhaps, but as Lynn Rose points out in The Censorship of Velikovsky's Interdisciplinary Synthesis :
When Worlds in Collision was finally about to be published, Shapley wrote a threatening letter to Macmillan (on January 25, 1950) and reiterated "that if the earth could be stopped in such a short space of time it would overthrow all that Isaac Newton had done". The history of science will inevitably record, even if Velikovsky should somehow turn out to be mistaken, that Shapley and his colleagues made a snap decision about Velikovsky. That decision will be seen as based far less on evidence and argument than on various untenable prejudices.
As for a viable alternative to drastic changes in Earth's axial rotation, one might have expected modern astronomers to have been more inventive, or at least less nihilistic. After all, it is not that difficult to envisage a situation where both appear to become stationary as the result of axial tilting alone (e.g., see Figure 2 below). Indeed, Biblical references such as those made by Origen in the above quoted passage (the Book of Joshua especially): the Sun and the Moon:
Joshua 10-12: "... Sun stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon upon Aijalon." Joshua 10-13 "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day" (italics supplied)
could be explained in general terms (particularly if the sun went down at "noon") by an observer situated between "Gibeon" and "Aijalon" (with the two locations on an approximate north-south line and "Gibeon" to the south), a full or near full moon, and a ninety-degree (or so) outward axial tilt. This would result in the southern polar axis pointing in the general direction of the Sun, the northern polar axis correspondingly pointing in the general direction of the full Moon and the almost total cancellation of the effects of diurnal axial rotation on the apparent motions of both major luminaries. Moreover, depending on the location of the observer and the exact degree of tilt, the Sun might might well appear to be "stationary" on or near the southern horizon. Whether it stayed that way for many hours ("So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day") is a different matter altogether. But even here there are sufficient references in Velikovsky's material to classify minor variations of the phenomenon according to location, i.e., continual twilight near, but north of the the equator and a continually visible sun further south, etc. Moreover, the puzzling reference in II Kings 20: "11. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the Lord: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz" also requires more detailed analysis - analysis that may or may not include the unexplained fact that a 10 degree variance in the position of the Vernal Equinox also occurs in Babylonian astronomy of the Seleucid Era (Neugebauer, Astronomical Cuneiform Texts, Lund Humphreys, London 1995:187).

The above represent two examples of difficult astronomical references in the Bible with the first understandable in specific terms that require no changes whatsoever in axial rotation. Those who wish to investigate the matter further (e.g., by examining the Biblical references quoted above by Roger Bacon) may wish to refer to the related writings of Donald W. Patten. Either way, there seems little doubt that this particular topic is both complex and difficult, even without suggestions of later modification (wilful or accidental) that may attend the matter.

Returning to the initial reception of Words in Collision, in retrospect, it makes little sense to completely ignore the many references to east-west and north-south reversals painstakingly documented by Velikovsky. Nor does it make much more sense to fasten onto the least likely scenario and launch a heavy attack against it without considering other alternatives. A selection from Velikovsky's historical compendium is included here for those with open minds. Judge it as you wish; ignore it if you can, but be aware that by being unwilling to address this material Velikovsky's earlier critics also failed to comprehend its significance and in doing so labelled themselves for posterity.

The reversal or the slowing of the rotation of Earth were major points of criticism (if not outright ridicule) as seen above, but like it or not, many of the historical references collated in Worlds in Collisiondid indeed appear to indicate that sunrise and sunrise had reversed in some way or another. In fact, Velikovsky introduced this topic in Chapter Five with the following statement and rhetorical question:

Our planet rotates from west to east. Has it always done so? In this rotation from west to east, the sun is seen to rise in the east and set in the west. Was east the primeval and only place of sunrise? There is testimony from all parts of the world that the side which is now turning toward the evening once faced the morning.21
There were indeed, it seems, numerous references to reversals of sunrise and sunset from various regions and cultures; the following six examples selected from Velikovsky's compendium serve to illustrate the point as well as the problem:
In the Syrian city Ugarit (Ras Shamra) was found a poem dedicated to the planet-goddess Anat, who 'massacred the population of the Levant,' and who 'exchanged the two dawns and the positions of the stars.'22
In Tractate Sanhedrin of the Talmud it is said: ' Seven days before the deluge, the Holy One changed the primeval order and the sun rose in the west and set in the east.' 23
Hai Gaon, the rabbinical authority who flourished between 939 and 1038, in his Responses refers to cosmic changes in which the sun rose in the west and set in the east.24
Caius Julius Solinus, a Latin author of the third century of the present era, wrote of the people living on the southern borders of Egypt: 'The inhabitants of this country say that they have it from their ancestors that the sun now sets where it formerly rose.' 25
[Herodotus] ' Four times in this period (so they told me) the sun rose contrary to his wont: twice he rose where he now sets, and twice he set where he now rises.' 26
Pomponius Mela, a Latin author of the first century wrote: 'The Egyptians pride themselves on being the most ancient people in the world. In their authentic may read that since they have been in existence, the course of the stars has changed direction four times, and the sun has set twice in the part of the sky where it rises today.'27
[emphases supplied]
Indirect or not, these statements seem to refer to the same phenomenon, although there are intriguing differences, especially between the last three. The first Egyptian account speaks vaguely of location, the second mentions two reversals, albeit somewhat oddly, as does the last, which also mentions the "sky" and includes additional changes to the "course of the stars." Significantly, sunset and sunrise in the very last example are equated with the celestial sphere; the terms "east" and "west" are in fact absent in all three. But they are obviously implicit, are they not? Perhaps, but not necessarily. This issue, and the variance between the three statements emphasizes that conventional east and west and that applied in astronomical contexts requires careful clarification, as Velikovsky noted: 28
The texts found in the pyramids say that the luminary 'ceased to live in the occident, and shines, a new one, in the orient.' After the reversal of direction, whenever it may have occurred, the words ' west ' and ' east ' were no longer synonyms, and it is necessary to clarify references by adding: ' the west which is at the sun-setting.' It was not mere tautology, as the translator of this text thought.
The difference between conventional applications and what may be called here the "celestial" East and West, are in simplest terms, that the former takes place with respect to local terrain and geographical cardinal points. The celestial East and West, however, is primarily a function of Earth's annual orbital and daily rotational motions, both of which take place from West to East. Thus Earth moves approximately one degree per day Eastwards in its orbit while completing a rotation on its axis from West to East. This means that the celestial sphere, the stars and constellations appear to move approximately one degree per day in the opposite direction (Westwards) in addition to rising in the East and setting in the West on a daily rotational basis. The net results of earth's diurnal and annual motions are that the constellations and stars rise approximately 4 minutes earlier each day, and in general terms, successive 30-degree regions proceed from East to West during successive months until all twelve signs of the zodiac have risen and set during the year. In general terms again, the stars and constellations rise in the east after sunset and set in the west before sunrise. But sunrise and sunset can occur with respect to more than one point of reference. Firstly the sun rises in the east and sets in the west with respect to local terrain, i e., the conventional understanding; but sunrise can also take place when the sun is in a specific location with respect to the stellar reference frame and/or its opposite. Thirdly, sunrise can additionally be considered to take place when the location of the local observer is at the point furthest East in the orbit (in effect the leading point of the orbit), with sunset in the West corresponding to the position of the observer at the orbital point which is furthest West and the trailing point in the orbit.

Significantly, it is the celestial East and West which appears to predominate in Velikovsky's historical material, and if (for whatever reason) a reversal of the geographic poles did take place, then a reversal of sunrise and sunset would be one of the automatic consequences. It may not be immediately obvious, but once earth's axis tilts inwards towards the sun (for example) and the angle of tilt passes beyond ninety degrees, the direction of the daily axial rotation is no longer the same as that of the orbital motion. In fact, a complete polar reversal causes the direction of axial motion to completely oppose the orbital motion. There need not be any actual change in the eastward orbital motion itself, or indeed any departure from the normal daily axial rotation, irrespective of the direction of the reversal itself (north to south, or south to north). However, all such reversals would still cause radical directional and temporal changes, many of which do in fact correspond to the reports of East-West/Sunrise-Sunset anomalies gathered by Velikovsky.
But could the geographic poles have actually reversed in the historical past? It is not a pleasant thought; in fact it is almost unthinkable. But then again, there is small comfort to be gained from Plato's reference to this kind of event provided earlier and the following historical accounts discussed in this explicit context by Velikovsky:

The Magical Papyrus Harris speaks of a cosmic upheaval of fire and water when: ' the south becomes north, and the earth turns over.' 29
In the Papyrus Ipuwer it is similarly stated that 'the land turns round [over] as does a potter's wheel,' and 'Earth turns upside down.' 30
"In the Ermitage Papyrus [Leningrad, 1116b recto] also, reference is made to a catastrophe that turned the 'land upside down; happens that which never (yet) had happened.' It is assumed at that time- in the second millennium-people were not aware of the daily rotation of the earth, and believed that the firmament with its luminaries turned around earth; therefore the expression, 'the earth turned over,' does not refer to the daily rotation of the globe. Nor do these descriptions in the papyri of Leiden and Leningrad leave room for figurative explanation of the sentence, especially if we consider the text of the Papyrus Harris-the turning over of earth is accompanied by the interchange of the south and north poles. [italics and emphases supplied] 31
The Eskimos of Greenland told missionaries that in an ancient time the earth turned over and the people who lived then became antipodes.32
According to the Lapland cosmogonic story....the angry God spoke, 'I shall reverse the world .....(Jubmel) with one strong upheaval, made the earth-lands all turn over.' 33
"The tradition of the Cashina, the aborigines of western Brazil, is narrated as follows; ' the heavens flashed and .... Then .... Heaven and earth changed places.' 34 [emphasis supplied]
The six statements from Worlds in Collision represent a small percentage from Velikovsky's historical compendium and admittedly, the last three are essentially heresay. But they are stark statements nonetheless, and if they do not mean what they state, what do they mean? Moreover, who would be better equipped than the hardy inhabitants of the polar regions to recognize a change of this nature, given their intimate acquaintance with the land of the midnight sun and the long days of the midday night?
Further fuel for thought was in any case provided by Velikovsky with respect to an Egyptian star chart found in a paper entitled: "Astronomical Ceiling Decoration in the Tomb of Senmut (XVIIIth Dynasty)," by A. Pogo, ISIS, 1930, p.306. The interior quotations are Pogo's; Velikovsky observed here that: 35
In the tomb of Senmut, the architect of Queen Hatshepsut, a panel on the ceiling shows the celestial sphere with ' a reversed orientation ' of the southern sky. The end of the Middle Kingdom antedated the time of Queen Hatshepsut by several centuries. The astronomical ceiling presenting a reversed orientation must have been a venerated chart, made obsolete a number of centuries earlier. ' A characteristic feature of the Senmut ceiling is the astronomically objectionable orientation of the southern panel,' The center of this panel is occupied by the Orion-Sirius group, in which Orion appears west of Sirius instead of east. ' The orientating of the southern panel is such that a person in the tomb looking at it has to lift his head and face north, not south.' ' With the reversed orientation of the south panel, Orion, the most conspicuous constellation of the southern sky, appeared to be moving eastward, i.e., in the wrong direction ' '35
To explain this, Velikovsky offered the following:
The real meaning of ' the irrational orientation of the southern panel ' and the 'reversed position of Orion ' appears to be this: the southern panel shows the sky of Egypt as it was before the celestial sphere interchanged north and south, east and west. The northern panel shows the sky of Egypt as it was on some night of the year in the time of Senmut.36
and after supporting this viewpoint with related examples from other regions and cultures, he finally concluded:
The reversal of east and west, if combined with the reversal of north and south, would turn the constellations of the north into constellations of the south, and show them in reversed order, as in the chart of the southern sky on the ceiling of Senmut's tomb. The stars of the north would become the stars of the south; this is what seems to be described by the Mexicans as the 'driving away of the four hundred southern stars.' 37 [emphasis supplied]
but strictly speaking, what he perhaps should have said was simply this:
The [apparent] reversal of east and west [resulting from] the reversal of north and south would turn the constellations of the north into constellations of the south, and show them in reversed order, as in the chart of the southern sky on the ceiling of Senmut's tomb, etc., [emphasis and changes supplied]
The latter is a subtle difference which may or may not be considered important, but either way, given his apparent early awareness of the polar reversal hypothesis it is difficult to understand why Velikovsky did not take the premise further, or remain with it in its entirety. If he had done so, he would have at least been able to avoid criticisms concerning suggested changes to the rotation of Earth. Even though he clearly realized at an early date that polar reversals could provide an explanation for many of the reported celestial anomalies, he did not apply it to its fullest extent at the end. But perhaps he also realized that the polar reversal hypothesis was subject to problems posed by modern luni-solar alignments implicit in astronomical monuments such as Stonehenge, whose antiquity pre-dated his projected times for changes to the solar system. Or perhaps it was not considered as important as these latter events, or not fully differentiated as such. And possibly, it might have been that to detail the effects of a polar reversal it would be necessary to consider the situation from the viewpoint of residents of the northern hemisphere who experienced the reversal only to find themselves inexplicably facing an unfamiliar and chaotic southern celestial sphere. Such changes are very difficult to visualize, especially from an inverted viewpoint in another hemisphere. But how would the constellation of Orion and the star Sirius have appeared to such an observer?

It is here that we start to draw in some parts of the puzzle already at hand, for what better constellation for the present purpose exists than Orion - a large, clearly defined constellation distributed on either side of the ecliptic? For simplicity as well as exposition, the following illustrations ignore the obliquity of the ecliptic, earth's orbital eccentricity and seasonal considerations. For the same reason Earth's rotational axis is placed upright and at right angles to both the direction of orbital motion and the plane of the orbit. In addition, the constellation of Orion (sans belt) is set opposite the equator on the midnight meridian (i.e., observed due south at midnight) and represented as a two-dimensional, roughly trapezoidal figure to permit the use of "sightlines" to the longer and shorter sides of the "trapezoid." These lines on the trapezoid accentuate differences at sunrise and sunset and also provide celestial markers denoting East and West - the shorter blue side representing West and Westward motion, the longer red side East and motion in that direction to facilitate the establishment of East & West invertendo.
Fig 1.  Inversions of Orion, Sirius and Aldebaran

Figure 1. Directional Norms and Polar Reversals

Figure 1a provides present directional norms for Earth in the Northern Hemisphere, namely the West to East orbital motion, the west to east rotational motion of earth's axis, the associated positional and directional components of sunrise and sunset, and the apparent motion of the celestial sphere. Figure 1b illustrates the directional differences which result if the North and South geographic poles become inverted. Hypothetically, assuming a polar reversal from North to South has taken place, even with no changes to the actual orbital and the rotational speeds whatsoever, the length of the "day", "month" and "year" would all appear to have changed and the apparent motions of the sun and the moon would also take place against a new stellar reference frame provided by the stars of the southern celestial sphere. But this would not be all. Although on a larger scale the orbital progress of earth would remain as before with continuing daily, monthly and annual progress Eastward, the stars and constellations would not only be reversed (the south celestial sphere having replaced that of the north), they would also move in a reversed manner, rising now in the "West" as opposed to previously rising in the "East." Nevertheless they would still move forward approximately one degree per day because of Earth's normal orbital motion, and yet also move Eastwards on a daily rotational basis because now the rotational motion is in the opposite direction. This positional reversal also applies to sunrise and sunset, as shown by the directional differences between Figure 1a and Figure 1b. In the latter figure Orion is essentially as described in the Senmut southern panel. The latter might still have been a theoretical rendering, but if so the question of its origin and the reason for it being there in an inverted form still requires explanation. But in any event, the directional differences emphasized in Figure 1b makes it abundantly clear why it might have appeared correct to record that "the sun now sets where it formerly rose," and why it would also have been reported that " the course of the stars has changed direction." Additionally, there would also have been a global requirement to establish new directional and temporal norms as quickly as possible, as Velikovsky emphasized with the following, in this instance concentrating towards the end on ancient Chinese references:
'The calendar had to be adjusted anew. The astronomical values of the year and the day could not be the same before and after an upheaval in which, as the quoted Papyrus Anastasi IV says, the months were reversed and the ' hours disordered.' 38
'The breath of heaven is out of harmony ... The four seasons do not observe their proper times,' we read in the Texts of Taoism. In the historical memoirs of SE-Ma Ts'ien, as in the annuals of the Shu King which we have already quoted, it is said that Emperor Yahou sent astronomers to the Valley of Obscurity and the Sombre Residence to observe the new movements of the sun and the moon and the zyzygies or the orbital points of the conjunctions, also 'to investigate and to inform the people of the order of the seasons.' It is also said that Yahou introduced a calendar reform: he brought the seasons into accord with the observations; he did the same with the months; and he 'corrected the days.' 39
'Thereupon Yaou [Yahou] commanded Hi and Ho, in reverent accordance with the wide heavens, to calculate and delineate the movements and the appearances of the sun, the moon, the stars, and the zodiacal spaces; and to deliver respectfully the seasons to the people.' 40
Returning to Figure 1b, if it is still hard for us to comprehend what has actually taken place from a simplified diagram, imagine how difficult it would have been to analyze and document the event itself, and how problematic it would be to pass it on to future generations. Not only that, we have only discussed what might constitute one half of the matter and a return to the original polarity could well be required to complete the full cycle.

This problem leads to an odd feature of the constellation of Orion which may have some further bearing on why this particular constellation should have been accorded precedence in both the writings and the  astronomical monuments of the ancients. Apart from its central position, large extent and association with the bright star Sirius, Orion is unusual in so much as it appears similar whether it is right-side up or upside down (i.e., from North to South or from South to North). For example, Figure 1c below shows Orion in the normal (present-day) configuration as observed from Babylon in 600 B.C.with the center of Orion's Belt (Alnilam) on the local midnight meridian (Software Bisque data and graphic generation; colours added):

Figure 1c.  Aldebaran, Orion and Sirius  (Normal Configuration)

Figure 1c.  Aldebaran, Orion and Sirius  (Normal Configuration)

However, Orion also retains an element of similarity when flipped about the "Belt" in the East-West plane. In the these situations, although not quite identical, at first acquaintance at least, one might also confuse the region's bright opposing stars Aldebaran and Sirius, and if inverted, it might also appear as though Orion, although basically intact, was not only changed somewhat, but also missing a few parts. 

Figure 1d.  Aldebaran, Orion and Sirius (Inverted)

Figure 1d.  Aldebaran, Orion and Sirius (Inverted)

Indeed, as seen below in Figure 1e, when considered with respect to the "giant figure" often associated with Orion, Trapezium, for example, would be situated between the "legs" in one configuration, while in the other it would be situated near the middle of the "chest".  Which if nothing else permits us to address known ancient texts, myths, and later written works from this distinct frame of reference.

Figure 1e. Trapezium and the Bi-polar Symmetry of Orion

Figure 1e. Trapezium and the Bi-polar Symmetry of Orion

From a more technical viewpoint, depending on how well the phenomenon was understood, indicators (i.e., special markers and dual sets of sightlines, etc.) might have been instituted to delineate the key elements and even perhaps the degree of change (small or otherwise) that might have taken place. All of which may or may not have some bearing  on the alignments of the passages on both sides of the Great Pyramid at Giza (see THE UPUART PROJECT by Rudolph Gantenbrink). In this last respect, Robert Bauval's "Orion-Pyramids Correlation Theory" developed from 1983 onward also looms large; especially if moderated by astronomer E.C. Krupp's technically acute observations that: "Giza inversion was necessary for an Orion match and ... that the Sphinx is on the wrong side of the river if the Nile is the Milky Way, if the Giza pyramid trio is Orion's Belt, and if the Sphinx is Leo." (EGYPTNEWS, June 19, 1998).

In spite of Figures 1a though 1e it is still inordinately difficult to envisage exactly what has happened. Furthermore, when the obliquity of the ecliptic, the equation of time and the motion of the moon are taken into account matters become even more complex. Nevertheless, in attempting to come to grips with the technical details we might still establish a baseline provided by the "simplest" scenario, namely a completely symmetrical inversion with no other changes whatsoever. In doing so, it becomes apparent that an initial investigation might reasonably start with the solstices in general and the Winter Solstice in particular. It is at this time that Earth's axis of rotation is tilted back to its maximum amount but it is also simultaneously at right angles to both the Sun and the direction of orbital motion, and furthermore, the moon is likewise lower on the horizon. We begin to see now how the Hermetic phrase "The Sun is its father, its Mother is the Moon" might enter into the picture, since the locations and movements of these two major luminaries provide both the tools and the means to investigate the matter in some detail. We can also see a major reason now for the concentration on the Winter Solstice and the emphases on Sunrise-Sunset phenomena on this particular date incorporated in certain luni-solar monuments. This might indeed explain why some sites are located so far north in Megalithic Britain and why mathematicians and astronomers from elsewhere may have decided to carry out their investigation there. The major Neolithic sites at Newgrange in Ireland and Maeshowe in the Orkneys both critically and impressively direct attention to the Sun at the Winter Solstice - the former at Sunrise and the latter just as impressively at Sunset. It can hardly be a coincidence that one of the larger and more accurate megalithic stone circles is also close to the latter at Brodgar, nor can it be a coincidence that there is almost exactly six hours of daylight at this location on the Winter Solstice. The six hours suggests that the Equinoxes would also play their part, but in this case the length of daylight is twice that, i.e., 12 hours. From this point on one might logically extend the investigation to include intermediate points (Quarter-days, etc) then months, and even smaller subdivisions, and after much effort come to terms perhaps with the exact amount of change and/or other differences. One might therefore suggest, if not conclude, that a main function of such megalithic monuments arose from coming to terms with this problem on one hand, and a humanitarian concern to pass on the information on the other. This still does not fully explain the proliferation of the Luni-Solar monuments in Megalithic Britain, France, and the rest of Europe, nor does it explain such activity on a global scale. However, the extent in the first context might be understood in terms of providing the necessary mathematical and astronomical tools, i.e., essentially the data deduced by Alexander Thom as discussed in Part I. From the wider viewpoint, there is also the distinct possibility that the scheme incorporated a massive degree of overkill and redundancy. The message, it seems, was going to get through, one way or the other, irrespective of the hardship, and at whatever the cost. To such ends the burdens must have been enormous and the sacrifices many.

Because of the above we might now perhaps place greater emphasis on the famous Egyptian statement concerning apparent reversals of sunrise and sunset reported by Herodotus, i.e.,

"Four times in this period ...the sun rose contrary to his wont: twice he rose where he now sets, and twice he set where he now rises,"28 [emphasis supplied]
and consider that the Egyptians might indeed be speaking of what they knew and what they understood. The text does not say that the sun rose over here on one occasion, rose somewhere else another time, and again at a different location the next, it implies something more precise, namely that there was symmetrical return to the original positions in each instance. In other words, the statement might mean exactly what it says. Which is firstly, that the phenomenon is periodic. And secondly, since sunrise and sunset apparently return to their original positions, it is possible that the phenomena is also both bi-polar and symmetrical. Or more simply stated, that the normal and inverted positions of Earth's axis in this context may represent opposite stable states. This might on the face of it appear highly unlikely, but it may depend ultimately on both the causative mechanism and the source itself. When this matter was first broached by Velikovsky in 1950 Chaos Theory was virtually unknown and Velikovsky was roundly criticized, if not ridiculed, for suggesting that major changes may have taken place in the Solar System during historical times. This was largely the result of the prevailing belief that the System was basically immutable. However, the advent of Chaos Theory since that time has proved that the certitude provided by Newtonian Mechanics is more a comforting illusion than an adequate description of the complexities of orbital motion. Also, since Velikovsky's initial trespasses in the hallowed halls of science further aspects have come to light. In particular, Henry H. Bauer's comprehensive analysisBeyond Velikovsky (1984) cites the following under "Scholarly Support" for the latter's previously derided views concerning the matter at hand:
While the journals of science remain silent about Velikovsky, a few respectably established scientists have attempted evaluations of what implications accepted physical laws might have for the plausibility of Velikovsky's postulated events. In 1950, and for a few years thereafter, many astronomers in particular had called those events impossible: contrary to the laws of Newton and energy conservation, among others. Later, however, Velikovskians derived comfort from statements by professional scientists that those events are by no means impossible. Irving Michelson, of the Department of Mechanics and Mechanical Aerospace Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, discussed classical mechanics and possible electro-magnetic effects [117, 248-249], concluding that Velikovsky's contentions 'are certainly not at variance with classical mechanics.' Further, the energy required to reverse the earth's axis (in relation to the stars) 'happens to correspond closely to modern estimates of the energy of a single moderately strong geomagnetic storm ... Is it possible that Herodotus' baffling allusions and the 'Earth turned upside down,' as reported in Papyrus Ipuwer also, was triggered by a geomagnetic storm?' 41
There can be little doubt that by 1950 Velikovsky was already aware of the possible relationship between Polar and East-West reversals and all the attendant implications, e.g., at the close of Worlds in Collision he stated in a defensive summary:
The physical effects of retardation or reversal of the earth in its diurnal rotation are differently evaluated by various scientists. Some express the opinion that a total destruction of the earth and a volatilization of its entire mass would follow such slowing down or stasis. They concede, however, that destruction of such dimensions would not occur if the earth continued to rotate and only its axis were tilted out of position. This could be caused by the earth's passing through a strong magnetic field at an angle to the earth's magnetic axis. A rotating steel top, when tilted by a magnet, continues to rotate. Theoretically, the terrestial axis could be tilted for a certain length of time, and at any angle, and also in such a fashion that it would lie in the plane of the ecliptic. In that case, one of the two hemispheres-the northern or the southern-would remain in prolonged day, the other in prolonged night. The tilting of the axis could produce the visual effect of a retrogressing or arrested sun; a greater tilting, a multiple day or night; and in the case of still greater tilting, a reversal of poles with east and west exchanging places; all this without a substantial disruption in the mechanical momentum or rotation or revolution of earth.' 42
Expanding on the above, one might ask when and where it was recorded that the sun "stood still," and/or "went down at noon," and why records mostly from the northern hemisphere (Europe, Scandinavia, etc.) contain references to darkness and the sun being absent for days; why others from latitudes nearer the equator reported light but no point source; why those somewhat closer to the equator reported the sun visible but low on the horizon, (Andaman Islands) and finally, why it was recorded further south (Peru, China, etc.) that the sun did not set for days but apparently remained "motionless." It is unlikely that the sun really went down at noon, or that it stood still per se. These apparent phenomena are more easily understood to be the result of the tilting of the earth's axis, as Velikovsky and others were clearly aware. Moreover, to explain this effect it can be hypothesized from the available reports that Earth's axis tilted directly towards the sun, and that it was the Southern polar regions that tilted inwards while the Northern polar regions simultaneously tilted outwards. Based on the same sources, it also becomes possible to explain the "standing still" phenomena in terms of the axis of rotation remaining pointed towards the sun for an interval of time within the range of 3 to 15 days before carrying right over to complete the reversal. From this framework it is then possible to consider the latter as the intermediate or Phase II stage of a three-stage process with Phases I and III comprising the commencement and the completion of the event as shown below in Figure 2. Here one can see that although Earth's orbital motion around the Sun remains from West to East and the rotation about Earth's axis remain entirely unchanged, once the event passes the ninety degree point (Phase II) the direction of axial rotation naturally opposes the direction of orbital motion, which in turn gives rise to the apparent changes in time and direction found in many of the ancient descriptions.

Fig. 2. Three Phases

Fig. 2. Three Phases

Which may or may not provide further clues to the phenomenon itself. The following examples from Velikovsky's compendium pertain to the second phase; the first is essentially the onset of darkness and chaos and the third the complete inversion with all its attendant reversals etc.
The aborigines of British North Borneo, even today, declare that the sky was originally low, and that six suns perished, and at present the world is illuminated by the seventh sun.43
In the tale of the southern Ute Indians, the cottontail is the animal that is connected with the disruption of the movement of the sun." ..."There is one instance more in the Indian story of the sun being impeded on its path and the ensuing world conflagation. Before the catastrophe, 'the sun used to go round close to the ground.' the purpose of the attack on the sun was to make 'the sun shine a little longer: the days were too short.' After the catastrophe 'the days became longer'. 44
In the so-called Manuscript Quiche it is also narrated that there was 'little light on the surface of the earth .. the faces of the sun and the moon were covered with clouds.' 45
Similarly the Mayan legend tells that 'it was not known from where the new sun would appear.' 'They looked in al directions, but they were unable to say where the sun would rise. Some thought it might take place in the north and their glances were turned in that direction. Others thought it would be in the south. Actually, their guess included all directions because dawn shone all around. Some, however, fixed their attention of the orient, and maintained that the sun would come from there. It was their opinion that proved to be correct. 46
Sahagun, the Spanish savant who came to America a generation after Columbus and gathered the traditions of the aborigines, wrote that at the time of one cosmic catastrophe the sun rose only a little way over the horizon and remained there without moving; the moon also stood still 47
CHINA: At the time of the miracle is said to have happened that the sun during a span of ten days did not set, the forests were ignited, and a multitude of abominable vermin was brought forth." "In the lifetime of Yao [Yahou] the sun did not set for full ten days and the entire land was flooded.48
In the Ermitage Papyrus in Leningrad (previously mentioned) there are lamentations about a terrible catastrophe, when heaven and earth turned upside down ("I show thee the land upside down: it happed that which never had happened'). After this catastrophe, darkness covered the earth: 'The is veiled and shines not in the sight of men. None can live when the sun is veiled by clouds. ..None knoweth that midday is there; the shadow is not discerned .. Not dazzled is the sight when he [the sun] is beheld; he is in the sky like the moon.' 49

The Triple Spiral, Newgrange, Ireland: Source T.O'Brien; Scottish stone Ball (ca.3000 BC) Source Ralph A.Abraham

Fig. 3. Megalithic Spirals: Left: Newgrange; Center: Scottish tetrahedral sphere;  Right: Tarxian, Malta 

The three parts of the event may also be considered in terms of the enigmatic triple spiral illuminated on the winter solstice inside the Neolithic monument at Newgrange in Ireland shown to the left (T.O'Brien; Light Years Ago, text and shamrock supplied). Here we see that the lower spiral is still connected to the top part, but it is nevertheless curling in the reverse direction, while the remaining spiral is positioned midway between the two and almost a right angles to them. Or alternatively, the triple spiral represented as a "Shamrock" is deliberately set at ninety degrees to the vertical. From this viewpoint sites of this particular genre, such as those at Maeshowe in the Orkneys, Clava at Inverness and Gavrinis in Brittany perhaps take on greater importance. Indeed they might even be construed to be Passage-Wombs in a strictly Hermetic sense as opposed to being inadequately described as Passage-Tombs, i.e., they carry or possess the seed and the essence of the matter internally as well as externally. Furthermore, "wind" in the same context may represent the cardinal points and directional components, in effect further elements that can be associated with the Riddle of Hermes. Thus we may consider the Emerald Green Tablet in the context of the Emerald Isle and the green trefoil Shamrock and return to this enigmatic text with a new perspective. If this unsual triplespiral does indeed pertain to an actual reversal, then the Hermetic adage "as above, so below" remains applicable in a most technical sense, i.e., apparent changes notwithstanding, the axial rotation and the orbital motion are as before whether normal way up or inverted. Small wonder that the ancients might have considered this marvelous, if not miraculous, and also found it reassuring in terms of a return to known order after apparent chaos. Nor is it surprising if they should have perceived it in terms of a guiding intelligence and ourobotic regeneration. Moreover, after a second reversal we would arrive back at approximately the original state, which has an number of noteworthy and possibly troublesome implications. Firstly, it might certainly provide an explanation for such phrases in the Emerald Tablet as "the wonder of this thing." Secondly, it might explain why there was so much emphasis on cyclic resurrection, re-birth, and the ouroborus in this same context. And thirdly, it places entirely new meanings on such concepts as the "underworld," and paired opposites such as "Upper and Lower," "Sky and Earth," "Light and Dark," "Above and Below," "Highland and Lowlands," etc.


True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true
What is below is like what is above, and what is above it like what is
below, for accomplishing the marvels of the One thing.
And as all things were from one thing, by the meditation of one thing,
so all things were born of this one thing, by adaptation.
Its father is the Sun, its mother is the Moon.
The Wind carried it in its womb, its nurse is the Earth.
It is the father of all the Perfection of the whole world.
Its power is integral, if it be turned into Earth.
Separate Earth from Fire, the Subtle from the Gross, smoothly and with judgement.
It ascends from the Earth into the Heaven and again descends into the Earth
and unites itself the powers of things superior and inferior
Thus you will receive the brightness of the whole world and all obscurity will fly far from you.
It is the strong fortitude of all fortitude, for it will overcome every subtle thing and penetrate every solid.
Thus was the world created. Hence there will be marvellous adaptations of which this is the means.
Therefore I am called Hermes Trisgemistos, having three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.
What I had to say about the operation of Sol is completed.50

Returning to the suggested symmetrical bi-polar nature of the event, after a second reversal we would arrive back at approximately the original state, which has an number of noteworthy implications. On the other hand, the return or near return might also explain the dualities and the opposites carefully integrated into the Temple of Luxor while at the same time providing a closer focus for the "Pyramid Texts" and similar works that currently lack complete understanding.

An example of the kind of difficulties that can arise in this last context is provided by John Anthony West's analysis of attempts to translate passages from the "Pyramid" and "Unas" Texts. The problem is explained by the latter in the Serpent in the Sky.51 We join the ongoing discussion on the matter at a point where West states: 52

The text then reads:
Draw it back!
Open the two shutters to heaven.
Open for Unas,
Over the flame, beneath the iknt.
Of the gods.
Further problems present themselves. the words for ' over ' and ' beneath ' are formal, but employed as such do not make sense, and the translators try different solutions....
' Iknt ' is another difficult word. In other contexts it signifies ' ladling or scooping out ', in this case by the Neters, or ' gods '. The actual meaning follows upon the understanding of the consequences of a suspension of Ba-bi's power, and the subsequent opening of the two shutters of heaven.
The short phrase describes a double action: a flame or fire that is rising and being drawn upward (toward heaven) by the gods. The flame or ' spirit ', the spiritual fire, or ' breath of fire ' drawn heavenwards by the gods.
'Seben' (sbn.t.) presents the next problem. Seben is variously Horus ' lets slips '. Horus is allowed ' to slide or slip through ' and Horus ' stumbles '. None of these solutions is satisfactory, yet in this case, the meaning of the word practically imposes itself. The determinative for sbn.t (characteristically omitted in the Unas text but always understood as implicit) is a little river fish whose peculiarity it is to swim upside down. It is this position that is always shown*
*The reverse of seben, nebes, is the Christ-thorn or zizyphus tree, whose branches incline to the ground. ' The zizyphus tree bends its face to you ' (Pys Text 808, R.O. Falkner). Thus, seben is a fish that turns its face to the sky, nebes a tree that bends its head to the ground.53 [emphases supplied]
From an inversion viewpoint, however, one might reasonably conclude that a representation of an inverted fish means essentially just that, i.e., "becomes inverted," etc. Moreover, the information provided in West's footnote is similarly relevant and also suggestive of the careful and knowledgeable observations of true philosophers of nature, which is precisely the kind of attention to detail that we have already encountered with the Shamrock and Oxalis regnelli in Part I. One might also suspect that something along the same lines it is incorporated on the Plains of Nazca in Peru in the form of the impressive and accurate rendition of a specific type of spider that does not belong there, but is found far to the East in the Amazon Basin. Moreover, it is more a fact than a pun to note that at this location the information is presented on an entirely different plane. There is one more clue, for the spider has some association with the constellation of Orion as viewed from the Plains of Nazca. The spider may also perhaps pertain to the midway point of the inversion (or perhaps the second half-cycle, i.e., when the southern pole is pointing away from the Sun) or perhaps the fully inverted position in the opposite hemisphere. These are, of course, hypothetical scenarios and they are also tentative ones, but like most of the suggestions made here based on the inversion hypothesis, they are nevertheless testable and quantifiable. Lastly, if other "natural" clues are as sophisticated as the above, then we need perhaps to address the thistle, the leak, and the saffron daffodil in Britain from the same technical viewpoint. This is a tenuous link, but it nevertheless draws us back to the Eastern Mediterranean in general and the symbology of Egypt in particular.

With respect to the inversion of the axis of Earth, if two basically stable states did exist, and there was not any appreciable difference with respect to luni-solar alignments between successive pairs of polar reversals, this would indeed be remarkable. The possibility that there might be minor changes, however, suggests that precise information may be adducable from any obvious adjustments made to the megalithic structures, which again might best be detected at the solstices. Lastly, even slight polar shifts and minor deviations between the two states would play havoc with precession and its use as a precise tool to date astronomical monuments beyond the time of the last event, which at present is not even known.

Is "precession" necessarily an infallible dating tool? No doubt researchers whose various theories invoke the constant would like to think it is, but both chaos theory and the polar inversion hypothesis suggest that there is room for doubt. One might observe here that the issue may have a direct bearing on current schisms arising from differences between standard Egyptian chronology assembled from historical data (succession lists, artifacts, etc.) by Archeologists, Egyptologists and Historians, and theories suggesting far earlier chronologies partly or largely predicated on precession (especially the Giza plateau, although the argument is clearly not limited to this particular instance). Bearing in mind the many references to polar shifts in Velikovsky's compendium and the relative absence of supporting historical material for earlier chronologies, one might suggest that a polar shift (full or otherwise) would almost certainly impose an abrupt change on the position of the precessional axis. As a result, any such changes would likely and perhaps drastically skew dating by precession beyond the time of the last event. Which may also have some influence on questions raised by Velikovsky himself (Ages in Chaos, 1952), and more recently by Egyptologist David Rohl (The Test of Time, 1996). Finally, although there are few technical writings that support the supposition under discussion, the following quotation from an obscure medieval Arab criticism of Ptolemy's planetary theory nevertheless supplies food for thought (Al-Bitruji: On the Principles of Astronomy, Bernard Goldstein. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1971:80):
The ancients recorded that the fixed stars have a motion by which they sometimes proceed in the direction of the signs and at other times retrogress in the opposite direction; but they do not complete the circle of the zodiac with (this) motion. Of old, these motions were called accession and recession. Recent scholars have been distressed by this (incomplete motion) and it still remains in doubt.
Returning to the implications of the polar hypothesis and changes in precession (small or otherwise), it it is possible that the alignments of some megalithic monuments may provide further information, especially if this aspect was factored into the equation and construction from the very start. Against this, of course might be possible reconstructions after the return to normalcy, but either way the thesis is at least testable in terms of searching for dual pairs of solstitial markers, minor shifts in axes, and/or alignments of hitherto unknown significance which might be re-evaluated from this specific viewpoint. On the other hand, perhaps the inversion was not symmetrical, in spite of the numerical data provided below, and what was passed down by the ancients was in fact the base-line itself rather than anything else. Or adopting the safest ground of all, even if there had been a major upheaval, it may have occurred before the time of construction of the monuments themselves, and not since. Nevertheless, the bi-polar reversal hypothesis at least provides an event of undoubted magnitude and consequence that would explain why the ancients might have deemed it so necessary and so vital to pass on whatever they knew about the matter.
Then there are two further possibilities to be considered. Firstly, the ancients might have possessed a far greater understanding of the matter than we might suppose, and secondly, this too might be integrated into the structures they laboured so long and so hard to leave behind for posterity.

It may be remarked here that the feasibility of symmetrical polar shifts must necessarily depend on our understanding of both the cause and the mechanism involved, assuming that either can be ascertained. As for the likelihood of symmetrical reversals, one can only suggest at this stage of the inquiry that we ourselves understand and utilize magnetic fields to provide both on-off and stable-state switching in a variety of present-day applications. It therefore remains to be seen how and why these concepts might apply in the present context. It may also be useful to re-examine whatever works presently exist that deal with cyclic behavior of the Sun, including the recent work of Maurice Cotterell (1995) on this very subject. For what it is worth, while no changes to the stability of Earth are desirable, an ordered reversal of the geographical poles with predictable deviation and eventual return to normalcy might still be much preferred to chaotic and radical changes to the axial rotation and/or the orbital motion.

Returning to the bi-polar hypothesis itself, it is clear than there would be discernable differences in the movements of both the Sun and the moon. With the requisite skills, tools and sufficient time the ancients might have managed to delineate and document the change for both their own use and for posterity. As explained earlier, after an inversion of the Poles, Earth's rotational motion will oppose the orbital motion and the lengths of the "day" will also "reverse." Could the ancient astronomers have determined and recorded these changes? Surprisingly, ancient texts concerned with unusually high parameters for the motions of the Sun and Moon indicate that a theoretical determination of the change was achieved to a high degree of accuracy in two separate, culturally diverse contexts. The first occurs in an ancient Hindu astronomical treatise while the second is provided in even greater detail by Babylonian astronomical texts from the Seleucid Era [310 BC - 75 AD]. After a polar reversal of 180 degrees, the theoretical values expected for the increase in the length of the day over one complete rotation may be compared with a constant given in The American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac to the sixth decimal place in seconds. To this explicit degree of accuracy the comparison between the latter and the data obtained from the two ancient texts turns out to be as follows:

24h + 03m 56.555368s.Modern
24h + 03m 56.544686s Ancient Hindu
24h + 03m 56.533333s Ancient Babylonian

Of the two sources the Babylonian is by far the most complex. The Hindu constant originates from a long-term mean-value period relationship while the latter occurs in an astronomical cuneiform text that gives procedures for determining the motions of the Sun and the Moon. The Hindu material in effect provides the key, and it is thanks to James Q.Jacobs who recognized its unusual nature and then made it available to all via the Internet that this association can be made. The shifts in both the Hindu and the Babylonian material differ from the modern constant by less than one tenth of a second. But even so, it is necessary to acknowledge that there is an alternative interpretation that may be applied to the first set of data. However, the Babylonian value is a parameter utilized in a procedure text that determines the amount of change day by day and month by month while also furnishing an explanation for hitherto unaccounted luni-solar parameters. Moreover, the text in question also incorporates the equation of time and unexplained references to corrections for both the lunar and solar velocities. It may also be noted that the position of the vernal equinox is unusual in this same context - instead of occurring at the first point of Aries it occurs at the eighth and tenth points respectively according to which of the two major Babylonian systems is under consideration. As for the remaining Babylonian astronomical texts, they are quite limited and conventional viewpoints notwithstanding, they appear to be poorly understood, at least in conceptual terms. Here as elsewhere much work remains to be done; but one thing appears certain, this can only result in a drastic upward revision of what is already known. Because of their mathematical nature the two sets of data are discussed in separate appendices with the Hindu relationship providing the necessary lead-in to the more extensive Babylonian material. The treatment in Appendix B is somewhat foreshortened and readers should be aware that there is a great deal more that can and should be said about its place in the general scheme of things.

Although most people these days have heard of the major megalithic sites at Stonehenge, Avebury and Carnac perhaps, many would not be aware that there are literally thousands of such monuments in Britain and France alone. Most people would also have some notion of the size of the stonework employed at Stonehenge, but few would realize the extent of the work carried out at many of the remoter locations. Nor would they be obliged to come to terms with the enigmas posed by the necessary organization, planning and engineering side of such projects. The materials employed for the task are invariably huge massive blocks of stone that are only meaningfully discussed in terms of meters and tonnes, and they are in addition often worked objects positioned critically (and solidly) for distinct purposes even in such locations as the Outer Hebrides and the Orkneys. To get some idea of the size and the variation it is an enlightening exercise to access Robert Pollock's Stones of Wonder Site and step through the 77 Scottish megalithic sites contained therein, follow the same procedure with Andy Burnham's material, examine Tim O'Brien's treatment of Newgrange in Ireland (replete with solar symbol), and consider Sigurd Towrie's timeline for the Orkneys.
More recently, the analysis of the astronomical alignments of the megalithic sites in Britain has seen less concentration on Stonehenge itself following Gerald Hawkin's Stonehenge Decoded (1964).56 But if the latter's use of 56 holes for eclipse predictions involves a triple 18.61 year luni-solar cycle, then apart from the complex astronomical side of the matter, without writing skills the observers of Stonehenge even in the earlier periods must have been prodigious mental athletes as well as being remarkably long-lived, for who would be around after some 56 years to observe or verify the results? There is, of course, the oral tradition, but that in its own way inevitably raises questions concerning continuity and social organization, especially when it is realized that Stonehenge underwent modifications over an interval of almost a thousand years. Moreover, the above remarks are not to say that Hawkins was at all incorrect, any more than the calendaric approach proposed by Fred Hoyle 55  was necessarily in error, but to suggest that works such as these by modern astronomers should have generated a wider search for understanding that necessarily extended beyond the limited shores of the United Kingdom.
From this viewpoint the present work at least provides a definite focus, perhaps one that has long been lacking. However, in keeping with the complexity of the phenomenon and the general thrust of the argument presented here the megalithic monuments may have a three-fold purpose intended to provide education (mathematics, geometry and astronomy), to point to the major luminaries and delineate their periodic movements, and lastly to provide precise information concerning the phenomenon that motivated their construction. In this sense they may proceed from the simple to the intermediate and then on to the more complex, and thus the more accurate constructions determined by Alexander Thom, with Stonehenge, Avebury, Brodgar and Stanton Drew perhaps providing finer details. As for the rest, there is also the obvious fact that there are a number of different types of sites to contend with, i.e., (a) Standing Stones, (b) Stone Circles and (c) Chambered Cairns as classified by Robert Pollack. Yet in the Scottish context in particular there are additional points that require investigation from our present viewpoint, namely whether it is purely incidental or a function of the passage of time that so many of the tall standing stones are tilted slightly off the vertical. And perhaps in the same vein, whether it is again coincidental that so many astronomical alignments for these Scottish Sites are within a degree or two of plus or minus 23.5 degrees. Then there are the finished and unfinished sides of the stones themselves, angled tops on others and whether the constructors managed to leave any additional clues as to the preferred or exact viewing angles at each particular location. Finally, there is also a broader view that might extend to specific regions, with Brittany (the Carnac complex especially), Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales each possessing their own particular niche or part of the puzzle.

There undoubtedly remain numerous threads to be gathered up, many ancient paths to be retraced and much to be checked and tested. As for continuing research concentrating on ancient astronomical sites, there is the growing interest evidenced by the Center for Archaeoastronomy in the United States, Robert Pollock's Stones of Wonder from New Zealand, the work of Clive Ruggles, Andy Burnham's Megalithic Mysteries, (both from Britain), the Stones of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France (from Italy) and the MEgALithiA series to list just a few of the available resources on the Internet. Moreover, there are also intriguing geographical aspects of the matter that might be investigated further by way of James.Q.Jacobs' Archaeogeodesy page.

Those who do not favor the Mediterranean out-migration hypothesis might consider the following offering from the ever-obscure yet informative H.P.Blavatsky, who with no particular orientation towards the Egyptians noted in The Secret Doctrine (Vol.2, p.750) that:

Bunsen allowed the great Pyramid an antiquity of 20,000 years. More modern archaeologists will not give it more than 5,000, or at the utmost 6,000 years; and generously concede to Thebes with its hundred gates, 7,000 years from the date of its foundation. And yet there are records which show Egyptian priests -- Initiates -- journeying in a North-Westerly direction, by land, via what became later the Straits of Gibraltar; turning North and travelling through the future Phoenician settlements of Southern Gaul; then still further North, until reaching Carnac (Morbihan) they turned to the West again and arrived, still travelling by land, on the North-Western promontory of the New Continent.
The land route and last statement notwithstanding, travelling West and then North by boat from Carnac would undoubtedly bring the voyagers to Western England, Ireland and Wales. As for the purpose of the journey, Mme Blavatsky further asserted that records indicate that the travellers moved from:
one land to the other for the purpose of supervising the building of menhirs and dolmens, of colossal Zodiacs in stone, and places of sepulchre to serve as receptables for the ashes of generations to come.
Lastly, the same obscure source also provides further links between the symbolism of Ancient Egypt and the phenomenon under consideration - the polar inversion, e.g., we find the following discussions concerning origins and symbolism in this explicit context:
... the many meanings in every symbol, which, unless interpreted according to the esoteric methods, generally lead to an inextricable confusion. Does the Western Kabalist -- generally an opponent of the Eastern Occultist -- require a proof? Let him open Eliphas Levi's Histoire de la Magic, p.53, and carefully examine his ' Grand Symbole Kabalistique ' of the Zohar. He will find, on the engraving given, a white man standing erect and a black woman upside down, i.e., standing on her head, her legs passing under the extended arms of the male figure, and protruding behind his shoulders, while their hands join at an angle on each side. Eliphas Levi makes of it, God and Nature; or God, ' light,' mirrored inversely in ' Nature and Matter,' darkness. Kabalistically and symbolically he is right; but only so far as emblematical cosmogony goes. Nor has he invented the symbol any more than the Kabalists have: the two figures in white and black stone have existed in the temples of Egypt from time immemorial -- agreeably to tradition; and historically -- ever since the day of King Cambyses, who personally saw them. Therefore the symbol must have been in existence since nearly 2,500 years ago. This, at the very least, for that Persian sovereign, who was a son of Cyrus the Great, succeeded his father in the year 529 B.C. These figures were the two Kabiri personifying the opposite poles. Herodotus (Thalia, No. 77) tells posterity that when Cambyses entered the temple of the Kabirim, he went into an inextinguishable fit of laughter, on perceiving what he thought a man erect and a woman standing on the top of her head before him. These were the poles, however, whose symbol was intended to commemorate ' the passing of the original North Pole of the Earth to the South Pole of the Heaven,' as perceived by Mackey. But they represented also the poles inverted, in consequence of the great inclination of the axis, bringing each time as a result the displacement of the Oceans, the submersion of the polar lands, and the consequent upheaval of new continents in the equatorial regions, and vice versa. [The Secret Doctrine, Vol.2, p.360]
That the whole region of what is now Egypt and the deserts was once upon a time covered with the sea, was known firstly through Herodotus, Strabo, Pliny, and all the Greeks; and, secondly, through geology. Abyssinia was once upon a time an island; and the Delta was the first country occupied by the pioneer emigrants who came with their gods from the North-east.
When was it? History is silent upon the subject. Fortunately we have the Dendera Zodiac, the planisphere on the ceiling of one of the oldest Egyptian temples, which records the fact. This Zodiac, with its mysterious three Virgos between the Lion and Libra, has found its OEdipus, who understood the riddle of these signs, and justified the truthfulness of those priests who told Herodotus that: -- (a) The poles of the Earth and the Ecliptic had formerly coincided; and (b) That even since their first Zodiacal records were commenced, the Poles have been three times within the plane of the Ecliptic, as the Initiates taught. [The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p.368].
Here as in many places throughout this investigation we find snippets of information that are possibly correct, likely distorted and degraded by time, but detailed to the point that they can hardly be dismissed outright. Moreover, in terms of the luni-solar component and bi-polar inversions, we have the hypothesis, we have an abundance of sites, and as discussed in detail in Appendix B, we also have some of the instructions and details in the Babylonian context, the complex relationship between Egypt and Mesopotamia notwithstanding. Nor can the impetus that provided the theory and motivation of Astrology be dismissed in this and more general contexts; see, for example, the work of Patrice Guinard at CURA.


Some of the proposals made here are no doubt greatly at odds with prevailing viewpoints, especially the bi-polar inversion hypothesis, and perhaps to a lesser extent the suggestion of a major out-migration from the Eastern or Central Mediterranean as far as Megalithic Britain. Moreover, there are further complications that arise concerning both relative and general chronologies in both contexts. Admittedly, the threads remain thin, but there appear to be tenuous connections that might point to the activities of either (or both) the Egyptians or the Chaldeans far afield and a long way from home. Until recently it was not thought that the Egyptians possessed any real maritime capability, especially during the periods that correspond to the erection of the earliest luni-solar monuments in Britain. However, Graham Hancock recounts in The Fingerprints of the Gods, that strangely, a fleet of 12 sea-going ships had been discovered buried beneath the sand in Egypt; Hancock was in fact moved to ask: "what was the burial in the desert of 12 high-prowed seagoing ships if it was not also a mystery that cried out, loudly, for solution?" before providing his own commentary on the matter, citing first a 1991 news release from The Guardian, London, 21 December:
A fleet of 5000-year old royal ships has been found buried eight miles from the Nile. American and Egyptian archaeologists discovered the 12 large wooden boats at Abydos ... Experts said the boats- which are 50 to 60 feet long - are about 5000 years old, making them Egypt's earliest royal ships and among the earliest boats found anywhere ...The experts say the ships, discovered in September, were probably meant for burial so the souls of the pharaohs could be transported on them. 'We never expected to find such a fleet, especially so far from the Nile,' said Davis O'Connor, the expedition leader and curator of the Egyptian Section of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania....
... the University of Pennsylvania archaeologists had, for legitimate security reasons reburied the 12 mysterious boats they had stumbled on in 1991. They had hoped to return in 1992 to continue the excavations, but there had been various hitches and, in 1993, the dig was still being postponed.
In the course of my research O'Connor had sent me the official report of the 1991 season, mentioning in passing that some of the boats might have been as much as 72 feet in length. He also noted that the boat-shaped brick graves in which they were enclosed, which would have risen well above the level of the surrounding desert in early dynastic times, must have produced quite an extraordinary effect when they were new ..
....' Each grave had originally been thickly coated with mud plaster and whitewash so the impression would have been twelve (or more) huge 'boats' moored out in the desert gleaming in the Egyptian sun. The notion of their being moored was taken so seriously that an irregular shaped small boulder was found placed near the 'prow' or 'stern' of several boat graves. These boulders could not have been there naturally or by accident; their placement seems deliberate, not random. We can think of them as 'anchors' intended to help 'moor' the boats.'
....Like the 140-foot ocean-going vessel found buried beside the Great Pyramid at Giza (see Chapter Thirty-Three), one thing was immediately clear about the Abydos boats - they were of an advanced design capable of riding out the most powerful waves and the worst weather of the open seas. According to Cheryl Haldane, a nautical archaeologist at Texas A-and-M University, they showed 'a high degree of technology combined with grace.' Exactly as was the case with the Pyramid boat, therefore (but a least 500 years earlier) the Abydos fleet seemed to indicate that people able to draw upon the accumulated experiences of a long tradition of seafaring had been present in Egypt from the very beginning of its 3000 year history. moreover, I knew that the earliest wall paintings found in the Nile Valley, dating back perhaps as much as 1500 years before the burial of the Abydos fleet (around 4500 BC) showed the same long, sleek, high-prowed vessels in action.56
Both dates takes us back before the time of the Megalithic monuments in Britain, but while these 12 buried Egyptian ships provide a further enigma, they also suggest something else - that they may have been deservedly and rightly preserved for posterity as the true "Golden Vessels of the Egyptians" - perhaps even those that sailed to the cold northern seas of Europe and further afield as pathfinders during the darkest hours when danger, uncertainty and chaos predominated.      
   The present research, however, does not intend to venture much further back than 3400 BC, i.e., the earliest dates of the luni-solar sites in Britain. Nor does it attempt to address the question of lost civilizations and/or extraterrestrial influence, or deal at any great length with the Sphinx, the Pyramids of Egypt, or the current controversies that attend both monuments, except to suggest the following:
Firstly, from the bi-polar inversion viewpoint, it is possible that there is either nothing or another stone ball behind the sliding stone "door" at the top of the mysterious passage leading from the Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid,57and as a corollary, that other such passages might possibly exist for the same or similar purposes. Such applications being merely additional elements and indicators in the greater scheme of things.
Secondly, in keeping with a much repeated observation that a massive amount of redundancy may have been factored into the scheme to disseminate useful information, it might be productive to examine any and all researches that naturally gravitated towards the investigation of the mathematical elements inherent in the construction of the Pyramids, such as Graham Oaten's Foundation Metrology, Karl Munc's Pyramid Matrix, Alphonso Rubino's The Secret Science of ancient Egypt, Stephen I.Goulet's The LIX Grid, the continuation of Lehel Répits work by Jerry Törnström in Sweden, New Perspectives on the Great Pyramid by Bernard I. Pietsch, the related research of Jim Branson, Lutz Hoppner (ZERPHI) and also that of Karl-Heinze and Uwe Homann (The Geometry and Mathematics of the Great Pyramid) to mention a few prime examples.
Thirdly, perhaps the relevant Egyptian textual material might be reexamined from the bi-polar viewpoint, with the same considerations applied to the obvious duality and symmetry carefully integrated into the construction of the Temple of Luxor, especially as treated by Schwaller de Lubricz and John Anthony West.
Lastly, the initial assessment reached here is that there may have been large-scale disruptions on the surface of Earth in historical time, as Velikovsky suggested almost half a century ago. It is also hypothesized that one event in particular, a symmetrical bi-polar inversion (for whatever reason) may have been one of them. To what extent the event was truly symmetrical and whether two stable states do indeed exist for Earth's axis remains to be determined, as does the underlying cause.

Finally, some readers might feel that the uncertainties of the above combined with its potentially sombre consequences provide sufficient cause for silence on the matter. I can only say in response to such criticism that although I belong to no organized religion, affiliated group or the Theosophical Society, I nevertheless hold steadfast to the fundamental tenet that there is no religion higher than the truth.



(1The Binary Research Institute (Walter Cruttenden, et al).
(2The Great Year (Walter Cruttenden, et al)
(3The Sirius Research Group (The Works of Karl-Heinz and Uwe Homann).

Additional information:

The Dogon and Sirius (Martin Clutterbuck)
Ethnomathematics and Symbolic Thought: The Culture of the Dogon
PDF (Teresa Vergani)


  1. Hancock, Graham, The Fingerprints of the Gods, Seal books, McClellan-Bantam, Inc., Toronto, 1996:512.
  2. ibid., p. 519.
  3. ibid.
  4. Velikovsky, Immanuel. Worlds in Collision, Simon & Shuster, New York, (1977).
  5. __________________ Stargazers and GraveDiggers, William Morrow, New York, 1983.
  6. Bauer, Henry H. Beyond Velikovsky, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1984.
  7. Velikovsky, Immanuel. Worlds in Collision, Simon & Shuster, New York, 1977:384.
  8. ibid., p.121.
  9. ibid., p.125.
  10. Warlow, Peter. "Geomagnetic Reversals?" The Institute of Physics (concerns the required mechanism for an inversion of the Earth and a 'reversal' of its rotation - without stopping and starting it.). Society of Interdisciplinary Studies Review, Vol. III, Issue 4, Spring 1979.
  11. Slabinski, V. "A Dynamical Objection to Warlow's Inversion of Earth," Society of Interdisciplinary Studies Review, Vol.V, No.2, 1980.
  12. Reade, Michael. "An Earth Inversion model," Society of Interdisciplinary Studies Review, Vol.V, No.3. 1980.
  13. Warlow, Peter, The Reversing Earth, Dent, London, 1982, "Return to the Tippe top, Part I," S.I.S Chronology and Catastrophism Review, Vol IX, 1987.
  14. Field, William T. (& David. Salkeld), LETTERS in S.I.S Chronology and Catastrophism Review, Vol XI, 1989. "[they] debate the mechanics of inversion of the tippe-top (as it relates to the Earth inversion in the Warlow hypothesis).
  15. David Salkeld, LETTERS in S.I.S Chronology and Catastrophism Review, Vol XI, 1989.
  16. Huggett, Richard. "Drayson's Tilt Cycle" S.I.S Chronology and Catastrophism Review, Vol XII, 1990.
  17. Field, Terry, "Some thoughts on Inversion Calculations" S.I.S Chronology and Catastrophism Review, Vol XII, 1990.
  18. Salkeld, David. "Objections Overruled - a Reappraisal of Earth Inversion Dynamics," S.I.S Chronology and Catastrophism Review, Vol XII, 1990.
  19. Spencer Jones, Sir Harold. "False Trail," The Spectator, (September 22, 1950).
  20. Payne-Gaposchkin, Cecilia."Nonsense, Dr. Velikovsky," Harvard Reporter, 11 Apr. 1950.
  21. Velikovsky, Immanuel. Worlds in collision, Simon & Shuster, New York, 1977:118.
  22. ibid., p. 125.
  23. ibid., p. 126.
  24. ibid., p. 126.
  25. ibid., p. 118.
  26. ibid., p. 124.
  27. ibid., p. 119.
  28. ibid., pp.120-121.
  29. ibid., p. 120.
  30. ibid., p. 120.
  31. ibid., p. 120.
  32. ibid., p. 126.
  33. ibid., p. 132.
  34. ibid., p. 104.
  35. Pogo, A. "Astronomical Ceiling Decoration in the Tomb of Senmut (XVIIIth Dynasty)," ISIS, 930, p.306.
  36. Velikovsky, Immanuel. Worlds in collision, Simon & Shuster, New York, 1977. p.121.
  37. ibid., p.125.
  38. ibid., p.132.
  39. ibid.
  40. ibid., p. 116, p.133.
  41. Bauer, Henry H. Beyond Velikovsky, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, Il. 1984:69-71.
  42. Velikovsky, Immanuel. Worlds in collision, Simon & Shuster, New York, 1977:384-385.
  43. ibid., p. 52.
  44. ibid., p. 315.
  45. ibid., p. 140.
  46. ibid., p. 131.
  47. ibid., p. 62.
  48. ibid., p. 114.
  49. ibid., p. 140.
  50. Lindsay, Jack. The Origins of Alchemy in Graeco-Roman Egypt, Ebenezer Baylis &Sons, London, 1970:162.
  51. West, John. A. The Serpent in the Sky, Quest Books, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Il, 1993.
  52. ibid., p. 133.
  53. ibid., p. 116, p.142.
  54. Hawkins, Gerald. Stonehenge Decoded, Souvenir Press, London, 1964.
  55. Hoyle, Fred. From Stonehenge to Modern Cosmology,W.H. Freeman, San Francisco, 1971.
  56. Hancock, Graham. The Fingerprints of the Gods, Seal books, McClellan-Bantam, Inc., Toronto, 1996:431-433.
  57. Hancock, Graham, and Robert Bauvel, The Message of the Sphinx, Doubleday Canada, Toronto, 1996:103.
  58. Goldstein, Bernard, R. Al-Bitruji: On the Principles of astronomy, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1971:124.
Copyright © 1998. John N. Harris, M.A.(CMNS). Last Updated on April 2, 2009.

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