Tail of the Dragon
The parents of the Hydra were Typhon and Echidna.
[Like father, like son?]
A terrible comet was seen by the people of Ethiopia and Egypt, to which Typhon, the king of that period, gave his name; it had a fiery appearance and was twisted like a coil, and it was very grim to behold: it was not really a star so much as what might be called a ball of fire.
Natural History, Pliny
[Typhon] out-topped all the mountains, and his head often brushed the stars. One of his hands reached out to the west and the other to the east, and from them projected a hundred dragons' heads. From the thighs downward he had huge coils of vipers which... emitted a long hissing...His body was all winged...and fire flashed from his eyes. Such and so great was Typhon when, hurling kindled rocks, he made for the very heaven with hissing and shouts, spouting a great jet of fire from his mouth.
According to [Immanuel] Velikovsky, the planet Venus sprang originally from the gas giant Jupiter, its elliptical orbit around the Sun intersecting the orbit of the Earth. Velikovsky called the protoplanet Venus a comet because, as it circled the Sun, it carried with it a tail of gas and debris. The largest portion of Velikovsky's "Worlds in Collision" is devoted to aspects of his thesis concerning Venus, a planet he says nearly collided with the Earth twice first around 1500 BC and then again some 52 years later. The axis of the Earth was disturbed, and fire, gas, dust and stone descended on the Earth, accompanied by earthquakes and wind, decimating whole populations around the world.
[And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.--Rev 6:12-14
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.--Rev 8:5
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great moutnain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;...And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters...And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.--Rev 8:7-12
And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.--Rev 11:19
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great...And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.--Rev 16:18,20,21]
...one of the repeated themes in the myth of the prototypical comet is that it appears as a divine weapon hurled against rebelling powers.
One conclusion is inescapable, even if interpretations will differ: the Mesoamerican symbolism of the planet Venus in that planet's guise as serpent-dragon or chaos-monster is a compendium of globally-recognized comet symbols, representing in one mythical form all five of the most frequently employed cometary [hiero] glyphs!
[N]o comet admitted by modern science has ever justified...the Aztec image of a comet-like weapon in the form of a fiery dragon. But our appreciation for the symbolism changes dramatically once we entertain a new possibility that in earlier times mankind experienced a far more spectacular and devastating comet than ever experienced in more recent times, a cometary archetype that could fully account for the later symbols. It was said of the great fire serpent Xiuhcoatl that it spewed forth comets. That is exactly the language we should expect if Xiuhcoatl was not just a comet, but the parent of comets, the concrete source of a mythical archetype, from which arose the entire reservoir of comet images. Every cometary apparition, taking its symbolism from the cosmic original, would then be considered a child of the primeval, flaming serpent or dragon remembered in the myths.
In earlier times the extent of comet fear was deadly. On the arrival of the comet of 1528, the famous French surgeon Ambroise Par described the public reaction: This comet was so horrible and so frightful and it produced such great terror in the vulgar that some died of fear and others fell sick.
[And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.--Luke 21:25-28]
Among the Polynesian Islanders...a comet did not just signify the death of a king, a comet meant the flight of the soul. Similarly, the eminent student of comparative myth and religion, James Frazer, produced extensive proof that a widespread superstition associates meteors or falling stars with the souls of the dead. Often they are believed to be the spirits of the departed on their way to the other world.
[...he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.--Rev 12:9]
Nor will the ease with which the stargazers found a catastrophe to associate with a comet's arrival explain the deeper theme of the world ending apocalypse. If one looks at comet lore more closely, it will be realized that what the stargazers feared most was no local disaster. Ancient Chinese comet astrology held that Comets are vile stars. Every time they appear in the south, something happens to wipe out the old and establish the new. In the language of myth that means the end of the world. Both the Sibylline Oracles and a Dead Sea Scroll (War of the Sons of Light and Darkness) present the comet as a sign of the Last Days all of which sounds very much like the Aztec's comet-like plumed serpent presiding over the end of one world age and beginning of another.
Together with the available information on disaster portents, these mythically-rooted themes provide a great reservoir of evidence as to the character of the remembered catastrophe. The repeated patterns speak of a world falling into darkness; the death of the creator-king, whose heart-soul was torn from him; the end of the kingdom (world); a sky filled with celestial dust and (comet-like) debris or overrun by chaos-hordes; the gathering of great armies in the heavens to wage celestial combat; and overwhelming commotion: reverberating shouts and cries, the earthshaking moans of the great goddess, the shrieks of whistles, trumpets blaring, the beating of drums, and in the very midst of this world-ending havoc a smoking star (archetypal comet, planet Venus) announcing the disaster in the most literal, causative sense and presiding over the recovery of order, as if sweeping clear the darkened and cluttered heavens.
Archaeoastronomers have come to call the bloody wars sanctioned by Venus the Star War events, a fitting title, since the Venus-dragon was the great weapon by which the chaos powers were defeated. Citing studies by leading Mayan experts, Carlson notes that the Maya conducted certain battles, raids or martial contests timed for significant stations in the Venus cycle, such as first appearances as Morning Star and Evening Star. Thus the Star War events were Venus regulated.
A goddess who appears when war is waged has a now-familiar sound. That is precisely the mythical role of the comet, and precisely the role of Venus in Mesoamerican astrology. It seems as if the commentators have failed to notice that a broom or whisk, be it constituted from straw or feathers, is a cometary symbol...A bundle of straw is an old European symbol of the comet. As we will discover also in our discussion of the world-destroying hag, the famous flying broom of the European witch stands beside the witch's disheveled, flaming hair and her serpent-dragon apotheosis as a cometary image. And most interestingly, in China comets were above all else remembered as brooms sweeping away one kingdom (world age) and introducing a new order the very function of the broom in the ritual re-enactments of the cosmic night in Mesoamerica.
[And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth...--Rev 12:4]
The Great Comet Venus
Aeon - A Journal of Myth and Science
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
THE UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO
Monday, March 3, 1997 1:00 p.m.
DR. PAUL W. CHODAS
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
"Estimating Earth Impact Probabilities for Long Period Comets"
The recent close Earth approach of comet Hyakutake and the upcoming close passage of comet Hale-Bopp near the Earth's orbit on May 6 reminds us of the collision hazard posed by long period comets. Although catastrophic comet impacts probably occur on the order of only about once every million years, on average, smaller impacts occur more often, and near misses more often still. It is prudent to consider the limitations on our ability to predict whether a threatening comet will impact the Earth. Since long-period comets are typically discovered only a few months to a year before passage by the Earth's orbit, and they encounter the Earth at high relative velocities, the impact warning time would be short. If comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp had been on Earth impact trajectories, the warning times would have been about 30 and 50 days, respectively. Methods for increasing this warning time will be discussed.
'...hail and fire mixed with blood...'
'...and his kingdom was full of darkness...'
Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky (highly recommended)
[book may be out of print. Check local used book stores, yard sales, etc. I have seen the book on the net with prices ranging from $1.95 (paperback) to over $200 (hard cover, first edition).]
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