As soon as I received your typescript sent to me by Steve, I read it, spending most of the day to do so. Under the first impression I wrote down a quite extensive evaluation; I also expressed my amazement at the great effort you put into pursuing your theme and typed five single spaced pages without yet completing it; then I put it aside; several other tasks demanded my attention. Now I will try to put may evaluation and criticism into a somewhat more concise form.
Your work consists of three theses. The first deals with the worship of some deity located in the North. You cull from many references in the existing literature. I admit to not having paid much attention to this fascination with the North and to me, if I would have been asked what it is about, I would have referred to the short section “Tao” in W.in C. - By the way, you should have paid some attention to this religious philosophy that centered its interest on the North, but you omitted to do so. - The fear that the terrestrial axis may change its direction - and in historical times it did change was, in my view, the reason for preoccupation with the North Star as you can also read in some of the American Indian legends quoted in WiC.
Your second thesis deals with Saturn referred to in ancient sources as “sun.” Nobody who studies the mythology of Saturn could have missed this peculiarity and in my old notes, dating from the 1940’s I have many quotes that escaped your attention. On the other hand, you have many references that are not in my files. I had my explanation for Saturn being called “sun” ; I shall return to this.
Up to this point the merit of your work is mainly bringing together an impressive array of references in literature with the expressed intention to demonstrate a physical basis for them. Your own original idea is in Thesis #3, namely that Saturn referred to as a northern star was a “Night Sun” immovable over the Polar North. To this last thesis references are much more scarce. I wished to look up the reference from de Santiilana and von Dechend (I possess -the book though have not read in it) but you do not indicate the page in the book; would you let me know? You also do not quote verbatim the note in the second volume of Cook’s Zeus, - and I had no occasion yet to look it up in the Library. Acc. to you it refers to a statement in one of the Neo-Platonics. Now it seemed to me that your construction depends to a great extent on the untraced quote. Neo-Platonics of late Antiquity would be regarded by themselves as secondary sources; but possibly, if you should trace the reference, it may contain a mention of earlier authorities.
It appears that Thesis #3 is not as firmly established as the manuscript may suggest to a reader already much impressed by the rich evidence brought together for Thesis #2.The physical model of what you suggest escapes me. If somebody, possibly Juergens, comes with a model, I would like to be told. In the solar system, neither the case of Uranus with its axis in the plane of the ecliptic (nearly so) - but not pointing toward the sun, not the case of the Moon with the same face towards the Earth, are fitting models for what you suggest. Whether a satellite could steadily point with its coinciding geographical and magnetic poles towards a magnetic pole of a primary is not probable but this is the only remote possibility of a model that I would envisage. You can, however, not with good grace, offer the physicists to follow a historian of folklore, if you stop abruptly where some discussion of a model is being expected. But possibly your mailing your work to many readers has this purpose of evoking some model from those who wish to go a step farther.
Your removal of the Sun from any role in mythology goes, in my view, a little too far. It is true that in late antiquity and especiallly since Macrobius almost all mythology was made to represent the Sun, a vogue very much in mode at the beginning of the 19th century (Goethe’s time) but also later - see my references in the first chapter of Oedipus and Akhnaton; but if there was a Day Sun besides a Night Sun, it could not escape having some role in mythology. The question why Helios or Shemesh were assigned secondary roles in the mythology of ancient peoples, I solved as reflecting the visual concept of what was going on the celestial screen at various celestial near contacts with the Earth: It was Mars that made the Sun retreat or to hurry down to setting, Mars (in other instances Venus, or Jupiter) being the great warrior, the Sun almost a frightened creature - and this very thought permeates the mythology of primitive peoples whether American Indians or Pacific races (Mau mythology).
To your thesis #1 you could add the reference to Baal-ha-Zafon (pronounced Tzafon) - the Lord of the North - referred to as a geographical point (probably a temple) in the description of the Passage of the Sea (Book of Exodus).
Reading your opus made me think that unduly I have not thought before of the role of the Polar Light in mythology. Neither you have thought of it. Considering that the catastrophic events of t the past strongly activated the charge of the Earth - and of other celestial bodies, the Polar Light must have been observed much more spectacular than in our days, and also at lower latitudes. Such phenomenon (immovable, though the sheets of light stream and make a phantastic display) could not have left no trace in mythology.
The other idea that came to me reflecting on your work, is that at some time in the past the north Polar Star, could have been one of the presently brilliant stars of the South, either Sirius or Canopus. The worship of these stars in Egypt and in other lands, is possibly of significance in connection with the former role of one of them, or possibly of each of them at different times, as Polar Star of the Northern Hemisphere.
To Thesis #2, as said before, I have my explanation and it is found also put in type by Pensée when a short article by John Holbrook, Jr. was contemplated for printing but dropped later at my request.Statements unsupported by the material as collected and presented by me in the 1945 (or earlier) version of earlier catastrophes, may appear bizzare and lead to attacks; is not the case of Venus erupting from Juniter, clearly spelled out in WiC as the theme of a separate volume, became the favorite target of attack by my detractors among astronomers? Or the case of the not published volumes of Ages, known only from the Theses, being the theme for attack by historians, believing free to select the target in what they assume is in the unpublished volumes.
The article by Holbrook was read by you, in galleys, I assume. In it I explained why Saturn was considered a “sun” . Already in the manuscript of Saturn and the Flood (1940’s) I understood that Saturn disturbed by Jupiter, exploded as a Nova, and its light outshone the Sun by far.
Later, and the idea was expressed by me in several instances (it is also found in Holbrook’s article who, by the way, discussed with me the theme quite a few years ago, as did also some others) I started to think that quite possibly, though not certain, that at the age of Kronos, the planet Earth could have been a satellite of Saturn. None of them was on their present orbit. I will not expand on the reasons for such a hypothesis. But this would be the second reason for referring to Saturn as “sun” .
I was interested to see where your ideas would bring you to, and also to learn how close you would come to my ideas, you and the other few who, with less devotion (at least as to days of work involved) but still pursue the problem of the mythology of Saturn brought to this by my telling so much and no more about my unpublished work.
The idea of Saturn as a Night Sun is yours and I have no part in it. However, at various occasions, also at Symposia and lectures, I disclosed more about Saturn than you credit me in the first paragraph of your work the footnote to which is deleted. I have many times referred to my unpublished book, Saturn and the Flood, identifying Saturn as the cause of the Universal Flood. My early claims that Saturn consists mainly of water and has molecular or atomic chlorine were confirmed and Steve has the xerox of the facsimile letter by W.S.Adams written in 1955 - very skeptical of chlorine on Saturn, since then discovered. For my thesis that Saturn became a nova, I offered at the occasion of several lectures a new advance claim that Saturn may still emit cosmic rays of low intensity, the nova explosion itself having taken place between five and ten thousand years ago. See Ferté in Penseé, May 1972. In 1976 Pioneer X and then XI will pass Saturn and we may have the confirmation. Certainly no stranger prediction was made among all my advance claims.
I am interested to know who besides myself, to your knowledge, brought together Saturn and the Universal Flood. This subject of my book so much delayed in publication, is dropped by you in a few words on the last page of your typescript. Or who identified Osiris with Saturn? It is quite possible that somebody besides myself came upon this identification but I observed that A.H. Gardiner in his last book, “Egypt of the Pharaohs,” and even with more perplexity in an article, excerpts from which are in my files, wondered at what the historical meaning of Osiris, that so dominated the spiritual life of the Egyptians, could have been. Was he an ancient king or what? Through five decades of work in Egyptology, Gardiner could not solve the problem. But Osiris is Saturn.
I wrote, as I see, again at a greater length than I intended, but I think I did not waste typewriter’s ink. No question, you have the fire that is a precondition of great discoveries. And you have also the ability to write persuasively building your case with a mounting suspense: but a discovery of a new land in the distance and a mirage can convey similar sensations. Nevertheless, what counts is that you rose in my eyes as a courageous and infatigable thinker, a dedicated hunter after source material, and this independent of whether there is truth in your theses. I wish you luck.
With friendly feelings,