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The 2013 Astrotheology Calendar
by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S and N.W. Barker
This year’s calendar features the Milky Way, the celestial landmark that is the subject of many fascinating myths from antiquity. These stories involving the earthly view of our galaxy reflect intelligent observations of our natural world over a period of thousands of years, amid various cultures globally. On the cover, we feature an image of the Egyptian goddess Nut, representing both the night and the Milky Way, her body arched protectively across the sky. The ancients depicted the sun’s daily journey as entering her mouth, travel along her body and exiting between her legs.
In the calendar, we also provide a dramatic view of our galaxy from Chile, along with depictions of ancient Greek myths about the Milky Way, such as the story of Cygnus the swan and Phaethon, the son of the Greek sun god Apollo. Fascinating information about the Indian “Milk Ocean” and the sun god Vishnu follows, as does a discussion of the planet and goddess Venus, intertwined with the Milky Way.
We journey next to Australia, where some aborigines perceived the Milky Way as an emu across the sky, while in Greece the temple of Hercules backdrops the tale of Hera’s breast milk forming the celestial pathway. From the Bible, we include the story of Jacob’s Ladder, while the Christian Jacob/James was also associated with the Milky Way. Asia tells the story of the “star-crossed lovers” of Vega and Altair, separated by the galactic expanse.
The Mesoamerican site of Uxmal contains many buildings aligned with aspects of the planet Venus, which was of tremendous significance to them. In the biblical Book of Revelation (22) appears the verse about the “river of the water of life” and the “tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit.” Certain views of the
galactic center remind one of a branched tree, apparently reflected in the “World Tree” myths of antiquity, including among the Scandinavians, while the
Peruvians associated the Milky Way with the Urubamba or Vilcanota River, which winds around the famous site of Machu Picchu.