The Atlantis Factor

Dear Friend and Reader:

THE OTHER night exploring the astrology of the Large Hadron Collider — a particle smasher that scientists will use to study the formation of the universe — I joked that the lead scientist, Prof. Peter Higgs, namesake of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle, was a holdover from Atlantis. It went well with the story of a multibillion dollar machine supposedly designed to have some kind of spiritual outcome and a chart that looked a little like a runaway train. [Read that coverage here.]

Professor Peter Higgs. Photograph © Peter Tuffy, The University of Edinburgh.

I am careful what I joke about; there’s this odd spell that follows me around, under which my jokes come true. Then looking at his face for a while, as he peered out from beneath his dashing green hardhat, I started to recognize him. You know that odd feeling of having met someone before, but it wasn’t any time in the past few thousand years?

Higgs is the namesake of what’s referred to as the “God particle” that this $8 billion machine was designed to discover. Science is the fairly recent development in human consciousness that supposedly replaced religious dogma and superstition. In this, its latest major chapter, science has gone on a hunt for a subatomic particle that gives birth to all other basic subatomic particles, a kind of portal to another dimension. If anything, it’s the Goddess particle. Meanwhile, these scientists think that this device they’ve created 500 feet under the ground is so powerful that it could, under the right circumstances, also create mini-black holes.

I kept looking at Prof. Higgs, described in the British press as humble and unassuming, wondering who he really is. I wondered what he must feel like having the God particle named after him. This is what put the feeling into the pit of my stomach: he’s back, in the form of a British physicist. Who exactly? I don’t know — one of the people I think of as the Engineers. One of my reincarnation theories is that people come back with similar jobs or roles, perhaps more or less harmless, sometimes trying to grow up get it right this time, and others undecided (which is dangerous) or firmly committed to making matters worse.

Atlantis and Reincarnation

You’ve probably never read anything in which I discuss reincarnation at length, or with a particular dogma; such is too often used as a weapon, there is way too much uncertainty and confusion, and I think astrology holds a relatively small part of the key to understanding specific past lives. There are, however, a lot of people I see in the public sphere, sometimes on TV and sometimes in places such as a Senate committee room or township committee room, where I get the feeling that we’re meeting again.

Artist conception of the lost continent of Atlantis. Illustration By Kenn Brown.

Atlantis, a favorite reincarnation destination, is the stand-in term or ‘byword’ for the great cycle of myths of fallen or lost civilizations. In particular, it is the stand-in for a nearly perfect, powerful civilization with real potential that lost its grip as a result of some tragic flaw. Atlantis was introduced to western thought by Plato. It may or may not be historically real; Plato seemed to mean it as a metaphor, though he gives some exact measurements of structures that were there. (Somewhere, I have a book of artist renderings of those monuments from his descriptions.) I think of it as half-real, half metaphor for everything else. There are several that are mentioned frequently, including Lemuria (which in theory predates Atlantis) and one called Mu, allegedly sunken and lost in the Pacific.

There are plenty of real ones: Crete, Babylon, Troy, Pompeii and others that feed the mythology into our DNA. On some level we know that our own civilization may be on the short list of those about to fall, which may be why it is so easy for so many to care so little.

From among the mythical lost civilizations, we have made up lots of stories; and we may have inherited memories, traumas and some technology. (Alice Bailey, for instance, says that all we know about astrology we know from Atlantis; plenty of people recognize their crystal collections from their former lost continent living rooms.) We are also presumed to inherit hubris, a flaw in our awareness wherein we think we’re big and bad and get ourselves into some big and bad trouble. Inherent in the Atlantis concept is a question: “Are we next?” There is more than a touch of catastrophobia around this theme.

There seem to be two sides to the Atlantis issue. One is spiritual, regarding our relationship to God or the cosmos. The other is technological, regarding our relationship to Big Science and ordinary technology. The two issues are, at times, closely bonded; for us they both address the question of existence or threatened existence or more often, the threat of nonexistence. Either God will create the Rapture, or one of our Big Science machines will run out of control. If we worship technology and turn it into God, we’ll surely have problems. Or we may intentionally use technology as a means of either discovering God (the Large Hadron Collider) or thinking we are God (the nuclear bomb, which Americans and only Americans have used on civilians).

Atlantis, the Asteroid

When you take these themes and wrap them in the issue of whether any of this is going to be our downfall, that is the essence of Atlantis. It has an asteroid, number 1198, so the way you would write that is (1198) Atlantis. My keywords for this point are the use and abuse of technology, but this can be on any scale you like, and the results of that use are included. (1198) Atlantis also hints at our anxiety around the fall of our own civilization.

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is set to become the very first time machine in history.

In the chart for the start up for the Large Hadron Collider, Atlantis shows up in an interesting configuration: first of all, it’s in Scorpio, making it a deep influence encrypted in our DNA. It’s in the 2nd house, indicating a values system. It’s conjunct an asteroid called (443) Photographica. I am sure the people who worked on this project would not be flattered to hear it called a glorified camera, but here we have an image of just that: the thing is designed to take pictures of the conditions that it creates, including conditions at the beginning of the universe. If we’re looking for a God particle, then presumably we are looking for a picture of God. Atlantis/Photographica is also conjunct one of the fates, Klotho, which minor planet astrologer Martha Wescott tells us is about the conditions at the beginning.

This setup is opposite Atropos (root of the word atrophy), which is about the conditions at the end; and Asbolus, the means of survival or the common struggle of survival shared by all living things, related to how all living things contain carbon. So we have a picture of the beginning and the end suggested in the same chart, clustering around this theme of Atlantis.

These are tightly square the asteroid (128) Nemesis, which is in Aquarius. Nemesis in Greek mythology, says Wikipedia, “was the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris, vengeful fate personified as a remorseless goddess. The name Nemesis is related to the Greek word meaning ‘to give what is due’.”

In Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh, there is a part that I think of as the Atlantis passage. “As I have said, this isn’t the first time your civilization has been at this brink,” God says. “I want to repeat this, because it is vital that you hear this. Once before on your planet, the technology you developed was far greater than your ability to use it responsibly. You are approaching the same point in human history again. It is vitally important that you understand this. Your present technology is threatening to outstrip your ability to use it wisely. Your society is on the verge of becoming a product of your technology rather than your technology being a product of your society. When a society becomes a product of its own technology, it destroys itself.”

Atlantis and the Apocalypse

We live in times that many people with a long future are thinking of as the “end times,” and also in times that are actually apocalyptic for others. For example, this includes tribes whose homelands are being wiped out by the logging of the Amazon, or entire societies that were lost to the Asian tsunami in December 2004.

FireGate Ministries Int’l, at the Tent Revival in Colville, WA.

For those of us in Western civilization who have food to eat and warm beds to sleep in, the apocalypse functions as a psychological factor. It’s the projection of the fear of individual death onto the whole society. Those who can’t process or address their own fear of death — a lot of people, by the way — are the ones most likely to have to project it onto everyone else. To me this is why rapture Christians are so scary: they cannot conceive of themselves dying; they fear hellfire and damnation; we all have to go at once. I guess so it’s easier for them that way (it’s the same basic psychology as the murder-suicides we read about in shopping malls). When you mix this up with religion, politics and the atomic bomb, that is certifiably scary. Nobody who has the apocalypse in their personal belief system should be allowed anywhere near the controls for the atomic bomb.

Sometimes things get so weird that we need to look to mythology for a reflection, as a means of understanding what we’re going through. J.R.R. Tolkien has a little-known book called Akallabêth, about the fictional fall of the kingdom of Númenor. It’s one of the books leading into The Lord of the Rings. We have all met Strider or Aragorn, who is a direct descendent of Numenorian refugees who fled the destruction of their continent. This is Tolkien’s story of Atlantis. (The story is told in full at the end of this CD set. I am looking into slipping a bootleg of that section onto the Net. Check the subscriber homepage in about a week if you’re interested.)

Stock image of the Christian Rapture, a moment when almost everyone is simultaneously summoned back to heaven by God. Rapture is usually conflated with some form of cataclysm, and is in modern thinking a sanitized concept of something more akin to nuclear war.

For Tolkien, the crisis was not technological; it involved religion and the fear of death that haunted the original Numenorians. Many of Tolkien’s deeper themes involve mortality. Strider, for example, is mortal, but when he becomes king, he marries Arwen, an immortal. The Numenorians, in their day, had exceptionally long lives, but did not live forever. They began to envy the gods and the elves, who could live forever if they wanted. They became so haunted by the fear of death and the obsession with living forever that they became conquerors.

In fact, they sailed to Middle Earth with a plan to take as hostage Sauron, the dark lord. He gave himself over willingly to be their prisoner and was taken back to their astonishing civilization — but with a secret plan to take advantage of the Numenorians’ fear and destroy them. Eventually, he convinces the king that he and his people are better than the gods and goddess, who live in a land to the east (where they are forbidden to sail). Finally, he convinces them to wage war on the gods. And this, they do. The psychology is clear: the fear of their own death leads them to attempt to conquer the immortals. They try — but in return, their island is destroyed without a trace, except for nine ships that sail back to Middle Earth.

We may think that our tragic flaw involves technology and its abuse, from our obsession with games and technical diversions to our casual attitude toward the nuclear bomb. But I think that beneath that is the spiritual issue that Tolkien lays out so vividly in Akallabeth. We don’t see it, but that lurking fear drives us to do nearly everything we do, and to avoid nearly everything we avoid. The fear of death haunts our technology, which is often used to act out murderous games. It haunts our relationships and our perception of politics and of the future. Many of our political leaders profess to believe in the Rapture.

The fear of death is indeed driving us closer to the brink of collective disaster: in our own minds, we are becoming the next Atlantis. What we may not know is that such a fate is optional. Yet that’s always how it is.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, September 12, 2008, #731 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
All one-to-one relationships seem to triangulate. It’s as if they also exist on another dimension where we need the stability of a triangle rather than a line between two points. We usually hide the triangle factor; we don’t mention the people we use to counterbalance our relationships. We tend to not admit other intimacies, out of pride or the fear of making those close to us insecure. However, the number three keeps arising in your charts, and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. I suggest you keep the triangulation factor at the top of your thoughts rather than down in the basement. Allow others into your most intimate spaces, and grant yourself the luxury of honesty. Your real objective is the sense of emotional freedom that would arrive with it.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You seem to have so much to do that you have no time to think, much less make a move. Yet the planets are arranged such that you can work on many different levels at once. See if you can define your choices in such a way that they touch several aspects of your life, rather than treating them one at a time. The truly progressive solutions will have a way of expanding much like a crystal grows, following its own pattern. When you try to solve one problem, identify a way that you can apply that solution to two things, or choose a solution that at least does not create another conflicting issue. What you are working for is a method of living where you get into a plus-plus symbiosis with yourself, rather than working at cross purposes.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Your life seems to be a grand experiment at the moment. I could interpret your current solar chart as signifying anything from exploring two or three entirely different means of creative expression at once, to craving an experience of bisexuality, to having a dangerous affair. The thing that all of these possibilities have in common is you. No matter how multivalent you may feel, you exist at the core of yourself. The way to make contact with this is to observe yourself. Observe until all you feel is the observer and the rest is more like an image. Then plunge into the subjectivity of your experiences. Dive in and feel the polarity on the emotional, physical and intellectual levels. Reverse your viewpoints, experiment with the impossible and dare to change your mind. Then, watch yourself do it. Where will this lead you? Somewhere very different, that’s for sure.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
There is an unusual connection right now between the world of your most abstract fantasies and that of your most tangible emotions. This is edgy territory. It’s edgy because the thing about fantasies is that they are inherently safe. Once we start to feel them as desire, we run the risk of daring to let them happen, or make them happen. In the currently accepted philosophy of the Western world, this is anything but safe. But look, there’s a reason for this, and that reason is that most people are more subject to their stupidity rather than their intelligence. You have a choice in the matter; your intelligence is the thing you need to apply in any situation where you are actually daring to feel and to imagine actively rather than dream of idly.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
You are, at this moment, in an encounter that has one primary purpose, which is to set you free from your ideas about yourself. Leo is an unusual sign, being the one associated with the center of the zodiac and the center of the solar system. Yet this implies enormous responsibility, and that can come with an overdeveloped sense of ethics. You don’t need to violate your ethics as much as you need to learn new ones. In a world of seeming opposites, right and wrong will always exist, if only on the most personal level. The question is less about what is right or wrong for you, and more about why it is so. Someone close to you is offering you an entirely different explanation of your existence than you’ve been willing to consider seriously up until now. This would be a great time.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You seem to know what’s important to you. So why don’t you go for it? The main reason I can think of for not doing so is that you’re concerned that to express yourself you must do so with passion and gusto. And as much as you think of yourself as a passionate person, you frequently approach and withdraw from the warmer or hotter emotions. I know you crave consistency, and you can have some if you want it, but this is directly contingent on allowing yourself the room for desire and the disturbances that it can cause. I mean inner disturbances, where you face the prospect of shattering your self-image by daring to open up any more than you usually consider safe. The real choice you face is between being safe and being real.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You are going through one of the most interesting explorations of gender identity that I’ve ever seen. While this would mean different things to a soccer mom, a corporate exec and a transvestite, the thing they all have in common is that gender identity is as much a mental and emotional experience as it is a physical one. Rather than judging what you feel, I suggest you feel what you feel; rather than attempting to analyze it, I suggest you observe and make a few notes about the inner scenery you’re encountering. Also there is the vital aspect of communication. The aspects of who you are want a voice within you, and they want a voice that you can speak to the world. If you think fear might get in the way, I propose that meeting your fear is the way.

 (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
This is an incredibly rich moment for your imagination: a moment when you can plant the seeds for dreaming yourself into any form that you like. Remember, though, that it’s just form. You contain all the elements of life within you all the time. Though it rarely feels this way, you can express any of them at any time. The place to start is in your feelings and in your mind. That is to say, exercise your imagination, and then take the extra step of manifesting something you feel in a tangible way in the physical world. I suggest you do this slowly and consciously enough to see the process working. The process is as important as the results. It is, in fact, one of the most important results because it is the process of guiding your own life.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Life has thrown you quite a few curves the past several days, but one by one you figured out that you’re bigger than all of them. Even those who would seek to limit you in some way have managed to work to your benefit. The message is that while we all have needs, most of them are exaggerated. We have desires, but most of them don’t pass the test of actual sincerity. When you reduce your basic requirements for happiness and living, you’ll see that you have most of what you need and most of what you want. Conveniently, you’re in a position where your limits have less meaning than ever, as long as you don’t give them any credibility that they don’t deserve. In other words, the way you seek to travel is already open.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
The drama unfolding on your professional stage needs to be handled with the utmost care. You seem to be holding all the aces; you have some excellent allies; what you don’t see is how many conflicting interests are mingled up with the scenario. These are what you need to sort out. I also suggest you keep close tabs on the commitments people are making now, so that you have something to hold them to later. It all sounds good, that is for sure. You need to be the one who keeps track of various claims, facts, figures, promises, suggestions that are being made and for that matter that you are making. Don’t lose the list. You will need it starting in about three weeks.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Do your best to avoid confrontations. By doing so you will not actually be avoiding them, but rather gaining some sense of control over situations that could become confrontational. These are not your normal instances of head banging. You really are involved in several significant cases of old versus new, dumb versus smart, regressing versus progressing. You can afford to take a long-term approach while you refine your vision for what you actually want. It’s from that firm and grounded footing that you need to meet the world, rather than from the somewhat foggy, sometimes clear cycle that you typically morph between. Your real moment of clarity comes next spring. But you have a pretty darned good one coming in November. Chill, and observe. Mostly, observe yourself.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
If I were writing the Eriscope sex horoscope this week, I would say you are trying to sort out whether you’re gay, straight or something in between. Were I writing a financial horoscope, I would caution you to be careful where investments and future commitments are concerned, and to account for your money carefully — but to be on the lookout for excellent opportunities. In your old-fashioned weekly horoscope here and now, I would suggest that you consider both points above; and keep your options open. Plenty is poised to change, evolve and develop over the next few weeks, typically where your most important commitments are concerned. If you keep your mind clear and attend to all points of communication, that change is most likely to be improvement and opportunity. Pay attention and speak your truth, to yourself first and others next.

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