We open today with David Talbotts 'The Saturn Myth. Darkness lurks...
..Velikovsky set forth his claims of celestial catastrophe in his book Worlds in Collision (published in 1950), proposing that first Venus and then Mars, in the period 1500-686 B.C., so disturbed the Earth’s axis as to produce world-wide destruction. The book became an immediate bestseller and the focus of one of the great scientific controversies of this century.
I mention Velikovsky not only because his work obviously relates to the thesis of this book, but because, as a matter of record, Velikovsky first directed my attention toward Saturn. In a manuscript still awaiting publication Velikovsky proposed that the now-distant planet was once the dominant heavenly body, and he identified Saturn’s epoch with the legendary Golden Age. While I have not seen Velikovsky’s unpublished manuscript on Saturn, a brief outline of his idea inspired the present inquiry: was Saturn once the preeminent light in the heavens?
Yet I possessed at the outset no conception of the broad thesis presented here—which fell into place with surprising rapidity, once I set out to reconstruct the Saturn myth. While expecting to find, at best, only faint echoes of Saturn (or no hint at all), I found instead that the ancients, looking back to “the beginnings,” were obsessed with the planet-god and strove in a thousand ways to relive Saturn’s epoch. The most common symbols of antiquity, which our age universally regards as solar emblems ( , etc.) were originally unrelated to our sun. They were literal pictures of Saturn, whom the entire ancient world invoked as “the sun.” In the original age to which the myths refer, Saturn was no remote speck faintly discerned by terrestrial observers; the planet loomed as an awesome and terrifying light. And if we are to believe the wide-spread accounts of Saturn’s age, the planet-god’s home was the unmoving celestial pole, the apparent pivot of the heavens, far removed from the visible path of Saturn today.
At first glance, however, the Saturn myth seems to present an entanglement of bizarre images. The earliest, most venerated religious texts depict the great god sailing in a celestial ship, consorting with winged goddesses, fashioning revolving islands, cities and temples, or abiding upon the shoulders of a cosmic giant. It is impossible to pursue Saturn’s ancient image without encountering the paradise of Eden, the lost Atlantis, the fountain of youth, the one-wheeled “chariot of the gods,” the all-seeing Eye of heaven, or the serpent-dragon of the deep. Though celebrated as living, visible powers, none of Saturn’s personifications or mythical habitats conforms to anything in our familiar world. Yet once one seeks out the concrete nature of these images, it becomes clear that each referred to the same celestial form. The subject is a Saturnian configuration of startling simplicity—whose appearance, transformation, and eventual disappearance became the focus of all ancient rites.
I now have little doubt that, if Velikovsky had pursued the Saturn question to the end, he would have perceived a vastly greater influence of the planet than he originally recognized. He would have discovered also that the full story of Saturn adds a new perspective to much of the mythological material gathered in Worlds in Collision. (In this connection I must stress that I alone am responsible for the themes and conclusions presented in this book. Realizing that Velikovsky has had to defend his own heresy for better than a quarter of a century, I have no desire to burden him with the heresy of others.)
Nothing came as a greater surprise to me than the sheer quantity of material bearing directly on the Saturn tradition. The scope of the subject matter made it necessary to separate the material into two volumes: the first dealing with the original Saturnian apparition, the second with Saturn’s catastrophic fate. This initial volume then, focuses on the primordial age of cosmic harmony and the unified image of Saturn as king of the world. https://exploringrealhistory.blogspot.com/2021/05/part-1-saturn-mythintroductionthe-great.html