Part III. Vedic India and the Primordial Tradition


Chapter 12. Vishnunabhi and the True Anchor of the Vedic Yugas


Our understanding of the true age of the ancient Vedic civilization has undergone a well-documented revolution. Feuerstein, Frawley, and Kak have shown conclusively (In Search of the Cradle of Civilization) that the long-accepted age of the Vedic culture—erroneously dated by scholars parading a series of assumptions and unscientific arguments to roughly 1500 BC—is much too recent. Evidence comes from geological, archaeological, and literary sources as well as the astronomical references within Vedic literature. The corrected dating to eras far prior to 1500 BC was made possible by recognizing that precessional eras are encoded in Vedic mythology, and were recorded by  ancient Vedic astronomers. As a result, the Indus Valley civilization appears to be a possible cradle of civilization, dated conservatively to  7000 BC. Western India may thus be a true source of the civilizing impulse that fed Anatolia in Turkey, with its complex Goddess-worshipping city-states of Çatal Hüyük and Hacilar. However, there are layers upon layers of even older astronomical references, and legends persist that the true “cradle” might be found further to the north, in Tibet or nearby Central Asia.


            The work of these three writers shows that biases and assumptions within scholarly discourse can prevent an accurate modeling of history and an underestimation of the accomplishments of ancient cultures. The analogous situation in modern Egyptology and Mesoamerican studies also requires that well-documented new theories — often exhaustively argued, interdisciplinary, and oriented toward a progressive synthesis of new data — should be appraised fairly and without bias. Next to the Australian aborigines, the Vedic civilization is perhaps the oldest continuous living tradition in the world. Its extremely ancient doctrines and insights into human spirituality are unsurpassed. We might expect that its cosmology and  science of time has been as misunderstood as its true antiquity. In looking closely at Vedic doctrines of time, spiritual growth, calendars, and astronomy, we will see that a central core idea is that of our periodic alignment to the Galactic Center. And, according to these ancient Vedic beliefs,  the galactic alignment we are currently experiencing heralds our shift from a millennia-long descent of deepening spiritual darkness to a new era of light and ascending consciousness.


Vishnunabhi and the True Anchor of the Vedic Yugas


One of the oldest writings in Vedic literature comes from a pseudo-historical god-man called Manu. René Guénon pointed out that Manu belongs to a family of related archetypal figures, which include Melchezidek, Metatron, St Michael, Gabriel, and Enoch. As an angelic inspiration for the rebirth of humanity at the dawn of a new era, or manvantara,  Manu is the primal law-giver, and his laws were recorded in the extremely ancient Vedic text called the Laws of Manu. Much of its contents describe moral and ethical codes of right behavior, but there is a section that deals with the ancient Vedic doctrine of World Ages  — the yugas. Manu indicates that a period of 24,000 years — clearly a reference to precession — consists of a series of four yugas or ages, each shorter and spiritually darker than the last.  In one story this process of increasing limitation is envisioned as a cosmic cow standing with each leg in one quarter of the world; with each age that passes a leg is lost, resulting in the absurd and unstable world we live in today—a cow balancing on one leg. 



According to the information in the Laws of Manu, the morning and twilight periods between the dawn of each new era equals one-tenth of its associated yuga, as shown in the following table:


Dawn  Era   Dusk   Total          Name


400 + 4000 + 400 = 4800 years. Satya Yuga (Golden Age)

300 + 3000 + 300 = 3600 years. Treta Yuga (Silver Age)

200 + 2000 + 200 = 2400 years. Dwapara Yuga (Bronze Age)

100 + 1000 + 100 = 1200 years. Kali Yuga (Iron Age)

                                12,000 years


In Vedic mythology, a fabled dawn time existed in the distant past, when human beings had direct contact with the divine intelligence emanating from Brahma—the seat of creative power and intelligence in the cosmos. This archaic Golden Age (the Satya Yuga) lasted some 4800 years. After the Golden Age ended, humanity entered a denser era, that of the Silver Age, lasting only 3600 years. In this age, humanity’s connection with the source was dimmed, and sacrifices and spiritual practices became necessary to preserve it.  The Bronze Age followed, and humanity forgot its divine nature. Empty dogmas arose, along with indulgence in materialism. Next we entered the Kali Yuga—in which we remain today—where the human spirit suffers under gross materialism, ignorance, warfare, stupidity, arrogance, and everything contrary to our divine spiritual potential.


As the teachings tell, Kali, the creator-destroyer Goddess, will appear at the end of Kali Yuga to sweep away the wasted detritus of a spirit-dead humanity, making way for a new cycle of light and peace. Notice that the Manu text takes us from a pinnacle of light to the ultimate end-point of the process—the darkness of Kali Yuga. And notice that the four ages, when the overlap period is added, amounts to only half of the 24,000-year period of the Vedic Yuga cycle. This points to an obscure aspect of the doctrine that a Hindu Master, Sri Yukteswar, sought to clarify.


Sri Yukteswar’s Update


Img12-1. Sri Yukteswar, The Holy Science


Sri Yukteswar was a Hindu saint active in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was the master of the famous Yogananda, founder of The Self Realization Fellowship, whose book Autobiography of a Yogi awoke many people to the magic and mystery of Indian spirituality. Yukteswar was interested in contemporary scientific advances and in showing parallels between Hindu religion and Christianity. His book The Holy Science is primarily about these correspondences. It was written in the mid-1890s at the behest of his teacher, Mahavatar Babaji. However, the Introduction contains an intriguing clarification of the World Age system of the Yugas.


Although the exact timing of the Kali Yuga’s beginning is subject to debate, no one argues that we are  deep into it. Unfortunately, the cycles and year-counts of Hindu chronology are subject to gross exaggerations and manipulation—the sorry effect of clueless Hindu scholars trying to reconstruct the ancient doctrines. And these errors have been inserted into doctrines as long ago as the fourth century AD, thereafter being passed down to unsuspecting students as a kind of conventional wisdom. However, it strikes me that Sri Yukteswar got closest to the true intention of the Yuga doctrine. Yukteswar based his “updated Yuga model” on the Laws of Manu as well as other traditions in Vedic and Hindu astronomy and mythology. The tradition he shares is as follows:


. . . the sun, with its planets and their moons, takes some star for its dual and revolves around it in about 24,000 years of our earth—a celestial phenomenon [precession]. . . . The sun also has another motion by which it revolves around a grand center called Vishnunabhi, which is the seat of creative power, Brahma, the universal magnetism. Brahma regulates dharma, the mental virtue of the internal world.[1]


In reading an account like this, it is immediately apparent that things could be worded more clearly. This is a typical problem in translated works, and, unfortunately, as a reader it is always tempting to mentally ignore the unclear section and keep reading. But there is a huge grain of wisdom inside of Yukteswar’s description, and it is worth looking at very closely.  Let us see if we can read between the lines and get a sense for what Yukteswar is really referring to.  

We have an important identification of the “grand center” as Vishnunabhi or Brahma, the seat of creative power. Vishnunabhi is the navel of the Hindu god Vishnu, the emanation point of the cosmos, and modern Vedic scholar David Frawley identifies Vishnunabhi with the Galactic Center. In his 1990 book Astrology of the Seers he writes, “The galactic center is called ‘Brahma,’ the creative force, or ‘Vishnunabhi,’ the navel of Vishnu. From the galactic sun emanates the light which determines the life and intelligence on Earth . . ..”[2]  Without mincing words, it is clear that the ancient Vedic skywatchers were aware of the Galactic Center, and, indeed, considered it to be the center and source of creative power in the universe. Again, as I’ve argued for the ancient Mayan skywatchers, recognizing the Galactic Center as an important place along the Milky Way is completely within the possibility of naked eye observation (although that may not have been the only method used).

            Yukteswar suggests that the sun “takes a star for its dual” and revolves around it in one precessional cycle. Clearly, the reference is not to an actual orbital period, such as the moon orbiting around the earth, but is rather to the precessional shifting of the sun around the zodiac. If the sun’s dual is a fixed star against which the sun’s precessional motion is measured, then we can understand this more clearly. This kind of conceptual or linguistic muddiness can delay deeper understanding right away. Now, in order to measure the precessional motion of the sun, the ancient astronomers would  need to identify a specific “sun,” or solar position, in the seasonal cycle—for example, the vernal equinox sun or the summer solstice sun. This specification will anchor the sun to a seasonal quarter so that the “orbital” motion referred to by Yukteswar (which is really precessional shifting) can be measured against a fixed sidereal location, the sun’s “dual.” Aldebaran might be a candidate, but the real fixed “dual” against which the cycle of precession is tracked in this Vedic description may actually be Vishnunabhi—the Galactic Center. 


In the quote given above Yukteswar also mentions “another motion” of the sun around the Galactic Center, which is probably its actual orbital period—a huge cycle of some 225,000,000 years. Although it is striking that he mentions this (writing back in the 1890s), this larger cycle applies to the meaning of multiple precession cycles and is not relevant to the immediate question under consideration. Back on track, Yukteswar continues:


When the sun in its revolution around its dual comes to the place nearest to this grand center, the seat of Brahma (an event which takes place when the Autumnal Equinox comes to the first point of Aries), dharma, the mental virtue, becomes so much developed that man can easily comprehend all, even the mysteries of the spirit. . ..[3]


The precessional movement of “the sun” closer to “the grand center” causes the full expression of a Golden Age of Light, a time indicated in Vedic and Hindu traditions as occurring a dozen or so millennia ago. As such, it must be the precessional motion of the June solstice sun around the grand center that is indicated, because the June solstice sun was “closest to” the Galactic Center roughly 12,000 to 13,000 years ago. I should emphasize that this “closeness” is in terms of alignment (as viewed from earth), not distance. Unfortunately, Yukteswar attempts a precise dating based upon a 12,000-year period for one-half of a precession cycle. As a result, he backdates to the time of the fabled Golden Age  (which he later gives as 11,501 BC)  by using an autumn equinox point in Aries that is in error.  Yukteswar’s diagram preserves the important insight of a descending phase and an ascending phase of the precessional cycle, but the timing of the shift from descending Kali Yuga to ascending Kali Yuga must be adjusted:


Img12-2. Yukteswar’s Yuga model, adjusted[4].


The outer wheel shows the descent of time clockwise from the Age of Leo a the top, when the June solstice sun was closest to the “grand center.” The shaded wheel indicates the equinoctial age of precession according to the unadjusted Western zodiac. The inner wheel shows the actual sidereal position of the solstice axis. Why the need for an adjustment? Sri Yukteswar wanted the end of descending Kali Yuga to correspond to his historical understanding, based on a nineteenth-century education, of the European Dark Ages and his belief in the elevation of human consciousness beginning around 500 AD. He cites scientific advances and Europe’s slow emergence from the Dark Ages to support this, but in my opinion technology has thrust us deeper into material dependency and spiritual darkness. In addition, his scenario is Eurocentric and ignores Islamic and Chinese civilization. I realize it may seem presumptuous to correct a saint on this point, but his intention was to elucidate astronomical details of ancient doctrines that, by his time, had eroded into semantic vagaries.  And he was writing before modern science had rediscovered the Galactic Center. Perhaps it seems that I’ve injected my own biased reading into Yukteswar’s work. But my conclusions—and corrections—are fairly straightforward. The reader must judge with discernment.


Let’s look at it this way: Yukteswar writes that the Golden Age ended and we began our descent into spiritual darkness in 11,501 BC. This was roughly 13,500 years ago. Now, Yukteswar also said that this Golden Age occurred when “the sun” was close to Vishnunabhi (the Galactic Center). And the context of his description is solar movements within the cycle of  precession. Now, the question we must ask is this: what kind of precessional alignment between the sun and the Galactic Center happened roughly 13,500 years ago, the reverse of which happens one-half of a precession cycle later? The answer is quite apparent — the Golden Age shift is timed with the alignment of the June solstice sun and the Galactic Center. The reverse event is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic Center, and we can get a true bearing on the timing of this event, as modern astronomy has calculated it. We must shift these timing parameters to accord with solstice-galaxy alignments, and therefore we have two dates: era-2000 AD and era 10,800 BC. There are actually several factors and features involved in the timing issue which enrich our understanding of what these Galactic Alignment might mean to us. I’ll address the issues and parameters of the current galactic alignment in Part IV.     

An important implication in this material is that the Golden Age mentioned in Yukteswar’s quote given above represented the culmination of the previous ascent phase and the shift to the descending phase, the archaic “fall of man” scenario. The flipside—the shift to ascending—therefore occurs at the astronomically opposed event (in era-2000 AD):


After 12,000 years, when the sun goes to the place in its orbit which is farthest  from Brahma, the grand center . . . [then] dharma, the mental virtue, comes to such a reduced state that man cannot grasp anything beyond the gross material creation.[5]


This is the Vedic doctrine, clearly based in astronomy, that underlies René Guénon’s belief that modern people are unconscious degenerates with little resemblance to the full human potential that our ancient ancestors manifested. Furthermore, as we will see shortly, it underlies and defines the end of Kali Yuga that Guénon (without being specific) foresaw occurring very soon.


The Galactic Dimensions of Vedic Astrology


Vedic scholar and teacher David Frawley assessed Yukteswar’s model and adds some clarity: “When the Sun is on the side of its orbit wherein its dark companion comes between it and the galactic center, the reception of that cosmic light appears to be greatly reduced. At such times there is a dark or materialistic age on Earth.”[6] David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) is qualified on many levels to make this statement. As a respected Vedacharya (Vedic teacher), he is one of the few Westerners recognized in India as an authentic teacher of the ancient Vedic wisdom. His work includes translations and interpretations of the ancient scripture, and books on ayurveda, Vedic astrology, and studies on mantra and yoga. His work can be found on the internet at] I would add that the June solstice sun’s “dark companion” could be the December solstice sun, the day of greatest darkness in the solar year. In this scenario, the June solstice sun continually revolves around (in opposition to) the December solstice sun. Whether or not there is an actual occulting of the June solstice sun in terms of energetic radiation may simply be besides the point; the metaphor points us to the astronomy involved in this doctrine and the Vedic belief system woven around it.  

The critical information encoded in Yukteswar’s book—written decades before the Galactic Center was “officially” discovered in the 1920s—is that the ancient Vedic Yuga doctrine was calibrated with the periodic alignments of the solstice sun and the Galactic Center. If we do sense that the Vedic wisdom speaks a truth to us (nothing less than a lost science of the galactic influences on human evolution) the words of David Frawley may help us understand the importance of our impending “harmonization” with the Galactic Center:


Harmonization With the Galactic Center

An important cosmic event is occurring now. The winter solstice is now at a point in conjunction with the galactic center . . . This should cause a slow harmonization of humanity with the Divine will as transmitted from the galactic center . . . By the accounts of thinkers like Plato, the flood that destroyed Atlantis (and probably ended the Ice Age) occurred about 9300 B.C. (9000 years before Plato). This appears to have been when the summer solstice was in conjunction with the galactic center—a point completely opposite to the one today.[7]


In fact, Frawley believes that all of Vedic astrology “orients the zodiac to the galactic center” as the source of creative intelligence, mediated to human beings by the fixed stars of Sagittarius and the guru planet Jupiter, the Divine teacher.[8]  Frawley gives an astronomically accurate sidereal location for the Galactic Center: 6° 40’ Sagittarius. This corresponds to 28° Sagittarius in the unadjusted tropical system, wherein the December solstice is nearby at 0° Capricorn (by definition). Again, the precise parameters of the galactic alignment will be explored later.


The lunar mansions of Vedic astrology indicate the Galactic Center region as a “root” place. The naksastra or lunar mansion corresponding to the 13°-wide lunar “sign” that embraces the Galactic Center is called mula, which means “root.” The mansion that occurs before “root” is called “the eldest,” suggesting that this spot in the sky is the end-beginning nexus in an ancient concept of the zodiac, which would be understandable given the precessional importance of the Galactic Center  as a “root” or beginning point for time. This material augments the Vedic and Islamic information about the lunar south node being exalted at 3° Sagittarius, explored earlier.  

            There are compelling events in Hindu-Vedic mythology that are associated with the Galactic Center, Sagittarius, the theft of Soma, and the solstices. These events comprise a Vedic metaphysics of spiritual transcendence. However, many eras of overlapping symbology makes it difficult to sort out the original meaning with certainty. The head of the horse, the Ashwin twins, and the Churning of the Milky Ocean myth are all involved. The head of the horse and the head of the simshumara crocodile (or makara) could very well be the bulging area of the nuclear bulge with the dark-rift mouth. The story of the Ashwin twins is symbolically identical to the Hero Twins in the Popol Vuh: they facilitate the resurrection of their father, the winter solstice sun. Some of these topics will be explored further in Chapters 14 and 15.


There do appear to be astronomical references in the Vedas to precessional eras in which the solstice point was in a constellation that would indicate a dating of 7000 BC. The records are found in stories in which the lunar mansion occupied by the full moon during the solstice is mentioned, thus providing a 13°-wide lunar mansion position for the solstice point. This all confirms that Vedic astronomy and cosmology is much older than scholars have been willing to allow.


The Gnostic Circle and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet


My work to reconstruct Maya cosmology led me to understand that it is galactic in nature. Specifically, I was amazed to discover overwhelming evidence that the Maya intended their 2012 end-date to mark the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Milky Way and the Galactic Center. After showing how the Maya encoded this knowledge into their Creation myth, king accession rites, and the sacred ballgame, I became curious if this knowledge was present as a core belief in other traditions. During my workshop on “Maya Galactic Cosmology” at The Esalen Institute in August, 1999, one of my students gave me the book The Gnostic Circle by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet. I had encountered some of Norelli-Bachelet’s writings on the internet earlier that summer, and knew  she was tapped into something deep and profound.  At Esalen one afternoon, I walked down to the rocky beach, sat by the crashing waves, and  had a little time to focus on the material in The Gnostic Circle.


            Norelli-Bachelet is a devoted disciple of Aurobindo and The Mother, and in 1968 was a founding member of Auroville, a spiritual center in India. She worked closely with The Mother (Aurobindo’s partner and an enlightened founder of the movement) on the design and symbology of Matrimandir, a temple shrine designed to replicate the Godhead on earth. It was strategically situated at the 12° latitude in India so as to synthesize the local zenith-passage date with the Grand Center. Immediately this jumped out at me as a reflection of what the Maya did at Chichen Itza, when they  unified the Zenith/Pleiades Cosmology with the Galactic Cosmology. Very briefly, the way this works is that the Matrimandir was built at the latitude at which the sun passes through the zenith on August 22; on that date the sun is at 29° Leo, passing into 0° Virgo. These degrees are exactly opposite 29° Aquarius and 0° Pisces, which indicate the present location of the equinox axis as we move into the new Age of Aquarius. As with other systems we’ve described, the implied (and more important) reference here actually involves the solstice axis, 90° away, which will therefore be at 0° Capricorn-Cancer—or 6° Sagittarius-Gemini when we adjust to the actual sidereal position. This position is the Galactic Center-Galactic Anticenter axis. To state this simply: Matrimandir indicates the zenith center and the Galactic Center at the same time. In addition, polar symbolism is also integrated into descriptions of its meaning. Thus, as with Maya cosmology, three cosmic centers and axial directions were combined into one fully integrated conception.


Img12-3. The Matrimandir


            The Gnostic Circle is a deep, intuitive, and complex work. Norelli-Bachelet draws from a great reservoir of Hindu wisdom, obviously combined with personal insights into the nature of time and human spirituality. It was written in 1974, published in 1978, and it is interesting to me that it contains an almost matter-of-fact description of the evolutionary implications of our periodic alignments with the Galactic Center:    


There is the mysterious centre that keeps all the stars in orbit around itself. This Centre, that Science knows so little of as yet, is located with respect to our Sun and planet in the direction of the Constellation Hercules or the zodiacal sign Capricorn, and slowly, at the rate of 12 miles per second . . . our sun orbits around and moves closer to this Solar Apex, as it is called. That is, at the end of December each year, the Earth is directly behind the sun with respect to this great Void; our solar system with our planet is being drawn ever closer to this colossal Magnet.[9]


As with Yukteswar’s writing, one must read this wording very carefully, and determine what is really being described. The writing almost seems intentionally cryptic, sorting out those who cannot see beyond the surface of the metaphor from those who can (or want to) see the deeper truth. I know this sounds elitist, but initiatory teachings have always had this quality. True gnostic understanding is triggered by the seeker’s own inner awakening of discernment, and the dumb-it-down mandate of superficial New Age rhetoric, often white-washing complex issues and making it difficult to discern fact from fiction and symbol from icon, is counterproductive to this end.

In the quote above we are again confronted with the question of whether the statement refers to the sun’s literal orbital cycle around the Great Center, or whether the reference is to the sun’s precessional motion around the zodiac. As with Yukteswar, Norelli-Bachelet’s intention is the latter. In fact, later on in The Gnostic Circle we get a clarification on this point. In discussing the shifting of the poles caused by precession, she writes, “the shifting of the poles themselves . . . is connected with the movement of our solar system around the galactic centre. . . .  Our solar system, the Sun with all its orbiting bodies, is slowly being drawn into this Centre—or is moving ever closer into the sign of Capricorn, we could say.”[10]  This demonstrates that the sun’s “orbit” around the Galactic Center is actually the apparent motion of the sun around the zodiac, caused by precession. I hope that this observation will lay to rest the patently absurd New Age notion that our solar system orbits the Pleiades. In many sources we are told that a great secret is contained in the knowledge that we orbit around the Pleiades in a period of 26,000 years. Well, right away we should suspect that precession is somehow involved in this information. As with the information related by Yukteswar and Norelli-Bachelet, the Pleiadian orbit is intended to refer to the sun’s apparent motion around the zodiac in relation to the fixed sidereal position of the Pleiades (I discussed this in my 1995 book The Center of Mayan Time). So, the mud contains a truth, but right understanding is required to dispel deception. This clarification is much like what I have said about Von Däniken’s spaceman theory regarding Pacal’s famous sarcophagus lid. He looks like a spaceman in a flying ship, operating controls, flying into outer space. Is this true? Well, in a sense. But not in the literal way Von Däniken—and our own literalist programming—would have us believe. Pacal was a shaman who did engage in flying into the many-tiered levels of the astral world. He “flew” into the multidimensional universe of the human psyche and spirit, touching the same archetypal energies that illuminate the stars.

            The spiritual importance of our changing relationship to the Great Center is elucidated prosaically by Norelli-Bachelet:


. . . at this time, we are given the means whereby we can know the so-called esoteric truth of our System and its evolution, and the part the Earth plays therein, as well as each of its inhabitants. We can go so far as to know that there is a great Centre to which we in our System are related and which determines our course, because it is this Centre that finally holds the key to the Precession of the Equinoxes. It is this Centre that makes of the axis Capricorn and Cancer the Evolutionary Axis of our planet. And through our study we can know that in ourselves, in our very bodies, we can find the exact reproduction of this Galaxy which then gives us the revelation of the Supreme Herself.[11]


            The Evolutionary Axis described between Capricorn and Cancer is the Galactic Center-Galactic Anticenter axis. In public slideshows and talks I have described this as the Galactic Chakra axis, and during alignment eras the shakti or evolutionary energy emanating from the root chakra—the Galactic Center—awakens all of the consciousness centers along the axis, including Earth and the Pleiades. Elsewhere Norelli-Bachelet writes that evolutionary Avatars (like Aurobindo and The Mother) incarnate on earth every 6,480 years, and we are in one of these evolutionary zones right now.[12] This clearly refers to one-quarter of a precessional cycle. Four times every precessional cycle, one of the seasonal quarters lines up with the Galactic Center. We are currently in the precessional window in which it is the December solstice that lines up with the Galactic Center. The profound integrative conclusion to be grasped is that this situation heralds the shift from descending Kali Yuga to ascending Kali Yuga.     



The Gnostic Circle anticipated my explication of the very same Galactic Cosmology among the Maya, yet I was unaware of this work until 1999. Significantly, earlier we found the concepts of the solstice gateways and the Capricorn-Cancer axis in Jean Richer’s work with the sacred geography of the Greeks. There, we saw how the polar Axis Mundi was mapped onto a north-south axis centered on Delphi that symbolically corresponded to a Capricorn-Cancer “solstice” axis. The topographical axis Richer reconstructed stretched from the temple site of Taenarum in the south (Cancer), through Delphi (the navel or Omphalos), to Mt. Olympus in the north (Capricorn). Notice that Mt. Olympus, abode of the Gods, where a convocation was held every winter solstice, symbolically occupies the Capricorn or Galactic Center position. Here we are encountering the same Capricorn-Sagittarius confusion evident in Richer’s and Guenon’s work. I’ve explained the reasons for this previously, and we’ll encounter them again in discussing Coomarswamy’s work, but we should note that Norelli-Bachelet may have derived her Capricorn location from Guenon’s work. She may have had access to Guenon’s French compilation, Formes traditionnelles et cycles cosmiques and his other writings on Vedic symbolism. The book just mentioned contains reviews and essays relating to the topic of cosmic cycles, including a piece called “Atlantis and Hyperborea.” Although the galaxy is never mentioned, a drawing of our galaxy adorns the front cover of the 1970 Gallimard paperback edition.


It is by now quite apparent that these ancient Vedic doctrines point not only to a spot in the sky, but also to specific times within the precessional cycle. The solstice at 0° Capricorn is eternally fixed by definition within the unadjusted zodiac still used by Western tropical astrologers. In that system the Galactic Center is at 28° Sagittarius, or 2° from 0° Capricorn. Now, precession has shifted the artificial frame of the zodiacal signs some 22 degrees such that the true sidereal position of the solstice meridian is actually in early Sagittarius, in alignment with the galaxy. Thus, the place of importance is the Galactic Center (in early Sagittarius). And the time is now.


Fragments of Ancient Wisdom


A bizarre piece of obscure literary miscellannia must be mentioned here, as it indicates that the importance of the Galactic Center’s sidereal location at 6° Sagittarius has been floating around in esoteric circles since the early 1900s. Valentia Straiton’s rare book, The Celestial Ship of the North, was published in 1927. It’s a seductive but frustratingly oblique ramble on occult topics, with plentiful references to astronomy.  Source references to things said are often lacking, the presumption being that what is being shared is a body of esoteric knowledge operating behind the scenes of conventional science and religion. And some of the material anticipates the scientific discovery of the Galactic Center, not to mention our Galactic Cosmology. In one passage we read:


The 6th degree of Sagittarius is perhaps the most remarkable in the Southern Hemisphere, and of equal importance is this same 6th degree of its opposite sign in the north, which corresponds to the magnetic pole of the ecliptic of the heaven.[13]


This statement describes the Galactic Center-Galactic Anticenter Axis. And yet no mention is made to the center of the galaxy, apart from occasional reference to the “spiritual sun.” The sacred Ogdoad of the early Christian Gnostics might be the same as this occult spiritual sun, and it is said to be “the sun behind the sun”—possibly meaning the sun in alignment with the Galactic Center.  Even more bizarre is a secondary reference in The Celestial Ship of the North to a quote by one Edgar Conrow—which I have been unable to locate anywhere.[14] One assumes the following statement is from a public talk or personal correspondence with Straiton and occurred, at the very latest, in the mid-1920s.  Astoundingly, Conrow directly associates the North Gate with the pineal gland:


The Pineal Gland is the ‘North Gate.’ This, in man, is the central spiritual creative center. Above in the heavens, it is found in the beginning of this sign Sagittarius, and is the point from which spiritual gifts are given. It is called ‘Vision of God,’ and is the Light within, a gift to the pure in heart, who verily may ‘see God,’ but to the impure or those who abuse this great gift the consequences are terrible.


This North Gate, the creative center in man, the most interior center in the body, has become atrophied, and redemption or regeneration means its restoration to creative ability, by having the electrical or positive and the magnetic or negative forces restored in equal balance in man or woman . . .[15]


Notice that the Galactic Center is never named directly, reminiscent of archaic prohibitions against saying the true name of the high deity. Given that these books were written so long ago, it is tempting to spend some time and energy tracking down the sources behind these statements. However, that would no doubt be a fool’s errand; the true mystery is that this information doesn’t appear in the literature more often, as anyone could see it, simply by looking up.


Somehow the ancient galactic knowledge has filtered down through the ages, preserved in occult circles and compelling statements in obscure books. Or perhaps the universal wisdom is reentering the ongoing discussion by way of a renewed higher dimensional contact, as seems to be the case with the baffling and astounding information in J. J. Hurtak’s The Keys of Enoch or in The Ra Material.  The occult fringe appears to have claimed a monopoly on these galactic cosmo-conceptions. Or, perhaps rationalists are just taking a long time to catch up.


Nevertheless, two serious and much-celebrated scholarly thinkers have been drawn to the same mystery, tackling the same themes with self-driven intent and curiosity.  René Guénon is one, and he angled in to the topic from various directions, most notably in the context of exploring traditional symbolism and the Vedic Yuga doctrine. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy is the second, and his detailed and well-documented essays and books on Oriental  iconography and metaphysics leave little doubt as to the true location of the “North Gate,” which is the “Sundoor at World’s End”—the solar gateway leading into the next world.