Rand and Rose Flem-Ath send word that their website has been completely redesigned (and schmick it is!), and also pointed out to me that their books are now available as downloads in multiple eBook formats (Kindle and Mobipocket), at very cheap prices. So if you don't yet have When the Sky Fell - a considerable influence on Graham Hancock's Atlantis discussion in Fingerprints of the Gods - you can now pick it up for your Kindle for just $5.56. If you're interested in the book, but don't have a Kindle, follow the Mobipocket link instead on the Flem-Ath website.
I'd also recommend The Atlantis Blueprint, which I enjoyed when I read it - back in the day when it was a dead tree of course. The Flem-Ath's website also features some articles related to their books, so head on over for some fascinating reads.
Speaking of Atlantis, one of the clues to Dan Brown's next book mentioned the Bimini Road (on top of Chichen Itza and the pyramids of Egypt). Wonder what Dan Brown's been reading...
"One of these men is a power-crazed dictator who rules over a small area of land with an iron fist. The other is the President of Cuba."
Sorry, couldn't resist...sometimes things just pop into your head. The website of Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, has a number of new updates about things happening in Egyptology. Such as the excitement mounting over the Big Z's trip to Indianapolis, and his present from President Obama, and his guided tour of the pyramids with President Castro, and...what? You want Egyptology news? Zahi *is* Egyptology folks. Forget about those pyramid things, and 5000 years of history. He's far more interesting.
All tongue-in-cheek of course, Dr. H offers great entertainment value. Though, as RPJ mentioned to me, it would be interesting to see his reaction if this happened in real life...
Dan Brown's publisher has just released the cover art for The Lost Symbol. Check 'em out:
- US Version
- UK Version
The covers confirm that The Lost Symbol retains the main subjects first mentioned under the book name The Solomon Key - namely, Washington D.C. and Freemasonry. Also, the clues given via Dan Brown's Twitter account have been confirming more of the finer points, including the influence of Freemasonry on the founding of America, transmission of Rosicrucian ideas through the likes of Francis Bacon and the 'Invisible College', and so on. (For those seeking answers to the clues given on Twitter, I'm posting solutions via my @lostsymbol account)
All of which were written about in detail some 4 years ago by some guy cheeky enough to write a guide to an unpublished book. Ahem!
You can read about a few of these topics right now by checking out the 'Latest Articles' block on the right hand side of my Dan Brown website The Cryptex (cross-posted from there).
Blatant self-promotion: For a primer on the topics in Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, read The Guide to Dan Brown's The Solomon Key. Ignore the title change...
The website for Dan Brown's upcoming book The Lost Symbol has gone live, though at the moment it just features a countdown clock to the release of the next blockbuster. More interesting though, is that there are also pages on Twitter and Facebook devoted to the book - and the Twitter page is featuring clues to the content of The Lost Symbol.
Seems from the Twitter clues so far that the change of title *does not* mean that the content has changed - already there have been mentions of Freemasonry and Washington, D.C. Also, other things that I covered that weren't so well known - such as the influence of Francis Bacon - have turned up in the clues after just a few days, so I'm feeling good that I was on the right track with a lot of my research. I've noticed a few other things of interest as well, but I'll post about them separately at a later date.
I'll be posting solutions to some of the puzzles, and linking to other content of interest, via my own Twitter account: @LostSymbol. Warning: spoilers!
(cross-posted from The Cryptex)
A couple of old buddies have launched a new website: Darklore/Sub Rosa designer Mark James Foster and former Phenomena editor Simon Cox have this week unveiled the Into the Duat website. Featuring video, blogs and a forum on Grail-type topics such as ancient mysteries and new science, there should be plenty of interest there for most TDG readers. Plus, as usual, Mark's done a bang up job on the design and it looks well purty. Nice job fellas.
This is pretty cool: Pyramid Texts Online allows you to read/browse a number of the classics of Egyptology in their original form, directly with your browser. You'll find Budge's hieroglyphic dictionaries, Vyse's three-volume series Operations Carried on at the Pyramids of Gizeh in 1837: With an Account a Voyage Into Upper Egypt, and other words from the likes of Maspero, Gardiner, Charles Piazzi Smyth, Flinders Petrie and Adolf Erman. If the text is a little too small for you, the website also offers links to download PDF/DjVu versions or print a hardcopy via print-on-demand.
Just remember that these are old, public domain works - so while they are influential and fascinating in their own right, they aren't exactly up to date.
A new theory about the role of Machu Picchu has been put forward by an Italian astrophysicist. Giulio Magli argues that - rather than being a royal estate - the mountain-top Inca village might have been a "pilgrimage site and a scaled-down version of a mythic landscape":
In his study, published on the Web site arXiv.org, Magli argues that Machu Picchu's southeast-northwest layout is meant to replicate the path of the sun across the sky in Inca country, averaged over the course of a year.
Southeast-northwest is also the direction traveled by the first Inca during their mythic journey—again, likely influenced by the sun, which was worshipped as a god.
As a sacred site, Machu Picchu may have been open to commoners and highborn alike, much like a known Inca pilgrimage destination on the Island of the Sun, Magli said.
You can download a PDF of Magli's paper directly from ArXiv.org. Also note that Magli last year put forward a new theory about the pyramids of the Giza Plateau in Egypt, suggesting that the two largest pyramids were built by Khufu as part of a single, symbolic project.
For those that have always wanted to visit the land of the pharaohs: bestselling author Robert Bauval is leading a tour to Egypt in October which will take in many of the jaw-dropping sites of one of the most ancient human civilisations:
Come and discover the great jubilee ceremonies of renewal and spiritual rejuvenation of Ancient Egypt with Robert Bauval, 'rogue' Egyptologist and controversial author of THE ORION MYSTERY, and surprise guest speaker. This dynamic duo will host an awe-inspiring tour of Egypt which offers a unique opportunity to experience the ancient sacred solar events at the stunning sites of the Giza Pyramids, the great solar temples of Abu Simbel, Karnak and Luxor, and staging a wonderful apotheosis at Akhenaten's "Horizon of the Aten" sun city of Tell El Amarna.
As dawn breaks witness the golden light of sunrise flow into the holy of holies of these magnificent temples and bring them back to life in an awe-inspiring display of light and shadow. These solar events only take place from 16 to 26 October depending on the latitude of the site.
So come along and capture the universal life force of the Egyptian sun at dawn and the benevolent influence of the constellations at night as we travel literally along the whole course of the sacred and eternal Nile Valley with your favourite alternative history author and kindred spirits.
Full itinerary and booking details are available on the website.
Our good friend (and Darklore contributor) Mike Jay has just released a fascinating new book, The Atmosphere of Heaven (available from Amazon US and UK), which explores the hidden history of the discovery of nitrous oxide:
At the Pneumatic Institution in Bristol, England, founded in the closing years of the eighteenth century, dramatic experiments with gases precipitated a revolution not only in scientific medicine but also in the modern mind.
Propelled by the energy of maverick doctor Thomas Beddoes, the Institution was both laboratory and hospital—the first example of a medical research institution. But when its researchers discovered the mind-altering properties of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, their experiments devolved into a pioneering exploration of consciousness, with far-reaching and unforeseen effects.
In this fast-paced and dramatic narrative, Mike Jay tells the story of Dr. Beddoes and the brilliant circle who surrounded him: Erasmus Darwin and the Lunar Society, who supported his experiments; Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey, who were inspired by his ideas; James Watt, who designed and built his laboratory; Thomas Wedgwood, the visionary heir to the pottery dynasty, who funded it; and Beddoes’ dazzling young chemistry assistant, Humphry Davy, who tested nitrous oxide to its limits with legendary results.
The Atmosphere of Heaven is a riveting account of the chaotic rise and fall of the Institution, and reveals for the first time its crucial influence - on modern drug culture, attitudes toward objective and subjective knowledge, the development of anaesthetic surgery, and the birth of the Romantic movement.
For an introduction to the topic, make sure you check out an article Mike's just written for the Boston Globe, titled The Day Pain Died". And for more of his wonderful historical investigations, see Mike's articles in Darklore (all three of which are available as free PDF downloads from the site, you lucky sods!) on topics as varied as the origins of the Illuminati, psychedelic usage in ancient America, and Sherlock Holmes' cocaine habit.
The latest issue of Time and Mind (2:2) has been released, with yet more fascinating articles examining archaic consciousness. Topics covered include the origins of 'fairy music', the attraction of quartz, Hopi cosmology and the 'spirit of place'. The website features links to the abstracts of each article, which can be purchased individually, or you can get the journal as a whole. Or, perhaps suggest to your nearest library that they start getting the journal in...