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High Stakes on the Bleeding Edge

Near the leading edge of well-known energy technology, the landscape is increasingly dotted with inventions—from solar-electric breakthroughs to new hydrogen-generating alternatives. I’m pleased that Doug Kenyon asked me to write this column regularly, to bring you some of the exciting news from that landscape. And beyond.

The “beyond” is even more interesting. Out on the bleeding edge where new-paradigm scientists struggle, the stakes are higher and issues larger. Those issues or questions affect the future of humankind. Will powerful breakthroughs be monopolized by weapons-makers, or will we-the-people have empowering tools for creating a more enlightened civilization? Will countries continue to fight over supposedly scarce energy resources, or will planetary citizens enjoy energy-abundance from harmonic technologies that could clean up some of our environmental messes? Will we get it that humankind can work in harmony with nature?

On the bleeding edge of energy research, frontier scientists and other self-funders are making progress, sometimes in quantum leaps. But it seems that the establishment is committed to allowing only incremental improvements on existing technologies, despite the fact that some people within the corridors of power know about breakthrough energy possibilities.

Dr. Tom Valone, in a conversation at a conference in Salt Lake City this summer, gave additional insights. He noted that the mandate for NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP) research program spells out its commitment to “incremental” improvements. Doesn’t that mean just small steps along a familiar path, instead of a quantum leap to a different path? Meanwhile, the familiar fossil-fueled or nuke path is harming ecosystems. BPP’s grants to cautious theoreticians to study little facets of “zero-point energy” theories have been too little and too spineless—lacking in the courage to fund heretics who actually build prototypes of new energy generators that could do useful work.

Valone had tried to introduce, into the NASA “breakthrough” program, two Russian scientists who had built a generator patterned after the legendary flying Space Energy Generator of John Searl of England. The Russians’ prototype worked dramatically as a more-output-than-input generator, and even lost weight while operating. But the NASA representative told Valone, in effect, that such quantum leaps are not wanted by the program.

However, at least two brave individuals from within the U.S. Department of Energy attended Valone’s energy 1999 Conference on Future Energy. Back at the DoE they had started a program similar to NASA’s, but aiming for ground-based new energy technology. Their proposed Breakthrough Energy Physics Research (BEPR) program withered away after the federal change in administration in 2000. Recently even their Internet talk-group was kicked off the DoE radar screen.

So don’t look to the federal government for quantum leaps to a carbon-free energy economy. When pressured, the feds will give grants to certain physicists to study zero-point energy (free energy from the vacuum of space), but those studies will be safely remote from actual working hardware that could be easily replicated. In other words, they don’t seem too serious about freeing us from fossil fuel dynasties.

The Utah conference was small in attendance but big on freedom-of-thinking. It was co-sponsored by Steven Elswick’s Tesla-Tech business and the small Utah-based Institute for New Energy, represented by journal editor Hal Fox.

It was an opportunity to speak with respected authors such as Valone, Moray King and others. The international community of New Energy proponents is still grieving the brutal loss of our friend and inspiration, Dr. Eugene Mallove, and will for some time. As readers of Atlantis Rising know, he published Infinite Energy magazine, brilliantly argued New Energy concepts on national radio and other venues, wrote a column for this magazine, had the courage to seriously investigate bleeding-edge developments in new-paradigm science, and was also a witty colleague with a superluminal sense of humor. I can’t write about him without tears.

However, the shock of loss is bringing the beleaguered community of researchers together in determination to accomplish their goals—and in the process to honor Gene Mallove’s memory. At the Utah meeting, several speakers stressed the need to cooperate more closely even where there have been differences of opinion. I photographed one such pair of researchers—Al Francoeur of Canada and Sonne Ward of Idaho—shaking hands on that sentiment.

At the converence, Francoeur presented his several areas of works-in-progress—a magnetic generator of his own design, a rebuild of a vintage free-energy motor from the late Ed Gray, which you’ll hear more about in a future column, and Francoeur’s fuel vaporizer—an interim technology to reduce the use of fossil fuels until New Energy generators are on the market.

Ward actually had revolutionary hardware for sale at the meeting. His novel battery-chargers quickly sold out. He said his discovery was built on a foundation including what he’d learned from innovators such as John Bedini (interviewed for a past issue of Atlantis Rising) and the late Nikola Tesla. Similar to Bedini’s, the effects of Ward’s battery chargers seem different from conventional battery charging in quality (rejuvenation of batteries) and not just quantity (speed of charging). Ward’s chargers are not self-running; they must be plugged in to a source of electricity. However, they are apparently super-efficient. I spoke with him a month after the conference, and he doubted whether he could continue to fill orders for the $150 chargers. He did, however, plan to sell a larger model for $500.

Sonne Ward makes it easy for academics to dismiss his claims. At the end of his presentation, an engineer stepped up to the microphone to present the standard viewpoint of what is possible or not in electrical engineering. Ward, a self-taught inventor who describes himself as obnoxious and arrogant, just laughed and said “Why should I care?”

He may have developed attitude in response to decades of incidents such as federal bureaucrats hitting him with dismissive comments such as, “We make the energy policy, kid. Who do you think you are?”

Other presenters such as Valone and King, however, did take pains to place their research in relation to accepted science, citing many references, in peer-reviewed scientific literature, to zero-point energy.

Dale Pond’s presentation was somewhere in the middle, neither disregarding standard science nor trying to stay on the same page. His research is into the “sympathetic vibratory physics” of 19th-century inventor John W. Keely. Dale brought an example of that science—a Keely Musical Dynasphere. An energy science-of-the-future that works with resonating vibrations? Sounds like the ultimate in harmony-with-the-universe.

Pond says the biggest gap between the orthodox viewpoint and sympathetic vibratory physics is their views about cause and effect. Orthodoxy sees vibration as a moving-back-and-forth caused by outside physical forces, while SVP views vibration as caused by primary laws of the universe that create and govern rhythmic exchanges, acting from within. That view of “vibration” sees rotation—spin—instead of the standard view of oscillations. For more information, see

You can easily spot the pioneers—by the arrows in their backs. That saying is doubly apt for New Energy pioneers. Most of them struggle without funding and are often pierced by the criticisms and barbed wit of armchair skeptics. A few inventors of new energy devices have been physically pummeled by paid thugs, or hauled into court on false charges. Some were targets of unscrupulous promoters and found themselves involved in business dealings that ruined the inventor financially.

An Internet news service reporting on the Utah conference criticized inventors who complain about needing money to continue their work. Yet how many of us have single-mindedly worked for decades and spent all our savings on something we believe can save humankind from smothering in polluted air? Only the rare individual can maintain that level of effort for many years without falling out of step with polite society in some way. It’s easy to criticize.

One of those lone researchers is Robert Patterson. He and his friends drove to the conference in a vehicle equipped with an invention that he says triples his gas mileage. He calls it RAM—Ram Implosion Wing. He claims the shape causes vortices of air in front of the vehicle pulling it forward, and vortices behind adding a push.

The fortunate inventors are those with a support group, even if that group has also emptied their wallets for the cause. In the case of a Bulgarian-American scientist living near Salt Lake City who plumbs the secrets of ball lightning, a three-generation extended family offers morale support. Dr. Kiril Chukanov’s daughter, Laura Chukanov, translates his science writings into English and his wife Angelina seems fully committed to encouraging his work.

Chukanov creates ball lightning in a quartz sphere within an industrial microwave oven in his laboratory. He found the phenomenon has unusual electrical features and enormous possibilities for generating usable energy. In his book, General Quantum Mechanics: The Great Reform of Science, Chukanov says he has sacrificed the best years of his life to “exhausting and ungrateful scientific research,” but hasn’t tried to get the attention of either science writers or the public, nor does he want fame. “God gave me this knowledge, not to use it for my own needs, but to share…for all of people on earth.”


Bulgarian-American scientist Dr. Kiril Chukanov plumbs the secrets of ball lightning.

Robert Patterson’s RAM Implosion Wing

Dale Pond’s Version of Keely’s Musical Dynasphere.

Jeane Manning

Nov/Dec 2004 – #48

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Children of Atlantis

“On this island of Atlantis had arisen a powerful and remarkable dynasty of kings, who ruled Europe
as far as western Italy.”

—Plato, The Timaeus

At the center of Atlantis, according to Plato, sprawled the monumental Temple of Poseidon. The ornate building of stone and precious metals contained a colossus of the sea-god standing in his immense chariot drawn by six winged horses. A smaller version of this Atlantean work of art still exists in Rome’s Giulia Museum. Etruscan craftsmen made the likeness from Praeneste some time during the early 6th Century B.C. Yet another contemporary copy is on display in the Tarquinian Museum. Poseidon’s figure is missing from these terra cottas. However, both are known to have originally adorned temples to the sea-god.

But who were the Etruscans? And what were they doing with copies of the most important statue in Atlantis?

The Etruscans were a pre-Roman people who dominated western Italy from about 800 B.C. A previous period, once referred to as “Villanovoan” by archaeologists who assumed it represented a different culture, is now regarded as an earlier Etruscan phase beginning five centuries before. By 750 B.C., the early Classical historian and mythologist, Hesiod, referred in The Agony to “the far-famed Tyrsenoi,” Greek for the Etruscans. He declared them to have been the first civilizers in Italy, prodigious seafarers, who established a powerful thallasocracy that dominated the western Mediterranean until the rise of Carthage. Others remembered how they contested Phoenician sailors for the distant Azore Islands in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, 900 miles from Europe.

Archaeologists know they built magnificent cities with architectural feats like the 350-foot-high tower of Lars Prosena, hung with half-a-dozen enormous, bronze bells. The Etruscans mass-produced high quality bronzes on an unprecedented scale. When Roman forces captured the Etruscan city of Volsinii, in 280 B.C., they confiscated no less than 2,000 bronze statues. In 205 B.C., to supply the invasion fleet of Scipio Africanus, Etruscan Arretium provided 30,000 shields, 50,000 javelins, and 40 fully equipped warships in 15 days. The Etruscans were master irrigationists, as exampled by the Graviscae Drain, a labyrinth of subterranean water courses, pools and lakes created by the mammoth excavation of ingenious drainage canals.

They were high-minded statesmen, who set up the Populi Etruriae, or omnis Etruria, a league of independent city-states whose rulers wielded broad powers, but were subject to a centralized authority. Etruscan cavalry were unmatched for versatility and splendor. One of the New York Museum of Art’s most precious possessions is a full-size, perfectly preserved Etruscan chariot of bronze decorated with sculpted gold and silver appointments. The Etruscans were serious music-lovers, assembling large groups of harpists, lutenists, flautists, drummers, trumpeters, pipers, singers and other performers in what may have been the first musical orchestras or bands in history. Surviving Etruscan tomb art is sophisticated, vivid and dynamic.

The ruins of many Etruscan cities are still visited and studied; thousands of related artifacts are scattered around the world in museums and private collections. Yet, the Etruscans are European archaeology’s greatest enigma. Although numerous specimens of their written language exist, they continue to resist translation, save for yielding an important name now and then, after more than 100 years of scholarly effort.

To add to the confusion, the Etruscans referred to themselves as the Rasna. Investigators were divided over whether the term is in fact a proper name or merely descriptive. In other words, calling the Etruscans Rasna may be like referring to the whole German people of 1900 as “the Kaisers,” even though only the king was Kaiser. A mountain chain still known as the Rassenna stands near the ancient city of Arretium, whose Etruscan residents contributed so heavily to the Roman war effort against Carthage. Etruscan origins are no less enigmatic. Some researchers speculate they were native Italians, but their sudden appearance at the beginning of the 12th century B.C. suggests otherwise. Herodotus’ claim that the Etruscans came from Lydia, in southwestern Asia Minor, is still being debated after 2,500 years. The Egyptians knew them much earlier, when Pharaoh Merenptah included them among his worst enemies, the vaunted Sea Peoples.

They were mentioned again by his successor, Ramses III, when he had to battle the same alliance of invaders. They are listed in the roll call of captured prisoners on the walls of his Victory Temple as the Trs.w, or Twrws.w, the Egyptian language version of the Greek Tyrsenoi. Trs.w’s philological identification with the Etruscans is supported by Ramses himself. He singled them out because they came from the northwest, the direction of Italy, unlike the rest of the Sea Peoples who attacked from the north and northeast. The Trojans were part of the Atlantean confederation that invaded the Nile Delta, and rasnes or rasne—the Etruscans’ name for themselves—refers to “public affairs” in the Trojan tongue.

Of the ten origins for the foundation of Rome recorded by Plutarch in the “Romulus” chapter of his lives, two are identifiably Atlantean. He reported that the Pelasgian Sea Peoples, “wandering over the greater part of the habitable world, and subduing numerous nations, fixed themselves here, and from their own great strength in war, called the city Rome.” Virgil agreed, recalling how “the ancient Pelasgians long ago were the earliest occupants of the Latin land.” He believed Roman ancestors were refugees from Troy, led by prince Aeneas, whose own forefather was “the same Atlas who uplifts the starry heavens.” These origins parallel Ramses III’s report of the Trs.w invaders he dispersed and older Greek references to the civilizing Pelasgians.

Plutarch continues, “Some say again that Roma, from whom the city was so-called, was daughter of Italus and Leucaria.” Italus was the Latin version of Atlas, while Leucaria was a sea-goddess, one of the sirens, an inflection of Leukippe, the first woman of Atlantis. Plato, after all, outlined the limits of Atlantean influence in Europe by extending them to western Italy, and thereby included the Etruscans as part of an oceanic alliance that menaced the Aegean and Egypt. His characterization of these events as the Atlantean War falls like a perfectly matched template over Homer’s Trojan War and Ramses’ invasion of Sea People. Indeed, all three sources portray different aspects of the same confrontation. The Trs.w were Sea People allies, who sailed from the defeat and final destruction of Atlantis back to Italy, where they rose to power as the Etruscans.

The seapower they commanded from Etruria, their accomplishments in city planning, public works projects, irrigation, bronze manufacture and the arts were all drawn on a truly Atlantean scale. Ruins of Etruscan cities at Fiesole, Volterra, Tarquinii and Sutri still exhibit the same kind of concentric walls with watch-towers and interconnecting bridges arching over canals Plato described for Atlantis.

The Etruscans prospered almost a thousand years after the cataclysm that overwhelmed their kinsmen beyond the Pillars of Heracles. Succumbing to the same moral decadence that preceded the destruction of Atlantis, they thoroughly inter-married with the Roman conquerors, so much so that their language, as well as their cultural identity, vanished long before the onset of another catastrophe—the collapse of Classical civilization. The Dark Ages, which followed likewise obscured Atlantean legacies at the other end of the Mediterranean. Part of that legacy still survives in the Spanish city of Cadiz, known even in late Roman times as Gades. Earlier still, the Greeks called it Gadira, after the second king listed in Plato’s account of Atlantis, Gadeiros, “presumably the origin of the present name.”

But Gadeiros was not the only Atlantean city in Iberia. Tartessos once stood in what would now be Huelva, on the River Tinto, or, perhaps on the site of Asta Regia, north of Cadiz, at the source of the Guadalquivir River. Tartessos may have arisen as a direct consequence of survivors arriving in large numbers from the ocean. Strabo, the important Roman historian, reported that a sea people built the city in 1150 B.C., less than fifty years after the final destruction of Atlantis. With its sudden disappearance, a power vacuum developed in Spain, then part of the Atlantean empire. Deprived of its imperial headquarters, the political center shifted away from Gadeiros, resulting in the building of a new Iberian capital.

There is an etymological resemblance between “Tartessos” and “Tyrsenoi,” Greek for “Etruscans,” and Tartessian bronzes are not unlike Etruscan examples from Caere. Earlier still, the Turduli (what the inhabitants of Tartessos called themselves) compares with the Tursha, Egyptian for “Trojans,” listed by Ramses III among the Sea Peoples who attacked his kingdom after the turn of the 13th century B.C. Supporting a Turduli-Tursha relationship is the double of a Tartessos tablet dated to the Late Bronze Age found on the island of Lemnos, some 30 miles off the coast of Troy. Sometimes the ancient Iberians were referred to collectively as the Turdentani. These comparisons demonstrate the heritage they, the Turduli, Etruscans and Trojans shared in their “Sea People” origins, together with their common experience in the Atlantean War.

During the 1920s, American archaeologist, Ellen M. Whishaw, excavated the presumed ruins of Tartessos, at a foreboding place shunned locally as the Cave of the Bats. There she found a dozen human male and female skeletons arranged in an orderly circle around one more, that of a woman, at the very center. Judging from the costly nature of their accompanying grave goods, the remains belonged to a wealthy family whose members had committed mass-suicide by overdosing on opium. Were they royalty from the house of Gadeiros, dying of despair over the tragedy of their Atlantic homeland? Or maybe they were participants in ritual sacrifice, as suggested by their number.

In Pythagorean numerology, the number twelve was associated with cosmic order, such as the Houses of the Zodiac, the number of Olympian deities, the solar Labors of Hercules, months of the year, half the hours of one day, etc. Thirteen was the Numeral of Misfortune, because its presence upset the cosmic order, resulting in chaos. Could the Cave of the Bats’ discovery have been a ceremonial attempt to reestablish the harmony of a world shattered by the Atlantean catastrophe?

Perhaps an answer lies in the polychrome statue of an ornately dressed woman unearthed in 1897 not far from the Mediterranean Sea, in southeastern Spain, near the town of Elche. A masterpiece of terracotta art, it is unlike anything comparable in Roman, Phoenician or Greek portraiture. The Lady of Elche was a product of the Turduli, descendants of the Atlantean colonists who occupied Spain during the Late Bronze Age.

Proof of her identity was found in the form of an otherwise unique bronze candelabrum retrieved from the same excavation. Its only other known counterpart came from the suspected location of Tartessos, near the Huelva River. Also convincing was a singular golden necklace from Tartessos identical to the ornament depicted on the statue. These costly items and her elaborate headgear portray a person of obvious importance. But her noble expression suggests someone more than aristocratic. She may have belonged to the royal house of Gadeiros during neo-Atlantean times in Tartessos. Or perhaps the Lady of Elche was one of those who died in the city’s ring of suicide. Was she the woman at its center? In any case, to look at her statue is to see the face of an Atlantean in Spain.

As Director of the Anglo-Spanish-American School of Archaeology, Dr. Whishaw displayed particular courage by announcing that, in her opinion, “Tartessos derived more or less directly from that of the lost continent of Atlantis.” Her colleagues condemned any serious talk of the sunken city as the worst form of academic heresy, and her research was ignored. But the names of these naysayers have since been forgotten, while the book describing her work is still in publication. She was led to her controversial conclusion by comparisons with Plato’s description of the Atlanteans. Like them, the Turduli were extraordinary sailors, plying the Atlantic to Cornwall in Britain and Lixus or even Mogador down the North African coasts of Morocco.

Their ocean-going ships were usually heavy laden with cargoes of ingots. As Atlantis was the affluent metal broker of the Bronze Age, so the miners of Tartessos were responsible for their city’s wealth. One of their kings, Arganthnios (literally, “Silvery Locks”) allegedly sold so much precious metal to Phoenician merchantmen, they had their ship’s anchor cast in solid silver. The king’s name derives from the Etruscan word for “silver,” arcnti, another link between Tartessos and Etruria. Tartessos was a major tin producer of copper and bronze, jut as the Atlanteans achieved their prosperity through the manufacture of orichalcum, or high-grade copper. Ezekiel said of Tartessos in the Old Testament, “Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches, with silver, iron, tin and gold they traded in thy fairs.”

During their campaigns to wrest the Iberian Peninsula from its inhabitants, the Romans learned Celtic traditions of overseas’ origins. The Gauls believed that their ancestral ruling class came from the “Isle of Glass Towers” formerly located on a splendid island before it disappeared in a natural disaster. A 1st century Greek writer, Timogenes, described a widely held belief among the “barbarians” that Gallic forebears came to Western Europe from a lost island in the Atlantic Ocean. Survivors landed at the mouth of the Douro River, where they built their first town, the harbor-city of Porto. From there they migrated throughout Iberia and France, where they were the first chiefs of the Gauls.

The tale is not without historical foundation. A Celtic settlement on the Douro natives called Porto Galli, “Port of the Gauls,” became the Roman Portus Cale, from which the whole Lusitanian province eventually derived its modern name, Portugal. Its capital, Lisbon, was earliest known as Elasippos, the same name Plato assigns to the seventh king of Atlantis. In Greek myth, the titan, Iberus, after whom the entire Spanish peninsula was known, is the brother of Atlas. None of this would have surprised the Romans, who referred to all Iberians as “the children of Atlantis.”

The preceding is excerpted from Frank Joseph’s latest book, Survivors of Atlantis, ISBN 1-59143-040-2, published by Bear and Company.

Ancient Mysteries

Nov/Dec 2004 – #48

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Spain’s Ancient Pathway

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage route that traverses Spain from its beginning in the Pyrenees to the tomb of St. James the Apostle, located at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain’s northwestern province of Galicia. The Camino saw as many as 2,000,000 pilgrims annually in the Middle Ages, and is regaining similar popularity today. Because of the Camino’s importance in medieval times, it holds, within its declared boundaries of 25 kilometers on either side, the greatest concentration of Romanesque and Gothic architecture in the world.

Known generally as a Catholic pilgrimage, little is said or known of the pre-Christian Camino, sometimes called the “Route of the Stars.” Evidence indicates that the origins of the Camino can be traced back into prehistory, long before the remains of St. James were said to have drifted ashore at Padron, in Galicia. Following the 42nd parallel to the “end of the Earth” at Cape Finisterra, the path of the Camino unfolds along a corridor formed by megalithic sites dating to the second millennium B.C. It is said in Spain that “To walk the Camino is to walk on the stars,” and so we find that these megalithic sites, and the older, original Camino, have many links to the sky.

Megalithic monuments are often associated with astronomical events and orientation. They have been associated as well with ancient roadways, and these in turn with “ley lines,” the “energy channels” of the Earth. Sometimes, as is the case of the Camino itself, the location of these megalithic structures has been thought to obey both models at once, thereby connecting and harmonizing the energies of heaven and Earth. “As above, so below,” states the Hermetic axiom, and so the “Route of the Stars” follows mirrors the path of the Milky Way.

The use of ley lines and astronomical orientation in prehistoric building and site selection can be considered evidence as well of an ancient science known also as the Primordial Tradition, or the Ancient Mysteries. Such a science has been said to lie at the heart of the “art of building” throughout human history, and to encode knowledge of the nature and laws of the universe, and of man. This “art of building” has always implied the alignment of the forces of Heaven and Earth. It also employs a science of numbers and proportions, as a system of discrete and powerful forces, and their relations, that underlie every act of creation.

This “spiritual science” is considered by some to lie, like the Route of the Stars, at the heart of all religions, including Christianity itself. The medieval masons, the builders, architects and sculptors of the churches along the way, preserved it. Organized in lodges or guilds, the medieval masons were the precursors of contemporary Freemasonry, “high priests” in a lineage of keepers of occult, or “hidden,” knowledge, capable of uniting the material and the spiritual, the human and the divine.

A Journey on the Camino is, in this sense, a Journey into the Ancient Mysteries, a Primordial Traditional that once “was,” but has been “lost,” and can be regained. The name “Santiago” itself comes from “Jaime,” or “James,” and like the Italian “Giacome” and the Basque “Jakin” means “sovereign,” or “wise man” while “Compostela” would signify “field or clearing” from the Spanish “campo” “of the star,” “estrella.” Nevertheless, it has been pointed out that the site at which the Cathedral stands is “Compo,” not “Campostela,” indicating a possible connection with the “compos,” or “seed of wisdom,” of Alchemy. “Santiago de Compostela” would mean, then, “Wise Man of the Star.” In a similar manner, the Great Work, the path of spiritual development of the Alchemists, is sometimes called the “Camino de Santiago.”

A Journey on the Camino is an opportunity to explore and interpret, witness and experience the preservation of such a “spiritual science” it is also an opportunity to consider its very source.

Like the labyrinth that is its symbol, the ancient Camino is a Journey to a place of union, to the center of All That Is, whereby the pilgrim can attain self-salvation. It is an opportunity to weave, at every step, myth and history, life and symbol, time and the timeless, until they merge.

As Tomé Martinez observes in his book, The Secret of Compostela, the traditional elements of the Camino can be seen in the sky looking West from Finisterra: the constellations of the “ship,” or Argo, and of Can Major, with the Dog Star, Sirius, towards which the Cathedral at Santiago is oriented. And we remember that a dog always accompanied St. James himself.

From the cliffs high above the Atlantic at the Finisterra, we think not only of the message, but also of the messengers of the Camino that arrived on shore from the sea of the body of St. James the Apostle, and of Noah and his ark which, as legend would have it, landed atop Mount Aro, near Noya, a name etymologically derived from “Noah.” We think of the mermaids and fishmen of lore, of the Virgin of the Camino and the Christ of Agony at Muros, which both, according to legend, floated ashore on the waves.

It was not, as Juan Garcia Atienza observes in his book, Legends of the Camino de Santiago, that the protagonist is Christ, or this or that hero of legend or myth it was about the Ocean itself, from which came everything that was transcendent to that land. It was about the horizon line when one looked out to sea and about its depth and unfathomable secrets, the transmissions of which were picked up on the beach from time to time, or they arrived on shore.

From the high cliffs at “the end of the Earth,” the Milky Way lies reflected in the Atlantic Ocean, and the origins and destiny can, once more, begin to be conceived.

CAPTIONS: From top clockwise:

View of the Camino from O’Cebreiro Lugo

Village near Ponferrada

Labyrinths at Mogor Pontevedra (3,000 to 1,500 B.C.)

Baphomet at the Templar church at Torres del Rio

Ruins of a Celtic “castro,” La Corona

Column Capitol from the 12th century

Cloister at the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgus

The Camino de Santiago at Leboreiro

Ancient Mysteries

Nov/Dec 2004 – #48