The Maya Connection
The influence of Venus upon mankind and indeed upon the Earth is an interesting one. The Earth and Venus are locked in a curious orbital dance with one another that sees changes in the Earth's orbit over various cycles, most important of which are the 90,000 and 100,000-year cycles. These are built on the shorter cycle of eight years less two days. The Earth and Venus are engaged in a phase locking of their two orbits as described by chaotic dynamics. The two are orbiting in an almost exact 13:8 resonance, which has consequences for both planets. This phase locking has the consequence of driving the long ages of the Earth.
There is also a recent discovery that the moon drives a 1,000-year weather cycle on Earth, but this is not directly related to the cycle of Venus and Earth. The Maya and Middle Eastern civilizations were aware of the cycles and both measured an eight-year cycle of Venus. The Maya incorporated the Venus cycle as one of the principle cycles of their calendar. They had an intense interest in Venus. During the course of their civilization, Venus was the harbinger of the annual rains and the marker for the planting of the maize crop. But, the cycle was slipping slowly out of alignment by almost two days over an eight-year period. Gradually, the marker no longer coincided with the advent of the rains. The priest-astronmers of the various temple complexes were aware of this and compensated for it, following by direct observation. They certainly had the temple complexes lined up to the sky that was a great help.
As for the collapse of the Maya civilizations periodically, one collapse at least can be traced by clear cutting and living in a non sustainable manner that ended up destroying agricultural production. The Maya had an obsession of painting all their important structures in a brilliant white. This required the production of lime which was made by burning large amounts of wood to produce the material. The eventual loss of the forest canopy and land renewal led to crop failures in the end, not for lack of rain, but lack of soil nutrients.
The nearly two-day Venus-Earth differential over eight years creates a conjunction cycle of 1,440 years when Venus again lines up in the same kind of conjunction on the same day of the year. That is to say that an inferior conjunction starts the cycle for a given day of the year and 1,440 years later, another inferior conjunction again lines up on that day. There are very noticeable inferior conjunctions that transit the disk of the sun. These can only occur when the nodes of Venus' orbit fall between the Earth and the sun in a direct line of sight. There are only a few days twice a year where this can occur. These can serve as a marker for the observation of the long cycle. These dates are on or about June the 6th and December the 9th of each year for the current epoch. “Transits of Venus occur in cycles of 243 years with the current pattern of transits being pairs of transits separated by eight years, at intervals of about 105.5 years or 121.5 years.” (4) The nodes of Venus' orbit fall in mid Gemini and mid Sagittarius, close to the “Heart of Sky”. In an earlier era, they did line up with the “Heart of Sky” and the “Dark Rift”. Gemini marks one of the important Maya constellations, which we can identify as their Hero Twins. The hero twins of Maya cosmogony are located here and the constellation is right next to the “Heart of Sky”, marked by Orion's upraised arm and club in our cosmogony. The Moon visits the heart of sky, passing through the loop of the celestial snake one every 18.6 years due to its own nodal cycle. The Metonic cycle of 19 years combined with the nodal cycle, gives a longer cycle of 353.4 years. Eclipses and lunations measured by the “Heart of Sky” will thus occur only once in five complete cycles or once every 1767 years! The loop of the celestial snake coincides with the tip of Orion's club. Thus Venus and the moon figure prominently in the Maya cosmogony in a celestial ball court, marked by the serpents coil in their “zodiac”.
The orbits of Earth and Venus alter over time as a result of this almost 8:13 exact discrete resonance. Today, Venus orbits the sun in the most nearly circular orbit in the entire solar system. Earth's orbit is more eccentric. Over time, the orbits change shape. Earth's orbit is known to vary between an eccentricity of 0.03 and 0.06 and this is figured in one of Milankovich's cycles. The higher elongation figure suggests that the Earth has periods where there are longer deeper winters. This is due to the fact that when Earth is at aphelion, it orbits more slowly, thus spending more time further from the sun, and only short times when near the sun at perihelion. Venus is one of the causes behind periodic ice ages that cycle in a 100,000-year period. In that time, 10,000 years are spent in a warm period, 90,000 in ice and extremes. This has been the characteristic pattern of ice ages over the last few million years. Eight full 100,000 year cycles have been measured from the ice cores at this time, extending accurate knowledge in this field back some 800,000 years. There is a double confirmation of such cycles. Milankovitch, a Siberian mathematician discovered three cycles of the Earth that contributed to long-term weather cycles. One of these is a 100,000-year cycle of orbital elongation. Ice core studies going back 800,000 years confirms that eight great cooling and warming cycles have occurred. Venus is also linked to longer cycles on Earth lasting 900,000 years. The table below gives some of the calculated periods of Venusian cycles.
Multiples of the 1,440 year Venus cycle
Number of cycles
A typical ice age cycle
Extent of last 9 glaciations
Length of a cold snap
Length of typical warm spell
Maya long count
Number in million-year cycle
The long cycle.
Compare the above figures with the chart of CO2 concentrations over the last 800,000 years. There is a general correlation between the two. Variations can be accounted for through volcanic eruptions and impacts that cause aperiodic fluctuations in the above histogram derived from ice cores. It could also suggest influences from the 100,000 year orbital cycle driven in part by Venus. The ice cores tell us of quasi-periodic fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels over roughly a 100,000-year cycle. This cycle matches the ice age cycle closely.
The above composite chart maps ice core date from regions around the world. The sharp upward spike of carbon dioxide is the influence added since the industrial revolution and shows that humanity has had the largest impact in added carbon dioxide in the last 800,000 years and is thus an anomaly from the natural cycles.
Carbon dioxide can only accumulate when the atmosphere is too cold to allow plants to absorb it. Thus, the rapid accumulation over 10,000 years occurs at times when levels have already sunk so low, that the Earth chills. The locked up carbon dioxide is freed and the weather heats up rapidly. Absorption by plants starts anew and the planet chills, once a critical threshold is reached. The heating and cooling is aggravated by celestial events like the orbital dance between Venus and Earth. Other events like one 210,000 years ago, cause sudden changes. Some event triggered a local warming in the middle of an ice age. One candidate is an impact. Another is a volcanic eruption. Both leave their characteristic identity signatures. For an ice age to set in, some critical causes must be in place. A critical low level of carbon dioxide, about 180 parts per million, will presage a sudden phase state change in the weather. At this point, we see a reversal due to the release of carbon dioxide. Conversely, a critical higher level of the same greenhouse gas will cause abrupt phase state changes. This critical value for the current Earth orbit seems to be about 347 parts per million of carbon dioxide. This is attested to by the sudden violent changes in Earth's climate since 1979 according to records and tree ring changes for the last several thousand years. Another phase state point appears to be around 280 parts per million, a point where serious and prolonged ice ages begin or end. A highly eccentric orbit for the Earth will also cause a shift in weather patterns, regardless of the presence of greenhouse gasses. The phase state transition points will change under different orbital conditions. How the exact timing between Venus and Earth correlates with the 100,000-year weather cycle is as yet unclear. One thing is clear. There is an unspecified lag time involved between the two cycles.
The above graph shows annual fluctuations of carbon dioxide for the northern hemisphere. It vindicates in the short term, what is true for the long term. Note the general slope to higher concentrations that matches a warming trend generally over the same period of time. The evidence of the ice core analysis of historic atmospheric composition thus proves the 100,000-year cycle of cooling and warming. It correlates well with the Venus cycle and the cycle found by Milankovitch. 1979 marks a year of transition for Earth's general weather patterns as indicated by changes in tree ring growth during that year and thereafter. At that time, the atmosphere had around 347 parts per million of carbon dioxide. However, there are other greenhouse gasses as well, including methane and water, which would blur the clarity in regards to the real phase state change density value for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Research into these gases have also been done and according to this, a sudden increase of methane some 12,600 years ago caused a rapid temperature rise in mere years that resulted in a global ice meltdown. Several conditions coexist to create a complex and dynamic atmosphere.
The June 6th 2012 figure of Venus' visible solar transit is a little more than half a year from the popular end date of the Maya long count popularly expressed to be December 21st or 23rd, 2012. The December date is just a fortnight more than the December 8th date for visible inferior transits of Venus across the face of the sun when that applies. It turns out that an important celestial marker in the “Heart of Sky” occurred on Dec. 21st 2010; that is; a solstice eclipse of the full moon in the “Heart of Sky”. All calculations and figures have to be revised backwards by two years as a consequence of this auspicious celestial event in a year where there was a cardinal (tropical), mutable (sidereal), grand cross of the outer planets (emphasis ours). The new long count of 5,125 years, 110 days begins on Dec. 22nd, 2010! In 2012, the visible transit of Venus occurs in June and not December. Another important date in Maya cosmology is the August 9th date of 3116 B.C. (revised from Aug 11th, 3114 BC) Between the two dates, a little more than three and a half Venusian cycles occurred. August 9th , 3116 B.C. marked the beginning of the last long count for the cycle now concluded. It is also the date that the Maya give for the birth of Venus. The span of time is about 5,125.3 years. There is no visible transit of Venus across the sun at any time during 3114 B.C, but there is an event with the moon again in the “Heart of Sky” for Aug. 9th, 3116 BC! Venus is the morning star at this date at an equal angular relationship between the sun and moon. This is the “setting of the three stones/mountains” that figures prominently in the Maya creation story for mankind and civilization. The sun and Venus were never together on the crucial dates on or about February the 11th or August 29th of that epoch when the nodes of Venus' orbit were between the Sun and Earth. This almost two month shift in dates is accounted for by the precession of the equinoxes over the 5,125.5 year period, which would place the transit on those dates for 3116 B.C. The precession of orbital apsides also is a factor to be taken into account. Although the Maya did not describe a precession per-se, they were among those who possessed and used the most accurate calendars ever devised by humanity. It has several separate counts, one of which is based on Venus. It is still the most accurate calendar in use, even in our times with our accurate knowledge of solar system cycles. For the 3114 BC date, the upshot is that the "birth of Venus" is shrouded in mystery. No solid leads to significant astronomical events can be found beyond an alignment of Venus with sigma Leo. But for 3116 BCE, there is an event! As for the presence of a comet, Haley's was near aphelion, though in a line of sight close to Venus. Halley's comet would have been invisible. Then again, the orbit of that comet varies considerably and we actually have no way of determining if it was even present at that date.
There is currently much discussion about a winter solstice alignment of the sun with the galactic center. Though the equator of the galaxy figured prominently in Maya cosmology as one of the principle arms of the celestial cross and as the trunk of the tree of life, the more important consideration is the “Heart of Sky” located near the constellation of Orion as determined by Longworth and Schele. This marked the location where the zodiacal and galactic arms intersected to form the cross, another important Maya constellation. The heart of sky, marked by the coil of the celestial serpent, was positioned at the cross. The motions of the planets over the year describe very serpentine paths across the sky, with direct, then retrograde and then direct motion which is why serpents were considered so sacred and in particular, the diamond back rattler. In Maya cosmology, the “Heart of Sky” was regarded as more significant than the galactic heart near Sagittarius-Scorpio that holds sway in our contemporary zodiacal cosmogony. In interpreting other cultures, we must avoid the chauvinism of superimposing our own belief system upon their cosmogony. Their system has to speak for itself, especially when confirmed with actual sky events fixed to their dates.
Though Earth and Venus are not in a perfect 8:13 resonance, they are very slowly phase locking. There are asteroids near Earth that owing to their diminutive size, are in exact discrete resonance with Venus in an 8:13 resonance. Venus thus may deliver periodic bombardment to the Earth as well as reshaping the earth's orbit. These asteroids orbit in a period about two days less than eight full years of the Earth's orbital period. As a result, they are very close to the Earth's orbit, forming part of the asteroid belt in which the Earth orbits. Some of these are in highly eccentric orbits, making them Earth crossing asteroids of a nearly identical orbital period of Earth. They represent a direct threat that can occur in a 1,440-year cycle. Now, not every juncture of that cycle will deliver a blow by impact, but some will. These asteroids likely track between Venus' and Mars' orbits, crossing over the Earth's path about twice a year. Only when the nodes of the orbit cross the Earth's path directly and Earth is located at that spot, will an impact occur. Note, that a strike may not occur during a first pass. If the object passes through a gravitational keyhole resonance, it will strike in the very next pass. Here then is a definitive astrological influence. Is this the reason behind the Roman name Lucifer for Venus as the morning star; a name associated with the Christian devil? Venus itself, is a hell world in retrograde rotation, something commented on by Velikovsky who was derided by the scientific community, only to be proven correct by the Vera spacecraft. Venus was also dreaded by the Maya, particularly just after an inferior conjunction and at the first helical sighting thereafter, moments before sunrise. It takes two days from inferior conjunction to be able to see the helical rising of Venus as the morning star just before the sun rises (5). These fears likely have a solid founding lost to us in the mists or history and the fact that the Spanish Conquistadors destroyed well over 99 percent of their library leaving only four works, which likely contained a wonderful resource of information now permanently lost to us.
The orbits of Venus and Earth behave like kicked pendulums upon each other as determined by the science of chaos. This occurs when Venus cuts between the Earth and the sun, just before that moment where the very first helical rising of the morning star occurs. The three bodies interact gravitationally, with the Earth and Venus interacting on each other in a manner ascribed to kicked pendulums. The Maya are noted for having a dread fear of this particular event. This may be a carry over from more sophisticated sources, or it is more likely that the source information was destroyed. Only four codecies remain and as a result, our understanding is fragmentary. But there is enough so we can sleuth out the information and rebuild our understanding. Now that we have fixed the moments of their essential moments to the sky, we can more fully appreciate their science.
Those of you familiar with chaos theory and the concept of a kicked pendulum moving completely around its fulcrum to describe a circle, know that a pendulum can be kicked in three ways. The beat of the kick can match the cycle of the pendulum. The beat can also be a little faster or a little slower than the cycle of the pendulum with interesting results for the pendulum so kicked. For all pendulums not describing a circular arc, the mismatched kick can cause the pendulum to describe either an elliptical path or a chaotic one. Orbits differ insofar as the sun acts as the fulcrum for planets behaving like pendulums describing complete circular arcs. In this case, the kicking can elongate orbits cyclically or chaotically. One will circularize, the other becoming more elliptical. One orbit will behave in a chaotic fashion in it elongation cycle. The other will wobble cyclically in elongation between being more or less elliptical. Today, Venus has a nearly circular orbit. Earth's has an eccentricity of 0.03, but can grow to 0.06. The increase of eccentricity in Earth's orbit is what is behind the long cycles of weather on Earth. Indications suggest that it is the Earth's orbit that elongates in a chaotic, quasi-periodic fashion. These cycles were worked out by the Russian astrophysicist, Milankovich.
Currently, the earth is closest to the sun on or about January 3rd of each year, but the orbit is slowly changing orientation and elongation. There is a periodic inferior conjunction of Venus that occurs at various locations in the sidereal background that aligns with the sun. But the most crucial one is the one the occurs around the Jan. 3rd period when Earth is also close to the sun. Though there is no visible transit of the sun by Venus, this does not negate this conjunction as earth is also close to Venus. By estimating the two motions, we can say that an inferior conjunction of Venus and Sun will line up with the Earth's perihelion on or about Jan. 3rd on 2038. This could be the center point of orbital change over the range of several conjunctions such as on 2030 and 2046. Like a kicked pendulum, the conjunctions before and after the central date could also factor in the orbital change. The last time this type of alignment occurred was on or around Dec. 16th, 595 AD. The date of 2038 is a date that falls between two dates given by Isaac Newton who among other things, was into Biblical prophecy, and noted the dates of 2034 and 2060. The December date appears out of range unless we factor in the precession of the equinoxes and consider that the movement of the earth's perihelion is approximately similar to the precession of the equinoxes, though it is entirely different from the precessional wobble. “the longitude of perihelion, and in the year 2000 was about 282.895 degrees. By the year 2010, this had advanced by a small fraction of a degree to about 283.067 degrees...”(1) It follows that in this limited data set, that a full degree of perihelion precession takes 58.3 years. These combined movements make the date hard to track in history. In addition, the perihelion point moves back and forth due to the influence of the other planets, particularly Venus and Jupiter.
Let us now examine the average 584 day inferior conjunction cycle of Venus and see if there are correlations to actual events. Now the inferior conjunction cycle will line up all over the year over the basic 8 year less 2 day cycle. Then when we arrive at year 8, the conjunction will line up almost in the same sidereal location as it was 8 years earlier over 6 inferior conjunctions. This cycle repeats over and over, slowly transiting the entire zodiac over the great Venus cycle.
Other factors intervene like volcanism and cosmic encounters like impact events, but these show up as anomalies in the overall historic patterns laid down in ice cores, tree rings and sediment layers. Volcanism leaves a characteristic sulfur and ash signature in ice cores and sediments. Impacts leave an iridium signature, thus standing out from the pattern that displays no other sign than carbon dioxide levels in ice cores. Notably, carbon dioxide leaves little trace in sediments, unlike ash, sulfur and iridium. In the latter few hundred years, carbon dioxide levels have gone up due to industrialization. The last half of the 20th century has been particularly intense.
The Dec 16th, 595 AD Venus Inferior Conjunction
The Jan. 3rd, 2038 Venus Inferior Conjunction
William J. Prest (author) from Vancouver, Canada on February 06, 2011:
According to the Maya, they dreaded the first visible helical rising of the morning star right after inferior conjunction and just before sunrise, which occurs on an average 584 day cycle. The reasons are not explained in the slim resources we have left from them, but this hub provides a hypothesis that is now being mapped through history according to the inferior transits of Venus. Interestingly enough, the Maya warriors would plan war as Venus approach superior conjunction. But the Maya are not alone in their dread of Venus. According to Velikovsky, Venus caused great dread in the past, but likely not in the way he suggested. It is interesting that one of the Milanokovich cycles matches one of the great Venus cycles and the fact that planets can act like kicked pendulums with one another. The key is resonance. None of the planetary orbits are in exact discreet orbital resonance with one another, which is good for orbital stability.
H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on February 06, 2011:
It is interesting to read the cycles of Earth, Venus, and Moon covering their orbital distance and their effect over Earth appearing surprising although everything is based on a complex statistics. However the hub gives us an idea of the complexities of the Universe.
lightning john from Florida on February 06, 2011:
Awsome! I always enjoy reading your hubs.
So is Venus the so called dreaded planet?