“In the first century before the common era, the Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily, after recording that the Chaldeans asserted that the planets change their velocities and periods of time, says: “These stars exert the greatest influence for both good and evil upon the nativity of men; and it is chiefly from the nature of these planets and the study of them that they know what is in store for mankind.””
Thus did Velikovsky write in his book, “Mankind in Amnesia.” He goes on to say:
“Diodorus’s statement is to some extent correct, because of the great changes brought upon mankind and everything else living on this planet, But from the truth of the Chaldeans’ belief to the wrong conclusions was but a short distance. Since the planets at their different encounters caused flood, hurricane, conflagration, destruction of animals or appearances of new plants, man could easily conclude that the “influence” was the result of a special character of a planet, which therefore must be placated. Thus religion originated with the worship of the astral bodies. So too did architecture with the building of great temples – the Parthenon, built to honor Athene, and the temple of Zeus, of which a few large columns are still standing in Athens; the temples to Jupiter in Baalbeck, and to Amon who was Jupiter in Karnak, and to various deities of the past, all of them astral gods.
Since many generations saw the pandemonium of an apparent theomachy, or battle of the planetary gods, it was but natural for people on Earth to take sides. To worship the entire pantheon simultaneously was illogical; but to worship a selected planetary deity or deities meant incurring the wrath of opposing deities. This dilemma was another reason for mental disbalance in man, and in nations.”
We see in Velikovsky’s words that men and nations in different eras took on the character of the gods as their heraldic representation. Doing so meant they naturally aligned with particular qualities and behaviors associated with an individual god or gods. In this midst of the reigning theomachy of the day, a momentous choice could be made. New gods appeared to have the upper hand; old gods could be seen waning in influence, or losing, or not even appearing in the new sky drama. Cultures watched and waited and interpreted the results, if they survived to tell the story. As survivors in a whole new era, they were free to adopt a new powerful god and with it undergo a transformation in character. Some cultures changed in this way, while others held on to their existing gods and evolved their myths according to the exploits of the god as revealed in the new narrative in the sky.
A quantum change happened to both the Assyrians and the Romans through the astral god-persona of Ares, the planet Mars in the early middle of the 1st millennium BC. The terrible experiences of the time were reflected during and later through political and military expressions of violence that still echo down to this day.
As Velikovsky relates, “Organized warfare has its inspiration in the same terror. As the ancient Assyrian kings went to war they compared the destructiveness of their acts to the devastations caused by the astral deities at the time of the upheavals.”
Thus it is recognized: As it is above, So it is below. Such cultures adopted new gods with new qualities that were observed in the Theomachy Theater in the sky. Recently empowered with ‘god-given’ strength and purpose, these cultures swept through the ensuing age with great vigor. The warrior god Mars was an example of a thoroughly genocidal impulse, so complete was the destruction seen in the sky and on earth.
This is an important realization for those of us who seek to reconstruct planetary history. The astral bodies were held as gods, so fantastical were they in their manifestation of holding the power of life and death over us. The Assyrians and Romans ran with it and established vast, ruthless empires. The Age of Warfare had begun, perhaps a more apt name for the era commonly called the Iron Age.
As we revisit the numerous cataclysmic events in the Age of Catastrophe and at the beginning of the Age of Warfare, we see how religions developed to give meaning and focus to human events on the ground, driving the development of culture. It is oftentimes not a pretty picture, but one that needs to be recalled in order to break through the trance of Cultural Amnesia.
We end this article with Velikovsky, “Whoever should study ancient cults and mysteries, Osirian, Dionysian, Orphic, Eleusinian and others, would find that they came into being to symbolize, to repeat, to imitate the events of the past and the fates of the planetary gods.”