Mundane Astrology
The Knepf's Snake-eye


"The same Creator who names the stars
also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today."

George W. Bush, 2-01-03, 2:07 PM.

Crew of STS 107
from left, Mission Specialist David Brown, Commander Rick Husband,
Mission Specialists Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla and Michael Anderson,
Pilot William McCool and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.

Columbia's Imbolc Catastrophic Failure

February 1, Imbolc, St. Columba and St. Brigid

The Columbia ended its long and venerable career on the feast day of St. Brigid.  This fact may seem benign, but there are some connections worth investigating.  Looking back into the old Christian Calendar, we find that February 1 was dedicated to St. Brigid of Kildare. This festival was one of many moves by the burgeoning Church to replace Pagan festivals, in this case Imbolc, with a "saint day" in hopes of Christianizing West Europe, and in this case Ireland. Imbolc, and it's three counterparts of Lughnasa (August 4/5), Beltane (May 2/3) and Samhain (November 1), were festival dates that celebrated mid-quarter festivals -- the midpoints between solstices and equinoxes -- and were marked by the natural celestial square of fixed stars that have been outlined here in The CAVE from the beginning: Pleiades, Regulus, Graffias and 33 Aquarius. Brigid corresponds with 33 Aquarius.

The contemporary USAnian pseudo-festival of "Groundhog Day" is a descendant of Imbolc, and more directly the Christian Festival of the Purification of the Virgin, also called Candlemas, that took place on February 2, a full 40 days after Christmas, and perhaps more interestingly the 33rd day of the year.  Accordingly, February 1 is 39 days after Christmas, that being the hour of midnight of Christmas Eve and Christmas.

As for the real St. Brigid, she died on February 1, 525 AD, and is probably the most sanctified female to have lived in Ireland. Ironically, the meaning of "brigid" is "fiery arrow."  Another interesting irony is that Brigid of Ireland is also called "Bride," or "Bride of the Isles."  Columbia's mission commander was Astronaut Rick Douglas Husband.

Brigid, along with Columba and Patrick, are the most revered saints in Irish Christianity.

St. Columba was an important part of that time in Irish history that produced two other great saints: Patrick and Brigid.  Patrick, born of good Roman family, was sold into slavery in Ireland.  Brigid was the daughter of a slave girl.  Columba, born about three years before Brigid’s death, was eligible for the high kingship of Ireland, since both of his parents were of royalty.  In the veins of Columba ran the bluest blood of the Celts.  He was eligible for even the High Kingship of Ireland.  Instead, he chose to dedicate himself to the service of God.

Some interesting info from the Catholic Encyclopedia about her resting place should be told here:

When dying, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to Ireland's Patroness.  She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1 February, as Cogitosus related.  About the year 878, owing to the Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick, where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.  The relics of the three saints were discovered in 1185, and on 9 June of the following year were solemnly translated to a suitable resting place in Downpatrick Cathedral, in presence of Cardinal Vivian, fifteen bishops, and numerous abbots and ecclesiastics.

Bayer's depiction of Columba Figure 1  A section of Bayer's 1603 celestial map showing his "new" constellation of Columba, protrayed as a dove with an olive branch in its beak.

The highlighted words above cite St. Columba, born on December 7, 521, and died on June 9 597, and thus his official saint day.  The connection between the saint and the shuttle is rather easy to make, if we can set aside the myth that the American federal territory named "Disctrict of Columbia" is simply a nod to discoverer Christopher Columbus.  The root "colum" means "dove," and the saint's baptismal name was Colum, hence the latinized form Columba.  We can find a constellation called Columba next to Canis Major and south of Orion. (see also.)

Columba, Columbia

This constellation first apeared in the early 17th Century with Bayer, and then was popularized by Royer in 1679.  It is likely that this is the constellation that the Masonic settlers of the New World associated with the new continent; the name now properly labels the 10-mile square region known as the "District of Columbia" in which the "City of Washington" resides.  Original CBS eyeThe same can be said for other institutions, such as "Columbia University," and even the "Columbia Broadcasting System," better known as "CBS," which has as it's logo a classic shape of sacred geometry that has matured to become the "camera's eye." 

To quote directly from The Enterprise Mission:

What Bayer did was to literally "carve out" a new constellation from the stars of Canis Major. Canis Major of course contains the key celestial player in the Millennium madness we are documenting -- Sirius. Bayer's new constellation is also located precisely on the meridian with Orion, a relationship which we took to be a "marker" of some kind for future events. He named this new constellation "Columba," apparently after "the dove that is sent out from Noah's Ark to search for dry land after the deluge." What we next needed to do was figure out the history and mythology of this new constellation, and any connection to the New Atlantis Dee and Bacon had been seeking.
According to Allen ("Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning"):
"[Columba] was made up from the southwestern outliers of Canis Major, near to the Ship [Argo] -- Noah's Ark -- and so it was regarded as the attendant Dove."
And from Genesis:
At the end of forty days, after the flood, Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent out the raven to see if it could find dry land; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. He waited another seven days and again he sent out the dove from the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more. (Genesis 8:6-12)
So, why did the authors of Genesis depict a dove in this key role? Because (see Peter Tompkins, and/or Temple) of the geodetic role of doves in "primitive" geographical surveying. So, "doves" equal a priestly code for "earth measurement." And "doves" in the Noah story indicate a need to determine exact lat/long ...again, after a major, watery catastrophe ...
Robert Temple, author of the aforementioned "Sirius Mystery", has exhaustively explained the deeper connection between the Argo (the Ark) and Sirius ... Most interesting is his discussion of the deep (hidden?) relationship between the true nature of the companion to Sirius, Sirius B -- the amazing white dwarf -- and a little known visible star in the same constellation of Canis Major, called by the Arabs, "Al Wazn" -- "Weight" -- so-called (according to a leading Arabic astronomy expert) because "...the star seems to rise with difficulty from the horizon." The Arabic expert, Ideler, called this "an astonishing star name."
Temple goes on to equate this nomenclature, applied to a visible member of Canis Major, with the ancient, degenerate, "hidden knowledge" regarding the actual existence of Sirius B -- the super-dense (but invisible to the naked eye) white dwarf that orbits in the Sirius system. What Temple did not know (or did not report, because he considered it irrelevant for his discussion) was that when Bayer "stole" some of Canis Major's stars to compose the new constellation, "Columba," in 1603 -- one key star of the new constellation was this same "Al Wazn" ... "Weight!" The same star that Temple, just under 400 years later, identifies with a "secret," degenerated knowledge of the Sirian system itself ...
So, there is an undeniable connection (through this star) between the "Sirian Complex" of the Dogon myth and mythos of Canis Major ... and the "new" constellation of Columba, "the Dove."
The other strong connection to Temple's Sirius Mythos comes with Columba's association with "Argo" -- the Southern Constellation representing (loosely) "Noah's Ark" -- and its classic use as an escape from a great planetary flood/disaster.
Temple refers to the other variants of this same Hebrew story then circulating in the Middle East, including "The Egyptian story [according to Allen, that] said that it was the ark that bore Isis and Osiris over the Deluge ..." (!!) Now -- if you refer to the major MIT science historian, the late Livo Stechini (in a significant appendix to Tompkins: "Secrets of the Great Pyramid"), you find that Stechini makes an excellent case that the "doves" of the Noah story are actually a classic Egyptian reference to "a standard Egyptian glyph for the stretching of meridians and parallels." (!)
So ... it's clear that the "secret" creation of a visible new constellation called "the Dove" (Columba) in 1603, out of some Canis Major stars, linked with Argo and the entire Sirian Complex, was not accidental. It was, instead, secretly emblematic at that precise time of the transposition of the terrestrial Egyptian "meridians and parallels" into the sky ..!!!
Now, why do you suppose -- just after the BIG Calendar Change at the end of the 16th Century -- someone would have wanted a visible (Egyptian) marker in the sky to denote "celestial meridians and parallels?" Why indeed ... except, in part, to visibly mark in the sky (to those "in the know") the orientation of the critical "plane of the Earth's axis" at the end of the Twentieth Century ... when Sirius would cross the Meridian at Midnight ... in "2000?!"
Now ... things get even more interesting.
As Knight and Lomas have shown in "Uriel's Machine" there was a Sixth Century monk who took the Church from Ireland to Scotland. He also was heavily involved with the importation of a "sacred stone" imported from the holy land (read: ancient Egypt) used in all subsequent Scottish (and later English) Coronations. Oh, his name ..?
It should be noted here that the final "wake-up call" for the astronauts in the mission was that of bagpipes for Laurel B. Clark, M.D. (Commander, USN), who had served in Scotland "as the Submarine Squadron Fourteen Medical Department Head in Holy Loch Scotland."
Why was he named "Columba?" And why did the Founding Fathers (mostly Masons -- from "Columba's" new home, from Scotland!!) centuries later call the New Republic they created in the New World "Columbia?" The classical story is, of course, that it all had to do with "Christopher Columbus" -- the "discoverer" of America and the New World; actually, as we have seen, Columbus was only rediscovering the "lost Atlantis" that most learned men of the day already knew was out there. In part, this prior knowledge was reinforced by at least one of the major "best selling manuscripts" of Columbus' time (even Queen Isabella was said to own a copy!): the remarkable story of another Irish monk -- "St. Brendan, the Navigator," a contemporary of "Columba" -- who also (curiously ...) made a pilgrimage to Scotland.
According to Brendan's own telling of the tale, a thousand years before 1492 (!), Brendan and fourteen other monks purportedly sailed west in a fragile skin-clad boat, to seek this fabled "Promised Land." Most of the voyagers, including Brendan himself (his manuscript continues), successfully returned to Ireland after seven years -- with amazing tales of everything, from "whales" to "icebergs," seen along the way.
So, was this a real, 6th Century "Irish Expedition" to the New World, or ... merely a clever means of passing down through the centuries "secret" Gaelic knowledge of this crucial "Promised World?" Even more intriguing: was St. Brendan's name somehow accidentally substituted in this "code" for the far more appropriate (etymologically and geodetically speaking) "Columba," in the centuries-long recopying and retelling of the tale ..? Is this one of the reasons why the Masonic (Scottish) founders of the Republic ultimately called America "Columbia" ..?
We'll probably never know.

Great Seal (reverse)Well, what we do know is that the Great Seal's reverse is an Eagle (Aquila) holding 13 arrows (Sagitta) and an olive branch with 13 leaves (Columba), and this under a field of 13 stars arranged in a six-pointed star.

Yet, all of this inflection does not bring us any closer to why Columba would be of such great import to Masonic interests.  To understand the "why," we need to again look to the sky, and to the constellation to the north: Orion.  In the northern hemisphere, at the latitudes of the contiguous USAnian states, we can see that the alpha star of Columba, Phaet, which means "dove," aligns on the meridian at the same time as the Great Pyramid star Alnitak (zeta Orionis), as seen in the next graphic; thus, Orion is the protector of the dove:

 Figure 2  The alpha star of Columba, Phaet, co-culminates with Alnitak of Orion in the northern hemisphere.

This alignment occurs at low-midnight of December 17/18 and high-noon of June 16/17 of the current epoch.

The Space Shuttle Columbia

But, what does this have to do with the Space Shuttle and astrology? The answer lies in the ritual Masonic astrology, of course!  Columbia, the very first shuttle to enter service, was launched on time without a hitch at its prescribed date and time:

Mission: Space Research
Shuttle: Columbia
Launch Pad: 39A
Launch: Jan. 16, 2003 9:39 a.m. CST
Orbit Inclination: 39°

Aside from the two instances of "39" [2 × 19.5], and the fact that Columbia was to land at the Cape on the 39th day after Christmas, we can cast a sky chart for the moment of launch, which is suspiciously timed to coincide with the 0° Capricorn point on the Midheaven:

Skymap looking south for the launch of STS-107.
 Figure 3  Skymap looking south for the launch of STS-107.

Also we see the Sun and Mars at the ritual altitudes of +33°. Other than that, this chart is rather unexciting, until we relcate to Giza, upon which we will find that the star Sirius is four minutes past rising, but more importantly, the central star of the constellation Columba is rising exactly on the horizon!  Also, as discussed in earlier essays in the CAVE, at the latitude of Giza, when these stars are on the eastern horizon, the favorable fixed star Spica (alpha Virgo) is transiting the lower meridian, or the "imum coeli":

 Figure 4  Sirius and Columba rising over Giza at the moment of Columbia's liftoff.

 Figure 5  Spica anti-culminating as Sirius and Columba rise over Giza.

 Figure 6  Closeup of the risings of Sirius and Columba; Wezn, the beta of Columba, is exactly on the horizon at liftoff, at 0°03' Altitude.


A major consideration in mundane astrology are eclipses, and eclipse paths.  The first eclipse after 1776 to cast a path over what eventually became part of the USA occurred on January 8, 1777.  The shadow first appeared at the foothills of the Rockies in Colorado, moved over Dallas, then New Orleans, and finally Miami before crossing the Atlantic and disappearing off the coast of Spain.  The path over the USA looks like this:

 Figure 7  The eclipse path of January 8, 1777.

Local weather radar picked up the disintegrating shuttle's radioactive debris field aloft, which appears to parallel the eclipse path:

 Figure 8  A closeup of the path of the above eclipse that passes through Columbia's area of disintegration.

And these closeups show the parallels:

 Figures 9 & 10  A comparison of a weather radar return of Columbia's debris cloud and the eclipse path again.

Rick Douglas Husband
July 12, 1957
(time unknown) CST
Amarillo, Texas, USA
101W50, 35N13

The above should be digested against the planned path of "deorbit" for the shuttle:

 Figure 11  Graphic of the predetermined path that Columbia would take upon reentry.

In closing, notice the runway that this shuttle was scheduled to land upon at 9:16 AM on February 1:

dT............02:38 (deorbit burn duration)
dV............176 mph (change in velocity)
Freefall......35:47 (time to discernible atmosphere)
Range to KSC..5,113 sm
Crossrange....Left-14 sm (distance from normal ground track)
Turn..........Right-213 degrees


05:45:00 AM...Mission control 'go' for OPS-3 entry software load
05:55:00 AM...OPS-3 transition
06:20:00 AM...Entry switchlist verification
06:30:00 AM...Deorbit maneuver update
06:35:00 AM...Crew entry review
06:50:00 AM...Commander/pilot don entry suits
07:07:00 AM...Navigation system (IMU) alignment
07:15:00 AM...Commander/pilot strap in; others don suits
07:32:00 AM...Shuttle steering check
07:35:00 AM...APU hydraulic power system prestart
07:42:00 AM...Toilet deactivation
07:50:00 AM...Payload bay vent doors closed for entry
07:55:00 AM...Mission control 'go' for deorbit burn
08:01:00 AM...Astronaut seat ingress
08:10:00 AM...Single APU start
08:12:34 AM...TDRS-West comsat acquisition of signal
08:15:18 AM...Deorbit ignition
08:17:56 AM...Deorbit burn complete
08:43:53 AM...Shuttle hits discernible atmosphere
08:49:26 AM...23-degree right roll command
08:56:15 AM...63-degree roll reversal
09:09:29 AM...Velocity less than mach 2.5
09:11:38 AM...Velocity less than mach 1
09:12:39 AM...Shuttle turns to line up on runway
09:15:50 AM...Landing on runway 33

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Mundane Astrology

Copyright © 2003 Ed Kohout.  All Rights Reserved.