2bdc82fd0614b37c4446d0b4be0ab931In The Odyssey, Homer narrates the adventures of Odysseus (Ulysses in Latin), since he wins a victory in the Trojan War until he comes back to his native land (Ithaca), which takes him ten years.

Since this is one of the first works of western literature and it is a master piece, I wonder whether we have really made any progress in the last three thousand years…

The Odyssey is open to multiple interpretations. In this article, I delve into its spiritual dimension: The Odyssey is the map that takes us back to our true nature.

ulysses-penelope1Odysseus represents our spiritual longing.

Penelope, his faithful wife, represents our inherent purity.

Telemachus, their son, represents the hope that is born when our spiritual yearning glimpses our true nature.

The goddess Athena represents our innate wisdom.

Penelope’s suitors represent the ordinary use of the senses and our bad habits, always wasting our spiritual wealth, constantly squelching and harassing our inner peace to satisfy their sensual appetites.

The maritime adventures of Odysseus represent the trials that we have to overcome to achieve our goal.

We must all leave our comfort zone (represented by the island of the nymph Calypso) to embark on the long journey back to our true home through the waters of the mind.

We must blind the one-eyed giant Polyphemus—son of the god Poseidon—to escape the cave in which he wants to devour us. Shouldn’t we try to escape the dogmatic (one eye) view of religion that consumes us in its cave?

Jean_Veber_-_Ulysses_and_Nausicaa,_1888The image of Odysseus arriving exhausted and naked to the island of the Phaeacians is one of the most powerful of the book. The man throws himself on the ground, covers himself with leaves and rests in a deep sleep. Our old personality must die for us to be reborn in life.

Ulysses tells the king of the Phaeacians the setbacks that have brought him to his island. He speaks of Eolo (control of breath); of the Laestrygonians, a tribe of man-eating giants (inner demons); of the sorceress Circe (the temptation to acquire supernatural powers for our own benefit); of the descent to Hades (to the depths of our psyche to make peace with our “deads”); of the rocks Scylla and Charybdis (the vertebrae that protect the central channel through which our consciousness ascends); of the sirens (temptations that disperse our attention: that is why Odysseus asks to be tied to the mast, a powerful image of the vertical ascent); of the island of the Sun-god Helios (the great luminosity that occurs at the crown of the head); etc.

The Phaeacians recognize the royal lineage of Odysseus and give him a treasure before taking him back to Ithaca, his native island. Our inner transformation is the greatest treasure we can gain.

Odysseus returns in the guise of a beggar. We can not restore our authority without being prepared for it, we must be humble and proceed with caution.

Odysseus is the only one capable of firing his bow, the high point of the book symbolically speaking. The hero, still seated, shoots an arrow through twelve axes placed in a row. In meditation, we fire the energy (the ax is a solar symbol) that flows through the centers of consciousness (chakras) aligned with our spine.

080623-science-odysseus-hmed-2p.grid-6x2With the help of Telemachus and a loyal swineherd, Odysseus massacres the suitors and corrupt servants of his house and reveals his true identity to Penelope. In total mastery of our senses and without traces of impurities, we reconnect with our true nature and regain control of our body and mind.

Odysseus and Penelope go to bed together, a bed carved out of an olive tree. Our spiritual transformation is irreversible.

The Odyssey concludes with the reunion between Odysseus and his father Laertes. With the help of Athena, they defeat the relatives of the suitors who arrive seeking revenge. After killing the father of Antinous, the leader of the suitors, they all seal a peace. We finally root out the malady, so it will never reappear. The time has come to serve family and society, to put our wisdom at the service of others. The ultimate goal of life is not to shun it, but to live it selflessly.

If you think this interpretation was interesting, you may also enjoy reading the trilogy (the books that appear in the upper left margin) I have written about this way of understanding the myths and oldest stories of humanity.

cover-madrid-is-atlantis“I confess that for a long time I considered all this of the Dynasties and Atlantis as a pure fable, until the day when, more instructed in the Eastern languages, I could judge that all these legends must be, after all, only the development of a Great Truth.”

–Atanasio Kircher

In Sailors of Stonehenge, I explained that the Megalith Builders of Western Europe were the legendary Atlanteans.

In Voyage Zero, I described how they spawned civilization all over the world.

In this book, Madrid is Atlantis, I return to the origin of my research, to the place where it was born, to prove that on the same soil as Madrid, more than five thousand years ago, was Atlantis.

moanaI just came out from the Pixar Animation Studios in California, where I had the privilege of previewing Moana, the latest movie from Disney.

I feel the same than when I first saw Spirited Away, another great animation movie about which I wrote a post that brought me great feedback. We are talking about the same adventure and the most important: the conquest of ourselves.

Moana must break the spell that threatens to wipe out the island where she lives with her parents, whereas Chihiro must break the spell that has turned her parents into pigs.

In the movie of Miyazaki, to defeat the cunning Yubaba, Chihiro will be assisted by Haku, a young man able to transform into a dragon; while in the movie of Disney, to defeat the monster of lava, Moana will be assisted by Maui, a demigod able to transform into all kinds of animals.

The protagonists of both films (both girls) represent the driving force inherent in all of us to reconnect with our true nature. To accomplish this, we must undertake a long and arduos journey that cannot be procrastinated: the journey into ourselves.

Moana’s grandmother (ancestral wisdom) is who encourages her to set sail beyond the reef, into the unknown, against the opinion of her father (fear). For this journey through the ocean of mind, we will have the help of our own capacity for transformation (Maui), our innate “divinity” or spiritual strength.

Two are the main obstacles of this journey: our thoughts and our ego. In Moana, our thoughts appear like a band of cocos called Kakamoras who at first sight seem harmless, even cute, but in reality they are violent and dangerous pirates. Even more evident is the representation of our ego as the gigantic Tamatoa crab which lives in the depths of the sea, full of vanity (he’s a collector of bright objects) and arrogance (the entrance to his world is an island “stretched” upwards).

The twin sister of Yubaba, who represents the opposite, wisdom, appears when Chihiro gives back to her the talisman that Haku had stolen. And the lava monster becomes a life-giving goddess when Moana gives back to her the talisman that Maui had stolen.

The story has a happy ending. With the help of Maui, Moana gets past every danger, gets also over her doubts about her capacity (the dark night of the soul), and manages to reveal the original nature of the lava monster. When we transcend our thoughts and reduce our ego to a harmless being, we reconnect with the inexhaustible fountain of life and love that is born from our true nature.

bookcoverimage-vzMay we, at last, be able to write about our origins—and when I say our I mean all humanity—without provoking the ire of those who discern racist, religious, or cultural bias? I hope so.

I sincerely believe that the Megalith Builders of Western Europe played a key role in the development of Civilization that the official “History” denies.

In the current mainstream opinion, our Stone-Age ancestors were little more than a bunch of scattered chiefdoms whose members dressed in furs, handled rudimentary tools to move around huge stones, and lived in great ignorance and superstition. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In Voyage Zero we sail the oceans and the millennia to discover the true origin of Civilization.

61018000Jesus was born on July 25, 7 BC.

Just give me five minutes to explain how I figured it out.

My mother called me to watch a TV show with a bunch of serious scholars claiming they had found the true date of Jesus’s birth. What I heard left me dumbfounded: they were unable to see the most evident symbolism!

Afterwards I did my own calculation and, at breakfast next morning, I told my mother that Jesus was born on 25th, not of December but of July. Jesus was born in summer, not in the year 0 but in the year 7 before Christ (obviously, before the date arbitrarily chosen to start our modern calendar). Then I explained her my reasoning – very simple when we know three symbolic keys – and I even think I managed to convince her, since she stopped chewing.

Those three keys are:

1) The three Biblical Magi who arrived from the East were three luminaries: they always move across the sky from east to west.

2) The gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) reveal the three luminaries (among the seven possible: Sun, Moon and five visible planets). The association between gold and the Sun needs no further explanation. Myrrh was a substance used to embalm the dead, so it had to represent that complementary of life-day-Sun; hence, myrrh symbolizes death-night-Moon (black King Balthazar). And frankincense? The only planet that comes close to the symbolism of a fragrant smoke is Mercury, a liquid metal able to amalgamate gold and silver (Sun and Moon). So we have identified the three Wise Men coming from the East: the Sun, the Moon and, amalgamating both, Mercury.

3) The birth of Jesus took place in a manger between an ox and a mule. Is there anything similar in the sky? Indeed! Visible to the naked eye, there is a cluster of stars in Cancer constellation called Praesepe, Latin for Manger! Moreover, this cluster is between two stars named Asellus Borealis & Asellus Australis, Latin for Northern Donkey & Southern Donkey. So we also know where to place the three Magi: in Cancer.

As you are about to see in the following picture, these three keys suffice to find out the true date of Jesus’ birth. I just had to look for those conditions in the sky above Bethlehem. There is only one possible date: July 25, 7 BC.

birth dateAt the dawn of that date, the Moon was “walking” on Cancer, while the Sun came a few steps behind, on Leo (notice that each luminary was on its traditional sign).

Moreover, the Sun was transiting over the brightest star of Leo: Regulus, Latin for Little King!, announcing the birth of a very special “little king.”

The “horns of the Moon” illuminated the celestial Manger with its two Donkeys, and that’s why a donkey became an ox.

As predicted, Mercury was walking in between the two “parental” luminaries.

The Bible says that a striking star guided the Magi to Bethlehem, a hamlet near Jerusalem. On that date, there was a striking conjunction of luminaries in the sky. So we have also solved the riddle of the Star of Bethlehem: It was the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction that took place ahead of the three Wise Men who came from the East.

That conjunction occurred in Pisces, the sign of the new Age. Hence, the Star of Bethlehem also announced the Age of Pisces, and that’s why the Church chose the fish as a symbol for Jesus. Another symbol was the lamb, indicating the birth of a new order continuation of the previous one of Aries, represented by the ram.

On the other side of the sky, the Northern Cross  or Cygnus constellation (the Swam) was setting over the western horizon, resembling a huge cross stuck on the ground. Somehow, the sky also showed the symbol of Jesus’ death toward the west, the symbol of the religion that would be founded after his teachings. The situation of the Northern Cross in the sky would also serve as a template for the layout (cross-shape) and orientation (E-W) of the Christian temples.

There are other significant elements in the sky of that date; such as the Milky Way stretching east to west and the heliacal rising of Sirius, the brightest star.

I have used this kind of astronomical interpretation to unravel many mysteries of the past. Who built Stonehenge? Did the fabled Atlantis exist? You can find the answers in Voyage Zero (US link; UK link).

Click here.

I just got a prize for one of my flash stories (news).

Recently, I published a volume with all my awarded short stories translated into English: Laurels Galore.

Happy Winter Solstice!

LG Book Cover

2012 was the year I wanted to prove myself as a storyteller. Up until then I had written, apart from a few dozen scientific articles and even a handful of a religious nature, a history book disclosing my discovery of Atlantis. Well, difficult as it was to discover Atlantis, writing fiction was even harder.

After Sailors of Stonehenge—that’s the title I gave that historical book—my writings sought to go beyond the mere transmission of information, they wanted to trigger a reaction, a smile, a snort, anything… “to spin the wheel of emotions.” But in my centripetal approach to literature I ended up being absurdly centrifuged.

All the stories collected in this compilation received some distinction: some received laurels, others brushed them with the tips of their titles, and the majority barely poked their heads above the parapet to see them on others’.

That the 25 stories presented here were selected by juries means that some people with sufficient interest in literature to organize contests have taken the trouble to read a lot of stories before deciding that yours is the best or is among the best. And what parameters do they evaluate to make such a decision? Very simple, just one: I like it or I don’t. Trying to go beyond this truism is an impossible task—not even critics and experts have the final word in this regard—because, as the saying warns us, there is no accounting for taste.

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Photo by AFP/Getty Images

As already had happened in Darjeeling, the Monastery of Rumtek was preparing for a special celebration of one week called Kalachakra, which means wheel of time, focusing on the correspondence between cosmic cycles and human cycles, between the external and the internal.

Unable to pass up the opportunity to participate in this special event, we stayed in one of the hostels near the monastery.

A mandala perfectly oriented with the four cardinal points presided over the temple, prepared for the occasion using colored sands arranged in complex geometries full of symbolism.

The chanting of monks intermingled with weird music produced by trumpets, conch shells, drums, cymbals and bells.

Occasionally, there were interludes in which everyone (including us) got a cup of tea made with milk of yak, sweet in the morning and salty in the evenings. I was in heaven.

For the children-monks, the ceremony was way too long, so it was not uncommon to see them throwing rice each other, playing with their robes, or simply bored to death.

One of them, not so much of a child, approached us one day and said in broken English, “Tomorrow the ceremony begins one hour earlier.” When we stood at the gates of the monastery at four o’clock in the morning, even the guards were asleep. Soon all the monks, children and adults, got to know the joke of the altered “wheel of time” and cracked up at us.

Apart from how funny you consider the matter, the Tibetans are the most cheerful people I’ve ever met, which should not be confused with sense of humor!

rumtek-monastery (photo by Wanphai Nongrum)The hallmarks of Sikkim are associated with the mystical figure of Padmasambhava, known as Guru Rimpoche (literally “Dear Master”). Back in the eighth century—contemporary with the great mystic Japanese Kobo Daishi—this extraordinary character spread the esoteric version of Buddhism all over the Himalayas.

Like Kobo Daishi in Japan, Guru Rinpoche is revered as a great saint in Sikkim. The presence of Buddhist monasteries in this region is therefore very old, and it was recently reinforced in number by the tragic exodus of Tibetans. One of those monasteries is Rumtek, located just a few kilometers from Gangtok (Sikkim’s capital), and the official residence of the “official” Karmapa. Unfortunately, he was on a trip and we couldn’t pay him our respects.

The armed guards stationed in turrets, and the sign with the prohibition of access to the temple carrying guns, were images that seemed totally inappropriate for a monastery. However, the confluence of the tension between the Indian and Chinese governments on matters relating to political asylum, coupled with the schism caused by the appearance of two nominations for Karmapa—which ugly controversy has underlying economic and political implications—explains the measures of safety.

Once past the first impression, Rumtek is welcoming. The many monk-children scurrying throughout its courtyards and terraces makes one quickly forget the shady business of adults. One of the children had a facial feature considered very auspicious (which until then I only interpreted metaphorically): a long white natural plume coming out of his brow. One of the few occasions I regretted travelling without a camera.

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"Manuel Vega has written an extraordinary book. He has turned history upside down. I strongly recommend this book."
–Gavin Menzies, author of 1421 and The Lost Empire of Atlantis

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Sailors of Stonehenge