61018000Yesterday my mother called me loudly to watch a TV show in which a bunch of serious men were claiming they had found the true date of Jesus’ birth. What I saw left me dumbfounded.

At breakfast this morning I told my mother that Jesus was born on 25th, yet not of December but of July, in summer, and neither in the year 0 but in the year 7 before Christ (I obviously mean 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, because she stopped chewing.

Those three keys are:

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

2) The gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) show us what three luminaries among the seven (Sun, Moon, and five visible planets) they represent. The association between gold and the Sun needs no further explanation. Myrrh was a substance used to embalm the dead, so it has to represent that complementary of life, of day and the Sun; so myrrh symbolizes death, night and – that’s right – the Moon (the black King Balthazar). And what about frankincense? The only planet which comes closer to the symbolism of a fragrant smoke is Mercury, a liquid metal which can amalgamate gold and silver (Sun and Moon). So we have identified the three Wise Men from the East: the Sun, the Moon, and, between both, Mercury.

3) Jesus’ birth occurs in a manger between an ox and a mule. Is there something similar in the sky? Indeed! Visible to the naked eye there is a star cluster in Cancer constellation named Praesepe (Latin for manger), between two stars named Asellus Australis & Asellus Borealis (Latin for northern donkey & southern donkey). So now we also know where to place the three Magi: in Cancer’s vicinity.

As you are about to see in the following picture of the sky above Bethlehem, these three keys suffice to find the true date of Jesus’ birth: 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 (each luminary on its traditional sign). Specifically, the Sun was transiting over the brightest star in Leo: Regulus (Latin for little king), announcing the birth of a very special “king.”

The Moon – a fingernail over the horizon – was illuminating the celestial Manger with its two Donkeys. And, as we predicted, Mercury was transiting between the two “parental” luminaries (between the Moon and the Sun).

The Bible says that a very striking star guided the Magi to Bethlehem (near Jerusalem), and, on the date in question, a striking conjunction of luminaries was taking place in Pisces constellation. So we have also solved the riddle of the Star of Bethlehem: It was the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, ahead of the three Wise Men who came from the east (the Moon, Mercury, and the Sun, in that order).

Moreover, Pisces was the sign of the new Age, hence the Star of Bethlehem also announced the Age of Pisces, and that is 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 (Cygnus constellation) was setting over the western horizon, resembling a huge cross stuck on the ground. Somehow, the sky also showed the symbol of Jesus’ death towards the west, and the symbol of the religion that would be founded after his teachings. The Northern Cross situation in the sky would also serve as a template for the layout and orientation of the Christian temples.

[There are many other significant elements in the sky of that date; such as the Milky Way orientation between a pair of “stargates” (Sirius-Procyon in the east, and Vega-Altair in the west); the heliacal rising of Sirius, the brightest star in the night; the Big Dipper orientation, pointing to the north; Orion rising from the SE; the locations of the rest of luminaries below the horizon (Mars on Libra, and Venus on Virgo); etc.]

Suffice this to pinpoint the birth-date of one of the key figures of humanity.

This type of astronomical interpretation has helped me to unravel many mysteries of the past, like that of Atlantis. I explain this in my new book, 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 in which 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 provoke, 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 “other” 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.

A new revised edition of Sailors of Stonehenge is delivered!

Sailors of Stonehenge: The Celestial & Atlantic Origin of Civilization was my first published book. The experience has been highly positive. In its eight months of existence, I sold and distributed 600 copies of the English version and 100 of the Spanish one, which for a self-published book of a novel author is not that bad.

Moreover, the book has received so far more than 100 reviews in Goodreads, with a rating average of 3.95 stars (as today).

Those who know about the subject, such as Neil Wiseman (reviewer of The Megalithic Portal), or writers like Gavin Menzies (author of 1421 and The Lost Empire of Atlantis), the classicist Anna Ntinti (specialized on Plato), or Dr. Reinoud the Jonge (expert on megalithic art), among many others, wrote excellent reviews about my book.

Quite good!… but not enough. Throughout these months, the details to be changed or modified accumulated, so I finally decided to produce a revised edition. The main reason was to fully proofread the English version. I could count on the help of many people, though I must single out a Welsh friend and Bodhisattva for her contribution to this task: Gill… Diolch yn fawr!

Capitalizing on that editorial intervention, I decided to introduce several modifications that I hope will make for a more fluid reading experience. For example, the footnotes were moved to the end of each chapter; the qualities of the paper and the font were improved, and the number of pages was increased considerably to accommodate larger figures and photos.

Hope you’ll enjoy it. Happy reading!

PS. Clicking on the cover (upper left corner) redirects you to Amazon.com (also available from most of its international branches).

Today I would like to announce the release of one of the most important Buddhist texts: The Surangama Sutra, translated into Spanish.

May this work benefit all beings.

After the massive welcome we got from the children of Gangtok, my friend headed to the top of the city. I preferred to remain stationed on a slope, like a sniper waiting for the presidential motorcade.

When the cross of the peephole of my heart focused on the limo, I pulled the trigger. A bullet hit its target, only that, instead of deadly lead, it consisted of equal parts of compassion and justice.

A few days later, the Presidents of India and China met and agreed to opening the border of Sikkim, closed for more than forty years!… Curious coincidence.

(Romanticism aside, that was the sad political rubric with which India recognized a Chinese Tibet, and China an Indian Sikkim.)

A serious fault in the motorbike upset the plans with regard to the mode of transport. We left it behind in a workshop at Kalimpong, and boarded one of the jeeps that cover the route to Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital.

The narrowness of the road, the cliffs and the speed of the jeep are factors that may cause some distress in the weak of spirit. Even worse, they can prevent the enjoyment of the natural beauty of southeastern Sikkim, a curious mix of exotic jungle and rugged topography.

Gangtok has that indefinable atmosphere of all the provincial capitals, transited by people who come to the market and to make small transactions.

Coinciding with our arrival there was also the Prime Minister of India (AB Vajpayee), who officially visited Sikkim for the first time, an event for which the streets were decorated with flowers and flags. The next morning, when we left the hostel to visit the city, we found all the school children, flags in hand, flanking the main road.

The decision to take the children out of the schools to give a warm welcome to the president of the nation was an obvious political maneuver. The Sikkimese were the last to join India, unable to keep up their neutrality between the two bullies of the “neighborhood,” India and China.

When detecting the two big Western guys, a few children began shouting, “Namaste, namaste!” Those initial shouts of a handful of bored kids propagated in the crowd and derived into the rehearsal that would welcome the Prime Minister, with thousands of screaming children eager to shake our hands. When we turn off the road leading to the presidential palace, we were both under shock, really moved.

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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
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