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In The Odyssey, Homer narrates the adventures of Odysseus (Ulysses in Latin), from the time he wins a victory in the Trojan War until he comes back to his native land (Ithaca).

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. I propose that 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 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 where 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 cannot 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 climax 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.

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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 as when I first saw Spirited Away, another great animation movie. We are talking about the same adventure, 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; whereas 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 goal, 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 that lives in the depths of 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 thing, 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, indeed, 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 Swan) 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 more significant elements in the sky of that date, such as the Milky Way stretching east to west, or the heliacal rising of Sirius, the brightest night-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.

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).

Dali Gompa is one of the most impressive Buddhist temples in Darjeeling, the “headquarters” of the Dragon School (Drukpa Kagyu in Tibetan).

The day of our arrival there was a large gathering of monks to take part in a one-week-long special ceremony. We asked if we could lodge at the monastery, and the monks agreed with the typical Tibetan kindness and hospitality.

That’s how we ended up sharing that week with the monks, meditating in a corner of the temple while they created a estrange music with their chanting and curious instruments.

A pleasant discovery about Tibetan monasteries was the fact that, during special celebrations like that, the food is always vegetarian: rice with vegetables, fruit and tea.

At the conclusion of the ceremonial week, hundreds of people flocked from all corners of the region to receive the blessings of such auspicious occasion. And we, like them, also tied a blessed red cord around the neck.

We said goodbye to the monks among the admiration of the children, more interested in seeing and touching the big motorbike of my friend than in receiving another blessing.

We sat on a terrace of downtown Darjeeling to sip a cup of the famous local tea, grown on the slopes of the mountains, and to plan the next adventure.

“What do you know about Sikkim?” asked my friend. “Not much,” I said.

Before finishing the tea we had already decided that we’d visit the old Kingdom of Sikkim.

When it got dark I began to doze. But not everyone in the train felt sleepy.

With the hustle of reaching a station I woke up. Even before moving my hand to reach my backpack I knew I’d only touch its absence. I went out at a run, uselessly trying to spot the thief among the people on the platform. I approached an officer and told him about what happened. The uniformed giant just looked at me very seriously, wondering how could I be so naïve.

I returned to my seat, already calmed and with a grin on my face, imagining that of the thief opening what he probably though contained a treasure: a few T-shirts dyed after the Holi, my orange slippers, and an old blue fleece.

Although unintentionally, my original plan became a reality. Now I could travel very light in India… by flip-flops.

A woman pastes cow dung cakes on a wall as her grandson Sanju peeps from a hole in Molaya villageThe train ride northwards, from Patna to Siliguri through the Gangetic plains, did not offer a variety of landscapes. Plenty of impoverished villages with low brick or adobe buildings, and the facades coated by cow-dung cakes, getting dry to be later used as firewood.

Cows produce milk, fuel, power, heat in winter… and more cows. That may be why they are considered sacred.

Unfortunately, due to the strange mechanism by which human intelligence gets suspended whenever religion is around, the urban environments of India are full of these poor “sacred” animals, starving and presenting a serious risk for public health.

I looked out of the window and saw some lads tucked into a lagoon to the waist, gently scrubbing a plump cow. The image exuded life. That’s the holy cow, I thought.

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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