August 2002

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In This Issue:

Varuna, the Second Stage of proto-Venus

The earlier deity, Agni ('fire'), faded from dominance when proto-Venus’ eccentricity was reduced sufficiently that its orbit no longer crossed that of the Earth. But it continued to approach the vicinity of the Earth every fifteen years for the next three thousand years, at which times it could clearly be seen as a 'world,’ During this stage it was called by a new name, Varuna. This reflected both the change in its destructive nature as well as its appearance, due to the formation of a tenuous crust, that gave it a golden glow. It is not as though the common identity of Agni and Varuna is without hints in the Rig Veda:
And now, as I am come before his presence, I take the face of Varuna for Agni's. 1 When God Agni struggles toward the rta he is said in a remarkable passage to become for the time being God Varuna. 2


Varuna is often referred to using a pair of names, Mitra-Varuna. This has always constituted a mystery for interpreters of ancient myths:
In the hymns addressed to Mitra and Varuna together, almost the same terms are employed as when Varuna is addressed alone. Both are spoken of as righteous, and as promoters of religion. They are said to avenge sin and falsehood. 3
We propose that the implied intimate relationship is a clue to the true cosmic nature of the deity being described. To corroborate the idea that Mitra and Varuna constitute a unique pair in the scheme of the Vedas, note the following quotation:
But Varuna is a close partner in a partnership which is expressed in the dual number. It consists of himself and the god Mitra, who is, however, little more than a silent partner in the combination. Such partnerships are frequent in the Veda, but exceedingly rare in the Persian Avesta. Yet the Avesta, in a matter-of-fact manner, joins Ahura and Mithra in the same dual partnership as the Veda does Varuna and Mitra. 4
The literal translation of Mitra is 'compact,’ and of Varuna is 'envelop' or 'encompass'. Keeping this in mind, consider what was happening to proto-Venus at this time. As an isolated body in space, the most likely physical change that would have happened to Agni (proto-Venus) early in its life would be to form a 'crust,’ just as glowing lava does today on the Earth. There would have been rapid cooling of the surface due to radiation into space, which is essentially at absolute zero temperature. As a result its blazing brightness would have diminished and been replaced by a deeper red glow. But the initial crust was very thin and fragile. This led to verses like:
...he watches with a thousand eyes...
The crust was easily ruptured by any tidal distortion due to the approach of another planet because proto-Venus was still a molten ball of boiling rock, with no rigidity. Thus when it approached the Earth its entire shape was distorted by the tidal force of the nearby Earth. When this happened the magma interior radiated through the myriad of cracks, which were seen as 'a thousand eyes'. This very theme was applied in Egyptian myth, where some hieroglyphs for Osiris are translated 'many eyed'. Upon closer approach, the newly formed crust was completely torn, causing the proto-planet to again blaze with fire, and Agni was said to be 'born again'.

In order to understand the pairing of Mitra-Varuna, it is necessary to introduce a second major Vedic deity, Indra. In addition to the formation of a crust, there was another major factor which influenced the evolution of the newly formed proto-Venus at this time. That is, interactions between proto-Venus and Mars. These occurred 'innumerable' times according to the Vedas, and the notion is reinforced by the continuing theme of interactions between Varuna and Indra in many of the hymns. When interactions occurred between proto-Venus and Mars, the Vedic people saw a 'bridge' of light material extend between these two deities. Velikovsky cited myths of other cultures in which this 'bridge' between the two planets is interpreted as a 'white sword'.

We suggest that what they observed was a portion of the atmosphere of priori-Mars being drawn off by the tidal force of the more massive proto-Venus. The water vapor in this atmospheric 'bridge' froze into ice crystals in the near-absolute zero environment in space, making it appear white. Thus, proto-Venus began early to form a two layered atmosphere. The lower atmosphere was the result of emission of gases from its hot interior and upper atmosphere was the result of the volatiles captured from priori-Mars. The atmosphere was seen as ‘a shining robe.’

Varuna, wearing golden mail, hath clad him in a shining robe. 5
In this quotation, lies the explanation for the special pairing of proto-Venus deity names. Mitra literally meant 'compact'. This was a reference to the solid ‘golden mail’ body of proto- Venus. Varuna, meaning 'to envelop' referred to proto-Venus when its 'shining robe' or atmosphere was visible. As Mitra-Varuna approached the Earth, both could be clearly seen.
Mitra became the guardian of the day, while Varuna's part was reduced to the guardianship of the night. 6
This statement is particularly significant, and is absolutely consistent with our hypothesis. The dully glowing body of proto-Venus could be seen even during the day, but the atmosphere of proto-Venus could only be seen during the night, because the daylight sky of the Earth was too bright during the day. Further quotes from the Rig Veda reinforce our interpretation:
He knows the pathway of the wind, the spreading, high and mighty wind;
He knows the gods that dwell above.

Varuna, true to holy law, sits down among his people;
he Most wise, sits there to govern all.

Now saw I him whom all may see; I saw his car above the Earth;
He hath accepted these my songs.

Once more together let us speak, because my meath is
brought priest-like
Thou eatest what is dear to thee.

Thou, O wise god, art lord of all, thou art king of Earth and heaven;

Hear, as thou goest on thy way.
Release us from the upper bond, untie the bond between, and
loose the bonds below, that I may live...

As with the hymns to Agni, there is the idea that 'Varuna knows the gods' on the one hand and 'sits down' with people on the other. This reflects the fact that during this period proto- Venus' orbit takes it far away until it appears as a bright star, and then brings it close to the Earth. Varuna's appearance is graphically described as wearing golden mail, covered with a shining robe. This is the still glowing proto-Venus surrounded by a transparent atmosphere. The phrase 'once more together' refers to a close approach of proto-Venus (inferior conjunction) that the hymnist is observing. It is clear that he sees Varuna's 'car above the Earth' and as 'thou goest thy way' implies proto-Venus is now moving away from the Earth, but the supplicant asks at this juncture for Varuna to 'release the bonds'. This describes scary variations in the rotation rate of the Earth associated with the tidal force of proto-Venus at close inferior conjunctions. This was obviously a dangerous time at which great stresses were exerted on the crust of the Earth, causing continuous earthquakes, very high tides and even changes in the orientation of the spin axis of the Earth.

This is well explained in the following quotation:

(Varuna) is the conserver of rta, cosmic law and truth. Rta is the equivalent of the later dharma and is equally difficult to define in any precise terms. It is the law that governs the universe..., and the sun, moon, and stars pursue their regular courses in accordance with his ordinances. 7
The mysterious law, or 'rta,’ was the gravitational law which is aptly described by this ancient culture, since it governs the orbits of the planets and their interactions. Although the priests could not understand the source of gravity as being due to the mass of the planets, they witnessed the results of the gravitational law in a much more impressive way than we ever can, by experiencing continuous earthquakes and the disruption of the rotation of the Earth as Varuna approached. ‘Propping up the heavens' refers to the uplifting of the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayas by proto-Venus, starting with Agni and continuing with Varuna. The association with the waters refers to the melting of mountain glaciers in the Himalayas or to ocean tides, orders of magnitude greater than what we experience in modern times. Proto-Venus caused great tectonic activity and drew magma from the interior toward the surface of the Earth. This was particularly true in the Himalayas, since they were freshly formed and still unstable, with innumerable fissures and vents. The resulting heat was strong enough to partially melt the mountain glaciers, and thereby releasing the water that had accumulated there.

Although the translator tries to interpret this as having to do with moral laws, we suggest that the following quote reflects the effect of Varuna on the capture (‘binds’) and release (‘loose’) of priori-Mars:

Sin is the fetter with which Varuna binds men, and as he binds in his wrath, so can he loose in his loving kindness. 'O Varuna, untie the upper fetter, untie the middle, untie the lower' (RV,1.24.15), the sinner cries, 'for we would be sinless in [carrying out thine] ordinances.' This binding and loosing of the fetters of sin is the prerogative of Varuna and Mitra alone in the Rigveda; and the awe and Angst and God-fearing humility that these fetters inspire is unique in the whole corpus of literature. 8
As is revealed in the chapter on Indra, Mars was captured and released from orbit around the Earth about one hundred times. The captures and releases occurred at fifteen year intervals at which times proto-Venus was at its closest point to the Earth. Because priori-Mars’ geosynchronous orbit was locked onto the Tibetan-Himalayan complex, its capture and release resulted in variations in the spin axis and rotation rate of the Earth as well as great groaning and howling sounds from the interior of the Earth. These frightened the people and caused them to pray to Varuna for mercy, thinking that the 'law' by which Varuna judged, was unknowable to man.


  1. Hymns of the Rig Veda, p.20
  2. The Religion of the Veda, p.128.
  3. Hindu Mythology, Wilkins, W. J., Rupa & Co., New Delhi, India, 1988, p.40
  4. The Religion of the Veda, p.121
  5. Hymns from the Rig Veda, p. 5
  6. Indian Mythology, p. 15
  7. Hinduism, pp. 30-32.
  8. Hinduism, p. 31

How Did Jupiter Get So Big? Redux

This is the title of an article published at, in which it is acknowledged that there are “problems” with the current notion of how Jupiter formed, i.e. that a rocky-iron core some 20 times the size of the Earth formed first, which was massive enough to attract and hold the hydrogen thought to make up the bulk of the planet. One problem: This paradigm is inconsistent with observations of many young stars similar to the Sun, indicating that they lose all the gaseous hydrogen in their planetary nebulae within about ten million years. By the time the rocky-iron core would have formed, the hydrogen would have already been blown right out of the system! The ad hoc model proposed in the article is one in which the original core formed very quickly from an ‘instability’ in the solar nebula. This is imagined to be like a whirlpool that greatly accelerated the initial accretion, but is strictly a theoretical construct. Even if the core could have formed in a few millennia, there still would not have been time (over 100 million years) to capture the gas which was gone in 10 million years.

Another problem arises in explaining the differences in the gas giants and the ice planets. In a note in the March 2002 edition of Icarus entitled “Rapid formation of ice giant planets,” Alan P. Boss, George W. Wetherill, and Nader Haghighipour (Carnegie Institute of Washington) suggest the possibility that all four great planets initially formed as gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, but that the gaseous envelopes of Uranus and Neptune were subsequently blown away by radiation from a nearby hot luminous type-O star, whereas the part of the solar system surrounding Jupiter and Saturn was ‘just dense enough’ to protect them. Admittedly, the type-O star must have gone supernova or departed the scene before Neptune and Uranus evaporated completely. In an article in Sky and Telescope, July 2002, Dr. David Stevenson, a planetary scientists at Caltech, states “That part is a little bit contrived.” - a major understatement. This is yet another example of the ad hoc patches needed to rescue the current paradigm. Another fact that is usually glossed over in explaining the dichotomy of the gas and ice giants is that the average density of Jupiter is intermediate between those of Uranus and Neptune.

The V/A Explanation

The note by A. P. Boss et al in the March issue of Icarus is an extreme example of the ad hoc hypotheses required to save the current paradigm. We propose a much simpler solution, which discards the notion of gas giant planets, namely that all four giant planets are solid snow-ice bodies whose different masses are merely the result of the concentration of particulate matter in the primordial solar nebula. Our paradigm is consistent with the rapid loss of hydrogen in young Sun-like stars and infrared observations (IRAS) which indicate that massive amounts of particulate matter remain in the outer parts of their nebula long after the hydrogen gas has departed. Because of the low temperature at the radii of the great planets, the particulate matter from which they formed comprised primarily ices of water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), ammonia (NH3) and methane (CH4), to which were attached grains of refractory minerals. The ices acted as ‘binders’ making possible the small scale accretion of ‘snow balls.’ Although the gaseous H2 was quickly lost, the solid particles contained a high percentage of hydrogen in the ices and to a lesser degree in the refractory minerals. This is one reason that the average density of Jupiter is only 1.3 g/cm3.

Jupiter is the most massive because the bulk of the particulate matter was concentrated at its radius, sometimes called the ‘snow line.’ Local concentrations of particulate matter facilitated the initial rapid accretion of the rocky-iron proto-planets, which, as a result, were hot enough to cause differentiation. But because of the large orbital radii of the outer planets, the accretion of their bulk slowed, requiring hundreds of millions of years for the material originally on the opposite side of the Sun to become incorporated. This slower stage of accretion involved the same ice particles from which the proto-planet formed, but because of the great time required, the accretion of the bulk of these planets was a cold one. As the ice particles or agglomerations of them (snowballs) encountered the proto-planet’s atmosphere they melted, dissipating their energy, then re-froze and fell as snow. Thus the bulk of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune formed cold and remain cold to this day. This process resulted in planets whose rocky-iron cores are not necessarily compressed by the overlaying mass, due to internal friction, that is, they are not in hydrostatic equilibrium, for the same reason that it is virtually impossible to compress a very cold snowball. For this reason their cores are not compressed to the super high densities.

The currently accepted belief is that the great planets formed hot and that their interiors are still hot (25,000 K), leading to the notion that they are gaseous. The hydrogen model of Jupiter was based on the assumption that any rocky-iron material at its core would be compressed to such high densities that the observed average density and moment of inertia factor could not be produced. Seldom discussed is the fact that hydrogen model failed to produce the observed parameters, and to overcome this deficiency and supply a nucleus to attract and hold the hydrogen gas, a ‘small rocky-iron core’ twenty times the mass of the Earth was added and the hydrogen model was declared a success. Unfortunately, the ad hoc addition of the core violated the very assumption underlying the hydrogen model.

The current belief is that the temperature excesses of the great planets are due to the energy of their formation still ‘leaking out’ after some 5 billion years. This contention is invalidated by the simple fact that Uranus has no temperature excess. Although astronomy books pay lip service to the notion that the great planets act as shields, protecting the terrestrial planets from large marauding asteroids, they fail to recognize that they have done exactly that, only ‘yesterday,’ astronomically speaking. Because of the cold process by which they formed billions of years ago, the great planets would all be at temperatures dictated by the incident solar energy, like Uranus, were it not for the relatively recent high energy impacts of asteroids, which probably originated outside our solar system. It is these impacts that have generated the ‘temperature excesses’ measured on three of the great planets - by virtue of hot gases emanating from the impact craters in their solid snow-ice surfaces. This warms only their atmospheres, while the body of the planets are snow/ice. Material evaporated from these craters also swells and colors their atmospheres, creating the bands and zones apparent on Jupiter and Saturn, hiding the surface and further contributing to the notion that they are gaseous.

The Great Red Spot is the visible manifestation at the cloud-tops of a ‘recent’ high energy impact, as are the ‘spots’ and ‘rings’ associated with each of the great planets, thereby accounting for the theoretically short life of the latter. The historical drift of the GRS, plotted relative to an assumed constant rotation rate of Jupiter, is usually invoked to prove it is an atmospheric phenomenon (Figure 1). We maintain the ‘drift’ is actually a record of the monotonic deceleration of Jupiter’s spin due to the great mass of material continuously ejected from a 6,000 year old impact crater via the GRS, which only ceased about 1940.

Theoretical, observational and laboratory data support our hypothesis: The failure of the hydrogen model to produce the correct average density and moment of inertia factor; The failure of the analysis by William Hubbard intended to show that the tidal Q of Jupiter is infinite, the canonical value for a gaseous body, the results of which are exacerbated by the recent upward revision of the energy output of Io (Hubbard, W.B.,1984); The failure of the Galileo atmospheric probe to observe the three cloud layers characteristic of the hot gaseous model; The lower-than-expected concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere; The fact that the Great Red Spot is an atmospheric high and that it has remained at the same latitude,18 degrees South, for the entire 350 year period it has been observed; The ‘overnight’ appearance of a great white spot on Saturn in 1990, which generated a band and a zone to its north and south.

Our paradigm explains why only the impacts of the larger Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragments produced shock waves and Earth-sized atmospheric plumes, the infrared radiation of which saturated Earth-based infrared detectors and emitted the spectra of water, not seen with the less massive fragments, along with a number of heavy elements, such as sulfur and metals never before observed on Jupiter. We also can explain the fact that the plumes did not appear until six minutes after the original impacts. The only explanation ventured for the delay came from professor Mordecai MacLow, who suggested that they were caused by the atoms from the shortlived (10 sec) fireballs ‘raining down on the cloud tops.’ An explanation which Eugene Shoemaker termed “Nonsense.” We maintain that the larger S-L 9 fragments penetrated the atmosphere and impacted the solid surface causing enormous explosions and the ‘mushroom clouds’ from them took six minutes to rise above the cloud tops and become visible. The plume spectra were those of the elements frozen in the solid surface of Jupiter.

Laboratory experiments with iron in diamond anvils have shown that pressure induced chemical changes can profoundly alter the crystal structure and produce unexpected changes in the physical properties of iron in the cores of massive planets, such as the density and the electrical conductivity. In 1991 the compression of iron at 35,000 atmospheres in the presence of hydrogen was discovered to result in an expansion of the sample by 17% instead of compression (Badding et al. 1991, 1992). This is the result of a rapid and reversible chemical reaction between the iron sample and hydrogen. An entirely new crystal structure was measured with hydrogen atoms in layers sandwiched between layers of iron atoms. In a super high pressure environment such as the center of a planet, hydrogen, if present, moves easily into the iron lattice creating an entirely different structure, causing an expansion of the material instead of the expected compression, and reducing the density. Because the ratio of hydrogen to iron atoms is very close to one, this crystal has been designated iron hydride (FeH). This is another argument against the compression of materials at the center of Jupiter to super high densities, which led to the hydrogen model.

Finally, the solid snow-ice composition of the great planets would also explain the large mass of water being vaporized by the expanding red giant, CW Leonis, recently reported by astronomer Gary Melnick (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and his colleagues working with the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite.


Badding, J. V., H. K. Mao, et al. 1992. High-pressure crystal structure and equation of state of iron hydride: implications for the Earth's core. High Pressure Research: Application to Earth and Planetary Sciences. Y. Syono and M. H. Manghnani. Tokyo and Washington, D.C., Terra Scientific Publishing Company and American Geophysical Union. Geophysical Monograph 67: 363-371. Hubbard W.B., 1984. Planetary Interiors, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., NY, 304-307.

Hathor, Hermes, and Mercury

In the July 2002 edition of Sky and Telescope, Dr. E. C. Krupp, Director of the Griffith Observatory, published an article titled “Message Machine.” He is an astronomer with a keen interest in mythology. Unfortunately, his ability to interpret ancient myth is constrained by his belief in the current uniformitarian doctrine. He notes that Hermes’ great speed was described by Homer as “ ...with the speed of the wind ...” and that Hermes was referred to by Hesiod as “The herald of the gods who carried instructions from Zeus. ” The Greeks also claimed that Hermes stretched the seven strings across a tortoise shell, thereby inventing the lyre. These quotations are from the 8th century B.C. In the article Dr. Krupp includes a photograph of a clay relief crafted in the 5th century B.C. which he took, showing Mercury (Hermes) consorting with Venus. He also refers to the fact that in the 4th century B.C. the Greeks referred to Mercury as “The star of Hermes.”

The corresponding Egyptian deity was Hathor. One myth states that as Ra aged, men failed to respect him, so he turned his terrible gaze on mankind, the ‘eye of Ra.’ Not satisfied, he sent his eye down among men as the goddess Hathor, to seek them out in their hiding places and kill them. Mythologists currently believe that Hathor meant ‘house of Horus.’ At Denderah, Egypt, Hathor was worshiped as a goddess of fertility.

Confused as to how these myths fit together? Read the following section.

The Velikovsky/Angiras scenario of planetary chaos, as presented in Firmament and Chaos, was derived from mythology, and the myths of various cultures each give a unique perspective of the same events. Priori-Mars orbited the Earth geosynchronously over the Himalayas for 15 years at a time and upon the approach of Venus, then in an eccentric orbit within that of the Earth, broke off the encounter and entered an orbit around the Sun for 15 years. This process was repeated one hundred times! The events involving Hermes, Hathor and Mercury occurred at the end of each ‘dance encounter.’ Priori-Mars became more and more devastated as each encounter progressed, due to the tidal force of the nearby Earth and internal convulsions resulting from alignments with the Moon and Sun. The aged state of Ra refers to this devastated condition, in which priori-Mars was black and bulging, with liquid iron from its outer core hanging in space forming weird shapes in the micro-gravity between the two planets - an ominous sight. As Venus approached, the glowing solid iron core of priori-Mars was partly drawn out through its lithosphere, through the Valles Marineris. This was ‘the eye of Ra’ or ‘the eye of Horus.’ The hieroglyph for the ‘eye’ is an unmistakeable rendition of the Valles Marineris on Mars as shown in the figure, except that the ‘eye’ is now closed. This was also the origin of the one-eyed Cyclops in Greek myth, which were praised as expert iron-smiths, because some of the liquid iron fell to the Earth as meteorites, and were termed ‘celestial metal’ by the Egyptians.

After shining forth through the chasm for a short time, the solid iron core of priori-Mars exited the lithosphere and went into an independent orbit around the Earth. The notion that it descended to kill men or act as the emissary of Zeus, which was the column of smoke and fire at the north pole of priori-Mars, meant that its orbit was lower and faster than the shell of the planet, which must have begun to drift away from the Earth to conserve orbital energy and angular momentum. Thus the core, called Hermes in Greek myth, appeared ‘to move as the wind.’ After one orbit it rejoined the lithosphere of priori-Mars and the pair drifted away from the Earth piggy-back. Once outside the tidal force of the Earth the core reentered the shell, and priori-Mars reformed into a nearly spherical body during fifteen years of ‘R and R.’

After one hundred such encounters, a unique event occurred. The core exited as usual but somehow interacted with the Moon, because the period of the Moon changed from 36 to 28 days at that date, and with Venus, failing to re-enter the lithosphere. The shell drifted outward in the solar system and over time collapsed into the small, low-density planet we call Mars. The core consequently moved into the inner part of the solar system, and after a period of interaction with Venus, in which its final orbit was established, moved to an eccentric orbit about the Sun, forming the solid iron ‘planet’ we now call Mercury.

As the core exited the lithosphere of priori-Mars the rigid rocks on the sides of the canyon scratched linear grooves in the planet. These grooves are still visible today in Mariner 10 images of Mercury, and are referred to as the Mercurian grid. These linear markings were seen by the ancients as the strings of the lyre stretched on the (then) smooth surface of the core. In the 2,700 years since its departure from priori-Mars, Mercury has been bombarded by myriads of meteorites ejected from priori-Mars throughout the 3,000 year Vedic period, as has the Moon. Thus Mercury and the Moon appear superficially similar, although they are obviously quite different based on their average densities and magnetic fields.

The correspondence of the dates in Dr. Krupp’s article to our scenario are very interesting. The last encounter of priori-Mars with the Earth was dated by Velikovsky at 687 B.C., thus the references to Hermes rapid motion and its action as a herald of Zeus, which occurred in the 8th century B.C., occurred during the Vedic period. The interaction of Mercury and Venus in the clay relief occurred in the 5th century B.C., only a few hundred years after the final encounter, when the two planets were still interacting. Finally the reference to ‘the star of Hermes’, referenced in the 4th century B.C. meant that the Greeks had followed Hermes as it receded from the Earth as then appeared as a star.


  1. Hymns of the Rig Veda, p.20
  2. The Religion of the Veda, p.128.
  3. Hindu Mythology, Wilkins, W. J., Rupa & Co., New Delhi, India, 1988, p.40
  4. The Religion of the Veda, p.121
  5. Hymns from the Rig Veda, p. 5
  6. Indian Mythology, p. 15
  7. Hinduism, pp. 30-32.
  8. Hinduism, p. 31

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