# What was the first astronomical measurement which demonstrated that “the Earth is surrounded by vacuum”?

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The question Who was the first to realize that the Earth is surrounded by vacuum? was closed because some users felt it was answered by answers to a different question in an different SE site: Who was the first to postulate that space was a vacuum?

To me the distance between realize and postulate is astronomical!

That aside, I've asked a new question: What was the first astronomical measurement which demonstrated that "the Earth is surrounded by vacuum"?

By demonstrated I'm talking about a measurement that shows it is, or at least is likely to be the case that Earth is surrounded by vacuum. It should be something such that it could be presented as scientifically convincing evidence to other scientists of the time, unencumbered by non-scientific predispositions (e.g. religion, rivalry, philosophy… )

I would argue the famous Michelson-Morley experiment.

## Luminiferous Aether

A bit of background first before getting into the experiment itself. It is quite easy to surmise, via Newton's laws of motion, that Earth should be in a vacuum, otherwise the constant drag of traveling through some medium must eventually cause us to crash into the Sun. Despite this Isaac Newton himself proposed the concept of a Luminiferous Aether which pervaded all of space and was the medium through which light propagated. Before this point there were various concepts of an "Aether" pervading space, but this, I believe, was the first truly scientific approach to the concept as a way of explaining physical phenomenon rather than a simple supposition of existence (such as the Greeks had done). The Luminiferous Aether was proposed as an almost magical concept to avoid numerous physical issues. I think Wikipedia describes it best.

The mechanical qualities of the aether had become more and more magical: it had to be a fluid in order to fill space, but one that was millions of times more rigid than steel in order to support the high frequencies of light waves. It also had to be massless and without viscosity, otherwise it would visibly affect the orbits of planets. Additionally it appeared it had to be completely transparent, non-dispersive, incompressible, and continuous at a very small scale.

The concept of the Luminiferous Aether was accepted on the authority of Newton and inability to explain the propogation of light otherwise.

## Michelson-Morley Experiment (1887)

It wasn't until the Michelson-Morley Experiment that the Luminiferous Aether was seriously shot down. The goal of the Michelson-Morley Experiment was to find evidence of this Luminiferous Aether and the null result was very strong evidence that this Aether did not exist.

The experiment itself was set up to measure the speed of light through this Aether. The idea was that as the Earth moved through the Aether, it would cause a sort of "Aether wind" that would slow down the speed of light. Thus if one measured the speed of light in the direction of the wind and perpendicular to it, one should get different speeds. The Michelson-Morley experiment set up exactly this scenario and used increasingly accurate measurements to try and find this difference in speed. Ultimate no difference was found and the Aether was ruled out as a material which existed.

From that point onwards it was assumed that space was a vacuum, completely devoid of anything. Oddly enough, this assumption was so strong, that people didn't even really believe in the concept of the Solar Wind at first and were quite perplexed initially when they sent the first rockets into space with particle detectors that ended up detecting all sorts of charged particles in space. Regardless, I would say the Michelson-Morley experiment is the first time scientists had scientific evidence that space was a vacuum.

Torricelli, the inventor of the Mercury Barometer (~1644) argued that the height of the column of mercury was governed by atmospheric pressure (the "weight of the atmosphere" as he would have put it). He asserted that the space above the mercury in his tube was a vacuum, a totally anti-Aristotlean concept at that time.
To test this he enlisted the help of Blaise Pascal and Florin Perier in carrying one of two barometers up a mountain, the Puy de Dome in central France. His prediction was that the pressure at the top of the mountain would be less than at the base because of a lesser weight of air.
The experiment showed a drop in height (ie of pressure) and Torriceli himself concluded that the height of the atmosphere would be about 20km, above which there would be vacuum - the same vacuum as in the top of the barometer tube. The experiment was IMHO one of the greatest experiments in the history of physics. See for example https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768090/

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The city had never experienced such an opulent funeral. As one organism, forty thousand men, women, and children put aside their everyday affairs to become participants in a drama of death and resurrection without precedent in the history of their far-flung population center.

Most waited silently in the early morning chill outside the 18-foothigh stockade, its unassailable exterior coated with a grainy plaster of pulverized mother-of-pearl, glinting pinkish white in the early dawn. These less privileged mourners clustered at the feet of gaunt watchtowers—five hundred twenty-three of them manned by sixteen hundred archers—spaced at regular, 20-foot intervals along two miles of the contiguous wall that parted them from high ceremonies taking place on the other side. These people were a world away from their short, brutal lives as farmers, artisans, and common laborers. As death separates the mundane from the supernatural, so this fortified enclosure stood as a forbidding border between the temporal and the eternal.

The surrounding ramparts embraced a pyramid 40 square acres at its base, greater than that of the Great Pyramid of Egypt. It was 1,037 feet long and 790 feet wide, with a total volume of approximately 21,690,000 cubic feet of earth, and it rose to over 150 feet in four terraces. These terraces supported wooden shrines with thatched roofs, identical to but smaller than a temple at the summit, which was 105 feet long, 48 feet wide, and 50 feet tall. The sacred area was directly reached from ground level by a flight of broad steps, a grand stairway to heaven, ascending the entire southern flank of the gargantuan earthwork.

Upon the uppermost step of this flight stood a lone figure, a robed and plumed astronomer-priest, the personified interregnum of a vast empire that spread in every direction. From here, he could see windswept prairie grasslands stretching to the horizon and surrounding his five-mile-wide city like a wavy sea battering its encircling wall. Before him, to the south, sprawled 2,200 acres of urban development packed with family housing and markets amid 120 ceremonial earthworks fashioned into monumental cones, platforms, and linear mounds.

He squinted at the far-below oversized image of a falcon, depicted spread-eagle on the smoothed floor of the Grand Plaza, its 15-foot wingspan and twenty thousand or more marine-shell disk beads blazing in the torchlight of a hundred attendants alert for the priest’s signal. These men waited in the shadow of the city’s high wall, which kept the morning from entering this sacred precinct.

The astronomer-priest of the Cahokia culture (AD 1000) presides over the funeral of a deceased ruler.

The high priest looked to the west, ignoring the mighty river writhing like a mythic serpent not far beyond a place that future archaeologists would call Woodhenge. Some two hundred erect cedar posts, each 20 feet high and painted bright red, formed a circle 400 feet in diameter. A single pillar at its center was topped with a seat from which an observer could calculate solstices, equinoxes, cross-quarter days, and the rising of particular stars or constellations by using the posts like gun sights, aligning them against various sky phenomena. In so doing, an abundance of celestial information flooded this astronomical computer of cedar posts.

Yet the high priest atop his pyramid needed only one piece of heavenly news to set this day in motion. It came with the rising sun as conveyed by a large, blue banner waved back and forth in a long arc by the observer at Woodhenge.

The priest summoned an attendant from inside the temple to reply message received by waving another signal flag.

Next, a boy carried to the priest a heavy conch shell, a specimen of numerous trade goods imported from the far-off Bahamas. Now that the precise solar moment had arrived, the priest placed the ponderous shell to his lips and blew a long, hollow-sounding blast loud enough to echo across the 40-acre plaza.

The men far below suddenly threw their torches to the ground in the gathering morning light. Others, unseen in the shadows, set up constant drumming that reverberated even more powerfully against the surrounding wall, drowning out almost entirely the cries of multitudes mourning outside. About two hundred fifty young men and women were escorted by spear-wielding warriors to the image of the falcon, around which they were arranged in a semicircle, leaving a wide gap open to the east.

From that direction, four priests entered, carrying on their shoulders the corpse of a man in his mid-forties arrayed with the feathered crown and colorful robes of state. His pallbearers brought him to the marine-shell effigy, carefully resting his head on that of the stylized bird, with its wings and tail beneath his arms and legs—thereby arranging the man in the position of metaphysical transformation.

As the priests stepped back, some of the young men waiting in the semicircle around their dead ruler stretched forth their hands, which were swiftly lopped off by warriors armed with obsidian axes. Other sacrificial victims knelt unhesitatingly with bowed heads, offering them for decapitation. Their gushing bodies pitched toward the falcon bearing its dead king, while survivors were stabbed and strangled, their screams obscured by the incessant drumming. With the help of blood-spattered warriors, the priests collected every fleshy scrap of the mutilated remains—bodies, severed hands and heads—in piles around the falcon with its own royal corpse.

Once more, the conch shell sounded from atop the pyramid, silencing drummers and mourners alike. New attendants entered the Grand Plaza, bearing huge sheets and onerous rolls of hammered copper, which they set down near the honored deceased and his ritually killed retinue. More servants arrived, bearing clamshell hoes and shovels. With these primitive tools they set about working at once, digging enough soil to build a sepulchre.

Laboring day and night through relief teams, in less than a week they heaped a great earthwork over the scene, and fashioned it into a ridge-top mound resembling an elongated tent terminating at either end in a triangular configuration. Beneath this enduring mortuary, the nameless regent and his hundreds of slain retainers lay undisturbed for more than a thousand years.

The event described here is not the fantasy of some fiction writer but actually occurred in western Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri, at a place archaeologists call Cahokia. At the zenith of its metropolitan grandeur, around AD 1000, Cahokia’s population was larger than that of contemporary London. In fact, it was greater than that of any city in the United States for the next eight hundred years, until Philadelphia reached the same population density after the turn of the nineteenth century.

How was it possible that such a place escaped my notice? In my youthful arrogance, I presumed I knew at least the broad outlines of history. But during all my education, I was never told anything about Cahokia. In my student years at Southern Illinois University the name was only fleetingly familiar because of a brown road sign that flashed by as I sped along I-64 on weekend road trips from the Carbondale campus to St. Louis: Cahokia Mounds Exit. I presumed it must have been only an Indian cemetery, and went on my merry way, without giving it another thought.

Twenty years later, after reading for the first time about the Mississippian culture that flourished throughout the South and Midwest, I deliberately sought out the largest ceremonial center north of the Rio Grande River. I have since returned to that evocative site again and again on behalf of my books and magazine articles about ancient America.

But nothing compares with a first visit to the Cahokia pyramid. The impression it makes becomes even more potent when we realize that not only was it the centerpiece of the largest city of its time, but it was also the capital of a commercial empire that spread from the Upper Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico. Cahokia was actually the hub of an even greater network of related city-states: the Mississippian culture, a loose confederation of like-minded pyramid-builders who dominated North America east of the Mississippi River.

Despite their prodigious accomplishments in social organization, monumental architecture, applied astronomy, large-scale agriculture, and urban planning, their society collapsed about one hundred years before the arrival of modern Europeans. It was all news to me. Throughout my school years, I was told that American history began when Christopher Columbus set foot on the beach at San Salvador. Prior to this seminal moment, my fellow students and I were told, the Aztecs and Mayas in Mexico and Peru’s Incas had done something civilized, albeit backward, but no true civilization occurred in what would later become the United States. That was true enough, in a sense, because by the sixteenth century, tribes of Plains Indians occupied the New World north of the Rio Grande, although early pioneers were mystified by the enigmatic ruins of abandoned cities and atypical artifacts they occasionally encountered en route to the West.

But as the magnitude and fate of Cahokia and its precursors began to unfold, I was struck by some obvious, even disconcerting, though ignored conclusions—especially, that our civilization is not the first on this continent. Others have risen and fallen in North America several times long before our own. No civilization worthy of the name was ever created in a vacuum, incapable of affecting other societies greater or lesser than itself, often far removed from its own urban center. Shangri-la was a fable, but the lost civilizations of America were not. The seas, which today’s mainstream archaeologists insist hermetically sealed off one ancient society from another before Columbus, were in fact superhighways humans rode from place to place, as proved more than once by Dr. Thor Heyerdahl. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the Norwegian archaeologist’s faithful recreations of period ships operated by ancient Easter Islanders, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Peruvians demonstrated that mariners possessed a technology that enabled them to traverse the seas long before Columbus.

Contrary to his opponents, who still miss the point of his experiments, Heyerdahl proved not that voyagers from the ancient Old World sailed to the New, but that they had the means to do so. A people capable of constructing a massive pyramid and mastering at least the rudiments of astronomy could certainly build a transoceanic vessel and effectively guide its course using celestial navigation. Certainly, this same group who dealt constantly with the horrors of hand-to-hand combat would not have shrunk from the terror of the sea, particularly if tempted by the prospect of great riches or escape from overwhelming enemies. Conventional scholars argue that ancient peoples, such as the Egyptians or Chinese, whose civilizations stood much higher than Polynesian society, for example, were somehow unable at least to duplicate the trans-Pacific catamarans operated by South Sea islanders.

Edmund J. Ladd, late curator of ethnology at Santa Fe’s Museum of New Mexico, states:

The mythology of the Melika, the White People, tells us that we Native Americans came across the Bering Strait in small groups over a long period of time, perhaps even 35,000 years ago. If this is true, why couldn’t others have come across later, or earlier? According to some, the Vikings came to Greenland (or Vineland) many years before Columbus. Artifacts found in archaeological sites along the West Coast give hints of earlier travel across the Pacific. . . . My point is that if we have some knowledge and documentation of all these early voyages from nearly all of the world, how many unknown or undocumented voyages might have occurred?¹

As modern America is the product of overseas immigrants, so the four civilizations that preceded it were sparked by outside influences. First came the Adena in 1000 BC, their culture exploding full-blown between the Atlantic seaboard and the Mississippi River. For seventeen centuries, their material finesse ranged from massive earthworks and hill forts to dentistry and intricately designed tablets. They introduced pottery making, and were the first Americans to practice organized agriculture.

Around 300 BC, an entirely different people, the Hopewell, sprouted in the Ohio Valley. They built immense ceremonial centers, some of them connected by actual highways they sculpted into a sacred landscape the effigies of great birds, lizards, and fantastic beasts and they imported extraordinary quantities of luxury goods from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes. But in AD 400, the Hopewell suddenly became extinct, and the last of the Adena followed three centuries later.

A dark age of two hundred years ensued until city-states such as Cahokia erupted into existence throughout the Mississippi Valley. Yet shortly after AD 1300, they all lay in ruins. On the other side of the Mississippi River, contemporaneous Hohokam and Anasazi construction engineers laid out a vast irrigation network across the Southwest, where they raised monumental religious arenas and multistoried building complexes before vanishing into prehistory.

There are only a few books about the Mississippians or Anasazi available for nontechnical readers, fewer devoted to the Hopewell, and virtually none about the Adena. More important, nothing on the market describes these prehistoric cultures for what they really were: lost civilizations that rose and fell while Socrates lived in Greece and Charlemagne ruled continental Europe.

Their picture is somewhat obscured by an outmoded archaeology resistant to new discoveries, particularly those made by other disciplines that tend to jeopardize long-held academic dogma. A typical example is the Kensington Rune Stone, a granite boulder covered with Norse inscriptions dated to AD 1362 and found on a Minnesota farm in 1898. Consistently denigrated as a ludicrous hoax by establishment archaeologists, its pre-Columbian provenance has been affirmed repeatedly by professional geologists and epigraphers. As the renowned science writer Arthur C. Clarke noted, When a distinguished scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. ²

Out of nowhere does such academic resistance arise more fiercely than from any suggestion of overseas visitors to our continent before 1492 from either the Occident or Orient. Even the foremost specialist in Southwest prehistory, Emil W. Haury, admitted, [U]nfortunately, the archaeologist tends to think of his materials as cultural isolates, a state of mind that discourages relating people in geographically adjacent areas in a graded fashion. ³ Devoted as the defenders of pre-Columbian purity may be to their cause of cultural isolation, a growing body of fact, as convincing as it is abundant, and much of it authenticated by real scientists, leaves no doubt that ancient America was hardly sealed off from the rest of the world.

Notwithstanding crumbling paradigms, we must take into account to what extent these foreign influences were responsible for the advanced societies that flourished here so long ago. Did, in fact, those early civilizations entirely escape such alien impact, or were they actually indebted to contemporaneous forces from the Old World?

Answers presented in the following pages do not fit any preconceived theories, but instead emerge of their own accord from evidence that has accumulated as the story develops. The result is a mosaic of proofs that amount in the aggregate to a prehistoric drama as rich as it is unsuspected. It is offered here, in at least the general outlines of its totality and the controversial roots of its being, for the first time to modern readers. It is their legacy, part of their story as Americans. They may shine it as a new light on the deep past, or, should they choose not to shrink from disturbing parallels, use the past to illuminate their own time and that to come.

### ADENA, FIRST CIVILIZERS OF NORTH AMERICA

A warm breeze ruffled the surface of the water as I struggled to pull on my wet suit aboard our pitching pontoon boat overcrowded with deckhands, sonar and radio monitors, photographers, and coils and lines of rope and cable. Three other divers, some already half suited-up, huddled around a sonar operator, peering intently at his blinking scope.

Sure looks unnatural, one of them exclaimed. Maybe we found it this time, another said.

You’re almost directly on target, a distorted voice crackled over the receiver that our radioman held at the bow of the boat.

I squinted up into a bright sky to see the single-engine Cessna humming in an oval pattern about 2,000 feet overhead.

But you’re beginning to drift, the spotter pilot warned.

Nothing I can do about it until Doug gets back. Take a bearing between Korth farm in the west and Bartel’s Landing in the east.

Our position lay in an area we previously avoided as unlikely, until a sonar hit brought us to the northwest quadrant of the figure 8–shaped lake—an area nearly three miles long and two miles wide—on this late spring afternoon.

At first sight, our vessel and its passengers might have seemed ordinary enough—save for a dozen scuba divers and news media cameramen aboard. Occasionally, our spotter plane swooped low over the flotilla of mixed pleasure craft to elicit a cheer from the several hundred spectators gathered on shore in expectation of our success. Well, at least the weather was cooperating for once.

Earlier attempts to search this singular body of water in the dead of a Midwestern winter—when we hoped in vain for exceptional underwater clarity—rivaled Antarctic expeditions for hardship. Those extreme adventures had been only part of many previous searches going back to the beginning of the twentieth century, when the lost pyramids of Rock Lake morphed from mythology into archaeology.

Pioneers trekking across southern Wisconsin during the 1820s first learned of them from Winnebago Indians living for time out of mind along the tamarack shores. A more ancient people were said to have venerated their lunar goddess at a sacred site long since engulfed by the waters that received their name from Tyranena, the Temple of the Moon. In native oral tradition, it and other sunken structures were referred to as rock teepees, which lent themselves to the modern name Rock Lake.

For almost eighty years, they were dismissed as indigenous fantasy by the citizens of Lake Mills, the town that grew up nearby—until a severe drought in the summer of 1900 lowered water levels sufficiently to reveal at least one of the legendary pyramids. Its unexpected appearance was cut short by weeklong thunderstorms that ended drought conditions, but also brought disrepute to local observers, who were accused by neighboring townsmen of perpetuating a hoax.

Although most Lake Mills residents thereafter distanced themselves from the controversy, divers, professional scientists, and enthusiastic amateurs from across Wisconsin and beyond undertook the underwater exploration of Rock Lake for its elusive structures. Their search began in earnest during the 1930s, when Victor Taylor, a Lake Mills school teacher, arranged for state funds to look for sunken remains, without success.

Undaunted, other investigators took up the hunt where Taylor left off throughout the pre- and postwar periods and into the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Occasionally, they caught glimpses of intriguing hulks lying in the murky depths, but nothing clear enough to convince the skeptics.

By 1987, I, too, had fallen victim to the quest, devoting myself almost full time over the next several years to its pursuit. After perhaps fifty diving expeditions at Rock Lake, under all kinds of conditions—some of them more hazardous than they should have been—I had interested enough fellow researchers to organize a thorough sonar sweep of the lake bottom. The new technology bore fruit almost at once, and we combined it with aerial observation to put our divers right on the target.

Now, in 1991, we felt we were on the verge of discovery. Douglas Gossage, a master diver from Lansing, Illinois, was the first over the side to verify the sonar contact visually. No one else would be allowed to dive there until he finished photographing it with his waterproof video camera. A filmy matrix floating in solution over the lake floor was highly sensitive to the slightest disturbance one misplaced kick could conjure obscuring billows of silt that foiled all attempts at photography. We could not have a gaggle of excited divers spoiling a delicate operation that had been some four years in the making. They would have their chance, one by one, to descend to the structure after Doug completed its photographic documentation.

As the day’s chief organizer, I would be the first diver after him to visit the target. I anxiously followed his air bubbles breaking the surface in a long line. He had already been down there at least thirty minutes, so we all assumed he must have been seeing something of significance. The sonar continued to reveal, beneath our keel, a large, solid, uniformly rectangular feature 60 feet beneath, where nothing of the kind was known to exist. No pier or harbor works could have been built this far from shore.

An iridescent-orange marker buoy abruptly popped to the surface about 20 feet from our pontoon boat. Ten minutes later, Doug’s head appeared closer to the buoy. He looked around in surprise, almost annoyed that we had drifted farther than he expected. Tearing off his facemask and spitting out his mouthpiece, he yelled at us across the waves, We’re almost on top of it!

Impatient for further explanations, I struggled into the rest of my wet suit, then fell backward off the deck into the water. Rising to the surface after my plunge, I kicked in the direction of Doug’s marker buoy, as he wearily swam past toward our lurching pontoon boat. Rising waves made conversation difficult, so we exchanged hand signals instead— Everything’s okay. Reaching the buoy, I pulled down my facemask, bit onto the mouthpiece, and dived, following the yellow Mylar line secured to the bottom of the marker.

The growing turbulence at the surface transformed instantly into an emerald-green calm penetrated only by the bright yellow line that I circled and touched, though did not grasp, with my left hand. The taut line angled down into the depths, its unseen terminus vanishing beyond the 27-foot clarity of the water, unusually good for turbid Rock Lake.

At 30 feet down, my head, hands, and torso froze, though my legs and feet were still briefly comfortable as I descended through that boundary between the warm water sitting atop the colder realm beneath. This is the thermal clime, and it separates more than extreme water temperatures. The bright green lake grew suddenly dark, as well as frigid, making me feel as if I’d floated down into another dimension. Still guided in my descent by the yellow line, I tried to see where it ended on the bottom.

As my vision strove to adjust to the drastically dimmer light, directly below me spread what appeared to be a white, paved highway going across the brown, mud floor of the lake. Sinking to about 20 feet above the imagined road, I could see that it was not flat, but instead rose at a 15-degree angle to a central ridge with evenly sloping flanks on either side. Moments later, I came to rest atop the structure in a kneeling position on its uncut, undressed stones. Only its uppermost portion was visible. The rest lay concealed beneath silt and mud.

Everything about the structure bespoke human intent, from its symmetrical proportions to the triangular configurations at either end and its north-south orientation. Swimming over the top, I guessed the feature’s overall length to be about 100 feet. More than anything else, it resembled an elongated tent. I kicked around the structure several times, until a comprehensive image of it was clear in my mind and my air ran out. I reached around to pull on the reserve tank valve, and my lungs gratefully refilled with air. Rising slowly to the surface, I glanced down again at our somber discovery fading in the diminishing visibility.

Back on the surface, I found myself surrounded by more than a dozen vessels—some of them belonging to the expedition—all crowded with excited men, women, children, and reporters. Television cameras followed my weary progress back to the pontoon boat, where we reaffirmed our protocol permitting one diver at a time to descend on the contact.

Did you find the lost pyramids of Rock Lake? a reporter yelled at me across the water.

"We found something," was all I could manage.

Even then, I was reluctant to believe that the monumental structure lying 60 feet beneath the surface had actually been built by human hands during what must have been very long ago, at a time when the bottom of Rock Lake was dry land. We later learned that a valley had been carved by a retreating glacier near the close of the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago, when a small pond or tarn was deposited.

Due to isostatic rebound caused by retreating glaciers, Wisconsin’s southern region fell at the rate of 1 foot per century, allowing a large river that formerly ran west to east just north of the little valley to spill into it. Water levels rose very slowly over time, until the river eventually emptied itself to become Rock Lake. At some early stage in this geologic process, when water levels were 60 feet lower than they are today, someone undertook to create what Winnebago Indians still remember as the Temple of the Moon.

That information helped to date it, according to James Scherz, professor of surveying and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He demonstrated that the structure sat near the lake’s edge about three thousand years ago. Even so, his time frame seemed excessively ancient for the kind of social organization required to raise such a monument. Public works projects such as this one resulted only through a hierarchy of labor, building technology, and tool production and a uniform system of measurement exclusive to civilization.

As far as archaeologists knew, southern Wisconsin was sparsely inhabited by primitive hunter-gatherer tribes during the so-called Early Woodland Period, around the turn of the first millennium BC, before bow-and-arrow weapons were invented. Still, Professor Scherz pointed out, the geological evidence was clear and unequivocal. The sunken Temple of the Moon was no anomaly. Identical counterparts just as old still exist in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York, and as far north as Heritage Park, Michigan. They are among the surviving infrastructure of North America’s first civilization.

Archaeologists named it after the Adena plantation at Chillicothe owned by Ohio’s sixth governor, Thomas Worthington. It was here that an unusual mound was professionally excavated in 1900

## Recognizing the Vital Role of the Ophanic Artist

I suddenly realize just how indispensable “the Artist” archetype actually is to our Ophanic work. The Artist archetype embodies the passion to express a dimension of life that exists just beyond the five senses. Artists hold within themselves (or have access to) the unknown quotient capable of bridging two or more worlds. Through their artistic endeavors, spiritually attuned artists serve as “Openers of the Way” by supplying the creative spark that crosses the gap from one state of being to another. The role of the artist as a spiritual bridge also explains how and why art can be transcendent.

Artists born with the necessary inner resources to discern subtle energies need to be honored for cultivating their sixth sense. Within the Ophanic context, painters, poets, and musicians easily portray “The Artist” archetype but this archetype can also extend to physicists, mathematicians, magicians, dowsers, architects, singers, shamans, linguists, dancers—or anyone especially sensitive to stimuli beyond the reach of linear thinking. People who think laterally/spatially are also more likely to possess the “unknown quotient” mentioned above.

How staggering it is to fully grasp the extent of the awesome power locked within each human being. The potential for self-healing as well as planetary healing is phenomenal. But even more phenomenal is that we’ve been given a direct means to communicate on a fractal level with the intelligence of our own DNA. And this is happening at a key moment in time, just as the Earth completes its 26,000 year cycle.

Judging from many ancient petroglyphs found within every corner of the world, it would seem that from very early on, humans have always held an unique relationship with this higher form of consciousness.

Perhaps this logos is the very one mentioned in the biblical text of John (1:1):

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.Slightly rephrased, we could say:

In the beginning was the Word. And with the Word came sound. And through Sound came form.&rdquo

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with DNA and the Word was DNA.

We have the means to affect our future in a positive way. All we need to do is to understand and communicate with the awesome God fractal contained within each of us.

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition – No. 18, Vol. 2. Vernal Equinox 2010