Ten Amazing Caves of the Ancient World

By The Rundown Live

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April Holloway | AncientOrigins

Caves play an important role in the story of humanity. In addition to providing shelter for our earliest ancestors, caves were also often considered to be mystical and magical realms. For some cultures, caves are the gateways to the underworld, while others believed that supernatural beings dwelled in these subterranean areas. Here we look at ten incredible caves or cave systems of the ancient world, from 70,000-year-old shelters for prehistoric humans to 18th century meeting places for black magic and sordid rituals.

Devetashka – the Bulgarian Cave with 70,000 Years of Human Habitation

Devetashka - the Bulgarian Cave with 70,000 Years of Human Habitation

Devetashka cave is an enormous cave in Bulgaria, which has provided shelter for groups of humans since the late Paleolithic era, and continuously for tens of thousands of years since then. Now abandoned by humans, it remains a site of national and international significance and is home to some 30,000 bats.

Devetashka cave, which is known as Devetàshka peshterà in Bulgaria, is located roughly 18 kilometres north of Lovech, near the village of Devetaki. Beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, rivulets, majestic natural domes and arches can be found within the enormous cave and one can see why various human populations would have chosen Devetashka as their home.

The earliest traces of human presence date back to the middle of the Early Stone Age around 70,000 years ago. The Devetashka cave also contained one of the richest sources of cultural artifacts from the Neolithic (6th millennium – 4th millennium BC).

The Dark Reputation of the Dunmore Cave of Ireland

The Dark Reputation of the Dunmore Cave of Ireland

Dunmore (meaning ‘great fort’ in Irish) Cave is a limestone cave located about 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) to the north of Kilkenny City, near Castlecomer. Within the cave, there is around 300 meters (99 feet) of known passages and caverns.

Dunmore Cave was at one point of time within the territory of the ancient Irish kingdom of Ossory, which was situated between the Viking strongholds of Dublin, Waterford and Limerick. The rivalry of the different Viking clans in Ireland provided one of the most chilling episodes in the history of Dunmore Cave.

According to the Annals of the Four Masters, around A.D. 928, the Vikings of Dublin were marching to attack their rivals in Waterford. On their way to their enemy’s place, it is said they raided and pillaged the surrounding countryside. When they arrived at Dunmore Cave, they found a large number of women and children hiding in it. Allegedly hoping to capture them alive so that they could then be sold as slaves, the Vikings devised a plan to drive them out of the cave. They lit large fires at the mouth of the cave in order to force them out of their hiding. The fires grew too large and consumed the oxygen in the cave, resulting in the suffocation of the refugees. It is recorded that a thousand people died in this manner.

In 1973, the bones of 44 people, mainly belonging to women, children and the elderly, were found in Dunmore Cave, thus giving some credence to the annals. Yet, whether there were as many as a thousand victims, or perhaps less, is another question.

The Historic Grottoes of Folx-les-Caves: Ancient Hideout and Traveler Waypoint

The Historic Grottoes of Folx-les-Caves: Ancient Hideout and Traveler Waypoint

The mysterious man-made caves in Belgium burrow thousands of feet into the soft rock south of Brussels. The grottoes of Folx-les-Caves are located in the municipality of Orp-Jauche in the province of Walloon Brabant. In the distant past, the grottoes were used as mines. One of the rocks found there was tuff, a type of soft volcanic rock which is rich in calcium carbonate. It is unclear when humans first mined the grottoes. Some have speculated that they were in use since Neolithic times, i.e. around 2600 B.C., and that aurochs horns were used as mining tools.

The mines are a labyrinth of about 60,000 square meters (approximately 650,000 square feet) as a result of centuries of mining. This made it a perfect hiding place for refugees seeking to escape those who occupied Belgium over the centuries. It has been suggested that the mines have been used by refugees as early as the Roman period all the way to the Second World War.

The most famous tale relating to the grottoes of Folx-les-Caves is that of Pierre Colon, who lived some time during the 18th century. Colon was a thief dubbed the ‘Belgian Robin Hood’, as he, like his English counterpart, stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Colon was said to rob rich merchants passing through a forest nearby, and his hideout was the grottoes of Folx-les-Caves. Eventually, the law caught up with the benevolent thief, and he was hanged to death on the spot where he committed his crimes.

The Magnificent Ellora Caves of India

The Magnificent Ellora Caves of India

The Ellora Caves are a unique sanctuary that blend the art and culture of three different religions – Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism – and illustrate the spirit of tolerance, characteristic of ancient India, which permitted these three religions to establish their sanctuaries and communities in a single place.

Ellora is situated not far from Aurangabad, in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This site is home to 34 monasteries and temples, extending over a distance of more than 2km. These structures were dug into the wall of a high basalt cliff. It is unclear when these caves were built, and estimates range from between 200 B.C. and 600 A.D. to between 600 A.D. and 1000 A.D. The oldest caves can be found on the southern side of the cliff and are of Buddhist origin. They are comprised of monasteries and a single large temple (Cave 10). A lot of effort was put into these structures. For instance in Cave 12, the three-storied building is believed to have been built entirely by human hands and hard labour. The rock-hard floors and ceiling of this cave were made level and smooth, reflecting the immense skill and craftsmanship of the builders.

Moving north from the Buddhist group, one reaches the Hindu Caves. These 17 caves belong mainly to the Saivite sect, and date to the Rashtrakuta period in the middle of the 8th century A.D. For instance, Cave 16 is said to have been built by the Rashtrakuta king, Krishna I, and dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva.

The last four caves belong to the Jain group. These were said to be built between A.D. 800 and A.D. 1000 by the Digambara sect. These caves are massive, well-proportioned and decorated. For example, there are delicate carvings of lotus flowers and other elaborate ornaments in Cave 32. In addition, the builders of these caves are said to have drawn their artistic inspiration from the pre-existing structures at Ellora.

The Hellfire Caves of West Wycombe

The Hellfire Caves of West Wycombe

The Hellfire Caves of West Wycombe are a network of man-made chalk and flint caverns in Buckinghamshire, England, made famous by their sordid past. They are named after the infamous Hellfire Club, made up of high-ranking members of society, noblemen, and politicians, who are believed to have engaged in rituals, orgies, and black magic deep within the subterranean chambers beneath West Wycombe. Nevertheless, the caves are a place where myth and reality are so entangled that it is difficult to separate one from the other.

According to accepted accounts, English politician Sir Francis Dashwood commissioned an ambitious project in 1748 to supply chalk for a 5 kilometer road between West Wycombe and High Wycombe and so the caves were said to be dug out for mining purposes. It was here that Dashwood created a meeting center for the Knights of St Francis of Wycombe, a private members club which later became known as the Hellfire Club.

The club motto was Fais ce que tu voudras (Do what thou wilt), a philosophy of life later used by Aleister Crowley. Legend has it that members engaged in numerous illicit activities including sex parties, drinking, wenching, and mock rituals.

The Wondrous Ajanta Caves

The Wondrous Ajanta Caves

The Ajanta Caves are a series of more than thirty caves that were constructed around 200 BC and were used as retreats for Buddhist monks during the monsoon season. The caves were abandoned after the 7th century AD when Buddhism declined in India, but are still considered sacred today by the locals.

During their use, the caves were expanded and decorated. They are full of beautiful paintings and create a serene atmosphere for the visitor. Many of the paintings and sculptures depict the life of Buddha, as well as his previous incarnations, known as Jatakas. However, an interesting feature is that the number of female depictions is as abundant as the males. To the common viewer, images of semi-naked women in caves used as monk retreats are unusual. Paintings with half men, half animal depictions are also present, bearing resemblance to the mythology of many other ancient cultures.

The Ancient Caves of Uplistsikhe, Fortress of the Lord

The Ancient Caves of Uplistsikhe, Fortress of the Lord

Uplistsikhe, whose name translates to ‘Fortress of the Lord’, is an ancient rock-hewn town which played a significant role in Georgian history over a period of approximately 3,000 years. Archaeological excavations have revealed extraordinary artifacts dating from the late Bronze Age all the way up to the late Middle Ages.

Beginning its history in the 2nd millennium BC, Uplistsike has been identified as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Back then, the complex was a very important cultural center for pagan worship in the Kartli (Iberia) region. Archaeologists have unearthed numerous temples and findings relating to a sun goddess, worshipped prior to the arrival of Christianity.

The ancient cave city was built on a rocky bank of the Mtkvari River, approximately 15 kilometers east of the town of Gori. The rock-cut structures include dwellings, a large hall, called Tamaris Darbazi, pagan places of sacrifice, and functional buildings, such as a bakery, a prison, cellars, and even an amphitheater, all connected by footways and tunnels. Between the 6th century BC and 11th century AD, Uplistsikhe was one of the most important political, religious, and cultural centers of pre-Christian Kartli, one of the predecessors of the Georgian state, and flourished until it was ravaged by the Mongols in the 13th century.

Beit Guvrin, The Land of 1,000 Caves

Beit Guvrin, The Land of 1,000 Caves

The Beit Guvrin-Maresha caves have been used for thousands of years as quarries, burial sites, storerooms, stables, hideouts, dovecotes, cisterns, baths, and places of worship. They are comprised of chambers and networks with various functions, and are situated below Maresha, one of the important towns during the time of the First Temple, and Beit Guvrin, a significant town in the Roman era, when it was known as Eleutheropolis.

The great “bell caves” of Beit Guvrin, of which there are around 800, date from the Late Roman, Byzantine, and even Early Arab periods (2nd–7th century AD), when the locals created a quarry to mine stone for mortar and plaster, and to extract lime for cement. The quarry was opened from a one-meter hole in the hard Nari surface above. When the ancient diggers reached the soft chalk below, they began reaming out their quarry in the structurally secure bell shape, each bell eventually cutting into the one adjacent to it. Although not built to be inhabited, the caves may have been used as refuges by Early Christians. In the North Cave, a cross high on the wall, at the same level as an Arabic inscription, suggests a degree of coexistence even after the Arab conquest of the area in AD 636. Many of the caves are linked via an underground network of passageways that connect groups of 40–50 caves together.

One of the large caves in Beit Guvrin contains nearly 2,000 small niches carved into the rock. The most commonly accepted theory is that the cave was a columbarium – a place to raise doves. These were valued in the ancient world, both for the excellent fertilizer they produce and as a good source of protein.

Enigmatic symbols and carvings in Royston cave in England confound experts

Enigmatic symbols and carvings in Royston cave in England confound experts

The Royston Cave is an artificial cave in Hertfordshire, England. It is not known who created the cave or what it was used for, but there has been much speculation. The cave was discovered in August 1742 in Royston. A worker was digging holes to build footing for a new bench at a market. He discovered a millstone while he was digging, and when he dug around to remove it, he found the shaft leading to the cave. When the cave was discovered, it was half-filled with dirt and rock. Once the earth was removed, workers discovered numerous sculptures and carvings, dating back as early as 1200 AD.

The images are mostly religious, depicting St. Catherine, the Holy Family, the Crucifixion, St. Lawrence holding the gridiron on which he was martyred, and a figure holding a sword who could either be St. George, or St. Michael.

Some believe that Royston cave was used by the Knights Templar. Others believe it may have been an Augustinian store mine. Another theory is that it was a Neolithic flint mine. None of these theories have been substantiated, and the origin of the Royston Cave remains a mystery.

The Enduring Mysteries of the Longyou caves

The Enduring Mysteries of the Longyou caves

Located near the village of Shiyan Beicun in Zhejiang province, China, lies the Longyou caves – an extensive, magnificent and rare ancient underground world considered in China as ‘the ninth wonder of the ancient world’. The Longyou grottoes, which are thought to date back at least 2,000 years, represent one of the largest underground excavations of ancient times and are an enduring mystery that have perplexed experts from every discipline that has examined them.

First discovered in 1992 by a local villager, 36 grottoes have now been discovered covering a massive 30,000 square meters. Carved into solid siltstone, each grotto descends around 30 meters underground and contains stone rooms, bridges, gutters and pools. There are pillars evenly distributed throughout the caves which are supporting the ceiling, and the walls, ceiling and stone columns are uniformly decorated with chisel marks in a series of parallel lines. Only one of the caves has been opened for tourism, chosen because of the stone carvings found inside which depict a horse, fish and bird. Scientists from around the world in the fields of archaeology, architecture, engineering, and geology have absolutely no idea how they were built, by whom, and why.

By April Holloway

Read more here:: Ten Amazing Caves of the Ancient World

      

This City Is Defeating Homelessness With Tiny Homes, But They Need Our Help!

By The Rundown Live

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Higher Perspective | The Rundown Live

On any given night in the central Oregon city of Eugene, there are about 3,000 people who don’t have a home to return to. Opportunity Village Eugene, a nonprofit organization based in that city, has a big plan to end it.

Tiny houses.

Opportunity Village panorama 1

The mission of Opportunity Village Eugene is simple but impactful: they want to create small, self-managed communities of low-cost tiny houses for those who lack homes. Opportunity Village isn’t a permanent housing arrangement for the city’s homeless. Rather, it’s a stepping stone to transitioning back into society and having a home themselves. “After only a few months of living there my girlfriend and I now are living a life where we are able to sustain a home on our own after being homeless for 2 years.” says Sam Johns on the organization’s website.

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Opportunity Village is a rather bare bones operation. The homes serve as shelter and a safe place to store belongings and not much more. The tiny homes are at most 60 square feet and are not equipped with running water, plumbing or electricity. Some residents have been able to get their hands on donated solar panels to power small devices like cell phones and small appliances.

But now, Opportunity Village Eugene is raising $15,000 to establish Emerald Village, a 15-home community that’s fully equipped with electricity, running water, outdoor fathering area, laundry facility, food pantry, walking paths, and a parking area. Each of the homes will be 128 to 250 square feet, a big improvement from the powerless, waterless 60 square foot homes.

Members of Emerald Village will make monthly payments toward operational costs of the cooperative and will share in the ownership of it. Each monthly payment will be at most $250 and will go toward utilities and a share of the village, earning the lower-income residents equity. Emerald Village will also be self-governed Democracy Style by the residents who live there.

CLICK HERE to make a donation toward Emerald Village.

As of this writing, Emerald city is $7,419 of the way to their $15,000 goal. They also have a matching grant for $50,000 in place right now too, so every dollar donated is doubled.

It’s a small step in countering a huge problem, but I get the feeling it’s going to be one of many.

The post This City Is Defeating Homelessness With Tiny Homes, But They Need Our Help! appeared first on Higher Perspective.

Read more here:: This City Is Defeating Homelessness With Tiny Homes, But They Need Our Help!

      

30 Albert Einstein Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open

By The Rundown Live

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Higher Perspective | The Rundown Live

Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist and among the most profound thinkers of the 20th century. He engineered the theory of general relativity and special relativity, and after winning the Nobel prize in 1921, Einstein was clearly solidified as one of the most influential people ever. He isn’t known only for his great mind or scientific accomplishments, but the man was also wise beyond his years, even in older age, and was insightful, philosophical, and witty at the same time. He was remarkably well rounded and his brilliance has left its mark. These are some of our favorite quotes of his that demonstrate that brilliance quite well.

Enjoy.

1. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

2. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

3. “Human knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life. Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth.”

4. “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.”

5. “I, at any rate, am convinced that He (God) does not throw dice.”

6. “The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

7. “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

8. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

9. “Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do— but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.”

10. “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

11. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

12. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value”

13. “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

14. “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

15. “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”

16. “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”

17. “Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But I do not doubt that the lion belongs to it even though he cannot at once reveal himself because of his enormous size.”

18. “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

19. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

20. “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”

21. “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

22. “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

23. “Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I can assure you that mine are all greater”

24. “In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.”

25. “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”

26. “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

27. “Truth is what stands the test of experience.”

28. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”

29. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

30. “Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen.”

The post 30 Albert Einstein Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open appeared first on Higher Perspective.

Read more here:: 30 Albert Einstein Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open

      

10 Things You Need To Let Go Of To Get Yourself Back On Track

By The Rundown Live

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Higher Perspective | The Rundown Live

1. Let go of your former self.

Who you were no longer plays into this moment. If you want to turn over a new leaf, do it. Your past can’t shackle you.

2. Let go of self hate.

There’s no need to berate yourself for past mistakes or present shortcomings. We all have shortcomings. We all have things we want to accomplish that we aren’t right now. Don’t worry about it, and don’t beat yourself up for it.

3. Let go of your regrets.

I know I’ve made mistakes in the past. Chances are, you have too. But you have to be able to let go of those regrets in order to move on.

4. Let go of negativity.

Certain people, places, things, and even thoughts can create negativity in your life. So rid your life of it. It’s not serving you now and it never will.

5. Let go of jealousy.

We sometimes look at the successes of others and feel pangs of jealousy. But jealousy won’t get you any closer to where you want to be. Sometimes things are unfair. This simply has to be dealt with. Let go of it.

6. Let go of fear of judgment.

People will judge you all day every day. It’s what people do. At the very least, you should give them a reason to judge you as bold, decisive and strong.

7. Let go of toxic relationships.

Friendships, romantic relationships, and professional relationships alike are a hindrance to your growth as an individual. Let go of those relationships. It may be taxing, difficult, and downright scary to do so, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

8. Let go of over-thinking.

When you over-think things and spend your time in worry, you’re not finding solutions for problems. You’re probably just creating more problems. You can over-think yourself right out of happiness. Worrying won’t remove tomorrow’s troubles. It’ll rob you of today’s peace.

9. Let go of the belief that you aren’t good enough.

Because you are.

The post 10 Things You Need To Let Go Of To Get Yourself Back On Track appeared first on Higher Perspective.

Read more here:: 10 Things You Need To Let Go Of To Get Yourself Back On Track

      

10 Things You Need To Let Go Of To Get Yourself Back On Track

By The Rundown Live

trck-700x363

Higher Perspective | The Rundown Live

1. Let go of your former self.

Who you were no longer plays into this moment. If you want to turn over a new leaf, do it. Your past can’t shackle you.

2. Let go of self hate.

There’s no need to berate yourself for past mistakes or present shortcomings. We all have shortcomings. We all have things we want to accomplish that we aren’t right now. Don’t worry about it, and don’t beat yourself up for it.

3. Let go of your regrets.

I know I’ve made mistakes in the past. Chances are, you have too. But you have to be able to let go of those regrets in order to move on.

4. Let go of negativity.

Certain people, places, things, and even thoughts can create negativity in your life. So rid your life of it. It’s not serving you now and it never will.

5. Let go of jealousy.

We sometimes look at the successes of others and feel pangs of jealousy. But jealousy won’t get you any closer to where you want to be. Sometimes things are unfair. This simply has to be dealt with. Let go of it.

6. Let go of fear of judgment.

People will judge you all day every day. It’s what people do. At the very least, you should give them a reason to judge you as bold, decisive and strong.

7. Let go of toxic relationships.

Friendships, romantic relationships, and professional relationships alike are a hindrance to your growth as an individual. Let go of those relationships. It may be taxing, difficult, and downright scary to do so, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

8. Let go of over-thinking.

When you over-think things and spend your time in worry, you’re not finding solutions for problems. You’re probably just creating more problems. You can over-think yourself right out of happiness. Worrying won’t remove tomorrow’s troubles. It’ll rob you of today’s peace.

9. Let go of the belief that you aren’t good enough.

Because you are.

The post 10 Things You Need To Let Go Of To Get Yourself Back On Track appeared first on Higher Perspective.

Read more here:: 10 Things You Need To Let Go Of To Get Yourself Back On Track

      

How To Start Your Own Country

By The Rundown Live

How To Start Your Own Country

Which Regions Wants Independence? http://testu.be/1aZXAKT
Subscribe! http://bitly.com/1iLOHml

In April 2015 the nation of Liberland popped into existence. Can you really just show up and invent a brand new nation? Well, technically yes. So, how exactly do you do it?

Learn More:
Liberland
http://liberland.org/en/main/

Can Freedom-Loving Czechs Build a New Nation on the Danube?
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/04/16/liberland_czech_libertarian_declares_new_nation_on_border_of_serbia_and.html
“Tired of high taxes, meddling bureaucrats, and the military-industrial complex? Forget voting for some watered-down sellout like Rand Paul and consider moving to the world’s newest (sort of) country, Liberland.”

Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States
http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897
“This treaty was signed at the International Conference of American States in Montevideo, Uruguay on December 26, 1933. It entered into force on December 26, 1934. The treaty discusses the definition and rights of statehood.”

Westarctica | Mega-micronation in Antarctica
http://www.obs.com.mt/news/255/1/Westarctica-Mega-micronation-in-Antarctica

Watch More:

After Scotland: Who Else Wants Independence?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V2JO24e9P8&list=UUgRvm1yLFoaQKhmaTqXk9SA

Subscribe to TestTube Daily!
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TestTube’s new daily show is committed to answering the smart, inquisitive questions we have about life, society, politics and anything else happening in the news. It’s a place where curiosity rules and together we’ll get a clearer understanding of this crazy world we live in.

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Download the New TestTube iOS app! http://testu.be/1ndmmMq

      

Religion, Sacrifice, and the Mystery of the Table Rocks in Nabta Playa

By The Rundown Live

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April Holloway | AncientOrigins

Nabta Playa is a remarkable site composed of hundreds of prehistoric tumuli, stelae, and megalithic structures located in the Nubian Desert, approximately 100 kilometers west of Abu Simbel in southern Egypt. They are the result of an advanced urban community that arose approximately 11,000 years ago, and left behind a huge assembly of stones.

(Read FULL STORY here:: Religion, Sacrifice, and the Mystery of the Table Rocks in Nabta Playa)

      

River of Mercury in Underworld of Pyramid of the Sun may lead to Royal Tomb

By The Rundown Live

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April Holloway | AncientOrigins

Archaeologists believe that a recent discovery of liquid mercury in a subterranean tunnel beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan, Mexico, may represent an underworld river that leads the way to a Royal tomb or tombs. The remains of the kings of Teotihuacan, some of the most powerful rulers of the pre-Hispanic world, have never been found. Such a discovery would be monumental as it would unravel many of the mysteries surrounding this ancient civilization.

The ancient city of Teotihuacan, which is located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico city, flourished between 100 BC and 750 AD and is one of the largest and most important sacred cities of ancient Mesoamerica, whose name means “the city of the gods” in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. It once supported an estimated population of 100,000 – 200,000 people, who raised giant monuments such as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. However, much about Teotihuacan remains unknown, including the origin of the people who lived there, as they did not leave behind any written records.

(Read FULL STORY here:: River of Mercury in Underworld of Pyramid of the Sun may lead to Royal Tomb)

      

River of Mercury in Underworld of Pyramid of the Sun may lead to Royal Tomb

By The Rundown Live

Thumbnail for 189930

April Holloway | AncientOrigins

Archaeologists believe that a recent discovery of liquid mercury in a subterranean tunnel beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan, Mexico, may represent an underworld river that leads the way to a Royal tomb or tombs. The remains of the kings of Teotihuacan, some of the most powerful rulers of the pre-Hispanic world, have never been found. Such a discovery would be monumental as it would unravel many of the mysteries surrounding this ancient civilization.

The ancient city of Teotihuacan, which is located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico city, flourished between 100 BC and 750 AD and is one of the largest and most important sacred cities of ancient Mesoamerica, whose name means “the city of the gods” in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. It once supported an estimated population of 100,000 – 200,000 people, who raised giant monuments such as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. However, much about Teotihuacan remains unknown, including the origin of the people who lived there, as they did not leave behind any written records.

(Read FULL STORY here:: River of Mercury in Underworld of Pyramid of the Sun may lead to Royal Tomb)

      

The Hidden Meaning Behind These 10 Classic Fantasy Films

By The Rundown Live

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Jennifer Sodini & Jay Dyer | Collective Evolution

Nostalgia is defined as the “sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” The feeling can sometimes be evoked from music, a pleasant memory of the past, or any sensory perception that was crystallized in time by a fondly experienced moment. An extremely powerful medium for evoking nostalgia is film, because it has the ability to touch our consciousness on multiple levels, as well as on a deeper, subconscious level we are not even aware of until we intentionally take a look back and analyze.

Fantasy and sci/fi films in particular tend to evoke the affectionate feeling of nostalgia, as well as whimsy, because of the fantastical dreamscapes and imagery they contain. Analyzing the deeper subliminal messages encoded within these films, we find there may be a “hidden hand” at work that intentionally orchestrated esoteric subplots whose roots can be found in ancient hermetic teaching/mystery school tradition.

Below I’ve compiled a list, along with Jay Dyer of Jay’s Analysis, which explains the subtext and symbolism of some of our favorite films.

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1. The Neverending Story

Theosophy is a system of esoteric philosophy concerning the mysteries of being and nature, particularly concerning the nature of divinity. “The Secret Doctrine” by HP Blavatsky, published in 1888, is viewed by many as the text responsible for the New Age movement. The sister of Theosophy, Anthroposophy, developed by Rudolf Steiner, shares a similar ethos, yet can be more related to Spirit Science as opposed to New Age.

So, how does The Neverending Story relate to these concepts? Let’s explore…

In The Neverending Story, the central symbolic image is the ouroboros. Protagonaist Bastian encounters a magician in a bookstore and attempts to read his occult wonderworking text, The Neverending Story, replete with an Ouroboros on the cover. As it turns out, Bastian is himself written into, and participates in, the process of creating this story. In literature studies, this is known as metafiction, where the narrative is taken to another level – an appropriate usage in this case, since the view of alternate worlds and and all possible worlds comes into play. This is significant because the film is working from a paradigm in which notions of a multi-verse ends up necessitating that all possibilities are eventually made actual. The Ouroboros symbolizes this concept in ancient religions, as well as in gnosticism and hermeticism with the notion of eternal return.

We discover that Bastian must ultimately must rename the Empress, giving her the name of his dead mother, who we find out is called “Moon Child.” Bastian screams “Moon Child!” when Fantasia is imploding, and “Moonchild” has the occult association with a novel by Aleister Crowley. Its usage also links the Empress with Bastian’s mother, or the feminine sophia archetype. Indeed, research into the scheme author Michael Ende drew up for Fantasia reveals that the Empress is the feminine embodiment of the spirit of Fantasia. She is then the “soul of the world,” or the anima mundi, in Platonic parlance. It is also interesting that she appears as a kind of Venus or Aphrodite, as well as being associated with vaginal imagery. She is the virgin queen sophia, who lacks the male principle – a role Bastian must fill when Fantasia is re-created after the chaos of the Nothing.

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2. E.T.

Like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. is loaded with esoteric and conspiratorial clues and messages, but also has its own unique emphasis, providing 80’s youths with a new approach to the issue of other-worldly beings. That is also the theme of E.T., though with E.T. the imagery is intended to evoke the subconscious of the youth. Close Encounters is an adult’s story, while E.T. is for kids. Both films focus heavily on communication, language, and symbols, and involve complex usages of synchronicity, foreshadowing, and occult symbology.

For example, moon imagery comes to the fore with E.T., and in the iconic scenes we can derive a deeper meaning: it is significant that it is under the moon that Elliot first encounters E.T. The moon has an important role in mythology, regulating the female ovulatory cycle, and is thus associated with femininity. In astrology, the moon has a direct influence on human actions, and here, as a possible “moonchild,” Elliot encounters what will be his familiar. My contention with E.T. is that he is more like a familiar spirit than an “alien.” In classical descriptions of the familiar, the spirit can be associated with an animal. Is Elliot a kind of “Moonchild,” referencing the Crowleyan mythology of a demonic insemination? Elliot is spoken of as chosen, and through E.T. will have magical powers.

3. The Dark Crystal

Set in a mythical world like Fantasia, The Dark Crystal is Jim Henson’s mystical puppet masterpiece. Focusing on the notion of a 1,000 year cycle, this world is premised on a Hindu theme, similar to the doctrine of Kali Yuga, where we are currently entering an age dominated by chaos, the demonic, strife, and discord. This is also similar to the notion espoused by other occultists that this is the aeon of the child, or of Horus, etc. Occultist Madame Blavatsky also formulated theories of numerous other races and worlds that preceded our own, and the Babylonian Talmud mentioned such ideas as well. It becomes evident that Henson, like Lucas, borrowed heavily from the mythology of various cultures in constructing this narrative.

Eastern dualist conceptions occupy a prominent role in the film, where the Skekses represent the left hand path of severity and cruelty, control and empire, while the “gentle mystics” represent the “gentle ways of natural wizards.” The Skekses are harbingers of technology and power, harnessing the Dark Crystal for the purpose of advanced control mechanisms and even brainwashing, while the mystics are in tune with nature and the forest. The Mystics chant the Buddhist “Om,” further reinforcing the eastern religious conceptions, while the Skekses are busy enacting the “Ceremony of the Sun” for the passing of the Emperor, which brings to mind ancient imperial Egyptian theology and its identification of Pharaoh as son of Ra.

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4. Labyrinth

Jim Henson and George Lucas’ Labyrinth hearkens back to the labyrinth of classical mythology, as well as relating to the perennial journey of the hero on his quest to the underworld. One can see how the transference of the earthen labyrinth and abyss-like waterways can be read as an allegory of the unconscious mind, the underworld of Hades and death, as well as being associated with the worlds in which we enter in our dream state. This astral realm, intimately connected to the realm of the subconscious, is the wellspring from which the archetypes of experience spring, corresponding to the archetypal forms in the outer world of phenomenal experience, as we will see below.

Upon entering the labyrinth, Sarah learns quickly that things are not as they appear – fairies bite, not bless. Doors are not where they appear and missing where they should be. In the medieval world, labyrinths were a symbol of making our way though this wayward world to heaven. In Jung, the Labyrinth is also an image of the individual’s unconscious psyche. We will see Sarah fall several times in the film, deeper and deeper into the labyrinth. In “The Process of Individuation” by M.L. von Franz in Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols, the author explains of the meaning of the labyrinth as subconscious:

“The maze of strange passages, chambers, and unlocked exits in the cellar recalls the old Egyptian representation of the underworld, which is a well-known symbol of the unconscious with its abilities. It also shows how one is ‘open’ to other influences in one’s unconscious shadow side and how uncanny and alien elements can break in.” (pg. 176)

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5. The Last Unicorn, the film, is based on a book of the same name by Peter S. Beagle, and was produced by Rankin Bass in 1982. The film follows the story of a unicorn who goes on a quest to find out what happened to the others of her kind, after she learns that she is the last of her species. She is guided by a butterfly, who tells her that a demonic creature named the Red Bull herded the remaining unicorns to the edge of Earth.

Following a more fantastical and whimsical storyline, it seems the film/book may have found its roots from a series of tapestries entitled The Hunt of the Unicorn which date back to 1495 – 1505. The tapestry is the allegorical representation of the Passion of the Christ, where the unicorn (aka: the Christ) is hunted, captured, and killed, only to be resurrected and revered.

The unicorn of the film goes through the similar stages, as in the beginning she finds herself hunted/captured when a witch named Mommy Fortuna, finds her and puts her on display in her Midnight Carnival. She eventually escapes with the help of a wizard named Schmendrick, and the two become traveling companions as she continues her journey to find the Red Bull. Eventually they find him, and he presents himself as a fire elemental – an interesting nod to the notion of the devil being the opponent of the pure of heart (the Christ). When they encounter the Red Bull, Schmendrick does a magic trick on the unicorn to protect her from harm, and he transforms her into a human, mortal being, named Almathea, thus experiencing her immortal death. As the story continues to unfold – Almathea begins to forget her immortal nature as the unicorn, and she finds herself eventually falling in love with a prince named Lír.

Struggling to remember her true identity, and reason for embarking on the journey in the first place…she contemplates abandoning her quest completely for the sake of love. However, Lír dissuades her and as the story climaxes – the Red Bull finds her again, kills Lír, and Schmendrick transforms Amalthea back into the unicorn, the resurrection, which allows her to kill the bull, set the other unicorns free, and magically revive Lír.

The movie ends as the unicorn departs back to the forest, and says goodbye to her love. Both now mortal and alone, the love they will carry is what renders both immortal in the spiritual sense – and is the way they are able to revere one another through all eternity, through the sacred heart.

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6. Raiders of the Lost Ark:

Raiders begins with an image of the mountain/high place, which is prominent in Spielberg films, particularly Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There, “Devil’s Tower” in Wyoming becomes the meeting point of the aliens/gods and mankind. Biblically, the Law and prophets frequently mention the “high places” where the pagans and Israelites would offer sacrifices to the “gods.” This trend is consistent in many alien motifs, where aliens are essentially interchangeable with traditional religious conceptions of the “gods.” Spielberg especially has utilized this idea, as well as Lucas. Indeed, Mt. Sinai itself is the meeting place of man and the God of the Bible, which will be of particular relevance for Raiders.

In the iconic Map Room scene, Indy discovers the location of the Ark of the Covenant. The Staff of Ra lights up the entire chamber, wherein there is a replica of the ancient city itself. Anubis figures prominently on the wall and in Egyptology is associated with embalming and the realm of the dead, and thus corresponds to Cerberus. He is also associated with Sirius, the “Dog Star,” as the gatekeeper for Osiris (Osiris is the god of the dead). In a famous Socratic dialogue, Plato has Socrates say both “by the dog of Egypt” and “by the dog, the god of the Egyptians” (Gorgias, 482b). Thus Ra – Sun/Atum – light – all have a crucial significance here, as Indy receives light by which he is led from superstition, through the use of reason, to divine truth in the one true God. Earlier we had seen the golden skull sun imagery in South America, and in the Map Room Indy becomes enveloped in light. The entire scene mimics a Masonic ceremony wherein the initiate seeks “light.” Indy, like Moses, has now known the “mysteries of Egypt.” (see Acts 7:22).

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7. The Wizard of Oz

A thread common to many esoteric analyses of film is the notion that the occult symbols seem to find their roots in Freemasonry/Theosophy. The same goes for The Wizard of Oz, as the author of the childhood classic, L. Frank Baum, was a noted member of the Theosophical society. The story follows Dorothy, a normal farm-girl from Kansas, who gets swept away by a tornado and brought to the mythical/mysterious land of Oz. She travels the Yellow Brick Road with her dog/spirit familiar Toto (an apparent nod to The Fool card of the Major Arcana), to find her way to the wonderful wizard of Oz, who is somewhere over the rainbow in the Emerald City, all of which can be viewed as an allegorical representation of the soul’s path to illumination.

The Yellow Brick Road, on the other hand, can be viewed as the concept of “The Golden Path” as discussed in Buddhist teaching (a key component in Theosophy), but it is also interesting to note that the color yellow is representative of the solar plexus, the emotional center where the heart and head meet (ego). The path of the Yellow Brick Road is shaped as an outwardly expanding spiral, and it is believed that the spiral represents the evolving self, where the soul ascends from matter into the spirit world. As Dorothy makes her way down the road she wears a pair of ruby slippers, which is an interesting color choice given that red is also representative of the chakra color which corresponds to the energy of our connection with the Earth, carrying the promise of survival. The companions she meets along the way – The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Man – all appear to be fragmented aspects of her psyche. The Scarecrow believes he is without a brain, the Tin Man believes he is without a heart, and the Cowardly Lion believes he is without courage. The three components these friends seem to lack are three of the qualities an initiate to the great mysteries must possess in order ascend to the next level of understanding. The companions believe that if they brave the path together, the Wizard they are destined to meet will give them what they are searching for.

Amidst twists and turns, good witches and bad witches, munchkins and flying monkeys galore, they reach their destination, the Emerald City. Green here is an intentional color choice, as the Emerald City is representative of the heart chakra, which carries the power of love and the transformation of ego. As Dorothy followed her ego (the Yellow Brick Road), was guided by the desires of her base chakra (the ruby slippers), she reached her heart (The Emerald City) to find that the power of transformation was within her (and her friends) all along. The wizard was no wizard at all, beyond the smoke and mirrors – he was no different than they, and the great illumination came from the knowledge of the power of the true self and the heart, gnosis.

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8. Gremlins

This 1984 classic comedy/horror film tells the story of a Christmas present gone awry. The word Gremlin itself is defined as an “imaginary mischievous sprite regarded as responsible for an unexplained problem or fault, especially a mechanical or electronic one.”

The story begins as Randall Peltzer, a failed inventor, stumbles upon a store in Chinatown during his search for the perfect Christmas present for his son, Peter. A strange sound catches his attention, and inside of a cage he finds a creature called a Mogwai (Cantonese for monster). He asks the owner of the store if he can purchase the Mogwai, but is denied because of the great responsibility that comes with owning one of these creatures as a pet. You’re not allowed to expose it to bright light (the light could kill it), you can’t feed it after midnight, and you mustn’t expose it to water because it may then multiply. Although the owner denies Randall the ability to purchase the Mogwai, the owner’s grandson runs out and allows Randall to purchase it, claiming his family needs the money.
Throughout the beginning of the movie we are continuously shown the failed inventions that Randall painstakingly creates with his own hands. Despite his best efforts, nothing works as it should. This clues us in to a potential backstory, alluding to the “gremlins” of his own creation (the mechanical and electronic problems of his inventions), as well as the fact that it is Christmastime, the ultimate consumer holiday. Ironically, the gift Randall purchases is yet another gremlin of his own creation, something he put care and effort into, yet is beyond his control.
When Randall gifts Peter the Mogwai, he affectionately calls it Gizmo (perhaps another nod to the consumer backstory). Chaos ensues after a glass of water accidentally falls on Gizmo, causing him to multiply – giving birth to 5 new Mogwais. While Gizmo is cute/cuddly/benevolent in nature, this new batch is the complete antithesis – they torment Gizmo and are completely malevolent. Their maliciousness worsens when they are accidentally fed after midnight, thereby transforming into “gremlins” (problems). They wreak havoc on the town, causing death, disaster, and destruction – perhaps serving as a warning of the dangers of mass consumerism, or of not following instructions.

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9. Pinocchio

Pinocchio was originally written by Carlo Lorenzini (known by his pen name, Carlo Collodi) between 1881 and 1883 in Italy. An active Freemason, Lorenzini encoded metaphysical and esoteric concepts in the story of the wooden marionette who turns into a real boy.

The Disney film took artistic and creative license by adapting the original story to something more suitable to their tastes, however the fundamental elements and moral still remain. We find the movie beginning with Geppetto, a lonely woodcarver that desperately wishes for a son of his own. His house is filled with clocks, an homage to the illusion of time which has not served him well. To satiate his loneliness, he turns a piece of wood into a marionette with human-like features, and although the marionette brings him joy, he wishes in his heart of hearts that his creation could transform into a real child.

The irony of being the creator as the artist, unable to create his masterpiece (a son), has Gepetto wishing upon a star to turn Pinocchio into a “real boy,” or esoterically speaking, the illuminated man.

The “Blue Fairy” descends to earth and gives Pinocchio the gift of life and free will – but he is not exactly a “real boy.” His task is to prove himself to be brave, truthful, and unselfish – a similar theme to The Wizard of Oz’s notion of gnosis (self-knowledge) through courage, heart, self-reliance, and will.

Masonic teaching presents the process of illumination as the alchemical ideal of turning base metal into gold, or rough stone into smooth stone. In this case, it is Pinocchio who is being transformed as he begins his initiation into higher consciousness (illumination) as the rough piece of wood, needing to experience the way of the world before becoming a real boy. He finds himself presented with a series of temptations of Earthly pleasures (money, fortune, fame), but with Jiminy Cricket acting as his conscience, he is guided to eventually find the right path, but only through experience, and experience alone.

The story finds Pinocchio being lured to “Pleasure Island,” a place where children eat, drink, smoke, fight, and destroy at will – where school and law no longer exist, in a seeming antithetical nod to the essential Masonic text, Albert Pike’s “Morals and Dogma.” In this part of the story Pinocchio turns into a donkey, which in esoteric terms is the personification of the stubborn animal locked in the material world, ignoring his true spiritual nature.

Eventually the climax occurs when Pinocchio realizes the error of his ways and returns home to reunite with Gepetto – but the house is empty, and Gepetto has been swallowed by a giant whale. This is, of course, a metaphorical nod to the story of Jonah and the Whale, which has its own occult significance. Manly P. Hall explains:

“When used as a symbol of evil, the fish represented the earth (man’s lower nature) and the tomb (the sepulcher of the Mysteries). Thus was Jonah three days in the belly of the ‘great fish,’ as Christ was three days in the tomb. Several early church fathers believed that the ‘whale’ which swallowed Jonah was the symbol of God the Father, who, when the hapless prophet was thrown overboard, accepted Jonah into His own nature until a place of safety was reached. The story of Jonah is really a legend of initiation into the Mysteries, and the ‘great fish’ represents the darkness of ignorance which engulfs man when he is thrown over the side of the ship (is born) into the sea (life).”

Pinocchio sacrifices himself by jumping into the belly of the beast (the whale), where he saves Gepetto, and emerges into the light. Thus proving his spiritual worth through the initiation phases of trial and error, forgoing temptation and sacrificing for love.

In the end, the Blue Fairy allows Gepetto’s wish to come true, as Pinocchio is granted the ability to become a real boy, and Jiminy Cricket receives a solid gold badge, a seeming indication that his role as Pinocchio’s conscience allowed his base consciousness to alchemically transform into gold (illumination).

Dune_Cover_front

10. Dune

Herbert’s novel, adapted into a film by David Lynch, is a fantastical blend of Islamic mysticism and imagery that immediately brings to mind ancient Afghani Sufism. The the opium trade has long been a center of global chess moves, particularly with the British Empire’s control and use of opium and its Great Game espionage maneuvers with Russia. Herbert is clearly aware of this global alignment and includes these very human drives in his futuristic, anti-imperial novel. The novel immediately made me think of Gould and Fitzgerald’s famous Invisible History, which details the importance of Afghanistan in Middle Eastern power moves, not just due to its centrality for the drug trade, but also due to its crucial “mystical” significance.

The narrative’s focus on ecology is also a rebuke to modern scientism which presumptuously enacts the rape of nature and mankind with no concern for an ecosystem that is part of a natural process. All natural hierarchies are restored by Paul Muad’dib and only under this hieratic order is true freedom restored. Paul and the “free-men” represent the masculine order placed back in power under which health and a blossomed, terraformed Dune emerge from a wasteland. This is also why Paul undergoes the Shai-Hulud (Old Father Eternity) worm bile ritual, wherein he experiences a crossing of the abyss to enter that place where the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood “cannot go.” When Muad’dib returns from this death/resurrection ritual, he is apotheosized to bring and end to the rule of the female power and the unrighteous. It is also worth noting that the imperial power sees mankind as a “disease” that must be eradicated through population control. The Sisterhood evidences this, too, with their attempt to engineer the kwisatz haderach. The Harkonnen follow suit with young boy sex slaves, as well as the imperial power brainwashing noble house servants and assassins for programmed missions. Here Herbert hints at programs like MKULTRA and human trafficking that are very real evils in modernity, though they are given little mainstream press attention.

As we explore the esoteric meaning of the subliminal messages encoded within these classics, although seemingly stranger than fiction, the spiritual morals of each seem to carry the same ethos – know yourself, and you will know the world, know the world, and there you will find enlightenment. The art of film is a medium that can convey complex ideas on a deeper level that we are unaware of, yet it also brands fond memories into our hearts. It is only until we analyze these films that we find the exact reason for why they tug on our heart strings in the first place.


Special thanks to Jay Dyer of Jay’s Analysis for collaborating with us!

Check out my interview with Jennifer on MKULTRA and pop culture on her podcast here.

Stay in touch with Jennifer Sodini on her socials: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

Read more here:: The Hidden Meaning Behind These 10 Classic Fantasy Films

      

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