by Alfred de Grazia
My readers, who thus far have been kind enough to loose me on a long tether, have probably been conducting their own more restrained examination of the events being discussed. I suppose that I can rely upon their achieving a certain respect for the connections shown between gods, skies, Earth, and the audience of Demodocus. Reviewing their own information, they will have recalled that a great part of human activity, especially in earlier times, has gone into watching the skies, relating the movements and events there to human affairs and celebrating the connections by religious observances, astronomical observations, fairy tales, song, and dance. They would readily acknowledge the occasional episodes of conjunctions of planets, earthquakes, clouds of volcanic dust, lightning storms, and cometary apparitions; these they might think are adequate to explain the celestial imitations occurring in the Love Affair. More than this may be in their opinion unnecessary and probably untrue. Indeed, the reader may feel that every step that I take to tighten the correspondence between a sky episode and dramatic poem and dance becomes less believable until finally every step become false. "Let well enough alone !" would be their advice.
I grant that this liberal view may be correct, and that I should be thankful for it and that in pursuing my radical exercise I am constructing a model of the absurd. Nevertheless, I shall proceed, on and on, until if I fail to validate the relationship between the scenarios of drama and disaster, I shall have opened up new lines of thought about ancient history, dramaturgy, religion, human memory, and the psychology of the unconscious. Whereupon, since the cast of characters in the "Love Affair" is composed of celestial bodies, it needs to be explained how they can move about in the skies as they moved in the opera theater of ancient Phaeacia. The movements of the scenario should be translated into astrophysics. One will encounter three major problems. The first, which has been dealt with in Part One and will be treated again later on, is to discover and justify the movements of the plot as being the movements to be traced in the sky. How strictly must one be able to follow the scenario in the sky in order to accept its general validity? Up to a point, it is excusable to perceive a physically impossible movement; myth and dream, in the interest of censoring content and creating an aesthetic experience, may have Hephaestus-Venus, for example, doubling back on the "celestial bedroom" too quickly for any conceivable physics to account for. On the other hand, suppose that Ares-Mars had flown off to Cyprus with Aphrodite there to be reunited with her. This would present an obstacle to credulity, although there are some twenty-eight movements, and "one swallow doesn't make a summer." The whole set of movements must be nevertheless both necessary and possible leaving only an occasional screening anomaly to be justified by causes outside of astrophysics and astronomy.
Secondly, there is the problem of apparent movements of celestial bodies. The Phaeacians, proud of their navigational skills, will nevertheless have set the story on a flat stage, a platform of the celestial map of the vault of heaven emplaced upon the platform Poseidon-Earth. They will have been perceiving apparent speeds, flattened orbits when the bodies were close-in, apparent sizes that would not make allowances for distances in space. How great a problem is presented by the semblances, as opposed to the reality, of vision of bodies in outer space, remains to be seen. Although the best of ancient astronomers struggled to actuate the apparent frame in their observations and calculations, still the Phaeacians may have carried an astronomical sense from extremely ancient times. That the Earth is round has been discovered and forgotten several times. The measured circle of the dance and the Coda Dance of the Purple Ball are suggestive of many early theories of the vault and dome of heaven.
The problem is that of translating apparent motion into acceptable and probable real motions. If one cannot offer an explanation of the movement of the scenario that is respectable, even if controversial, as a working hypothesis in astrophysics, then the credibility of the structure here established will slump. Accordingly, after discussing the movements of the scenario, we shall consider in the section on "Electro-mechanics of the Gods" certain theories of astrophysics under development today, and use them to explain the events of the Love Affair.
Another indulgence is besought. Consider, for a moment, that there are five bodies plus considerable debris whose matter, motions, and positions are to be accounted for. Each body has orbital and rotational motions that provide its angular momentum; it has orbital distances from the sun and the other bodies, orbital speed, and mass. It has volume. It has rotational speed. It possesses an angle to the ecliptical plane, and an axis of rotation at an angle to that plane. It has a magnetic field. These still do not include "minor" eccentricities, such as the fact that the shape of the moon reveals three "remnant" asymmetries, or that the earth is swollen at its equator and flattened at its poles. More ominously, the other planets, notably Jupiter, are excluded from the scenario.
Consider, too, that each property of a body may have an effect, provided it changes, upon all these other properties of its own body and upon any one or all of the properties of the remaining four bodies. The number of possible combinations of changed motions - taken in the bare qualitative sense of change, not as a quantitative set of relations that would give us azimuth readings or particle counts - will be (pardoning the metaphor) astronomical.
From one moment of time to another, one state of affairs may transform into another. It is as if one had come upon a round billiard table with five balls already struck and in motion at each its own speed. Each is of different size, each is capable of a change in its volume; each is spinning at a different rate and angle to the board; each possesses a magnetic field of different size and intensity that is capable of change, plus a changeable electric charge; each is drawn invisibly and is electrically related to the center of the board (the Sun).
If commanded to describe the scene, one might pray to God to restore order immediately by sending the bodies into non-intersecting circle moving around the center of the board according to a single law of gravity and with unchangeable speeds. Failing this, one might invoke the most skillful mathematicians and latest computers to tell us what is happening. But they would be distressed by the lack of data. "Give us some benchmarks," they would plead, "Give us parameters." At which point one would have to offer some fuzzy archaic snapshots with their double and triple exposures saying; "Here you are. We must do the best we can with them."
Thirdly, concerning how the gods may fly, is the problem of power to change all the motions involved in the scenario. Briefly, the gods fly by electrically assisted inertial power, gravitationally maintained. This, too, requires explanation, much more than what can be supplied here.
The group's dance in the measured circle that precedes the song is intended to indicate the celestial and sacred nature of the story. It is not counted here as a spatial event. Nor is the Dance of the Purple Ball that follows the story. In general, the scenes are brilliantly lit, 'Phaeacia, ' 'Hephaestus, ' 'brazen, ' 'copper, ' 'golden, ' 'sparks, ' 'bronze, ' and 'blazing' are among the metaphorical suggestions of light; brilliance is carried as the 28th movement or change.
The "Love Affair" proper gives the following spatial changes. They are listed in the order in which they occur.
Let us classify these movements, following their temporal sequence in the scenario and retaining their given numbers. When a movement is appropriate to more than one category, it is carried more than once. At this point we shall also change to astronomical names.
|1.||The first category of movement includes all passages of bodies through space. In astronomical terms, we are speaking of the relative motions of these bodies in the terrestrial sky. The left-hand numbers correspond to the list of spatial changes above.|
|3||Sun passes Mars and Moon|
|4||Sun moves and passes Venus||FIRST|
|5||Venus moves to a false setting||DAY|
|7||Venus moves to Moon and Mars apparent orbital rendezvous location|
|9||Venus moves to a second false setting|
|11||Moon moves to rendezvous location||NIGHT|
|10 / 12||Mars moves to rendezvous location|
|15||Sun passes Mars and Moon|
|16||Sun (approaches) passes Venus|
|17||Venus moves to apparent rendezvous point slower than Mars||SECOND|
|19||Earth moves to rendezvous point||DAY|
|20||Mercury moves to rendezvous point|
|21||Apollo moves to rendezvous point|
|25||Mars moves from rendezvous point|
|26||Moon moves from rendezvous point|
From these movements comes confirmation that the action takes place in the sky. The Sun gives an orientation by pursuing its regular rounds. Although Demodocus does not say so, the elapsed time may be two days; the Sun makes two rounds; better say two days and their intervening night, but the climax (catastrophe) of the scene probably occurs after sunset of the second day. Moon appears generally to hold its course. Venus moves erratically and may not have set during the period. Mars appears to be moving on a near collision course parallel to the Moon-and-Earth solar orbit (the persistent lover) until sprung into a farther orbital track by Venus.
II. The second category of movement includes all decelerating and accelerating events, including pauses, that is, what would be referred to astronomically as changes in orbital and rotational speed.
|1||Erratic, jostling movements of Moon and Mars in close proximity|
|6||Venus apparently pauses for discharges remotely|
|8||Venus apparently pauses for discharges near at hand|
|12||Mars stops at Moon's house (apparent rendezvous point)|
|13||Erratic, jostling movements of Moon and Mars in close proximity|
|14||Longer pause and slowed movements of Mars and Moon as Venus approaches|
|17||Venus apparently pauses at apparent rendezvous point|
|19||Earth apparently pauses at apparent rendezvous point|
|20||Mercury apparently pauses at apparent rendezvous point|
|21||Apollo apparently pauses at apparent rendezvous point|
|25/ 26||Mars and Moon move at opposing adjacent angles for rendezvous point|
From this collection of movements, it may be inferred that marked changes in the orbital speed of Mars, Moon and Venus occur. The two sets of encounters tend to confirm the two-day calendar. Earth's rotation is slowed to give a strong impression of the whole action being frozen during the dramatic crisis, when Mars, Moon, Venus (and Earth) are all lined up (in perilous conjunction). Mercury and Apollo, with Earth, join the scene at this point, as archetypical memories from earlier crises being forced upon the scene of the present crisis. If it is objected that the convocation is simply a literary device invented to stress the literary catastrophe, one should recollect the theory that experience calls forth devices of literature.
III. The third category of movement involves motions, sounds, and colors that connote exchanges of energy and/ or mass.
|1||Erratic responsive jostling of Moon and Mars in close proximity|
|2||Material leaves Mars for Moon|
|4||Venus increases in size, darkening as Sun passes behind|
|6||Venus thunders and discharges streams of electrified clouds|
|8||Venus discharges streams of electrified clouds all over sky andaffecting Earth|
|12||Noises from Mars/ Moon as Mars approaches rendezvous. Electrical belts stretch out between the two as they near each other.|
|13||Erratic responsive jostling of Moon and Mars in close proximity|
|14||Venus' relative movement halts or slows jostling|
|16||Sun passes behind Venus, darkening it apparently|
|18||Giant cacophony apparently from Venus, which also explodes materialagainst Mars|
|23||Quakes on Earth promised|
|24||Venus approach suddenly propels Mars and Earth-Moon to resume movement|
|27||Moon returns to serenity with new face|
|28||All major bodies (Venus, Mars, Moon) and their atmospheres achieve some incandescence during the experiences The events of the third category include Mars disturbing Moon and Earth disturbing Mars with discharges of electricity and material. Earth slows Mars' rotation causing heating and jostling. Venus showers Moon with the sparks of Hephaestus' smithy. The intervention of Venus behind Mars and Moon causes heightened disturbances.|
Terrible noises are heard - electrical, atmospheric and/ or meteoric in origin. Incandescences of Mars, the Moon, and Venus (already incandescent for over 700 years) are noted, from which great heat is inferred caused by electrical discharges, crustal frictions from altered motions, vulcanism, and atmospheric turbulence, especially on Venus.
The appearance of the Moon is altered. Its rocks seem new, contain remanent magnetism, and are freshly glazed. For the Earth to magnetize the rocks of the Moon would require that the Earth approach its satellite to at least three and possibly two earth-radii distances, there to heat up and magnetize its surface  . This is unlikely to occur in any event because Moon might disintegrate at about that distance from the electro-gravitational force pulling at it. Since in the period of the Love Affair the Moon appears to have been drawn for a time away from Earth, and Mars came between the two bodies, it is likely that while Earth beat upon the one face of Mars, Mars beat upon the Earth face of Moon.
The perspective of the scenario is probably that of an observer in the southeast corner of Asia Minor. Then, as evening came and Earth rotated eastwards, and the bodies were accelerated, they would see Mars-Ares fly northwest to Thrace; Sun-Helios would fly west; and Moon-Aphrodite would spring southwest to Cyprus. Venus-Hephaestus is presumably left in charge of the moonpath from a great distance and follows the setting sun.
Phaeacia was discovered to be a Utopia, but positioned in Homer's mind in the west. Some have assigned it to Corfu. Patroni insists upon Malta. Pocock opts for Trapani. Etc. Notwithstanding this doubt, Phaeacia was recently founded, by Nausithous, the father of King Alcinous, who hosts Odysseus. He took his people on a long journey to the deliberately preferred isolation of Scheria because they had been persecuted by neighbouring giants (more likely, the meteorites of Mars). But Phaeacia is now doomed. Two days after the recital of the Love Affair, as the boat that carried Odysseus home was returning to its harbor, it is turned to stone; a circle of mountains erupts and girdles the town, land-locking it forever.
We can surmise, therefore, that the Phaeacians had witnessed the Love Affair in Southeast Anatolia and had played the drama later on in the West, without realizing that the actions in the sky would have followed a different terrestrial mapping if witnessed from their new home.
Isaac Newton cleared the skies so tidily, and his laws imparted such regularity and tranquillity to the solar system, that, amazed at his results, he imagined that only a God could create the heavenly order. There was born in those times a new deus ex machina, a mechanical god, from the laws of gravity, inertia, and angular momentum. But the real historical gods are created out of catastrophes, not from order. And the heavens are as prone to disorder as to order.
Attention is called to two additional facets of Newton's mind, one naturalistic, the other religious. He could not believe that gravitational attraction between two bodies could exist without a medium for transmitting the gravitational force. And, putting aside his deux ex machina, he went searching for his real God, the Old Testament God, who brought the Deluge down upon mankind, even seeming to agree with Whiston, his disciple, that a cometary force might have provoked the Deluge  .
The latter is an irony that needs no elaboration here. But the former sets one to wondering. That all things are "falling" towards other things with measurable momenta is apparent; also that motion and matter are communicable, intra se and inter se, seems indubitable; further both seem to be inextinguishable. One must be wary, however, in using general laws of physics and astronomy when questioning the validity of observed events and historical-mythical accounts. The task of reconciling the two kinds of data is so difficult and frustrating, that many a good mind ends up in some dogmatic or empirical monomania. All this is a prelude to saying that the Love Affair portrays cosmic events that require extraordinary explanations. Yet one can take heart from the direction in which the current revolution in astrophysics is moving.
That some physicists are moving closer to a determination that gravitation may be transmitted by waves, and that others are pushing ahead rapidly in electromagnetism and plasma studies likewise enhances the plausibility of the events of the Love Affair.
For the Love Affair appears to have the planets moving in an essentially electric environment, with gravitational movements largely subsumable under the law of the conservation of momentum (inertia), which in turn may remotely have originated as a product of electrical laws. The imagery of the story is conveyed in motions that appear arbitrary, reversible, and erratic - qualities more characteristic of electrical than of gravitational forces. The examination of Moon and Mars has already shown features, such as rilles, that electrical theory can explain.
Ralph Juergens, who has made a special effort to reconcile the much-neglected science of gaseous electrical discharges with the theory of cosmic catastrophism, has recently proposed an electrical concept of the solar system that appears to fit the scenario of the Love Affair  . He suggests that the Sun's corona and the surfaces of the planets carry a heavy electric charge of negative value. Interplanetary space, on the other hand, is a plasma, a gas of dissociated positive ions and electrons. This highly conducting medium isolates the electric field of the planetary body; it shields itself from it. The shield is called a space-charge sheath.
"In the space-charge sheath, positive and negative charges collect and arrange themselves in such a way that the electric field of a body with alien potential is contained within a limited region surrounding the body."  The electrical composition of the sheath is a function of the need to segregate itself from the interplanetary plasma and thus the plasma from the charged planet.
The electrified body, however, has to continually receive a current of like charge from the outer environment in order to maintain its charge. This the planets do from solar and galactic sources, Juergens theorizes. Thereupon "when no orbital conflict exists, the system operates serenely under the direction of forces accounted for in conventional celestial mechanics."
However, he continues,
In the present case, Mars, according to Velikovsky's reconstruction of the events of 776 B. C. or thereabouts, was caused to shift its orbit by the planet Venus, that had previously caused periods of cataclysm on Earth. The orbit of Venus grew more round, while that of Mars enlarged. The new orbit carried Mars on a collision course with Earth. In due time, the encounter occurred.
The encounter witnessed in the Love Affair was one in a series that agitated the world in the period between -776 and -687. The first encounter between Venus and Mars may have taken place at a great distance, with a largely visual impression being created on Earth, an impression that the terrible and eccentric proto-planet Venus was following a new course and that Mars too had changed its orbital movement to an eccentric one that brought it periodically - every fifteen years by Velikovsky's reckoning - racing on an elliptical orbit almost tangent to that of Earth. There were six such near-misses in the period between 776 and 687 B. C., until a final encounter among Venus, Mars, and Earth brought about the present planetary system by expelling Mars into a new orbit. That Earth may have had the last word may be the inference to be drawn from the coincidences between the rotational period of Mars (approximately 24 hours) and its inclination to the ecliptic (approximately 24°) and those of Earth. For these qualities, "swift Ares" may have exchanged orbital speed and an outside position on the racetrack around the Sun.
Let it be supposed now that the Earth and Moon compose a type of binary system bearing negative charges on their surfaces: the two bodies tend to revolve around each other; but the only sign of this is the perturbation of the Moon, because Earth is so massive relative to the Moon. The same electric sheath, however, (which may coincide with the magnetosphere of the Earth) keeps them in electric balance with the plasma. The sheath is elongated to embrace the Moon as the Moon, pulling the earth around it, ineffectually, because of the great inertial orbital momentum of the Earth, revolves around the Earth. When the sun shines upon Earth, the Earth's magnetosphere streams away from the sun-side to a perceived distance at least sixty times the distance from Earth to Moon.
The approach of Mars, on a generally parallel course to Earth, disturbs the Earth-Moon system. Repelled by both bodies from a direct encounter, it passes between the two. (One argues this midpassage because of the recent searing of the Earthward face of the Moon and the one-sided searing of Mars, also recent.) Its orbital momentum is also great and there is no question, under these conditions, of its becoming a part of the binary system.
Nevertheless, it introduces a new negatively charged body into the sheath and the sheath undergoes violent adjustment. All three bodies intrinsically repel one another, bringing about bodily vibrations of considerable amplitude (the "sex bout"). The electrical repulsions overcome the gravitational attractions. Earth pushes Mars; Mars pushes Moon, and pushes back at Earth; the Earth's orbit expands slightly. The two sheaths temporarily strive for electric assimilation and equilibrium, although this is doomed from the start by the differential in inertial momentum (including factors of speed and angle). The space sheaths expand enormously into the plasma to acquire the electrical charges they need on their peripheries. They probably invade and excite the electrical sheaths of Venus.
As the sheaths move to assimilation, they invade the negative fields of the body surfaces and cause physical conversions of several types - chunks of matter are exchanged between the bodies (in a sense, "gravity falls apart" as opposite charges momentarily prevail); thunderbolts strike the surface of all three bodies, with immense violence.
Some of these are not typical thunderbolts. They are the weapon of the sky gods, at least of Jupiter, Athena and Hephaestus. Thyestes, a hero of the period, is portrayed by Seneca as asking Jupiter to still his anguish by bringing disaster upon Earth, "not with the hand that seeks out houses and undeserving homes, using your lesser bolts, but with that hand by which the threefold mass of mountains fell... These arms let loose and hurl your fires."  Juergens refers to them as of the species of plasmoid, explosive projectiles of electricity consisting of equal numbers of electrons and positive ions, rare examples of which have been duplicated in the laboratory by Winston Bostick. They carry immense electric and magnetic energy at the speed of solar flares  .
A simple principle might explain which body will receive the greater damage. Since the electric charge of a sheath is proportional to the surface size of the spacebody, the destructive potential of the sheath in reference to a second sheath is proportionate to the surface size of the body contained by the second sheath. This would account for devastation of the side of the Moon facing Mars and Earth and of the side of Mars that locked its face upon Earth. Nor should we neglect the protective capacity of the Earth's atmosphere against all types of bombardment.
The Earth's rotation brought repetition of the incident the next day. Now, however, Venus is much closer than it was on the day before and Mars is greatly retarded. It is said that today Mars rotates at less than half its expected speed. Such may be an effect of one or more of the encounters. Here Venus actually seems to catch up, watch, and then passes by. It is possible that at this point, Mars was driven back by Earth and Venus, and moved into its present outer orbit. That Mars is locked in on Earth in its rotational speed and axial tilt may indicate that its final pass by Earth came after Venus had sprung loose the "loving couple."
Also, when Venus "loosed" them, it perhaps added a push to the Moon that reduced its orbit, restoring the lunar month to very much what it had been before the series of incursions by Mars began, and to its present length of approximately 29 1/ 2 days. Thus the electromechanical scenario may be synchronized with the year -687, with calendar adjustments that began all over the world after -687, and with the physical description of the Moon following her devastating Love Affair. Concerning the last of these, we recall that Aphrodite emerged more beautiful than ever - bathed, anointed, and astonishingly clothed. That would mean with "new beauty marks" and an aura caused by heat and dust clouds.
In effect, both the destruction and the preservation of the bodies in the encounter are due to the electric environment which lets only a limited collision of spheres take place. At the same time, the electrical theory permits one to explain how planetary surfaces can be torn, exploded, and heated - including in all cases the dissolution of the chemical bonds of matter - without carrying the bodies implausibly close enough to call upon gravitational pull alone.
The primary effects of encounter are the penetration of the atmosphere and surface of the bodies by attracted oppositely charged ions. A secondary effect is the retarded movement (rotational and orbital speed), displacement (oscillations), and orbital shift of all bodies.
The gravitational force, which, if the bodies were nearing in a non-electric vacuum, would draw them together in inverse proportion to the square of their distance, is canceled out by the repellent negative charges on the surface of the bodies which operate with quite opposite effect and force. (They are repelled in proportion to charge and the square of the distance.) The "Battle of the Gods" resolves into a battle of the space-charge sheaths.
The tertiary effects are heating of the bodies and their atmospheres, resulting both from electric particle bombardment and from atmospheric, hydrospheric, and lithospheric shearing friction. New levels of surface crust are developed on all of the bodies, new "scar tissue," new stratigraphy.
The effects upon the biosphere are grave. They have been described time and time again by the ancient observers, by early students of the Deluge such as Whiston, Newton, and Boulanger, by modern catastrophists such as Cuvier, Donnelly and Beaumont, by contemporaries such as Patton and by Kelly and Dachille  , Lane  , Schaeffer, and, in especially systematic form, by Velikovsky.
There emerge, in the perspective of the human race, disasters without number. The gaseous composition of the atmosphere changes (a noticeable thinning and occasional mass poisonings). Large-scale destruction of herds and crops, and of wild-life and forests occurs. Basins are emptied or filled with water. Tidal waves wipe out nearly all coastal settlements (where perhaps 80% of the Greek-speaking population was contained in 800 B. C.). Chasms are opened; volcanoes are created and activated. Surface soils are ripped off by winds traveling at hundreds of miles per hour. Communities are obliterated or disrupted by showers of ash and debris, winds, water, fire, and famine. The apocalyptic vision, historically founded, is renewed.
The stupefaction and manias of the survivors are understandable. Older, similar experiences are reinforced in the memories of the group. That every aspect of human feeling, thought, culture and creativity should be affected is to be expected. To the explanation of these psychological and cultural transformations, the next chapters turn. They continue, at the same time and to the degree possible, with the exegesis of the torrid Love Affair of Moon and Mars.
1. R. Treash, Pensée, May 1972, p. 22.
2. Stecchini, op. cit., pp. 89-105.
3. John A. Simpson, "Journey to Jupiter," The Univ. of Chicago Magazine (Nov.-Dec., 1973), 6-11.
4. "Reconciling Celestial mechanics and Velikovskian Catastrophism," II Pensée (Fall, 1972), 6-12. The concept is full developed by Early R. Milton and the present author in Solaria Binaria.
5. Ibid., p. 6.
6. Ibid., p. 7. Recently, what are believed to be electrical discharges have been observed between Jupiter and one of its satellites, Io, whose distance is many thousands of miles. The heavens have settle since 687 B. C., but the same natural phenomena may continue in a subdued form.
7. Atreus and Thyestes (Miller, trans., 1917), quoted in W in C, 217: and cf. p. 272.
8. Ralph Juergens, Pensée, Jan., 1974, pp. 2-4, citing Bostick, 16 Scientific American (oct. 1957), 87-94.
9. The scenario of geological effects is well-delineated in their book. Target Earth, The Role of Large Meteors in Earth Science (Carlsbad Calif.; Box 225, Target Earth press, 1953). See also this author's The Lately Tortured Earth (1983).
10. Frank W. Lane, The Elements Rage (Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965).