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The Magic of the Moon

The Occult Significance of the Apollo Landings

Did mission symbolism point to a hidden agenda in America’s lunar program?

Part 1: NASA and the Old Gods

The Apollo Program, unquestionably the greatest achievement of the twentieth century, did not happen in a vacuum — a political and cultural vacuum, that is. The whole grand enterprise was a product of many interacting social forces; some acknowledged, like the Cold War, some that remain unknown to this day.

Among the latter must be reckoned whatever secret knowledge the government has gleaned about alien visitation to this world. Undoubtedly, if a vessel from another world did crash at Roswell in 1947, it must have had some effect on the Moon landing twenty-two years later. The entire effort would have had to take the extraterrestrial presence and agenda into account from the very beginning. But is there any evidence of this?

Some researchers, like the indefatigable and always entertaining Richard C. Hoagland, a former NASA researcher and recurrent gadfly, have postulated that there is a secret cabal controlling the space agency. This alleged group conspires to hide from public view evidence that we are not alone, including UFOs in space and anomalies on the Moon and Mars, such as the “Face” at Cydonia.

This shadowy clique includes not just military intelligence types like the associates of Majestic 12 who might be reasonably concerned about confrontations with aliens, but members of some sort of occult society. A secret society with roots or beliefs at least seemingly centered on ancient Egypt, for which Hoagland has indeed found some intriguing clues. For it seems that at crucial moments such as launches and landings in the course of many missions, including the Moon landings, there are significant alignments of the constellation of Orion with the horizon. Alignments, it must be added, that he claims are virtually mathematically impossible to be mere chance.

From this, Hoagland makes a case that the “cult” in NASA is one of secret Osiris worshippers, who venerate the god in his form of Orion. My own research has shown that there seems to be something to this; for example, the date of the first manned landing, July 20, is the date on which the Egyptian calendar begins.

Is this group Masonic? No doubt there are Freemasons in NASA: the Waco, Texas, “Tranquility” Lodge boasts of it. In fact, they claim that “Brother Aldrin certified that the SPECIAL DEPUTATION was carried by him to the Moon on July 20, 1969.” More on this later.

However, it is not difficult to find a direct connection between Egypt and NASA. It openly exists in the person of Farouk Al Baz, an Egyptian geologist who helped select the Apollo landing sites on the Moon and, with the late, great Eugene Shoemaker, trained the astronauts in lunar geology. Not only that, but Al Baz has been involved in Egyptian archeology as well, playing an important part in the use of ground-penetrating radar on the Giza plateau and remote sensing from space.

There were the German Paperclip scientists as well — ex-nazis, some formerly-devout Party members like Werner Von Braun — who may have contributed much also to any occult underpinnings, and who probably also would have known about Roswell. (According to astronaut Gordon Cooper, he also confirmed the existence of Nazi flying saucers, though he claimed he knew not what happened to them at the end of the war.)

Finally, there is also the prospect of occultists in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that oversees most of the US robot space program. More on this later as well.

The question, then, is this: Is there any evidence of secret societies or agendas in the official names and graphic symbolism of the space program?

Perhaps in the names of programs, missions and spacecraft, the telltale use of mythic or occult symbolism. clues to this secret cabal could be found.

I must confess that I have not been able to find more than hints and strange coincidences, but what I have found is rather curious. Certainly there is some very evocative symbolism involved in the space missions’ regalia; but the myths they relate to are confused and tangled enough to suggest wildly divergent and even contradictory conclusions.

The importance of Orion

Greco-Roman mythology was deliberately tapped in the naming of Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. The projects’ names were suggested by Abe Silverstein, Director of Space Flight Development, and approved at a conference in July, 1960. They generally seem apt enough. Mercury, the gods’ messenger, was appropriate for the single man capsule and its quick missions. Gemini could not only refer to the two-man capsule, but also to the rendezvous experiments of two capsules that were so important a part of the program.

It is with Apollo, named after the god of music, poetry, archery and the Sun, that the mythological symbolism gets interesting. While there is no question that the ancient Egyptians saw Osiris in the asterism we call Orion, the Greek myth of Orion itself seems to be a somewhat different tale than that ancient story. Rather, it tells of Orion’s murder at the hands of the goddess of the Moon, Diana, through the machinations of Apollo, the namesake of the lunar landing program!

Here is what a pro-NASA, semi-official publication, All We Did Was Go To the Moon, said about the patch, which is replete with interesting symbolism:

The Apollo Program Emblem

Apollo patchThe Earth and the Moon flank a large stylized letter “A” against a background of stars. The Constellation Orion, The Mighty Hunter, is positioned so that its three central stars, known as Orion’s belt, form the bar of the letter “A”. These stars are Mintaka, Alnilam, and Alnitak. The star shown above the Moon is Orion’s shoulder, the red star Betelgeuse, and his other shoulder on the right top side of the “A” is the white star Bellatrix. Under the rights side of the “A” is Orion’s foot, the blue-white star Rigel and under the left side of the “A” is Orion’s other foot, the blue-white star Saiph. Rigel is one of the Apollo Astronaut’s 37 navigational stars. Between the lines of the “A” is Orion’s sword and in the center of the sword is the Orion Nebula...

World Book Encyclopedia notes that “Orion was a mighty hunter in Greek mythology. He was the son of Poseidon (Neptune), who gave him the power to walk through the sea and on its surface.

“The goddess Artemis (Diana) fell in love with the handsome Orion. Her brother, Apollo, did not like this, and plotted to destroy Orion. One day while Orion was swimming, Apollo walked by with Artemis. Apollo challenged her to his the target bobbing in the water. Artemis did not know it was the head of her lover, and killed him with her arrow. Her sorrow was great and she placed Orion in the sky as a constellation.”

The face on the Moon represents the mythical god [sic], Apollo. (p. 41, emphasis added)

(By the way, that small brown blob on the patch just above the lunar disk seems to be a printing error, and not the lurking mothership, as it appears on many but not all renditions.)

There are several confusing things here. Looking at the patch, the three astronauts are seemingly identified with the three stars of the belt of Orion, just like the three major pyramids at Giza. Oddly enough, the Moon bears Apollo’s face, not that of his sister, the lunar goddess. Does this mean that the Moon is the key to the whole Solar System?

Some versions say that Orion was fleeing the Scorpion; and others claim that he had previously pursued the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades, whom Artemis placed in the sky to save them, before he become her lover. Perhaps significantly, Artemis blinded Orion for pursuing the girls. Orion was cured by turning his face to the rising sun — in other words, by Apollo.

A strange and contradictory story, to be sure. The myth raises other questions too, beyond such obvious one that if Orion could walk on water, why was he swimming? Why would Apollo save him, and then plot his death?

Most astronomers seem to think that the story is based on the motion of the sky, where the Pleiades are forever being fruitlessly chased by the Great Hunter who himself is opposite the Scorpion so that they are never visible at the same time. Could there be more to it than that?

According to Robert Graves (The Greek Myths, Vol. 1), Orion’s name means “moon man of the mountain,” while Apollo’s means “destroyer.” Equating Greek with Egyptian gods as the ancients did, Orion was mythologically identified not with Osiris, but rather with Osiris’ mortal enemy, his evil brother Set. Apollo, because of his solar connections, was identified with Osiris’ son, Horus. Mercury, interestingly, was associated with Thoth, the god of wisdom, but also Anubis, the god of the dead.

Orion nebulaPleiadesYet there is no doubt that the Egyptians saw the star grouping we call Orion as Osiris, as Hoagland claims. Perhaps there a deeper reason at play here. The mythology that is accumulating around UFOs generally states that the “Space Brothers” or Nordics — benign aliens that are essentially ideal humans — come from the Pleiades, a constellation identified with doves and young women, for some reason, all around the world — while the sinister, rectal-probing Greys hail from Betelgeuse or one of the other stars of Orion. The astral “Great White Lodge” of Freemasonry is said by some to be “headquartered” in Sirius, called the “Dog Star” by the Greeks, whom the Egyptians identified with the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris.

Ancient echoes

The constellation of Orion, according to the pseudepigraphal Book of Enoch, was formed of the banished soul of Semyaza, the first leader of the Watchers, the “Sons of God” — fallen angels of Jewish lore who taught the arts and sciences to early humans. These heavenly beings then proceeded to mate with human women, as it says in Genesis 6:1-2:

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose.

The descendants of these were the “mighty men which were of old, the men of renown” (Gen. 6:4) — the Nephilim, a race of giants. With a hybrid breeding program of their own, the Watchers, it seems, had more than a constellation in common with the Greys.

Curiously, the Sons of God are generally described as tall and fair-skinned, like the Nordics. Yet a fragment of one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Testament of Amran, apparently describes a conflict between several leaders of the Watchers — between a Nordic-looking Michael, and the demon king Belial, with a face “like a viper”. A Reptoid, perhaps?

In Hamlet’s Mill, first published in that year of world-change, 1969, Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Decehend explored archaic cosmology and its echoes in the most ancient myths preserved around the globe. They persuasively argued that these hoary tales encode esoteric astronomical information, such as the 25,920 year cycle of the Precession of the Equinoxes. This, they contend, is the meaning of such stories as that of Amlethus or Amlodhi, Shakespeare’s prototype for Hamlet and also a version of Horus, who stole the great “Mill of the Gods”, which broke, sank into the sea, and created the Maelstrom, the great whirlpool.

They may have noted even more than they knew, as they cited such odd facts that to the Egyptian Hermeticists as well as to the New Zealand Maori half a world away, Rigel, the bright blue star indicating Orion’s left knee or foot, marked the “road to Hades” — another echo of the Greys?

Even more astonishing is the hint from the South Seas that in far-ancient times, some people knew that the cosmic whirlpool was actually in the sky, what we call the Galaxy, and that its center was near the constellation we call Sagittarius.

This is astronomical information that our civilization has only acquired recently with the aid of advanced optical and radio telescopes. For ancient humans to have known of the Galaxy and its core argues for Atlantis, the advent of extraterrestrials, or both.

And if such lore could survive for thousands of years among such “primitive” peoples until today, could it not have been preserved — along with who knows what else — by secret societies in our midst?

Mission symbolism

In any event, on the official mission patch, Apollo represents Humanity. Were the astronauts placed, then, under the Greys’ protection, even while the name “Apollo,” and his face superimposed on the Moon, signified NASA’s secret intention to claim our sister world from them? Could the timing and alignments all be part of a magical attempt to gain their protection?

As for the individual missions, there is not much overtly occult symbolism in the names of the flights, it seems. The astronauts were allowed to select names for their capsules throughout the Mercury program, the first Gemini mission, and most of Apollo. The majority of the names and mission patches appear perfectly normal for what fighter jocks might be expected to come up with.

In Leap of Faith, Gordon Cooper’s autobiography, he claims that he and Pete Conrad came up with the idea of mission patches, officially called “Cooper patches.” This was a logical application of the long tradition of military heraldry to the needs of each mission.

All six manned Mercury missions had the number seven appended after their name — Freedom 7, Liberty Bell 7, Friendship 7, and so on. Legend has it that this was in reference to the seven original astronauts, though Cooper said that #7 just happened to be the number on the assembly line of Shepard’s capsule, so he stuck it on the end of the name and it became a tradition.

This is not the only appearance of the mystic number seven — as the maximum number of occupants of the Shuttle can carry, it is the number of fatalities in both the Challenger and Columbia disasters. Other occult digits, such as twelve, for the dozen astronauts who have walked on the moon, are woven into the space program.

The patches were a way of building morale and esprit de corps, yet at the same time, according to Cooper, NASA was actively trying to do away with mission names.

Gus Grissom called the first Gemini flight the Molly Brown, after the famous gold-mining heiress who survived the sinking of the Titanic, as a joke about the fate of his Mercury capsule, Liberty Bell 7, which sank shortly after splashdown and was only lately retrieved.

This was the last straw. NASA was not amused — they did not permit capsules to be named again until Apollo 9, long after the Apollo 1 fire that killed Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.

Hoagland claims this was a deliberate Masonic sacrifice to ensure success. Ironically, the crew was trapped because the hatch was hard to open — just the opposite of the problem that nearly killed Grissom on his first mission.

Certainly without the disaster, however, the possibility of a catastrophic accident in space would have been much higher. In that sense, at least, their sacrifice was not in vain.

NASA only permitted names again in order to distinguish the call signs between command and lunar modules, or so the story goes. But that makes no sense, since they had no trouble telling twin vehicles apart during the Gemini missions.

Of the later missions, some were named after astronomical features, such as the Lunar Modules “Orion” (Apollo 10), and “Antares,” (Apollo 14) a red star in the constellation of his eternal enemy, the Scorpion. Some were also named after famous vessels — “Yankee Clipper” (Apollo 12) “Endeavour” (Apollo 15) and “Challenger” (Apollo 17). But some were even named after comic strips (“Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy” of Apollo 10 and the Command Module of Apollo 16, “Casper”).

Apollo 11The mission patches were likewise inconsistent. Designed by the astronauts themselves or by artists they had chosen, they range widely in artistic merit. Even so, there was close attention paid to the symbolism involved by the NASA hierarchy. The designs were subject to subtle political pressures such as that which caused the olive branch to be moved from the bald eagle’s beak to its talons on the Apollo 11 patch, in order to appear less aggressive.

Of landing places on the Moon, only Apollo 11’s, “Tranquility Base” was actually named.

Curiously, only that mission’s patch and that of Apollo 13 did not bear the names of the astronauts. The patch for 13 was done before (and therefore without regard) for the last-minute substitution of Jack Swigert for Ken Mattingly, Jr., but that somehow seems just a bit too coincidental. Could that accident also was have been planned as Hoagland claims? Also, Apollo 13’s was the only patch to bear a true mythological image, that of Apollo’s sun-chariot, and the only one to bear a motto (“Ex Luna, Scientia” — “From the Moon, knowledge”).

Apollo 13Also, Apollo 13’s Lunar Module, which served as a lifeboat saving the lives of Lovell, Swigert, and Haise, was named “Aquarius”. According to the mission commander, Jim Lovell, “Contrary to popular belief, it was not named after the song in the play, “Hair,” but after the Egyptian God, Aquarius. She was symbolized as a water carrier who brought fertility, and therefore, life and knowledge to the Nile Valley, and we hoped our Lunar Module, Aquarius, would bring life back from the Moon.” (All We Did..., p.77, emphasis added)

Life back from the Moon? Aquarius did bring the crew back safely, but if the statement is not about the disaster, it’s rather odd. For the Moon was considered not only a dead world, but one that had never been alive.

Maybe Lovell, who had previously flown around the Moon on Apollo 8, already knew of some kind of life there. After all, his famous statement after rounding the far side on the first orbit, “Mission Control, please be informed, there is a Santa Claus,” is thought by some to have been a coded acknowledgement that they had sighted a UFO, an alien base, or other indication of an intelligent presence.

Or perhaps this all has something to do with the world-view of occult groups. In such as systems as Hermeticism, the old Ptolemaic and Aristotelian world-views are still adhered to. Earth may be at the center of the Universe, but that’s not such a good thing, because the center is where all that is heavy and dross accumulates. The center is corrupt and “fallen,” and this corruption, from whatever cause, is not limited just to this planet but our neighborhood. It even touches the Moon, thus accounting for the “stains” upon its face. Even so, the Moon, further from the Earth’s grossness, would still be “higher,” and not just physically. The “life” brought back would be of a more refined, spiritual nature.

To gain power over the Earth, it has been suggested that it would be necessary to dominate the Moon. Not just in militarily “taking the high ground” but by symbolically taking dominion — by possessing some portion of the only region of the Earth/Moon system humans had not reached.

In other words, there was high magic as well as science involved in bringing some rocks back to Earth. Could that be why the Soviets desperately tried an unmanned lunar sample retrieval mission at the same time as Apollo 11, even when they knew the race to land a man first was lost?

If landing on the Moon was a work of magic, it should be noted that it was certainly effective! America won the Space Race, and victory in the Cold War ultimately followed.

Previous — The Right Stuff

Next — The Magic of the Moon Part 2:
A Mason on the Moon

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