Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Animals of Gobekli Tepe


In 1998 a stone structure was uncovered in Anatolia (Turkey) that prompts reevaluation of our knowledge of megaliths. Gobekli Tepe is 12,000 years old and inaccurately referred to as the world’s first temple. To date it is the oldest megalithic observatory to be discovered, and questions abound as to who built it. Gobekli Tepe means “Potbelly Hill” and was discovered 1994 by Savak Yildiz, an old Kurdish shepherd. Later archaeologist Klaus Schmidt inspected the site and dated it to the Neolithic period. 

Excavation revealed T shaped stones in series of large rings, each stone weighing 10 – 20 metric tons. How these stones were moved is miraculous, and yet the most unique and intriguing thing about this site is that it was deliberately buried under as much as 650 cubic yards of debris, comprised of small limestone fragments, stone vessels and tools, and animal and human bones. 

Andrew Collins has spent years studying this site. In his presentation Finding Eden he states “These stones are incredibly beautifully carved.” He says they show a variety of different animals: herons, arachnids, vultures, pigs, bovines, aurochs, lizards, canines, reptiles, lions, flightless birds, water fowls, and on one stone, serpents crawling all the way around the side. 

It is said that this site raises more questions than it answers. A study of the symbols found on the stones, comparing them with other symbolic styles, and placing this structure in context of Duncan-Enzmann’s timeline will help answer some of these questions. It is he that can read the pictograms, and from them extract information about why the site was built, how the builders lived, and who they were. (see Ice Age Language: Translations, Grammar, and Vocabulary, Robert Duncan-Enzmann and J Robert Snyder) 

The study of symbols found throughout history is a proven and accurate way of gaining information about our ancestors and the places they lived. Duncan-Enzmann’s translations of Magdalenian transcriptions from 12,500 BC – only 2500 years prior to Gobekli Tepe – have brought solid information to our generation about Ice Age culture, and dispelled many of what I now term “Cave Man Myths.” It is likely that the picture language of the Magdalenians (Altamira and Lascaux being the most familiar) is the basis for the pictographs found on the stones at Gobekli. 


To begin decoding these picture stories let’s look at some symbols of a more recent culture, the Picts. Comparing Pictish inscriptions with those at Gobekli shows astonishing similarities. They style of art, the method of carving, even the subject matter is similar. One could come to the conclusion that the carvings were made by the same culture.


Pictures are the oldest language in the world, and pictograms are not a dead language – picture languages are based on nouns. Things. A lion is still a lion. The sun and moon are still the same images. Therefore, a language which uses images, or nouns (Duncan-Enzmann refers to them as Cardinals), is still valid in terms of communication. That these carvings resemble those by the Picts is the first observation. We can compare the Gobekli symbols to those made thousands of years prior and find the same result. Coupling these comparisons with the historic timeline of Duncan-Enzmann supports a conclusion that the ancestors of the Picts made them, and so it would be they that built Gobekli Tepe Observatory. It is aligned for observation, and the holes in the stones are perfectly bored, and were used for astronomical siting. (see Astronomical Advances in Prehistory, and Duncan-Enzmann Timeline)


Symbols are strong evidence of people and their traditions. Images still in use today can be traced back 70,000 years to their origin, made by our ancestors as they watched the skies and recorded their observations on stone, bone, and ivory. At first using pylons, then pillars, they later built megalithic observatories to aid them in their study of the movement in the heavens. That we are here is evidence of their dedication to understanding the natural world in which they lived; learning to predict seasons and migrations was necessary for survival. The animals depicted at Lascaux, Altamira, Gobekli Tepe, and many other sites are calendric records of these cycles. Almanacs of sorts. 



It is known that Gobekli was deliberately buried, not by natural disaster. So why did they bury it? An investigation into the history of human migration provides a clue, and knowing what the site was for is another. According to Duncan-Enzmann, Gobekli was buried to keep the observatory and its recorded knowledge out of the hands of an enemy that was bent on their destruction. There is no other likely reason to do all the work it would take to bury a site of that size, considering they buried without machines. Invasions of neighboring territories had already happened and many were slaughtered. We are no different today, we protect our advances, and keep our technology and weaponry secret. It is how we stay ahead of our enemies, and ahead in business. 


These were the ancestors of the Vanir and Ă†sir of 4000 BC that built a series of megalithic observatories all over the world for agriculture and navigational use. The Vanir circumnavigated the globe, measured the size of the earth, and created the divisions of time we still use today. The symbols they used are the basis for many we are familiar with today in religion, science, and art. They are the origin of many images in the Masonic and Alchemical traditions. Gobekli is indeed worth careful investigation. There is much to be learned if we look at what is there. Really look.

About Symbologist Michelle Snyder


Michelle earned her post-graduate degree at the University of Wales, decoding prehistoric images, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales and tracing them to their roots. She is an author, columnist, publisher, artist, and teacher. Her artwork, inspired by her love of symbolism and folklore, has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.
     Books by Michelle, available at Amazon:

    Symbology series:


Symbology ReVision: Unlocking Secret Knowledge  
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: My Art and Symbols 
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered 
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images 
Symbology: World of Symbols  
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Fairy Tales: 

A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book One - The Lost Unicorn
A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book Two - The Lost Mermaid
The Fairy Tales: Once-Upon-A-Time Lessons First Book

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mal, Mertiz, My kid and Me

Rebecca Forster
Author of the legal thriller Witness series
My youngest son is a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania.  If you don’t know where Albania is, no worries.  I didn't either. Once he was assigned, though, our family became experts on this Eastern European country half a world away. He’s been gone two years now and still has a year and will serve another two months. Over the years, our Skype talks, IMs and emails are filled with interesting information. These conversations go something like this:

Me: Are you warm?

Eric: It’s below freezing. There’s a hole in the wall of my apartment where the chimney for a heating stove is supposed to go, but birds are living there.  The landlord doesn’t want to disturb the birds.

Me: He’d rather you freeze to death?

Eric: I put a piece of cardboard over the hole and turn on my cooking stove to keep warm. I moved the couch to the kitchen, and I sleep on it. With my clothes on.  And my hat. It’s only a little below freezing.

Me: But are you warm?

Rebecca's son Eric
At that point the conversation veers away from the topic of how a California boy survived two brutal Albanian winters.  He’s 26, this is his adventure, and he doesn't need mom to remind him to put on his galoshes. He also doesn't want to waste precious time discussing the temperature. When the intermittent electricity and Internet connection allow, our conversations are peppered with pictures of the scorpions he finds in his boots and bed in the summer, the gunfire he hears that no one pays attention to, and the cows he chases down the street simply because they are there and he is young and hungry for all experiences. I hear about the ‘grandmothers’ in his town who have adopted him, the students who want to learn English, and the kindness of people who share what they have.

Then there are those personal conversations between my playwright son and me. We cross the miles with talk of family, futures, writing, disappointments, happy times and revelations. Sometimes words fail us, and that is not unusual for those who make their living writing them.  The enormity of a thought is hard to express in pixels or through jerky images on a screen; it needs hands and facial expressions and the intensity of real proximity to make a thought understood.  Often words escape us because what we are thinking seems insignificant, too small to waste precious time on. English, for all its energy, can be limiting; Albanian, for all its convolution is not.

Which brings me to the new words I learned: mal and mertiz. In this intricate language that my son attacked and conquered with relish, all words have many meanings. Mal translates to both nostalgia and mountain. That seemed so right to me. We all have a mountain of nostalgia that has pushed through the ground of our lives and built upon itself.  There are crevices where regret is caught and great bold faces slick with the memories of life-changing events; there are crags and fissures of reminiscences covered with clouds of wistfulness and longing. One day that mountain of memories can be comforting and the next overwhelming – it all depends on the light in which we view it and the place on which we stand at any given moment.

Mertiz is the Albanian word for upset, lonely and bored. That, too, seems just right.  If we are at odds-and-ends, uncomfortable in our own skin with boredom or loneliness, are we not upset and anxious? It is really kind of neat to tie so much turmoil together in one word.  Mertiz is not to be confused with anger or frustration; it is much more subtle than that and infinitely more dramatic.  

I am grateful to know that this feeling I have been harboring for the last two years is simply mertiz, a loneliness for my far-away son, a restlessness that he is not here to talk to me about our shared passion for writing, a twinge of disappointment that he is not sitting at my table eating food I made for him. But I see that mertiz leads to mal.   If I am upset and anxious that my child is freezing, if I am bored because I miss the talks late into the night, the hugs he never failed to give, that only means my mountain has grown. See that new foothold up near the peak? It is mal for the boy who once needed me to keep him warm and now simply needs me to talk to him in a new vocabulary that really just says we miss one another.

My latest book, Eyewitness, was inspired by my trip to a remote village in Albania where my Eric served. I learned about ancient Albanian laws and modern crime. I also learned about the legend of Rosafa. Rosafa, a national heroine, was predestined to be encased in a castle’s stones so that the walls would stand strong. Worried about her infant son, she accepted her fate on the condition that her right breast be exposed to feed her newborn son, her right eye to see him, her right hand to caress him, and her right foot to rock his cradle. The Albanian peoples’ history, resilience, sacrifice for family, and adherence to a code of honor are a reality. Their hospitality to a visitor was humbling.

Available at Amazon

Eyewitness is a story about the collision of two cultures, two sets of rules, and two visions of justice, and the battleground is Hermosa Beach.

About Rebecca:
 As an advertising executive I marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilets and mucked around with sheep to find out how my client's fine wool was made. Then I wrote my first book. . .
     On a crazy dare, I tackled a project that would prove to be my passion - I wrote my first book. Though I had never written before, I was lucky enough to sell that novel.  Many books later - including the bestselling legal thrillers, the Witness Series, and the USA Today top seller Keeping Counsel - writing is still the most exciting thing I have ever done. Now, with the emergence of e-readers like Nook, Kindle, Kobo and IPad, the world of publishing is getting even more exciting.
     I earned my B.A. in English at Loyola, Chicago and my MBA at Loyola/Marymount in Los Angeles. Who knew that after all that studying I would be writing fiction fulltime? Today, instead of putting on a power suit in the morning, I pack up my computer and head out to Coffee Cartel. This is a wonderful neighborhood coffee shop where I am welcome to write as long as I want.
     When I'm not at my favorite table next to the suit of armor, I am speaking to philanthropic and writers' groups about the brave new world of publishing for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers, teaching at UCLA Writers Program or having a ball at middle schools teaching with The Young Writers Conference.  
    I'm one of six kids and my brothers and sisters are split between Missouri (where I was born) and California (where I grew up). My mother lives close and at 86 she can outrun me. Take a look at the photo gallery to see some pictures of our adventures. I don't know which I loved more, Alaska or Germany.
     Traveling is one of my favorite things  but  when I'm home I  love cooking, quilting, movies (especially zombie movies), the theater and, of course, reading. It will probably come as no surprise that mystery, suspense and thrillers are my favorite novels.  A tomboy at heart, I've played in a local tennis league for the last 14 years. My favorite shot? The backhand volley at the net.
     I have been married for 34 years to a man I met in high school but don't jump to any conclusions. When Harry met Sally could have been our story. He is a superior court judge and helps me when I need to research crucial scenes for my legal thrillers - I always have to fix a special dinner though to get the inside scoop on things.
     I'm am the proud mother of two grown sons. Alex is in film and Eric is a playwright now serving in the Peace Corps in Albania (we'll be traveling to his village soon and I can't wait). Both are exceptional young men and I am proud that they are following in my creative footsteps. 


Friday, April 17, 2015

Aura Medicine


Medical science is always at odds with believers of divine healing, yet modern medicine is in itself miraculous. There are recorded cases of miraculous cures. We know that a healthy body can resist germs and disease, and psychiatrists teach that a healthy mind can, to an extent, keep the body healthy. It is known that stress and worry break down our bodily defenses, and that meditation is a good practice for managing them. 

The art of healing is by nature akin to the supernatural. The will to live is a very effective deterrent. Ancient healers did effect astonishing cures – did a deity intervene? Did the healing ritual emotionally effect recovery in the sick person? It is true that mental illness can cause physical ailment. If the process is reversed, could mental stability restore the body? 

There is a psychic factor to color. It is appealing, emotional, and inspiring; suggestive of something mysterious. The study of the human aura provides a clinical environment in which to gain knowledge about color and healing. The subject of human aura is not necessarily mystical. Even the most skeptical knows that the body radiates heat and odor. In the right circumstances this emanation can be seen. Photographers such as Carlo Van de Roer do biofeedback photographs of these emanations.


The human aura is affected by the condition of the body - by health or illness. To some mystics, astral light is a healing force, representing the divine deity shining from within. It is said that auras flow from holy places of the Orientals more so than from the temples of Christians, who disdain psychic phenomena.

Paracelsus stated the body has two substances – visible and invisible. Chaos of the visible produced disease. He would endeavor to re-harmonize it with contact of healthy bodies, to heal the sickness with needed elements from the presence of a person with a strong aura, sort of like a transfusion of vibration instead of blood.

An auric healer has three methods: thought transfer, influencing the patients aura, and encouraging the right emanations. The healer meditates on certain hues to build up his own aura, thus affecting the aura of his patient. This is a mental and spiritual process, not one using lights or colored material.

Certain colors are effective for particular dis-eases. For treatment of the nervous system violet and lavender produces soothing. Grass-green invigorates, and medium yellow and orange inspire. For the blood and organs, blue sooths, green invigorates, and bright reds stimulate. In case of fever think blue, for treatment of chills, red is the hue to use. 

To modern medical doctors the theories of the auric healer may seem ridiculous fantasy, nonetheless the aura cannot be ignored if the healing sciences are to practice what they preach. Any number of investigators of this phenomenon, no matter how skeptical, admit that simple colors surrounding the body are visible to the eye. In his book on the subject, George White explains that a  magnetic field exists around animals and plants and that this magnetic atmosphere must be characteristic of the vehicle it emanates from. Kirlian photography has documented these magnetic rays around both the living and the inanimate. White states that the color of the average aura is grayish blue, and that health and disease are evident in the aura. 

Walter Kilner, in The Human Atmosphere, approaches the subject with the scientific mind of a laboratory worker, shunning the more mystical aspects of aural light. He concludes that there is a visible envelope surrounding the human body, which has three parts. There is a narrow dark band, a very clear aura, and  one that is misty and without sharp edges. In a normal aura the radiating beams emanate at right angles, are electric in appearance, always shifting and changing. The color of health is bluish gray, tinged with yellow and red. Disease changes this to duller and grayer color. Kilner stresses that the shape of the aura is more important than its light quality. Many studies by Kilner and Oscar Bagnall were done in scientific manner; Bagnall used a special screen to observe the aura, rather than gazing at the person in a dark room. He divides the aura into two parts – inner and outer. He does agree that the healthy aura is bluish or grayish, and adds that bluer hues indicate finer intellects. Bagnall determined that no aura shines from a dead thing, whereas Kirlian photography endeavored to show that the magnetic field around all things remains for a time after it is dead. 

After much research with processes to sensitize the rods and cones of the eyes to certain colors, Bagnall theorized that nocturnal animals had ultra-violet vision and could see things invisible to humans. He believed that medicine and surgery would benefit from further study of the aura, that these streaming emanations have profound significance. He is convinced that the aura and its colors are an inherited quality, and would follow genetic laws.

John 1:4 says “...life was the light of men.” Ancient mystics worshiped light. They believed that light was divine, that it filled all living things, and that it brought with it knowledge of the divine. This is in accordance with practitioners of auric healing – that the divine light within life can be observed, and that it can be used to heal.

About Symbologist Michelle Snyder


Michelle earned her post-graduate degree at the University of Wales, decoding prehistoric images, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales and tracing them to their roots. She is an author, columnist, publisher, artist, and teacher. Her artwork, inspired by her love of symbolism and folklore, has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.
     Books by Michelle, available at Amazon:

    Symbology series:


Symbology ReVision: Unlocking Secret Knowledge  
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: My Art and Symbols 
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered 
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images 
Symbology: World of Symbols  
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Fairy Tales: 

A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book One - The Lost Unicorn
A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book Two - The Lost Mermaid
The Fairy Tales: Once-Upon-A-Time Lessons First Book

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Miracle Healing


In a discussion of magic we most certainly must mention what can and does bring great benefit to humankind. I speak of miraculous healings. This class of phenomena has great importance in all lines and has provoked controversies nowhere near resolution. 

If cures have taken place at Lourdes or in any other sanctuary of the church they are undeniably the work of the deity. Other cures that happen in other places have been called the work of the devil. Does the devil hold equal power to heal as does God? Wouldn't those who ask for healing and only profit from the “diabolical” benefit would be wrong to refuse? 


One related subject would be the history of Jansenism (a Christian theological movement in France around the 1700’s). Miraculous events are preserved in this engraving by Louis Carre de Montgeron. Francois de Paris was a Jansenist Deacon who died in 1727 and was buried at St. Medard in Paris. His tomb became a pilgrimage and many persons who went there reported miraculous healing, had ecstasies, or went into trances inspired dance similar to convulsions. Among the many cures effected there were blindness, nervous ailments, and paralysis. People flocked to this pale and would lay upon the tomb, crawl under its overhang, or reach through others surrounding it just to touch it. There were often more than 300 Swiss Guards who had much difficulty keeping order. Yet cures were a daily occurrence. 

The eighteenth century, so filled with doubt and skeptics also experienced most marvelous events. Decades after the tomb was ordered closed, people flocked to Mesmer’s magnetic tub, this wondrous object was invented by a German physician, inspired by William Maxwell who wrote: 

“Material rays flow from all bodies in which the soul operates by its presence. If you make use of the universal spirit by means of instruments impregnated with this spirit, you will thereby call to your aid the great secret of the Images. The universal machine is nothing but the vital spirit repeated in the proper subject.”


Mesmer conducted experiments with magnetism and its effects on the nervous disorders and observed that a magnetic force, similar to that which attracts iron to a magnet, existed in everything. He wrote “a mutual influence subsists between the celestial bodies, the earth, and the living bodies.” Thus he created the magnetic tub and miracle cures flowed from his consisting room in Paris. Were these of the devil? 

Mesmer’s tub created controversy. Believers saw powers similar to electricity at work which was then the fashion. Scientific detractors cried quackery, and theologians in their power seats, many vindictive in attitude, saw the work of the devil. Mesmer became known as a sort of magician whose doctrine was neither occult nor scientific, nor religious in nature.

Another miracle healing craze happened earlier in the 1600’s and was centered around the sympathetic powder. This discoverer, Sir Kenelm Digby, was later executed for his involvement with the Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot. The cure was for wounds, most especially from firearms, whereby a mixture of sulfuric acid powder and the victims blood  was mixed into a salve and put on the bandage – not on the person but simply on a bandage. It was said to have created a sympathetic union between the treated blood and the wounded person. This treatment became the rage in France. Digby spoke to a group of learned men explaining that “wounds were salved without need of touching them or seeing them...” All that was needed was blood from the wound. This process was published in a book where in it was recorded that when the Duke of Buckingham was wounded very seriously he sent for Digby to treat it. 

This miracle seems to be a kind of beneficent spell; action at a distance is experienced, as with the Death-Spell. The blood of the person is considered to be a living part of him – like the principle of vital spirits from the 17th century, and in accord with Rabbinical opinions which place the breath, or spirit of life, in a person’s blood. Affecting one affected the whole, which was in accord with all occult theories from Agrippa to Paracelsus. It is interesting that today scientists observe an extraordinary behavior of atoms in which even at astronomical distances what is done to one affects the other. Again, the devil?

In our literal and scientific culture perhaps we have lost our willingness to see the miraculous. Yet the very universe we live in is, to our finite minds, unexplainable; humans cannot explain anything, we can only observe and describe. Cause and effect. Perhaps this mind-set was prevalent in those who, centuries before, were surrounded by miracle healing.

About Symbologist Michelle Snyder


Michelle earned her post-graduate degree at the University of Wales, decoding prehistoric images, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales and tracing them to their roots. She is an author, columnist, publisher, artist, and teacher. Her artwork, inspired by her love of symbolism and folklore, has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.
     Books by Michelle, available at Amazon:

    Symbology series:


Symbology ReVision: Unlocking Secret Knowledge  
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: My Art and Symbols 
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered 
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images 
Symbology: World of Symbols  
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Fairy Tales: 

A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book One - The Lost Unicorn
A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book Two - The Lost Mermaid
The Fairy Tales: Once-Upon-A-Time Lessons First Book