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Ptolemaic Religious-Ascent Cosmology


Ptolemaic Religious-Ascent Cosmology. 1

Geocentric Astronomy Books. 1

Overview.. 3

Ptolemaic Cosmological Diagram.. 4

World and Firmament Only. 13

Celestial Globe. 17

Replogle "The Constellation" Celestial Globe, $65-70. 18

Others. 22

Parchment Background with Mythological Figures. 23

Martha Stewart's Guide to Celestial Globes. 23

Surprise Globe - Inverse Celestial Globe. 30

Celestial Globe Ornament 30

Inflatable Celestial Globe. 31

The Duet 31

Others. 32

Transparent Celestial Globe. 32

Armillary Sphere. 34

Armillary Sphere Sundial 39

Orrery. 41

Search. 41

Wants Authentication. 42

My Postings. 42

Sort 42


Geocentric Astronomy Books

Book lists:

Ancient Mystic Astrology



Ancient Mystic Astrology 2



Ancient Mystic Astrology 3



The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World

David Ulansey


Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans

Franz Cumont


Mithras and the Hypercosmic Sun

David Ulansey


The Eighth Gate: The Mithraic Lion-Headed Figure and the Platonic World-Soul

David Ulansey


The Heavenly Veil Torn: Mark's Cosmic "Inclusio"

David Ulansey


Cosmic symbolism in the New Testament gospels

Mithras, the Hypercosmic Sun, and the Rock Birth

David Ulansey



Mithras born from the timeless frozen serpent-wrapped deterministic cosmos/cave/womb/egg, into the divine transcendent region outside the firmament sphere of the fixed stars:


Hellenistic Religions: An Introduction

Luther Martin


Shows that Hellenistic mystery-cults were centered around cosmic determinism.

Ptolemy's Almagest



Greek Astronomy

Thomas Heath


The History & Practice of Ancient Astronomy

James Evans


The New Patterns in the Sky: Myths and Legends of the Stars

Julius Staal


The Starlore Handbook: An Essential Guide to the Night Sky

Geoffrey Cornelius


Ancient Astrology

Tamsyn Barton



The Other Christ: The Mysteries of Mithras and the Origins of Christianity

David Ulansey


May 2005


Research page for "Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth"


>>The reference to "eighth" and "ninth" is to the spheres of the heavens that surround the earth.


Ascent to Heaven in Antiquity

James Tabor




Sphaerae Mundi: Early Globes at the Stewart Museum, Montreal

David M. Stewart Museum, Jean-Francois Gauvin


From http://www.georgeglazer.com/globes/globeref/globebooks.html -- condensed:

>>A reference book on the antique globe collection of the Stewart Museum in Montreal, including Continental and English globes circa 1530s to 1850s, and related atlases and works of art. Peter van der Krogt challenges the notion that medieval Europeans thought the earth was flat.  Robert Derome discusses globe stands and pictorial decorations from an art historical perspective.


The classic levels of astral ascension are summarized in terms of maturing from freewill/separate-self delusion, to a peak experience of cosmic determinism and imprisonment in spacetime unity, on to a kind of spiritual transcendence of cosmic determinism resulting in "spiritual freedom", to gaze upon the godhead.

10&11. The utterly hidden black-box benevolent controller of the deterministic cosmos. Apophatic level, indirectly intuited or deduced or felt. Throne of the Good god.

9. The divine transcendent realm. The initiate is pulled up and spiritually born out from the deterministic cosmos.

8. The fixed stars; cosmic determinism-prison. Peak mystic-state experience of no-free-will/no-separate-self.

5-7. The slow planets. Intermediate level mystic-experiencing. Glimpses of frozen time and of unity.

4. The sun.

1-3. The fast planets. Beginning of one's mystic-experiencing initiations.

0. Earth. Childish/animal delusion of freewill and motion; time passage taken as simply real. Ruled by determinism, but people fully asleep at this level don't even realize they are imprisoned; maximum illusion/delusion of freewill. The term 'world' is overloaded; it can mean the earth, or the star-sphere and its contents, or everything.

-1. The underworld prison is pictured the same as looking back down upon the sphere of fixed stars (celestial globe -- http://www.sciencefirst.com/vw_prdct_mdl.asp?prdct_mdl_cd=CG616 ); the cosmos as bounded by the sphere of fixed stars (the 8th sphere) is basically equivalent to Mithras' and Plato's cave.

11 3rd heaven -- dark, utterly unknowable alien mysterious godhead

10 2nd heaven -- supernal eternal bright purifying light

9 1st heaven

8 Fixed stars

7 Saturn

6 Jupiter

5 Mars

4 Sun

3 Venus

2 Mercury

1 Moon

0 Earth and elements

-1 Underworld where the sun voyages during the long night of death and rebirth

Ptolemaic Cosmological Diagram

Classic Ptolemaic cosmology diagram

http://www.fourmilab.ch/solar/solar.html -- live updates.

Showing speed of planets:


Looking for a bigger image:


Integrae Naturae speculum Artisque imago: 'The Mirror of the Whole of Nature and the Image of Art', Engraving by Robert Fludd (1574-1637):

The little shapes spiralling are cherubs -- winged heads.



Ptolemaic cosmology diagram, showing stars as 8th sphere, and transcendent prime mover as 9th (Good, True, Love, supernal Light)


World and Firmament Only

http://www.georgeglazer.com/maps/celestial/cellariusorbium.html --

>>Astronomical chart featuring the earth as a globe, within a meridian and horizon ring, surrounded by a zodiac band showing the constellations in the apparent path of the sun. Larger celestial circles are shown. The margins are decorated in the Baroque manner with cherubs and classical women (one possibly Urania) studying astronomy with various scientific instruments, amidst clouds.

>>These prints are from Andrea Cellarius' Harmonia Macrocosmica, the only celestial atlas published in the Netherlands during the golden age of Dutch cartography. The 29 cosmological engravings - together a compendium of theories of the universe as of the late 17th Century -- are richly engraved in the Baroque style, with elaborate decorative classical figures in the banners and four corners of each print. Cellarius illustrated various theories of astronomy, including the Ptolemaic theory that the earth was at the center of the universe, the revolutionary Copernican theory that the sun was at the center of the solar system, and Tycho Brahe's compromise intermediate theory. The magnificent constellation charts show star formations in traditional classical mythological forms, as well as an alternative interpretation of the stars in biblical forms.

>>The Cellarius atlas was originally issued by Jan Jansson in 1660. ...


The god Jupiter's head is outside the sphere of the fixed stars, into the divine transcendent heavens (but the planet Jupiter is inside the star-sphere).

Lo-res image of the famous woodcut of head outside fixed stars


http://www.holisticstudies.org/Public_Dialogue_Forum/Ptolemaic-System-bevel2-opt.jpg --


Regarding the above:

http://www.georgeglazer.com/maps/celestial/cellariusorbium.html --

>>Astronomical chart in the form of the concentric rings of an armillary sphere, demonstrating the apparent movements of sun, moon and planets around the earth within an equinoctial and a zodiacal ring. It is decorated in the four corners by putti carrying two title-cartouches and two diagrams demonstrating the systems of Ptolemy and Tycho Brahe. In the center is a globe of the earth showing most of the American continent and the western part of Europe.



The four corners about the diagrammatic circle are always filled with divine figures because this is the area that transcends the world bounded by the fixed stars. The 4 winds billowing a divine figure's cape = holy spirit of inbreathing/inspiration, for example. Removing the corners produces a more secularized/vulgarized image:



Celestial Globe

The mythical figures plastered to the sphere of fixed stars rotate round and round for eternity. Christ's celestial cross would be the crossing of the two circles (eliptic and meridian?)


>>Engraved representation of Baroque celestial and terrestrial globes on either side of a Ptolemaic armillary sphere.


Replogle "The Constellation" Celestial Globe, $65-70


http://store.photoframesplus.com/13076.html --






http://www.geographystore.com/Product/globes/RG13076.htm --


>>two-way illuminated globe presents a beautifully detailed view of our stars, constellations and nebulae. When illuminated, the globe displays over 70 constellatory images. Features a molded black base and smoke semi-meridian.




http://www.planetmaps.com.au/cache/header-10public__0-0.html --





The tin celestial globe in red painted tin base, the full calibrated tin meridian, painted with blue numerals, the globe showing the constellations as figures in light blue on dark blue ground, stars shown in white and connected by straight white lines, the ecliptic shown in wide red doted line, the meridian swinging forward or backward in a stand comprised of triangularly set wire-form rods connected in a rectangular base for holding the paper-back astronomy guide, Stars, by Herbert S. Zim and Robert H. Baker (Simon and Schuster, New York: 1951).

Parchment Background with Mythological Figures


Martha Stewart's Guide to Celestial Globes

http://www.georgeglazer.com/globes/globeref/celestial/celestintro.html --

>>Other constellations, based in classical mythology are also shown on the globe and in these cards. For example in Uranias Mirror, we can see Perseus, holding the head of the Gorgon Medusa, with her hair of snakes. Even though a celestial globe is intended to show how we perceive the sky as if the earth were inside, we look at the celestial globe from the outside of it, as if from some imaginary point beyond the cosmos. Thus, the constellations are seen differently from that side of the imaginary sphere. For this reason, on celestial globes, the constellation figures are reversed and they are rendered artistically as if we are viewing the from their back (far side). So we can see that Leo the Lion, a sign of the zodiac, is shown as we perceive him from earth, on the Uranias Mirror cards. But on the Wilson celestial globe, he is shown reversed from the back side.


Seeing the snake-haired, attractive death-head Gorgon-Medusa' descriptively represented hunting for understanding, glimpsing one's own frozen-future snaky worldline, and comprehending the experience of cosmic determinism turns the initiate/king into stone, into an eternally frozen marble statue. To gaze upon transcendent truth is to die (fatally rendering the old, naive-freewill self-concept non-viable).





>>Mercator Celestial Globe, 1541 -- $30. Hand applied charts perfectly reproduced from Mercator's originals. Bronzed semi-circle bracket, wood stand. The Earth and Heavens as known four hundred years ago.H. 26cm, 10.25".



43" mythic-figure-covered celestial globes:


>>Vincenzo Coronelli's Celestial Globes ... 1688 ... Greaves & Thomas have republished these magnificent globes -- L8,500-L15,000.



Navigator's Celestial Table Globe Width 10.25".

The original maps used for the set of Terrestrial and Celestial maps were drawn by Gerardus Mercator in 1541 and were revolutionary in that age and time.




17th Century Table Globe

Back then only royalty and very affluent citizens were able to afford globes of this kind.

Mounted on an elaborate wood stand with turned supports and ball feet. Complete with printed horizon ring and functioning dry compass and bronze meridian circle. The globe is hand made on a paper mache core, built up of twelve delicately coloured gores, with polar calottes and the oceans decorated with sailing ships.

The original maps used for the set of Terrestrial and Celestial maps were drawn by Gerardus Mercator in 1541 and were revolutionary in that age and time.

Height 51cm. (20") Width 44cm. (17.5")

£219.95 32 cms. diameter






Mercator Celestial Globe. Wood Stand. Height 59cm. (23.25"). 32 cms. diameter £89.95

The original maps used for the set of Terrestrial and Celestial maps were drawn by Gerardus Mercator in 1541 and were revolutionary in that age and time.




Celestial Globe on Compass Stand

Classic globes without a matching compass were considered incomplete.


Our wonderfully constructed bronze and wood stand with paper globe includes a true reproduction of a 17th century 'dry' compass.


The twelve paper gores applied to the globe are printed after originals drawn by Gerardus Mercator, the inventory of the Mercator projection, which was used from the 16th till the middle of the 20th century.


Height 22cm. (8.5") Overall Width 14cm. (5.75")


Gift packaged




Good set of 48 pictures of celestial globes:



Inauthentic drawings show hercules holding up the 'world' meaning the mundane earth; the more transcendent figure is to show hecules holding up the sphere of the fixed stars.


>>Celestial table globe. It forms a pair with the anonymous terrestrial globe, GLB0038. ... 47 Ptolemaic constellations and two of the non-Ptolemaic constellations ... the supporting figure can be identified with Hercules due to the lion skin over his shoulder.


>>Celestial table globe. ... The 48 Ptolemaic constellations and four of the non-Ptolemaic constellations are drawn. In addition, there are six southern constellations as well as those of Plancius, Hevelius and Lacaille. Refer to the related publication, Globes at Greenwich.


>>Hercules is shown with a complete lion, Virgo is depicted facing outwards, there is a swimming maiden in Eridanus and Perseus has wings on his feet. An exception is Bootes, who is without his dogs.

Surprise Globe - Inverse Celestial Globe


Celestial Globe Ornament

http://www.thesavvytraveller.com/world_views/globes/ornaments/1home.htm --


Inflatable Celestial Globe

http://boreal.com/category.asp_Q_c_E_536877 -- no myths alas, merely the mundane heavens.


The Duet

The duet -- side-by-side mundane and celestial globe.


$99.  This sleek, modern pairing of the terrestrial and the celestial features touch control on the base, allowing the option of illuminating the earth, the celestial sphere, or both.  The world globe offers current cartography, including raised relief while the celestial sphere below outlines the constellations.  A delightful gift for anyone interested in astronomy.



Earth Diameter:  10"

Celestial: 5"




>>The celestial globe represents the eighth crystalline sphere in the model of the universe according to the theory put forward by Ptolemy around 150 AD.

>>A symbol of knowledge but also of power, the celestial globe became an attribute of Roman Emperors, emblematic of their dominion over a universal empire. This symbol was taken over by the Holy Roman Emperors who added a cross above the sphere.

>>The three German Renaissance globe clocks included in this exhibition are also superb examples of engraved celestial spheres

>>The most precious celestial globe in this section of the exhibition is the one executed around 1600 in rock crystal. Material and transparency make it the most perfect illustration of Ptolemy's crystalline sphere.




>>The oldest known celestial globe shows the heavens carried aloft on the shoulders of the Titan Atlas. ... the star patterns were outlined with mythical figures ...

"Sidereal astrology"


Transparent Celestial Globe



>>The most precious celestial globe in this section of the exhibition is the one executed around 1600 in rock crystal. Material and transparency make it the most perfect illustration of Ptolemy's crystalline sphere.



http://www.geographystore.com/Product/globes/HS300.htm --



>>12" transparent globe featuring an internal 4" Earth globe with adjustable Sun. Includes Study Guide.



Celestial globe, $745

Armillary Sphere



>>An armillary sphere is basically a skeletal celestial sphere with a model of the Earth or, later, of the Sun placed in the center. It is useful as a teaching tool and as an analog computer for solving various astronomical problems to a crude degree of accuracy. Armillary spheres were developed by the Greeks in antiquity for use as teaching tools. In larger and more precise forms they were also used as observational instruments, being preferred by Ptolemy. Armillary spheres became popular again in the late middle ages. With the advent of the Copernican model of a Sun centered Universe pairs of spheres contrasting the Copernican and Ptolomaic models became common teaching/demonstration tools. Such small teaching sphere remained popular through the nineteenth century. An excellent discussion of celestial and armillary spheres is found in Chapter 2 of Evans.


>>The Armillary sphere consists of two major components, the sphere and the stand, as seen in the figure above. The heart of the Armillary sphere is the sphere itself, which was often made and used alone. Renaissance painters frequently show spheres on handles in paintings of scholars etc. The central body in the sphere represents the Earth, which was, of course, considered the center of the Universe. The colures and the Equator (the rings defining the sphere) represent the firmament, that is, the sphere upon which the fixed stars reside. The band going around the sphere, at an angle to the equator, represents the zodiac. The line running through the middle of this band defines the ecliptic, or the path followed by the Sun through the sky. The width of the band is ideally about ±9° to include the wandering of the Moon and planets above and below the Sun's path. The various constellations of the Zodiac also fall along this band.



Armillary Sphere

>>Renaissance scientists like to have their portrait painted with one hand on a Ptolemaic or Copernican armillary sphere, the epitome of wisdom and knowledge.

>>A model of the universe, the sphere is composed of connected rings linking the poles and representing the equator and the ecliptic. Intricately assembled from bronze and wood parts, the armillary sphere is a classical desk ornament for the broad and cultured of mind. Width Overall 7". £139.95



http://www.loc.gov/rr/geogmap/guide/gm065001.jpg --

>>A small manuscript terrestrial globe housed within a series of eleven interlocking armillary rings ... 1543




>>The ancient Greeks believed that the stars were fixed to a transparent crystal sphere known as the celestial globe, or starry vault, which encircled the Earth.




>>The corners are decorated with four types of globes and armillary spheres, on Baroque stands, on fabric draped or fabric covered ledges: Ptolemaic armillary sphere, Copernican armillary sphere, celestial globe, terrestrial globe. According to scholar Robert Harry van Gent, this chart was originally engraved between 1716 and 1724.  This example is presumed from Atlas Coelestis in quo Mundus Spectabilis, Nuremberg: 1742,


Ptolemaic armillary sphere:


Copernican armillary sphere




Copernican; Ptolemaic



>>The text for the armillary sphere ... explains that the zodiac is a large circular band between the two tropics, in which there are twelve signs, in the form of animal figures, whereby the twelve intervals of the sun’s movement are discerned.  The text points out other features of the sphere, including the ecliptic, horizon, poles, tropics, and circular dial, and states that the polar circles are at a distance from the poles 23 degrees, 30 minutes, and 66 degrees 30 minutes from the equator.






The armillary sphere portrays the relationship of the terrestrial and celestial spheres, all knowledge.


Armillary Sphere Sundial

Below, the shadow-line inside the ring in the middle of the picture indicates the time.  This is an abbreviated version of the armillary sphere sundial, but another common garden sundial design abbreviates the cosmic sphere more: possessing just the central bar and most of the ring-circle.



A mechanical model of the solar system showing the relative motions of the planets by means of clockwork; much in vogue in the 18th century. Named after Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery.

http://www.harmsy.freeuk.com/orrer.html --





http://www.basicsciencesupplies.com/miva/graphics/00000001/320201_WEB.jpg --

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http://www2.centenary.edu/forbidden/ptolemy2.gif - wants auth. save local.

http://www.mtsn.org.uk/staff/staffpages/cer/elizabethan_world_picture/ptolemaic_2.jpg - wants auth

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My Postings

Astral ascent mysticism influential in Hellenistic religions



I have posted at the JesusMysteries discussion group about this, within various threads. There are about 4 posts I should locate, elaborating specifically on this topic as it is reflected in Christianity. Searching for 'fixed stars' at the following 3 places would find the posts.


http://escribe.com/history/JesusMysteries/search.html?query=%22fixed+stars -- JM mysteries






The sphere of fixed stars

Cosmic escape: read mysticism allegorically/descriptively, not literally

Tearing of heavenly veil at start & end of Jesus' ministry

Astral ascent [todo: correct that page to match numbering in present page]

Astrological allegory



The sun is inside the star-sphere, while the supernal light in the empireum is outermost and the worldly element of fire is near the earth's atmosphere.


>>Even though it has been posted already at metafilter, courtesy of the mighty plep, and has also been illustrated at dublog, and doubtless elsewhere, I couldn't resist adorning this page with some images from the Harmonia Macrocosmica of Andreas Cellarius, which is on digital display at the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott library's website.




>>Mechanical PTOLEMAIC SOLAR SYSTEM. $126. For an historical comparison of the solar system as described by Ptolemy in his famous book, The Almagewt, This early concept of an Earth-centered solar system provides interesting comparisons. Includes five planets and moon from a "geocentric" point of view. Instruction book included.


When you look upon this, it is the transcendent point of view. You are looking upon determinism from outside of it, like a fully initiatited divinized king (so the metaphors went). You are in the position, with Mithras and the holy emperor, to move the stars away from their fixed orbits.


Click the mythic figures on the celestial globe to zoom.




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