Explaining The Paleolithic Era Leap In Human Consciousness & The Cygnus-Giza Correspondence

By Dr. Greg Little


Note: The controversy of the Orion versus Cygnus orientation at Giza will be the subject of a featured talk at the ARE's 2007 Ancient Mysteries Conference in Virginia Beach.


In the November 2006 issue of Alternate Perceptions, I presented a brief overview of a stunning new proposal made by British science writer Andrew Collins in his new book, The Cygnus Mystery. Collins has amassed an overwhelming amount of evidence—from ancient sites, archaeoastronomers, NASA, genetics, and astronomers—showing that the Cygnus constellation was the most important group of stars to the ancients. In brief, Cygnus, located in the heart of the Milky Way near the Great Rift, was seen as a portal between the sky world and the Earth by virtually all ancient societies. Veneration of Cygnus began tens of thousands of years ago attested to by Paleolithic cave paintings depicting Cygnus.

As Collins relates in The Cygnus Mystery, as he was researching the book he was stunned to learn that the Cygnus constellation is the source of the most powerful cosmic rays striking the earth. Furthermore, he found that the disintegration of these rays can be seen with the naked eye, but the process can only be viewed in total darkness. The deep caves in Europe and elsewhere where the ancient shaman made their paintings are an ideal place to view the breakup of Cygnus’ cosmic rays, which astronomers specifically refer to as cygnets. Collins speculated that hallucinogenic substances—mainly mushrooms— were used by these shaman during their rituals and they viewed the disintegration of the cosmic rays at the same time within the caves.

Hallucinogenic Drug Use By America’s Moundbuilders

One of the key archaeological sites discussed in The Cygnus Mystery is the Great Circle in Newark, Ohio. Great Circle is formed by a high, circular embankment with a moat on the inner edge of the earthen embankment. It was built by the Hopewell mound culture around 500 B.C. and is part of the largest earthworks complex in the world. (This statement comes from the fact that archaeologists have now traced the Newark earthworks over an astonishing 56 miles.) Great Circle itself is nearly identical in size and shape to Avebury in England. (Avebury also is aligned to Cygnus.)

Collins’ research has shown that an effigy mound in the center of Great Circle clearly aligns to the movements to Cygnus through the only opening in the outer embankment. It is likely that a host of other American mound sites will show similar alignments. Interestingly, the Hopewell earthworks at Newark have been directly linked to the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms by shaman performing rituals within the complex. In his 2000 book Mysteries of the Hopewell, archaeologist William Romain detailed a little-known archaeological find in the Newark complex. Romain and other American archaeologists assert that the Hopewell shaman wore animal skins and animal headgear during ritualistic processions inside the earthwork—while under the influence of hallucinogens. The evidence for this is direct and persuasive. The fact that Collins has found an important alignment to Cygnus at Newark raises a host of intriguing possibilities that will be addressed in later articles.

What Caused The “Sudden” Evolutionary Leap in Paleolithic Man?

The relative strength of the cosmic rays striking the earth at various times in the past has been measured by levels of a specific isotope in ice core samples. Interestingly, the highest levels of cosmic rays struck the Earth in ancient times corresponding to periods of sudden leaps in human technology. Finding a wide range of scientific evidence showing that cosmic rays can directly alter human DNA—thus causing mutations—Collins came to suspect that cosmic rays may well have been the source of the leap in human consciousness in Paleolithic times. The idea that cosmic rays can alter DNA is completely accepted in mainstream genetic science. But the assertion that the cosmic rays from Cygnus were responsible for human evolution is a major—and new—proposal. Not surprisingly, other scientists—including some of America’s top astrophysicists—are now asserting the same idea.

In truly remote times, the human race saw sudden advances about 50,000 years, 35,000 years, and 17,000 years ago. While modern humans were present in those times, small alterations in human DNA—caused by the radiation associated with cosmic rays—might well be the cause of what can only be seen as a leap in human consciousness. As an aside, most people think of genetic mutations as something “bad” but mutations are now thought to be a built-in method for adaptation and survival of each species. While anthropologists assert that “modern man” emerged around 200,000-years ago, the genetic alteration that caused the appearance of modern humans is unknown. It may well be that Cygnus was the cause of that important change also. The truth is that it isn’t known whether the DNA from humans living 50,000-years ago would match human DNA from today. Because of the regularity of mutations, it is actually a statistical certainty that human DNA from today would be different from DNA of 20,000-years ago. Unfortunately such tests can’t be performed. But Collins’ idea of Cygnus being the source of the evolutionary leap that led to modern humans—combined with the fact that Cygnus was universally venerated by the ancients—is so stunning that it casts serious doubts on alternative proposals.

There have been other attempts to account for the “sudden” emergence of human technology in the Paleolithic era, but nothing accounts for it better than cosmic ray levels. For example, Graham Hancock’s recent book Supernatural suggests that the use of hallucinogens combined with a subsequent interaction with a supernatural (hallucinogenic) world raised human consciousness or somehow altered DNA. In fact, Hancock’s book can be seen as a pro-drug use book, at least as it pertains to hallucinogens. Yet there is no accepted scientific evidence whatsoever showing that hallucinogenics can cause genetic changes. And the idea that hallucinogenic drug use can lead to massive technological advances goes against a vast amount of evidence.

The Cygnus Correspondence At Giza

The major thrust of the first (November 2006) article on Giza and Cygnus was an unexpected finding Collins presented in his book. This finding consists of two related parts. First, for over a decade, many people have simply accepted that the three large pyramids at Giza were built to depict the three stars of Orion’s Belt. From that simple proposal, a complicated and all-encompassing theory I term “Orion-everywhere” has been presented by mainly Robert Bauval with support from Hancock and others. I too have been a proponent of Orion.

What Collins found at Giza was not only threatening, but is downright devastating to the Orion theorists. In sum, Collins found that the stars of Cygnus fit almost perfectly onto the Giza Plateau, fitting almost squarely on the apex of the three large pyramids. In addition, placement of the other stars of the Cygnus constellation onto Giza revealed several important sites. The one I am most intrigued with is near a well opening that could be quite important.

The response to that article was immediate and drastic, split between those who immediately understood the significance of what Collins found—and those who attacked it simply because they had long supported Orion. (Humans usually don’t like to be wrong or duped.) In a second article (December 2006) I made a precise calculation using a specific computer astronomy program to determine how well both Cygnus and Orion fit onto the pyramids. Surprisingly, I found that Orion’s Belt didn’t actually fit the pyramids. On the other hand, Cygnus was quite close to being a perfect match. Furthermore, I gradually came to see how the Orion-everywhere proponents had so completely fooled themselves and others into thinking there was no alternative other than Orion. The major arguments made by the Orion proponents actually reveal what happened.

First of all, one has to understand that the Orion proponents used a modern time-lapse photo of Orion next to an aerial photo of the pyramids as their most convincing argument. Time-lapse photography of stars makes them appear bigger and brighter. Artificially enlarging the stars to closely match the size of the pyramids in the second photo was the next step. Finally, the photo of Orion is turned upside down, and amazingly its alignment “looks” similar to the three pyramids. But of course, the Orion proponents did not use the way Orion actually appeared in 2600 B.C. or in 10,500 B.C.

As to that last date (10,500 B.C.), I can say with some authority that many people in America were swayed to believe in the Orion correlation because of that specific date being associated with the Orion correspondence. (It seemingly confirms an Edgar Cayce reading on the Sphinx and Great Pyramid.) And I recall seeing one of the key Orion proponents giving the 10,500 B.C. date at a Cayce headquarters’ conference and then showing a photo of the three pyramids with the artificially enlarged and turned upside down Orion superimposed on it. And with that, a lot of us became believers.

Since reading The Cygnus Mystery, I have paid a lot more attention to what many Orion skeptics have long asserted. I noted that many others, including astronomers who carefully tested what the Orion proponents claimed, had consistently found that Orion’s Belt did not fit the three pyramids as well as the proponents assert it does. Since my last article, more precise calculations have been sent to me showing that Cygnus—as it appeared in 2600 BC—actually fits almost perfectly onto the three pyramids and other important Giza structures. The specific computer program that various people use to calculate the position of Cygnus accounts for slight discrepancies between findings. And I have found that astronomers who are in charge of planetarium computer simulations assert that all astronomical programs are imperfect. Thus, I suspect that the best summary of the situation is this: Cygnus, as it appeared in 2600 B.C., is quite close to being a perfect match with the three pyramids. An upside down modern appearing Orion, at best, only superficially resembles the three pyramids.

There are those who continue to argue that Orion fits the three large pyramids perfectly, but a lot of wiggling has to take place and even then, it’s far from a perfect match. Furthermore, initially, the Orion proponents stated that the other stars of Orion seemed to match other structures and places in Egypt, but the fact is that none of them appear to do so. So much reputation has been placed on the line by so many Orion proponents, that it's likely they will simply ignore the stronger Cygnus connection.

Writing in Discussions in Egyptology (1995) John Legon found no evidence in Egyptology supporting the idea that Orion was in any way associated with the Pyramids. There are references in the Pyramid Texts that mention what Legon believes is a single important star—referred to as S3h. But this star could actually be an important part of Cygnus—perhaps the Great Rift , which Egyptians identified as the birth canal of Nut (represented by the Milky Way). Legon also has shown that Bauval’s attempt to correlate the dimensions of the three large pyramids with the relative brightness of the three stars of Orion’s Belt is flawed and convoluted. And, as Legon pointed out, the idea that the pyramid builders decided to turn Orion upside down when they built it on the ground—as suggested by the Orion proponents—is totally inexplicable. In essence, the Orion proponents seem to suggest that the Egyptians had to turn Orion upside down when they built it on Earth because that’s the only way the modern Orion proponents can make it fit—or sort of make it fit!

Egyptian astronomical beliefs were deeply intertwined with religious beliefs. The Sky Goddess Nut was the Milky Way. In the area of the Great Rift, she gave birth to the sun god Re. The place of Re’s emergence, at Nut’s birth canal—located at the Great Rift—lies in the midst of Cygnus. In sum, Collins’ idea is more parsimonious than what the Orion proponents assert.

While the Orion proponents certainly do not like the competition from a more carefully researched and scientifically supported theory, the facts are simple. Many people supported the Orion correspondence idea because it seemingly made sense of an important observation and the 10,500 B.C. date was appealing to a specific community. It was the first theory that suggested how Giza was laid out. But all indications are that the Orion idea is simply wrong.