From the Archives: A Dead Man’s Bones

This article appeared in the Spring/Summer 2006 edition of Lilipoh Magazine, and is reprinted this February 2019, in honor of the 546th anniversary of the birth of Nicholas Copernicus, on February 19, 1473. A Full Moon will fall on his birthday this year, in 2019.

A Dead Man’s Bones

It was reported in the May 2006 issue of Smithsonian Magazine that archeologists believe they have found the bones of Nicholas Copernicus, held to be the father of modern astronomy because, in 1543, he “revolutionized our view of the universe” by placing the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center of our system.

This archeological finding occurred in August 2005, the same time during which storm winds reached catastrophic dimension in their approach to the shoreline of the Gulf Coast, resulting in one of the worst disasters in American history.

Also on August 29, 2005, as Venus and Jupiter stood conjunct at the western horizon and Mars swept past the Pleiades on its way to the second of its closest approaches to Earth, the hurricane reached the shore, and the Northern Lights~also known as the aurora borealis~made a brilliant display along the northwest coast of the Great Lakes in Michigan.

Do these phenomena have anything to do with one another, or are they just a coincidental series of events coexisting in time?

Let us again consider Copernicus. Quite literally, his mathematical proofs that the Earth was orbiting the Sun and not vise versa resulted in a disaster in human thinking (from the root dis- meaning ‘separation’ and aster- meaning ‘star’) literally a ‘separation from the stars’ in our thinking. From the time shortly following Copernicus until our own age, a thinking has developed that intentionally separates events in the physical/material world from phenomena occurring in the planetary/star world. And this has been a necessary development, so that the individual human being can know himself as one who embodies self-directing forces.

But at a certain point the question must follow, how much time will be needed before the human being recognizes that in everything from his self-directed activity to his feelings to his thinking, he is impacting the world around him, and not only his immediate physical environment, but the world of the planets and stars as well? And what will serve as the signal that we have reached this time?

We can see in the uncovering of Copernicus’ bones a signal that humanity is ready to revisit the foundation of its current concept of the cosmos. The Earth keeps her secrets until such a time as humanity is deemed ready to take a step forward in its evolution, and in order for progress to be made, something new must always be given to the process. In our time, this new element comes directly from individual human experience, and almost as a clue that we are to take this step forward, there occurs a recapitulation or a revisiting of everything that came before~and so these bones.

~Mary Stewart Adams

For Lilipoh, Summer 2006 © 2006 by Mary Stewart Adam.