The birth of Venus out of Orion (I)

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by Renate Schukies

Geschichte ist nicht das was geschehen ist, sondern das woran man sich erinnert. [1]

Fig. A Veritable pioneer of modern catastrophism: Immanuel Velikovsky (1968) Photo: © Randall Hagadorn

In the summer of 1978, as a student of cultural anthropology, I had joined the action anthropology project of Prof. Karl Schlesier (Fig. B) and Arrow Keeper Edward Red Hat, the highest spiritual leader of the Southern Cheyenne, in Oklahoma. The Arrow Keeper is holding the position for Motseyoef here on earth, until Motseyoef returns, the cultural hero, who taught them everything, how to live and how to organize themselves. Motseyoef, who gave them four Sacred Arrows and taught them how to perform the Arrow ceremony, which they still hold in Oklahoma annually.

One evening Karl Schlesier reveiled some unpublished information to us: when Motseyoef left the Tsistsistas, he transformed into the Morning Star Venus (Fig. C). And Tsistsistas culture as we know it today, is much older than in general assumed by cultural anthropology. I was quite startled by these facts. But why was this small and beautiful planet of such importance to the Cheyenne, as well as to Mesoamerican cultures? My Professor had no explanation for it, and on the Cheyenne side this topic was part of their secret ceremonial knowledge. A few weeks later I had the opportunity to listen to a lecture of Dr. John Eddy introducing his research on Medicine Wheels (Fig. D), astronomically related structures found throughout the Plains. I was surprized. In this situation a friend handed me a book: Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky (Fig. A). I was in deep amazement.

Back in Germany I started studying fine arts and followed up on the developments in different fields of science, especially in astronomy. The more I was reading the more I realized that there was no evidence against Velikovsky coming up, on the contrary there was a tendency towards a more catastrophic or cosmological outlook. After several years I started thinking about how I could evaluate Velikovsky's hypothesis through my own research. If Velikovsky was right and mythology and religion were indeed coded memories of these proposed cosmic catastrophies, than this should be visible in signs and symbols as well, which our ancestors scratched or painted in and on stone and which are so poorly understood by science today. If one regards them as the essence of mythology, then it could be possible to get more precise information out of these pictures, than from mythology itself, which over the millennia lost itself in details and different kinds of added inventions or interpretations. During my previous studies of ancient rock art I had always felt that most of the offered scientific interpretations seemed to be kind of "off" the real meaning, somehow helpless guesses. When I started looking at the worldwide pictography with Velikovsky's scenario as a guideline, it was quite an ingenious moment to realize how many of these pictures suddenly started talking.

Fig. B Karl Schlesier (Photo: Traumfänger Verlag)

The comparison of the worlds most impressive and important pictography in relation to mythology shows that Velikovsky is right in his basic assumption about the cosmological event Venus. At this point of my research I conclude that Venus is the main actor on the cultural stage, in relation to the star constellation Orion. Even the collision between Venus and Mars seems to play only a minor role. I get the impression that part of the mythology which Velikovsky used for its reconstruction might also belong to the Venus event, that obviously dominates mythology and iconography. In Roman and Greek mythology together exist 96 comparable deities who are related to the sky and the stars (Fasching 1994: 268, 269). This leaves enough possibilities for wrong interpretations, wrong translations, wrong comparisons, and wrong classifications along the line. In consideration of the worldwide variety of gods, Velikovsky's realisation about planet Venus is even more ingenious. He mentiones that quite often Venus and Jupiter were mistaken for another (1950/1978: 158-160). From my research I get the strong impression that this is not surprizing, because there is only one important Lightning God, and that is planet Venus itself. In Greece Venus is called Zeus; in Rome Jupiter; in Mesoamerica Quetzalcoatl; in North America Falling Star and Born of Water; in Egypt Isis and Osiris.

In a Greek version about the beginning it is said: "..., that Saturn cut off the private parts of his father Caelos (Ouranos), threw them into the sea, and out of them Venus was born who, after the foam (aphros) from which she was formed, accepted the name Aphrodite. From this they conclude that, when there was chaos, no time existed, insofar as time is a fixed measure derived from the revolution of the sky. Time begins there; and of this is believed to have been born Kronos who is Chronos..." (Santillana, von Dechend 1969: 134).

Indeed, in the beginning the comet Venus caused chaos and no time existed. The revolution of the sky was disturbed. After Venus turned into the Morning Star, the sky was in order and cultural time began. The Gods of Time, Kronos / Chronos and Saturnus might just represent the new concept of time. Aphrodite was formed of foam, born of water, which connects her to water and floods, like all the other Venus-deities. "The sacred quality of water, as an element of creation, was common to all of ancient America" (Nelson 1977: 9). But Venus was also connected to fire and flames (Velikovsky 1950/1978: 146-148,152).

Fig. C Venus as a celestial body and mythical figure

In Greece Venus was made of the private parts of Ouranos / Saturnus. In Egypt the private parts of the the giant Sahu (Orion) are of interest. They are covered with "the three girtle stars of the Orion belt, (and) have apparently raised the ideas about the sexual potency and the seam of the star-Osiris" (Baigent, Leight 1994: 177) Comparable potency to Osiris has Zeus-Venus from whom alone stem 12 deities: Perseus, Heracles (Hercules), Apollo, Ares (Mars), Arcas, Artemis (Diana), Athena (Minerva), Dionysos (Bacchus), Hermes (Mercury), Hephaistos - (Vulcanos) and Epaphos, who connects to the Egyptian Apis-Osiris-Venus. (Fasching Ibid.)

Another Greek version relates: From Chaos stem the Sky Ouranos and the Earth Gaia. Their child is Rhea, who conceived and bore from Chronos (Saturnus), Zeus / Venus / Jupiter, among some other children. This Greek Skymother Rhea can be compared to the Skymother Berchta (Orion) from Northern Europe and the Egyptian Skymother Nut, who conceived from the Earth-god Geb and bore her oldest son Osiris/Venus and her daughter Isis / Venus, among some more children. In one version Ouranos might represent the blue sky itself, in the other he might might represent Orion. The Skymother (Orion), or Skyfather (Orion) conceived and bore the red star Venus. This appearance out of the constellation Orion was probably remembered as the birth of Venus everywhere. Perhaps the comet appeared in the right area above Orion, a celestial range which might be described in mythology as the head, or the right hand of Orion. There are just three specifications in regard to the constellation in which the comet supposedly appeared: in Capricornus, in Yin or in Jo? (Velikovsky 1978: 86, 102) Now iconography quite clearly points to the constellation Orion, represented by the hourglass/doubleaxt symbol, which is also an important sign for Venus.

Fig. D Medicine Wheel, a Native American sacred site and National Historic Landmark in Wyoming

The Saturn myth hypothesis (Talbot, Chordona, Cochrane, et al.) certainly deserves a more detailed analyses then I can offer at this point, but one of the basic lines in argumentation: Mars is red today, so it has been red before, therefore any deity being red, is Mars, is quite questionable. The Mayas named Venus the Big Star, synonymously the Red Star. As they watched Venus so closely, it is highly certain that they also observed its colour correctly. Considering that Venus is hot and fiery, even more a few thousand years ago, it seems more appropriate to connect indeed Venus to the colour red. Indra, the main god in the vedic religion was a God of Rain (water) and fertility, which identifies him as Venus. Indra was of white colour and was wearing a red coat (Fasching 1994: 256).

The Skidi-Pawnees yearly ceremonies culminated with the rites belonging to the Red Morning Star. But there are two morning stars, brothers (global twin motive) the elder is red, and it is he to whom the human sacrifice is made; the younger is white, he is kind, and does not share in theses rites. (Fletcher 1903: 11,12) So the colours red and white are both connected to Venus. Perhaps the comet had a brilliant white core and radiated red light like a veil around it. Or the older brother, Red Morning Star, the large and mighty Star of Fire is representing Venus in the phase as the deadly comet. Later in the cooled off and calm state as a planet, Venus becomes the White Morning Star, the younger brother. Perhaps the changing colours have something to do with the two phases as Morning and Evening Star. The red Mars of today might be due to his loss of water, or other physical changes as a consequence of his encounter with Venus.

Perhaps all the catastrophic events handed down to us by the ancients can be related to the same basic event, the birth of Venus. In advance of the comets actual birth the giant planet Jupiter might have splashed or twirled off a big water cloud, which was hitting the earth in form of the deluge, followed by the later appearence of comet Venus itself. Perhaps the waters were coming from Saturn. The ancients did not observe the actual "coming out" of the comet from planet Jupiter, or any other planet. What they remembered as birth is the appearence of the red star Venus out of the constellation Orion.


(This article was first published in: Proceedings of the Immanuel Velikovsky CENNTENNIAL CELEBRATION 1895-1995, p. 35-88, IVY PRESS BOOKS, Forest Hills, New York, 1995 - reedited in a revised online-version by in July 2014)


  1. Translation: History is not what has happened, but what is remembered.


A) The Velikovsky Encyclopedia: File:Immanuel-velikovsky-1968-hagadorn.jpg (image processing by
B) Traumfänger Verlag: Karl Schlesier (image processing by
C) Wikimedia Commons: File:Venuspioneeruv.jpg and File:Arte romana, mosaico con eros, 03 venere.JPG by Sailko (image processing by
D) Wikimedia Commons: File:MedicineWheel.jpg (image processing by