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Walter Cruttenden

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Natural History

By Walter Cruttenden
Author of the
Lost Star of Myth And Time

This was one of the topics of conversation at the recent “Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge” held October 4-5, 2008 at the University of California, San Diego.

Speakers included David Hatcher Childress (Secrets of the Olmec), Dr. Joscelyn Godwin (Atlantis Studies), Dr. Robert Schoch (The Cosmic Psyche), John Anthony West (Egyptian Cosmology), Laird Scranton (The Dogon), Dr. William Sullivan (Pre-Incan Wisdom), Marie D. Jones (Science of the Higher Ages), John Dering (The Cosmic Influence), Dr. Carmen Boulter (Ancient Mother Cultures), John Burke (Inside Megalithic Structures) and Walter Cruttenden (Mythology of Hamlet’s Mill). For more info go to:


One of the problems with modern history theory is that some of the largest and most formidable structures appear out of context. Take the great pyramid at Giza for example. It is still today the most massive stone building in the world, and with 70 ton blocks in the ceiling of the upper chamber, it is one of the most difficult to understand. It is engineered so that the four faces align with the cardinal directions to a precision of less than one twentieth of one degree, something most modern engineers wouldn’t even attempt. Yet it is built near the very beginning of Egyptian civilization, at a time when mankind supposedly just emerged from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. We weren’t supposed to have had advanced engineering knowledge or any sophisticated tools at that time, and yet there it is - something of mythic proportions, oddly placed at the beginning of recorded history.

Photo courtesy of J.Razniak, Copyright by

And then things seem to go backwards. Each dynasty appears a bit more corrupt than the prior and the art and architecture becomes almost gaudy in the later kingdoms. In the words of rebel Egyptologist John Anthony West, “Egypt seems to be at its height near the beginning and then it declines”. In fact, it degrades to the point that everything stops working by the time of the worldwide Dark Ages. Why didn’t Egypt evolve? For that matter, why didn’t ancient Greece, Harappa, Mohenjodaro, the entire Indus Valley, or Mesopotamia with all its glory, evolve into something greater? They all fell – to dust.

Pyramid El Castillo, Chichen Itza                  Photo Copyright by

Another befuddling historical fact is the pyramids of South America. For a long time it was thought that strange structures like pyramids and ziggurats were found in abundance only near the “cradle of civilization” around the eastern Mediterranean because this is close to where mankind first emerged out of Africa and where he first developed agriculture, in the “fertile crescent”. Hence, it was thought these oddly massive structures were early attempts at building great tombs or temples and that people living in close proximity to one another were just trying to do out do each other. Never mind that pyramidal structures and complex chambers are more difficult to build than square or rectangular buildings, or that constructing things out of massive stones took a lot more planning, calculation and resource management than building something small out of bricks. Now a greater enigma has appeared. We find pyramids in Caral, Peru that predate the Great pyramid.

Image Source:  Copyright by Håkan Svensson Xauxa

The Caral pyramids in the arid Supe Valley,
 some 20 km from the Pacific coast.

Carbon dating of woven material found between the stones shows that the six pyramids in Caral are at least 4,700 years old, about 200 years older than those on the Giza plateau. This has only been acknowledged in the last few years but it raises all sorts of questions for traditional historians. Why are people on a completely different continent building the same types of complex structures when they aren’t supposed to be communicating with one another? And how can South American people be as advanced as the Middle Eastern cultures yet be so far removed from the “cradle of civilization”? Shouldn’t it have taken thousands of years for mankind to make it to this distant land or to independently evolve to the same level of engineering skill? Alas, this and every other ancient culture in South America declined just like their Middle Eastern counterparts. But why?

If we look back just a few hundred years it is easy to see how things improve incrementally. Personal transportation moves from horse and buggy to early bicycles and then crude cars – and within a hundred years to very finely built sports and luxury machines with a wide assortment of variety and amenities. Communication goes from pony express, to telegraph, to wire line telephone to wireless cell phone in the same time period. Seems logical and normal. Why then do all the pre-Dark Age civilizations decline while all the post Dark Age civilizations evolve? Is there something wrong with ancient history?

A friend of mine, Lynn Walker at Still Point, recently told me, “History never made any sense to me - ever! I thought everything was so disorganized from curriculum to the organization of the subject matter taught in school from 1st grade through college. That is - until I heard about the Great Year.”

The Great Year

Giorgio de Santillana, the former professor of the history of science at MIT, tells us that most ancient cultures believed consciousness and history were not linear but cyclical, meaning they would rise and fall over long periods of time. In his landmark work, Hamlet’s Mill, Giorgio and co-author Hertha von Dechend, showed that the myth and folklore of over 30 ancient cultures around the world spoke of a vast cycle of time with alternating Dark and Golden Ages that moved with the precession of the equinox. Plato called this the “Great Year”.

Ancient cultures from the Pacific Islands to Scandinavia, and most parts in between, not only belived that history ebbed and flowed but many of the pre-Dark Age cultures actually predicting their own decline. The Romans even joked about it as the Roman historian Suetonius tells us, “Saturn’s golden age has passed, Saturn’s age could never last. Now while Ceasar holds the stage, this must be an Iron Age”. The eerie thing is – they were right! Of course most of us were taught that this is just a fairy tale and there was no Golden Age. The dominant teaching nowadays is that history is driven by evolution and therefore anything that came before us must be more primitive. But the widespread decline of ancient civilizations is undeniable fact and it makes the Great Year theory of history worth considering.

This article does not allow space to get into the orbital dynamics and mechanisms of the ebb and flow of light that might indirectly cause the rise and fall according to the ancients (as described in my book in  Lost Star of Myth And Time). But suffice it to say that just as each day waxes and wanes with light due to the earth’s celestial motion upon its axis (causing 99% of all life to move from a conscious to subconscious state every night), and just as the year warms and cools with the seasons (causing billions of life forms to migrate, spawn, live and die) due to the motion of the tilted earth orbiting the sun, so too did ancient cultures believe in a third motion, a motion of the solar system through the cosmos that would bring about a changes in consciousness on an unimaginable scale.

The problem with the Great Year is our expectations. People expect to find gizmos and gadgets as evidence of a higher age - thinking that without these there could be no advanced civilization. But perhaps the Ancients valued things differently than we do today or perhaps they had knowledge that we don’t realize? One historian friend of mine studying migratory patterns of mammals recently suggested that what we see as an early nomadic way of life, where people moved with nature and lived off the land, may have actually been a lifestyle of choice. He believes people of 10,000 years ago had developed a high state of consciousness but “chose” to embrace a migratory lifestyle. He would argue that they could have decided to stay in one place and evolve fixed agricultural methods, crop rotation, irrigation, cooling and heating systems to temper the changing climate, etc but that they simply found it more convenient, and perhaps exciting, to vary their environment instead. They just picked up and moved – all the while thinking it natural.

We find such a pattern in the history of the local Agua Caliente Indians that reside near my home outside of Palm Springs, California. Here, the 11,000-foot mountains surround our little sea-level desert. Up until just recently the indigenous tribe spent its winters on the desert floor enjoying an idyllic life style in the midst of a natural oasis. In the summer they would move to camps almost a mile high where streams, meadows, pine and cedar forests and game abound. Both are incredibly beautiful in their season. For better or for worse they traded this in for casinos and an urban lifestyle of endless modern problems.

Anthropologists would say that hunter-gatherers were simplistic nomads, which makes it sound like they did not know where they were going and leaves to question the sudden appearance of megalithic structures and sciences around 3000BC. Did these things really spring out of a primitive mind? Just as “migratory” animals seek ideal conditions so might we find that certain natural people would deliberately adjust their climate and food sources not unlike the way we adjust our thermostats or restock our refrigerators. Of course this natural system only works in a bounteous world of limited population but such are the tales of the last great Golden Age. As Hesiod tells us, “When the earth gave freely of itself… and death was like sleep”.

Personally, I find the idea of a Great Year quite appealing. It conforms to the myth and folklore of the Ancients themselves, which speak of the rise and fall of consciousness over a series of ages, flowing like the seasons, as the natural order of history. In such a scenario, the relatively recent phenomenon of cities and states and their numerous structures (last 5000 years) is a reflection of a people that became so populous or so lost they were no longer able to live in communion with nature. Today’s world considers our histories of a long lost Golden age to be simple fairytales. Are all our ancestor’s stories really wrong? Or have we forgotten part our true history?

Copyright by Walter Cruttenden.
Presented with permission of the author.

About the Author


Walter Cruttenden is the Director of the Binary Research Institute, an archaeoastronomy think tank located in Newport Beach, California. His focus is on the astronomy, mythology and artifacts of ancient cultures, with an emphasis on history theory and cycles of consciousness. He is the author of  Lost Star of Myth And Time,
St. Lynn’s Press, a studied look at ancient cultures throughout the world and their belief in a vast cycle of time with alternating Dark and Golden Ages. Cruttenden wrote and produced the award-winning documentary, The Great Year, narrated by James Earl Jones, a film that looks at the myth and folklore of ancient cultures and seeks to find the message that these cultures left for modern man.

Related Books and Links



Lost Star of Myth And Time Lost Star of Myth And Time
by Walter Cruttenden

The myth and folklore of ancestral peoples around the world hints at a vast cycle of time, with alternating Dark and Golden Ages. Plato called it the Great Year. Long believed to be a fairytale, there is now new astronomical evidence to show it has a basis in fact. Moreover, because it is caused by the acceleration of our Sun around another star, we learn that the Earth should soon be carried into a region of space that will have a beneficial affect on our atmosphere, nudging mankind into a higher age of consciousness.

Lost Star of Myth and Time weaves together some of the latest archaeological evidence with cutting-edge astronomy to reveal a history of the world that finally fits with myth, folklore and the archaeological record. While this book explores some of the most interesting aspects of a once advanced civilization that covered the Earth, it is really about what happens to the Earth and consciousness as our solar system moves through space in the mysterious motion known as the "precession of the equinox". This astronomical phenomenon has since Newton been attributed to local gravitational forces wobbling the Earth's axis. Lost Star now shows us in no uncertain terms that the Earth's axis does not change orientation relative to objects inside the solar system at the same rate that it changes orientation to objects outside the solar system, meaning precession must be due to our Sun's binary motion around another star.

Chapter by chapter it becomes clear that ancient cultures knew of precession, used it as the clock of the ages, understood it to be due to the solar system's motion through space, and realized this subjects the Earth to a cycle of waxing and waning stellar influences. It is these forces that affect our magnetosphere, ionosphere and indirectly create the larger seasons of the Great Year. As you will see this not only gives cause for a major rethink of human history and potential, but indicates we are approaching a tipping point in the awakening of consciousness.

The Great Year

The Great Year

Just as the Earth's spin on its axis causes day and night and it's annual orbit around the Sun is responsible for the ongoing cycle of the seasons, what if there is some greater celestial cycle, lasting thousands of years, slowly influencing the rise and fall of civilization across the globe?
To many ancient cultures, the answers lie in the stars. In their view, time moved in a cyclical pattern, with human civilization and consciousness rising and falling as great ages came and went. Vedic scholars spoke of the Yuga Cycle, a great circular progression of ages;

and Plato taught of a large cycle of time which would slowly return us to a "Golden Age". He called this cycle: The Great Year. The Great Year investigates commonalities in these beliefs and looks back into time seeking answers to questions that still loom over science today. How far back do humankind's roots really go? What did the ancients know about the stars and their movements and what can we learn from them? How was the Precession of the Equinox, the slow progression of the stars across the sky over thousands of years, used to mark the rise and fall of these great ages by the ancients? Many cultures spoke of an unseen sun driving Precession and causing the cycle of this Great Year. Could there be an unseen companion to our Sun? The Great Year examines this theory and finds that perhaps these ancients were really onto something!

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