Saturday Extra! Chasing Nibiru

Sumerian Cylinder Seal

Ancient Sumerian cylinder seal showing stars, planets, and signs of the zodiac. Note the Pleiades in the upper right corner.

Rossa’s question last week about the possibility of a brown dwarf in our solar system raised the subject of Nibiru, which, depending on whom you talk to, is the still-to-be-discovered Planet X, a planet on a doomsday collision course with Earth, or home to extraterrestrials.

In an attempt to discover how these stories started, I did a little digging and found some interesting facts about Nibiru, which is mentioned in ancient Sumerian astronomical texts. And therein lies the rub. The texts are confusing, and, of course, that leaves the door wide open to interpretation, some of them quite fanciful.

What fascinated me most was the description of Nibiru as a crossing point or gateway. This suggests that Nibiru was not an actual body, but a location in space or perhaps some kind of a time marker. Even when Sumerian astronomers refer to Nibiru as “Marduk’s star,” they simply may be noting the location of one of the five known planets (Marduk was a god in the Sumerian mythology and probably linked with one of the planets and perhaps a constellation, just as we associate Jupiter and Sagittarius).

Part of the problem, as I see it, is that the Sumerians often wrote in poetic language filled with symbolism, not necessarily to be taken literally. Further, Sumerian language scholars tend not to be well-versed in astrology and don’t understand what they’re reading. They can translate the words, but the resulting text makes no sense.

I would love to see a detailed study of these texts performed by someone skilled both in astrology and ancient Sumerian languages. If there is no one on the planet with that skill set, then a collaboration would be the next-best solution. But that is highly unlikely, as academics are among the first people to dismiss astrology as superstitious pseudoscience.

Think of the knowledge we’re missing because of this prejudice.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat