Connect with us

Esoteric/Occult

28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells Brought Back To Life By Scientists

Cells from a woolly mammoth that died around 28,000 years ago have begun showing “signs of life” during a ground-breaking scientific experiment.

Published

on

28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells Brought Back To Life By Scientists
Photo Credit: www.mprnews.org

The young woolly mammoth was dug out of Siberian permafrost in 2011. With the species being extinct for about 4,000 years, finding such a relatively intact specimen was big news – particularly since this one was 28,000 years old.

Scientists have since been eager to find out how viable the biological materials of the uncovered mammoth still are, all those millennia later. Now researchers at Kindai University in Japan have found that its DNA is partially intact – and apparently they are well in the game to restore this huge prehistoric mammal back among the living.

If they succeed, it could look something like this (at first).

Model depicting mammoth calf, Stuttgart. Image credit: Apotea

Anyway, it all comes down to the fact that the scientists at the university have managed to extract nuclei from the mammoth’s cells and transplant them into mouse oocytes – cells found in ovaries that are capable of forming an egg cell after genetic division.

After that, the cells from the 28,000-year-old specimen started to show “signs of biological activities.”

A time-lapse of mouse oocyte cells injected with mammoth nuclei. Kindai University/Scientific Reports
A time-lapse of mouse oocyte cells injected with mammoth nuclei. Kindai University/Scientific Reports

“This suggests that, despite the years that have passed, cell activity can still happen and parts of it can be recreated,” said study author Kei Miyamoto from the Department of Genetic Engineering at Kindai University.

Five of the cells even showed highly unexpected and very promising results, namely signs of activity that usually only occur immediately preceding cell division.

Frozen mammoth calf “Lyuba” – it still had food in its stomach, Royal BC Museum. Image credit: Ruth Hartnup

Establishing whether the mammoth DNA could still function wasn’t an easy task. Researchers began by taking bone marrow and muscle tissue samples from the animal’s leg. These were then analysed for the presence of undamaged nucleus-like structures, which, once found, were extracted.

Once these nuclei cells were combined with mouse oocytes, mouse proteins were added, revealing some of the mammoth cells to be perfectly capable of nuclear reconstitution. This, finally, suggested that even 28,000-year-old mammoth remains could harbour active nuclei.

Meaning, something like, that resurrecting a specimen like this one would be quite possible.

Royal Victoria Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2018
Royal Victoria Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2018

While Miyamoto admits that “we are very far from recreating a mammoth,” plenty of researchers attempting to use gene editing to do so are confident that, that achievement is around the corner. Recent efforts, using the controversial CRISPR gene editing tool, are arguably the most promising, of late.

But do we really need to resurrect a species that went extint a long time ago?

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Esoteric/Occult

Inside The 18th-Century ‘Compendium Of Demonology And Magic,’ An Illustrated Guide To Hell

Whether it’s ghastly demons or grisly execution scenes, this occultists’ tome and witchcraft manual remains as haunting today as it was in 1775.

Published

on

Compendium Of Demonology And Magic
Photo Credit: Ancient Origins

Hybrid demons, cabalistic symbols, dancing skeletons, and dark spells of magic — these are only some of the occult elements that fill the pages of the mysterious 18th-century manuscript entitled Compendium Of Demonology And Magic. Though we may never know who created the book and why, there’s one thing we do know for certain: this book is not for the faint of heart.

The Compendium Of Demonology And Magic

In 1775, someone — likely a worshipper of the occult — made it their business to compile a collection of astonishingly detailed illustrations of demons and magical rituals into one book. That book is now known as the Compendium Of Demonology And Magic.

Its original title was actually Compendium Rarissimum Totius Artis Magicae Sistematisatae Per Celeberrimos Artis Hujus Magistros, which roughly translates to “A Rare Summary Of The Entire Magical Art By The Most Famous Masters Of This Art.”

Written in a mixture of German and Latin, the 18th-century demonic guide opens with an eerie page adorned by skeletons and a warning that reads “noli me tangere,” meaning “do not touch me.”

Its pages contain remarkably vivid drawings depicting over 30 kinds of beastly creatures from Hell as shown in the gallery above.

Evidence of the occult has been found throughout history in different parts of the world.

The illustrations appear to be watercolour and are mostly drawn on white, brown, and grey-green paper. The figures themselves are extremely dark and disturbing in nature but nonetheless fascinating to look at.

Among the bizarre demons, you’ll find a giant red figure with black wings, large eyes, and snakes jutting out from its forehead. It’s caught mid-spring, coming out of the ground with smoke and fire as it feeds on a bloody meal of what appear to be human limbs.

Another graphic demon depicted among the book’s artwork is a creature so grotesque and mismatched in its anatomy that it resembles a Frankenstein experiment from Hell.

This demon has fire jutting out of its ears, large fangs, a misshapen abdomen covered in spots, and hooved feet. But the most disturbing thing about this figure is what it is doing: birthing small dragon-like creatures.

In addition to the demonic drawings, the author also drew what appear to be visual instructions that may be used as a reference in performing the mystic rituals written in the book.

Some of these scenes could be related to necromancy, which is the act of communicating with the dead to read, and possibly control, the future. There are also a few pages of cabalistic symbols.

The book’s origins are obscure and its author remains unknown. But the misdated “year 1057” written on its cover suggests that whoever created the compendium was likely trying to pass it off as an ancient manuscript of sorts. The physical book is under the custody of the Wellcome Library in London, United Kingdom.

Historic Manuscripts Of The Occult
The Codex Gigas, otherwise known as the “Devil’s Bible.”

The Compendium Of Demonology And Magic, though entirely gripping in its vivid illustrations of satanic creatures, is not the only manuscript relating to witchcraft from earlier centuries.

In the 16th century, a Dutch doctor-turned-occult-practitioner named Johann Weyer published Pseudomonarchia Daemonum — known by its English title as the False Hierarchy of Demons — which was a similar compendium written in Latin. Its pages contained the names of 69 demons.

According to Weyer himself, he created the mystic book based on an earlier text about spirits and demons written by another practitioner, though it’s unclear what work he was referring to.

Weyer’s Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, which was not his first work on demonology, was declared by Sigmund Freud as “one of the ten most significant books of all time.”

Even older still is the Codex Gigas, the largest medieval manuscript in the world, measuring at a whopping 36 inches tall, 20 inches wide, and nearly nine inches thick. Historians believe it likely took over 20 years to complete the book.

Could it be any smaller when the entirety of its pages contains a multitude of texts from the Old Testament and New Testament to the Chronicle of Bohemia by Cosmas?

Illustration of the demon Buer, by Luis Breton. According to Weyer’s book, Buer is the president of Hell.

But most striking is perhaps the large demonic illustration that inexplicably sits in the middle of the massive book.

Due to its old age and the effects of war, the true origin of the Codex Gigas has been lost to history. But legend has it that the entire manuscript was written in a fortnight by a monk named Herman the Recluse who was nearly buried alive for breaking his vows.

To win back his freedom, the monk obliged to write a book containing all the world’s knowledge overnight.

Ironically, the monk summoned the devil to help him with the herculean task in exchange for his soul, which is how the odd drawing inside the book allegedly came to be. The historic relic, now called the “Devil’s Bible,” sits on display at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm.

Unfortunately, the real stories behind some of these curious manuscripts will forever remain untold.

This article (Inside The 18th-Century ‘Compendium Of Demonology And Magic,’ An Illustrated Guide To Hell) was originally created for All That Interesting and is published here under Creative Commons.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Esoteric/Occult

This Ancient Egyptian Map To The Underworld Is The Oldest Illustrated Book Ever Found

The book contained incantations for the deceased so that she could ward off evil spirits and demons in her journey toward the underworld.

Published

on

This Ancient Egyptian Map To The Underworld Is The Oldest Illustrated Book Ever Found
Photo Credit: Werner Forman/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Even those who know little of ancient Egypt’s mysteries have heard of the infamous Book of the Dead. And now, researchers have found a similar text that not only predates that one, but may also be the oldest illustrated book ever uncovered.

According to The New York Times, Egyptologists found parts of an illustrated “book” that served as a guide to reach Rostau — the Underworld ruled by Osiris, the Egyptian god of death.

The incredible discovery, published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, happened at the village Dayr al-Barsha (or Deir el-Bersha) where the cliff-side necropolis of the region’s governors who ruled during Egypt’s Middle Kingdom were laid to rest inside elaborately decorated tombs.

In 2012, guided by archaeologist Harco Willems from Belgium’s University of Leuven, a team of researchers investigated one of the five burial shafts located inside the tomb complex of Ahanakht. Twenty feet down inside the burial shaft, the team found the remains of a sarcophagus that appeared to be completely undisturbed despite the previous presence of grave robbers and other archaeologists at the site.

Fragments from a Book of Two Ways discovered on the coffin of a woman named Ankh inside the necropolis of Deir el-Bersha.
Fragments from a Book of Two Ways discovered on the coffin of a woman named Ankh inside the necropolis of Deir el-Bersha.

Judging by the remains and the setup of the sarcophagus, it belonged to an elite woman named Ankh who was related to an elite government official. Her cedar coffin had deteriorated due to being overrun by fungi but upon closer inspection, the crumbling casket revealed something unexpected.

Inside the sarcophagus were remarkable etchings explicitly quoting from the Book Of Two Ways, which is made up of hieroglyphs and illustrations describing Ankh’s wayward journey into the afterlife.

These ‘coffin texts’ tend to situate the deceased in the world of the gods,” Willems said. “Sometimes they are combined with drawings. At Deir el-Bersha, one frequently encounters Books of Two Ways.”

The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with life in all its forms,” explained Rita Lucarelli, an Egyptology curator at the University of California, Berkeley. “Death for them was a new life.”

Now, researchers have yet again uncovered evidence that ancient Egypt’s elaborate death customs sometimes included providing the dead with these “coffin texts” so that they could make their way to the underworld. Remarkably, each person had their own version of the text that was customized based on their status and wealth.

Ankh’s guide texts incorporated incantations to help her ward off the demons she encountered on her journey. The arduous trip to reach Rostau, the markings proclaimed, would be plagued by obstacles of fire, demons, and spirits that she would have to overcome.

This one begins with a text encircled by a red line designated as ‘ring of fire,’” Willems said. “The text is about the sun god passing this protective fiery ring to reach Osiris.”

Judgement scene from the Book Of The Dead, the corpus of Egyptian funerary texts that the Book Of Two Ways predates.
Judgement scene from the Book Of The Dead, the corpus of Egyptian funerary texts that the Book Of Two Ways predates.

Researchers estimated the age of Ankh’s sarcophagus texts based on inscriptions and other relics found nearby that referred to the reign of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II, who ruled until 2010 B.C.E. That means the original manual from which these texts were copied would be at least 4,000 years old, likely making it the world’s oldest illustrated book ever found.

The team furthermore found two dozen extant texts of the Book Of Two Ways maps inside the burial shaft. Most etchings have been difficult to make out but the scientists believe the depictions likely illustrate rituals to bring deceased gods or dead humans back to life, symbolizing rebirth in Egyptian culture.

Perhaps further study will only help unravel more of the mysteries stirred up by this fascinating find.

This article (This Ancient Egyptian Map To The Underworld Is The Oldest Illustrated Book Ever Found) was originally created for All That Interesting and is published here under Creative Commons.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Esoteric/Occult

The Powerful Symbol Of The Swastika & Its 12,000 Year History

Published

on

The Powerful Symbol Of The Swastika & Its 12,000 Year History
Photo Credit: ShishirKumar / Adobe Stock

John Black, Ancient Origins

The swastika is a symbol that was used in the 20 th century by of one of the most hated men ever to have lived, a symbol that now represents the slaughter of millions of people and one of the most destructive wars on Earth. But Adolf Hitler was not the first to use this symbol. In fact, it was used as a positive and powerful symbol thousands of years before him, across many cultures and continents.

Spiritual Beginning for the Swastika

For the Hindus and Buddhists in India and other Asian countries, the swastika was an important symbol for many thousands of years and, to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance – on temples, buses, taxis, and on the cover of books. It was also used in Ancient Greece and Rome, and can be found in the remains of the ancient city of Troy, which existed 4,000 years ago. The ancient Druids and the Celts also used the symbol, reflected in many artifacts that have been discovered. It was used by Nordic tribes, and even early Christians used the Swastika as one of their symbols, including the Teutonic Knights, a German medieval military order, which became a purely religious Catholic Order. But why is this symbol so important and why did Adolf Hitler decide to use it?

A swastika is a symbol found in many cultures, with different meanings, drawn in different styles. ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )
A swastika is a symbol found in many cultures, with different meanings, drawn in different styles. ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Positive Days of the Swastika

The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names in different countries – like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece.

Mosaic swastika in excavated Byzantine church in Shavei Tzion (Israel). ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Mosaic swastika in excavated Byzantine church in Shavei Tzion (Israel). ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

In 1979, a Sanskrit scholar P. R. Sarkar said that the deeper meaning of the word is ‘Permanent Victory.” He also said that like any symbol it can have positive and negative meaning depending on how it is drawn. So in Hinduism, the right-hand swastika illustrated below is a symbol of the God Vishnu and the Sun, while the left-hand swastika is a symbol of Kali and Magic.

The double meaning of symbols is common in ancient traditions, like for example the symbol of the pentagram (five pointed star), which is viewed as negative when pointing downwards, and positive when pointing upwards.

12,000 Years of Symbolism

The earliest swastika ever found was uncovered in Mezine, Ukraine, carved on an ivory figurine which dates back an incredible 12,000 years. One of the earliest cultures that are known to have used the Swastika was a Neolithic culture in Southern Europe, in the area that is now Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as the Vinca Culture, which dates back around 8,000 years.

Swastika pattern on a mammoth bone bracelet from Mizyn. (Image: Encyclopedia of Ukraine )
Swastika pattern on a mammoth bone bracelet from Mizyn. (Image: Encyclopedia of Ukraine )

In Buddhism, the swastika is a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, abundance and eternity. It is directly related to Buddha and can be found carved on statues on the soles of his feet and on his heart.  It is said that it contains Buddha’s mind.

Wooden Buddha statue with gamadian (swastika). ( CC BY 2.0 )
Wooden Buddha statue with gamadian (swastika). ( CC BY 2.0 )

On the walls of the Christian catacombs in Rome, the symbol of the Swastika appears next to the words “ZOTIKO ZOTIKO” which means “Life of Life.” It can also be found on the window openings of the mysterious Lalibela Rock churches of Ethiopia, and in various other churches around the world.

Skastika symbol in the window of Lalibela Rock hewn churches. ( CC BY 3.0 )
Skastika symbol in the window of Lalibela Rock hewn churches. ( CC BY 3.0 )
Various examples of the swastika in Christian settings. ( The Swastikaphobia Project )
Various examples of the swastika in Christian settings. ( The Swastikaphobia Project )
Left, The Samarra bowl at the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin. The swastika in the center of the design is a reconstruction. ( CC BY-SA 4.0 ); Right, Finding the cemetery of Ancient Thera, 8th to 7th century BC. Archaeological Museum of Fira. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )
Left, The Samarra bowl at the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin. The swastika in the center of the design is a reconstruction. ( CC BY-SA 4.0 ); Right, Finding the cemetery of Ancient Thera, 8th to 7th century BC. Archaeological Museum of Fira. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

In Nordic Myths , Odin is represented passing through space as a whirling disk or swastika looking down through all worlds. In North America, the swastika was used by the Navajos. In Ancient Greece, Pythagoras used the Swastika under the name ‘Tetraktys’ and it was a symbol linking heaven and earth, with the right arm pointing to heaven and its left arm pointing to Earth.

It has been used by the Phoenicians as a symbol of the Sun and it was a sacred symbol used by the priestesses.

The swastika, the Phoenician sun symbol, on the Phoenician Craig-Narget stone in Scotland, and on the robe of a Phoenician high priestess. ( Source)
The swastika, the Phoenician sun symbol, on the Phoenician Craig-Narget stone in Scotland, and on the robe of a Phoenician high priestess. ( Source)

How and why did so many diverse countries and cultures, across many eras, use the same symbol and apparently with the same meaning?   

It is ironic, and unfortunate, that a symbol of life and eternity that was considered sacred for thousands of years has become a symbol of hatred.

This article (The Powerful Symbol of the Swastika And Its 12,000 Year History) was originally created for Ancient Origins and is published here under Creative Commons.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Esoteric/Occult

Eye Of Horus: The True Meaning Of An Ancient, Powerful Symbol

Published

on

Eye of Horus: The True Meaning of an Ancient, Powerful Symbol
Photo Credit: (Jon Bodsworth / Wikimedia)

The Eye of Horus is one of the best-known symbols of ancient Egypt. Known also as the Wadjet, this magical symbol is believed to provide protection, health, and rejuvenation. Due to its powerful protective powers, the Eye of Horus was popularly used by the ancient Egyptians, both the living and the dead, as amulets. Even today, the Eye of Horus continues to be used as a symbol of protection.

The Dramatic Origin – A Story of Betrayal and Murder

The origin of the Eye of Horus may be found in the myth of Set and Osiris. The ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris was the king of Egypt and that his brother, Set, desired his throne. Through trickery, Set succeeded in murdering his brother and became the new king. Osiris’ wife Isis, however, managed to bring her husband back to life temporarily through magic and became pregnant with Horus.

A rare sample of Egyptian terra cotta sculpture depicts Isis mourning Osiris. The sculpture portrays a woman raising her right arm over her head, a typical gesture of mourning. (Louvre Museum / Public Domain )
A rare sample of Egyptian terra cotta sculpture depicts Isis mourning Osiris. The sculpture portrays a woman raising her right arm over her head, a typical gesture of mourning. (Louvre Museum / Public Domain)
The Cost of Vengeance and the Gift of Restoration  

Osiris went on to become the god of the Underworld and Isis raised Horus on her own. When Horus reached adulthood, he sought to avenge the death of his father. Horus fought Set in a series of battles, and eventually vanquished his uncle. During these struggles, however, he lost one of his eyes. According to one version of the myth, Set had ripped out Horus’ eye, tore it up into six parts and threw it away. In another version, it was Horus himself who gouged his eye out, as a sacrifice to bring his father back from the dead. In any case, Horus’ lost eye was magically restored by either by Hathor (often regarded to be the consort of Horus), or by Thoth, the god of wisdom.

As Horus’ eye was magically restored, the ancient Egyptians believed that it possessed healing properties. Amulets of this symbol have been made using a variety of materials, including gold, lapis lazuli, and carnelian, and have been used as jewelry by both the living and the dead.

An ancient carving of the Eye of Horus ( Travis / Adobe Stock )
An ancient carving of the Eye of Horus (Travis / Adobe Stock)
Is the Eye of Horus a Magical Mathematical Symbol?

Interestingly, the Eye of Horus is not merely a magical symbol but is also an example of the mathematical knowledge acquired by the ancient Egyptians. In the myth mentioned before, Set tore Horus’ eye into six parts. As a symbol, the Eye of Horus contains six parts. Each of them was given a fraction as a unit of measurement – the right side of the eye is 1/2, the pupil 1/4, the eyebrow 1/8, the left side of the eye 1/16, the curved tail 1/32, and the teardrop 1/64. These fractions add up to 63/64, and the missing part is said to either represent the magical powers of Thoth or to illustrate that nothing is perfect.

In ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic orthography, isolated parts of the "Eye of Horus" symbol were believed to be used to write various fractions. (BenduKiwi / CC BY-SA 2.5 )

In ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic orthography, isolated parts of the “Eye of Horus” symbol were believed to be used to write various fractions. (BenduKiwi / CC BY-SA 2.5)
The Distinctive Meanings of the Parts of The Eye of Horus

Each of the six parts of the Eye of Horus corresponds to a different sense. The right side of the eye is associated with the sense of smell, as it is closest to the nose and resembles this organ. Needless to say, the pupil represents the sense of sight, while the eyebrow represents thought, as it can be used to express our thoughts. The left side of the eye represents the sense of hearing, as it points towards the ear, and has the shape of a musical instrument. The curved tail resembles a sprout from a planted stalk of wheat or grain. As a representation of food, this part of the Eye of Horus corresponds to the sense of taste. Finally, the teardrop is supposed to represent the sense of touch, as this part of the Eye represents a stalk being planted into the ground, an act that involves physical contact and touching.

How is The Eye of Horus Used Today?   

Although the ancient Egyptian civilization came to an end, the belief in the potency of the Eye of Horus continued and this symbol is still used by many today. As an example, in Mediterranean countries, fishermen would often paint this symbol on their vessels for protection. Additionally, many people still wear the Eye of Horus as jewellery, to protect themselves from the ill-will of others. Moreover, the Eye of Horus is popular amongst occultists, as well as conspiracy theorists, who view the Eye not only as a protective symbol, but also as one of power, knowledge, and illusion.

Two Eyes of Horus can be seen at the front of this traditional Luzzu boat at Marsaxlokk harbor in Malta ( Anibal Trejo / Adobe Stock ).
Two Eyes of Horus can be seen at the front of this traditional Luzzu boat at Marsaxlokk harbor in Malta ( Anibal Trejo / Adobe Stock).

This article (Eye Of Horus: The True Meaning Of An Ancient, Powerful Symbol) was originally created for Ancient Origins and is published here under Creative Commons.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Ezoicreport this ad
Advertisement Ezoicreport this ad

Trending Now

STAY AWARE

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!