All posts by Richard Cassaro

About Richard Cassaro

Husband, father, journalist, symbolist, speaker, mystic and author of the soon-to-be-published Written In Stone: Decoding The Ancient Masonic Wisdom Hidden In Cathedral & World Architecture (due out 9/2011). The book reveals amazing, never-before-seen evidence that the medieval Freemasons inherited ancient occult wisdom from a highly-sophisticated lost "Mother Culture" from which the first civilizations sprang, and that they encoded this wisdom into the architecture of churches, castles and cathedrals around the world. Learn more at:

The Antequera Enigma: Exploring the Mystery of Spain´s Oldest, Largest & Most Sophisticated Megalithic Complex

Have you ever seen an entire mountain carved to resemble a colossal human “face” gazing skyward? As amazing as this sounds, it´s only “half” of the great unsolved riddle here at the prehistoric archaeological site of “Antequera” in southern Spain. The other half is the gigantic megalithic dolmen nearby, the “Dolmen de Menga,” whose entrance points directly toward this mountain face—and not by accident. The Menga dolmen, dating back to the Neolithic period, has been described by scholars as the oldest, largest, and most sophisticated of its kind in Europe. Archaeologists don’t know the meaning of this (dolmen / mountain) alignment; but they say it is the only dolmen linked to an anthropomorphic landscape feature. What were the builders up to here? What purpose did this ritual complex serve? And could this strange setup possibly hold clues that might help us decipher “all” of prehistoric Europe´s mysterious and unexplained megalithic monuments?

Photo of me inside the Neolithic Menga Dolmen´s main entrance showing how the dolmen’s portal was designed to point directly at the nearby “mountain face” of La Pena de los Enamorados, which overlooks the entire city of Antequera.

Dolmens, stone circles, barrows, menhirs. You probably already know that Europe´s Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples built thousands of extraordinary megalithic structures across the continent (in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and other countries / regions).

These ruins are still a deep unsolved mystery to archaeologists. Despite centuries of analysis, research, and investigation, it remains uncertain who built them, when they were built, how they were built, or why. The “Why?” question—inquiring as to the motives of the builders—is perhaps most perplexing of all.

Why expend Herculean efforts to design and create such complex megastructures that were intended to last for thousands of years?

This is one of the many questions on the minds of European archaeologists studying the extraordinary megalithic ruins just outside the ancient city of Antequera in the Andalusian region of Spain.

Photo of me standing inside the entrance portal of the Menga Dolmen in Antequera, Spain.

There are three main megalithic structures here, all within sight of one another:

(1) the “Dolmen de Menga”
the “Dolmen de Viera”
(3) the “Tholos de Romeral”

Visitors seeing these ruins for the first time immediately realize something special about them, something that sets them apart, and something scholars have known for decades—they are among the most sophisticated examples of Neolithic architecture in all of Europe.

They´re so special, in fact, that in 2016 UNESCO added them to its World Heritage List, stating:

“These three tombs, buried beneath their original earth tumuli, are one of the most remarkable architectural works of European prehistory and one of the most important examples of European Megalithism.”

—UNESCO, 2016


Most interesting of the three is the Dolmen de Menga, which is the largest and most advanced. It offers a bonus attraction—a strange feature that makes it unlike any other European megalithic structure: its entrance portal is perfectly aligned toward a prominent nearby natural rock formation of great importance because its silhouette resembles a gigantic human face gazing skyward. The mountain lies only seven kilometers to the northeast of the dolmen, and it dominates the entire landscape.

It´s only when you walk inside the Menga dolmen and then turn around to see the mountain face precisely framed by the dolmen´s entrance door that you´re struck with a strange sense of magic and wonder, even foreboding.    

The entrance of the prehistoric Menga Dolmen was designed to look straight out toward the mountain face of La Peña de los Enamorados.

Antequera´s dolmens are a popular tourist destination for ancient history buffs.

The mountain face of La Peña de los Enamorados dominates the view over the city of Antequera, Spain.

What´s the meaning behind this magnificent ancient alignment?

This is the million-dollar question. Evidently, the stone mountain held some kind of religious or ritual significance to the Menga dolmen’s Neolithic builders; but scholars aren´t sure exactly what that significance was.

The stone mountain is known today as “La Peña de los Enamorados” (“Lovers’ Rock”) and it´s been the stuff of legend for centuries. This mountain, 880 meters in height, has always held special significance to the people of Antequera, not unlike Italy´s Vesuvius to Neapolitans. In many ways, the mountain defines the city, just like Vesuvius defines Naples; like Vesuvius, La Peña has traditionally served as a landmark for terrestrial navigation, not only due to its commanding visual presence, but also because of its remarkable anthropomorphic silhouette.

The origins of the mountain´s name—”Lovers´ Rock”—may hold a hidden clue to its deeper, esoteric meaning. Some scholars believe the name comes from an old Romeo-and-Juliet-type legend handed down over time:

The legend that gives the mountain its name very likely originated in the 15th century CE when the Castilian kingdom of Seville and the Nasrid kingdom of Granada fought for control of the region. According to this legend, of which there are various versions, a Muslim man and a Christian woman fell in love, a relationship not accepted by either of their families. After an unsuccessful escape, the lovers decided to take their lives, throwing themselves from the northern cliff of La Peña. It cannot be ruled out that, as so often happens in Iberian folklore, the medieval legend is rooted in much older “pagan” traditions related to La Peña’s strongly anthropomorphic silhouette, also portrayed locally as a dormant giant woman…”

—Journal of Archaeological Science, 2018

Artist depiction of the legend of La Peña de los Enamorados published in “Cosmographia Universalis” in Basel, 1610.

What does the mountain face symbolize?

Rumor has it that the face is that of a sleeping giant. Some say it depicts a woman, perhaps a powerful witch. Others think it´s an American Indian (hence its oft-used nickname “Montaña del Indio”). Scholars aren´t sure; they also don´t know if the face is natural or was artificially carved in the prehistoric past. If carved, it would be one of the most unprecedented achievements of the Neolithic era, even more impressive than the megalithic structures themselves. Most scholars, unprepared to explain how our ancient ancestors could have performed such a feat, believe it´s natural.

Rotated views of the mountain face of La Peña de los Enamorados.

The unusual and striking anthropomorphism of this mountain face is enough to pique anyone´s curiosity. But the added “dolmen/mountain alignment”—which has inextricably linked these two monuments together for at least the last six thousand years—adds an extra layer of majesty and mystery that has left Spanish archaeologists scratching their heads.

“Menga is the only dolmen in continental Europe that faces towards an anthropomorphic mountain such as La Peña de los Enamorados.”

–UNESCO, 2016

Menga isn´t just the most mysterious dolmen in Spain, it´s also one of the oldest (and possibly the oldest in Spain and even Europe). This is extremely curious.

“Antequera Dolmens Site is an outstanding example of a megalithic monumental ensemble, comprised of the three megalithic monuments…that illustrate a significant stage of human history when the first large ceremonial monuments were built in Western Europe.”

–UNESCO, 2016

Twilight view standing outside the Menga Dolmen looking in. (Photo courtesy of Javier Pérez González.)

Photo of the inside of the Menga dolmen from the entrance portal. Your back is facing La Peña de los Enamorados.

Stepping further into the Menga Dolmen walking deeper into the structure.

Inside Menga showing the gargantuan roof slabs, the largest of which weighs nearly 200 tons.

View facing the back of the Menga Dolmen, showing one of three remaining megalithic support columns.

No one knows for sure exactly when Menga was built. Scholars date its construction to the 4th millennium BC, based on their radiocarbon dating of organic matter—likely burned wood—found inside the dolmen:

“When was Menga built? There are currently three radiocarbon dates for this monument that fall within the late prehistoric period…all obtained from charred material…The dates were 3790–3690 BC and 3760–3530 BC…considered an early stage of megalith construction in southern Spain.”

—Luc Laporte and Chris Scarre, The Megalithic Architectures of Europe, 2015

It´s important to keep in mind that, by radiocarbon dating of organic matter found inside Menga, scholars have established a date for the organic matter—and not necessarily for the dolmen itself (since the megalithic stones themselves cannot be radiocarbon dated). This means Menga may be much older than the radiocarbon dated material. In fact, it´s surprising and a little disappointing that scholars have put a firm date on the dolmen based solely on this radiocarbon dated material, considering they know this material may date to a period long after the dolmen´s construction, when cultures subsequent to the builders inhabited Antequera and used the dolmen:

“As Menga seems to have been an “open” monument throughout its entire life history, the vestiges of its use during the Neolithic, the Chalcolithic, and the Bronze Age seem to have been almost completely erased by the actions of subsequent visitors and users.”

—Luc Laporte and Chris Scarre, The Megalithic Architectures of Europe, 2015

The construction methods used to build Menga are another mystery. In its entirety, the dolmen is constituted by thirty-two colossal stone blocks, some weighing almost 200 tons, all made of sandstone and assembled without mortar or cement. The use of these “mega-stones” is mind-boggling, especially considering that the largest blocks at Stonehenge weigh 50 tons each, considerably less.

“Menga stands out as an exceptional megalithic monument in both the scale of its construction and its design. It is basically the largest and heaviest megalithic monument on the Iberian Peninsula…”

—Luc Laporte and Dr. Chris Scarre, The Megalithic Architectures of Europe, 2015

The interior design and layout of the dolmen itself is also mysterious. Its single massive chamber is formed by fourteen gigantic orthostats, seven on each side, and a single backstone, creating an interior space roughly 16.5 meters long and 6 meters wide at its maximum width. The roof is formed by five massive capstones that rest atop the fourteen orthostats; these giant roof slabs are supported by three large columns axially aligned in the chamber; some scholars believe there may have been a fourth column, now missing. The entire structure is covered with soil forming a large tumulus roughly 50 meters in diameter. This hill can still be seen today.

Menga Dolmen ground plan showing how the three large upright pillars are aligned along the longitudinal axis of the chamber.

Exploring inside the Menga Dolmen.

View from inside the Menga Dolmen, facing the front of the structure.

Photo of the rear of the Menga Dolmen.

One of the most striking aspects of the Menga dolmen is its astronomical orientation. As mentioned, the entrance to the monument is oriented towards La Peña de los Enamorados in the northeast. There is another alignment at play here: when the sun rises on the morning of the Summer Solstice, its rays shine into the dolmen´s entrance corridor illuminating one of the two walls of orthostats inside. It should be emphasized that the sun doesn’t shine directly into the heart of the chamber; it illuminates only one side of the two interior megalithic walls. This is because the mean azimuth of the dolmen is 45 degrees, while the azimuth of the Summer Solstice is 60 degrees—not a perfect match.

The sun’s morning rays enter the Menga Dolmen one week before the Summer Solstice, illuminating one side of the interior megalithic walls. (Photo courtesy of Javier Pérez González.)

The sun’s morning rays enter the Menga Dolmen days before the Summer Solstice, illuminating one side of the interior megalithic walls. (Photo courtesy of Javier Pérez González.)

As shown here, the Menga Dolmen was oriented so that the sun’s morning rays on the Summer Solstice illuminate only part of the inside chamber.

Why set up the structure so the morning rays of the solstice sun illuminate only part of the inside chamber?

This question is difficult to answer, mostly because no one knows why so many of Europe´s Neolithic megalithic structures are aligned to the solstices and equinoxes in the first place. Archaeologists have known for some time that the Pagan cultures who built most of Europe´s megalithic monuments revered the solstices and equinoxes as high holidays. Here at Antequera it seems the builders wanted their dolmen to point to the La Peña mountain face and, at the same time, they also wanted at least some sunlight to shine into the dolmen on the morning of the Summer Solstice. In other words, they wanted to have their cake and eat it too—and they clearly got their wish.

“Menga was not oriented to sunrise, as is the case with 95% of the megalithic monuments in southern Iberia. Rather it is slightly to the north of the summer solstice (specifically at 45°), towards La Peña de los Enamorados, a mountain that stands out in the Antequera plain.”

—Luc Laporte and Dr. Chris Scarre, The Megalithic Architectures of Europe, 2015

Another mysterious and surprising architectural feature of the Menga dolmen can be found inside the structure. In the spring of 2005, a circular water well nearly 20 meters deep was discovered on the ground inside the chamber on the side opposite the entrance, between the third supporting pillar and the backstone.

In 2005, a circular water well nearly 20 meters deep was discovered on the ground inside the chamber on the side opposite the entrance.

Once fully excavated, it was found that the well´s circular shape is surprisingly symmetrical all the way down the sandstone bedrock into which it was carved, showing the unparalleled skill of the ancient builders. Scholars aren´t sure if the well was carved with stone, animal horns or metal tools. But they are sure that whoever carved it clearly possessed the confidence and ability to perform such an amazing feat. At the time this sensational discovery was made, there was no record of the existence of this exceptional hydraulic structure, nor was any previous reference to it known.

The well´s deep shaft is perfectly circular for the entire duration down its nearly 20-meter depth.

Metal bars have been installed to protect visitors, as a fall from this height would be deadly.

Photo of the well with water.

The perfect circularity of the well´s deep shaft shows that the goal of the builders was to create a specific aesthetic and visual effect that must have been meaningful to them; but exactly what that meaning was is unclear.

Chemical analysis has shown that the water inside the well is suitable for human consumption (according to current Spanish laws defining potable water). However, researchers don´t believe the well was dug solely for drinking water because, as some have pointed out, potable water can easily be got by digging just a few yards down in the dirt fields outside the dolmen.

Why did the builders saddle themselves with the incredibly laborious task of digging down 20 meters into the solid sandstone bedrock inside the dolmen? Clearly there was some unknown and mysterious reason for having a well inside the dolmen. The builders went out of their way to ensure this (assuming the well does not predate the dolmen). But exactly what that reason was remains unclear.

Perhaps a clue may lie in the faint engravings that have been found on some of Menga´s giant orthostats, notably on Pillars 1 and 2 near the entrance. Unfortunately, these engravings have deteriorated to the extent that they are now almost entirely unrecognizable. They seem to depict a mixture of “cruciform” and “circular” patterns, carved in a kind of low relief.

Faint engravings have been found on some of Menga´s giant orthostats.

Some archaeologists are on record saying they see anthropomorphic figures, with one perhaps holding a hatchet; they also say they believe these carvings date back to the era of the dolmen´s construction. Others say they see “Christianized” cross symbols—prehistoric designs that appear to have been “carved over” during the Christian era, making the original designs undeterminable.

It´s not just the inside of the Menga dolmen where we find prehistoric images. More designs have been found in a large, triangular-shaped natural cave located at the foot of La Peña de los Enamorados—a cave that scholars say is directly linked to the Menga dolmen; the dolmen´s central axis of symmetry and entrance point directly to it.                   

Known as the “Abrigo de Matacabras,” it contains several prehistoric paintings. Like the carvings inside Menga, these paintings are heavily eroded. Scholars believe that due to its strange link with Menga this small cave may have been a spiritual sanctuary of sorts, one that held symbolic and religious significance during the Neolithic period.

Left: View of Antequera from inside the cave “Abrigo de Matacabras” at the base of La Peña de los Enamorados. Right: Prehistoric anthropomorphic figure painted in red on a wall inside Matacabras cave. The figure´s arms are raised up, a pose that has baffled scholars.  

In 2018, the ATLAS research group from the University of Seville published a study of the paintings saying:

“This small cave has a first-class visual and symbolic relationship with the Menga dolmen, establishing landscape relationships that are possibly unique in European prehistory.”

—Journal of Archaeological Science, 2018

Scholars have noted that the paintings depict a relatively wide range of schematic art motifs. Fourteen various depictions have been documented in all, mostly composed of: (a) plaques, (b) pectiniforms, (c) an anthropomorphic figure with arms raised, and (d) a double serpentiform. All of these are said to have parallels with various other prehistoric art motifs in southern Spain, with many examples found in and around the lands near Antequera.

One of the most interesting depictions inside the cave shows an anthropomorphic figure with upraised arms, painted in red (as shown in the photo above).                

Could this be the image of an ancient shaman performing some kind of long-lost ritual? Or perhaps a spiritualist of some sort engaging in a meditational prayer that, for us, no longer holds any meaning? Was it an ancient magician steeped in some kind of strange magical ceremony? Or a soothsayer having a drug-induced mystical experience? Could it be a witch doctor preparing to offer a human sacrifice to some unknown god or gods revered by the builders?

These are the kinds of ideas many scholars favor, and they certainly seem viable considering the ritualistic and funerary nature of the three dolmens that constitute the archaeological site of Antequera.


Just a couple of hundred feet southwest of Menga, there´s a second magnificent megalithic structure—the “Dolmen de Viera.” Though slightly smaller and less impressive than Menga, this prehistoric monument is grand and unique in its own right.

Aerial view showing the near proximity of the Menga and Viera dolmens. The yellow arrrows point to the entrances.

The dolmen is named after two brothers, José Viera Fuentes and Antonio Viera Fuentes, who are said to have discovered and excavated it between 1903 and 1905, although local knowledge of the dolmen´s existence has been traced back to the 16th century.

On the outside, the Viera dolmen resembles a giant burial mound, while inside it looks like a passage grave. The outside mound is described by scholars as a “tumulus” roughly 50 meters in diameter. The interior consists of a long corridor—accessible by an entrance on the periphery of the mound—that leads to a small rectangular chamber inside.

On the outside, the Viera dolmen resembles a giant burial mound, inside it looks like a passage grave.

Like Menga, it was built with a series of megalithic stone blocks placed standing upright, all put together without mortar or cement. The corridor is topped by a row of megalithic roof slabs, which also fit together without mortar or cement. The orthostats and roof slabs here, while impressive, are considerably smaller than those of Menga.

The orthostats that make up the interior corridor are twenty-seven in total, and at the end of the corridor there is a small chamber with a quadrangular plan, which is accessed through a perforated square door. Here, scholars believe ancient corpses were interred along with their grave goods (assuming this was a burial mound). No skeletons have been found inside, though some artifacts—including a ceramic bowl, a stone vase, a copper awl, several blades, small flint tools, and several polished stone axes—have been recovered. Unlike Menga, there is no link to La Peña de los Enamorados.

Plan and section of Viera, showing its long corridor leading to its single interior chamber.

Walking into the Viera dolmen via its long straight corridor.

The megalithic wall slabs and ceiling slabs inside the Viera dolmen’s corridor.

Inside the Viera dolmen, 2020. Guards are posted at the ruins to enforce the mask law. 

In front of the square entrance carved in stone that leads into the Viera dolmen’s single chamber at the end of its corridor.

Peering into the small chamber at the end of the corridor, which is accessed through a perforated square door.

Scholars believe the Viera dolmen was built a few hundred years after the Menga dolmen. If this is true, then it may well have been constructed by the descendants of the builders of Menga—though this idea doesn´t seem to be popular among scholars. Viera is officially dated to the Copper Age, which in Spain lasted from approximately 3300 to 2500 BCE. (It is interesting to note that, as with many other ancient cultures, the more advanced monument predates the less advanced one. Examples of this “older = more advanced” pattern can be found in Egypt, Italy, China, Mexico, and Cambodia, as I´ve discussed in my books, lectures, articles, videos, and social media posts).

One of the most interesting features of the Viera dolmen is its archaeoastronomical orientation. As with most Iberian tombs, Viera´s interior chamber and the long corridor that leads to it are both oriented slightly south of east (96°). This means the builders constructed it precisely so that the sun´s first rays on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (March 21 and September 21) shine directly into the corridor and illuminate the interior chamber.

The builders constructed the Viera dolmen precisely so that the rising sun´s first rays on the mornings of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (March 21 and September 21) shine directly into the corridor and illuminate the interior chamber. (Photos courtesy of Javier Pérez González.)

The sun´s first rays on the morning of the vernal equinox shine directly into Viera´s megalithic corridor. (Photo courtesy of Salvador Salas.)

Dawn on the spring equinox. This photo was taken from inside the small chamber looking straight out through the long corridor and into the eastern sky. (Photo courtesy of Salvador Salas.)

There are many other megalithic ruins across the Iberian Peninsula—and all across Europe—that are archaeoastronomically aligned to the solstices and equinoxes, just like here at Antequera. Scholars have known about these alignments for decades, but they are at a loss to explain their meaning.


Situated about a mile northeast of the Menga and Viera dolmens—and located precisely along the axis that links the Menga dolmen and La Peña de los Enamorados—is the Tholos de El Romeral. This is described by archaeologists as one of the most important examples of Neolithic architecture in southern Europe. This megalithic monument, also known as “Cueva de Romeral” (Cave of Romeral) and “Dolmen de Romeral,” is the third major dolmen structure at Antequera.

Romeral is clearly visible from both the Menga and Viera dolmens. Scholars don´t know why it was built to stand perfectly in line between the Menga dolmen and La Peña de los Enamorados, but they do agree that the Romeral Tholos dates to an era long after the Menga and Viera dolmens were built. It is currently believed to have been constructed in the early 2nd millennium BCE (about 1800 BCE).

Aerial view of the circular mound known today as the Tholos de El Romeral.

The entrance into the Tholos de El Romeral is imposing and majestic.

The mound housing the Tholos de El Romeral on the left, with La Peña de los Enamorados on the right.

The Tholos de El Romeral, situated about a mile northeast of the Menga and Viera dolmens, lies along a straight axis that links the Menga dolmen and La Peña de los Enamorados.

The Tholos de Romeral is basically a chambered tomb covered by a large artificial mound, not unlike the Viera Dolmen. The mound has a diameter of about 75 meters with a total height of roughly 10 meters, making it the largest of Antequera´s three major megalithic structures.

Like Viera, the entrance corridor is accessed by a doorway located on the periphery of the mound. However, the walls of its long trapezoidal corridor are not constructed with large megalithic stone blocks like Menga and Viera; instead, it has drystone walls made of small stones, though its ceiling is made of megalithic stone slabs.

Photo depicting the design and plan of the Tholos de El Romeral. (Courtesy of Francisco Jose Romero Montilla.)

Walking into the single long straight corridor, which leads to two consecutive beehive-shaped chambers.  

Beautiful megalithic roof slabs cover the length of the corridor.

A closer look at some of the megalithic roof slabs covering the corridor.

Megalithic portal at the end of the corridor that allows entrance into the two consecutive round beehive-like chambers.

At the end of the corridor, a megalithic portal allows entrance into two consecutive round beehive-like chambers. (In ancient Greek architecture, a circular building with a conical or vaulted roof is known as a “tholos,” hence the “Tholos de Romeral.”)

The first chamber is larger, with a diameter of roughly 4 meters. It has corbelled walls similar to the walls inside the corridor and the chamber is topped by a single megalithic capstone.

The second chamber, which is smaller and linked to the first by a short corridor, has a diameter of roughly 2 meters; it too has a beehive-like shape. Inside the second chamber there´s a small stone slab, resembling an altar. Access to this chamber is not permitted. Archaeologists report that bones and various grave goods were found inside the dolmen. This, they say, confirms that the monument was built to serve as a burial mound.

Inside the first beehive-shaped chamber at the end of the corridor.

The ceiling inside the first beehive-shaped chamber is sealed with a megalithic roof slab.

The second, smaller chamber, is inaccessible to visitors. A large circular mirror inside the chamber allows visitors to see the beehive-shaped ceiling and megalithic ceiling slab covering this rear chamber.

Because it faces an azimuth of 199 degrees (looking out to the south / southwest region of the horizon), the Tholos de Romeral is one of the few significant megalithic structures on the Iberian Peninsula that faces west (most face east).

As with Menga and Viera, the Tholos de Romeral was encoded with a significant archaeoastronomical alignment. At noon on the Winter Solstice, the sun´s rays penetrate down the long corridor through the first beehive-like chamber and straight into the second chamber, illuminating the interior of this prehistoric monument. Scholars are at a loss to explain why the builders set up the structure this way or what significance the hour of noon on the Winter Solstice may have held in the minds of the builders (and, possibly, in relation to the dead, supposing this was indeed a burial mound).

At noon on the Winter Solstice (December 21) sunlight travels through the corridor at El Romeral and lights up the interior chambers. (Photo courtesy of Javier Pérez González.)

Some researchers have noted that the Tholos de Romeral has an eastern Mediterranean feel to it, as it bears a striking resemblance to the tholos tombs built in Greece in Antiquity.


What are we to make of this amazing prehistoric dolmen complex at Antequera?

As mentioned at the outset of this article, Europe´s megalithic ruins are a deep unsolved mystery to archaeologists. It´s still unclear who built them, when they were built, how they were built, or why. Antequera is no exception.

Scholars have done a fine job analyzing Antequera´s three major ancient monuments. They have gathered invaluable data regarding the building materials, measurements, artwork, mythology, and archaeoastronomical alignments at play here. Yet they are still no closer to unraveling the intrinsic meaning of Antequera than scholars were a century ago.

Isn´t this…kind of odd?

Think about it. Scholars have gathered plenty of detailed data on Antequera´s dolmens—priceless information that, one would think, should help us better “understand” the purpose and intention of these structures. Yet, even with all this data, academia is still at a complete and utter loss to explain their basic meaning and functionality (if indeed these monuments had a functionality other than being burial tombs, and I suspect they did).

What are we missing here?

For more than 30 years, I´ve been traveling to, exploring, and documenting a variety of megalithic ruins left by many different ancient cultures around the world. I´ve studied megaliths in places like Peru, Egypt, Mexico, Bolivia, England, Cambodia, Italy, Greece, France, Spain and Cyprus. Since 2015, I´ve been living in Spain and exploring its megalithic ruins. Yet, for me, Antequera represents one of—if not “the”—greatest enigmas of them all. This place is just as important as the Giza plateau, in my humble opinion. Just as important as Angkor Wat. Or Stonehenge.  Or Machu Pichu.

Actually, I believe Antequera is even more important. Why?

Because I´m convinced Antequera was designed and built by what I have often referred to as “spiritually superior” prehistoric peoples. And I believe it was these same spiritually superior perhistoric people that built hundreds of other enigmatic megalithic structures across the Iberian Peninsula (and across Europe) millennia before the Roman invasion. I believe these “primitive”people were far more sophisticated than our modern human culture today—not technologically, but metaphysically, spiritually. Hence the inability of scholars to decipher the purpose and meaning of their monuments.

This is a theory I explained in detail in my 2011 book, Written in Stone. I showed how our ancient ancestors around the world had parallel forms of art, architecture, symbolism and religion. I theorized that these parallels paint a picture of ancient cultures—particularly the pyramid cultures—as people who were not “technologically” superior but “spiritually” superior to modern man. I theorized that this spiritual superiority may explain the mysteriously advanced architectural structures they were able to design and build; structures they left behind that, today, leave so many modern tourists in awe.

In Written in Stone, I cited “pyramids” as an example of some of these advanced architectural structures. Yet, even before there were pyramids, many strange megalithic monuments were being constructed across Europe on a large scale, including dolmens, stone circles, passage graves, taulas, and stone rows. These megalithic structures predate most of the world´s ancient pyramids. And so, for me, this indicates that the cultures that constructed these strange European megalithic monuments may have been even more spiritually advanced than the cultures that built pyramids later in history.

In my upcoming book, I´ll continue to examine this idea. I´ll show how Europe´s prehistoric megalithic monuments are so advanced—built by people so much more spiritually sophisticated than us today—that they are completely unrecognizable to us. This explains why we simply don’t know what these monuments were designed, built and used for. I´m referring here specifically to megalithic structures like stone circles, dolmens, taulas, passage graves and stone rows. Look at the photos below and think about what I´m saying for a moment:

Why build T-shaped “taulas” like those found on Spain´s Balearic Islands?

Why build colossal “dolmens” with gigantic stone blocks?

What function could megalithic “passage graves” have been built to accomplish?

What possible purpose could megalithic “stone circles” have once served?

Why did the ancients build megalithic “stone rows” like Carnac in France?

“Taulas” are ancient T-shaped monuments found in ruins on the Spanish island of Menorca.

Megalithic dolmens were built in prehistoric times in almost all European countries.

Passage graves are a prehistoric remnant found common across much of Europe.

The intact ruins of megalithic stone circles are found in many European countries.

Prehistoric megalithic stone rows like Carnac in France are an unsolved mystery.

These structures make no sense to us—to our modern sensibilities, predispositions, and understandings. We simply can´t understand them; we can´t understand why they were built or what they may have been used for. It´s as if something is missing—as if some vital knowledge that the builders once had has now been forgotten.

What´s missing?

I believe I may have found the answer, or at least part of the answer. That´s to say, I think I understand what many of these ancient megalithic structures were designed and used for. And, with this find, I may be able to help scholars answer the big “Why?” question regarding Europe’s ancient megaliths and the world’s prehistoric megaliths in general. The problem is, I´m not quite ready to proffer my findings with a substantial amount of supporting evidence.

(Note: For a couple of years now, I´ve been told by several of my scholarly friends—archaeologists, professors—that if written properly my research on megaliths would certainly be publishable in academic journals. And even some of my earlier work, if properly tweaked and more conservatively written, can and should be advanced academically. I believe this is worthwhile, and I´ve spent a considerable portion of 2020 researching European megaliths as well as converting some aspects of my earlier research into an academically acceptable format. It´s been much more challenging and time-consuming than I expected; but being challenged has dramatically improved the quality of my research, and so it´s been an extremely rewarding experience so far.)

So, with this in mind, rather than provide cursory information here regarding my theory on megalithic monuments, I´ll end this article on a cliffhanger; again, I´m still investigating and gathering supporting evidence and data. I have mountains of research I need to complete before I can even begin to think about writing and publishing, academically or otherwise. But I believe an incredibly important piece of the megalithic puzzle can be found here at Antequera, encoded in these enigmatic Neolithic ruins…dot, dot, dot…

If you would like to contribute to my research, you can sign up for my Newsletter, join one of my Ancient Tours, or simply watch this space for more. You can also learn about my earlier work by reading my published books:

Richard Cassaro is a Madrid-based author, lecturer, filmmaker, and tour guide from New York City. His published books Written in Stone (2011), The Missing Link (2016), and Mayan Masonry (2018) offer rare insights into ancient megaliths, spirituality, mythology, magic, symbolism, secret societies, comparative religion and occult archaeology. Cassaro has discussed his work on the History Channel, and in documentary films like Magical Egypt 2. His articles have appeared in print journals and web media around the globe; and he has delivered well-received lectures about his findings in the UK, Italy, Peru, Egypt, Spain, Mexico, Cyprus, and the U.S. In his capacity as a field investigator, he hosts travel adventures to archaeological sites worldwide.

Richard Cassaro © Copyright, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Visit to the Mysterious Ancient Island of Cyprus

I traveled to Cyprus in February 2019 by invitation of the Brotherhood of Saint Hilarion to present a 2-hour lecture on my research. I´ve been speaking at events in various countries for many years (England, Italy, Peru, Egypt, Spain, Mexico) but this was my first time in Cyprus. I made many amazing new friends. Over the course of a week, they brought me to a series of fascinating ancient, megalithic, and medieval archaeological sites. Cypriots are warm and wonderful people. Words can´t express my gratitude for their generous hospitality. Two hundred people attended the lecture, and I was invited back in 2020, for an appearance at a much bigger venue. Also, a Cyprus documentary may be in the works.


The Republic of Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. Scholars believe the earliest cultures that inhabited the island can be traced back to the 10th Millennium BC. Cyprus was subsequently colonized by several major powers starting in the 2nd or perhaps 3rd millennium BC, including the Mycenean Greeks, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, and Romans. This was followed by the rule of Arab caliphates, the French Lusignan dynasty, the Venetians, and the Ottomans. In 1914, Cyprus was annexed by Britain after more than 300 years of Ottoman rule.

Since Britain´s annexation of the island, Cyprus’s modern history has been dominated by tension between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants. In 1955, Greek Cypriots initiated a guerrilla war against British rule, calling for unification with Greece. At the same time, many Turkish Cypriots favored a partition of the island between Greece (in the South of Cyprus) and Turkey (in the North). In 1974, Turkey invaded the northern part of the island in response to a military coup against Britain by Greek Cypriots which was backed by the Greek government.

“The island was effectively partitioned, with the northern third run by a Turkish Cypriot government and the southern two-thirds by the internationally-recognised government led by Greek Cypriots.  United Nations troops patrol the “Green Line” dividing the two parts, and reunification talks have made slow progress.” –

Travel restrictions were eased in 2003. The following year, Cyprus joined the European Union, but as a divided island—Turkish Cypriots in the North and Greek Cypriots in the South. Cyprus now has approximately 1.1 million inhabitants. About 78 percent are “Greek Cypriots,” identifying themselves as Orthodox Christians; while roughly 18 percent are “Turkish Cypriots,” describing themselves as Sunni Muslims.


During my stay, several members of the Brotherhood of Saint Hilarion brought me to a variety of ancient and medieval archaeological sites. One of the most interesting places we visited lies a few miles north of the ancient city of Salamis (an ancient Greek city-state on the east coast of Cyprus). Here we visited a series of megalithic tombs and temples that are described by scholars as the “Royal Tombs” or the “Tombs of the Kings.” These magnificent structures are thought to date from between the 8th and 7th centuries BC, but this dating is uncertain and has given rise to some debate among scholars in recent years.

The most interesting of these megalithic tombs is called “St. Catherine´s Prison” (also known as Tomb 50), dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria who, legend says, was imprisoned here. This tomb was built with massive stones cut to perfection, with very little space between the joints. The skeletal remains of two sacrificed horses that were found here during the excavations are exhibited on site. The horses were believed to have pulled a chariot, containing the body of the king for whom the tomb was built. It has been pointed out that this burial custom (of horse-drawn chariots pulling the body of the king to the tomb) was described by Homer in The Iliad.


One of the most interesting things about Cyprus is the massive circular shape of its capital city, Nicosia. The circle, with a circumference of about 5 km, is formed by the massive walls that surround and once protected the city. The walls are called “Venetian Walls,” named after their Venetian builders. These walls, which date back to the mid-16th century, form what has become known as a “star fort.”

The origins of this star fort are interesting. In 1489, Cyprus became part of the Republic of Venice, a leading European sovereign state and maritime republic based in the city of Venice, Italy, which flourished between the 7th and the 18th centuries AD. In 1597, the Venetians built the star fort by constructing the Venetian Walls, a series of defensive stone walls which surrounded and protected the city. Many of these walls are still visible today and they are a major tourist attraction. The walls contain eleven pentagonal bastions, which are named after eleven families of the Italian aristocracy of the town who helped fund the wall:

  • Caraffa Bastion
  • Podocattaro Bastion
  • Constanza Bastion
  • D’Avila Bastion
  • Tripoli Bastion
  • Roccas Bastion
  • Mula Bastion
  • Quirini Bastion
  • Barbaro Bastion
  • Loredan Bastion
  • Flatro Bastion


We traveled to the ancient city of Famagusta on the east coast of Cyprus. Famagusta was once the island’s most important port city with links to trading ports throughout the Levant, connecting Cyprus to the famous Silk Road. Famagusta is a walled city, and many of the medieval and ancient walls are still visible, attracting tourists. In antiquity, the town was known as Arsinoe, named after Arsinoe II (c. 316 BC – 260 BC) of Egypt, a Ptolemaic queen and co-regent of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Strabo describes the city by this name.

There are many majestic and striking monuments here, but most interesting to me was a series of megalithic stone lions. Their dating and origins are unknown, but judging by the number of lions visible throughout the city (including lion reliefs on the city´s protective walls) as well as the reverence attributed to the lion throughout Cyprus, it seems clear that a “lion cult” of some kind developed during a very early phase of the city and even the country´s history.The city of Famagusta in Greek was called Ammochostos, which means “hidden in the sand”. The city is often described as “the city of 365 churches,” because legend has it that, in its heyday, Famagusta had one church for each day of the year. Many of these churches were converted into mosques by the Muslim inhabitants.


As mentioned, the island of Cyprus is now divided between Turkish “Muslims” in the North and Greek “Christians” in the South. When Turkey entered the North, they converted many of the Christian churches there into mosques. It is fascinating to see this architectural transformation, from one religion into another. In fact, I found evidence for my theory that the “minarets” of mosques (often built in pairs) symbolically equate to the “twin towers” of churches/cathedrals. In the following photos we see mosques (formerly churches) that I visited in the ancient cities of Nicosia and Famagusta:


The stonemasons who built Europe´s churches, castles, and cathedrals encoded images of the so-called “Green Man” into their constructions. This mysterious Green Man tradition—which has not yet been sufficiently explained by scholars—once existed across Europe. Church authorities allowed this pagan imagery apparently because they did not consider these “Green Men” as pagan motifs, but merely as ornaments.

In Cyprus, we see examples of this in the so-called “Seven Green Men of Nicosia.” These are a series of seven mysterious Green Man images carved into the entrance of the 13th century facade of St. Nicholas Church in Nicosia.


During our travels, we stopped briefly at a very strange stone building now in ruins that appears to have originally been constructed as a pagan temple. The building doesn´t appear on any tourist map, and it´s not listed in Google or Google Maps. It seems to have been originally built without mortar and its façade is perfectly symmetrical. However, the façade´s right side (or “right half”) appears to have been rebuilt using cement, but with many of its original stones now missing. Perhaps the structure is so old that it fell into ruins but was then reassembled by later stonemasons; or it could be that the destruction was a form of rejection of the pagan tradition by the later Muslims or earlier Christians. We can´t be sure, since there is evidence on both sides of the ledger. The symbolism on the façade and on the walls of the building´s interior match many well-known pagan motifs. This symbolism includes:

– “Triptych” Three-In-One Motifs
– Jachin & Boaz Pillars
– Egyptian Aten-like Symbolism
– Nature Motifs (Acanthus, Lotus)
– Quadriforms
– Circumpuncts
– Tree of Life 


Scholars believe Kyrenia Harbor, built with square ashlar megalithic stones, was originally constructed by the Romans. The original Roman port was situated parallel to the current one, but very little now remains except for a massive breakwater built with megalithic stones which today forms part of the modern pier. Like many other megalithic constructions in the ancient world, this port is attributed to the Romans; yet one could argue (based on the island´s previous Mycenean, Minoan, Hittite, Phoenician, and Egyptian inhabitants) that this breakwater was not originally built by the Romans, but preceded the Romans by centuries if not millennia.

During the Middle Ages, the Venetian city state and its merchants refurbished Kyrenia Harbor as well as the great castle of Kyrenia, which was strategically located to guard their trade. 


Kyrenia Castle has overlooked and majestically guarded the important and strategic North Cyprus port of Kyrenia since the 1500s. Despite the fact that the town of Kyrenia is believed to have been in existence since the 10th century BC, scholars say the first evidence of the castle is from Roman times. It was subsequently fortified by the Byzantines, then later strengthened again and enlarged by the Lusignans. (The House of Lusignan was a royal house of French origin that ruled over the kingdoms of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Armenia from the 12th – 15th centuries AD.) Concerned about a possible Ottoman invasion of Cyprus (with the Ottoman mainland only miles away) the Venetians fortified Cyprus by enlarging and reinforcing the walls of Kyrenia Castle. 


As part of our tour, we visited the ancient royal city of Amathus. The site is located on the Mediterranean, which served the trade with the Greeks and the Levantines. Amathus is home to a series of well-preserved ruins, including a cult sanctuary of the goddess Aphrodite. Cyprus is the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, and various images of the goddess can be seen across the island´s ruins and artifacts. Here Aphrodite took on an Eastern flavor, apparently influenced by Mesopotamian, Phoenician and Egyptian settlers. The local cult of Aphrodite took on a male/female character named “Aphroditus,” who was a male Aphrodite. Aphroditus was depicted as a female with feminine clothing but also a phallus. Aphroditus was celebrated in Athens in a transvestite rite, hence the origins of the word “hermaphrodite.”

Amathus also plays a part in another Greek myth, the story of Ariadne. Plutarch tells us that Theseus (of Minotaur fame) abandoned Ariadne (who helped Theseus conquer the Minotaur´s labyrinth by supplying the thread) at Amathus, where she died and was buried. 


Kolossi Castle was a former Crusader castle which scholars believe was built c. 1210 by the Frankish military, when the land of Kolossi was given to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitallers). It is said that the castle was taken over by the Knights Templar in 1306, but returned to the Hospitallers in 1313, following the abolition of the Templars. The main structure consists of a single three-story keep, with an attached bailey (rectangular enclosure) measuring 30 by 40 meters.

Kolossi Castle held strategic importance in the Middle Ages. It contained large facilities for the production of sugar from the local sugarcane, one of Cyprus’s main exports in the period. This 800-year-old Cyprus castle is the birthplace of the world’s oldest wine, Commandaria, an amber-colored sweet dessert wine. Historians say that during the era of the crusades, this Commandaria wine was served at the 12th century wedding of King Richard the Lionheart to Berengaria of Navarre. During the wedding, King Richard pronounced Commandaria “the wine of kings and the king of wines.”


The Mount of Kourion, on which the archaeological ruins of the ancient city of Kourion have been discovered, occupies a dominant position on the southern coast of Cyprus. The oldest remains are dated by scholars to the middle and late bronze age. Kourion is traditionally thought to have been founded by Argives (citizens of Argolis in the Peloponnese in Greece) in the 13th century BC, and historians have long believed that its inhabitants were descendants of Aegean immigrants.

The most important monuments are mainly from the Roman era. These include a theater (with a magnificent acoustic resonance), the Amathus Gate Cemetery, the Forum, the Nymphaeum, the Forum Baths, the House of the Gladiators, the Baths and House of Eustolios, and the Early Christian Beachfront Basilica.

Among the most interesting things I saw here are the Greco-Roman mosaics, which decorate the floors of various ancient temples, homes, tombs, and courtyards. Some of my favorite of these mosaics can be found in the House of Achilles, named after the Greek mythological hero.


My hosts, the Brotherhood of Saint Hilarion, were eager to show me the castle from which their Order took its name. Saint Hilarion Castle, perched upon a steep hilltop on the Kyrenia Mountain Range with commanding views over Kyrenia and the coast, is probably the best preserved of North Cyprus’s three castles. Many people believe it inspired the castle in Disneyland. The earliest references to the castle are said to derive from Richard Lionheart’s 1191 campaign on Cyprus. The castle is believed to have been named after a 10th century monk who chose the site for his hermitage, and whose relics can still be seen there.


The museums of Cyprus are priceless. During the past several thousand years, the island was colonized by several major powers starting in the 2nd or perhaps 3rd millennium BC. Cultures including the Mycenean Greeks, Assyrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Persians, and Romans all left their mark. During my stay, my hosts took me to a number of museums in Cyprus, including the museum located across the courtyard from the St. Barnabas Monastery, which houses a number of incredibly sophisticated pottery pieces, stone artifacts, and sculptures. The rich symbolism and iconography encoded onto this pottery provides us with a wealth of information concerning the religious, spiritual, and philosophical beliefs of its creators.


Salamis, located on the east coast of the island, was one of the most important cities of ancient Cyprus. According to Homer, Salamis was founded after the Trojan War by an archer named Teucer, who came from the island of Salamis, near Attica. The city grew in size, in part because of its excellent harbor, and it eventually became a key Cypriot center for trade, exchanging goods with Phoenician, Persian and Egyptian merchants. Some scholars believe Salamis was once the largest city on Cyprus, and that it may have been the capital around c. 1100 BC. Tradition holds that Salamis was the first stop on Paul the Apostle’s journey to teach the gospel of Christ to the first-century world.

Many of the structures were constructed from finely cut masonry (large ashlars, but not megalithic). For example, the Roman baths are among the best preserved archaeological ruins here. Salamis´s massive outdoor theater, which is perhaps the site´s most spectacular ruin, is said to have once sat up to 15,000 people. Many statues are also visible at Salamis, and some are exceptionally well preserved.

In the 7th Century AD, Arab invaders destroyed the city, forcing its inhabitants to flee south, where they built the medieval town of Famagusta (Magusa).


My lecture—where I presented my findings during my 25 years of research into ancient history, symbology, and occult science—was attended by approximately two hundred members and friends of the Brotherhood of Saint Hilarion. It was an evening I´ll never forget! I met many kind, open-minded, intellectually curious men, women and young people. Everyone was so enthusiastic about the lecture that I was invited back to Cyprus to present a second lecture in 2020. There may even be a documentary about Cyprus in the works. Keeping fingers crossed that this dream can be made into a reality.


The best part of Cyprus for me was all the wonderful people I met during my stay. Over and above the art, architecture, ruins and artifacts that I was privileged to see, what made my Cyprus adventure so memorable was the many new friends I made among the Brotherhood of Saint Hilarion. (Very special thanks and my heartfelt gratitude to Kerem Can, Erkut Culluoglu, Wissam Sabbah, Asim Vehbi, Ahmed Vehbi, Sam Eid, and Abbas Yildirim). Cypriots are warm and wonderful people. Kind, caring, curious, friendly, loving, and open-minded. Now I know why tradition has it that Cyprus is the legendary birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite!

Richard Cassaro is a Madrid-based author, lecturer, filmmaker, and tour guide from New York City. His published books Written in Stone (2011), The Missing Link (2016), and Mayan Masonry (2018) offer rare insights into ancient megaliths, spirituality, mythology, magic, symbolism, secret societies, comparative religion and occult archaeology. Cassaro has discussed his work on the History Channel, and in documentary films like Magical Egypt 2. His articles have appeared in print journals and web media around the globe; and he has delivered well-received lectures about his findings in the UK, Italy, Peru, Egypt, Spain, Mexico, Cyprus, and the U.S. In his capacity as a field investigator, he hosts travel adventures to archaeological sites worldwide.

Richard Cassaro © Copyright, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.





MONUMENTAL CAMBODIA: An Esoteric Tour of the Ancient Temples (November 8 – 14, 2021)

Richard Cassaro
Cambodia 2021 Travel Expedition
7 Days / 8 Nights of Ancient Temples,
Fascinating Archaeology & Esoteric Wisdom
November 8 – 14, 2021

I´ll be taking a handful of Sacred Explorers with me to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, home of the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire and the largest religious monument in the world. Only a few of the more than 1000 temples have been cleared of the jungle that engulfs them, and they are bathed in an atmosphere so evocative that they will transport you to a place few modern travelers ever visit—the center of your spiritual Self!

I´ll explain how the core spiritual wisdom written into these mysterious stone monuments by the ancient Master Masons was the same Sacred Science now known in the West as the Perennial Philosophy, and how the central formula of this wisdom is the Marriage of Opposites—a formula written in stone on the temples themselves in the form of the Triptych!

TOUR ITINERARY: Contact Richard Cassaro for details (below).
LIMITED SPACE: Space is limited, so contact me today if you want to reserve your spot.

Email me here for more information.

Or signup to my Newsletter and stay connected.

Artifacts Of The Golden Age: Archaeological Evidence That Civilization Is Declining, Not Advancing

Across the ancient world we find mysterious stone ruins that are so sophisticated and advanced that they look like structures from the distant future, rather than the primitive past. Scholars ignore these ruins because academia in general upholds the “evolutionary” paradigm, which sees man as rising and evolving. They believe our modern society marks the pinnacle of human progress. Yet our ancient ancestors believed the opposite—man is falling, declining. More accurately, man has fallen from a sophisticated “Golden Age” civilization that flourished globally in the remote past. If this ancient and once-universal belief is correct, then is it possible that relics from this Golden Age are still visible in some of the most advanced archaeological monuments we find scattered worldwide?

The further back in time we look, the more advanced our forefathers seem to have been. Egypt´s Great Pyramid, England´s Stonehenge, Lebanon´s Baalbek, and Spain´s Segovia Aqueduct are just a few of many examples worldwide.” – Richard Cassaro

Throughout our lives, we´ve been told that man is rising, growing, evolving. We´re taught in school that we have evolved from “primitive cavemen” to “professional space travelers” in a mere few thousand years. Most educated people fully subscribe to this “evolutionary” paradigm of history.

Many scholars say our High Technology is a blessing. High Technology, they tell us, will soon push us to live longer, help us find cures for the world´s diseases, slow the course of aging, and maybe one day even “cure” death itself.

Strangely, even as our technology advances at lightning speed, we seem somehow to have lost the way. There´s a growing turmoil everywhere that is palpable—and it´s making us feel as though we´re living in a world that is alien to our true nature.

“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.”

―Michael Ellner

Could it be that technology is only a kind of mirage, and that instead of rising, our civilization is falling and declining? Could it be that the scientific paradigm of “social evolution” is incorrect, and that in fact the reverse is true? Is our High Technology masking the fact that we have been declining for thousands of years? Falling further into a dark age?

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.”

—Aldous Huxley

As a knee-jerk reaction, some critics might think this is a “New Age” and “Pseudoscience” idea. But they would be wrong. The idea that man has been declining for thousands of years is ancient; it´s a narrative rooted in various traditions around the world. Perhaps the most well-known of these traditions comes to us from India. The Hindus have always believed that civilization cycles between repeating Dark Ages and Golden Ages. For Hindus, the Golden Age has long since passed into history and we have now fallen into the Dark Age, which they call the Kali Yuga or Age of Vice.

“Kali Yuga…or “age of vice” is the last of the four stages the world goes through as…described in the Sanskrit scriptures…Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga, which is referred to as the Dark Age…

Hinduism…represents morality as an Indian bull. In…the first stage of development, the bull has four legs, but in each age morality is reduced by one quarter. By the age of Kali, morality is reduced to only a quarter of that of the Golden Age, so that the bull…has only one leg…”


Many Hindus believed we are currently living in the Kali Yuga or Dark Age, which is the lowest and worst of all the ages. Like the Hindus in India, many ancient European cultures also did not believe time is “linear,” moving from Point A to Point B. They believed instead that time and human consciousness are “cyclical,” moving around and around in one great giant cycle or circle.

For example, the Greeks and Romans believed that we have fallen from a high Golden Age that once existed in the remote past. The Greco-Roman idea of the so-called “Four Ages of Man,” which was explained by the authors Hesiod and Ovid, are as follows:

– Golden Age (first)
– Silver Age (second)
– Bronze Age (third)
– Iron Age (fourth)

The progression from one age to the next is indicated symbolically with metals of successively decreasing value. (NOTE: The Bronze Age and Iron Age bear no relation to the mainstream historical Bronze and Iron ages.) These ages progress from an original, long-gone Golden Age when humans enjoyed a nearly divine existence to the current Iron Age, in which humans are beset by innumerable pains and evils. Remarkably, ancient Europe´s “Four Ages of Man” concept corresponds to the cyclical periods of ancient Hindu Yugas:


(1) Satya Yuga (Golden Age)
(2) Treta Yuga (Silver Age)
(3) Dvapara Yuga (Bronze Age)
(4) Kali Yuga (Iron Age)


(1) Golden Age (Hinduism´s Satya Yuga)
(2) Silver Age (Hinduism´s Treta Yuga)
(3) Bronze Age (Hinduism´s Dvapara Yuga)
(4) Iron Age (Hinduism´s Kali Yuga)

The Hindu Yuga Cycles and the European Doctrine of the Four Ages fundamentally supports the idea that humanity is currently in decline, and this is in complete harmony with the beliefs of many traditional cultures worldwide.

“Interpretation of history as repeating cycles of Dark and Golden Ages was a common belief among ancient cultures.”

Daniel W. Rossides, Social Theory

One could even argue that this is the esoteric meaning behind the famous biblical story of the Fall of Man, described in the Book of Genesis. This “fall” is a metaphor for man´s degeneration from his true spiritual nature down into his material / physical / animal nature. There is ample evidence that this idea was well-known—and even revived, to some extent—during the European Renaissance. The following painting titled The Golden Age by Pietro da Cortona (1596 – 1669) hangs in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy.

Painting titled “The Golden Age” by Pietro da Cortona (1596 – 1669) hangs in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible today to discuss ancient cultures in these terms because such ideas have been tainted by association with an evil moment in history.

Between 1935 and 1945, the Nazi government of Germany pursued an unprecedented and bizarre pseudo-scientific quest to regain some of the fabled lost wisdom of the ancient Indo-European peoples, which many Nazi ideologues and anti-Semitic popular writers believed were descendants of the Golden Age. At the direction of Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, a special task force, the Ahnenerbe (essentially a cultural and scientific division of the SS), was established for this purpose.

“One thing which became clear to the Ahnenerbe, early on, was that all pre-Christian Indo-European cultures seemed to conceive of history as being cyclical rather than linear. In other words, all ancient “pagan” Indo-European cultures believed in an organic rhythmical order to both Time and Space. This conception of cyclical history – first expounded upon in modern times by Nikolai Danilevsky (1822-1885) and then Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) – stands in stark contrast to the Semitic-derived, “Abrahamic” belief in a purely linear or teleological conception of Time.”

—Christopher Pisarenko

Few present-day historians take Himmler’s Quixotic quest as anything other than a waste of resources. Nonetheless, the Ahnenerbe expeditions are the subject of considerable scholarly and popular interest.

Because of Hitler’s unexampled cruelty, nearly anything associated with his name is considered suspect and discredited. Most people naturally stay as far away as possible from any discussion of Aryan mysticism not framed in terms of utter condemnation. One must acknowledge all of these problems frankly; but throwing out the baby with the bath water is also not a correct approach. I believe that we should study the religious ideas of ancient peoples without much of the historical and cultural/religious baggage that have done so much to distort our view of our distant ancestors. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. By the same token, even Himmler’s racist explorers occasionally turned a spade and found something useful.


As mentioned, the Hindus have always believed that civilization cycles between repeating Dark and Golden Ages. They saw this cycle or circle as being divided equally into twin opposite yet complementary halves—a Light half vs. a Dark half.

For example, we daily pass through a “Day” pattern filled with “Light” during which time we are “Awake.” This is followed by a “Night” pattern filled with “Darkness” during which time we are “Asleep.” Similarly, we annually pass through a “Day” pattern filled with “Light” during which all Nature is “Awake” (Summer), followed by a “Night” pattern filled with “Darkness” during which all Nature is “Asleep” (Winter).

The ancients saw this “Day/Light/Awake/Summer” vs. “Night/Dark/Asleep/Winter” pattern as an eternal principle permeating every aspect of human existence, and they believed it applies on an even grander scale—a cosmic scale. The ancients believed that just as our Daily cycle and Annual cycle are ruled by a “Day/Light/Awake/Summer” vs. “Night/Dark/Asleep/Winter” pattern, so they told us of an even greater cycle to which we´re subjected—one whose circuit takes thousands of years to complete.

The famous Greek philosopher Plato called it the “Great Year;” and in modern times this cycle has been identified with an astronomical event that astronomers call the “Precession of the Equinoxes,” the observable phenomena of the rotation of the 12 constellations of the zodiac in a complete circle around the heavens, which takes c. 26,000 years.

During the “Precession of the Equinoxes” (c. 26,000 years), the 12 constellations
of the zodiac appear to slowly rotate in one complete circuit around the earth.

  • A single “Day” (24 hours) has a LIGHT HALF (Sun, Daytime) and DARK HALF (Moon, Nighttime)
  • A single “Year” (12 months) has a LIGHT HALF (Summer) and DARK HALF (Winter)
  • A single “Great Year” (26,000 years) or “Precession Cycle” has both a LIGHT HALF (Golden Age) and DARK HALF (Dark Age)

The ancients linked this Great Year cycle to man´s spirituality. It was believed that during the 13,000-year “Day/Light/Awake/Summer” half of this cycle, man becomes fully conscious of his spirituality—he instinctively recognizes that he is an eternal divine being having a human experience. This is the Golden Age, when civilization reaches its peak.

But during the “Night/Dark/Asleep/Winter” half of this 13,000-year cycle, man´s consciousness and spirituality are at their lowest point—man develops amnesia of his eternity and divinity. This is the Dark Age, when civilization falls to the depths.

You might perhaps think of it like traveling around a giant Taijitu (Yin/Yang) circle:

Ancient China´s Taijitu depicts Yin and Yang, twin opposing yet complementary halves that together form a whole. The symbol teaches that duality is prevalent across all Nature.

Robert Frost’s wonderful poem Nothing Gold Can Stay succinctly captures this idea, which Frost identifies with a doctrine of the occult that may be said to be a kind of “Law of Nature,” perfectly expressed in the poem´s title:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Nothing Gold Can Stay reveals the eternal truth that Nature´s cycles are born at the extreme height—Gold. But soon after birth, the Gold slowly falls ultimately into decay and then death.

Think of how “nothing gold can stay” plays out in Nature:

1 – Morning (dawn until noon)
2 – Day (noon until 7 pm)
3 – Evening (7 pm until bedtime)
4 – Night (bedtime until next morning)

1 – Spring
2 – Summer
3 – Fall
4 – Winter

1 – Infancy
2 – Childhood
3 – Adulthood
4 – Old Age

For hundreds of years, this view was known and accepted by scholars, archaeologists, historians, and occultist worldwide. Mystics like Helena Blavatsky have brought this teaching into modern times, pointing out that civilization itself reflects these “ebbs” and “flows” of the cycle:

“Thus we see in history a regular alternation of ebb and flow in the tide of human progress. The great kingdoms and empires of the world, after reaching the culmination of their greatness, descend again, in accordance with the same law by which they ascended…”

—Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled (1877)

One can argue that the last Golden Age is still recognizable in our most ancient history, its ruins visible in scattered glimpses around the world. It was described as being followed by a slow decline into barbarism, with man increasingly beset by pains and evils, symbolized by metals of decreasing value.

Is it possible that some of the most advanced ancient architecture that we see across the world has been improperly dated by archaeologists, and instead of belonging to cultures visible in our history they in fact belong to the Golden Age (or perhaps Silver Age)?

With this knowledge in mind, we look up at ancient monuments that have come down to us from the distant past. Many of them seem futuristic in their design and nearly flawless in their execution—a strange combination for monuments set in the distant past. We marvel in amazement at the skill and perfection of these monuments and we wonder at what kind of human beings the builders must have been to have performed such feats of amazement.

Could it be possible that “Nature´s First Green Is Gold” applies to humanity? Could it be that when we stand in awe of ancient monuments we are coming in contact with a higher “form” of humanity?

As an author and field investigator, I´ve traveled to many different archaeological sites around the world. I´ve seen advanced ancient stonemasonry that is bizarre with perfection, resplendent with geometric stone designs, and strangely perfect in its style of construction. I sometimes wonder if a handful or more of the world´s most ancient and advanced monuments were built during this Golden Age (or perhaps the Silver Age), and they have been misattributed by scholars.

For more than twenty years, the English author Graham Hancock has been proffering evidence that a “lost civilization” existed in prehistory. In his 1995 best-seller, Fingerprints of the Gods: Hancock discovers compelling evidence of a…advanced civilization that was destroyed and obliterated from human memory.” In another of Hancock´s books, Magicians of the Gods, we read:

“The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced civilization that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago.  But there were survivors…They settled at key locations – Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Baalbek in the Lebanon, Giza in Egypt, ancient Sumer, Mexico, Peru…Everywhere they went these ‘Magicians of the Gods’ brought with them the memory of a time when mankind had fallen out of harmony with the universe and paid a heavy price.”

—Graham Hancock, Magicians of the Gods

As a fan of Hancock, I feel strongly that he is onto something. There are many monuments I suspect may come from the Golden Age (c. 10,000 BC), or at least from an age much closer to the Golden Age than scholars are currently willing to consider.



For example, it´s difficult to believe that the Cyclopean ruins in Italy are Roman ruins, as mainstream archaeologists claim (based on very little evidence). The Cyclopean ruins seem to have been built thousands of years before the Romans. However, since scholars are unwilling to say they “don´t know who built them” these ruins are simply attributed to the Romans. The ruins even seem to predate the extremely advanced Etruscans, who scholars claim preceded the Romans by a millennium. In my opinion, these ruins are thousands of years older than scholars realize; and I have found unpublished evidence (which I will explain in due time) that leads me to believe they may have been left by a higher “form” of man, a profoundly more “spiritual” man—even a more “godlike” man—just like the ancient historians tell us:

Photo of the author (Richard Cassaro) at the Cyclopean ruins in Norba, Italy in 2016.

“Cyclopean masonry is a type of stonework…built with massive…boulders, roughly fitted together with minimal clearance between adjacent stones and no use of mortar…The term comes from the belief of classical Greeks that only the mythical Cyclopes had the strength to move the enormous boulders…” 


(For more info on these Cyclopean ruins, read my 2011 book, Written in Stone, and my 2013 article: Hidden Italy: The Forbidden Cyclopean Ruins (Of Giants From Atlantis?)

Similar “godlike” creations are not confined to Europe; all around the world we find ancient monuments that follow the same theme. We find it in the pyramids of Egypt, the Segovia Aqueduct, the ancient stone circles of Great Britain, and the polygonal stone walls of Peru.



The ancient pyramids of Egypt are among the most baffling and advanced stuctures in the world.



At right, photo of the author (Richard Cassaro) at the polygonal ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Peru, 2002.



The megalithic ruins of Stonehenge. The stones are aligned to the sun, moon, and stars in a way (and for purposes) not yet fully understood.

Does the Golden Age model of history explain these monuments? Are some of the world´s most advanced ancient ruins—those ruins that look like “structures from the distant future, rather than the primitive past”—remnants of the Golden Age? Or perhaps the Silver Age? Or even an age closer to ours? Have these ruins been misunderstood by archaeologists, whose views are biased by their belief in the evolutionary paradigm of history?

I´ve been asking this question for many years. Readers often ask me: “If there was a Golden Age in the remote past does this mean we´re now living in the Dark Age?”  My response is usually to say that if indeed there is a kernel of truth to the idea of the cycling of the ages, and if indeed there was a Golden Age in the past, then we are indeed most probably living in the Dark Age (or an age close to it). In all ages and cycles there is a downfall. As mentioned, many Hindus believe we are now living in that downfall period, the Kali Yuga Age:

“When society reaches a stage where property confers rank, where wealth becomes the only source of virtue, passion the sole bond between man and wife, falsehood the source of success in life, sex the only means of enjoyment, and when outer trappings are confused with inner religion…then we are in the Kali Yuga – the Dark Age.”

—Veda Vyasa, The Vishnu Purana

Does our modern society seem to be moving closer and closer to this degenerate age as described in this quote by Veda Vyasa? (Vyasa was a key revered figure in most Hindu traditions, and he is generally considered the author of the Mahabharata, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India.) Agreeing with ancient Hindu sources, most mystics and sages of the past few centuries believe that the age we´re currently living in is the Kali Yuga, the darkest of all the ages. Helena Blavatsky wrote:

“The cycle is moving down, and, as it descends, the physical and bestial nature of man develops more and more at the expense of the Spiritual Self.”

—Helena Blavatsky

20th century Italian philosopher Julius Evola also believed we are living in a Dark Age:

“…this book describes a model of history in which the modern world is at the very end of a dark age, the Kali Yuga. He offers the hope, though not the assurance, that an elect might come through the final collapse. They might even achieve god-like illumination…”

—John Reilly, Review of Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World

In his 16-minute long, specially-videotaped address to the Sacred Web Conference at the University of Alberta, in Canada, Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, clearly confirmed his suspicion that we have entered the dark age:

“Often, I find myself convinced of the warnings given…by sages and mystics of all faiths and of all time; warnings of the coming of a Dark Age, an age in which our ignorance and arrogance – a dangerous combination, surely – will lead us, indeed may already have led us, towards catastrophe. The present examples of pestilence, flood, famine, storm and climatic disruption are surely evidence enough. At the very least, they seem to foretell of conditions of chronic imbalance and disharmony – no doubt as much a part of our inner as our outer condition.”

—Prince Charles, Sacred Web Conference (2006)

“The traditionalist perspective is that we are living at the end of an historical cycle. At the beginning of this cycle all and every possibility is latent. However, as the cycle evolves or unfolds, these possibilities begin to manifest themselves in the world of time and space, beginning with the highest and gradually moving towards the lower. At the end of the cycle, the very lowest possibilities manifest themselves. The traditionalists tell us that at the cosmic level this process cannot be withheld or interrupted. It must take place. The cycle, they say, must exhaust itself before a new one can replace it.”

—Prince Charles, Sacred Web Conference (2006)

(For more info, please read my 2016 article: “Prince Charles Publicly Reveals “The Secret Doctrine of the Occult”)

It should be noted that some writers of the esoteric tradition hold that Plato even named the Golden Age culture—“Atlantis.” Plato explains in deep detail how Atlantis was incredibly advanced, but slowly declined as a civilization. He seems to have suggested that a memory of Atlantis is preserved in the fantastic abilities attributed to the “gods” of Greek and Roman mythology; they were mortals, but they were endowed with amplified perceptions by being in touch with the higher Self. Think of a civilization of Christs and Buddhas, or something akin to it.

In time, however, the Atlantean kingdom grew weak due to their materializing tendencies, weak enough that they began to lose touch with the inner divinity that granted them such power. Plato wrote:

“For many generations…they obeyed the laws and loved the divine to which they were akin. …they reckoned that qualities of character were far more important than their present prosperity. So they bore the burden of their wealth and possessions lightly, and did not let their high standard of living intoxicate them or make them lose their self-control…But when the divine element in them became weakened…and their human traits became predominant, they ceased to be able to carry their prosperity with moderation.”

—Plato (Note: Emphasis added by me)

Plato goes on to explain that the end of Atlantis came some several thousand years ago, when a series of natural disasters sank their continent into the sea. As the story goes, a handful of survivors escaped the devastation, spreading to different parts of the world and taking their sophisticated religion with them.

For the past two decades, I´ve pointed to the archaeological research and discoveries made by 19th and 20th century scholars showing cultural parallels worldwide; I explain how this may be evidence of the remnants of the Golden Age religion. If this theory is correct, then the remnants of this religion seems to have consisted of many common features, like pyramid-building, mummification and the building of corbeled arches:

       Photo of the author (Richard Cassaro) lecturing in 2014 in New York City. Are the parallels shared by ancient unrelated civilizations evidence of a Golden Age in the prehistoric past?

For more on this, read about my Triptych Temple and GodSelf Icon discoveries.

If the world´s “first known cultures” shared the same Universal Religion, then this may have been the religion of the Golden Age—or, rather, a remnant of the Golden Age religion that is still visible in the world´s ancient traditions, architecture, symbolism, philosophies, and cosmologies. Victorian scholars, like the archaeologist Zelia Nuttall, saw clear evidence linking ancient civilizations of the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

“It will seem that the outcome of my researches corroborates the opinions differently expressed by a long line of eminent investigators, who have been constantly discovering and pointing out undeniable similarities and identities between the civilization of both hemispheres.”

—Zelia Nuttall, American Archaeologist & Anthropologist (1857 – 1933)

Seeing the utter sophistication of ancient monuments and contrasting this sophistication with the sad state of current world affairs shows us evidence that there may be a kernel of truth in the Golden Age vs. Dark Age beliefs of many of our ancient ancestors. And that many ancient ruins around the world that show signs of remarkable sophistication have been improperly dated by archaeologists. Instead of belonging to civilizations we can “see” in our history, they may in fact belong to an era or Age thousands of years earlier.

I´m often told that the idea that we´re living in a Dark Age is a “negative” outlook, and that it conveys a sense of hopelessness. But Prince Charles offers us some hope:

“I know that this might seem to suggest that we are entirely the passive victims of this cosmic unfolding. However, as I understand it, the traditionalists would go on to say that if this were the only reality then all attempts to pursue and align ourselves with spiritual realities and experience would be in vain. And that cannot possibly be. Indeed, it is precisely on the individual plane and through our understanding of and attachment to traditional norms of metaphysical doctrine and spiritual practice that we can, in a measure, transcend the baleful influence of the descent that is the eventual exhaustion and end of our cycle of history and prepare ourselves and the world for the beginning of the next. It is in this way, and perhaps only in this way, that we can overcome the mind-numbing despair of Modernism – not by false optimism, but by an understanding of and an attachment to the truly Real.”

—Prince Charles, Sacred Web Conference (2006)

This article has been excerpted and adapted from my upcoming book, Mayan Masonry (due to be released on September 23, 2018). Some advance copies are available right now. Click the link below to learn more.

Also be sure to have a look at our MEXICO TOUR to see the ruins of the ancient Maya this coming November 2018.

Richard Cassaro is a Madrid-based author, lecturer, documentary filmmaker, and tour guide from New York City. His published books Written in Stone (2011), The Missing Link (2016), and Mayan Masonry (2018) offer rare insights into ancient megaliths, spirituality, mythology, magic, symbolism, secret societies, comparative religion and occult archaeology. Cassaro has discussed his work on the History Channel, and in documentary films. His articles have appeared in print journals and web media around the globe; and he has delivered well-received lectures about his findings in the UK, Italy, Peru, Egypt, Spain, Mexico and the U.S. In his capacity as a field investigator, he hosts travel adventures to archaeological sites worldwide.

Richard Cassaro © Copyright, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

MYSTICAL MEXICO: A Spiritual Tour of the Ancient Mayan Ruins (March 14 – 20, 2022)

Does evidence from ancient Mexico point to a missing chapter in human history?

During more than 25 years of intense scholarly research into ancient American cultures, Richard Cassaro, author of three widely-acclaimed books on ancient symbolism, has discovered a key that unlocks a timeless spiritual wisdom (Perennial Philosophy) encoded in ruins across the Yucatan.

On this March 14 – 20th, 2022 tour, Cassaro will lead a group of explorers on an esoteric expedition through the legendary land of the ancient Maya to investigate some of their many engineering, artistic, and scientific wonders that still defy explanation.

You´ll uncover the archaeological evidence of a sophisticated Sacred Science behind Mayan art, architecture, myths, and legends:

  • Do Mayan temples conceal an ancient teaching about the metaphysical makeup of man?
  • Did Mesoamerican wisdom extend into mastery of the afterlife?
  • Did the Maya inherit a body of scientific and spiritual knowledge—known today as the Perennial Philosophy—from an earlier ancestral civilization?

Explorers will be treated to an opening-night lecture/orientation where a series of Cassaro´s discoveries will be discussed, as presented in his books, Written in Stone (2011), The Missing Link (eBook, 2016), and Mayan Masonry (2018).


Cassaro gained worldwide recognition after his 2011 book, Written in Stone, presented unprecedented archaeological evidence that the pyramid cultures of Antiquity—including the Maya—all designed and built the same three-door temples, which he named “Triptych Temples.”

A Triptych Temple is a symmetrical temple made of three doorways, with the door in the middle wider and taller than the twin doors flanking it.

Cassaro showed how this never-before-published worldwide architectural parallel (shared by ancient unrelated cultures) is more than just an aesthetic “visual” similarity; the evidence he presented carefully showed how these cultures shared the same Universal Religion which he describes as the “balance of opposites,” “unity of opposites,” and “transcendence of opposites,” and which he explained was similar to the Perennial Philosophy or Sacred Science found in the Western occult tradition.

On this tour, you´ll be treated to Cassaro´s original research first-hand. Cassaro will show:

  • How he discovered—during his first research trip to Mexico in 1997—that the ancient Maya built “Triptych Temples”
  • How these Triptych Temples symbolize the “balance of opposites,” which scholars say was a key element in the Mayan religion
  • How this “balance of opposites” wisdom played an important role in the religions of ancient civilizations worldwide, including the Egyptians, Hindus, Chinese, Inca and pre-Inca cultures
  • How the Triptych Temple and “Balance of Opposites” wisdom it encodes forms the basis of modern Secret Societies, including the Masonic Fraternity


Cassaro will delve deeply into the research and discoveries he first published in Written in Stone (2011), showing how Third Eye symbolism is visible in ancient Mayan architecture, and on Mesoamerican artifacts in general. He will reveal new and as-yet-unpublished evidence on-site of Third Eye symbolism encoded into Maya architecture, and how this symbolism is identical to parallel motifs visible in ancient Mesoamerican art and artifacts, including those of the Olmec and Aztecs:

These discoveries challenge traditional academic scholarship, because most scholars believe that the Third Eye was a spiritual tradition strictly confined to Asia, perpetuated mainly in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

As Cassaro´s research explains, the Third Eye forms a key teaching in authentic Freemasonry, and part of his on-site explanation will proffer ideas on how ancient Mayan Master Masons were connected via lineage to the modern-day Masonic Fraternity—a link proven, in part, by the many instances of Mayan Third Eye symbolism that Cassaro has uncovered.


You´ll see ruins that indicate that the spiritual goal of ancient Mesoamerican cultures, like the Maya, was to become attuned to the divinity within themselves, and how they aimed to do this by living a life in touch with divine principles, uplifting them to higher consciousness.

At the ancient Mayan site of Chichen Itza, for example—one of many archaeological sites you´ll be visiting—evidence for the high spirituality of the Maya will be presented, including a building Cassaro has nicknamed the “Temple of Meditation,” where he will explain imagery indicating a meditative pose above the main doorway as well as Third Eye symbolism encoded into the architecture.


Tour-goers will also be treated to Cassaro´s unique discoveries regarding a fascinating series of parallels to ancient Egypt. Some of these discoveries are based on the work of 19th and 20th century scholars and researchers, but many are based on Cassaro´s own dedicated research and investigations (which he originally published in Written in Stone and later fleshed out in Mayan Masonry).

These parallels include:



Cassaro will also explain the deeper symbolic meaning of the enigmatic “Monster Mouth Doorways” crafted by Mayan Masons atop their pyramids. Cassaro has been researching and investigating this architectural feature for the past 25 years, discussing it in his lectures, videos, articles, social media posts, and books.

Cassaro will explain:

  • The symbolic meaning of the Monster Mouth Doorway
  • Why he believes this ancient architectural motif to be one of the most profound clues of the spiritual religion of the Maya
  • Why scholars and esoteric researchers ignore this essential architectural symbol


On this tour, visitors will be treated to a lengthy discussion on the discoveries, ideas, theories, and cultural comparisons Cassaro has set forth during the past two decades, most of which he published in Written in Stone, and some of which he fleshed out in Mayan Masonry.

Most of Cassaro´s work is rooted in traditional scholarship. So, for those who prefer an academic approach, Cassaro will briefly touch on the mainstream explanations of ancient Mayan archaeological sites (before explaining his own personal research).

This unique tour of the ancient Yucatan will show you a wealth of new information, new theories and ideas, and new discoveries, much of it based on scholarship, all of which reveals a deeper understanding of the spiritual wisdom possessed not just by the Maya but all the ancient cultures of Mexico and the greater Americas.

Ancient sites you will visit on this Mayan Ruins Tour:



If you are a researcher in your own right, we very much want you to participate and contribute your ideas, theories, and discoveries! Author and tour guide, Richard Cassaro, is an extremely open-minded but forthright researcher who will listen to any new ideas and provide feedback accordingly.

And it won´t all be archaeology! You will have plenty of time to:

  • Meditate at archaeological sites
  • Dine on world-class gourmet Mexican food indoors/outdoors
  • Refresh yourself with nightly swims in the pool
  • Drink aperitifs and after-dinner spirits at the hotel bar with tour guests

TOUR COST: Only $3300 USD!

  • Transfer from Mérida International Airport to our hotel (on Day of Arrival)
  • Transfer from our hotel to Mérida International Airport (on Day of Departure)
  • 7 Nights Hotel Accommodation (based on double room occupancy)
  • Breakfast daily
  • Entry fees to all archaeological sites, tips, and transportation in air-conditioned coach

If you are interested in going on this tour, please CONTACT RICHARD CASSARO today for the official itinerary and Mayan Ruins Tour details.

He´s waiting to hear from you!

Or Contact Us HERE For Details

The Story of an 1800s Mansion Built Over an Ancient Indian Burial Mound

The story of Mont Helena, a Colonial revival style home built atop a ceremonial Indian mound in the Mississippi Delta, is fascinating. It provides the sort of evidence I´ve been looking for that indicates a supernatural or metaphysical “power” or “presence” associated with the ancient Indian burial mounds peppered across the United States.

Mont Helena is a powerfully-mysterious site to behold – described as a “must-see” site on the Mississippi Mound Trail and “one of the state’s most photographed landmarks.” The site is said to have had as many as three mounds in the past, but there is only one left today.

Currently 26 feet tall, its original dimensions were even more impressive. Roughly 10 feet of mound fill were removed in the 1870s prior to the construction of the beautiful Victorian neoclassical home now located on its summit, and flood deposits have likely buried several more feet at its base.
“Mont Helena has always had the reputation for being haunted,” says Leslie Miller, chairperson of the Friends of Mont Helena volunteer organization, which maintains the home. “Area residents have told stories of sightings of a lady dressed in a white gown either looking out of a window or standing beneath the trees in the front yard. Former residents of the house have also told stories of unexplainable occurrences.”

Friends of Mont Helena volunteers and hired workers also share tales of unexplained phenomena. This past spring during their production of the play Mont Helena: A Dream Revisited, several actors heard footsteps and witnessed cups moving across a table.

Before Helen and George married, she was engaged to Henry Vick of Nitta Yuma, and they were to be married in 1859. “But a promise kept ended in a love lost,” explains Miller. “Henry was killed in a duel days before he was to marry Helen. He was buried on what was to have been their wedding day. As she stood by his grave, Helen pledged her eternal love to him.” Helen died at Mont Helena in 1917. According to Miller, “Those surrounding the dying Helen said she called for her Henry, saying, ‘He’s coming for me.’ Because of the tragic love story, the house has its own mystique surrounding it.”

In 2010, the MPS team documented seeing shadow figures, hearing footsteps and voices, and photos “with orbs that weren’t dust or moisture in front of the lens or on it, and some EVP’s that gave us chills,” says Riley. One of the most chilling EVP’s, however, came after Miller and her friend were talking on the second floor, and one asked the other, “Are you scared?” A few seconds later, a female voice whispered, “Don’t be scared.” In another EVP, Riley asked aloud if Henry Vick was shot and heard the answer, “He was shot.”

The second visit did not bring as much activity but did garner evidence of orbs.

My UFO Encounter – Caught on Video

At around 2 a.m., o
n the evening of December 13, 2013, I saw a UFO hovering in the sky outside my home-office window in Stamford, CT. I was working on a documentary film, and so I grabbed my videocamera (which was sitting on my desk) and began videotaping.

Here´s a short video I recently created explaining the events of that night. At the end of the video, you can see the entire (1-minute) UFO footage:

I would like to mention that I was invited to be a featured speaker at “CONTACT IN THE DESERT 2018,” an annual conference in Indian Wells, CA (June 1-4). For years I respectfully declined speaking at UFO conferences, mainly because I don´t discuss UFOs in my research. However, I reversed course a couple of years back and began appearing on History Channel´s ANCIENT ALIENS series. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and so I will continue to address the UFO community. Here´s a link to my speaker page:   

On the night of my encounter…

I was sitting at my desk around 2 a.m., working with my video camera producing a documentary film. Suddenly I felt a presence staring over my shoulder. Like someone was watching me. 

The upper half of my window was open, despite the cold temperature outside. When I turned quickly toward the window, I saw a strange light in the sky. It moved like nothing I´d ever seen. Hovering, pulsating with light, floating back and forth. I could tell within a few seconds it wasn´t an airplane landing at nearby JFK or La Guardia Airport in New York City.  It didn´t look like a helicopter, and there was no sound. It was way too big, and moved too futuristically, to be a drone.

Immediately it hit me: “This is a UFO—100%”

Halfway into the video, you can see I tried to get the window pane into the shot to try to give the footage some scale. This is the best part of the video. You see exactly what I saw. My heart was racing. The camera was shaking.

Incredibly, right then a second UFO appeared.

This second UFO enters from the right of the screen and quickly passes to the left. Strangely, I only noticed the second UFO when I reviewed the video afterwards. Hard to believe, because the second UFO is so clear on video. As you can see, I don´t follow the second UFO with my camera. Why not? (Very strange that I didn´t see it, since this was perhaps one of the most awakened and alert moments of my life. My eyes were glued on that saucer. To this day it remains a mystery to me how I didn´t see that second UFO.)

The entire encounter lasted 2 minutes. I only recorded a piece of it. I was more focused on experiencing the moment. This video is very special to me, because I´ve always been fascinated by UFOs. The trouble is, more than 85 % of the videos you see on YT and FB are fake, as the top UFO investigators realize. I will always cherish my own UFO video because it´s the only one I know 100% is not hoax footage.

Exactly what a UFO is, I can´t say for sure, but I will be providing more thoughts at this year´s CONTACT IN THE DESERT 2018:  

I am freely sharing this video online, and I am hereby releasing this video into the public domain, in the hopes that in some way it can help us better understand the UFO phenomenon.

Thank you,

Richard Cassaro’s new book, The Missing Link, explores the meaning, transformations and propagation of the ancient world’s most important religious icon. His first book, Written in Stone, is a wide-ranging exploration of hitherto-unknown connections among Freemasons, medieval cathedral builders and the creators of important ancient monuments, in support of his theory that a spiritually advanced mother culture, lost to history, is behind many of the world’s architectural and artistic traditions.

Prior to the publication of Written in Stone, Cassaro enjoyed a successful career as a U.S. correspondent, professional journalist, and photo researcher for Rizzoli Publications, one of the world’s leading media organizations. Cassaro, who is a graduate of Pace University in New York City, has examined first-hand the ancient ruins and mystical traditions of Egypt, Mexico, Greece, Italy, Sicily, France, England, India, Peru and Spain; he has lectured on his theories to great acclaim in the United States, Egypt, Italy, Spain and Peru.

Richard Cassaro © Copyright, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

New England´s Mysterious “Megalithic” Stone Chambers (USA)

Hidden across the rocky highlands of America´s quaint New England landscape are hundreds of mysterious “megalithic” Stone Chambers, possibly of ancient origin. Expertly constructed of mortar-free masonry and covered with earth, these strange structures—some astronomically aligned—are found nowhere else in North America. For decades, intense debate has divided New Englanders as to their age, origin, function, and meaning. Are they colonial root cellars, native American sweat lodges, or prehistoric European temples? In August 2017, I traveled across several U.S. states to study these Stone Chambers and learn more about them. What I found was as amazing as it was baffling.

  Me investigating the Stone Chamber on the old Mead Farm in Kent, NY.

Unbeknownst to most Americans—and even to most New Englanders—a cluster of mysterious Stone Chambers lies scattered across a wide expanse of several New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut). Many are situated near a natural waterway.

These strange beehive-shaped / igloo-shaped structures bear clear evidence of incredible planning, design, engineering, and craftsmanship. The chambers exhibit common features, although construction details of individual chambers differ. All have an entrance portal, but none have an actual door. Dimensions of the chambers vary, with some chambers measuring up to 40 feet in length and 10 feet in height.

The Stone Chambers are mostly spread across New England:  Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut.

Some researchers have dubbed them “beehive” chambers because of the often “conical” shape of their central rooms. Some chambers are circular while others are rectangular in form. Most are freestanding. Some are built into the hillside.

Amazingly, the chambers are all made of dry masonry stones, irregularly shaped. The stones fit together precisely, with no mortar gluing them together, clearly indicating the incredibly high level of skill and craftsmanship of the chamber builders. But by far the most remarkable feature about the Stone Chambers—and this absolutely astonished me when I first saw it—is that all the chambers employ megalithic masonry in the form of several ton roof slabs (of granite and quartzite) that lock together without mortar and with incredible precision.

All the chambers employ megalithic masonry in the form of several ton roof slabs that lock together without mortar and with incredible precision.

The walls of many—but not all—the chambers are “corbeled,” which means they are made up of piles of stones arched inward to support the megalithic ceiling stones. This highly-sophisticated architectural technique is ancient, found in such far-reaching places as Egypt, Mexico, China and India. The corbeling technique is used to support arches, parapets and floors, and it is one of the reasons why the Stone Chambers have survived this long—far outlasting the actual farmhouses of the colonial settlers who are credited with having constructed them.

Several chambers have large trees of significant size growing on top of them, demonstrating their structural sturdiness by their ability to withstand the outgrowth without collapsing:

Several chambers have one or more trees of major size growing on them.

Unfortunately, many of the chambers have been torn down or quarried for their stone. Others have been repeatedly vandalized, dismantled, destroyed, or abandoned. No artifacts have been found inside any of the Stone Chambers.

Many of the chambers are aligned to the rising of the sun on special days, like the summer and winter solstices (June 21 and Dec. 21) and spring and autumn equinoxes (March 22 and Sept. 22), as well as specific solar and lunar events of the year. Some are aligned along north-south and east-west axes. The so-called “Calendar II” chamber, located in South Woodstock, Vermont, is aligned with the rising sun on the Winter Solstice:

Left: Winter Solstice Sunrise alignment at the “Calendar II” Stone Chamber in Vermont. (Photo courtesy of Bill Vieira.) Right: Winter Solstice Sunrise alignment at Newgrange, a 5,000 year old passage tomb in Ireland.

The Calendar II chamber is in fact one of the biggest and best-known Stone Chambers in all New England. At the Calendar II chamber—so-called because of its Winter Solstice alignment—the megalithic stone roof slabs are the biggest I´ve seen in any of the Stone Chambers across New England, measuring more than 15 feet across and over a foot thick, probably weighing several tons each.

The two photos above show how megalithic roof slabs of several tons each and fifteen feet long cover the Calendar II Stone Chamber in South Woodstock, Vermont.

The chamber interior measures roughly 10 feet by 20 feet. This is also one of the few Stone Chambers to have what for lack of a better term can be called a “ventilation shaft” located on the very top of the chamber. See below:

Calendar II Stone Chamber showing entrance in foreground and “ventilation shaft” in background, partially illuminating the back wall.

All of this is obviously very interesting, and more than a little mysterious. Are the Stone Chambers really “root cellars” built by colonial farmers? Or could they be something much different, and perhaps far older?

The idea that colonial farmers created such complex and well-crafted megalithic “root cellars” for their fruits and vegetables—which to this day are still perfectly intact, even though their farmhouses have long since vanished—is a bit strange. In fact, for several decades researchers have been asking a variety of questions challenging the mainstream interpretation. These researchers have pointed out many interesting discrepancies. For example, colonial settlers described in their writings the existence of strange “Indian forts” in and around New England; these descriptions seem to match the Stone Chambers. Also, no written records exist of the colonial farmers ever building even one of the Stone Chambers. Rather, there is evidence that the practically-minded farmers used the already-existing chambers as root cellars.

”Farmers wrote in diaries about building stone walls and farmhouse foundations, barns, orchards, but nothing about building these stone structures. It’s not far-fetched to think that instead of 1492, maybe in 500 A.D., explorers came ashore and built them.”

—Sam Oliverio Jr., New York Times

The Stone Chambers are now considered by many to be one of the great mysteries of North America. The question is, if the colonial farmers didn´t build them as root cellars then what exactly are they? Who built them, and why?

Three main theories exist regarding the origin and purpose of the chambers:


This theory, already explained, suggests the colonial farmers who settled America in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries built the chambers to store and preserve their root crops during New England´s harsh winters. As more fertile and less rocky pastures were discovered during the Westward expansion, New England was abandoned and reverted back to forest, leaving only the root cellars and stone walls as evidence of any past human habitation.

Many researchers now believe the Stone Chambers were built by the Native American Indians or perhaps their ancient ancestors who lived in New England before the arrival of the first Europeans. Native American Indians in other parts of North America (i.e., the Adena and Mississippian cultures) created entire cities and ceremonial centers with stone and dirt, so the organizational and technical skill was certainly prevalent in the region or not far from it.

According to this theory, ancient Celts, Druids, Phoenicians, Norsemen, Libyan sailors, Iberian adventurers, and Irish monks made their way to New England before Columbus—some say before Christ—and built the chambers. Proponents of this theory point out similarities between the Stone Chambers, with their unmortared walls and celestial alignments, and many megalithic European sites like Knowth and Newgrange. Similar stone structures of widely varying age and function have been documented from Britain, Scotland, France, northern Canada, and southeastern Italy.

Left: Interior of Knowth, a Neolithic passage grave in Ireland. Right: Interior of Stone Chamber on Route 6 in New York State.

Jim Viera, a New England author who has been studying the Stone Chambers for many years, tells an interesting anecdote that indicates the Stone Chambers were not built by the colonial settlers but were instead found by them:

“At the Pound Ridge Historical Museum in New York exists a faded letter dated July 1742. It is from a priest writing back to a local farmer who had just discovered a stone chamber near his property in the woods. The priest instructed the man to stay away from the chamber because it was the work of the devil and was a place where the devil enters this world. Why would this admonishment take place if it was a colonial root cellar as modern archaeologists insist? These stone chamber sites often have large standing stones, stone animal effigy mounds, wells, cairns and wall complexes associated with them.”

—Jim Vieira

Proponents of the idea that the chambers are ancient point out the existence of other apparently man-made megalithic structures in the Hudson Valley to support their beliefs. One example is a site called “Balanced Rock,” a giant boulder that rests on six conical rocks located on Route 116 in North Salem, weighing as much as 80 tons.

I visited and studied Balanced Rock in October 2015, a huge rock perched atop a ring of much smaller stones located in North Salem, NY.

The original sign at the site, erected by local historians, described it as a glacial erratic deposited in the Ice Age. But several years ago, a new description was added, explaining the possibility that the rock could be a dolmen or ceremonial stone erected by Celts who may have visited the area more than 2,000 years ago.

In recent years, the North Salem Historical Society changed the description of Balanced Rock to include the possibility that the rock may be a Celtic memorial.

To date, most archaeologists feel that the prehistoric European temple explanation for the Stone Chambers lacks archaeological context. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” they say, and rightfully so. Unless a bronze ax of demonstrable European origin is found in a sealed archaeological layer in or around any of the Stone Chambers, the mainstream view is that these amazing megalithic monuments are colonial root cellars and nothing more.

For me, the megalithic size of the roof slabs coupled with the incredibly advanced craftsmanship of the stones is extraordinary evidence enough. I will be returning to the Stone Chambers with further blog updates in the near future, and I am also currently working on a short film describing my experiences visiting and entering the chambers.

You can learn more about who I am and my research in my books:

Richard Cassaro’s new book, The Missing Link, explores the meaning, transformations and propagation of the ancient world’s most important religious icon. His first book, Written in Stone, is a wide-ranging exploration of hitherto-unknown connections among Freemasons, medieval cathedral builders and the creators of important ancient monuments, in support of his theory that a spiritually advanced mother culture, lost to history, is behind many of the world’s architectural and artistic traditions.

Prior to the publication of Written in Stone, Cassaro enjoyed a successful career as a U.S. correspondent, professional journalist, and photo researcher for Rizzoli Publications, one of the world’s leading media organizations. Cassaro, who is a graduate of Pace University in New York City, has examined first-hand the ancient ruins and mystical traditions of Egypt, Mexico, Greece, Italy, Sicily, France, England, India, Peru and Spain; he has lectured on his theories to great acclaim in the United States, Egypt, Italy, Spain and Peru.

Richard Cassaro © Copyright, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


The Esoteric Symbolism of Egypt´s Crook & Flail

Egypt´s “Crook & Flail” staffs were often depicted in the hands of the Pharaohs. These instruments are described by Egyptologists as “symbols of kingship and royal authority.” But this vague and unclear definition ignores the occult view that the Crook & Flail served a much more important purpose—a purpose specifically related to the “Great Work” of spiritual transformation. We´ll take a closer look at the Crook & Flail staffs and reveal their true esoteric meaning as tools a spiritual seeker can use to transform his/her lower (animal) self into a servant of his higher (spiritual) Self.            

The Crook & Flail staffs, here depicted on the coffin of King Tutankhamun, are called “symbols of divine authority” by Egyptologists.

A longstanding esoteric tradition teaches that the ancient Egyptians were in possession of an advanced metaphysical doctrine. This doctrine was based on the idea that humans possess two intertwined natures—a human “animal” self and a divine “spiritual” Self.

“Man is a god in the body of an animal according to the pronouncement of ancient philosophy…”

—Alvin Boyd Kuhn

Egypt´s metaphysical doctrine taught that humans should not identify primarily with their “physical” animal lower self. Instead, we should focus on rediscovering our “spiritual divine higher Self, which is who we really are.


The difference between the lower self and higher Self is described in Buddhism’s Tathagatagarbha Sutra (c. 3rd century AD), which teaches that we all have a “Buddha within” (tathagata), a “perfect soul” or “divine spark.” However, our Buddha nature is covered by layers of vestures (garbha) in the form of bodily passion, anguish, greed, anger, ambition, lust, confusion, and so on.

Life’s goal is not only to rediscover this Buddha inside, but also to remove the outer layers of clothing that bury him.

Buddhism’s Tathagatagarbha Sutra (c. 3rd century AD) teaches that we all have a “Buddha within.”

The 20th century mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote:

“We are all manifestations of Buddha consciousness, or Christ consciousness, only we don’t know it. The word “Buddha” means “the one who waked up.” We are all to do that—to wake up to the Christ or Buddha consciousness within us.…”

—Joseph Campbell


In Egypt, there was a spiritual model in the form of a person who had achieved his “Buddhahood” or “Christhood.” He did so by using the Crook & Flail, as we’ll see in a moment. But his name was not “Buddha” or “Christ.” It was “Asar” (Osiris in Egyptian), the central figure of the ancient Egyptian religion for thousands of years. We´re told by the esoteric author and Freemason, W.L. Wilmshurst:

“…the Mystery-systems have always exhibited an example for the instruction, encouragement and emulation of those prepared to make the attempt and the necessary sacrifice. To hearten them to the task the Initiatory Colleges have held up a prototype in the person of some great soul who has already trodden the same path and emerged triumphant therefrom. …In Egypt the prototype was Osiris.”

—W.L. Wilmshurst

It was the aim of every follower of Osiris to live exactly like Osiris, to “become” Osiris in every way. Imagine living so pure you “become” a living Buddha or a living Christ. Austrian philosopher, social reformer, and esoteric author Rudolf Steiner tells us:

“Man becomes perfect when he lives as an Osiris…In this way the Osiris myth receives its deeper significance. It becomes the example of a man who wishes to awaken the eternal within him.”

—Rudolf Steiner, Christianity As Mystical Fact

The ancient Egyptians were so focused on “becoming an Osiris” in life that when they died they buried themselves in his image. Indeed, Egyptologists tell us that the entire funerary ritual of the Egyptians was designed to transform the deceased into an Osiris to show they lived as he did.

But how exactly did the Egyptians transform their dead into the god Osiris?


The name “Asar” (Osiris) is constituted by three hieroglyphs—one of which is the image of a bearded man with long hair:

The name Asar” (Osiris) in Egyptian hieroglyphs features the image of a bearded man with long hair.

In Written in Stone I theorized that this image of a bearded man with long hair is an image of how Osiris looked. More precisely, this image—which signifies the word “god” or “godhood” in the Egyptian system of hieroglyphics—symbolized the “godhood” or “god nature” or “higher Self nature” that vivifies and animates every human being.

I also theorized that the two main funerary items placed on the deceased—the “nemes headdress” placed on the head and the “plaited beard” placed on the chin—were props used to transform the outward appearance of the deceased into an image of this “god nature” that exists within each of us, which the Egyptians called Osiris. The headdress is a depiction of long hair; the headdress was tied into a ponytail at the back of the head, as is often done with long hair. The braided goatee is clearly a beard.

Look closely at the image below: Can you recognize the long hair and beard?

The dead were dressed in the image of Osiris, a bearded man with long hair. The “headdress” is a depiction of long hair; the headdress was tied into a ponytail at the back of the head, as is often done with long hair.

If my theory is correct, then this means that for thousands of years the ancient Egyptians were buried in the image of a bearded man with long hair—identical to the popular image of Christ!  In the year 2000, I commissioned the following painting to present my hypothesis:

In my book, “Written in Stone,” I theorize that the Egyptians were buried in the image of Osiris—a bearded man with long hair—so they could follow his resurrection.

By going to their graves in Osirian form, the Egyptians were showing that they had found their higher Self within—what we would today call their “Buddha consciousness” or “Christ consciousness” within.

Watch this video I produced, based on research I published in my book Written in Stone:


Esoteric schools teach that early Christianity purposely misrepresented the ancient Egyptian teaching of the “inner Osiris,” and that Christianity grew to become a bastardized version of the Egyptian religion. We find this idea in the research of countless professors, scholars and intellectuals like Gerald Massey (1828 – 1907), an English poet who studied the parallels common to the Egyptian and Christian religions; Alvin Boyd Kuhn, an American academic and amateur Egyptologist who took up Masseys work; and Rhodes Scholar Tom Harpur, author, columnist and theologian:

“…what the Egyptian knew that his Christian imitator did not, was that the Osiris whose death and resurrection were thus portrayed was the divine element within his own constitution and not a man perishing on a wooden cross and pushing away a rock from his hillside tomb two days later…”

—Alvin Boyd Kuhn


“…Christ was the Immortal Spirit in man… It did not and could not depend on any single manifestation in one historic personality…Historic Christianity originated with turning the…teachings inside out and externalizing the mythical allegory in a personal human history. …a huge and hideous mistake…”

—Gerald Massey


 “…the Christ principle is potentially in every one of us…Christ of the myth became a flesh and blood person identified with Jesus.”

—Tom Harpur, The Pagan Christ

Osiris had “mastered” his lower animal self. You might say that his higher Self, or the “god” part of himself, was able to overpower or “master” the lower animal part. But such mastery does not come easily. One needs tremendous discipline to be able to control one´s emotions, feelings, aggressions, appetites, desires, etc.

How exactly does one succeed in doing this?


Enter the Crook & Flail, two instruments directly related to the “Great Work” of spiritual transformation and, more specifically, with “mastery” of the lower animal self. The Crook & Flail staffs were tools every Egyptian seeker used to transform his/her lower (animal) self into a servant of his higher (spiritual) Self.

                                           The Crook & Flail are shepherd’s instruments—an epithet of Osiris was “Good Shepherd” (i.e., shepherd of one´s lower nature).

The Crook (heka) & Flail (nekhekh) were often shown held in the hands of Osiris in various paintings, statues and amulets. They were also held in the hands of the Osirianised dead, telling us they aided / assisted the deceased in accomplishing his / her most important mission in life—becoming “an Osiris”:

Left: Images of Osiris holding the Crook & Flail. Right: The “Osirianised” dead holding the Crook & Flail.

The crook was a cane with a hooked handle, sometimes gold-plated and reinforced with blue copper bands. The crook was used by shepherds; the hook of the crook served to hold a runaway sheep. The crook symbolized the concept of rule, and it serves as the hieroglyph for the Egyptian word “rule, ruler.” However, rather than “ruling” over others, the crook seems to have also conveyed the idea of ruling one´s “lower self” by gently guiding one´s own behavior upward. This is how one becomes an Osiris.

In the other hand was the flail or shepherd’s “whip,” a rod with three attached beaded strands. The flail was a simple agricultural tool used for threshing or beating grain from the ear by hand and it was also a weapon. Yet here it doesn´t seem to have been an “outward” weapon used on others, but rather a weapon one might use on their own lower nature to aggressively whip one´s lower self into line.

Occultists will quickly note that the two opposing and yet complementary concepts described here—Mercy (Crook) and Severity (Flail)—play a key role across various occult schools. Mercy is conveyed by the Crook, as the Crook is a merciful way to gently “guide” a straying animal back to the fold. Severity is conveyed by the Flail, as the Flail is a severe way to “reprimand” a rebellious animal and force that animal back into line. In this way these two tools help to “mercifully” and “severely” guide the lower animal that is you—your lower animal self.

“Quit then, this Tomb, O Aspirant, with thine arms crossed upon thy breast, bearing in thy right hand the Crook of Mercy and in thy left the Scourge of Severity, the emblems of those Eternal Forces betwixt which the equilibrium of the Universe dependeth; those forces whose reconciliation is the Key of Life, whose separation is evil and death.”

—Israel Regardie, The Golden Dawn

The “crossing” of the two staffs above the chest has various meanings and connotations, but the one most pertinent for our discussion is the act of “combining” their power together (the two instruments are held in the right and left hands in a parallel manner) showing they have equal strength. The Osirianised dead, by crossing these two symbolic staffs over his or her chest, were conveying the idea that he / she had used both tools to help them become the Master of his / her own self—to help them become an Osiris. By using these twin instruments of self-control to subdue their lower animal nature, the deceased had “followed in the footsteps” of Osiris (the Egyptian Buddha or Christ) and found their higher Self.

Researcher Gary Osborn, author of The Shining Ones, provides excellent insight into the symbolism of the Crook & Flail:

“What has not yet been acknowledged, is that again, the crook and the flail are ‘Duality’ symbols, symbolising the opposite, positive and negative, male and female, yang and yin energies and forces. The flail is held by the right hand connected to the male-related left brain, and the crook is held by the left hand connected to the female-related right brain. Now the reason why they were seen as symbols of power and kingship was because being held in this way, the point where the crook and flail were brought together, and the point where the crook and flail crossed over each other at the heart or centre of the body, symbolised the ‘neutral point’ of balance, a condition that can lead to the rebirth associated with enlightenment and resurrection, and one’s vertical alignment with the ‘heavenly kingdom’ . . . the Godhead . . . the source-centre of creation.

—Gary Osborn,

Osborn believes these symbols also may record the phenomenon of the Solstices and Equinoxes, whereby the Egyptians were linking the Solstices to the “opposites” / “duality” and the Equinoxes to the “center” / “balance.” Posting the following image, Osborn writes:

“In esoteric thought, the crook and flail would also represent the opposites of Summer and Winter in the yearly cycle. The flail, a kind of whip, or ‘fly whip,’ is associated with Summer. The flail is also used to reap the corn. The crook is associated with the shepherding of the flock during Winter, and of course images of shepherds holding crooks are often displayed on Christmas greeting cards. Summer is related to the Sun and the colour Red, and therefore the male principle, and Winter is related to the Moon and the colour White, and therefore the feminine principle. So symbolically, these two items represent the opposites of Summer and Winter…”

—Gary Osborn,

It’s interesting to note that the duality of Egypt’s Crook & Flail match the duality of the Mercy & Severity Columns—the twin opposing yet complementary concepts of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, as shown here:

 The Tree of Life. Note the twin outer pillars named “Mercy” and “Severity.”

The Tree of Life is a design that can be described as showing the act of “Creation” as it flows downward from the spiritual to material plane in increasing sephiroth or “emanations.” On the way downward, the sephiroth ultimately form a structure reminiscent of the Fall of Man, or, better the Fallen Man. The bodily physical part of this Fallen Man is marked by twin Pillars—the Pillar of Severity on one side and the Pillar of Mercy on the other side. The spiritual side of this Fallen Man is marked by the center Pillar, which is often called the Pillar of the Soul.

Viewed in its entirety, the Tree of life is actually an image of you—the spiritual eternal you (Middle Pillar) inside your body’s duality (Twin outer Pillars). Life’s goal is to rediscover this center pillar—the Osiris nature (i.e., Buddha nature, Christ nature) within you. Once you do that, you´ve found your higher Self.

Visualize yourself for a moment stepping into and becoming the tree. The Pillar of Mercy corresponds to your body’s right side, and the Pillar of Severity to your left side. These two pillars are symmetrical, like your body. As mentioned above, Mercy and Severity are opposites. The eternal you, however, is the Middle Pillar, known as the Pillar of the Soul and the Pillar of Balance.

20th Century mystic Israel Regardie, student of occultist Aleister Crowley, wrote:

“There are two contending forces and one always uniting them…Unbalanced Mercy is weakness and the fading out of the Will. Unbalanced Severity is cruelty and the barrenness of Mind.”

—Aleister Crowley

Regardie, once a member of a Masonic-like order called “temple of the Golden Dawn,” quotes from the order’s initiation ceremony:

“…only in and by the reconciliation of opposing forces is the Pathway made to the true occult knowledge and practical power…”

—Israel Regardie

Here, Regardie’s words echo the position of the Crook & Flail held in the hands of the Osirianised deceased, forming a perfect visual representation of what he calls the “reconciliation of opposing forces” which he claims creates a “Pathway” to “true knowledge and practical power”:

“Pharaoh holds twin “opposites”—shepherd´s staff (MERCY) and flail (SEVERITY)—in balance. Both are used to subdue animals. Here they symbolize mastery over one´s lower “animal” nature. The shepherd´s staff is used to pull stray animals by the neck without hurting them (MERCY). The flail is used to beat animals into submission (SEVERITY). Mastering these symbols means mastering your lower animal nature to find your true Self in the center (MIDDLE PILLAR / BALANCE).”                                                             

Richard Cassaro, Written in Stone

Egypt´s metaphysical doctrine—which was not confined to Egypt, and which I´ve described in my books, articles and lectures as the “Universal Religion of Antiquity,” as it was shared worldwide among the world´s first cultures—was inherited by Western occultists, Hermeticists, alchemists and philosophers during the past two thousand years since the decline of dynastic Egypt. It branched out over the course of centuries and it became grouped into different subgenres called by different names, including the Perennial Philosophy, Sacred Science, Alchemy, Hermeticism, and so on. However, its basic teachings on the fundamental physical/spiritual dichotomy of man have always remained the same.

You can learn more about my research into ancient Egyptian symbolism and meaning in my books Written in Stone and The Missing Link:


 Richard Cassaro’s new book, The Missing Link, explores the meaning, transformations and propagation of the ancient world’s most important religious icon. His first book, Written in Stone, is a wide-ranging exploration of hitherto-unknown connections among Freemasons, medieval cathedral builders and the creators of important ancient monuments, in support of his theory that a spiritually advanced mother culture, lost to history, is behind many of the world’s architectural and artistic traditions.

Prior to the publication of Written in Stone, Cassaro enjoyed a successful career as a U.S. correspondent, professional journalist, and photo researcher for Rizzoli Publications, one of the world’s leading media organizations. Cassaro, who is a graduate of Pace University in New York City, has examined first-hand the ancient ruins and mystical traditions of Egypt, Mexico, Greece, Italy, Sicily, France, England, India, Peru and Spain; he has lectured on his theories to great acclaim in the United States, Egypt, Italy, Spain and Peru.

Richard Cassaro © Copyright, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.