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Reviewed by Maya del Mar

Catastrophobia: the Truth Behind Earth Changes by Barbara Hand Clow. Bear & Co., Rochester, VT. 2001. $16.00 paperback.

She’s done it again! Our nimble time and space traveler, Barbara Hand Clow, has given us another book which weaves together fragments of old and new knowledge into an exciting new synthesis, a synthesis which can help us bridge these chaotic times.

In many ways, fear rules our lives. Even if we don’t feel specific fears, nameless fears grip us, fears of terrible change, or impending doom. Rulers use these fears to herd us into "secure" pens, of their choosing.

Barbara believes the source of these fears is unprocessed, devastating trauma from Earth’s recent past. However, new discoveries about that past are coming to the fore daily, and we are on the road to discovering our buried past and healing our deep trauma. And precession of the equinoxes is moving us into a place of opening our creative selves in brand new ways. (See Barbara’s book, The Pleidian Agenda.)

"Humanity is being led down a road that few people want to travel," writes Barbara, "and people are passively accepting this because they do not realize that disaster is in the past, not the future.’

"We are a wounded species on the verge of recovery, and we’re poised to take the brave journey back to our previous brilliance. We will cease cowering before the gods we have created out of our fear and soon be able to use our personal power."

The great Cataclysm occurred 11,500 years ago, perhaps through Earth hitting a fragment of the Supernova Vela. That was when the Pleistocene Epoch closed. Barbara propounds the working hypothesis that this collision tilted the Earth’s axis, creating great complexity on Earth. This certainly makes sense as a motivation for the great concern with the sky by the ancients.

Barbara quotes the blind poet, John Milton:

"Some say he bid his angels turn askance
The Poles of Earth twice ten degrees and more
From the Sun’s Axle; they with labour push’d
Oblique the Centric Globe…

…to bring in change
Of Seasons to each Clime; else had the Spring
Perpetual smil’d on Earth with vernant Flours,
Equal in Days and Nights, except to those
Beyond the Polar Circles…"

We would naturally ask, Where did this inner vision come from? Barbara asked, and found answers in works by all kinds of scientists, linguists, anthropologists, ethnologists, mythologists, archaeologists, cartographers, and especially, astronomers and geologists.

This book is a gem, jam-packed with scientific information, spiritual interpretations, relevant hypotheses, human psychological development, earth changes, and the brilliant hypothesizing which connects disparate fields and approaches at which Barbara is a genius. Her intuitions can help us all open the greater unused portion of our brains to the great numinous field of knowledge in which we live.

The disaster to which Barbara refers occurred in 9,500 B.C. It was enormous, probably a once-in-30 million years disruption of the solar system. It is a miracle that people survived, but they did, as the record shows, and Barbara believes that our psyches still carry terrible scars of fear and trauma from that time, and from the 5000 or so years of chaos which followed. Of course!

Barbara says that before that disaster, earth was probably a balanced, peaceful, idyllic place, the Garden of Eden. The disaster tilted the earth, so that it is now 23 and one-half degrees from the ecliptic plane. This brought in seasons and a changing sky-year as well as a changing earth-year. It also brought in agriculture, with a desire to control nature. And brought in religion as we know it, with a need to propitiate these terrible, awesome forces.

It is hypothesized that Chiron assumed its current orbit then, in 9500 B.C. Barbara says that Chiron and the tilting axis is causing us to become much more emotionally complex. Chiron as the wounded healer becomes a major player in this book, which Barbara says took even her by surprise. According to Barbara, Chiron was the teacher of astrologers (one of his current functions) as long as 10,000 years ago.

Fear has ruled our lives since then, and has been the source of much blockage and dysfunction. Fear has also created space for the Global Elite to control us. However, says Barbara, if we understand the depth of the fears within us, the Elite cannot use them to control us. "Mass psychotic hypnosis is what I fear," says Barbara.

This book is a very successful attempt to help us return to the ancient wisdom, and to help us to resonate with the multi-dimensions in which we live. Barbara has a very unique ability to help a reader travel space-time through her writing.

Barbara ranges widely in knowledge, philosophy, and spirit. But most of all—although she inundates the reader with facts and figures and data—she works with feeling. If one reads a chapter straight through, uninterrupted, one emerges with a vivid FEELING for the area of discussion, whether it be the solar system, the Giza plateau, or the Stones of Ica. It’s pure alchemy.

"I think I will always be haunted by wondering what Earth was like before reality suddenly became so much more complex, possibly caused by the tilting axis. If it is true that the disaster began the split between ordinary reality and the alternate reality, then perhaps the spirits enjoy our complex emotional experience. From my experiences in masked trance dances, I already know that they think our world is better than ever. Regardless, if we invite them in and learn their wisdom, our experience with Earth can be peaceful, harmonic, blissful and much more fun!"

Astrology is a very ancient way of inviting the spirits into our consciousness, to co-create our lives with them. Barbara herself is a first-class astrologer.

Barbara’s book brings perspective into our lives, and hope, and enlarges our spirits. It eloquently speaks to our particular time, and yet covers millennia. Read it. Not to memorize it, but to enlarge your soul space and sense of possibilities.

Back to current issue

December 2002
Table of Contents
December Home
A Time to Revise Consciousness
Cunanan, Versace and the Black Hole Sun
Crystal's Meditation—Align with the Power of the Winter Solstice and Gemini Full Moon
Daily Success Guide
December 1 through 31
Monthly Astrological Influences for Dec 2002
General Sun Signs,
December 2002
Moon Report
Retrograde Watch—Jupiter Retrograde
December Skywatch
Goddess of the Month: Medusa
Books Reviewed: Catastrophobia
Maya's Astrology Favorites: Aspects in Astrology
Sign of the Month: Sagittarius
Learn about your sign in Maya's Sun Sign Archives

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