Figure 6: The three paths of the sun in the annual cycle. Summer half (peak positive), winter half (dip negative) and
the ‘neutral point’ – the central path of the sun on the Celestial Equator during the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes
However, during the days of the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes the sun will rise and set on a point ‘dead centre’ (equinoctial point - neutral point) between these two extreme points reached during the summer and winter solstices. We will see the sun rise on the equinoctial point in the east, traverse the sky on the celestial equator and transit the Giza Meridian at midday. The sun will then set on the equinoctial point in the west.
Of course the rising and setting positions of the sun on the eastern and western horizons during the summer and winter solstices will change depending on our location on earth. For example, at Stonehenge in Salisbury, England, the declination of the sun during these times will be just over 51º north and south of the equinoctial point on the eastern and western horizons. This is interesting because 51.84º is the angle of the sides of the Great Pyramid. Furthermore, we have only been describing the sun’s movement for an observer in the northern hemisphere.
In the southern hemisphere and on the day of June 21, the sun would rise south of the equinoctial point instead of north and instead of marking the onset of summer as it does for those of us north of the equator, this day would mark the onset of winter. And again on the day of December 21, the sun would rise north of the equinoctial point instead of south and this day would mark the onset of summer.
Now that we have understood this we will go back to the Giza Meridian.
It’s possible that in Egypt, the Giza Meridian was used – perhaps by the predynastic Akhu or ‘Shining Ones’, who were also astronomers – not only to measure the passage of the sun each day and at different months of the year, but also to chart the position of the star constellation of Orion and which like the sun, had risen in the east, crossed this ‘midpoint’ line, and then set in the west. By charting Orion’s position on the Giza meridian as Orion crossed it, they could calculate ‘where’ and ‘when’ we are in terms of the “Great Year” – the 26,000-year Precessional Cycle, and for some very good reasons. However, before we can begin to understand why they felt the need to do this and how Orion (which represented the archetypal ‘resurrection god’ Osiris) was used as a gauge marker for Precession we should first understand what Precession is.
‘Precession’ is a rarely understood phenomenon resulting from the fact that the earth wobbles as it rotates on its axis. This wobble effect is caused by the torque forces exerted by the sun and the moon on the earth at the equator causing the earth to flatten and bulge.
The present 23.43º obliquity (incline) of the earth’s axis causes the sun and moon (at separate times) to be either above the earth’s equatorial plane or below it and so the gravitational forces of the sun and moon are constantly pulling upward or downward on the earth’s bulge at the equator. It’s the pull of the sun and moon that keeps the angle of the earth’s axis steady and within a restricted limit. If the moon suddenly disappeared the obliquity (angle) of the axis would change drastically.
Think of a child’s spinning top. As the top begins to slow down and lose momentum, the weight of the top begins to displace itself and it then begins to wobble.
The earth – being an oblate sphere (slightly-flattened) – is like the spinning top; the only difference being that this wobble is moving at a constant speed and over long periods of time – always altering the direction of the earth’s polar axis. In other words, the slow wobble causes the axis to regress or precess – in that like a gyroscope, the axis wobbles slowly in a clockwise direction as the earth turns anticlockwise – causing the axis to trace a large abstract circle in the heavens, which by today’s agreed estimate takes 25,776 years to complete. My own estimate is that it takes 25,758 years - see here.
This revolution in the north sky is the precessional cycle, and the theory is that the ancients used the roughly accurate Platonic figure of 25,920 years to reference the precessional cycle, and we say because this number is comprised of multiples of 9 and was therefore easier to encode.
As shown in figure 7, Like the ancient Egyptian ‘Sun symbol’ – a simple circle with a dot in the centre – the central axis of this precessional revolution is called the ‘pole of the ecliptic’ and the central and unmoving still point in the heavens, which the abstract pole of the ecliptic is pointing to, is called the ecliptic centre.
Why is this geophysical phenomenon called the ‘Precession of the Equinoxes’?
Well first of all, like every circle, the cycle around this still point is divided into 360 degrees. As most of us will know, from our perspective on earth the zodiac is seen to move behind the sun in a clockwise direction – each sign being completed in a month and the whole zodiac completed in a year. This is really due to the earth’s anticlockwise orbit around the sun, which again, takes a year to complete.
But again, the precessional axis is also moving forward (clockwise) and slowly – at a rate of 71.6 years every degree going by today’s calculations. Because the earth turns anticlockwise on its axis, this means that the sun is seen to move backward very slowly through the 12 constellations of the Zodiac.
The measurement of this movement is determined by observing the rising position of the sun on the Spring Equinox every year, which is seen to move slowly backwards through the zodiac and again at a rate of one degree every 71.6 years – or 72 years as the rough estimate used by the ancients.
At present, we are living in the ‘Age of Pisces’, which began around 1 A.D. And so every year on the Spring Equinox – the sun is seen to rise against the zodiacal constellation of Pisces. In other words, the sun is moving backwards slowly and in a clockwise direction from Pisces towards the ‘Age of Aquarius’ – but won’t reach the constellation of Aquarius for another 170 years.
Figure 7: The 25,758-year cycle of precession traced in the heavens by the earth’s axis.
The axis takes 71.6 years to complete one degree. At present the axis is pointing to the
star Polaris – the present Polestar. Around 2,800 B.C. the Polestar was Thuban
More than 2000 years ago, the sun would have been seen to rise against the stars of the constellation of Aries, and well over 2000 years before that, the sun would have been seen to rise against the stars of the constellation of Taurus.
During the epoch of 10,450 BC when Bauval says that the orientation of the three pyramids matched the orientation of the three belt stars of Orion, the sun would have been seen to rise against the constellation of Leo “the lion”. Bauval says that this would explain the presence and position of the Sphinx, which would have been gazing at the sun rising in the east and against an image of itself.
10,450 BC is considered the cusp point between the ‘Age of Virgo’ and the ‘Age of Leo’ and therefore the end of Virgo and the beginning of Leo. Researcher, John Anthony West, by reason of the conclusions made by geologist Robert Schoch, says he has evidence that the Sphinx was possibly around at this time, and according to Bauval, perhaps for this very reason.
Orion as a Precessional Cycle ‘Gauge Marker’
Generation after generation of observers must have viewed the skies for a very long time to have become familiar with this cycle known as the ‘Great Year’.
Today, like the sun, Orion will be seen to rise everyday on the eastern horizon and on the Equinoctial point – the same spot on the horizon that the sun will rise on the mornings of the two Equinoxes. It will rise first on its side, pointing north, and will then move sideways across the sky; turning slowly to stand upright as it crosses the Giza meridian – see figure 8. It will then continue to turn until it sets in the west on its side pointing north again.
Now due to precession, and as the celestial axis moves back-and-forth in the north sky, tracing a giant circle in the sky and at twice the span of its 23.5-degree tilt – (again, see figure 7), the stars of Orion in the south sky – like all stars – will slowly change their altitude positions.
This means that although the three belt stars of Orion, today rise on the equinoctial point of the sun in the east, they haven’t always risen on this point. They will only rise on this point during THIS TIME in the precessional cycle – the time we are at now, and the epoch where and when Al-Nitak reaches its highest altitude position on the Giza Meridian. This perfect alignment between the three belt stars of Orion and the Equinoctial points and the transiting path of these belt stars along the celestial equator and all during this halfway point or ‘Midpoint’ in the cycle, is intriguing, and its significance was not lost on the early astronomers who designed and built the Giza complex.
Figure 8: Looking from the North to the South, the daily motion of Orion as it rises in the East,
crosses the Giza Meridian in the South and sets in the West. (Celestial Equator in green).
Depicted above are Orion’s two extreme positions at the two crucial points in the Precessional Cycle. Here the star Al-Nitak is the marker.
My own theory, based on Robert Bauval’s initial theory, is that the lowest point on the Horizon, being Al-Nitak’s altitude of 9º 14’, corresponds with the ‘end-beginning’, ‘alpha-omega’ point in the precessional cycle – Spring Equinox, 10,704 BC. At this time the three stars were orientated the same as the three Giza Pyramids – the two largest pyramids being at an angle of 45º – the same as the two largest stars in Orion’s Belt, Al-Nitak and Al-nilam.
The highest altitude reached by Al-Nitak – being 58º 4’ and aligned with the Celestial Equator, corresponds with the halfway point, or MIDPOINT in the Precessional Cycle – c. 2,175 AD. Only the star Al-nilam will touch the Celestial Equator. Presently and at this time, the three belt stars of Orion will rise exactly on the Equinoctial point in the east and set on the Equinoctial point in the west – the same point in the annual cycle where the sun rises and sets on the days of the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes.
So, if we were observing the movements of Orion over thousands of years, as it crosses the Giza Meridian in the south and as it moves from east to west every year, Orion would be seen to slowly move up and down on the Giza meridian – its ‘precessional elevator’.
Today we have the advantage of being able to view the changing positions of these stars; scanning through thousands of years in a few seconds using a good astronomy computer programme.
This movement of Orion and taking its first star Al-Nitak, as a marker, takes roughly 13,000 years to move from its nadir position (lowest point on the horizon) – an altitude of 9º 14’ to its highest altitude of 58º 4’, and takes another 13,000 years to move from 58º 4’ back down to 9º 14’ again – a total of 26,000 years approx. In hours and minutes of arc, this movement gives a distance of 49º 26’ – over twice the obliquity of the earth’s axis – allowing for its slow shift between 22.6º and 24.6º according to the Milankovitch Cycle.
Again, at present, the star Al-Nitak is moving close to its highest position – but between 11,000 and 10,450 BC, it was at its lowest position and roughly in line with the correct diagonal orientation of the three pyramids of Giza when looking south. (I now know the correct dates for these highest and lowest altitude positions for Al-Nitak, See here:)
Bauval says that this lowest position of Orion marked the ‘Golden Age’ known as Zep Tepi, the “First Time”.
We are apt to ask, the “first time” of what?
The “first time” is associated with the ‘first act’ of creation. However in reality, creation is ‘cyclical’ or ‘circular’ – meaning re-creation, so there is a continual repetition of Zep-Tepi. By all accounts this particular “first time” when Orion was at its lowest point on the Giza Meridian and on the south horizon, could indeed mean the arrival of the “gods” or “Elder builders” as mentioned in the Edfu Building texts – which is why it is also called the “Time of Osiris” as well as the “Time of Horus” (Osiris’ son and ‘reincarnated self’).
Again, and as the evidence suggests, these ‘El-ders’, (who also included the ‘wisdom god’ Thoth), were the ‘Shining Ones’.
However, this ‘First Time’ could also mark the time of a global catastrophe and which from that point on, the human race had to begin over again. See here: In this context the term, ‘First Time’ could still apply, in that the so-called “gods” (Shining Ones) that had arrived from some place else and had initially taught mankind agriculture and other useful things to get the human race back on its feet again, were those who survived, therefore they represented the rebirth or resurrection of the human race. We are told that these 'Shining Ones' were also called ‘Zep Tepis’.
‘The ancient Egyptians left records describing the Zep Tepi as actual historic peoples who were very advanced and came to the Nile valley from the south and proceeded to civilise and rule over the native peoples. This group of people known as Zep Tepis were survivors of disaster in their former home and sought safety and a new life in the Nile valley. It is they, according to the Egyptian records that built the Great Sphinx and the Pyramid complex at Giza’. 
So surely, ‘first time’ here means the ‘end of something’ and the ‘beginning’ of something else; an ‘end-beginning’ point like the concept of the Alpha-Omega – the crucial point in the never-ending cycle, as captured in the ancient image of the Ouroborus snake or serpent that swallows its own tail.
Furthermore, I should emphasise that if the earth’s axis of rotation became inclined from the vertical, then surely this event would mark the beginning of time, as the earth and man fell into the cycles of the seasons. If precession in a “post-cataclysmic phenomenon” due to the tilting of the earth’s axis, as Allan and Delair state in their book Cataclysm, then this would explain why the ancients had constructed Giza as a ‘star clock’ or precessional clock to mark time.
This would mean that the time of Osiris, the ‘Golden Age’ was ‘before time’ – before time really began to be recorded. Again the term ‘Zep Tepi’ could still apply, as it was from this point that time began.
As I see it, the construction of this ‘precessional clock’ was not just to record time, but also to convey profound knowledge of cyclical phenomena associated with time, which man had fallen ever deeper into, and hopefully the means to escape it.
Is this why Poussin had encoded this information about Orion and Precession?
As we will see, it appears that Poussin and others also knew and understood the link that Orion had with the Great Pyramid and the Giza monuments, and 350 years before Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert presented their 'Orion Correlation Theory'.
1. Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock, (Arrow, 1996).