Home Forums Community Submissions 40th ANNIVERSARY – NASA VOYAGER CRAFT LAUNCH – 20th August 1977

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    A scant three decades after the death in 1947 of Aleister Crowley modern science succeeded in creating one of humanity’s greatest achievements in exploration.
    Launching two elegantly designed spacecraft to complete a Grand Tour of the four outer planets of our solar system. (The second Voyager craft was launched – 5th September 1977, with equal success.)
    I imagine Aleister would have had a lot to say about this historic mission, visiting distant worlds…

    The Voyager One Jupiter flyby began January 1979 with stunning imagery. The colossal planet has lethal radiation with moons aplenty to admire.
    A.C. would note that the Jovial Giant is the chief diety, Lord of heaven and earth. King of the gods of the Romans. Identified with Zeus of the Greeks.

    Quite swiftly, in November 1980 Voyager One reached Saturn a complex planet with captivating ring structures and many thrilling moons.
    A.C. would note – another ancient Roman god, father of Jupiter and Neptune. Sinister Lord of Karma, constraint and brooding melancholia.

    Late January 1986 Voyager 2 encountered silent Uranus, unknown until 200 years ago. An almost mythic object became real when a point of light emerged into a hazy blue world tilted on its side. His messed-up moon Miranda is a truly sensational sight!
    A.C. would note – a god of dark intrigue, father of Saturn. A mysterious and contradictory genius of magical power who swims in a distant awful abyss.

    Exactly twelve years after lift-off in 1989 Voyager 2 uncovered Neptune an ice giant existing in a darker, colder environment. An unexpectedly photogenic planet with delicate rings and impressive moon Triton. The temperature there is 30 degrees above absolute zero!
    A.C. would note – the Roman god of Ocean identified with Poseidon. A lonely sentinel. Mystic, austere, star-lit and sadly romantic. The refined hermit distant and dark…

    Science has now captured the four outer planets.
    After four billion miles on Valentine’s Day 1990 the ‘Solar System Portrait’ was taken.
    The photo is a symbolic, artistic milestone – an allegory on the human condition – the Earth shows as a tiny blue dot in a sunbeam.

    Travelling outward the Sun’s influence or Heliosphere bubble failed in August 2012 with Voyager One penetrating the Heliopause leaving our solar system and entering interstellar space.
    The farthest-flung human object now travels at 20 miles per second and will definitely outlive the life-time of the Earth.
    Carrying a ‘Golden LP Record’ inscribed with information about our civilization it will voyage unmolested and immaculate for a billion years.
    ‘The little engine that could’…

    Now, five years later, on this 40th Anniversary of their departure I’d like to think that Aleister Crowley would have had something to say about all that.

    ( Sunday 20th August 2017 )


    Jamie J Barter

    There’s some nice imagery there Sphinx. It’s difficult to say anything much in a new way about the four outer planets, but you seem to have poetically done so with your expression of what A.C. might note, etc.

    It’s interesting to look at the astrological anthropomorphising of the planets alongside with the astronomical reality of them. The innermost of course fit in with the ‘classical’ attributes of the Ancients, but Uranus & Neptune & some more recent discoveries around the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud seem to have been made to fit in as well. I don’t suppose you would happen to know what name is being considered in mind for “Planet X” would you (the conjectured large transNeptunian body with an eccentric orbit almost perpendicularly outside the plane of the others? I rather doubt whether it might be “NuIsis”, the name Kenneth Grant proposed for it, although it’s not impossible. And yet the name Pluto for the (now downgraded) outermost “planet” was originally suggested to the naming authorities by Venetia Burney, an 11-year-old schoolgirl from Oxford, England.)

    “Per ardua ad astra”,
    Norma N Joy Conquest

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