Saturn Theory


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“On the contrary, it was found that the stability of such an axially aligned system would be lost “rather fast, with its maximum duration corresponding to only about 3 months, when its “expected stability should extend at least over several thousand years””

The Saturn Theory (also: Saturn Model, Saturn Myth, Saturn Configuration) is the idea based on comparative mythology, that the Earth was once in closer proximity, or even a satellite of the planet Saturn, which appeared like a sun. It has received criticisms on both mythological and physical grounds.

Saturn theory characteristics

Sun-like Saturn, and nova-like

A number of researchers have suggested that in mythology, Saturn is sometimes referred to as a night sun, and having gone through a nova-like phase:

(1944) C. E. R. Bruce wrote:

“In fact it may well be that both Jupiter and Saturn were at one time minor stars and that their satellite systems were formed as the result of minor or planetary nova outbursts.”[ref]C. E. R. Bruce, A New Approach in Astrophysics and Cosmogony (1944) (privately published)[/ref]

(1973) William Mullen wrote:

“Velikovsky has suggested that as a result of disruption Saturn went through a short nova-like phase in which its light would have obscured everything else visible from earth ..”[ref]William Mullen, “A Reading of the Pyramid Texts”, Pensée Vol. 3 No 1: (Winter 1973) “Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered III”[/ref]

(1975) Lewis M. Greenberg and Warner B. Sizemore wrote:

“.. the planet Saturn was designated as Shamash or “sun” by the Assyro-Babylonian astrologers; and as far back as 1910 M. Jastrow (Revue d’Assyriologie, Vol. 70, p. 171)[ref]Morris Jastrow Jr, “Sun and Saturn“, Revue D’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale, Septième Volume (Vol. VII), Paris 1910. Online at[/ref] proposed “the idea that Saturn was a ‘steady’ or ‘permanent’ mock-sun – performing the same function of furnishing light at night that Sama’s – the Sun performed during the day. .. Furthermore, there is undeniable evidence that the concept of a “night-sun” as well as a “day-sun” existed in ancient Babylonian astrological thought.”[ref]Lewis M. Greenberg and Warner B. Sizemore, “Saturn And Genesis”, Kronos Vol. I No. 3 (Fall 1975)[/ref]

(1977) Dwardu Cardona wrote:

“Diodorus Siculus was not the only writer of antiquity who stated that the Babylonians called Saturn the “sun star.”(19) Hyginus also expressed his opinion that Saturn was called “the star of the sun.(20) Among modern Assyriologists, it seems as if Thompson was one of the first to notice that the Babylonians designated the planet Saturn as Shamash.(21) Yet Shamash, as a cursory glance through any work on Assyro-Babylonian mythology will show, was, very much like the Egyptian Ra, the usual Babylonian name for the Sun.”[ref]Dwardu Cardona, “The Sun Of Night”, Kronos Vol. III No. 1 (Fall 1977).[/ref]

(1979) Immanuel Velikovsky wrote:

“My conclusion that, as a result of its interplay with Jupiter, Saturn became a nova,(7) I found confirmed in many ancient sources, in which Saturn is regularly associated with brilliant light; but I was led to this idea first of all by a certain clue contained in the Biblical account of the Deluge.”[ref]Immanuel Velikovsky, “On Saturn And The Flood”, Kronos Vol. V No. 1 (Fall 1979) It is noted that “this essay is based upon a lecture given by Immanuel Velikovsky at the University of the New World, Valais, Switzerland, in 1971. It was first transcribed by his secretary, Mr. Jan Sammer, who supplied both additional textual material (offset by brackets) as well as certain relevant referential data. Dr. Velikovsky’s lecture was derived from his own unpublished manuscript – Saturn and the Flood – which was first conceived and written in the early 1940’s. See also: Immanuel Velikovsky, “Saturn’s Golden Age” in Part II: Saturn and the Flood, In the Beginning, (unpublished). Online at the Velikovsky Archive. See also: “On Saturn and the Flood“, loc. cit.[/ref]

Earth as a satellite of Saturn

Several authors have independently suggested that mythological sources and ancient texts, lead to the conclusion that the Earth was once a moon of the planet Saturn:

Dwardu Cardona writes:[ref]Dwardu Cardona, “Darkness and the Deep“, Aeon III:3 (Oct 1993). Online at[/ref]

“Independent of Velikovsky, but basing their work on his, Harold Tresman and Bernard Newgrosh (writing under the name of Brendan O’Gheoghan), also came to the conclusion that Earth must have once been a satellite of Saturn,(3)[ref]Tresman, Harold & B. O’Gheoghan (1977), “The Primordial Light,” SIS. Review Vol II No 2 (December), 35-40. Online at Harold Tresman’s Web site[/ref] a topic to which Tresman has more recently returned.(4)[ref]H. Tresman, “Geological Genesis“, C & C Workshop 1992:2, pp.4ff. Online at Harold Tresman’s Web site[/ref] Combining Velikovsky’s postulate with that of David Talbott and others, Frederick Hall embraced the same idea, presenting it in a speculative scenario concerning the history of the Solar System.(5)[ref]F. F. Hall, “Solar System Studies,” Part 2, Aeon I:4 (July 1988), p.26.[/ref]”

Alfred de Grazia notes:

“The year 1977 marked the beginning of quantavolutionary publications about Saturn. Three articles appeared, written by David Talbott,[ref]Talbott, David N. (1977), “Saturn: Universal Monarch and Dying God,” Report, Research Communications Network, Portland, Oregon.[/ref] by Dwardu Cardona,[ref]Dwardu Cardona, “The Sun Of Night”, Kronos Vol. III No. 1 (Fall 1977)[/ref][ref]Dwardu Cardona, “Let There be Light”, Kronos Vol. III No. 3 (Spring 1978)[/ref] and jointly by Harold Tresman and B. O’Gheoghan.[ref]Tresman, Harold & B. O’Gheoghan (1977), “The Primordial Light,” SIS. Review Vol II No 2 (December), 35-40. Online at Harold Tresman’s Web site[/ref] A few months later, Velikovsky, who had inspired the studies in each case, without participating in them released a fragment of his manuscripts on Saturn. .. Saturn was a second sun, shining by day and night upon Earth. “[ref]Alfred de Grazia, Chaos and Creation: An Introduction to Quantavolution in Human and Natural History, “Chapter Eight: Saturn’s Children” 1981 Metron Publications, ISBN 0-940268-00-0. Online at[/ref]

For example:

(1884) Oskar Reichenbach is recalled by Dwardu Cardona:

“Actually, a similar, if more bizarre, idea that proposes the Earth to be “an offspring of Saturn” was aired as long ago as 1884 by Oskar Reichenbach(2) as part of a theory purporting to prove that land masses on Earth have rifted and moved northward. Thus, as wrong as he might have been, and I am not here concerned with defending Reichenbach, his ideas preceded the similar ones of Alfred Wegener by some 33 years”[ref]Ibid. cardona 1993[/ref][ref]O. Reichenbach, On Some of the Remarkable Features in the Evolution of the Earth (London, 1884), p.5. [/ref]

(1974) Lynn E. Rose writes:

“Still others may suppose that the pre-Flood “year” was indeed the period of Earth’s revolution, but that Earth was revolving around some body other than the Sun (7)”[ref]Lynn E. Rose, “The Lengths of the Year”, Pensée Vol. 4 No 3: (Summer 1974) “Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered VIII. Referencing: Frederic B. Jueneman, “A Most Exciting Planet,” Industrial Research, 15 (July, 1973), p. 11.[/ref]

(1977) Harold Tresman and Bernard Newgrosh (writing as B. O’Gheoghan) wrote:

” What must have been the relationship between the Earth and this great body – proto-Saturn? There are two answers we consider. The first is that the Earth was indeed nearer to this body, but on an orbit about the Sun independent of the great body, thus there would be times when the aspect of the proto-Saturn body would be large. However, there would also be times when its aspect would be quite small, as at present. Neither does this explanation account for some of the satellitic descriptions. The alternative proposal is startling. It is that at one time the Earth orbited as a satellite of proto-Saturn”[ref]Tresman, Harold & B. O’Gheoghan (1977), “The Primordial Light,” SIS. Review Vol II No 2 (December), 35-40. Online at Harold Tresman’s Web site[/ref]

(1977) Ralph E. Juergens wrote:

“Velkovsky has stated that Saturn was disrupted in a near-collision with Jupiter. Knowing little or nothing of the details, I can most easily imagine such an encounter in terms of a Saturnian planetary system, which included the Earth, being invaded, dismembered, and captured by an interloping system of relative giants consisting essentially of the present Sun and Jupiter (if nothing else, the axial inclinations of Jupiter and its offspring, Venus, argue for an ancestral relationship between Jupiter and the Sun). Now, even though Velikovsky points out that Saturn was once a much more massive body than it is today, it is hard to imagine that it could have been massive enough to be a star in the context of the thermonuclear theory of stellar energy. If, however, it was an electrically fuelled star, its initial stellar state and its sudden demise seem readily explainable.”[ref]Ralph E. Juergens, “The Critics and Stellar Energy”, SIS Review Vol II No 2 (Dec 1977)[/ref]

(1978) Dwardu Cardona wrote:

“It is also possible that the planet Saturn was much closer to Earth than it is at present or that the Earth itself was on an entirely different orbit and at a different distance from the sun than it is now. In fact we have good reason to believe that, during the period of Earth history with which we are concerned, our little world was actually a satellite held in the electro-magnetic and/or gravitational embrace of the giant planet”.[ref]Dwardu Cardona, “Let There be Light”, Kronos Vol. III No. 3 (Spring 1978)[/ref]

(1979) Immanuel Velikovsky wrote:

“It is conceivable that the Earth was, at that time, a satellite of Saturn, afterwards possibly becoming a satellite of Jupiter.”[ref]Ibid. velikovsky 1979[/ref]

(1979) Lynn E. Rose writes:

“Velikovsky has suggested that, many thousands of years ago but still within human memory, Earth might have been a satellite of Saturn. .. We are now supposing that the Central Fire was Saturn, that Earth was in orbit around Saturn and always kept the same face toward Saturn, and that Saturn (with Earth) revolved around the Sun in one “year”. Day and night would be solar phenomena, but caused by the revolution of Earth around Saturn. Even at night Saturn would provide illumination to the part of Earth that always faced Saturn.”[ref]Lynn E. Rose, “Variations on a Theme of Philolaos”, Kronos Vol. V No. 1 (Fall 1979)[/ref]

(1980) David Talbott wrote in his book, The Saturn Myth:

“Saturn did not move on its present remote orbit, but ruled as the central sun around which the other heavenly bodies visually revolved”[ref]David Talbott, “The Polar Sun”, The Saturn Myth (1980) Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-113376-5[/ref]

(1984) David Talbott and Ev Cochrane wrote:

“It is understood that Velikovsky believed the Earth and Saturn to have once moved in close proximity, with the Earth perhaps revolving as a Saturnian moon. .. The Saturn Myth .. proposes that Saturn – fixed at the celestial pole – loomed massively overhead, a central sun venerated by all mankind. Evidence is presented there for a Saturnian “polar configuration” as the source of early civilization’s dominant symbols. “[ref]David Talbott and Ev Cochrane, “The Origin of Velikovsky’s Comet”, Kronos Vol. X No. 1 (Fall 1984)[/ref]


Polar configuration

A co-linear model of the Saturn / Venus/ Mars / Earth system is shared by a several researchers, including David Talbott, and Dwardu Cardona. Fred Jueneman has jocularly described it as a ‘planetary shish kebab’.[ref]Dwardu Cardona, “Friday Evening Discussion”, SIS Chronology & Catastrophism Review 2000:1 “Proceedings of the SIS Silver Jubilee Event”[/ref] Talbott describes:

“.. the polar configuration as I have come to visualize it.. involves three planets – Earth, Mars, and Saturn – rotating on a common axis extending “out” or “down” from Jupiter (or “up”; the ideas are relative).”[ref]David Talbott, “Guidelines To The Saturn Myth”, Kronos Vol. X No. 3 (Summer 1985)[/ref]

Cardona notes that:

“Talbott’s model, in which the co-axial Saturnian system is made to orbit Jupiter equatorially as a rigid rod, received something of a dubious boost from the structural dynamicist Robert Grubaugh, who specializes in placing satellites into orbit.[ref]R. Grubaugh, “A Proposed Model for the Polar Configuration”, Aeon III:3 (October 1993)[/ref] In this scheme, the two co-axial planets, that is Saturn and Earth, are made to revolve about Jupiter “in a line synchronous with Jupiter’s orbit around the sun. .. Several calculations were performed by Grubaugh to “demonstrate that the alignment is feasible according to the laws of Newtonian gravitation”[ref]Dwardu Caronda, God Star, 2006, Trafford Publishing, ISBN 1-4120-8308-7. Page 411-412[/ref]

Cardona continues:

“In 1999, Emilio Spedicato, physicist and head of mathematics at the University of Bergamo, Italy .. produced an impressive an impressive array of equations which, at least numerically, were found to be in agreement with the Saturnian polar model.[ref]E. Spedicato, “Numerical Analysis of Planetary Distances in a Polar Model”, Aeon V:4 (July 1999) pp.23-28[/ref] .. a year later, Spedicato teamed up with Antonio Del Popolo, an astrophysicist who was then also at the University of Bergamo, in a further attempt to quantify the inherent stability of the proposed Saturnian co-axial system and,[ref]E. Spedicato & A. Del Popolo, “Dynamical Evolution of a Collineary Planetary System“, Aeon V:6 (August 2000 pp.14.20. Online at See also “Equilibrium Distances of a Collinear Planetary System“, “[/ref] more importantly, to see how long the system would have remained stable.” [ref]Dwardu Caronda, God Star, 2006, Trafford Publishing, ISBN 1-4120-8308-7. Page 412[/ref]

Earth as Saturn’s satellite (Modified-Philolaos model)

Similar to Velikovsky’s model, Tresman and Newgrosh describe theirs as:

“.. the Earth orbited as a satellite of proto-Saturn .. a development of ideas first formulated by Harold Tresman late in 1972, which led to his visualising the Earth in a “locked” orbit around Saturn – i.e., same face always towards the primary – at a time (within human memory) when Saturn was without its rings and Earth without its Moon”.[ref]Tresman, Harold & B. O’Gheoghan (1977), “The Primordial Light,” SIS. Review Vol II No 2 (December), 35-40. Online at Harold Tresman’s Web site[/ref]

Lynn E. Rose describes his model thus:

“The ‘modified-Philolaos’ model is easy to summarise: Earth once orbited Saturn, always keeping the same face toward Saturn, which thus appeared stationary to any observers in that hemisphere, with Eden/Aden as the sub- Saturnian point. The Moon and other bodies may also have orbited Saturn but were probably farther out than the orbit of Earth. Saturn itself would have orbited the Sun. Saturn, much larger then than now, would have functioned as a Sun of Night. Not only would it have reflected sunlight but also it would have emitted light of its own. Both the rotation and the revolution of Earth were left-handed, so that the Sun, the Moon (if it was there) and any planets that were there all rose in the west and set in the east. ..”[ref]Lynn E. Rose, “Siriusand Saturn”, SIS Chronology & Catastrophism Review 2000:1 “Proceedings of the SIS Silver Jubilee Event”[/ref]

Barbell model

Dwardu Cardona recalls that:

“.. in January of 1980, the electrical engineer and mathematical statistician, Chris Sherrerd, sent a most surprising letter to Kronos .. “The Plausibility of the Polar Saturn”[ref]C. Sherrerd, “The Plausibility of the Polar Saturn” (unpublished)[/ref] .. stating that such a planetary system was “not only plausible but likely.” He considered that a linear configuration, with Jupiter and Saturn at one end and Earth in the middle, “is a feasible and stable arrangement according to well-know principles of modern physics.”[ref]Dwardu Caronda, God Star, 2006, Trafford Publishing, ISBN 1-4120-8308-7. Page 410[/ref]

Cardona continues:

Robert Discoll, a physicist from Caltech .. it is the Saturn-Jupiter barbell formation that he saw fit to analyze through a series of mathematical-physical equations.[ref]R. Driscoll, “The Saturn Myth: A Tentative Physical Model”, Aeon I:4 (Jul 1988)[/ref] .. According to Driscoll, the Saturnian system came into being within the Solar System itself when an unnamed gaseous super-giant went through nuclear fissioning, thus instigating a series of minor calamities resulting .. in Earth being captured between Jupiter and Saturn.”[ref]Cardonda, ibid., Page 411[/ref]


Roger Ashton writes:

“.. writers as David N. Talbott, Dwardu Cardona and others have produced several divergent versions of planetarily reconstructed myth in which Saturn is situated at the Earth’s north celestial pole. The latter seems quite preposterously at odds with gravitation, which would not allow Saturn and the rotational pole of Earth to remain immobile with respect to each other.”[ref]Roger Ashton, “The Unworkable Polar Saturn”, Aeon I:3 (1988). See also Roger Ashton, “The Bedrock of Myth” (unpublished). Online at[/ref]

Rose has criticised the co-linear model:

“Other Saturn theories have Earth’s north rotational pole pointed at Mars, with Venus, Saturn and Jupiter lined up directly behind Mars. Several variants of this have been proposed over the years, notably by Frederic Jueneman, David Talbott, Dwardu Cardona and Ev Cochrane, the last two of whom will be speaking tomorrow, as will Wal Thornhill who, along with Robert Driscoll, Emilio Spedicato and Robert Grubaugh, have given support to the theory from the technical side. Nonetheless, I have several criticisms of this kind of Saturn theory. The key issues for me are nomenclature, stability, myth, and transference. ..”

“I regret to say that there is a similar behaviour in the field of Saturnian studies. ‘The Saturn Theory’ becomes whatever their theory is and it excludes me. Even words like ‘polar’ and ‘axial’ are co-opted, as if those words characterise their theory but not mine. Thus the so-called ‘Saturn theory’ to this day does not have a name I can accept. My own ‘modified-Philolaos’ theory is a ‘stationary-Saturn’ theory and a ‘pole’ theory and a ‘World- Mountain’ theory and an ‘Axis- Mundi’ theory, so I cannot accept any names for the ‘Saturn Theory’ that utilise such words as those. Some have called it ‘the abacus theory’, which I could accept, but that has not caught on. I once suggested the name ‘northernism’,[ref]Lynn E. Rose, “On Saturn At the North Pole”, Aeon I:6 (1988)[/ref] since Earth’s north pole points at Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter but that has not caught on either 9. I would now like to propose the name ‘god-kebob’ for this overcrowded column of deities but the defenders of the theory probably won’t like that any more than ‘northernism'”[ref]Ibid. rose 2000[/ref]

Victor Slabinski, an astronomer in the Astrodynamics section at INTELSAT in Washington, D.C., who works on the orbital mechanics of geostationary communications satellites, criticised Robert Grubaugh’s polar configuration (PC) model and concluded that his:

“.. paper gives insufficient mathematical analysis; .. our results here show that Grubaugh’s PC is untenable”[ref]Victor J. Slabinski, “A Dynamical Objection to Grubaugh’s Model”, Aeon III:6 (Dec 1994). See also “Grubaugh Responds” by Bob Grubaugh, and “Letters To The Editor” in the same issue[/ref]

On Spedicato’s model, Cardona notes that:

“.. the results from the equations involved did not confirm the required sustained dynamical stability of the model.[ref] On the contrary, it was found that the stability of such an axially aligned system would be lost “rather fast, with its maximum duration corresponding to only about 3 months, when its “expected stability should extend at least over several thousand years”[ref]

Selected bibliography

  • Immanuel Velikovsky, “Saturn and the Flood”, In the Beginning, (unpublished) at the Velikovsky Archive.
  • Ev Cochrane, “The Saturn Myth” online at
  • Dwardu Cardona, “The Road to Saturn“, Aeon vol.0103, online at Aeon Journal
  • Tresman, Harold & B. O’Gheoghan (1977), “The Primordial Light” SIS. Review Vol II No 2 (December), 35-40. Online at Harold Tresman’s Web site
  • Alfred de Grazia and Earl R. Milton, “Ch.14: The Golden Age and Nova of Super Saturn“, Solaria Binaria: Origins and History of the Solar System, 1984 Metron Publications, ISBN 0940268-04-3. Online at the Grazian Archive.