Kolob has been the fascination of Mormons ever since the Prophet Joseph Smith presented to the world the lost teachings of Abraham concerning the stars and our place among them. The Egyptian papyri that had come into the prophet’s possession during the Kirtland era was slowly revealed to the saints, unfolding a gripping drama concerning the materiality of the gods and the heavens. The stirred imagination of the saints was manifest in a poem by William W. Phelps, published in 1842 in the Times and Seasons, which started by asking:
If you could hie to Kolob in the twinkling of an eye, And then continue onward with that same speed to fly, Do you think that you could ever, through all eternity, Find out the generation where Gods began to be?
The question is a rhetorical one. Consider the context: Kolob is firstly assumed to be an actual place in space and time, and its distance from the earth is presupposed to be immense so that the transference from here to there in ‘the twinkling of an eye’ results in an unfathomable speed (several light years per second, we could surmise), which speed is then maintained for an unfathomable amount of time (‘all eternity’). The product of these unmeasurable factors places the reader at a place and time beyond the ability for man to define. Here the poet stops and asks whether the first God of all Gods has been discovered, a question that can only be rhetorical given the inability for man to comprehend, much less compute, the distances and times involved. Phelp’s verses are meant to shock the mind of the reader into realizing that there is no beginning and there will be no end, that the Gods and their works continue forever. As the poem later states:
The works of God continue, and worlds and lives abound; Improvement and progression have one eternal round. There is no end to matter; there is no end to space; There is no end to spirit; there is no end to race.
This was in keeping, of course, with Joseph Smith’s own teachings and revelations on the matter. In bringing materialism to the expanding theology of the restoration, the prophet set the minds of the saints on a cosmological hunt within a concrete universe visible to them just as it was to ancient astronomers like Abraham. As Phelps had demonstrated in verse, though the heavens were infinite and time unending, there is a grand first clue in this hunt, there is a measurable celestial geography once revealed to man: a planet called Kolob.
Some have assumed that Kolob’s identity or existence was intended to be a matter of faith only, meaning that man was not intended or capable of discovering it, that it was either purely symbolic or too distant to be recognized. This logic, however, denies Abraham who, according to the scriptural record, “saw the stars” (Abr. 3:2) and whose observations the Lord endorsed, saying to him, “behold thine eyes see it” (Ibid. v. 6). Furthermore, these verses join with a host of other ancient voices to not only confirm that Kolob exists, but that it is easily identifiable in the night sky to all who would seek it. This essay proposes that Kolob is the planet/star Sirius B, the smaller companion of the binary system known as Sirius.
The Father of the Gods
To understand why it is that Sirius is Kolob, we must start with a better understanding one of the most recognizable constellations of the night sky: Orion. Throughout history this constellation has been overwhelmingly imagined as a person by various cultures throughout earth’s history (this as opposed to an object or an animal). Different cultures have personified him in different ways. The following table summarizes a few of these to illustrate the point:
|Culture/nation||Constellation Name||Significance of Person|
|Greek||Orion||Legendary hunter, chasing the seven Pleiades sisters|
|Wiradjuri||Baiame||A man chasing the seven Mulayndynang sisters|
|Hittite||Aqhat||A famous mythical hunter|
|Sumerian||Gilgamesh||Great king of mythological grandeur|
|Babylonian||MULSIPA.ZI.AN.NA||“The heavenly shepherd,” chief god of the heavenly realms|
|Egyptian||Sah/Osiris||The father of the gods/resurrected man|
Our interest lies in the understanding held by those who were taught astronomy by Abraham himself, namely the Egyptians (see Abr. 3:15). To them the constellation Orion was a figure associated with Osiris and who was considered to be the father of the gods. This Osirian deity represented, in Egyptian terms, the sum of Joseph Smith’s teachings on human deification inasmuch as he was (A) the destined form of the Pharaohs in their afterlife journey, and (B) able to engender additional beings who in turn became gods as well (see footnote 1). According to the fullness of the plan of salvation taught by Joseph Smith (relevant details of which are presented in my blog post “The Parable of the Talents”), those given the Melchizedek Priesthood and sealed to a wife for time and eternity are the teleological equivalent of the Egyptian Pharaoh and have the potential to become as God now is, the creator of additional gods. This is aptly expressed in the King James English calque Lord God, which comes from the Hebrew name title יהוה אלוהים (Jehovah Elohim), literally “The Creator [of] the Gods,” the very description given Sah, or Orion, in the Old Kingdom pyramid texts.
The function of Osiris, or Sah, was to represent or symbolize God’s status as a resurrected, exalted man. Every Pharaoh was to proceed through the afterlife until his undying name and breath was united to this final Osirian form. This is no less than the doctrine of the resurrection taught and embodied by the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus in uniting with Osiris the deceased was depicted as having obtained a glorious resurrection, equipped with godlike generative powers. This understanding, combined with the fact that Egyptians utilized names as titles, powerfully enlarges our understanding of Joseph Smith’s mysterious designation of figure 8 of facsimile 2—also known as the hypocephalus—in the Book of Abraham:
Figure 8 was dictated by the prophet Joseph Smith, and reads: “Contains writings that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God” (the corresponding portion of the hypocephalus is highlighted in the illustration above). The hieroglyphs read (from right to left in the hypocephalus; reordered from left to right below):
|“Grant life [to] the Ba of Osiris Sheshonq”|
A few key items must be understood before we can put this mysterious phrase in its proper context within the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
- The type of “life” here specified by the ankh is a kind of health pertaining to physical bodies, those possessing navels, bones, and sinews (the ankh itself possibly having roots in the imagery of a tied umbilical cord, which was used as the token of a blessing of health);
- The Ba was the hieroglyphic symbol for a person’s spirit, the combination of a human head and a bird’s body;
- Osiris’ name is here used as a title, indicating that the object of the pronouncement is to be considered in the state of body personified by Osiris (exalted, and resurrected).
- Sheshonq (others render the name as Shosheng since Egyptian writing lacks vowels) is the name of the person for whom the hypocephalus was originally created before being removed from beneath the mummy’s head and eventually being purchased by Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio. This name could be replaced with the name of any initiate receiving this blessing.
All together, the pronouncement’s sacred meaning as Joseph Smith likely would have seen it is: “Grant that the spirit of [initiate name] may attain to the bodily resurrection of the just, even as Osiris who has life in himself and is the Father of all living.” That this meaning could only be had in the temple was Joseph Smith’s way of alluding to the doctrine of eternal lives and the doctrine of man’s potential to become as God, which teachings were yet—as of the time of the publishing of the hypocephalus in 1842—”sealed” mysteries (see my blogpost The Parable of the Talents for more on the “un-sealing” of mysteries).
This is all to say that from the perspective of the Egyptians, whose knowledge of the heavens according to the scriptures came from the prophet Abraham, the constellation Orion represented the father of the Gods, a resurrected and glorified man. That God himself recognized this connection may be intimated in the very text of the Bible.
I Am Asar, I Am
My blog post, Asherah: Heavenly Mother, deals with the subject of the priestess-queen companion of God the Father, whom Mormons refer to as Heavenly Mother, and how that her ancient titles or names included אשרה (Asherah) and אלה (‘Elah). The latter of those names bears an obvious linguistic connection to the Hebrew word for God, אל(‘El), as a masculine corollary; but there is also a masculine corollary to the name אשרה (Asherah) that also denotes God the Father, namely, אשר (Asher).
Hebrew words, like Egyptian words, lack vowels (with some limited exceptions) and thus two relevant issues arise: (1) their pronunciation is often times solely a product of tradition, their original phonetic nuances being lost to time; and (2) words with different meanings that may have once had different pronunciations in an ancient text are distinguished only by the choice of a future translator. With this in mind, we find that the Hebrew word אשר (Asher) could be either a proper name meaning “blessed” or a relative pronoun (e.g. who, that, which, etc.)—the decision on which version of the word to use when translating an ancient text can only be an educated guess at best by more modern editors.
Let us consider a number of passages where the choice between the two would result in a vastly different reading of the Bible, especially given that אשר (Asher) could be an epithet for God, the male corollary of the Heavenly Mother, אשרה (Asherah):
|Scripture||Hebrew||אשר as a relative pronoun||אשר as a proper name|
|Exodus 20:2||אנכי יהוה אלהיך אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים||I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt||I, the Lord your God, Asher, have brought thee out of the land of Egypt|
|Psalm 84:5||אשרי אדם עוז לו בך||Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee||Ashrey,* those who dwell in your house will ever praise you|
|Genesis 5:5||ויהיו כל ימי אדם אשר חי תשע מאות שנה ושלשים שנה||And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years||All the days of the man, Asher, were nine hundred and thirty years|
|Exodus 3:14||ויאמר אלהים אל משה אהיה אשר אהיה||And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM||And God said unto Moses, I am Asher, I am|
Some verses make use of אשר (Asher) as an obvious relative pronoun, but others allow for this interesting ambiguity as presented in the verses in the table above. What adds to the intrigue of אשר (Asher) as an epithet of God is its connection to similar epithets employed by Israel’s ancient neighbors: the head of the Assyrian pantheon in Mesopotamian religion was called Aššur (in fact, the civilization borrowed their name—Assyria—from this head god). As far as modern linguistics can discover, the pronunciation of this god’s name was even the same as the Hebrew אשר (Asher) and is usually transliterated as Ashur.
Among Ashur‘s epithets is ab ilâni (“father of gods”), just as with Sah/Osiris. Interestingly he is often depicted in ancient Assyrian imagery as a man in the sky with a bow in his left hand and his right arm raised above his head, the exact same body position ascribed by the ancients to the figure in the Orion constellation (although he may hold in his left hand a scepter, sword, or club). That the Assyrian Ashur is the same as the Egyptian Osiris is made abundantly clear through other similarities: not only are their cult objects and myths extremely similar, but the Egyptian’s own name for Osiris is speculated by modern Egyptologists to have been wsjr (Asar), “Osiris” being a later Greek transliteration.
In the ancient world then, Ashur/Asar/Asher was the name for the Most High (we will just use Asar for all three for reference’s sake). It is not a far stretch then to see the same name used and referred to by God himself when establishing a knowledge of his identity among the Hebrews. This knowledge powerfully enlarges our understanding of God’s mysterious response to Moses when he first delivered the charge to free Israel from their bondage to the Egyptians. At the time of their bondage, the Hebrews would have been familiar with if not forced to learn the religious customs of their overlords (perhaps an impetus for their exodus); a knowledge of the Egyptian head god of wsjr (Asar) may have been common enough for the Lord to leverage that understanding when identifying himself through Moses. If we translate אשר (Asher) as a proper name, we come up with the following interaction between Moses and God in the Bible:
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I am Asar, I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I have been sent to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation” (Ex. 3:13 – 15, NIV, changes in bold).
In other words, God was not giving Moses a mystical formula to parrot back to his inquirers (there is no end to the debate of the meaning of “I AM that I AM” as produced by the King James translators), but he was simply answering Moses’ question: who should I tell the Israelites you are since they’ve been cultural Egyptians for so long? The answer: tell them I’m the father of the gods, tell them I am Asar. Moses first lesson to the Hebrews coming out of captivity may have been the true identity of the constellation Orion as the constellation of the Father.
The Throne of Jawza’
Most star names used to this day are the heritage of Arab astronomers working in the 1st millennium A.D. Their records encode for modern students of astronomy a carefully preserved knowledge of long forgotten constellations. Often, the names they used identified the stars as individual features of interconnected major constellations and minor constellations (called asterisms), many of which have since passed from knowledge or have been replaced by the constellations of other civilizations.
Ancient Arab astronomers called the constellation of Orion by the name of جوزاء (Jawza‘ “the Central One”). (The etymological branches spanning from Jehovah to Sah are too tempting not to see.) In fact, the name of Betelgeuse, the star forming Orion’s right shoulder, is only so named due to a scribal error when someone incorrectly changed the initial letter to the Arabic bilabial fricative (the sounds of the letter “b”), changing يد الجوزاء (yad al-jawza’ “Hand of the Central One”) to إبط الجوزاء (‘iibt al-jawza’ “Armpit of the Central One,” which when said quickly sounds like bital-jawz, or Betelgeuse). Interestingly adding a “b” sound to the beginning of a word seems to be a repeating error in the scribal transmission of sacred writ. Joseph Smith said concerning the Bible:
“I will make a comment on the very first sentence of the history of the creation in the Bible—בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית (bə·rê·šîṯ). I want to analyze the word:
· בְּ (bə): in, by, through, and everything else.
· רֵא (rê): the head.
· שִׁ֖ית (šîṯ): grammatical termination.
“When the inspired man wrote it, he did not put the בְּ (bə) there [the Hebrew letter “B”]. An old Jew without any authority added the word; he thought it too bad to begin to talk about the head! It read first, ‘The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods.’ That is the true meaning of the words.”
What Joseph Smith here meant was that the initial bilabial fricative in Genesis 1:1 was also a scribal error, changing the meaning of the verse from “The head of the gods…” to “In the beginning, the gods…”. When we correct this error by removing this first, added letter from the Bible, we find that the very first verse identifies the God of Heaven as the very same being symbolized in the night sky by the Egyptians and the Assyrians, the ‘head one of the Gods’ or ‘father of the gods,’ even Asar.
Scribal errors through the vast years of time have not only resulted in changes to the names of stars, but also to entire constellations themselves. This is an extremely important note to this journey, for we cannot locate Kolob without a better understanding of the ancient sky, or the sky as the ancients understood it. At some point in the past, when the constellation of the Father became جوزاء (Jawza‘)—and when جوزاء (Jawza‘) became Orion—details of associated asterisms were also lost. Eventually جوزاء (Jawza‘) was entirely transplanted to another constellation, and in that process other features were forgotten:
“In time, the Arab figure of Jawza’ was displaced by the Greek figure of Orion, received by the Arabs as the Giant, al-Jabar. In this transition…Jawza’ lost her long locks of hair and her footstools, and she wound up with a smaller bow, placed in the opposite hand. Although Jawza’ as a name for the whole complex of stars has passed away, many of her individual star names did survive through modern times.”
It is the forgotten asterism of the ‘footstools’ of جوزاء (Jawza‘) to which we now turn our attention. A surviving tradition of the Arab star names reveals that جوزاء (Jawza‘) once also had a throne:
Part of the Greek constellation Lepus, the rabbit, is a quadrilateral asterism known as “the Throne of Jawza’” (highlighted in the illustration above). If a modern observer was armed only with a current star chart, the reason for the naming of this asterism would allude him completely; however, given the above information regarding Orion’s more ancient identity, the ‘Central One—the Father—comes into focus and the location of his throne begins to make sense.
A Standing Observation
Here we must entertain two questions: could Abraham have known of this asterism (perhaps calling it the throne of Asar)? And could the Lord have utilized constellations in his instructions to Abraham? To answer these questions we will look first to the word of the Lord to Abraham:
“I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it” (Abr. 3:2, emphasis added).
Here Abraham is describing the night sky without specific mention of any supernatural means. Although the first verse does mention the Urim and Thummim, later verses appear to indicate that God was merely “saying” things to Abraham through that device; in fact, it is not until verses 11 and 12 that Abraham begins to describe an ecstatic vision, and that is specifically stated as being the result of the Lord placing his hand over Abraham’s eyes during a face-to-face encounter. Previous to this, Abraham appears to describe the sky only as he could observe it naturally while the Lord dictates to him details regarding his observations. Within this context, Abraham’s own description of “the throne of God” may be a reference to the asterism described above as opposed to seeing a literal throne suspended somewhere in outer space. To Abraham, Orion was the constellation of the Father, אשר (Asar), and just below his feet was his throne.
Abraham notes that many of the stars were ‘great,’ which would imply that others were not. If we assume Abraham was seeing a supernatural vision of the stars in an out-of-body tour of the galaxy, we may be tempted to ascribe a quality to this adjective that is outside the reach of non-visionaries for grasping or describing—some stars were simply “great” and we leave it at that; then again, if we consider that Abraham was merely making observations from an earthly perspective (a fact the Lord seems to emphasize in his description of Abraham’s vantage point, the surface of the earth “upon which thou standest” [see vv. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9]) then this quality of relative greatness can only be the observable apparent magnitude, or visible brightness, of the stars as seen at night.
This then provides most of the physical clues needed to discover the location of Kolob in our night sky, for Abraham says that near the “Throne of God” ‘were many of the great ones.’ In terms of apparent magnitude, 5 of the top 10 brightest stars in the sky as seen from the earth (excepting the sun) are within roughly 35 degrees of the Throne of Jawza’ asterism:
|Magnitude Rank||Modern Star Name|
Indeed, it could be factually stated that in the night sky, many of the greatest stars are near the Throne of God; therefore, if the Lord were to own the Orion constellation as a representation of himself, then many of the great ones are near to him as well. This is what he tells Abraham next:
“And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest” (Abr. 3:3, emphasis added).
Perhaps foreshadowing his words to Moses hundreds of years later, God tells Abraham that certain stars are near him for ‘I am’ God—’I am אשר (Asar), I am’—in other words, God is saying that he identifies himself with the constellation of ‘the Central One’ having intentionally designed his sign in the night sky, as well as his throne. In validation of this point he confirms that ‘the great one’—a star whose apparent magnitude is superlative—is near his constellation. Indeed, Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky by a factor of two (rightly the ‘great one’), is actually near the Father and his throne:
the Fifteen: Three and Twelve
Joseph Smith’s explanation of the fifth figure of the hypocephalus makes mention of “fifteen…fixed…stars” that are governed by a common interstellar medium or power by which the stars are apparently powered or fueled in terms of light or energy.
The designation by Abraham, apparently, of ‘fixed’ stars is consistent with antiquated descriptions of the night sky. Fixed stars were considered such as opposed to “moving” stars. Dedicated astronomers, such as Abraham, noted how that over the course of time most stars did not move relative to one another whereas a few, certain stars did. These moving stars are known today as the planets of our local solar system. When tracked over time they appear to slowly move across a background of fixed stars.
Among these fixed stars (i.e., not the planets) Abraham designates that there were 15 governing ones linked to this local solar system (according to figure 5, highlighted above). Most Mormons are aware of Kolob given its prominence within the Book of Abraham text itself; but few are aware that Joseph Smith in the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio, compiled a list containing all the names of the 15 governing fixed stars. Even more surprising is the fact that Kolob is not the top star in that list. The entry in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers states:
“Oliblish, Enish-go-on-dosh, and Kae-e-vanrash…govern the fifteen fixed stars (twelve besides [these three?]) that govern the earth, sun, and moon…. [They] are the three grand central powers that govern all the other creations, which powers have been sought out by the most aged of all the fathers, since the beginning of the creation, by means of the Urim and Thummim.”
The entry then gives the names of the fixed stars (in the order preserved in the table below). There are some indecipherable elements within the entry that make it difficult to understand what the total list of 15 fixed stars is, but it is the opinion of the author that the ‘three grand central’ fixed stars are together the head of the fifteen while Kolob is the head of the remaining twelve:
|Number||Fixed, Governing Star/Power|
The explanations provided for the hypocephalus in regards to the relationship between Oliblish and Kolob can now be clarified:
The assumption is often that Kolob is superior to Oliblish, and this due to Kolob’s being described in the first figure as “the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God” (Abr. Fac. 2 Fig. 1) and Oliblish’s being described in the second figure as ‘next to Kolob.’ The 1828 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, however, defines the word next, as used in Joseph Smith’s day, as meaning: “Nearest in degree, quality, rank, right or relation; as, one man is next to another in excellence; one is next in kindred; one is next in rank or dignity.” The fact that next could thus be defined in any direction—toward or away from a given degree—combines with the list of 15 fixed stars to finally establish that Oliblish is in fact superior to Kolob.
The Bosom of the Father
This fact is important as it may provide a clue to the whereabouts of Oliblish, Enosh-go-on-dosh, and Kae-e-vanrash, or the ‘three grand central powers.’ As we have seen above, the constellation and accompanying asterisms of Orion were used by God when teaching Abraham about Kolob’s whereabouts and in turn his own whereabouts:
“And the Lord said unto me:…Kolob…is near unto me…. [And it is] set nigh unto the throne of God….
“Oliblish…is the next grand governing creation near to the celestial or the place where God resides” (Abr. 3:3; Fac. 2 Fig. 2; emphasis added).
Now that we understand that Oliblish is a degree higher relative to Kolob (despite both spheres reckoning their time according to God’s time [see Abr. Fac. 2 Fig. 4]), we can reason, per the above passages, that Oliblish can be located in the night sky using two conditions:
- Oliblish must be closer to God (or the constellation that represents him) than Kolob, and
- Oliblish must be one star of an asterism of three (being part of the ‘three grand central powers’).
This leads us to one excellent candidate and perhaps the only viable candidate in our journey thus far. Orion’s Belt is an asterism of three stars located not only closer than Kolob to God but in the very bosom of the Father’s constellation itself:
This fascinating region of space is home to a myriad of beautiful stars, foremost among them being the “Three Kings”—النطاق (Alnitak “The Girdle”), النّظم (Alnilam “The String of Pearls”), and المنطقة (Mintaka “Belt”)—and two majestic nebula (the Flame and Horsehead). It should be remembered that among the ‘great ones’ that Abraham observed, Kolob is ‘the great one’—the brightest star in the night sky—so we should not expect the ‘three grand central powers’ to necessarily appear brighter from the vantage point of the earth; therefore in terms of magnitude—as well as location and grouping—there is yet no better candidate in this analysis for Oliblish and his two companions.
Enoch is a figure of the distant past known by several ancient cultures and civilizations, usually in a deific manner (consistent with the Book of Moses passages where he is not only brought to heaven to view the earth from above but also in his having escaped the earth in company with his city, from which escape he is anticipated to someday return [see also Heb. 11:5]). The following table gives a summary of some of these names:
|Hebrew||חנוך/מטטרון (Metatron/Enoch)||“One who serves behind the throne” / Adam’s scribe (see D&C 107:53, 56 – 57)|
|Egyptian||(ḏḥwtj, “Thoth”)||Scribe of the gods, teacher of writing and astronomy|
|Greek||Ἑρμῆς ὁ Τρισμέγιστος (Hermes Trismagistus, “Hermes Thrice Great”)||Greatest priest, philosopher, and king; renowned scribe and astrologer|
|Islam||إدريس (Idris)||First man to teach the written word and astronomy|
|Arab||سريد بن سلحوق (Sūrīd Ibn Salhouk, “Surid”)||Antediluvian king, visionary of the flood, preserver of the written word|
Certain ancient texts are said to have come to us through these aliases of Enoch, such as the Tabula Smaragdina (the Emerald Tablet), the Liber Hermetis (astrological), the Book of the Secrets of the Stars, etc. Among these writings is the Behenii, which includes the Behenian Fixed Stars list. First published in the west by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa in the year 1531, the list is notable not only in that the knowledge is said to have come through Enoch but also in that it is a list of 15 fixed stars (in other words, unmoving stars as opposed to planets, as discussed above). The listing includes the following stars (modern star names provided):
|Modern Name||Agrippa’s Name|
|Alkaid||Tail of the Great Bear|
|Deneb Algedi||Cauda capricorni|
What’s most significant about this listing is that it is limited to 15 significant stars, just as the list provided through Joseph Smith from the Egyptian translation work papers. Unfortunately a star-for-star comparison of Joseph Smith’s list and the Behenian Fixed Stars list cannot be made without knowing the interpretation of the Egyptian names provided by the prophet or the ordering utilized by either list.
What can be taken from the existence of these two documents is the fact that a list of important, fixed stars was kept and passed down from Enoch, through Abraham, to the Egyptians, and eventually through to medieval Europe. Whatever changes or alterations possibly occurred to the list through the intervening years, the brightest star of the night sky—Sirius—retained a position within it, translated from the Egyptian by Joseph Smith as Kolob.
Imitating the Order of the Fathers
Sirius was symbolic to the Egyptians for many reasons. One of them concerned the alignment of their temples, which was set to point toward the heliacal rising of Sirius as that date coincided with the annual flooding of the Nile, a time of rebirth in the Egyptian ecosystem. Inasmuch as Abraham lived roughly 250 years after the flood of Noah, and inasmuch as he was commanded by God to teach the principles of true astronomy to the Egyptians (see Abr. 3:15), it may be tempting to think that the Egyptian infatuation with Sirius did not have its beginning until Abraham declared to them the significance of Kolob.
Yet there are other celestial alignments to note that predate the establishment of the post-flood Egyptians and their temple building activities; Abraham noted that the Egyptians sought “earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign” (Abr. 1:26), which imitation may have included architectural intention. In other words, the early Pharaohs may have patterned and built their kingdom upon the ruins of a former. To explore this idea further, we must look to the most ancient structures associated with Egypt and uncover their true builder.
Many Arab historians attribute the building of the pyramids of Egypt not to the Pharaoh Khufu but to an earlier king named Surid. If that name sounds familiar, it is because Surid is one of Enoch’s aliases discussed above. These historians insist thereby that the three great pyramids are structures from before Noah’s flood. This claim is not without foundation as the three great pyramids themselves are not very Egyptian—surprisingly devoid of hieroglyphics, which Egyptians tended to apply to all open surfaces, and appearing to not have been built as sarcophagi or tombs. In fact, the historian to whom all other western historians have deferred in regards to the lore that Khufu built the three great pyramids was Herodotus, whose sources were admittedly shaky and in his day already 2,000 years too late. This shakiness has caused confusion to reign ever since. The only piece of writing that has been used to positively identify the builder of the Great Pyramid as Khufu is a spot of graffiti of his hieroglyphic cartouche in a secret place above the King’s Chamber.
The history of Egyptology has in the past been a case of king of the hill among a circus of ego maniacs; the first person to make a discovery was often highly regarded and handsomely rewarded and, until the discoverer’s death, countering opinion was impossible to sustain. This was no exception in 1837 when Major General Howard Vyse finally succeeded in blasting his way above the King’s Chamber using dynamite to finally confirm Herodotus’ ancient lore. But controversy has followed this claim for many years with some scholars suggesting that Vyse added all of the graffiti discovered there himself as he was under pressure to make a great discovery.
In support of the assertion that Vyse’s discovery was fraudulent is the newly confirmed results of radiocarbon dating. Of course one cannot radiocarbon date the stone used to build the pyramid, but wood used during the construction could be. An artifact consisting of a hook and a ball with a shaft of cedar wood that was wedged in one of the ascending air passages sometime during the construction of the pyramids was discovered in 1872 but lost before the advent of radiocarbon dating. Amazingly the artifact was rediscovered in a university in Scotland and submitted for dating 152 years later (in 2020). The result has created quite a stir:
“Results have recently been returned and show that the wood can be dated to somewhere in the period 3341 – 3094BC—some 500 years earlier than historical records which date the Great Pyramid to the reign of the Pharaoh Khufu in 2580 – 2560BC.”
Hardcore adherents to Herodotus’ shaky claims and Vyse’s suspect discoveries must now argue that the reason such old wood was found within the pyramid was not that the pyramids are older than previously thought but because the Egyptians were using 500-year-old wood in their tools. If we dismiss that idea as it fails Occam’s Razor, then the new timeline established by the cedar fragments actually aligns with the claims of the Arab historians who said that king Surid built the pyramids, for Enoch is estimated to have been on the earth from 3377 – 2947BC. Again, to quote the findings, the cedar wood was dated to 3341 – 3094BC, a window that could not be considered a more perfect match with Enoch’s lifetime in the science of radiocarbon dating.
If Enoch then was the builder of the mysterious three great pyramids, what bearing does it have on our journey of discovering Kolob? Remember that Joseph Smith wrote that the three powers—Oliblish, Kae-e-vanrash, and Enosh-go-on-dosh—were ‘sought out by the most aged of all the fathers, since the beginning of the creation.’ Surely as one of the aged fathers, Enoch had probably sought out and discovered by revelation the ‘three grand central powers’ nearest to the place where God dwells. In designing the pyramids, did he include this knowledge for future generations? If Enoch was their builder, then the correlation of their size and placement to the asterism of Orion’s Belt in the bosom of the Father’s constellation cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence. Confirming these three powers further establishes the neighboring Sirius as Kolob, for it is near to them and yet the brightest of all.
Greatness in Motion
All of these findings bring Kolob, the governing powers, and the place where God himself dwells much nearer to our corner of the cosmos than we have been apt to imagine. Apologists may balk at this development, but it must be remembered that it was Joseph Smith who discovered—as Abraham had—that God had a father and thus the heavens belonged to many gods and represent many kingdoms (see footnote 1). As a part of God’s original dictations to Abraham during his observations of the night sky, the Lord tells Abraham that he is given “to know the set time of all the stars that are set to give light” (Abr. 3:10). Understanding the true nature of the ‘set time’ concept is crucial in solidifying Sirius as Kolob and opens the mind to greater kingdoms within view.
Some Mormon apologists, perhaps unable to decode any literalism from Joseph Smith’s translations, have attempted to describe Abraham’s observations in terms of either an archaic yet literal geocentric model or a purely symbolic geocentric model. These models, though perhaps well intentioned, do not give Abraham or Joseph Smith enough credit as an astronomer or translator, respectively.
The relevant passages needed to resolve these faulty descriptions include the following:
“And the Lord said unto me:…I have set [Kolob] to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. And the Lord said unto me, by the Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord’s time, according to the reckoning of Kolob.
“And the Lord said unto me: The planet which is the lesser light, lesser than that which is to rule the day, even the night, is above or greater than that upon which thou standest in point of reckoning, for it moveth in order more slow; this is in order because it standeth above the earth upon which thou standest, therefore the reckoning of its time is not so many as to its number of days, and of months, and of years.
“And the Lord said unto me: Now, Abraham, these two facts exist, behold thine eyes see it; it is given unto thee to know the times of reckoning, and the set time, yea, the set time of the earth upon which thou standest, and the set time of the greater light which is set to rule the day, and the set time of the lesser light which is set to rule the night. Now the set time of the lesser light is a longer time as to its reckoning than the reckoning of the time of the earth upon which thou standest.
“And where these two facts exist, there shall be another fact above them, that is, there shall be another planet whose reckoning of time shall be longer still; and thus there shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come nigh unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same border as that upon which thou standest….
“Now, if there be two things, one above the other, and the moon be above the earth, then it may be that a planet or a star may exist above it” (Abr. 3:3 – 9, 17; emphasis added).
The conclusion by those who advocate for a geocentric model of Abraham’s observations assign to the pole star, Polaris, the identity of Kolob inasmuch as it appears to not move (i.e. moves the slowest of all) from the perspective of an observer in the northern hemisphere. To justify this they reason that Kolob’s 1,000-year day must be an idiom for an immeasurable or infinite length of time. It is then reasoned that the stars whose path are nearer the celestial equator are lesser than Kolob as their movement appears swifter. Stars nearer to Polaris, which have longer lengths of time above the horizon (circumpolar, “undying” stars), are then considered to be greater as the length of their “day” (again, between rising and setting) is longer than the others.
This theory, however, breaks down in several places upon greater scrutiny. If the greatness of a star is a factor of how quickly it moves through the sky, then if an observer were to leave the confines of the earth, or if the earth’s rotational axis were to be altered in any way, the observed order would completely change and the star that would then be considered greatest for its slowness of procession through the sky would also change (or if adrift in space with no constant movement relative to the stars, none would be greatest as none would move!). Additionally and on a simpler level, should an observer merely migrate more northward on the planet, the stars whose greatness depended on the ‘number of its days’ being longer as they dip below the horizon for shorter periods of time would increase until, reaching the pole of earth’s axis, all stars would appear to never set but merely circle the zenith.
Music of the Spheres
Theories that promote Polaris as Kolob suffer from these flaws and assume Abraham’s celestial knowledge was limited to that of a person who believes the earth is flat. Not only was Abraham well aware of the spherical nature of the earth, but he extended that same conceptual understanding to the stars: ‘Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof.’ This is a key phrase in understanding what is repeatedly referred to throughout the rest of the Abraham account as ‘reckoning’ and is rooted in the concept of measurements and spherical worlds.
As a spherical world rotates, the inhabitants of that world are enabled to reckon (read: measure) their position in time and space relatively. I have commented on this extensively in a previous blog post, And the Gods Watched. Suffice the following principles to be summarized from that post as follows:
- The most ideal shape in the cosmos for measuring existence by an intelligence in both time and space is the sphere (see D&C 93:30);
- Matter tends to organize into spheres under the influence of a force called gravity, which universally observed phenomena is a result of the eternal, non-euclidian nature of existence (see my blog post, One Eternal, Non-Euclidian Round);
- Being gravitationally forced to exist upon the surface of a sphere, the inhabitants of a given sphere will have a local geography with which to define their position in space (measure distance); and
- The rotation of the sphere will provide the inhabitants with a local reference of time with which to define their position relative to the past and future cycles (measure time).
It is a testament to Joseph Smith’s prowess as a divine translator that he emphasized so much in the hypocephalus explanatory notes (and other Egyptian translation documents) the interconnection between distance and time. For both the Egyptians and the Hebrews, the words for distance and time were anciently synonymous. East could at once refer to the direction of east and the concept of earliness as the sun’s rising is in the east; the Hebrew word עולם (‘ō-w-lām, “everlasting, eternal”; rendered in Abr. 3:18 as gnolaum) is an idiomatic expression that literally means “beyond the horizon.” Abraham discovered in his observations and explanatory revelations that indeed time and space are most efficiently measured (read: reckoned) by intelligences residing on rotating spheres.
This then explains the Lord’s repeated admonition to Abraham that all worlds have a relative standing based on factors including their rotational periods. For instance, when explaining how that the moon stands above the earth in greatness, the Lord states it is greater in reckoning than the earth. His reasons include:
- ‘It moveth in order more slow…’;
- ‘The reckoning of its time is not so many as to its number of days, and of months, and of years…’; and
- ‘The set time…is a longer time as to its reckoning….’
By this we can now definitively comprehend that the Lord’s intended point of reference when speaking of lunar reckoning is not, as a geocentric apologist may assert, from the earth; Abraham’s understanding was sufficiently advanced so as to comprehend that the Lord had reference to reckoning from the surface of the moon.
The above animations show how that the Lord’s explanations to Abraham are literally true: the moon measures fewer days in the time than the earth over any given period. It was given Abraham ‘to see’ this truth from where he stood, and the Lord applied the knowledge of rotating spheres to every world “his hands had made” (Abr. 3:11 – 13), saying that any two could be compared and one would measure its time more slowly than another due to the slowness of its rotation until one comes to Kolob, whose time is after God’s time (which is also the time reckoned by Oliblish according to Abr. Fac. 2 Fig. 2). The following table shows the relative reckonings revealed to Abraham:
|Property||Earth (Lesser)||Moon (Greater)||Kolob (Greatest)|
|Length of Day||≈24 earth hours||≈708 earth hours||≈8,765,820 earth hours|
|Length of Month||≈30 earth days||1 moon day||Unknown|
|Length of Year||≈12 earth months||≈12 moon days||Unknown|
*The rate of travel was determined by taking the orbital speed of the moon (around the earth) and adding it to the orbital speed of the earth.
Abraham’s knowledge extended far beyond flat earth, geocentric models and included numerous facts revealed from observation and revelation. Above all, he obtained a knowledge from the perspective of the builder of the worlds himself, even the Lord. From him an order imperceptible to man was obtained that unlocked the very location of God’s dwelling. He learned that the ordering of the worlds leading to God had nothing to do with size—if we consider the moon—nor apparently with apparent magnitude—if we consider the ‘three grand central powers.’ Why is Kolob the greatest of the twelve fixed stars and why is the moon greater than the earth? Because they reckon longer days in time than the earth (greater in a relative measure).
The Guide Dog
Whence the name Sirius and why? We must address this point as this whole hypothesis rests on the identity of this star. Sirius is a Latin transliteration of the Greek Σείριος (Seirios, “Scorcher”), which was a word anciently used by the Greeks to refer to stars in general. The Greeks formally knew it as Κύων Σείριος (kyōn seirios, “dog star”), which is attested to by the modern star name of Procyon, which in Greek was Πρόκυον (pro kyōn, “before the dog”) as its heliacal rising precedes that of Sirius thus acting as the herald of Sirius. It is also attested to by the term “dog days of summer” as used historically to refer to the weltering peak of summer. This was so called because it was recognized anciently that Sirius’s heliacal setting coincided with the summer solstice—or the start of summer—in the northern hemisphere, and it was believed that the combined heat of the Sun and Sirius in the sky at the same time produced the hottest conditions of the year. Today the star Sirius is recognized in its final Latin form simply as “the star,” which is appropriate given its status as ‘the great,’ the brightest star in the night sky. Yet the historical connection to the dog remains to be riddled out.
The Egyptians were the first to make the connection of a dog to Sirius. Though many connections exist tying the goddess Sopdet to Sirius in a syncretism with Isis, Anubis too was connected to Isis, called “the son of Isis,” and connected with Sirius. Anubis, like Osiris (Asar), was a god of the underworld and featured prominently in the immediate post-death phase of a soul’s journey. Anubis was tasked with taking the soul of the deceased to Osiris and oversaw the weighing of the heart to determine the fate of the individual.
The Greeks understood that Anubis was a sacred dog character and likely inherited their name for Sirius as a calque from the Egyptians (though the Greek κυον [kyōn, “dog”] does pose an interesting etymological lead to Kolob). In his dialogues, Plato has Socrates state things under a sacred oath of truth such as “by the dog,” “by the dog of Egypt,” and “by the dog, the god of the Egyptians.” In Hebrew (and also in almost every major Semetic language, including Akkadian, Phoenician, Ugaritic, Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac, and Ethiopic) the word for dog is כלב (klb). Recall how that Hebrew, like Egyptian, does not include vowels in historic word construction, therefore ancient pronunciation is not knowable. That means that the given combination of consonants may have been pronounced in various ways, including: kalb, kolb, kaleb, kalob, or kolob.
That Kolob would mean something as common as “dog” is not pejorative when one considers that the archetypal characteristics of canines as ascribed by the ancients connect easily to those elements describing Kolob discovered thus far: “acceptance of authority and exhibition of loyalty.” In Kolob we find submission to the authority of Oliblish and the two other ‘grand central powers,’ and we find a loyalty to God in its command to govern this solar system. This governance was recognized by the Egyptians who believed that all the spirits of the justified dead were taken first to Sirius, “the home of departed souls,” and from there the spirit was to be united to Osiris (Asar; again, symbolic of the resurrection).
It may be here asked, if Kolob is represented by ‘the dog of Egypt,’ Anubis, why is it depicted in the hypocephalus as a two headed ram? First of all, it should be noted that there is no contradiction in the alternate depiction of Kolob as either Anubis, Khnum, Sopdet, or Isis, etc., as Egyptians leveraged the principle of deific syncretism to enhance the power of their sacred symbolism. As for the specific depiction of Kolob as a two-headed ram, many reasons could be brought forth; but for the sake of the focus of this essay—connection between Sirius and Kolob—only four main points will be noted in list form:
- Khnum, the ram-headed deity of the Egyptians, represented the originator of physical things, the creator or sculptor of the ordered world from unordered matter (the “Divine Potter”); Kolob in this sense may have played a role in overseeing the assemblage of the earth from chaos in the beginning.
- The two horns of a ram were emblematic of a totality in terms of space, representing a visual merism of the east and west. Kolob then is considered to be authoritative in his apportioned space.
- The two faces, facing opposite directions, are similar to the horns but emblematic of a totality in terms of time, representing a visual merism of the past and the future. This is reflected too by the Roman god Janus, the god of time, who too was often depicted with two opposite facing heads. (Ianus Bifrons [“Two-faced Janus”] is sometimes depicted with four heads, Ianus Quadrifrons [“Four-faced Janus”], which is reflected in the Egyptian by a four-headed ram in other hypocephali that have been discovered, which is thought to merge the concepts of totality in both space and time.)
- Oliblish, in figure 2, is also depicted with a double ram head, showing the similar nature of its power as another of the governing, fixed stars (with the difference that Oliblish wears a double plumed Amun Crown, in line with his ascendant greatness over Kolob, which crown extends into the outer rim of the hypocephalus, denoting the status of Alpha and Omega in the eternal round).
Glass and Fire
An experienced student of astronomy will here ask, “If Kolob is Sirius, is it A or B?” The context, mentioned at the start of this essay, is that Sirius is a binary system (a star system composed of what appears to be two stars circling one another). This question may seem unanswerable at first, yet there is more information available to us than we may realize. The first clue to this mystery actually takes us back to the African continent, to a primitive people with possible connections to the ancient Egyptians of Abraham’s day: the Dogon tribe.
Despite the fact that Sirius B was not visually seen until the year 1862 by American astronomers, the Dogon people claim a knowledge of the binary stars of Sirius extending millennia into the past.[28b] Among other things, the Dogon people also claim a knowledge of a spiritual realm that has visibility into the physical but not the other way around. Their own lore of how they received this knowledge concerns a visitation by a being from Sirius B who taught their ancestors these things. This is a scenario the restored Gospel provides for:
“The reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, [is] according to the planet on which they reside…. Angels do not reside on a planet like this earth; but they reside…on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord” (D&C 130:4, 6 – 7).
The scripture goes on to state that the earth will one day take on a similar look after it dies and is later resurrected, being made “like unto crystal” (v. 9). Despite this ‘crystal’, ‘sea of glass’ earth then becoming the Celestial Kingdom for inheritors of that highest glory (see D&C 88:19 – 21), those who will inhabit it, the scripture continues, will be given a white stone whereby “things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known” (D&C 130:10). These two principles—namely, (A) that a Celestial world will be composed of something in appearance like diamond (Astronomers have observed exoplanets whose composition is theorized to be so carbon-rich that they are actually “made of diamond”), and (B) that despite being a Celestial world there are kingdoms still greater than it—fit well as a description of the type of world from which the Dogon claim to have at one time received a messenger, Sirius B.
Modern astronomers classify Sirius B as a white dwarf star with a diameter nearly identical to that of earth (see illustration above). Sirius B, however, is 100,000 times dimmer than its host star, Sirius A (whose diameter is only slightly larger than that of the sun), which raises the possibility that perhaps Sirius B is not emanating its own light as a star but, as ‘a globe like a sea of glass and fire,’ merely reflecting and refracting the light of Sirius A. In short, Sirius B has all the observable hallmarks of a Celestial world.
If we could hie to Kolob in the twinkling of an eye, we would travel 50 trillion miles in a fraction of a second. That is because Kolob is 8.6 light years distant from the earth—Kolob today being known by the name Sirius. This connection has required us to take Abraham seriously as a sophisticated astronomer and to take Joseph Smith at his word as a trustworthy translator. In the final review we find a structured heavens with the earth placed in the midst of a circling host whose fixed eyes are ever upon the affairs of this fast-spinning world. In the stars there is a presidency of three central powers and a quorum of twelve governing lights all encoded in a pictorial panorama—the Father, his throne, his loyal dog, and many other constellations not touched upon here—all purposely painted by God. But what do we do with all this information?
William W. Phelps challenged the saints in poetic verse to see whether in all the starry eternities the first god could be discovered. His intent was to show, as Joseph Smith had revealed, that there was no first god in the universe and how, at the same time, our God had a god and father, and his father had a father, and so on. The genius of the lyric demonstrates both of these points at once, which creativity was needed to instruct Christian minds that had never considered that the heavens could have any author other than one. “If there be gods many,” they (and we) might ask, “where is the center and what are the boundaries of our God’s dominion?” Now, with the help of Joseph Smith’s translations, we begin to see that the heavens are many and their creators not few and when looking toward Orion God’s home is in view. As the scripture says:
“There are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified” (D&C 88:37 – 39).
The Egyptians sought earnestly to “imitate” the true order of those who had gone before them (see Abr. 1:20 – 27), and therefore their entire religious system aimed at becoming mꜣꜥ ḫrw (maa kheru, “true of voice, justified”). They knew that their spirits would have to abide by the laws of a higher kingdom or they would not pass, that the dog star stood as a sentinel or waypoint where the bounds and conditions of the third heavens required the spirit to be justified if it would go any farther; that the only path to this justification is through Jesus Christ they may have missed. They had a copy of the ancient map but had not its key.
Through Joseph Smith we have received the map that the Egyptians copied from the most aged of all the fathers from the beginning of creation, and in the fulness of the Gospel we have its key: “Jesus saith…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6, emphasis added). Indeed, without justification through Christ, the spirit is turned back at God’s dog star, Sirius B.
 “I want to reason a little on this subject. I learned it by translating the papyrus which is now in my house. I learned a testimony concerning Abraham, and he reasoned concerning the God of heaven. ‘In order to do that,’ said he, ‘suppose we have two facts: that supposes another fact may exist—two men on the earth, one wiser than the other, would logically show that another who is wiser than the wisest may exist. Intelligences exist one above another, so that there is no end to them.’
“If Abraham reasoned thus—If Jesus Christ was the Son of God…you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also?” (Joseph Smith quoted by Richard Galbraith, Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [STPJS], p. 373, emphasis added).
 See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sah_(god)
 Critics of Joseph Smith’s translation sometimes mock his introductory inclusion that states that the Book of Abraham was “written by his own hand” (Book of Abraham, introduction) since the records are clearly not contemporary with Abraham and even contain the name of the dead individual (“Sheshonq”) with whom the records were discovered. However, Egyptologists have themselves concluded that the holographic phrase “written by his own hand” is so common in Egyptian that it should never be taken literally but rather as a designation of authorship of the original content (see John Gee, “Were Egyptian Texts Divinely Written?” in Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Egyptologists, ed. J. C. Goyon, C. Cardin [Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters en Departement Oosterse Studies, 2007], p. 806). This then is actually a great testament to the prophet’s abilities as a translator if indeed this debated portion of the introduction is a quote from the Egyptian text and not an insertion by the translator.
 See William C. H. Propp, “Santa and His Asherah” in Bible Review, volume 14 number 6 (Biblical Archeology Society, December 1998), endnote 3. Accessed online: https://www.baslibrary.org/bible-review/14/6/19/en/3.
 See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashur_(god)
 Sidney Smith, “The Relation of Marduk, Ashur, and Osiris”, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 8, No. 1/2 (Apr., 1922), p. 44
 “Since hieroglyphic writing lacks vowels, Egyptologists have vocalized the name in various ways, such as Asar, Ausar, Ausir, Wesir, Usir, or Usir” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiris).
 STPJS, p. 348, modernized grammar and punctuation.
 Danielle Adams, “Arab Star Calendars | Two Deserts, One Sky » Jawza’, Snow Queen Of The Arabs”, Onesky.Arizona.Edu., 2015, http://onesky.arizona.edu/2015/12/jawza-snow-queen-of-the-arabs/
 See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_brightest_stars
 A possible answer in astrophysics for this medium may be cosmic Birkeland currents. More can be read at https://www.plasma-universe.com/Birkeland-current/ or other plasma cosmologist resources. This alternative branch of science argues that a structure and organization exists that links the stars from higher sources of energy down to lower ones, which equates in some degree to their brightness; the natural shape of this structure is such that the source of greatest energy is within the galactic center and radiates outward down its arms toward the edges of the disc. This appears to have been revealed to Joseph Smith as recorded within the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language:
“Flos isis— The highest degree of light, because its component parts are light. The gover[n]ing principle of light Because God has said Let this be the centre for light, and let there be bounds that it may not pass. He hath set a cloud round about in the heavens, and the light of the grand govering of <15> fixed stars centre there; and from there its is drawn, by the heavenly bodies according to the<i>r portions; according to the decrees that God hath set, as the bounds of the ocean, that it should not pass over as a flood, so God has set the bounds of light lest it pass over and consume the planets” (“Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language, circa July–circa November 1835,” p. 25, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed March 25, 2021, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/grammar-and-alphabet-of-the-egyptian-language-circa-july-circa-november-1835/95).
In summary, Joseph appears here to indicate that the 15 governing fixed stars draw their power, or light, from a source within the veiled galactic center.
 “Grammar…” (n 11) p. 24, text modernized for clarity, and spellings altered to match the Book of Abraham.
 In light of the statement provided by Joseph Smith on figure 5 of the hypocephalus, it may be tempting to assume that Enish-go-on-dosh is the sun itself, but Joseph’s statement is only that it was “said by the Egyptians to be the sun.” This is an important distinction that is consistent with modern Egyptological understanding of Hathor as a solar deity, a female counterpart to Ra, while at the same time representing the mother of the sun as a cow that birthed the sun and carried it into place by its horns. That Enish-go-on-dosh is in fact a different sphere than the sun seems to also be corroborated by Abr. 3:13, wherein the sun is said to be called Shinehah.
On a similar note, figure 5 calls Kae-e-vanrash a “medium” by which the sun receives light from Kolob. Given the distinction made by the source documents cited in footnote 12 wherein Kae-e-vanrash appears to be included as a fixed star itself, it appears that the use of the word ‘medium’ may here have reference to the utility played by Kae-e-vanrash as the source of Kolob’s light, which is in turn directed toward the sun.
 “Webster’s Dictionary 1828 – Next.” Websters Dictionary 1828, www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/next.
 I.E.S. Edwards, (1986) . The Pyramids of Egypt. Max Parrish. pp. 990 – 91
 Joanne Milne, “Missing 5,000-Year-Old Piece of Great Pyramid Puzzle Discovered in Cigar Box in Aberdeen.” University of Aberdeen, University of Aberdeen, 16 Dec. 2020, www.abdn.ac.uk/news/14573/.
 See for example A. Jerome, World Chronology, 17 Feb. 2001, www.pseudepigrapha.com/chronology/; or see John Pratt, Complete Religious Chronology, 17 Apr. 2020, johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/dates_calc.html. See also Moses 8:1 where Enoch does not leave the earth with his city after 365 years but actually lingers until he is 430 and then is “taken.”
 Another interesting fact about the Great Pyramid in particular that may add additional credence to the claim that Enoch the prophet built it is the peculiar interior structure that may double as a schematic of the plan of salvation and a prophetic timeline. Precise interior measurements are difficult to confirm but many sources claim correlations in the measurements in the royal inch to a timeline in years, mapping out the journey of spirituality for the human race:
Important features and dates noted by various sources have included but are not limited to:
- The initial downward slope (from the right side in the above diagrams) represents spiritual death, the course of humanity without God. This leads inevitably to the lowest location, a misshapen pit, corresponding to the Telestial Kingdom.
- If the line of the ascending path were to be traced underground in an imaginary straight line, the point at which it intersects with another imaginary line formed by the slope of the pyramid’s exterior corresponds in royal cubit inches to the year that Adam left the Garden of Eden (see fig. B).
- An ascending passage that was originally blocked by two large stones takes an ascending path; the stones are said to represent the ten commandments, which location, when measured in royal inches from the date of the pyramid’s construction (the entrance), corresponds to the Israelite Exodus under Moses.
- The ascending path changes to a much taller passage at a point corresponding to the year 0AD, the birth of Christ. If a circle is inscribed using this point as its center and the radius terminating directly at the ceiling, the point intersecting the circumference on the floor of the upward path corresponds in measurement to the year 33AD, the death of Christ. From here a horizontal passage leads to a room called the Queen’s Chamber, which is a middle location corresponding to the Terrestrial Kingdom.
- The ascending passage continues until “the great step,” the bottom ledge of which corresponds in measurement to the year 1844AD. Many authors do not know what to assign to this point in history, but Mormons consider it particularly significant as it is the year that the prophet Joseph Smith was martyred (to have this date inscribed in the pyramid’s prophetic measurements certainly affirms the declaration of D&C 135:3). Beyond this point a room called the King’s Chamber is reached, which is the highest room and corresponds to the Celestial Kingdom, or third heaven.
 The entire wording from the passage cited in footnote 12 indicates that the great stars, including Kolob, govern the planets of this solar system in particular. Thus when the Lord speaks of ‘all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest’ he means the worlds orbiting the sun in this solar system (the total number of which is stated to be 15, opening the possibility that it included observable moons as well [see Abr. 3:5 where the moon is called a ‘planet’]).
 The Kirtland Egyptian Papers reveal that Abraham’s knowledge extended also to orbital velocity. The relationship between planetary greatness and orbital velocity are not made clear, however, unlike the relationship between rotational periods and greatness. In the case of the earth and moon, however, it’s obvious that the moon is swifter in its movement through space as it covers the orbital distance around the earth on top of the orbital circuit around the sun in the same time that the earth traverses its orbit around the sun (some figures proposed include ≈66,616 MPH for the earth and ≈68,902 for the moon). If a direct relationship does exist in this factor to increasingly greater worlds, it appears incidentally verifiable in the following entry:
“Kolob in its motion…is swifter than the rest of the twelve fixed stars…to regulate others in their time. For example, one cubit of time signifies…three days, therefore that which is appointed to run…three days, runs one cubit according to the measure of time in cubits; a cubit of motion is increased or lessened according to the sign of the degrees” (“Grammar…” (n 11) p. 25, text modernized for clarity, and spellings altered to match the Book of Abraham).
It appears therefore that Abraham understood that a world could be both slow in its reckoning due to relatively long rotational periods yet swift in its motion through space due to relatively quick orbital velocities.
 George Hart, 1986. The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, 2nd ed., London, England: Routledge, p. 26
 Douglas Harper. “Dog days (n.).” Etymonline: Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/dog%20days#etymonline_v_13892
 Russell Blackwood, John Crossett, Herbet Long, 1962. “Gorgias 482b”, The Classical Journal, volume 57 number 7, pp. 318–19; Robert G. Hoerber, 1963. “The Socratic Oath ‘By the Dog'”, The Classical Journal, volume 58 number 6, pp. 268–69.
 D. Winton Thomas, 1960. “Kelebh ‘dog’: Its Origin and Some Usages of It in the Old Testament”, Vetus Testamentum, volume 10 number 4, p. 410.
 This article now contains two intriguing connections to the names of early Israelites: אשר (‘shr, “Asher”) and כלב (klb, “Caleb”). See Ibid., p. 418 for the latter.
 Idan Breier, 2003. “Representations of the Dog in Seventh Century BCE Assyrian Letters”, Johann Cook (editor), Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages, volume 39 number 2, pp. 19 – 23.
 Assem Deif, 2008. “The Sirius Lore”, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267447624_The_Sirius_lore, p. 1.
[28b] Laird Scranton, 2006. The Science of the Dogon: Decoding the African Mystery Tradition, Inner Traditions International: Rochester, 226 pages.
 See for example: https://news.asu.edu/20200909-carbon-rich-exoplanets-may-be-made-diamonds, and https://www.space.com/18011-super-earth-planet-diamond-world.html
 Multiply that for as many fractions of a second as compose an eternity (let’s say the twinkling of an eye is ≈1/6th of a second, and let’s say an eternity is 2.5 billion years [Times and Seasons Vol. 5, No. 24, p. 758]) then we may find ourselves 23.652 nonillion miles distant from the earth (that’s 23.652 with 24 zeroes beyond it). For reference, the farthest star discovered in the known universe is roughly 9 billion miles away, which is a sextillionth of a percent, comparatively speaking. In this most remote of remote locations would we be surprised to not have found the place where gods began to be? We should not be surprised, for the neither the end nor the beginning can be found. This is precisely what the prophet Joseph Smith taught, which he obtained from Abraham and the Egyptians.
 See Alice Grenfell, 1906. “EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY AND THE BIBLE” (PDF), The Monist, volume 16 number 2, pp. 169–200.
How could an immortal, eternal, celestial sphere, such as a star or planet, exist in our telestial universe? Wouldn’t the Celestial be on a separate plain, not visible to mortal eyes? Aren’t Sirius A and B mortal stars? Could Orion be a telestial symbol for God’s throne insteac?