Moreover, the larger of the two super-planets has the other super-planet on one side, and the smaller planets on the other, producing a system in which the bodies walk around the more major super-planet in unison in a system of synchronous or synchronized orbits. This looks like a cane turning on an axis, and produces the alignment which you saw in the image. In other words, the planets remain stacked up overtop of eachother as they turn around the larger super-planet.
Further, the orbits are all fairly circular other than for that of Mars, which is more pronouncedly egg-shaped.
To observers on the Earth, then, since the orbits are synchronous and Mars remains overtop of the Earth, this MUST produce the visual effect of Mars shrinking to a small size and then growing much larger on a regular basis.
Surely references to that could not be lacking in mythologies and early literature.
Ev Cochrane has produced an intriguing study titled "On Dragons and Red Dwarves" in the February 95 issue of Aeon. What he has discovered, is that Mars is referred to not so much as a god, but as a "warrior/hero" in the most ancient mythologies of numerous nations, and that the theme of this warrior/hero regularly changing from a dwarf to a giant and back again is, as the model predicts, archetypal.
"A giant tree is also the eclipsing agent in a fascinating tale preserved in the Kalevala. "There the hero who eventually frees the sun, strangely enough, is a homunculus by the name of Sampsa. The Finnish account reads as follows: 'A man rose out of the sea, a hero from the waves. He was not the hugest of the huge nor yet the smallest of the small: he was as big as a man's thumb Confronted with this strange little man, a wiseman [Vainamoinen] chides him with the following words: "You seem more like a man to me and the most contemptible of heroes. You're no better than a dead man and a face on you like a corpse!"19 At this point the little man blurts back: "I am a man as you see-small, but a mighty water-hero. I have come to fell the oak-tree and splinter it to fragments!" Vainamoinen, old and wily, scoffed: "Why, you haven't the strength, you'll never be able to fell the magic oak-tree and splinter it to fragments!" Scarcely had he said these words when, before his eyes, the little man was transformed into a giant. He stamped with his feet on the earth and his head reached up to the clouds; his beard flowed to his knees and his hair to his heels. His eyes were fathoms wide and his legs fathoms long. .. He struck the tree with his axe... Sparks flew from the axe and flame from the oak as he tried to bend the magic tree to his will. At the third stroke the oak-tree was shattered... Now that the oak-tree was felled and the proud trunk levelled, the sun shone again... The sudden growth of Sampsa offers an intriguing parallel to the rapid swelling which forms such a prominent motive in the traditions surrounding Indra and Cuchulainn.20 It is a motive that we will encounter again and again in the traditions surrounding the warrior-hero. ...The Maya hero Ez, for example, is said to have assumed a tiny form in order to gain entrance into the belly of a great dragon. Shortly thereafter, "When the serpent swallowed him, he cut his way out with the obsidian and killed the serpent. He emerged bigger and stronger than before. "42 As a dragon-slaying dwarf, Ez has numerous parallels in the sacred traditions of Pre- Columbian Indians from North and South America. Consider, for example, a fascinating figure from South America known as Mura, the trusty servant of the great god Pura, the primal sun.43 Described as a red dwarf renowned for his club and giant knife, Mura is said to reside upon the World Mountain at the center of heaven, together with-but in a position subordinate to-the sun-like Pura. Once upon a time, according to Arikena tradition, Pura and Mura found themselves in the belly of a great serpent and it was only with great difficulty that they eventually hacked their way out thanks to the aforementioned knife.44 It is the possibility of relating Mura to the red planet that peaks our attention, of course, and thus it is tempting to compare the club-bearing red dwarf with Heracles, the latter alike being renowned for his club and homunculus-like (daktyl) form.45 As is the case with any truly archetypal mythical motive, the shape-shifting red dwarf can be found throughout the ancient world. 46 A prominent example can be found in the Ramayana, where a trickster-like figure by the name of Hanuman finds himself confronted by a giant monster: Later, a huge form stood in his way and said: "Enter my mouth. I have been without food for a long time and am eagerly waiting for you," and the monster opened wide like a cave... Hanuman thought quickly and decided what to do. Step by step he made his body grow bigger and bigger. The Raakshasa form (the monstrous form assumed by Surasa, a Naaga goddess) opened its mouth correspondingly wider and wider. When the mouth was thus enormously wide, all of a sudden Hanuman contracted his body into a speck and, darting through the demon's mouth and body, came out again and resumed his former normal shape.47 Hanuman resorts to the same ploy on another occasion. This time, however, it is the very fact of the hero's assuming a gargantuan form that causes the belly of the dragon to burst, thereby bringing about its death. Jung summarizes the episode as follows: "Once more he had recourse to his earlier strategem, made himself small, and slipped into her body; but scarcely was he inside than he swelled up to gigantic size, burst her, and killed her, and so made his escape."48 The fact that Hanuman (or his face) is elsewhere said to be ruby-red in color offers a striking parallel to the aforementioned dwarves from the New World.49 Nor can the shape-shifting contortions ascribed to Hanuman fail to evoke comparison with the grotesque contortions undergone by the ruddy-colored heroes Cuchulainn and Indra whilst in the throes of their respective " furors".50 In Indra's case, it will be remembered, he swelled to such an extent that he dominated the region between heaven and earth, actually threatening to block out the light of the sun. Recall again the Vedic description of Indra' s epiphany: Indra, endowed with all heroic valor. Then up he sprang himself, assumed his vesture, and filled, as soon as born, the earth and heaven.51 A similar passage is the following: " Indra, Impetuous One, hath waxed immensely: he with his vastness hath filled earth and heaven."52 Indra's ability to assume a gigantic form is a decided point of emphasis in the Vedic hymns, and more than one scholar has called attention to the prominent role of the root vrdh, "to increase, or swell," in his mythus.53 A stock epithet of the god-Pravrddha- emphasizes this ability to swell, signifying " swollen, enlarged, expanded, increased, violent. "54
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