DECEMBER 4, 2002


Total Solar Eclipse December 4, 2002

Sky and Telescope

Slide Show Starts Here

Solar eclipse shot from the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Photograph of eclipse observers at Lyndhurst.

Background on the local sacred hills.

Background on the age of the people.

Men on a ritual journey of circumcision to meet First Father as the primordial ego submits to Cosmic Intent.

Wilpena Pound, where as above so below duplicates the cosmic foreskin that surrounds the Sun on Mother Earth.

Zenith at Lyndhurst.

Zenith close up at Lyndhurst.

Zenith close up at Lyndhurst with star and constellation names.

Nadir at Lyndhurst.

Nadir close up at Lyndhurst.

Nadir close up at Lyndhurst with names of stars and constellations.

WSW horizon with the eclipse. Note the positions of Quaoar, Pluto, Mercury, and the Ishmael Comet at the legs of Ophiuchus, and Venus and Mars at the legs of Virgo.

WSW horizon with the eclipse. Note the positions of Quaoar, Pluto, Mercury, and the Ishmael Comet at the legs of Ophiuchus, and Venus and Mars at the legs of Virgo.

Cepheus and Cassiopeia with the heads under the north horizon.

On the east horizon, Horus follows the Ark-aroo, then Seth and Orsiris.

The Centaur and the Sun Boat, along with Golgotha, sit up side down on the south horizon.

The west horizon brings the cave of Hades and the cave of Quetzalcoatl to the earth with First Father in between.

The Lightning Brothers echo Hercules and Bootes with the club and the balance at the mouth of the Aborigine cave.

The Track to Wilpena Pound

Yurlu the kingfisher started out from Kakarlpunha to go south to Ikara to a ceremony. On the way he came and stopped at Leigh Creek, where he made a big fire of mallee rubbish that sent up a big smoke. This was a sign that he was on his way to the ceremony. That big heap of coal sitting there at Leigh Creek today is where Yurlu burnt the dry mahee sticks. Yuras have always called it Yurlu's Coal.

At the time that Yurlu was beginning his great journey, there was an Akurra at Udnuminha (Mount Shanahan). The Akurra looked back towards Leigh Creek and saw the whole place alight.

Yurlu lit fies all the way down the track. That is why there is coal everywhere he went. He came on south, past Yarldakarrinha (Mount Bayley) and Wida Urtu (Beltana Spring), then down by Yurndungarlpa (Mount Samuel).

As Yurlu was travelling, there were two big Akurras (Dreamtime Serpents), also going south towards Ikara. They had set out from Arrunha Akurra Awi, (which has now been covered up by Aroona Dam). You can see those two Akurras near the beginning of their journey, just outside Copley. The male Akurra, whose name is Ngarnangarrinha, is the small hill to the west, and the female, Wartawinha, is the big hill to the east.

Yurlu went on down the valley behind Yarndangunha Vambata towards Aroona Valley, still making a smoke as he went along, leaving coal behind him. Just near Aroona Ruins, a little north of Varatyinha (Brachina), Yurlu saw the two Akurras being covered over by two Murrandyarli lizards. Here Yurlu crawled along really low so the Akurras could not see him. Today there is a rounded hill there, with a spring on top, formed when the lizards covered up the two serpents. It is called Wabma Nambaindanha (meaning 'covering the snakes'). (Below it is Yurlunha Vari, Yuluna Creek, probably named after Yurlu because he passed that way.)

The two serpents went on down towards Ikara. They entered the Pound through Vira Warldu (Edeawie Gap), and camped there at a large waterhole. The highest mountain on the western range casts a shadow very early in the afternoon at the place where they were camped. The male serpent said to the female:

Wildya ngulhiinda. It's getting dark.

This is why that big hill is called Wildya Ngulhiindanha (Pompey Pillar).

The female serpent told the male serpent to make some steps, which he did very early the next morning before daylight. These are the hills on the northwestern end of the range. They climbed up the steps to see what was going on. When the people in the Pound looked up into the sky at the stars to see if it was time to start the ceremony, they saw some big stars rising, and took this as the sign to start. Their minds were turned in some way, and they didn't realize they were looking west instead of east. The stars were actually the big minaaka (eyes) of the two Akurras looking down at them!

The male Akurra told his mate to go to the southwest, while he went northeast. Their idea was to surround the people.

Yurlu came on down, and when he got to Mount Abrupt, he stopped and looked into, the Pound. (Mount Abrupt is Yurlu looking towards the Pound.) He could hear the noise of the malkada going on at Ikara. From here Yurlu sneaked on down and saw that the ceremony was well under way, with Alda the Sleepy Lizard as the yakilya. Yurlu was just in time to snatch the firestick from Walha the turkey and throw it up into the air. This stick turned into the red star, Wildu (Mars).

While all this was going on at &ua, the two big serpents came up on either side of the ceremonial ground in whirlwinds. (Akurras stir up whirlwinds to capture people.) They caught and ate up all the people who were there, except the two initiates Marra Vardnapa (the new Vardnapa) and Yakamburu (the new Wilyaru). Walha and Yurlu also got away

Walha and Yurlu flew off to the south, still fighting. When they got as far as Yurlurlu (Oolooloo), Walha hunted Yurlu back up north, saying he was going to stay down south and have nothing more to do with Yurlu's ceremonies up north. (That's why those people in the south didn't have Vardnapa ceremonies.)

The two initiates fled eastward, watched by the two Akurras. Ngarri Mudlanha, St Mary's Peak, is the head of the male Akuna, and Wilkalana, Beatrice Hill, is the head of the female serpent, both watching the flight of the initiates. Their bodies form the two sides of the Pound.

The Vardnapa was transformed into a red rock called Marra Vardnapa on the end of Grindstone Range. And the new Wilyaru ended up over Mount Chambers way, not far from Mount John, and became a black rock called Yakamburunha.

After everything at Ikara was over, the two serpents headed east towards Lake Frome.

Yurlu ngukanda
Yurlu-tyi ngukanda

Yurlu is going along
Making a smoke.
Yurlu is going along
Making a smoke.

SPECIAL NOTE: The details of this story of Yurlu the kingfisher have been put together with the help of Claude Demell, the most senior of three remaining Adnyamathanha Wilyaru men. That part of the story which is for all Adnyamathanha people is told here---that is, the journey of Yurlu, his encounter with the Dreamtime Serpents (Akurra), his arrival at Ikara the 'Vardnapa's ground', and his ioumey south and consequent return, and also the flight of the initiates. We leave the events of Ikara itself where they belong ---in the domain of the sacred with the elders.

The events recorded here reach well back into the Dreaming---back to the time when the coal was laid down, back to the beginnings of the spectacular Ranges themselves. This is a powerful story in which that great theme of the Dreaming, creation, overlays a hidden theme not revealed to the uninitiated. The creation of coal, and the origins of the two fascinating mesas of Jurassic sandstone of Copley (sometimes called 'Cutaway Hill'), of the spectacular walls of Wilpena Pound and of several other important elevations, are overtly accounted for.

The story also seems to account for the southernmost range of the Kingfisher (Halycon pyrrhopygia), whose migration south coincides with the season for ceremony. The turkey is the Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis), and the story is a sad reminder of its earlier wide range. Yakilya is one of the leaders of the malkada. (See 'The Emu and the Turkey'; see 'Kakarlpunha' for details of the place of that name; and see also 'Valnaapa of Ngarnga Wami' for more on the serpents.)


The story of the track to Wilpena Pound has been placed here to demonstrate the profound masculine spirit that the total solar eclipse of December 4, 2002 carries. These sacred lands contain one of the most tightly held secrets of all human existence. The legends of the Aborigine (Ab Origine = Father Original) around the landfalls between Lyndhurst and Wilpena Pound speak of a sacred circumcision event in which First Father passed on the rite of manhood to the initiates who could understand without revealing the ritual truth to the arrogantly ignorant masses. For, to reveal the words that carry the meaning cannot reveal the spirit. To receive that spirit the circumcision must be experienced first hand. Later in this essay we will come upon the circumcision ceremony in the Book of Revelation that deals with the exact same region of the heavens. These are not the regions of Nut in the fields above, these are the sacred lands from which the smoke of the galaxy rises. These are the lands where the Old People sit by the cosmic fire and conjure the stories of Dreamtime in the Creator's Mind. These are the lands of the Aborigine, Geb, Ouroanos, Ishmael, Jacob, Job, and Moses. The Creator is the First Aborigine, the First Father of the Original Fathers, and that is why the Sun came to the land of coal. In this Black Land all the Dreamtime images of humanity were born. But, to preserve the sanctity of the place, the Elders chose to speak of the hills and ravines that run from Lyndhurst to Wilpena Pound. The initiate who understands that the message is of the first of the First Fathers knows that the two great serpents that surround the people are those on the disk of stars called the Milky Way. The place that is held in highest sanctity is the center of our galaxy where the sky turns many colors at the birthplace of the Sun. There we find two great Eyes of the Dead under the Centaur where the great sperm of the cosmic phallus descends into the abyss. As it wiggles its way, it comes to the great fire at Fornax (the Furnace) where the Old People rest. Then beyond the Fornax the head of the cosmic sperm encounters a Dove with a message in its beak. The message is  given to only one of million upon millions of sperm. The message is, you shall be my son. Then at that moment the sperm enters the egg, the great cosmic fecundation is consumated. The chose sperm from the man of desire is transformed into a crescendo too magnificent to comprehend in the rational mind. The egg and the sperm unite and she takes control as she assembles a new clone of their combined genes. This is the place of Antares, which means not Mars. Thus, through the ritual of circumcision the savage beast becomes a man of truth because through the savagery of circumcision he learns the difference between the cultured and the uncultured man. All initiation ceremonies have the same fundamental goal. They tell the initiate the meaning of the spirit of belonging to something great than themselves. And, like the sperm that reaches the egg to complete the fecundating act give up its own motivation, so the man must yield to the cosmic power that consummated life on earth billions of years earlier. The initiate who accomplishes the true initiation will know where he is and who he is, and will never wander in the wilderness of the rational mind of the Dreamtime, again.

The magical cosmic copulation is seen in the location of the eclipse when it reaches its final horizon. Shortly after the shadow of the moon leaves the sacred land, the land is transformed as the two Akurra, Ngarnangarrinha and Wartawinha can be seen as they surround all the people between Lyndhurst and Wilpena Pound, and the whole of the solar system, as the Wilpena Pound joins the heavens in on holistic image of light and spirit..


One and a half hours after the eclipse the Bowl of the Cosmos aligns with Lyndhurst as the cars going home stretch a hundred miles along the whole Ark-aroo landscape, with the Ark-aroo in the sky watching from above.


Opposite at the nadir the stars see the cars driving the route of the raised up serpent.

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Last Update: December 13, 2002