The Aim of the Book
his book "The Origin of Culture and Civilization", Thomas Dietrich
aims to bring together diverse "sciences" used by the ancients
to give a complex and wholistic picture of the world, and to show that
people in ancient times had a
knowledge of the world and the universe which modern science and philosophy
are unable to grasp. As suggested in the subtitle of the book - "The
Cosmological Philosophy of The Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology,
and Religion" - the author makes use of symbolic languages which are
not considered "scientific" in modern times. But by tracing back
the thinking and worldviews of the ancients he finds a complete picture
Universe, disguised in symbolic language, which he deciphers step by step.
The Main Hypothesis
Thomas Dietrich claims that the origin of culture is Atlantis, the lost
island, minutely collecting information
from ancient sources and mythology. According to his research Morocco is
one of Atlantis' first colonies, from where Atlantic culture spread first
to Ireland, and from there to Lybia and Egypt.
According to Dietrich, culture spread from West to East, while
civilization spread from East to West. He carefully differentiates between
culture on the one hand and civilization on the other:
- By culture he means religion, gods, myth, science, history, philosophy
is a spiritual reality which transcends this world.
- Civilization comprises cities, states and empires, power and politics,
wars, etc. -> Civilization is connected with enticements of this world.
Both movements - the West to East movement of culture and the East to West
movement of civilization - can also be observed in terms of astrological
cycles. Civilization follows the cycle of the precession of the zodiac, whereas
follows the cycle of the centre of our galaxy through the zodiac. The first
is considerably shorter than the second, the so-called "Great Year" of
the precessional cycle lasts for 26'000 years, whereas the latter, the galactic
cycle can last anything from40 to 200 million years. Both cycles follow opposite
directions. Dietrich goes on to project the two cycles onto the geography
of the Earth, and by this method follows the movement of their corresponding
draws up connections between cosmological cycles and the movement
of culture and civilization on Earth.
A very special point was reached when the two cycles were at a crossing
point, the cycle of culture moving from Pisces into Aries, and the cycle
of civilization from Aries into Pisces. Projected onto the Earth, he finds
Jerusalem at this crossover, suggesting that, with the coming of the Messiah,
a completely new era had begun. Throughout the book, Dietrich supports his
thesis with evidence from a wide variety of sources including mythology,
astronomy and astrology.
The extent of detailed information
he presents, suggests that the author must have researched for almost a
lifetime. The book unfolds like a big puzzle: there are many pieces,
and the connection between them may not appear immediately apparent.
But as the author presents his evidence the connections become clearer
and the picture turns into an intricate whole. The philosophically less experienced
reader may find the wealth of information rather overwhelming,
and may sometimes wish
for a clearer line of argument or a thread to follow.
The Role of Astrology
The ancients viewed the world in terms of macrocosm and microcosm, wherein
the humans are the microcosm of the whole universe. Reversely, it takes
a whole universe
produce life Earth. The human body corresponds to the body of the universe,
the parts of the body correspond to the signs of the zodiac. Observing the
cycles of the planets and of certain sensitive points and relating these
cycles to each other, can give information on movements and developments
Although Dietrich uses astrology to understand developments on the planet
over long periods of time, and deals with different astrological ages, he
denies the validity of personal astrology. In his view, "the
real astrology, the real fundamentals of the science, which are cosmological
from long research
can only be used to learn about the "fate" of the Earth, but not
about individual human beings, except a few "great personalities" like
Napoleon, Alexander or Hitler, who "have slipt into the stream of fate".
Here, personal fate has co-joinded with the fate of the nation they govern.
They enact the fate of
all other people are merely observers.
Dietrich considers personal astrology without merit because it would be
too complex, considering all hereditary and other influences and the complex
structure of an individual. Furthermore, he thinks that Ptolemy erred when
he assumed the idea of the tropical zodiac. As astrologers
who deal with personal astrology and horoscopes, we are inclined to think
that Dietrich stops half-way. His reasoning that the human body is the microcosm
of the universe would seem to contradict his rejection of personal astrology.
is not in tune with the rest of the book where he minutely describes how
the complexities of civilizations and cultures are reflected in cosmology.
Why should this intricate whole stop when it comes to individuals. But this
is a discussion which need not be held here.
On the Whole...
Dietrich gives a lot of information and presents us with an interpretation
of the historical developments on Earth which should be of interest
to modern science
as well as
mythologically and astrologically minded people.
The author himself says about his book: "We cannot advance scientifically,
nor can we form a philosophically-correct image of this world, without the
information that the ancient people have so patiently collected for us, and
have transmitted over such immeasurable periods of time. There is an important
message to be told - and to be heard."
The book can be ordered at:
Reviewed by Karin Hoffmann