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Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  34 reviews
John Anthony West's revolutionary reinterpretation of the civilization of Egypt challenges all that has been accepted as dogma concerning Ancient Egypt. In this pioneering study West documents that: Hieroglyphs carry hermetic messages that convey the subtler realities of the Sacred Science of the Pharaohs. Egyptian science, medicine, mathematics, and astronomy were more so ...more
Paperback, revised edition, 286 pages
Published May 1st 1993 by Quest Books (first published May 1979)
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Chris Marchan
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Great book! I didn't really expect this book to be so connected to deep spirituality after having seen John Anthony West in his videos. His writing comes across much more articulately. West has referenced the brilliant work of a former fellow "amateur" researcher, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, whose insights have been generally overlooked by mainstream archeologists. Though West gently derides the ineptitude of most egyptologists and their bookish detours, he finally credits them with having e ...more
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing

John Anthony West has an ax to grind. There are mainstream Egyptologists and they are all "sucking from the same tit" which is what West calls "The Church Of Progress." They all propagate and viciously defend the notion of evolution in which all cultures and civilizations of the past were primitive, and we today are the smartest, best, and most advanced (even though we have no idea how the ancient Egyptians built or did much of what they did,or how they knew what they knew.) Anyone with ideas or
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, history
I picked this up due to recommendation from Dr. Matt Johnson on one of his podcasts. R. A. Schwaller de Lubiz is someone who is oft referenced by a number of scholars with whose work I’m already familiar, like Aaron Cheak, so I suppose that it is nice to have approachable crash-course in his thinking.
Some things to note:
1. This work is written in this highly polemical style. One can forgive it given the subject matter as well the way in which Schwaller de Lubiz and his admirers have been
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have a hard time writing reviews. Trying to figure out a way of briefly stating my appreciation of a book that has given me the fuel for hours of contemplation and lead to numerous long conversations doesn’t come easy to me. Let me just say this is an extraordinary work. It is for anyone who has ever been intrigued or moved by ancient Egyptian art or architecture, but found that the information perceived through their five senses did not jive with that of the information presented by the acade ...more
Nick Sinclair
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very dense book. Interesting stuff, but will need to read it about 10 times more to comprehend half of it. That is not a bad thing.
I will start this review by commenting on other reviews I have read about the work. It strikes me as supportive of the authors points when the main criticism of this book fits so neatly into two main trains of thought.

The first is that the author is too critical, zealous even, in his distain for the modern "science" of egyptology. They frame him as set against "firm knowledge", understood by 300 years of orthodoxy, and assure those considering this book that it amounts to "woo woo" without any
Candace Talmadge
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
This book is a prelude to a major paradigm shift in our understanding of how history actually played out, as opposed to what our social and religious conventions have dictated that we accept about our past.

It isn't easy to read or follow. It explores the theories of an obscure Hungarian* egyptologist named Schwaller de Lubich, who wrote in French and favored an interpretation of ancient Egypt that overturns established thinking.

Good for him. I cannot even describe how utt
Nox Prognatus
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is an absolute must for anyone remotely interested in Egyptology, Symbolism , Atlantis, Archaeology, Geology and Esotericism. J. Wests writing is very much drawn from his own experience ( a geologist) working in Egypt on the Giza complex. And his work with Lubicz...whose Symbolist interpretation of Egyptology, turns most of what we know about Egypt on its head. And actually makes a lot of sense out of the tomes of Papyrus and works we have from ancient Egypt. Needless to say, it has ma ...more
Nerine Dorman
Jul 17, 2011 rated it liked it
I can't help but feel that John Anthony West concludes this exploration of Schwaller's de Lubicz's works with a sense of bitterness aimed toward the status quo in Egyptological studies. It's a bit like shaking one's fist at a monolith - a futile gesture at best. The merit in making Schwaller de Lubicz's work accessible to the layman is to suggest that one take a more holistic view of Egypt's past, and the Pythagorean angle is quite compelling in that regard.

However, West's constant h
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is an invaluable guide to those attempting The_Temple_of_Man or other Schwaller de Lubicz books. It is far more accessible and also contains West's own groundbreaking research into weathering patterns on the Sphinx that support this alternative interpretation of Egyptian history, and is even more important to read if you aren't going to attempt Schwaller de Lubicz at all.

Lots of juicy and evidentially well supported alternative interpretations of Egyptian history may be fou
Manuel Vega
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The sudden appearance of Egyptian civilization, circa 3100 BC, is one of the most striking phenomena of history, unless, as suggested by de Lubicz and West, it received the knowledge as a legacy from an earlier civilization. The authors mention that it could be the Atlantean, but they are unable to specify more details. In my book Sailors of Stonehenge i arrive to the same conclusion, but i give the details of who were the Atlanteans. All in all, Serpent in the Sky is a wonderful contribution to our knowl ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ancient Egypt fans
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: history
This book was great fun to read and quite provocative, but one would like to see it combined with a critique by an established Egyptologist. In any case, one hopes such established authorities read this kind of material because there apparently are things that people like West and Graham Hancock note which are worthy of consideration. What about the weathering of the sphinx or the way the pyramids of Giza map on to Orion constellation?
Alexander Kennedy
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: egypt
A brilliant work! This is a must read for anyone interested in the higher learning of the ancient Egyptians of anyone interested in spiritual matters, the creation of the universe, and your place in it. John Anthony West puts a whole different spin on the standard narrative you have heard and teaches you to understand symbolism.
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
It wasn't all that I was hoping for, but if you have real interest in Schwaller de Lubicz and/or "alternative" Egyptology, then it's a great summing up and gentle intro into the world number/cosmology.
Hydroxia Gryphon
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Eye-Opening! Independent Egyptologist makes astounding discoveries and provides insights shattering previous paradigms... Teams up with brilliant geologist, Dr. Robert Schoch, to help prove some of his theories...
Dominic De Souza
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John West's book is an important reader along with the pioneering insights of Graham Hancock. For the first time, John opened up a deep, new vista of learning that blew me away.

Frequently, the trend of historical narcissism assumes that our later developments supercede the intellectual capacity of ancient man. And yet, John brushes aside our hunger for materialistic data, and focuses on the philosophical and esoteric underpinnings of the ancient world.

In theological history, Egypt h
Symbolist Egypt

The late John Anthony West examines the age of the Sphinx and in particular Schwaller de Lubicz’s ideas of symbolism and the incredible accomplishments of pre dynastic Egypt.
Soren Kerk
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-favs
West stands on the shoulders of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz to distinguish between empiricism and cosmically directed thinking. The West - and its academics whom he disparages - is awash in empiricism without knowing what their piles of data amount to. Since they (as any culture) operates with the assumption that their way of thinking is better than alternate ways, when they investigate Ancient Egypt's thought remnants they conclude that the ancients did not think very well. Indeed, they compare t ...more
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: alternative
A great, in-depth presentation on the Symbolist Egypt view. Quite complex, especially from a mathematical perspective and it does contain some rather hard notions to grasp, especially in relation to abstract summaries regarding Pythagorean theorems. But for the determined reader, it is very interesting although I'm skeptical of the end-results and not 100% convinced.

The latter section regarding the Sphinx was a highlight and lifted the book out of a certain mid-section doldrum, but t
Apr 11, 2011 added it
Shelves: gave-up
I had to stop reading this, I just couldn't deal.

A good friend, who is something of a rare soul and a modern-day mystic, asked me to read it and to discuss it with him. He provided me with an annotated (by him) PDF of the text. The most fascinating part for me was his gloss, as it gave me a rare glimpse into his frenzied mind. The book itself I can't really review since I didn't finish it, but I had a hard time getting through the part that I did. It WAS somewhat interesting, and whi
Paul Rack
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very engaging summary of the "symbolist" interpretation of ancient Egyptian civilization. Making a point of challenging the "orthodoxy" in Egyptology, which assumes somehow that these monuments were built by "hunter-gatherers," or superstitious primitives. (They have a bias in thinking that it is impossible for anyone to do any real thinking before the Greeks.) West shows how developed was Egyptian culture, in many ways ahead of us. The theories of the older Sphinx may even show that the Egyptia ...more
A. J. McMahon
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
John Anthony West calls himself a Pythagorean and this book is a wonderful expression of that spirit. To all who enter this book, however, it is only far to warn them: say goodbye to conventional Egyptology. I can't say that West convinced me with everything he had to say but I was persuaded by the general idea of his approach. The material is always interesting, West is an excellent and articulate writer and there is much to think about. I was greatly impressed by this book. I will have to re-r ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This has some really amazing information, but I wish he would stop talking about how everyone else disagrees and just present his theory. I skipped over most of the book, because it was repetitive and uninspiring, just talking about the Egyptologist's agenda.
Carlos Bustamante Restrepo
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone interested in the high wisdom of ancient egypt.
Jennifer Gehl
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read, and confirms what I've held true for about ancient alchemy. Thank you!
Maan Kawas
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great book filled with new and interesting information about Ancient Egypt! It uses the symbolist approach to examine the hieroglyphs, the language, temples, etc.
Mike Day
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Max Planck once said, "Great scientific theories do not usually conquer the world through being accepted by opponents who, gradually convinced of their truth, have finally adopted them. It is always rare to find a Saul becoming a Paul. What happens is that opponents of the new idea finally die off and the following generation grows up under its influence. (p. 234)

Alexander von Humboldt, the great nineteenth-century naturalist, was equally caustic, 'First they will deny a thing, then
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A very important book that should re-ignite debate on Egypt and the potential that, as Graham Hancock put it, "we are a species with amnesia". Was there a more ancient civilization that skidded through the catastrophic ice age?

Some of the geometric and symbolic theories are interesting, but problematic. Take any structure, piece of land, or interesting shape and you can impose and overlay all sorts of math, geometry, star maps, etc. Creating patterns out of nothing is easy when you'r
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is truly a terrible read low on scholarship and high on speculation. The author spends a great deal of time in the weeds. A waste of money.
Viktor Shchedrin
What are the psychological and/or social function is fulfilled by monuments and decoration art? depending on how you answer this question - you can read the book with particular result.

Can we assume high-level civilization - if you compare - suppose two - existed inapproximately the same conditions at one time - and we assume have the sameknowledge of basic - mathematics, astronomy, biology, physics - one of which left monuments and another no?

the key question - WHY Sphinx need to b
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Author, lecturer and guide, John Anthony West delivered a seismic shock to archaeology in the early 1990's when he and Boston University geologist Robert Schoch revealed that the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt, showed evidence of rainfall erosion. Such erosion could only mean that the Sphinx was carved during or before the rains that marked the transition of northern Africa from the last Ice Age to t ...more
“We're obliged to acknowledge the limits of reason; and to acknowledge the necessary reality of the realms to which reason has no access.” 6 likes
“Like all other initiatic teaching, Egypt held that man's purpose on earth was the return to the source. There were recognised in Egypt two roads to this same goal. The one was the way of Osiris, who represented the cyclic nature of universal process; this was the way of successive reincarnations. The second road was the way of Horus, the direct path to resurrection that the individual might achieve within a single lifetime. It is the Horian way that is the basis of the Christian revelation and, according to Schwaller de Lubicz, the aim of Christianity was to make this direct path available to all who chose to embark upon it, rather than to a small group of select initiates who, in Egypt, comprised ‘The Temple’. In this sense, and in this sense only, has there been ‘evolution’ in human affairs.” 2 likes
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