In the Winter 1985 issue of "Whole Earth Review" there was a long, illustrated account of "a work in progress that displays the Earth's rotational wobble." This construction, dubbed "Star Axis" by its designer-builder, Charles Ross, consisted of a large stonework "wedge," dug into the ground "on a small mesa where the Sangre de Christo Mountins meet the plains east of Albuquerque" into which a stainless steel tube was to be fitted. By sighting down the tube, one would be able to see the rotation of the stars around the north pole point. Since Polaris is currently the star closest to the true north pole point, the diameter of the tube was to be such that by watching closely, one whould see Polaris "roll around the rim" of the tube.
Ross was aware of ancient archaeoastronomical monuments and allied himself with their builders, who "shaped their efforts to embrace the universe into art and architecture." He said that, "with roots in antiquity, but constructed with modern measurement, materials, and engineering, Star Axis is created as bridge to a fresh consciousness of our alliance with the stars." The exact location of the site was not revealed, but Ross promised to reveal it when the project was complete and promised that Star Axis was to be "the first and largest group of art works planned for the mesa."
Photographs accompanying the article showed that the stonework, planned in 1971 and begun in 1975, was nearly complete, although Ross noted that in 1980 he had been troubled by five nights of consecutive dreams advising him to add a conical stonework "footing" to the construction, which would have required many more years of labour. At the time of the 1985 writing, Ross said his greatest limitation was money to buy the stainless steel.
For more than 10 years after reading that article, i wondered what had become of Charles Ross and the Star Axis. Then in 1998, courtesy of my friend Andy Willett, i was presented with a link updating the story, with colour illustrations and much more information than i had previously had available. The link to this site is
Charles Ross, as far as i can tell, is neither a wealthy man who can afford a "folly" nor a lone nut case toiling away in obscurity. He is, rather, a sculptor-designer interested in visually demonstrating the precession of the equinoxes. He devoted a quarter-century of his own hard physical labour to designing and creating the 11-story tall Star Axis structure. It is now complete and open to the public. I think when you look over the pictures on the Star Axis web page, you will agree with me that this monument is incredibly elegant, beautiful, and worthy of recognition alongside the very best in the long annals of astronomical architecture, from Sumer to the present day.
How many of the readers of the Sacred Landscape web pages can say they have been doing ANYTHING for that many years, much less anything of such great, lasting, integral value? How many more years are there in our lives to create such projects?
What reading the Star Axis web page tells me is that anyone who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk will sink into the dark waters of oblivion without a trace.
Whoever has have ears to hear, let him hear. This is truth.
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