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An American Victorian planetary, geological, and weather chart, combining science with religion and spirituality, by author, scientist, and philosopher Alesha Sivartha. It incorporates a sweeping view of the levels of the earth and the heavens, from the earth's crust to the stars.
The upper portion of the chart is an astronomical diagram of the solar system, showing the various planets and their moons, from Mercury to Neptune, and including the asteroid belt, within the zodiac belt orbiting the sun. Information regarding the annual revolutions, diameter, and distances of the planets are shown.
The Sun is shown with sunspots next to another sun "Sola. Dynamic Focus." The upper border of the chart is a night sky illustrated with star formations and nebulae including the Big Dipper. The night sky bears a quotation in Hebrew from Isaiah 65:17, which translates as "A new heaven and a new earth." This is an excerpt from Isaiah's prophecy that the Lord will reward the righteous with a new world of peace and plenty.
The lower portion of the chart is a geological cross section entitled "Advance of Life through the Geological Eras of the Earth." Various strata are illustrated progressing from "The First or Azoic Age" to the "Age of Man." Each layer is further labeled with names of flora and fauna that emerged during that period, and some contain drawings of fossils. In the lower right corner are illustrations of minerals, named and identified according to where they were found, e.g., "Gypsum Niagara Falls."
At the center of the chart is a large building with three domes titled "Temple Homes." The central dome of the building emits seven rays terminating above the solar system diagram with lettered identifications: "F/ V/ TH/ A.N./ Sh./ T/ K/." To the right of the building is a topographical landscape, progressing from lowlands to mountains with rivers and lakes, all under a rainbow. To the left is a pyramid, a reference to Egyptian civilization, which Sivartha considered one of the six great civilizations of world history (1903, 20). Different types of clouds are illustrated and labeled above the pyramid.
The chart illustrates Sivartha's view of the origins of the universe which he wrote about in his book The Growth of Man: "Seven great forces were concerned in the vast movements of early creation. Gravity marked elliptic orbits for the path of worlds. Electricity and magnetism polarized and thus rotated these worlds on their axes. Chemic force, heat and light built up the solid rocks and arranged their wide-spread layers. And the vital force crowded the sea and land with the myriad tribes of animal and plant life." (p. 10). The "Temple Homes" building is probably one of his designs for a "harmonic architecture," in which buildings would be designed in relationship to the organization of the brain. (pp. 99-102).
Alesha Sivartha was probably a pen name of an author who wrote and illustrated at least three books, between 1887 and 1903, including The Book of Life or The Spiritual, Social and Physical Constitution of Man (1898) and The Growth of Man into Coming Civilization: Harmonism, Christian, Greco-Roman, Semitic, Hindoo, Mongolian, Egyptian (1903).The latter book was published by the Theosophical Society, an organization founded in 1875 to promote understanding of the nature of the universe and humanity's place in it and cross-cultural harmony. (The book was digitized and as of 2003 could be read online.) In it, Sivartha brings together scientific discoveries about the geologic history and Darwinian evolution to make the case that science shows the way toward creating an ideal social structure and harmony on earth, a task that eluded previous great civilizations because their scientific understanding was incomplete. For additional comments about the world view put forward in Sivartha's book see our Art of Collecting article, "The Eccentric Mind."
Cartouche in stylized cross, upper left: SIVARTHA/ CHART/ OF/ THE/ EARTH & HEAVENS/ Copy-righted/ 1886/ By the Author.
Sivartha, Alesha. The Historic Growth of Man into Coming Civilization. New York: Theosophical Society, 1903. http://www.antiquebooks.net/htmlbooks/sivartha/s_0005.htm (15 May 2003).