Tuatha De Danann

secretsoftheserpent

Most of what we know about the Tuatha De Danann is from a text called Lebor Gabala Erenn(The Book of the Taking of Ireland). Better known as The Book of Invasions. This book was written by christian monks and was put together as late as the 11th century. Here we go again with the 11th century. King Arthur legends and the Norse Eddas were all written in or around the 11th century. How foolish do the royals and religions think we are? The Tuatha De Danann were the first to Ireland and I’m about to show you why. Good thing these christian scribes didn’t really understand what they were actually writing or true history would be gone.

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Full Eclipse August 21, 2017 – Regulus in Virgo: The New Mythmaker Begins

Elder Mountain Dreaming

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Compiled by Phoenix of Elder Mountain (with many contributors) – I have been a astrologer since I was seventeen, a dedicated one, along with my great devotion and devotee of the Moon. I have learned through observation and trail and error that Eclipses are not personal, they are collective that effects the whole but not everyone. Such is the tale of Regulus who I see as the great Archseraphim of an entire “age” bestowing collective blessings.

When an old eclipse comes around and it includes the fixed star Regulus by fate and destiny it changes and heralds a new era, a four thousand year era in this case. Regulus was named by Polish astronomer Copernicus (1473-1543), as a diminutive of the earlier Rex, equivalent to the (Greek) Basiliskos meaning “Little King” (coined by the second-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy). Regulus when its fated, heralds a new time for the next four thousand years…

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Gnomes – secretsoftheserpent

By gserpent

The Gnome character in myths is a diminutive being that are usually old men who dwell underground and guard treasure. Most people think that the Gnome was introduced by Paracelsus in the 16th century. He may have invented the character, but like all scribes of the Renaissance he was being creative. Most researcher think Paracelsus used gnome from the latin ‘genomos’ meaning earth dweller. It has even been said that he invented the word. Paracelsus was well-connected, he used the word because it was so close to several words that describe the Gnome.

Paracelsus chose this name because of gnosis(knowledge) genomos(underground), nomas(law), gnomic(of your nature), and gnome(an opinion). Paracelsus was just doing what so many other scribes were doing, taking a word with several meanings and using it to his advantage. The more meanings the better, especially from language to language. But the main reason he chose this is because of Nomes, providences in Ancient Egypt, and Noble, a person of the bloodline but not the ruling bloodline.

In Ancient Egypt the sons not of the “First Wife or God’s Wife” could not become Pharaoh. They may have been part of the bloodline, but not the pure bloodline. They were given little providences that they could rule or control called Nomes. Within these Nomes they ran their economy and governments. The ones that were favorites or very good at what they did were promoted to help the Pharaoh run his government. They were put in charge of the treasury, helped the priests, keeping the tombs safe and all things that needed to be done that the Pharaoh shouldn’t be bothered with. When someone of the bloodline was kicked out or left Egypt they took people who were running the Nomes with them. They became known as Nobles.

All western civilization royalty is from the bloodline of Egypt. They all had nobles in their royal court. The nobles were the one really doing all the dirty work behind the scenes running the kingdom, with the King and Queen having the final say. This may be why Paracelsus chose to portray the Gnomes underground, but I think the main reason is the nobles were in charge of the sacred mounds. They had to find make the sacred burial places for royalty in hopes of getting a good spot for themselves. Gnomes are usually depicted as wise. They were Nobles so they were educated in certain mysteries. The King and Queen usually confided in certain Nobles. The Gnomes don’t like to react with humans because they were snobby royal blood that hate the masses. If you know my work, you know the royals see themselves as part of the Alien bloodline(see Lemurian Magic). Some myths portray the Gnome as evil or mischievous and some portray them as good. This is because of all the games played with in the royal court. Not only did the Nobles do what they were told for grace of the King, but some tried to overthrow the King and Queen because they thought they should rule. I recommend seeing the Tudors to see just how bizarre and back stabbing things were in the royal court. It follows history pretty close for a movie, but there is a lot of adult content.

Why would they make the Gnomes so small? With faeries it was a pure Pharaonic bloodline that religion was trying to erase from history and they almost succeeded. That bloodline being Lilith’s bloodline of the Tuatha De Danann. The scribes were not trying to erase anything here, they were actually trying to preserve history. We go back to Egypt, mainly Lower Egypt, to get the reason for this too. The Pharaoh and Queen were always depicted as the same size as the Gods and Goddesses. In some hieroglyphs they have smaller people in glyphs with them. In the hieroglyphs with their children, the children have smaller full-grown people standing next to them too. These are the favorite Nobles taking care of the Pharaoh’s family. Most researchers think the smaller people are slaves. We need to get slaves in Egypt out of our head. They were no more a slave then we are corporate slaves today. The people who did the work in Egypt were paid very well for what they did. The lies about Egypt stem from the bible. The Nobles in Egypt were portrayed small because they were not pure blood. Like they say in Harry Potter they were ‘mud bloods’. Mud bloods have to do with the blood that came from earth or the hominids. The author of Harry Potter has been let in on the secrets. Wouldn’t it be nice if people would just explains the secrets instead of trying to get rich off of them?

When you see a Gnome in a story it is really portraying Nobles.  Nobles are the ones that did specific duties as stewards or wardens and were venerated as wise. They were the Gentry and attendants of the Rath(royal seats and sacred mound dwellings).

What is Enlightenment? ~ Secrets of the Serpent

By gserperent

 

 

I’ve been asked What is Enlightenment? All the so-called gurus give little bits and pieces to keep the people coming back. Most of them make it into a spiritual thing, which is okay, as long as you realize nothing is outside of you. Enlightenment can be very spiritual, but it is an individual experience that must be your own. The ancient sages always put wisdom or knowledge and enlightenment together. You must bring out the fire-breathing dragon. If you don’t have the fire(intellect), you are just a baby dragon who will be led by their chains to do other people’s bidding.

Knowledge should be sought to energize life. Ancient history is very important. Exploring history is exploring the depths within yourself. The strength of a tree begins in the roots. You are a very complex being. The statues in Hinduism that show the deity with many arms is symbolizing that you are many persons within one. The deities are yourself. Most individuals fear the complex depth within. They remain on the superficial and surface layers of the psyche. This is why I always ask “Are you ready to meet yourself”? Very few will descend the depth of their mind. Those that do successfully will create wholeness. The modern individual has lost touch with the subconscious. Getting in touch with your subconscious is literally magic(See Magic).

The past of every culture and way of life flows in to us today. Just observing ourselves is not enough. The past flows on within us. We as a whole do not know history, so it keeps repeating itself. We have lost faith in history and have fallen into a restless, constant search for novelty after novelty. Just like our bodies have relics of early developmental stages, our minds have depths that reach back into the stages of our creation. If you are familiar with my work, you know that an alien race created the human race(see Lemurian Magic). They mixed their DNA with the hominid species that was already here. So our minds and bodies have both the alien and hominid stages built right into them. If you have ever tried to trace your family lineage, you know just how hard it can be to trace your lineage. Do you realize how complex it makes it by throwing in two separate species? Two whole new paths to trace your DNA.  On the alien side you may have to go back billions of years. That is how long this alien species had been around. This is why the ancients said we are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of personalities in one being. This is how complex you really are. This world herds us into thinking the same. They know what our minds are capable of and they shackle our minds.

Throughout history ancient philosophers have put people into two categories: the individual or higher human and the herd. Philosophers saw the individual as the most important thing a human can do for enlightenment. They are not talking about the individualism that is spoon fed to the masses. They were talking about real creative, stand alone genius. This is why they refer to them as higher humans. They have goals,are okay with being different, are good with solitude and can live independently. When I say independently, I don’t mean going out and living in the middle of nowhere or the fear based Preppers. I mean they have the freedom to live life to its fullest potential as they desire. When I say solitude, I mean they can be alone with themselves. When they are alone they actually do their greatest work or creating. Then there are the rest or the herd. Philosophers even see the people the herd look up to like sports stars, actors or business leaders as still being in the herd. The only power a herd person has is to band into groups. They saw true individuals as someone who does not want to pluck the fruit from the tree they plant in their own lifetime. No the true higher person will plant their tree of ideas for the fruit to be plucked long after they are gone.

Our morality turns us into a herd animal or someone eager to please and is mediocre. Our morality is anti-natural. People just blindly adopt the judgements of their society. You must understand that when it comes to the universal force there is no wrong or right. Is it wrong for the cheetah to kill the antelope to feed her cubs? Duality is built right into nature. Except it as a whole. The herd wages war on all that is strange, what they see as privileged, the higher human, the abundance of creative power and masterfulness. Herd morality, whether it is religion, political or any other idealism, gives people an escape from themselves. Comfort and contentment are their supreme values. They become judgmental of strangers and lose their love for mankind as a whole. Ideas and Ideals of the herd should rule the herd, but not reach beyond it. The enlightened person says yes to life and accepts life as a whole.

The saying “What does not kill me makes me stronger” has so much truth in it. When people figure out that suffering is a part of this life, they either become a Nihilist or they want to escape it and they make up things like other worlds such as heaven. In other words, they either say life sucks, has no purpose and ends in death or they make up a perfect world, utopia or heaven to work towards. This is why so many people hate when I say that you have to flow with life. I am not referring to flowing by accepting someones elses or some gods decisions, or that you have a predestined fate you have to follow. I am referring to the flowing of your own life. I am of the ancient school that reality, the cosmic energies or nature is alive. Dualism is built right in to our reality. What we consider destruction and chaos is built right into our reality. Which means pain and suffering is something that is natural. It creates life, just look at the birth of a child. Negative and destruction are good, but it requires strength. The Dionysus cult called it ‘Divine Madness’ because it refreshes and replenishes, it keeps you from stagnation. The ancients believed that growing stronger through tragedy is the highest state someone could attain. Knowing this gives you the strength of the cosmic river behind you, but you have a rudder to steer with the current. It is when you go against the current, like the human race does on a whole, you have problems. Flow with nature. Just by seeing the beauty in nature you become enlightened.

Continue reading “What is Enlightenment? ~ Secrets of the Serpent”

Queen of Sheba – secretsoftheserpent

By gserpent

Source: Queen of Sheba – secretsoftheserpent

The tale of the Queen of Sheba has been embellished by several groups of people or religions that try to claim her as their own Queen. It is not enough to just reject the lie. Everyone has to make up their own version of the lie to get in on the money train. The Queen of Sheba was the title for several ladies in history, but not one of them is outside of Egypt. I’m going to show you who the Queen of Sheba was and why there were other ladies with this title.

If you have read my Patriarch Pharaohs post, you already know who the Queen of Sheba was. In this post I will go into more detail and give a few surprises. Again all the credit to finding Queen of Sheba goes to Ralph Ellis. This post will use his research with some of my own interpretations. We can’t talk about the Queen of Sheba without mentioning King David or King Solomon. King David and King Solomon were identified as Lower Egyptian Pharaohs. King David was Pharaoh Psusennes and King Solomon was Pharaoh Sheshonq(See Patriarch Pharaohs).

King David’s official title was Pa-seba-khen-nuit and it means “My Star Appears or Shines in His City”. King David is known for the Star of David, but what was this star? Researchers will tell you it is the morning star and had to do with the rising of Venus or the sun. Jesus was said to be of the line of David and he has a star in his story too. What is up with all the stars? Just like Pharaohs in Egypt had several names, so did the royal females. The Pharaoh had to have a wife from the bloodline in order to rule. Just like the Pharaohs were considered gods on earth, all royal ladies were considered a version of Isis. Isis was the Queen of the Heavens or Queen of the Stars. The royal wives were considered God’s wife and when they had a son that would become ruler, they were considered God’s mother. In somewhat the same manner, when a daughter was born of the bloodline, one of her titles was Bathsheba. Bathsheba means ‘daughter of Sheba’ or ‘daughter of the star’. When she became Queen she was known as ‘Queen of the Stars’ or ‘Queen of Sheba’. The Star of Isis is the Star of David.

Why would all these ladies be considered to be a star? The lower Egyptians were considered the watchers of the Pyramids. This didn’t mean they literally watched the pyramids themselves. It was astronomical. They watched the stars or heavens from them. That is what the platform on the top of the Great Pyramid was for. What the patriarchs don’t want you to know is that it was a priestess who did the observing. Whether is was the actual Queen or a priestess that represented her, it is hard to tell. I think that on really important occasions it was the Queen herself and maybe on lesser important events it was a priestess representing her. Another title the Queen had been was ‘Mother of the Breasts’. The breasts were the Great Pyramid and the Second Pyramid. The Pyramids were the breasts of Isis. The Pyramids were seen to cause the flooding of the Nile and it brought them nourishment. Sheba or Seba in Egyptian had four different meanings: star, oath,seven and door. Every seven days the BathSheba or a priestess would open the door to the Great Pyramid then goto the top. This ceremony was called the Shabbath or Sabbath. Why is a Queen or priestess on top of the Great Pyramid leading the ceremony? Because the sacred feminine is the capstone to the Universal Temple. Even though King David and King Solomon are heroes to the patriarchs, they did these ceremonies. They also built temples to several gods. A priestess or Queen of the Stars on top of the Pyramid is why people put a star on top of a Christmas tree. The tree is the Great Pyramid. It used to have a lighted walkway that spiraled all the way to the top. Just like Christmas tree lights. The star the wise men were following at Jesus’ birth was Mary. She was Egyptian, so she was a Queen of the Stars or a Queen of Sheba.

In Patriarch Pharaohs I showed you the famous Queen of Sheba was the daughter of King David. Her real name was Maakhah Tamar. King David raped this daughter and got her pregnant, so he married her. Her mother must have been too old to have anymore children or maybe something happened to where she couldn’t have anymore kids. The texts only say she became a widow. This is usually what happens when the Queen gets to old to have kids and the Pharaoh takes on another wife of the bloodline, usually one of his daughters. Maakhah Tamar went from Bathsheba(daughter) to Queen of Sheba, just like the legends and texts say. She had a boy and they named him Sheshoq or Solomon. Fourteen years later King David was on his death-bed. They brought a prostitute in named Abishag to try to screw him out of his death, literally. Abishag means ‘to ravish my father’. This is where the term ‘to shag someone’ comes from. They brought another daughter or maybe a son in to do this. Maybe it was Maakhah Tamar herself, the texts are vague. When it was obvious that sex wasn’t going to work, Maakhah Tamar brings Solomon in to King David and pleads for him to make Solomon Pharaoh of Egypt. David agrees and calls for the priests. The priests and family make him King Solomon at age 14. They bring Naamah in from Upper Egypt to be his bloodline Queen. At this time Maakhah Tamar goes back to Upper Egypt to rule at the age of 32 or 33.

This is where the legends of the Queen of Sheba begin. It is said that she was the Queen of the South and she was a dark or dusky maiden. Upper Egypt is south of Lower Egypt. She was coming from Thebes and going to Tanis. So she was the Queen of the South. Being dark or dusky is the same as calling Mary the black Madonna. It is code for the black or dark lands of Egypt. It had to do with the Nile flooding and making the land black or dark(fertile soil) after it receded. Saying that she came from Ethiopia is because of the Kebra Negast. When this book was found the patriarch George had to bring it in line with the Bible. Couldn’t let this book give away all the lies of the last 1300 years. So he made everything that had to do with Upper Egypt into Ethiopia. Ethiopia was a province of Egypt, so he was being loose with the truth. In this manner she was the Queen of Ethiopia.

By now you understand that Maakhah Tamar is the Queen of Sheba. In the legends she wanted to meet this wise king and bring him gifts. It had been seven years since she had seen her son. He was given the crown at 14 and she went back to Thebes. She had heard how well he was doing and wanted to go see for herself. I have a little trouble excepting this because in the Egyptian texts it says that all the gold, silver and spices she was bringing was to pay tribute, so he wouldn’t attack Upper Egypt. I don’t doubt she wanted to see her son, but she wasn’t bringing all the treasures just because he was wise. He wanted to rule all of Egypt and she was in charge of the south. She brought all the treasures to calm him down and seal the deal by marrying him and having sexual relations with him. And people wonder where incest came from. She had a son from this encounter and named him Menelek. Once he was old enough he wanted to go see his father. While he was there he decides to steal the Ark of the Covenant. I showed in the Ark of the Covenant post what the Ark actually was. All Pharaohs had one and Menelek had a right to be the next Pharaoh. Problem was that Solomon had sons all over the place. Menelek stole it and took it back to Upper Egypt to show everyone he was the rightful heir to the throne.

Mainstream archeologist will say that the Queen of Sheba came from Saba in modern Yemen. They have it wrong. It is the other way around. The story of Jeremiah in the bible is how the people got to Saba. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Israel and Judaea in 597 BCE. A group of people left Judea and headed toward modern Yemen to a town they called Marib. Marib means wisdom of Maakhah. It was not named Saba till much later. Jeremiah was blaming this group of people for the fall of Jerusalem. They worshipped the Queen of Heaven, Maakhah Tamar or Isis. All are the same. When they got to Yemen they built the Marib damn, so they could grow their spices and became very rich. Spices in these ancients texts usually refers to hemp or marijuana. They got rich off of the left-handed cigarette. This group of people had the Tanakh with them. The Tanakh was an ancient book that Joseph Flavius couldn’t get his hands on because it had left Jerusalem with these Sheba worshippers. About 630 CE the Marib damn breaks and this group of goddess worshippers head back to Jerusalem. They are met by Mohammed and his thugs. He kills all of them and takes the Tanakh. He uses it to write the Koran. Mohammed, real name Lothar Schmalfus, was a pope reject. All he wanted was revenge on Christianity. He took the Tanakh and filled it with hate to get people to fight for him. This is why there is historical truth in the Koran. Other than that it is a book of hate to get people to fight a war.  Make no mistake, I am not taking up for Christianity.  As far as I am concerned, this planet would be better off if all religions were thrown off of it.

The rulers of this world make sure the masses stay in ignorance, superstition and fear. All this history was hidden and lost. Very few people know the true history of this world. That is why I started this blog. If people can be shown the truth, ignorance goes away and hopefully superstitions will follow. Getting rid of fear is up to you. Realize the power that you have as an individual. I have found that knowledge is power. Ignorance is the darkness of chaos and knowledge is the light of the Cosmos.

Stunning 700-year-old giant cave used by Knights Templar found behind a rabbit hole in the British countryside – Mirror Online

The cave, beneath a farmer’s field in Shropshire, was used by the medieval religious order that fought in the Crusades and these stunning images were captured by photographer Michael Scott

It contains a network of walkways that are “completely untouched”

The way out of the cave, where Knights Templar would have walked 700 years ago

The hole leading into the cave looks just like a rabbit’s hole.

The cave is near the Shropshire village of Albrighton.

The Knights Templar were active from 1119 to the beginning of the 1300s, although the exact dates are disputed.

It is not known exactly when the cave was dug, but it is thought around 700 years ago – although some believe it was much later in the 17th century

Source: Stunning 700-year-old giant cave used by Knights Templar found behind a rabbit hole in the British countryside – Mirror Online

Karelian Magic – Elder Mountain Dreaming

Various folk (shamanic) tradition practices are called Folk Healing, like the Grandmothers in this video (in other traditions its called medicine woman). The Slavs, Balkans and North regions like the Karelians pretty much have the same basic rituals for healing. The feet are important because they are both where the greatest amount of our detoxing of sickness releases.  The folk singing (chanting and/or spells its called in some traditions) are the direction in which the healing “intent” of the energy is given.

Song, movement, specific parts of the body, water and fire rituals, all work together as the root foundation, be that medicine chanted or spoken into sacred clothing through  embroidery, or the folk healer (who whisperers) a directional energy, or our relationship to the spirit (benevolent energies) of earth to work with the healer (in shamanic way), which is closest to our body and soul of the sick.

The Karelians are a nation that belongs to Baltic-Finnic ethnic group that are currently living in Finland and Russia. In Russia Karelians mostly settle in the Republic of Karelia and in other north-western parts of the Russian Federation. There are also significant Karelian enclaves in the Tver and Novgorod regions of Russia, as some Karelians migrated after 1656 because of war.

In Finland they traditionally settle in the regions of Savonia and Northern and Southern Karelia. The historic homeland of the Karelians has been the Karelian Isthmus, Ladoga Karelia, Olonets Karelia in Russia and the provinces of Northern and Southern Karelia and Savonia in Finland. Many became refuges from German Occupation (of ww2) and their numbers are very small today.

Source: Karelian Magic – Elder Mountain Dreaming

Witches of America | Alex Mar

“Witches are gathering…”

When most people hear the word “witches,” they think of horror films and Halloween, but to the nearly one million Americans who practice Paganism today, witchcraft is a nature worshipping, polytheistic, and very real religion. So Alex Mar discovers when she sets out to film a documentary and finds herself drawn deep into the world of present-day magic.

Witches of America follows Mar on her immersive five-year trip into the occult, charting modern Paganism from its roots in 1950s England to its current American mecca in the San Francisco Bay Area; from a gathering of more than a thousand witches in the Illinois woods to the New Orleans branch of one of the world’s most influential magical societies. Along the way she takes part in dozens of rituals and becomes involved with a wild array of characters: a government employee who founds a California priesthood dedicated to a Celtic goddess of war; American disciples of Aleister Crowley, whose elaborate ceremonies turn the Catholic mass on its head; second-wave feminist Wiccans who practice a radical separatist witchcraft; a growing “mystery cult” whose initiates trace their rites back to a blind shaman in rural Oregon. This sprawling magical community compels Mar to confront what she believes is possible—or hopes might be.

With keen intelligence and wit, Mar illuminates the world of witchcraft while grappling in fresh and unexpected ways with the question underlying every faith: Why do we choose to believe in anything at all? Whether evangelical Christian, Pagan priestess, or atheist, each of us craves a system of meaning to give structure to our lives. Sometimes we just find it in unexpected places.

Source: Witches of America | Alex Mar

Ancient ‘lost continent’ found lurking under Indian Ocean

A complex splintering took place with fragments of continental crust of variable sizes left adrift within the evolving Indian Ocean basin.

Scientists have confirmed the existence of a “lost continent” under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius that was left-over by the break-up of the super-continent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago.

The piece of crust, which was subsequently covered by young lava during volcanic eruptions on the island, seems to be a tiny piece of ancient continent, which broke off from the island of Madagascar, when Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica split up and formed the Indian Ocean.

“We are studying the break-up process of the continents, in order to understand the geological history of the planet,” said Professor Lewis Ashwal from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

By studying the mineral, zircon, found in rocks spewed up by lava during volcanic eruptions, Ashwal and his colleagues have found that remnants of this mineral were far too old to belong on the island of Mauritius.

“Earth is made up of two parts – continents, which are old, and oceans, which are “young”. On the continents you find rocks that are over four billion years old, but you find nothing like that in the oceans, as this is where new rocks are formed,” said Ashwal.

“Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than nine million years old on the island. However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found zircons that are as old as three billion years,” he said.

Zircons are minerals that occur mainly in granites from the continents. They contain trace amounts of uranium, thorium and lead, and due to the fact that they survive geological process very well, they contain a rich record of geological processes and can be dated extremely accurately.

“The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crystal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent,” said Ashwal.

This is not the first time that zircons that are billions of years old have been found on the island. A study done in 2013 has found traces of the mineral in beach sand.

However, this study received some criticism, including that the mineral could have been either blown in by the wind, or carried in on vehicle tyres or scientists’ shoes.

“The fact that we found the ancient zircons in rock (six-million-year-old trachyte), corroborates the previous study and refutes any suggestion of wind-blown, wave-transported or pumice-rafted zircons for explaining the earlier results,” said Ashwal.

Ashwal suggests that there are many pieces of various sizes of “undiscovered continent”, collectively called “Mauritia”, spread over the Indian Ocean, left over by the breakup of Gondwanaland.

“According to the new results, this break-up did not involve a simple splitting of the ancient super-continent of Gondwana, but rather, a complex splintering took place with fragments of continental crust of variable sizes left adrift within the evolving Indian Ocean basin,” Ashwal added.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: Ancient ‘lost continent’ found lurking under Indian Ocean

The Story Behind The Movie Hidden Figures …

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Melba Roy

As America stood on the brink of a Second World War, the push for aeronautical advancement grew ever greater, spurring an insatiable demand for mathematicians. Women were the solution. Ushered into the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1935 to shoulder the burden of number crunching, they acted as human computers, freeing the engineers of hand calculations in the decades before the digital age. Sharp and successful, the female population at Langley skyrocketed.

Many of these “computers” are finally getting their due, but conspicuously missing from this story of female achievement are the efforts contributed by courageous, African-American women. Called the West Computers, after the area to which they were relegated, they helped blaze a trail for mathematicians and engineers of all races and genders to follow.

“These women were both ordinary and they were extraordinary,” says Margot Lee Shetterly. Her new book Hidden Figures shines light on the inner details of these women’s lives and accomplishments. The book is being adapted into a movie that will receive a wide release release in January.

“We’ve had astronauts, we’ve had engineers—John Glenn, Gene Kranz, Chris Kraft,” she says. “Those guys have all told their stories.” Now it’s the women’s turn.

 Growing up in Hampton, Virginia, in the 1970s, Shetterly lived just miles away from Langley. Built in 1917, this research complex was the headquarters for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which was intended to turn the floundering flying gadgets of the day into war machines. The agency was dissolved in 1958, to be replaced by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) as the space race gained speed.

The West Computers were at the heart of the center’s advancements. They worked through equations that described every function of the plane, running the numbers often with no sense of the greater mission of the project. They contributed to the ever-changing design of a menagerie of wartime flying machines, making them faster, safer, more aerodynamic. Eventually their stellar work allowed some to leave the computing pool for specific projects—Christine Darden worked to advance supersonic flight, Katherine Johnson calculated the trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo missions. NASA dissolved the remaining few human computers in the 1970s as the technological advances made their roles obsolete.

The first black computers didn’t set foot at Langley until the 1940s. Though the pressing needs of war were great, racial discrimination remained strong and few jobs existed for African-Americans, regardless of gender. That was until 1941 when A. Philip Randolph, pioneering civil rights activist, proposed a march on Washington, D.C., to draw attention to the continued injustices of racial discrimination. With the threat of 100,000 people swarming to the Capitol, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, preventing racial discrimination in hiring for federal and war-related work. This order also cleared the way for the black computers, slide rule in hand, to make their way into NACA history.

Katherine Johnson at her desk at Langley with a
Katherine Johnson at her desk at Langley with a “celestial training device.” (NASA)

Exactly how many women computers worked at NACA (and later NASA) over the years is still unknown. One 1992 study estimated the total topped several hundred but other estimates, including Shetterly’s own intuition, says that number is in the thousands.

As a child, Shetterly knew these brilliant mathematicians as her girl scout troop leaders, Sunday school teachers, next-door neighbors and as parents of schoolmates. Her father worked at Langley as well, starting in 1964 as an engineering intern and becoming a well-respected climate scientist. “They were just part of a vibrant community of people, and everybody had their jobs,” she says. “And those were their jobs. Working at NASA Langley.”

Surrounded by the West Computers and other academics, it took decades for Shetterly to realize the magnitude of the women’s work. “It wasn’t until my husband, who was not from Hampton, was listening to my dad talk about some of these women and the things that they have done that I realized,” she says. “That way is not necessarily the norm”

The spark of curiosity ignited, Shetterly began researching these women. Unlike the male engineers, few of these women were acknowledged in academic publications or for their work on various projects. Even more problematic was that the careers of the West Computers were often more fleeting than those of the white men. Social customs of the era dictated that as soon as marriage or children arrived, these women would retire to become full-time homemakers, Shetterly explains. Many only remained at Langley for a few years.

But the more Shetterly dug, the more computers she discovered. “My investigation became more like an obsession,” she writes in the book. “I would walk any trail if it meant finding a trace of one of the computers at its end.”

She scoured telephone directories, local newspapers, employee newsletters and the NASA archives to add to her growing list of names. She also chased down stray memos, obituaries, wedding announcements and more for any hint at the richness of these women’s lives. “It was a lot of connecting the dots,” she says.

“I get emails all the time from people whose grandmothers or mothers worked there,” she says. “Just today I got an email from a woman asking if I was still searching for computers. [She] had worked at Langley from July 1951 through August 1957.”

Langley was not just a laboratory of science and engineering; “in many ways, it was a racial relations laboratory, a gender relations laboratory,” Shetterly says. The researchers came from across America. Many came from parts of the country sympathetic to the nascent Civil Rights Movement, says Shetterly, and backed the progressive ideals of expanded freedoms for black citizens and women.

Read more: The True Story of “Hidden Figures,” the Forgotten Women Who Helped Win the Space Race