E a r t h Q u e s t -N e w s

The Andrew Collins Newsletter - March 2015

In this newsletter: The Black Alchemist published finally. Kindle and paperback editions available now. Download your free PDF sampler of The Black Alchemist. Special limited edition of 276 copies on the way. Update on everything new at Göbekli Tepe. Excarnation and the cult of the vulture in the Neolithic world. The opening of Sanliurfa's new museum. Come with us to Göbekli Tepe in May or September, or Peru and Bolivia in June/July. The publication of Caroline Wise's new book Finding Elen: The Quest for Elen of the Ways, with the story behind my own contribution. Laird Scranton's new book Point of Origin, and a new Youtube video by Greg Little on the Path of Souls material, including an account of America's ancient giants, and their relationship to the mound-building cultures of North America

Hi, hope this newsletter finds you well. After much time and considerable effort the re-mastered edition of my book The Black Alchemist is finally available. It is 378 pages, with 66 black and white illustrations, and has been made available using Amazon’s incredible new process known as CreateSpace. The book is published by myself under the imprint name of ABC Books of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK.

Get it in Kindle e-book format at the following links:



Cost for the Kindle edition in the USA is $7.70 including purchase tax.

Or get it from Amazon.co.uk:


Cost for the Kindle edition in the UK is £4.99 including VAT.

Or you can buy The Black Alchemist now as a 378-page paperback with silky matt cover, faded style pages and a stiff perfect blinding from Amazon.com at $18.99 using the following link:


Or get the paperback from Amazon.co.uk for just £9.99 at the following link:


The book’s storyline is as follows:

The Black Alchemist is a real account of terrifying true events. The nightmare begins when Collins and his friend Bernard G. visit a secluded churchyard on the Sussex Downs of southern England as part of a psychic quest. They are looking for an ancient Egyptian treasure, a golden staff known as the Stave of Nizar, brought to England at the time of the Crusades. Yet instead of finding a long lost Egyptian relic they uncover a stone spearhead, inscribed with magical symbols. Through further investigation they discover it has been concealed as part of a dark occult ritual by a character they dub the Black Alchemist. Collins and Bernard are then thrust into a series of horrifying confrontations as this sinister figure attempts to put a stop to their unwanted interference.

Then, in the aftermath of Britain’s first hurricane in nearly 300 years, the Black Alchemist initiates the next phase of his great work—the creation of an antichrist, a second Adam, taking the form of an unholy child of unspeakable power. Even though Bernard now wants out of this dangerous affair, Collins convinces him it is something they cannot ignore, setting up a final psychic confrontation on the Sussex Downs.

During the course of his investigations the author uncovers the true extent of the Black Alchemist’s obsession with Graeco-Egyptian magic and alchemy, as well as his use of the angelic invocations of Elizabethan magus Dr John Dee. Plus he learns the final fate of the historical object known as the Stave of Nizar.

“Already a cult classic” The NME

For those who possess or have read the 1988 original of The Black Alchemist, I can assure you that this new, remastered edition is much expanded with various new chapters, and a completely new ending, along with a reprise in the current day showing that the Black Alchemist affair is by no means over. Indeed, my friend and colleague Richard Ward and I have been back to the Sussex Downs, the Black Alchemist’s old stomping ground, just in the past few months doing new questing work there, trying to uncover what BA was really up to down there.

I have decided to make available to you a free PDF sampler of The Black Alchemist, including the first seven chapters, which will give you a good idea of how the story begins, and what it’s all about. This is available now at the following link:


The sampler includes the book’s Preface, which is an introduction to the whole Black Alchemist saga, along with the impact made by the original book. For instance, did you know that due to the popularity of the book its main protagonist, the Black Alchemist, went on to become a super villain in a special edition Green Arrow issue published in 1991? Or that the Black Alchemist appeared as the big bad in a Lara Croft Tomb Raider game? Did you know also that when I went on tour promoting the book in 1989 Christians picketed virtually every event, and on one occasion even threatened to fire bomb the venue if the all-dayer was allowed to go ahead? In addition to this, a death threat from an overzealous Christian directed at me was sent to the wrong Andrew Collins in my road? He was not amused!

In addition to the Kindle and standard edition paperback version of The Black Alchemist, I am creating a special limited edition of 276 signed and numbered copies. Each one will bear on its pre-frontispiece a unique Monas hieroglyphica stamp in blood-red ink, with the edition number and author signature also in blood-red ink.

The Monas hieroglyphica was a magical sigil or device created by the Elizabethan magus Dr John Dee. It was thought to embody all the powers of God, and could act as a means of accessing the centre of the universe. The symbol was hijacked, used and continually updated by the Black Alchemist. It appeared on many of the fixing markers he would leave at sites to seal his rituals.

A run of 276 copies for the special edition was chosen as this is traditional number of days between the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ, something the Black Alchemist inverted for his own purposes to create an unholy child, an antichrist, carried in the womb of a barren crone, linked with the power of the goddess Hekate.

This special edition will be priced the same as the standard edition, but will, of course, be limited to the print run. More news on this soon. In the meantime, I recommend buying the Kindle e-book or the Amazon paperback, the prices for which have been deliberately kept as low as possible.

Just want to say thanks to everyone who helped me republish The Black Alchemist, especially Storm Constantine, my good friend from Immanion Press, without whom the book would not have happened.

On to other things now …

The Mysteries of Göbekli Tepe

Last week I received an email from a Göbekli Tepe enthusiast in the United States asking whether I knew what the symbol was at the base of Enclosure H’s Pillar 57, which shows on its ‘neck’ area “antithetic” (i.e., a pair of opposing or mirror-like) snakes facing each other, between which is a filled circle that bears a striking resemblance to the apple the Serpent tempted Adam and Eve with in the Garden of Eden.

I am embarrassed to say that not only could I not answer the correspondent’s question, but I didn’t even know of an Enclosure H at Göbekli Tepe, having been out of the loop attending other ventures in my life, like determining the importance of hominid hybridization to the origins of civilization, and attempting to republish old books such as The Black Alchemist and The Seventh Sword.

After requesting further information on Göbekli’s Enclosure H (and Enclosure G, which also seems to have passed me by), I pointed out that, even though I had not yet seen a picture of Pillar 57, the likelihood is that the antithetic serpents flanking the filled circle probably did not represent the Serpent (or should that be Serpents) of Eden. What is more, neither the book of Genesis, or any other Hebrew midrashic text, records that the forbidden fruit the Serpent used to tempt Adam and Eve was an apple, or indeed any citreous fruit. In fact, as I relate in Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods,there is tantalizing evidence from some ancient texts to suggest the forbidden “fruit” was a head or kernel of wheat. If this is correct, it tells us quite clearly that the story of the Fall of Man is a parable relating to humanity’s sudden shift from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to one of settled farmer with the introduction of plant domestication at the beginning of the Neolithic revolution, which most likely began within sight of Göbekli Tepe sometime just after 9000 BC.

Göbekli's Pillar 57 in Enclsoure H (Pic credit:
Niko Becker/DAI)
So if not a rosy red apple, then what was the filled circle on Pillar 57? The easiest answer, and one I confirmed after I did finally see a picture of the stone in question, is that it represents an abstract human head in its role as the human soul. A similar filled circle is seen on the wing tip of a vulture on Enclosure D’s Pillar 43. Here it is even more likely to represent the newly departed soul of the individual, who appears as a headless matchstick man further down the stone. A similar filled circle shown being taken under the protective wing of two vultures, again in the proximity of headless matchstick man, is to be seen in a painted scene showing what appears to be the process of excarnation found at the Neolithic city of Çatal Höyük in southern-central Anatolia. In this example, which probably dates to ca. 7000-6000 BC, three small circles drawn within the main circle are meant to signify the eyes and mouth of the individual. Further confirmation of the filled circle on Pillar 57 being a human soul represented by a human head comes from the fact that the circle clearly narrows towards its base, suggesting the outline of a skull.

The front face of Enclosure H's Pillar 57. Note the antithetic snakes either side of the filled circle, which almost certainly represents an abstract human head in its role as the human soul.The front face of Enclosure H's Pillar 57. Note the antithetic snakes either side of the filled circle, which almost certainly represents an abstract human head in its role as the human soul.

Having pointed this out to my correspondent, he cited references to these new discoveries at Göbekli Tepe, which I was able to download with comparative ease. The first is entitled The Göbekli Tepe Newsletter 2014, and is produced by DAINST, the branch of the German Archaeological Institute responsible for the ongoing excavations and scientific projects taking place at Göbekli Tepe. It is available at the following link:


A second, more scholarly, article is to be found in the latest issue of Neo-lithics (14/1), the newsletter covering all aspects of research and excavation at Neolithic sites in the Near East, principally those in Anatolia, Syria and Iraq. Entitled “Göbekli Tepe: Preliminary Report on the 2012 and 2013 Excavation Seasons” its authors are Oliver Dietrich, Çigdem Köksal-Schmidt, Jens Notroff, Cihat Kürkçüoglu, and the late Klaus Schmidt. It is retrievable from Academia.edu at the following link:


After reading these informative pieces, along with another I found written by Schmidt in German, I became much better acquainted with Göbekli’s Enclosure H (although I could still find no mention of Enclosure G). Enclosure H is located at the western limits of Göbekli Tepe’s occupational mound, and dates to the tenth millennium BC according to tentative radiocarbon dating of burnt materials removed from newly discovered fire pits, the first found at the site. One of its central pillars (P51) remains in situ. Indeed, there is a picture of it in Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, which I took in September 2012 before the rest of the enclosure had been exposed. On the stone’s inner face is a leaping feline, most likely a panther, which faces south. It takes the place of similarly positioned leaping foxes carved on the inner faces of central pillars uncovered in the main area of enclosures located in the southeastern part of the site.

In the Göbekli Tepe book I speculate that this carved feline be the supernatural panther (nemra) personified in Sumerian and later Babylonian astronomy as the constellation MUL.UD.KA.DUH.A, the “constellation (MUL) of the (feline) storm demon with the open mouth.” This has been identified with the stars of Cygnus and neighbouring Cepheus, its open mouth most likely the twin streams of the Milky Way’s Great Rift. This supernatural panther, ruled by Nergal, king of the dead, was seen in Babylonian myth as guarding the entrance to the realm of the dead (see Gavin White, Babylonian Star-lore,2007, 37-8, 159-61).

The second central pillar in Enclosure H was robbed out in antiquity, leaving behind a gaping hole in the floor, which was presumably of terrazzo, a hard mortar made from burnt lime and clay. A single remaining fragment of what could be this missing central pillar lies nearby. Aside from Pillar 57, with its antithetic serpents supporting a filled circle in the position of the T-shape’s neck, at least two other pillars have been identified in the southern section of the monument’s ring-wall.

Beyond the enclosure’s southern edge excavators have found evidence of another wall running parallel with the existing one. Between the two they have also uncovered a stone staircase of at least five steps, although how this relates to the enclosure remains unclear. What the second wall does indicate, however, is the presence of a much larger and more complicated structure than was originally thought.

As stated above, Enclosure H is located at the western edge of Göbekli Tepe. Its position when seen from above is marked by two 9 x 9 metre-square trenches in the southwestern corner of a series of eight trenches in a 4 x 2 arrangement. To the northeast of this excavation area is another set of trenches in a 4 x 3 grid, and I suspect this is where Enclosure G has been identified. When I was there in 2014 I was able to photograph a T-shaped pillar in this same area, which perhaps forms part of this structure.

Satellite image of Göbekli Tepe showing the location of Enclosure H.

Overhead view of Göbekli Tepe showing the position of Enclosure H and the positions of the new stones found.Overhead view of Göbekli Tepe showing the position of Enclosure H and the positions of the new stones found.

One stone talked about by Schmidt in his article in German is Enclosure H's Pillar 56, the left-hand face of which is literally covered with interlocking reliefs of birds and animals of the natural world, with as many as 40 creatures represented either singular or in multiples. They include foxes, felines, wader birds, a flightless bird, lots of snakes, as well as boars, a hare and, taking central stage right across the upper section of the stone, a huge raptor or scavenger bird, its wings outstretched. It has an angular head and a pronounced hooked nose, so could be either an eagle or a vulture.

Göbekli Tepe's Pillar 56 in Enclosure H (Pic credit: Niko Becker/DAI).

A similar bird with outstretched wings, this time definitely a vulture, can be seen on Pillar 43 in Göbekli’s Enclosure D. This I have linked in Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods with both the Neolithic cult of the dead, and also the constellation of Cygnus, which on the Euphrates and also, seemingly, in Armenia, was identified as a vulture. Vultures are the primary bird species involved with the process of excarnation, even to this day. If you want to see why just type in key words such as “excarnation” “vultures,” “Tibetan,” “Himalayas” and “sky-burial” in a search engine and hit “images”! It is a gruesome sight you will behold, but one that is necessary if we are to truly understand what vultures meant to our ancestors. Indeed, even Klaus Schmidt suspected that Göbekli Tepe had been the setting for excarnation practices.

Vultures were, almost certainly, seen in the Neolithic world of the Near East as reflections of the soul’s journey into the afterlife. In other words, the bird acted in the role as psychopomp, a Greek word meaning either “soul carrier” or “soul accompanier.” In much later times the vulture’s function as soul bird was replaced by less ugly birds such as the eagle, hawk, and, among the Sabaean and Mandaean descendents of the Göbekli builders, the dove or pigeon.

The use of vulture imagery in connection with symbols for the human soul and human body makes it clear that excarnation featured in the ritual beliefs and cosmological views of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic world at places like Göbekli Tepe.

And talking of vultures, among the movable objects found during the new excavations at Göbekli Tepe was the upper section of a totem pole showing a vulture perched on a human head – a symbol, as already noted, not simply of the skull, but also of the seat of the soul. A similar section of a stone totem pole showing a vulture standing on human heads was found during the 1980s at another Pre-Pottery Neolithic site named Nevali Çori in the extreme north of Sanliurfa province.

In both examples, the head of the vulture was found to have been deliberately smashed, an act suggesting either the totem pole was ritually decommissioned in this manner at the end of its useful life, or this was an act of iconoclasm against a pre-existing cult that had now gone out of favour. Although the former explanation seems likely, the second option cannot be ruled out. With the appearance of agriculture in southeast Anatolia sometime around 9000 BC there might well have been a switch of interests away from an older stellar-based cosmology to one more associated with the appearance of the sun, the eternal giver of life.

Certainly, later buildings at Göbekli Tepe, such as Enclosure F and the Lion Pillar Building are, as I have outlined elsewhere, aligned towards prominent solar events of the calendar year, sunrise at midsummer in the first instance and the equinoctial sunrise in the second. Much earlier structures were aligned more-or-less north-south towards either the rising and/or setting positions of stars. As the earliest enclosures also feature carved symbols of slim crescents most likely representing the old and new moon, it implies an interest also in the effects of the moon, including the relationship between the lunar cycle and both menstruation and fertility.

Other movable objects found recently at Göbekli Tepe include a fragment of a stone bowl on which are carved the heads and bodies of two upright snakes, below which is a mesh like design, suggesting intertwined serpentine bodies. Something similar is seen on Enclosure A’s Pillar 1, one of the first standing stones to be uncovered at the site. Excavators have also found a small stone figurine depicting an ithyphallic male on the back of which is a quadruped, most likely a feline of some sort.

Nevali Çori on Display in Sanliurfa

Also in the Göbekli Tepe Newsletter 2014 is news of the opening of the new archaeological museum at nearby Sanliurfa. It is to include a permanent exhibition on Göbekli Tepe and its culture, focusing on exhibits from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic ages in Anatolia. I was pleased to see the museum will also feature the reconstructed 10,000-year-old cult building from Nevali Çori. This was a settlement site like Göbekli Tepe, but much smaller with just one building dedicated to cultic practices. It was more-or-less square in design and orientated almost precisely northeast-southwest. It originally had twelve pillars set into its walls with two much larger pillars erected parallel to each other within the centre of its terrazzo floor, the oldest example anywhere in the world before the discovery of Göbekli Tepe.

The Nevali Çori settlement site was lost beneath the rising waters of the Euphrates river following the opening of the Ataturk dam in 1990. Luckily, its cult building was dismantled and will now be seen by all who visit Sanliurfa’s museum. This I look forward to seeing when we return to Sanliurfa and Göbekli Tepe in May as part of Megalithomania’s mini tour of sites in and around the area (the museum is scheduled to open in April).

Nevali Çori's cult building, now reconstructed
in the new Sanliurfa museum.

The Göbekli Tepe Newsletter 2014 also makes it clear that Göbekli Tepe is being prepared as an open-air museum in its own right, complete with a new visitor’s centre, showing the Turkish government’s commitment to promote the site as a major tourist attraction.

If you would like to see the world’s oldest megalithic temple complex, and also visit Sanliurfa museum, why not join Hugh Newman and myself out there in May, or when we return to the area in September. We will also visit Harran, the 10,000-year-old Sabian city of the moon, and also Göbekli Tepe’s sister site Karahan Tepe, where I shall be continuing my own explorations.
For more information on these tours and how to register, click below:


There is still time also to come along with Hugh Newman, Brien Foerster and me on our tour of Peru and Bolivia in June-July. We shall be exploring the mystery of the elongated skulls of Paracas and trying to understand their true origins. Are these heads simply artificially deformed, or are they natural – the last surviving clues to a previous unknown human population?

For more information on these tours and how to register, click below:


Finding Elen: The Quest for Elen of the Ways

My good friend and colleague Caroline Wise is close to the release of her new book Finding Elen: The Quest for Elen of the Ways. As the title suggests, it is about a goddess named Elen who until now has been much neglected in the Western mysteries tradition. She appears as a symbol of female sovereignty in an ancient British story entitled “The Dream of Macsen Wledig”, which can be found in a collection of Welsh medieval texts bound and published under the name Mabinogion. Elen’s name is preserved even today in the Sarn Elen roads that crisscross Wales. Their existence speak of a former age when this mythical figure was seen as guardian of the shining paths, hence her title Elen of the Ways.

Various experts on the mysteries of Elen contribute essays to this new book. Caroline asked me to contribute something on the roots of Elen as far back as 2012. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to write, as I felt I knew very little about the subject. Yet Caroline was insistent it would be me who would uncover Elen’s true relationship to the deer, the reindeer in particular, a connection she had intuitively felt existed ever since she had experienced a vivid dream regarding the goddess as guardian of the deer paths back in the 1980s.

Anyway, three years later and I can report that whilst conducting research for my contributions to Greg Little’s book Path of Souls, I did indeed find the true connection between Elen and the deer, with the key being her role as the Mother of Life among the peoples of the Russian Steppes. It would seem that an advanced population known as the Kurgan culture re-introduced Elen into Europe at the beginning of the Bronze Age, ca. 3000-2500 BC. However, her true roots were to be sought much further east in the Ural Mountains of eastern Russia and the snowy realms of Siberia. Here is where the cult of Elena, or more correctly Elena, in her guise as the supernatural deer, or swan, would appear to have signified the Mother of Life as far back as the Upper Palaeolithic age. Here too we can find the origin of the name Elena, as I reveal in my own contribution to Caroline’s book, which has an introduction by esteemed Western mystery tradition historian John Matthews.

My own article is called “Elen and the Celestial Deer Path: The Quest to Find the True Origins of the Primordial Mother of Life.” It shows Elen’s role as a personification of the Milky Way and explains her relationship to Cygnus and other key stars, such as Castor and Pollux in Gemini, the celestial twins.

I can’t recommend this book enough, and urge you to seek out a copy. As soon as I know the exact means of purchase, I shall relay this information to you.
My colleague Greg Little, author of Path of Souls, has uploaded a YouTube video on the subject of Path of Souls, featuring the story of the American giants and their connection to the mound-building cultures such as the Adena and Hopewell peoples.

This can be viewed at the following link:


Don't forget to download The Black Alchemist sampler now. You won't be disappointed.