Feature Articles – The phallus of Osiris in Hollywood?
Is it possible that the “phallus of Osiris”, the Egyptian Lord of the Underworld, is located under a hill in Hollywood? As outlandish as it may seem, truth might be stranger than any film producer could imagine!
by Philip Coppens
Some stories are weirder than anything Hollywood screenwriters could come up with. But then, facts are often stranger than fiction! How would you react if you were told that the phallus of the Egyptian god Osiris is possibly located underneath a buried pyramid in the very centre of Hollywood – Los Angeles? Doesn’t this sound like something from a movie? Well, it isn’t.
The site where Osiris’ phallus is supposedly buried is known as the Hollywood Cross, which sits on a small hill next to Interstate 101, at Cahuenga. The site is notorious as the cross can clearly be seen from the 101, especially at night, when it is illuminated and sometimes – depending on visibility – seems to be suspended in mid air. From the Hollywood & Highland Center, with its viewing platform designed to give visitors a good view of the Hollywood sign, the sign is visible sitting to the lower left of this iconic view.
So, how could a legendary Egyptian artefact ever end up underneath a completely naturally looking hill in the very heart of lala-land, correct? It seems absurd, impossible, as the Ancient Egyptians according to all historical accounts never made it to America, let alone the “far side” of America. But however illogical it seems, this was nevertheless the total conviction of one of the greatest astrologers of the 20th century, Linda Goodman, who spent a small fortune in trying to prove her case. Linda Goodman was a New York Times bestselling author, who sold millions of book on astrology, including “Sun Signs”, which was published in 1968. Though therefore a well-known public figure, what was less known, was that her life was defined by two main preoccupations: the quest to find out the fate of her eldest daughter Sally, who had disappeared in mysterious circumstances; and to prove the presence of Osiris’ phallus in Hollywood.
The site where the phallus was supposedly located was underneath the Hollywood Cross, which is located on Pilgrimage Drive, in Cahuenga. Cahuenga is the Spanish name for the Tongva village of Kawengna, meaning “place of the mountain” – etymological evidence that the mountain was important to the Native Americans who lived there.
Today, the hill shields the Ford amphitheatre on its lower slopes. But it was what was inside the hill that obsessed Goodman: from the early 1970s until her death on October 21, 1995, she believed that there was a subterranean structure underneath the hill, which contained Osiris’ phallus. From the early 1990s onwards, she paid out a small fortune to have series of tests performed that were always using the latest available technology that could map what was inside the hill, without having to resort to physical digging. She realised that no-one was going to believe her, or allow her to excavate without almost concrete proof that something manmade was underneath that hill. It was her quest for the Holy Grail.
But those who knew Goodman during the 1990s and saw the compiled scientific material – Goodman tried to rally support and interest in this project – confirm that these scientific surveys all came back arguing that there was indeed an underground structure underneath that hill. Some speak of a buried pyramid, while others speak of clear evidence of a manmade structure, or chamber. And with each survey result, Goodman became more convinced that one of the greatest legendary artefacts – thought to exist in legend only – was hidden in Hollywood. How did a bestselling author on astrology become convinced that there was a buried pyramid in Hollywood? Goodman related the incident in her 1988 book “Star Signs”. The story started in 1970 – New Year’s Day. While promoting her bestselling “Sun Signs”, she stayed in room 1217 (later renumbered to room 1221) of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, then as now one of the iconic hotels in Hollywood.
Unexpectedly, a stranger knocked on her door. He identified himself as “Nahtan” and was invited in by Goodman. During their discussion, he made a number of extraordinary claims, stating that he could bilocate, walk through walls, etc. He was apparently an initiate of an order, who had lived for more than thirty years in a monastery in India. For anyone not present, the obvious conclusion might be that this was a charlatan, but Goodman was not naïve. Whomever he was, he left a lasting impact on her. Indeed, it would be a life-changing few hours for her.
Nahtan also had a clear mission: he told Goodman that she should go to the mountains, where she would meet her twin soul. “Twin souls” are similar to the concept of soul mates, but more specified. The definition of a twin soul is someone who is made from the same soul, halved at the beginning of time, who reunite in the flesh during their lives on earth, to become whole again. It is this specific concept that is told time and again in many myths, including the myth of Isis and Osiris, who were such twin souls. In mythology the concept is often described as “brother and sister, and lovers”. Indeed, it was their love story that is probably the greatest love story ever told, one that inspired generations of ancient Egyptians. Goodman had worked extensively in using astrology with this concept and after 1970, applied herself even more. As mentioned, Goodman related her encounter with Nahtan in detail in her book “Star Signs”. What Goodman left out of the published account, were the details on how Nahtan had provided information on Hollywood Hill, though the published account does include an oblique reference to it. After Nahtan left, Goodman writes how she sat in the suite of the hotel, “by the window that looked out on the small white cross, planted on the far hill behind Graumann’s Chinese Theatre across Hollywood Boulevard.” (Preface, p. lv) This wasn’t just a woman looking into the distance, but a woman looking at what was going to become one of her life’s greatest challenges.
Ever after, whenever Goodman came to Los Angeles, she would ask for the same hotel suite, primarily because of the encounter she had had there, and because there was a clear, unobstructed view to the Hollywood Cross. Today, the latter is no longer the case, as the Hollywood & Highland Center has blocked the view – though from the viewing platform of that complex, you can, as mentioned, see how the Hollywood cross and the famous Hollywood sign almost perfectly align. Linda Goodman So, during Nahtan’s visit, he related about a future in which Goodman would meet her twin soul. She considered Isis and Osiris to be the perfect archetypes for the concept of twin souls, and she seemed to hold the belief that the Great Pyramid had been built by Osiris, millennia earlier than established history dates it – in her opinion, Khufu merely restored it. She was, of course, neither the first nor the last who believed that the pyramid predated the Dynastic Era of Ancient Egypt. The Egyptian High Priest Manetho produced a King List, in which he stated that before the first Dynastic Pharaoh, there were demigods and gods who ruled over Egypt – including Osiris. Indeed, for the Ancient Egyptians, Osiris was not considered to be a mythical figure, but a physical reality.
The story of Isis and Osiris is one of the greatest love stories ever told. When Osiris is tricked during a meal, he is killed and his body mutilated in fourteen parts, whereupon they are scattered along the length of the River Nile. Isis goes in search of these pieces, in the hope of recovering them all, and thus saving Osiris’ soul. Alas, she is unable to find Osiris’ phallus, which some accounts of the legends relate was eaten by the fishes that live in the Nile. (It was the reason why Egyptian priests were not allowed to eat fish.) She therefore created a phallus from wood, and through magic was able to conceive the Divine Child, Horus, who would later go on to avenge his father by slaying Seth, Osiris’ brother, whom had been responsible for Osiris’ death.
Goodman highlighted December 8 as the date that was linked with the festival of the maimed Osiris and his resurrection through the intervention of Isis. Today, in the Christian calendar, it marks the feast of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, each year, Goodman would make sure that she was in Los Angeles, so she could trek to the Hollywood Cross, often accompanied by a small group of people who shared her passion for this enigma. Most reconnaissance missions started from and ended at her hotel. Though most of the information on the Hollywood Cross seems to have come from Nahtan, friends of Goodman believe that her interest in the Cross was enforced once she followed Nahtan’s advice to go to the mountains, which turned out to be in Colorado. They believe that once she had settled in a relationship there, she was contacted by members of the White Brotherhood, a movement that had been created in Colorado by Maurice Doreal. His teachings were heavily focused on the Emerald Tablets – which were linked with the fourteen pieces of Osiris, one of which was of course his phallus. Doreal had created his own translation of the Tablets, which Goodman used. The tablets were said to have been written by Thoth, the scribe of the Gods, and said to contain all the wisdom known to Mankind. One version of the Emerald Tablets became known as the “Corpus Hermeticum”, and they were designed to allow the Greeks to understand the knowledge of their Egyptian compatriots, after the Greeks had conquered Egypt.
There are definitely several overlaps between what Nahtan had told Goodman and what Doreal had preached. But there are also aspects of Doreal’s claims that are less mainstream. Maurice Doreal (the name Claude Doggins adopted) believed that an ancient race of lizard people had once lived on this earth, as well as an Aryan race from Mars that was at war with these lizard beings. Both possessed advanced technology, some of which was preserved in “Rainbow City”, which was said to be somewhere in Antarctica. As was the case for so many others of his ilk and time, Mount Shasta also became of paramount importance in his theory; he even wrote a book, “The Mysteries of Mt. Shasta”. Of course, since Doreal, a belief in extra-terrestrial lizards has become one of the popular conspiracy theories.
Of direct interest to us is that Doreal’s “Emerald Tablets” was published in the late 1940s, echoing his interest in the teachings of the ancient Egyptians. He believed that this collection of material had been compiled by an Atlantean high-priest, Thoth, who, like Osiris, should be seen as a physical entity.
Doreal also created The Brotherhood of the White Temple in 1930 with headquarters in Sedalia, Colorado. The focus of the brotherhood was to print pamphlets, which tackled a variety of esoteric subjects. They were said to be the teachings of higher-evolved beings that were here to guide humanity in its evolution. If true, Nahtan was clearly one of them. How much did Doreal and his movement influence Goodman? Doreal died in 1963, but his brotherhood survived, to this day (www.bwtinc.org). Seeing that Goodman only moved to Colorado in the early 1970s, and became more prominently interested in the subject matter after her encounter with Nahtan, it is clear that Doreal’s influence was secondary, at best. However, it is known that she had Doreal’s translation of these Emerald Tablets, and that she often gave some copies to friends. However, based on what we can know for sure, it seems that she saw the organisation more like kindred spirits, one of few interested parties in Colorado – if not America – that might be interested in and helping her with her quest to prove a manmade structure existed underneath the Hollywood Cross. How much the organisation did help, remains a matter of speculation. When Goodman died in 1995, her estate ended up in the hands of Crystal Bush. She hired a team that went through all of Goodman’s boxes. Some of the researchers were intimately aware of the fact that Goodman had documents and test results to do with the Hollywood Cross hill, but none of those papers were found in the boxes acquired by Bush. Where they ended up, remains unknown.
The story of the Hollywood Cross is therefore – at present – without hard evidence. But it comes from a remarkable and reputable source. And everyone who came across the evidence Goodman had accumulated, was convinced that the investigation should be continued. All the hard scientific surveys she had carried out on the hill, at great personal expense, always came back arguing that the matter should not be dropped.
The paramount question, of course, is whether it is possible. For even evidence of a subterranean chamber under a hill is not necessarily evidence of Osiris’ phallus present inside. But to take the problem one bite at a time…
When driving around that specific area of Hollywood, specifically around the back streets, it is clear that some of the hills show clear signs of terracing. Whether ancient or more modern is to be determined, but it is largely in line with earthen mounds seen elsewhere in the States and Mexico. It is also known that the area was once sacred land to the Native Americans, which could explain the terracing, but also brings about the question why the Native Americans considered it to be sacred.
Interestingly, Goodman was convinced that it was no coincidence that the eighth art – cinematography – had blossomed in the shadow of Osiris’ missing phallus. It is indeed a matter of record that the Emerald Tablets and hence Osiris were seen as inspiring the arts (e.g. the availability of the Corpus Hermeticum in 15th century Florence is one of the cornerstones of the Renaissance and painters like Botticelli, Donatello, etc.).
Osiris and his magical son Horus are also the heroes par excellence, and it is of course Hollywood that is the best-known and biggest hero factory on Planet Earth. Coincidence? For an astrologer like Linda Goodman, there was no such thing. Coincidence was merely a relationship between two objects which science had not yet fully understood. The reason why Hollywood became what it is, she felt, lay underneath a hill next to the 101. There are some hints that Goodman might not have been the first interested in this piece of land. Interestingly, the summit of the hill is the only piece of property in LA that is circular in shape! Today, it is in private ownership, though the property immediately surrounding the circle is owned by LA County.
An interesting character in the history of the hill is Christine Wetherill Stevenson. In the 1920s, she purchased land across the street from the Hollywood Bowl and built the Pilgrimage Theater, which became the home of the Pilgrimage Play, all about the life of Jesus. Jesus and Osiris share many things in common, though, of course, one can’t go too far into this comparison, for Jesus is at the cornerstone of every Christian’s faith.
Upon her death in 1922, she was remembered with the now famous cross, making the Hollywood Cross hill into something of a Golgotha, the hill upon which Jesus was crucified. Originally, the cross was only lit during Easter when the play was performed, but soon, it was lit every night and the Cross became one of Hollywood’s many famous landmarks. Of course, the Passion, with the Last Supper and Jesus’ subsequent death, are clear parallels with the story of Osiris being murdered during a meal. Equally, the parallels between Mary Magdalene weeping at the cross and Isis weeping over her husband’s body, are apparent. How did – how could – Osiris’ phallus end up in California? That is of course the vital question. For this, we need to accept that the legend of Isis and Osiris is physically real. As alien as that is for a 21st century mindset, the ancient Egyptians themselves made it clear that they believed that their deities were once physical beings, who had lived ca. 20,000 BC. It is also known that the ancient Egyptians of Dynastic times had sailing boats that were able to sail the seas. There is as yet no hard evidence that they sailed the oceans, though there are some indications to this possibility. Only the future will tell. In the Grand Canyon and Arizona, there are some indications that the ancient Egyptians potentially came here. Certain Egyptian artefacts and rumours of caves with Egyptian mummies and like have been rumoured to exist ever since the Canyon was unlocked by Man.
Osiris, however, was the Lord of the Underworld. Subterranean chambers and coffins were linked with him and therefore the possibility that one of the artefacts linked with him was buried in a subterranean structure, is extremely logical. And another question, of course, is whether the thirteen other artefacts linked with Osiris are buried somewhere – and if so, where? It is too early to create a coherent theory, but there are some interesting points to make. The Hopi, a Native American tribe that lives in Arizona, see their place of emergence – the place of creation – in the Grand Canyon. It is therefore a very special place for them. Could it be the same for the ancient Egyptians, who spoke of a Western Isle as the place of their origins? A place from which they came to Egypt…
Some will immediately fill this in as Atlantis, a continent said to exist in the direction of America, and though written down by Plato, this Greek philosopher was relating information that he himself had received from Egyptian priests… the same Egyptian priests who believed their deities had lived, thousands of years ago, on earth. If Osiris belongs to that period, 20,000 odd years ago, and to a lost civilisation, then the possibility that this civilisation sailed to America, is a possibility. Archaeology is discovering with every passing day that Mankind’s presence on the American continent is far older than previously assumed!
The Hopi equally speak about a magical water jar, which was able to create wells and streams even in the most adverse dry climates. Many of their great houses in Arizona were without running water, yet it is known that communities once thrived there. Did water indeed come from a magical water jar? Part of their tradition states that sometimes a jar broke, and hence a representative of the Hopi needed to travel west, to an undefined location on the Pacific Coast, to refashion a magical water jar. Interestingly, such water jars, or baskets, or chests, are in Egyptian culture specifically associated with Osiris. Coincidence? Or a final indicator that Hollywood Hill might be intimately linked with the mysteries of ancient Egypt, and that reality is often indeed more incredible and weird than anything the screenwriters can come up with? Hollywood Hill was a private project of Linda Goodman, which largely died when she died in 1995. But those who knew her and of her interest, remain convinced that Goodman was onto something, if only because they had seen the results of the scientific surveys. Alas, when she died, the relevant documents were apparently lost, meaning that the story of the Hollywood Hill became another… legend. Those who knew her, hope that they can rekindle the project. Since 1995, surveying techniques have made gigantic strides forward, and what seemed impossible to map then, is now often quite easily doable. The “problem” of Hollywood Hill, therefore, seems to be one of belief, of conviction. Can we accept that the ancient Egyptian deities were once physically real? And if so, is it possible that somehow, an ancient Egyptian relic, ended up halfway across the world, in Hollywood? It’s a small step for a Hollywood scriptwriter, but a giant leap for Mankind! This article appeared in Atlantis Rising, Issue 85 (January – February 2011).