The Rise & Fall of the Polar Cosmos

From H.P. Lovecraft to Philip Pullman, popular culture has long been lured by the magnetism of the north. Why does it command such fascination? How far into the past does its appeal extend?

Ranging from the Stone Age to the Space Age, this book’s bold vision of cosmology maps how the pole star became associated with political power, religious rapture, and social hierarchies. And when the Copernican Revolution shattered the idea of Earth as the centre of everything, shards of this polar cosmos fell down, seeding strange fantasies, haunting our modern world with remnants of celestial dreams…

Cover of North: The Rise and Fall of the Polar Cosmos

A big visionary sweep executed with erudition and imaginative insight.

Patrick Harpur, author of Daimonic Reality

Gorgeous and profound.

Barry Patterson, author of The Art of Conversation with the Genus Loci

North is a flawed beauty; a remarkable piece of scholarship that is not without problems. Intellectually wide-ranging and blind, expansive and deeply personal, impassioned and logical, embodied in place, and detached across time, it is a book of contradictions … The scope here is truly impressive. … There is no denying that he is a fantastic wordsmith …

Time & Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture

North: The Rise and Fall of the Polar Cosmos is an audacious new trip through history and prehistory from Gyrus, creator of Towards 2012 and Dreamflesh Journal.

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Cover art by signalstarr

Further reading

For a general summary of North‘s story, see The Hidden History of Cosmos & Community.

There’s also an outline of the book, chapter-by-chapter.

If you’re interested in following my intellectual trail through books, articles and films, check out Further research.

After the book was published, I started a series of self-critique posts presenting alternate views on big issues running through the book: Counterpoints to North.

Much material never made it into the book, and I published posts and essays to give the outtakes a life. Here’s some highlights which develop some tangents and go into more depth:

And here’s the rest of the posts from the now-retired website for the book:

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