It takes a sensitive soul to explore and understand Mother Africa and the intelligent and conscious construct of ancient civilizations. Such is the character of the man who made it his mission in life to share his knowledge, involve communities and create opportunities for people to experience the wonders of the sacred sites with him. This interview let us take a closer look at Dean Liprini, founder of SSFSA and his journey with archaeoastronomy.
In your words… how would you define Archaeoastronomy?
“Archaeoastronomy for me is observing the movements of the sun, moon, and stars through the eyes of ancient man as they rose and set on the great horizon calendar, marking the changes of the seasons; winter solstice, summer solstice and equinoxes and how these astronomical events dictated their lives and all life on mother earth.
Archaeoastronomy is looking through the eyes of the people of the past, at the surrounding landscape, the horizon calendar and exploring the most significant places that are first and last lit by the rising sun or a rising or setting star that had some cultural/spiritual significance to these early people. Geometric marker stones that had been positioned, put in place, and aligned, to interact with these rising and setting astronomical events that marked the ever-changing eben flow of the seasons. These places would have been chosen for their spiritual practices, these places were their earth temples.”
What’s the earliest memory that sparked your passion?
The ‘spark’ of the Elephant’s Eye
It was in the Elephant’s Eye Cave, as a young boy (around 10) that Dean witnessed the first rays of the sun aligning with the eye (of a face carved on the cave entrance). This was one of his earliest moments that gave him a sense of the lives of the ancient people. It was the first of many insights and revelations that followed years later.
Looking back at this incident… how do you feel about taking the Namibia trip…
and the things that happened?
Stone age telescope
At 22 on a trip to Namibia, Dean unexpectedly came across a set of rock petroglyphs on the banks of the Orange River during a breakdown of the Volkswagen combi they were travelling in. This incident might well have been the moment that determined the course of his life. This incident might well have been the pivotal moment that determined the course of his life.
After returning from Namibia, a climb up Lions Head, Cape Town brought Dean to notice a stone age telescope. His follow up visit to the spot (at full moon) paid off. He carefully observed as it was his observations that led Dean to drawing his very first pathway map and discovered the South African Astronomical Observatory positioning on this line too. A good thing Dean paid the Observatory a visit as it was here where he learnt he is actually studying archaeoastronomy; and he was given a file filled with formulas to ease his calculation efforts.
I think you left really not knowing where this journey will take you … looking back, how important would you say this experience has been in the ‘bigger picture’ of the SSFSA… ?
Tracking the sun
Passion clearly ignited! Dean set off on a journey to follow the markers he discovered and see where they will lead him. He did so with a compass, binoculars, pot and pan. Perhaps in some way the journey will never really come to an end. It seems to continuously unfold as research, knowledge and understanding meet.
Anything interesting you want to add about the book, the time you were writing it… or a story or two from people who had bought and read it?
Unveiling the mysteries
One of the ways that Dean shares the beauty and wonders of the sacred sites is through his book: Pathways of the Sun: unveiling the mysteries of Table Mountain and beyond – Published 2006. He describes the book as “a little bit of science, a little bit of spirituality put together visually”. It’s meant to provide even a child or illiterate person a sense of energy transmission, knowledge transfer and some measurement of understanding.
Give us a peak into SSFSA and your personal journey ahead….
The journey continues
Now with 27 years of research behind him (and still counting), Dean continues to delve and unravel the wonders of past civilizations, and helping people discover the connections between the past and the present. Read more theEquinox Adventure Tour, 6 to 22 March 2019 with Michael Tellinger.