The Shroud of Turin Revisited

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology

Much has been written on the Shroud of Turin, which is believed to be the cloth that covered Jesus when his body was taken down from the cross and laid in the sepulchre. According to Scripture the body ‘resurrected’, establishing the dogma that has become a firm pillar of the Christian faith: Jesus was no longer in the tomb when disciples visited the site hours later; it is believed that he had miraculously resurrected and ascended to heaven, thereby escaping the ‘sting of Death’. In the meantime Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, as recorded in St John’s Gospel, applied aloe and myrrh profusely to the body which then was wrapped in a fine linen cloth. That cloth remained in the sepulchre after Jesus’ purported resurrection and bore the imprint of the person it had covered, thought all along to have been Jesus. This sacred relic has miraculously survived the ravages of time and circumstance intact, including a devastating fire in 1532 which left its mark but did not destroy the sindon (shroud). Finally, some 400 years ago it reached Turin, Italy, where it is still preserved with care and reverence.
The voyage of the Shroud from Jerusalem to Turin has been a tumultuous affair. That it did reach the 21st Century intact is the real miracle. In the words of Holger Kersten, author of The Jesus Conspiracy,1  ‘…It seems almost as if there were some kind of divine plan behind it, as if the secret of the Shroud was meant to lie buried in the shadows of history down the centuries, until time was ripe for its revelation in the twentieth century.’
In my recent article, ‘On the Nature of Prophecy’ posted earlier on this website, I discussed this very issue regarding the fate of the Popes of the 20th Century and the fact that St John’s Revelation could be correctly interpreted only if the text were deciphered precisely in a particular year in the 20st Century, insofar as the line of Popes he described as ‘kings’ could not be identified unless the decipherer would undertake the task just when the prophecy itself commanded. I wrote that the time of deciphering was written into the text. When this occurs there can be little doubt of accuracy on the part of the visionary and the decipherer. Such was the case with The Revelation, as described in ‘On the Nature of Prophecy’.
Interestingly, regarding the Turin Shroud we find the same conditions applying, though more intriguing and of much greater import. In this case it is not a question of human beings in a line of succession at a particular point in time. Rather the revelation hinged on the state of technology as it would be far into the future, nothing of which was known when the figure was imprinted on the cloth 2000 years ago. The secret of the Shroud could not be uncovered until technology had reached a certain stage of development in this Aquarian Age, which would then play a central role in the disclosure of its secrets, as if it had all been foreseen and ‘divinely planned’. But the secret the Shroud contains is so astonishing that understandably attempts have been made to suppress the truths it holds. Indeed, at stake is the very cornerstone of Christianity – the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I feel obliged to present my case because of the proof the Shroud confers on my contention that deciphering correctly is determined by the vision itself, in this case pointing to the 20th century when photographic technology and forensic science would come into their own. This may not always be the case, but it is certainly true where texts on the life of Jesus are concerned. This is understandable given his impact on civilisation: the coming of Jesus put a stamp on the evolutionary process which has held firm for 2000 years, all during the Age of Pisces when Rome, the Eternal City, ruled the known world; for this reason the seat of  Christianity was established there. Pisces rules the feet in astrology. Rome was effectively the centre of that Age. Similar to the correspondence of the Capricorn hieroglyph with the geography of Akhand Bharat, the centre of the Piscean Age is, remarkably, in the shape of a booted foot!

Capricorn Symbol Map of India                              The Italian Boot

Rome ‘ruled’ the world from the nation of the Piscean ‘boot’ during the time of Roman conquests throughout the known world, and then through Roman Catholicism and the rule of the Popes across many centuries.
At the dawn of the new Age serious inroads into the Shroud mystery were being made. The central factor allowing for the cloth’s secrets to be revealed was the discovery of photography. Without the technology involved in developing film, nothing would have been known of the true circumstances involving the death and resurrection of Jesus. It can be noted from my published works that I have often criticized Science for intrusion into the sacred, and when so doing often inflicting grave errors in matters that are beyond its purview. My position is not against science per se, but what I have consistently held, and reaffirm in these pages once again, is that regarding the Hindu Calendar, for instance, astronomers have inflicted almost irreparable damage on a subject so sacred that it must be left to the highest Seers to determine. The fault, I might add, does not really lie with Science because it was simply filling a void left by spirituality when schools proffering escape to a Beyond and with a focus on otherworldly pursuits became fashionable at the beginning of the Age of Pisces. Clearly the world had entered a period of darkness, when shadows would precede the arrival of luminous, self-evident truths. In the case of the Shroud it is Science of the final centuries of the last millennium – more particularly at the close of the Age of Pisces and the beginning of Aquarius in 1926 – that we must thank for the exposure that is so necessary an accompaniment to the decent of the supramental Truth-Consciousness. The Supramental Manifestation occurred in the middle of the last century (1956). It marked the beginning of a process of exposure with the objective of removing any veils covering the luminous truths which The Revelation of St John itself describes. ‘The time has come’, were the words the Mother, Sri Aurobindo’s co-worker, heard when the Supramental Manifestation occurred on 29 February 1956. It marked the beginning of the manifestation of a ‘new world’, as she later described – not a transformation of the old, but a new world.
Photographic technology provided astonishing evidence regarding the person who had been wrapped in that particular linen covering, left in the sepulchre Jesus had vacated, but visible in the course of the film developing process only in the negative. Prominent and most worthy of attention is that the crucified man it held was proven by the negative to have been alive at the time he was wrapped and laid in the tomb.

Negatives of the Shroud of Turin

This is the astonishing part of the Shroud saga: the negative alone brought forth the full image, back and front, of Jesus. Together with this phenomenal disclosure is a plethora of evidence indicating that the Shroud had indeed held the body of Jesus. This was proven out by the Gospels themselves which have left posterity precise details of the torment Jesus experienced at the hands of his executioners. Leaving no stone unturned, technology seems to have proven that Jesus did not really die on the cross – therefore putting a question mark on the dogma of resurrection itself.
Already by the 1980s the broad lines of the Shroud’s secret were known. It is fascinating to note that while earlier every attempt had been made through numerous historical documents and scientific experiments to prove the authenticity of the cloth and that it was not a forgery dating from the Middle Ages, as some disbelievers were sustaining, in 1988 a trio of scientists – one from the USA, another from Switzerland, and the third from Great Britain – were given fragments of the cloth and commissioned to establish once and for all if the Shroud was really from the time of Jesus. Their findings, announced on 16.10.1988, proclaimed it to be a forgery. And as far as the Church is concerned, the results of the tests are conclusive.
However, a number of researchers refused to accept the trio’s findings. Finally, their results have come to be considered inaccurate at best and fraudulent at worst. Since then more serious investigations have been carried out which went far ahead of the earlier research in establishing that there was no corpse enveloped by the cloth but a living person.
It was forensic science based on its more advanced technological devices that seems to have had the last word because analysis of the blood stains on the cloth clearly indicate that there was circulation in the body to permit scientists to evaluate and analyse the stains left on the cloth. Particularly important is the fact that the evidence indicates a flow after the body was wrapped and laid in the tomb. The flow in a certain direction was the conclusive evidence; there were pockets accumulated in specific places due to the reclining position of the body. All the other details as given in the Gospels regarding the wounds inflicted on Jesus were confirmed. The conclusion first of all is that Jesus himself was wrapped in that very cloth; and second, that he was still alive when taken down from the cross and covered in the Shroud. It was even possible to correct certain errors in later iconography of the crucified Jesus. For example, the way the body was hung on the cross as evidenced by the Shroud differs from the common perception. Nails were not driven through the palms but rather the wrists, contrary to the common belief, failing which the weight of the body could not have remained suspended all during the crucifixion.
If nothing else, this fact discloses the role of intense devotion in certain mystical states when the mystic so thoroughly identifies with the object of devotion that the physical body then bears signs of the identification. The saintly attributes of those displaying the stigmata, for instance, cannot be questioned. Padre Pio is one example, when his devotion produced wounds thought to be identical to the perforations made by the nails at Jesus’ crucifixion. These were in the palms of his hands; but if we consider the evidence of the Shroud, Jesus bore the nails in his wrists, as was the custom then. This is not to state that the individuals experiencing stigmata were duped, or sought to dupe others, because that is not the point. Identification/devotion was so total that they developed wounds just as they believed Jesus had sustained; and these were reinforced through iconography across the ages when every image of Jesus on the cross presents the devotee with nails through the palms.
Since the revolutionising evidence of the Shroud surfaced in the 20st Century through the negative image, it is not surprising to note that John, the beloved disciple, made revealing mention of the Popes of that very century in his Revelation, closing the millennium that had witnessed the dominance of Roman Catholicism across the globe. His prophecy does not go beyond the seven Popes (and the implied 8st and 9st); rightfully so, because this foolproof evidence of Jesus surviving the crucifixion has to have an impact on the entire edifice of Christianity, central to which is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ who, dogma holds, died to redeem the sins of mankind – with redemption hinging on belief in the one true Son of God. If Jesus did not die on the cross, where does it leave this dogma that has nurtured the faith of billions across the world?
Exposure of the Aquarian kind is not meant to tear down alone but to allow space for a new way to rise. It is a thoroughly creative process which requires a certain dissolution initially. What must be removed is all that is false or half-truth because the ‘new world’ the Mother foresaw is shadowless. The revelations it brings can stand beneath the rays of the midday Sun that cast no shadows. That is, the individual of this new way is perfectly centred, poised as in Leonardo’s famous drawing of the Man in a Circle and Square where the shift perfect centring brings extends the figure to the full circle with the naval as pivot; unlike the man who stands as if crucified in the square, pivoting the sex centre. The message his geometric marvel conveys flies in the face of the emphasis of all spirituality and religious dogma of the Age of Pisces, when the Earth was considered a veritable hell and the human body a prison in which humans stand entrapped by the atavism of sex and birth – leading to the only escape possible for so doomed a creature: death. This planet, it was preached, is for working out one’s karmas or expiating one’s sins, and nothing more. Heaven lies in a beyond and Death holds the key to escape from this planetary hell and the attainment of that lofty and enticing heaven. Such is the inheritance we have received from the Age of Pisces we struggle to leave behind. We are given supreme assistance in this difficult task of undoing and rebuilding by that ‘divine plan’, to borrow the words of Holger Kersten; and nowhere has this been more clearly demonstrated than in the unveiling of the secrets the Shroud of Jesus has been holding, until the moment when Science could step in and engage in the act of disclosure. Leonardo’s genius aptly evaded the wrath of the Inquisition by the use of sacred geometry. Nonetheless, his drawing drives home the point, which contradicts dogma, that it is within the same body that either crucifixion or perfect centring can occur, here on this planet – indeed, in this very body birth on Earth provides.

Vitruvian Man

After the crucifixion, Jesus is believed by many to have journeyed to India, the land of the midday Sun which in zodiacal tradition is known as Cosmic Midday, the Sun’s highest point, or Uttarayana in Vedic tradition. The hieroglyph of its astrological ruler, Capricorn, delineates the precise geography of the land – where, it is said, Jesus lived well into his 80s until his passing. The authors of The Jesus Conspiracy and Jesus Lived in India have presented proof that Jesus was revered in India and died in Kashmir where his tomb can be visited even today. Similarly, The Revelation does not just describe the downfall of the Whore of Babylon reclining on the Seven Hills of Rome. It offers a second-coming appearance of the Son, but this time as War God, as Conqueror, similar to the last Avatar of Vishnu. In the Mother’s words, he comes ‘in a glorified not a crucified body,’
There is much to learn of the future for humankind from the exposures taking place in this Aquarian Age; we are surrounded each day by one after another. It will continue until all that is false and shadowy will be dissolved.


  The Jesus Conspiracy, page 15, Barnes and Noble, 1995.