At http://mythopedia.info/intro.html you will find this article second one down on the left hand menu. Extracting information from sacred and revered accounts or cultic practises is fraught with potholes that others have dug. However, working on the basis that a lot of religious ritual is derived from fear – and actual worship is a product of fear, might help explain some of the recurring factors that cross cultural boundaries. Whilst this idea might not be to everyone’s taste that does not mean Rens does not have a point worth evaluating – he does. He claims that transient natural events (here for a moment in time but capable of creating an impression that was deep enough to be preserved for the rest of the witnesses life – and into that of his offspring). These events are central themes of global mythology – or that is the theory. Hence, he claims such events are external to the human mind in origin (contradicting consensus anthropological ideas). They are often cosmic, or celestial in nature, and visually attractive to the beholder. However, they are also rare or unusual events in terms of frequency – and awe-inspiring (and literally frightening).
In a geological perspective they involve electric phenomena, natural disaster such as tsunamis and floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, cometary impacts, landslides, falls and finds of thunderstones (meteorites, tektites,fulgarites etc).
They also involve astronomical or orbital phenomena such as shifting of the rotational pole and axis, and other changes on the earth (such as speed of rotation). It also involved transient lunar events and changes, planetary conjunctions and eclipses, the close passage of comets, coronal phenomena such as sun spots and flares, supernovae and the zodiacal lights etc.
Another article on the same web site has the title, ‘An intense auroral storm in the Holocene?’ … and places this at around 3100BC. It is true that rock art and petroglyphs as well as changes in religious practise appear to coalesce around this date. The spectacular shapes of the intense auroral display may have led to the idea of gods, ancestors, and dragons whose antics in the celestial world left a deep impression. I don’t know how you go about proving something like this but petroglyphs have been dated – particularly in Australia. Rens speculates what might have caused such an auroral storm – visible in the tropics as well as the polar regions. Possibilities include extreme solar weather, the break-up of the Clube and Napier comet, passage through a gigantic molecular cloud, the passage of the earth through the coma of a comet, or a combination of factors. He recommends keeping an open mind.