Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Neptune, Poseidon and Heimdall

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 23, 2018

AN (Dumuzid / Nergal) – Uranus (Dionysus / Mars-Apollo-Pluto) – Balder / Tyr (60)

Enlil – Saturn – Njord (50)

Enki – Neptune – Heimdall (40)

In Mesopotamian religion, Anu was the personification of the sky, the utmost power, the supreme God, the one “who contains the entire universe”. He was identified with the north ecliptic pole centered in Draco.

His name meant the “One on High”, and together with his sons Enlil and Enki (Ellil and Ea in Akkadian), he formed a triune conception of the divine, in which Anu represented a “transcendental” obscurity, Enlil the “transcendent” and Enki the “immanent” aspect of the divine.

In astral theology, the three—Anu, Enlil and Enki—also personified the three bands of the sky, and the contained constellations, spinning around the ecliptic, respectively the middle, northern and southern sky.

The Amorite god Amurru or Martu was sometimes equated with Anu. Hadad, Adad (Akkadian) or Iškur (Sumerian) was the storm and rain god in the Northwest Semitic and ancient Mesopotamian religions. Later, during the Seleucid Empire (213 BC — 63 BC), Anu was identified with Enmešara (Nergal) and Dumuzid (Tammuz).

Ninshubar-Papsukkal – Mercury – Odin

An

Bilderesultat for anu god

Anu (Akkadian: 𒀭𒀭 DAN, Anu‹m›; Sumerian: 𒀭 AN, from 𒀭 an “sky, heaven”) is the earliest attested sky-father deity. In Sumerian religion, he was also “King of the Gods”, “Lord of the Constellations, Spirits and Demons”, and “Supreme Ruler of the Kingdom of Heaven”, where Anu himself wandered the highest Heavenly Regions.

He was believed to have the power to judge those who had committed crimes, and to have created the stars as soldiers to destroy the wicked. His attribute was the Royal Tiara. His attendant and vizier was the god Ilabrat.

In Sumerian texts of the third millennium the goddess Uraš is his consort; later this position was taken by Ki, the personification of earth, and in Akkadian texts by Antu, whose name is probably derived from his own.

Dingir (𒀭, usually transliterated DIĜIR) is a Sumerian word for “god.” The sign originated as a star-shaped ideogram indicating a god in general, or the Sumerian god An, the supreme father of the gods.

Its cuneiform sign is most commonly employed as the determinative for religious names and related concepts, in which case it is not pronounced and is conventionally transliterated as a superscript “D” as in e.g. DInanna.

The cuneiform sign by itself was originally an ideogram for the Sumerian word an (“sky” or “heaven”); its use was then extended to a logogram for the word diĝir (“god” or goddess) and the supreme deity of the Sumerian pantheon An, and a phonogram for the syllable /an/.

Akkadian took over all these uses and added to them a logographic reading for the native ilum and from that a syllabic reading of /il/. In Hittite orthography, the syllabic value of the sign was again only an.

The concept of “divinity” in Sumerian is closely associated with the heavens, as is evident from the fact that the cuneiform sign doubles as the ideogram for “sky”, and that its original shape is the picture of a star.

Dingir also meant sky or heaven in contrast with ki which meant earth. The original association of “divinity” is thus with “bright” or “shining” hierophanies in the sky.

The doctrine once established remained an inherent part of the Babylonian-Assyrian religion and led to the more or less complete disassociation of the three gods constituting the triad from their original local limitations. An intermediate step between Anu viewed as the local deity of Uruk, Enlil as the god of Nippur, and Ea as the god of Eridu.

Anu existed in Sumerian cosmogony as a dome that covered the flat earth. However, in the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria, Anu, Enlil, and Ea became the three zones of the ecliptic, the northern, middle and southern zone respectively.

When Enlil rose to equal or surpass An in authority, the functions of the two deities came to some extent to overlap. An was also sometimes equated with Amurru, and, in Seleucid Uruk, with Enmešara (Nergal) and Dumuzi.

Nergal

Nergal was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia. Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”.

Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld. In the mythology, this occurred when Enlil and Ninlil gave him the underworld. In this capacity he has associated with him a goddess Allatu or Ereshkigal, though at one time Allatu may have functioned as the sole mistress of Aralu, ruling in her own person. In some texts the god Ninazu is the son of Nergal and Allatu/Ereshkigal.

In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars)—hence the current name of the planet.

Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”. Aplu may be related with Apaliunas who is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo.

Apaliunas is attested in a Hittite language treaty as a protective deity of Wilusa, a major city of the late Bronze Age in western Anatolia described in 13th century BC Hittite sources as being part of a confederation named Assuwa. The city is often identified with the Troy of the Ancient Greek Epic Cycle.

In Babylonian astronomy, the stars Castor and Pollux were known as the Great Twins (MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL). The Twins were regarded as minor gods and were called Meshlamtaea and Lugalirra, meaning respectively ‘The One who has arisen from the Underworld’ and the ‘Mighty King’. Both names can be understood as titles of Nergal, the major Babylonian god of plague and pestilence, who was king of the Underworld.

Uranus / Caelus-Summanus

Bilderesultat for uranus sign

Bilderesultat for uranus signUranus (meaning “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. He was the brother of Pontus (“Sea”), an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god, one of the Greek primordial deities.

In Ancient Greek literature, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, Mother Earth. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Uranus was conceived by Gaia alone, but other sources cite Aether as his father.

Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the first generation of Titans, and the ancestors of most of the Greek gods, but no cult addressed directly to Uranus survived into Classical times, and Uranus does not appear among the usual themes of Greek painted pottery.

His name in Roman mythology was Caelus, a primal god of the sky in Roman myth and theology, iconography, and literature (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”).

Caelus is coupled with Terra (Earth) as pater and mater (father and mother). He has been associated with Summanus, the god of nocturnal thunder, as counterposed to Jupiter, the god of diurnal (daylight) thunder.

According to Cicero and Hyginus, Caelus was the son of Aether and Dies (“Day” or “Daylight”). Caelus and Dies were in this tradition the parents of Mercury. With Trivia, Caelus was the father of the distinctively Roman god Janus, as well as of Saturn and Ops. Caelus was also the father of one of the three forms of Jupiter, the other two fathers being Aether and Saturn.

The name Summanus is thought to be from Summus Manium “the greatest of the Manes”, or sub-, “under” + manus, “hand”. According to Martianus Capella, Summanus is another name for Pluto as the “highest” (summus) of the Manes.

Every June 20, the day before the summer solstice, round cakes called summanalia, made of flour, milk and honey and shaped as wheels, were offered to him as a token of propitiation: the wheel might be a solar symbol.

Saint Augustine records that in earlier times Summanus had been more exalted than Jupiter, but with the construction of a temple that was more magnificent than that of Summanus, Jupiter became more honored.

Uranus, the planet

The planet Uranus is very unusual among the planets in that it rotates on its side, so that it presents each of its poles to the Sun in turn during its orbit; causing both hemispheres to alternate between being bathed in light and lying in total darkness over the course of the orbit.

Astrological interpretations associate Uranus with the principles of ingenuity, new or unconventional ideas, individuality, discoveries, electricity, inventions, democracy, and revolutions. Uranus, among all planets, most governs genius.

Uranus governs societies, clubs, and any group based on humanitarian or progressive ideals. Uranus, the planet of sudden and unexpected changes, rules freedom and originality. In society, it rules radical ideas and people, as well as revolutionary events that upset established structures. Uranus is also associated with Wednesday, alongside Mercury (since Uranus is in the higher octave of Mercury).

Aquarius and Scorpio

Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio. Aquarius is a constellation of the zodiac. It is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation Aquarius.

Under the tropical zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius typically between January 21 and February 18, while under the Sidereal Zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius from approximately February 15 to March 14, depending on leap year.

Its name is Latin for “water-carrier” or “cup-carrier”, and its symbol is a representation of water. Aquarius is identified as GU.LA “The Great One” in the Babylonian star catalogues and represents the god Enki himself, who is commonly depicted holding an overflowing vase.

Aquarius is also associated with the Age of Aquarius, a concept popular in 1960s counterculture. Despite this prominence, the Age of Aquarius will not dawn until the year 2597, as an astrological age does not begin until the Sun is in a particular constellation on the vernal equinox.

Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Scorpius. It spans 210°–240° ecliptic longitude. Under the tropical zodiac (most commonly used in Western astrology), the sun transits this area on average from October 23 to November 21. Under the sidereal zodiac (most commonly used in Hindu astrology), the sun is in Scorpio from approximately November 16 to December 15.

In ancient times, Scorpio was associated with the planet Mars. After Pluto was discovered in 1930, it became associated with Scorpio instead. Scorpio is also associated with the Greek deity, Artemis, who is said to have created the constellation Scorpius.

The Babylonians called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, the signs can be literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’. In some old descriptions the constellation of Libra is treated as the Scorpion’s claws. Libra was known as the Claws of the Scorpion in Babylonian (zibānītu (compare Arabic zubānā)).

Mars

Bilderesultat for mars symbol

Bilderesultat for masculine symbol mars

Mars & Venus

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. The month Martius was the beginning of the season for warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities came to a close.

The name of March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars. In many languages, Tuesday is named for the planet Mars or the god of war: In Latin, martis dies (“Mars’s Day”), survived in Romance languages as martes (Spanish), mardi (French), martedi (Italian), marţi (Romanian), and dimarts (Catalan). In Irish (Gaelic), the day is An Mháirt, while in Albanian it is e Marta.

The English word Tuesday derives from Old English “Tiwesdæg” and means “Tiw’s Day”, Tiw being the Old English form of the Proto-Germanic war god *Tîwaz, or Týr in Norse.

The word Mārs (genitive Mārtis), which in Old Latin and poetic usage also appears as Māvors (Māvortis), is cognate with Oscan Māmers (Māmertos). The Old Latin form was believed to derive from an Italic *Māworts, but can also be explained as deriving from Maris, the name of an Etruscan child-god; scholars have varying views on whether the two gods are related, and if so how.

The spear is the instrument of Mars in the same way that Jupiter wields the lightning bolt, Neptune the trident, and Saturn the scythe or sickle. A relic or fetish called the spear of Mars was kept in a sacrarium at the Regia, the former residence of the Kings of Rome.

The spear was said to move, tremble or vibrate at impending war or other danger to the state. When Mars is pictured as a peace-bringer, his spear is wreathed with laurel or other vegetation, as on the Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis).

Mars, the planet

The planet Mars was named for him, and in some allegorical and philosophical writings, the planet and the god are endowed with shared characteristics. Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and is exalted in Capricorn.

Astrologically speaking, Mars is associated with confidence and self-assertion, aggression, sexuality, energy, strength, ambition and impulsiveness. Mars governs sports, competitions and physical activities in general. Latin adjectives from the name of Mars are martius and martialis, from which derive English “martial” (as in “martial arts” or “martial law”) and personal names such as “Martin”. In Indian astrology, Mars is called Mangala and represents energy, confidence and ego.

Aries and Capricorn

The zodiac signs for the month of March are Pisces (until March 20) and Aries (March 21 onwards. Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and is exalted in Capricorn.

Apollo

Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”, a title that was given to the god Nergal, who was linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the Sun, and with the plague. Aplu may be related with Apaliunas who is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo.

Apaliunas is attested in a Hittite language treaty as a protective deity of Wilusa, a major city of the late Bronze Age in western Anatolia described in 13th century BC Hittite sources as being part of a confederation named Assuwa. The city is often identified with the Troy of the Ancient Greek Epic Cycle.

Many modern archaeologists have suggested that Wilusa corresponds to an archaeological site in Turkey known as Troy VIIa, which was destroyed circa 1190 BC. Ilios and Ilion, which are alternate names for Troy in the Ancient Greek languages, are linked etymologically to Wilusa.

This identification by modern scholars has been influenced by the Chronicon (a chronology of mythical and Ancient Greece) written circa 380 AD by Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (also known as Saint Jerome). In addition, the modern Biga Peninsula, on which Troy VIIa is located, is now generally believed to correspond to both the Hittite placename Taruiša and the Troas or Troad of late antiquity.

Apaliunas is among the gods who guarantee a treaty drawn up about 1280 BCE between Alaksandu of Wilusa, interpreted as “Alexander of Ilios” and the great Hittite king, Muwatalli II. He is one of the three deities named on the side of the city. In Homer, Apollo is the builder of the walls of Ilium, a god on the Trojan side.

A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo “The One of Entrapment”, perhaps in the sense of “Hunter”. Further east of the Luwian language area, a Hurrian god Aplu was a deity of the plague – bringing it, or, if propitiated, protecting from it – and resembles Apollo Smintheus, “mouse-Apollo” worshiped at Troy and Tenedos, who brought plague upon the Achaeans in answer to a Trojan prayer at the opening of Iliad.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague.

Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

His twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis, is one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: “Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals”. The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.

Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature in Roman mythology, associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals.

In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.

The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Amongst the god’s custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks.

As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.

In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.

Pluto

Bilderesultat for pluto symbol

Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is exalted in Pisces. In Roman mythology, Pluto is the god of the underworld and of wealth. The alchemical symbol was given to Pluto on its discovery, three centuries after alchemical practices had all but disappeared. The alchemical symbol can therefore be read as spirit over mind, transcending matter. The symbols were chosen given the close association with Mars which has a similar symbol. Pluto is also associated with Tuesday, alongside Mars.

Astrologically speaking, Pluto is called “the great renewer”, and is considered to represent the part of a person that destroys in order to renew, through bringing buried, but intense needs and drives to the surface, and expressing them, even at the expense of the existing order.

A commonly used keyword for Pluto is “transformation”. It is associated with power and personal mastery, and the need to cooperate and share with another, if each is not to be destroyed. Pluto governs big business and wealth, mining, surgery and detective work, and any enterprise that involves digging under the surface to bring the truth to light.

Heimdall

Heimdall and his equals

 

The Helm of Awe (Old Norse Ægishjálmr) is one of the most mysterious and powerful symbols in Norse mythology. Just looking at its form, without any prior knowledge of what that form symbolizes, is enough to inspire awe and fear: eight arms that look like spiked tridents radiate out from a central point, as if defending that central point by going on the offensive against any and all hostile forces that surround it.

Bilderesultat for Algiz

(D)Algiz rune – Heimdall

Bilderesultat for Algiz

(D)Algiz (also Elhaz) and (T)Yr rune

Algiz – Rune Meaning Analysis

Bilderesultat for yr rune

Bilderesultat for yr rune

In Norse mythology, Heimdall’s role is guardian and protector. He is the watcher at the gate who guards the boundaries between the worlds and who charges all those entering and leaving with caution. He is best known for his horn, but his sword is just as important as it can be used for either offence or defence, depending upon the situation.

Heimdallr also appears as Heimdalr and Heimdali. The etymology of the name is obscure, but ‘the one who illuminates the world’ has been proposed. The prefix Heim- means world, the affix -dallr is of uncertain origin, perhaps it means pole (Yggdrasil), perhaps bright – He is described as “the brightest of the gods”.

Scholars have produced various theories about the nature of the god, including his apparent relation to rams, that he may be a personification of or connected to the world tree Yggdrasil, and potential Indo-European cognates.

He was known also by two other names – Hallinskidi and Gullintanni. Heimdall was the warder of the entrance to Asgard: the rainbow bridge called Bifröst (Bifrost or Bilrost). He dwelled in his hall Himinbjörg (Himinbiorg – “Cliff of the Hills” or “Heavenly Fall”), at the edge of Asgard, near Bifröst.

Heimdall had super-sharp eyesight and hearing. He was the never-sleeping watchman, whose duties to prevent giants from entering Asgard. His sword was called Heimdall’s Head (Hofund). He also watched and possessed the horn called Gjallahorn. When Heimdall blows Gjallahorn, it would to signify and warn the other gods of the coming of Ragnarök (Ragnarok).

Heimdall was the son of the Nine Waves (nine giantesses, who were sisters; this mean that Heimdall had nine mothers). The Nine Waves were the nine daughters of Aegir. The Nine mothers are the nine waves of the ocean, pictured as “ewes”, and the Heimdall is “the ram”, the ninth wave. Heimdall’s horn is part of that image, apparently, and he is pictured as either the father of the nine waves or as the child of the nine waves, or both.

Heimdall created the three races of mankind: the serfs, the peasants, and the warriors. It is interesting to note why Heimdall fathered them, and not Odin as might be expected. Furthermore, Heimdall is in many attributes identical with Tyr. As Heimdall, the world tree reach from the sky to the underworld so do Nergal (Tyr) as a skylord, but at the same time a god of the underworld.

Algiz rune

Algiz (also Elhaz) is the name conventionally given to the “z-rune” ᛉ of the Elder Futhark runic alphabet. Its transliteration is z, understood as a phoneme of the Proto-Germanic language, the terminal *z continuing Proto-Indo-European terminal *s. Usualy a long “Z”, as in “buzz” is the pronunciation of this rune, but occasionally “R”, or even “M”, although there are other runes that represent these sounds too.

In the physical world, Algiz is a weapon of protection such as a sword, protecting with a sharp edge. In the spiritual world, Algiz represents a faith or belief in the gods or a god and that which is beyond our five physical senses.

The form of the rune resembles an outstretched hand, probably representing the hand of Tyr, which was sacrificed for the safety of the universe. Algiz represents the divine plan as set apart from individual affairs, even in spite of human concerns entirely.

Algiz (also called Elhaz) is a powerful rune, because it represents the divine might of the universe. The white elk was a symbol to the Norse of divine blessing and protection to those it graced with sight of itself.

Algiz is the rune of higher vibrations, the divine plan and higher spiritual awareness. The energy of Algiz is what makes something feel sacred as opposed to mundane. It represents the worlds of Asgard (gods of the Aesir), Ljusalfheim (The Light Elves) and Vanaheim (gods of the Vanir), all connecting and sharing energies with our world, Midgard.

The rune is a ward of protection, a shield against negativity. The urge to defend or protect others, a guardianship, that banishing or warding off of a negative presence. Opening the pathways to connection to the gods, an awakening. A sign to follow your instincts to keep hold of a position earned.

It represents your power to protect yourself and those around you. It also connotes the thrill and joy of a successful hunt. You are in a very enviable position right now, because you are able to maintain what you have built and reach your current goals.

The symbol itself could represent the upper branches of Yggdrasil, a flower opening to receive the sun (Sowilo is the next rune in the futhark after all,) the antlers of the elk (the elk-sedge), the Valkyrie and her wings, or the invoker stance common to many of the world’s priests and shamans.

It also looks like the outstreched branches of a tree or the footprint of a bird, such as a crow or raven. In a very contemporary context, the symbol could be powerfully equated to a satellite dish reaching toward the heavens and communicating with the gods and other entities throughout this and other worlds.

Algiz is the supreme rune of healing and protection. The upright position of this rune was used to denote the date of birth on Viking tombstones. The inverted form was likewise used to give the date of death.

Protection, a shield. The protective urge to shelter oneself or others. Defense, warding off of evil, shield, guardian. Connection with the gods, awakening, higher life. It can be used to channel energies appropriately. Follow your instincts. Keep hold of success or maintain a position won or earned. Algiz Reversed: or Merkstave: Hidden danger, consumption by divine forces, loss of divine link. Taboo, warning, turning away, that which repels.

When Algiz appears in a reading merkstave, it is a warning to proceed with caution and to not act rashly or hastily. You may be vulnerable to hostile influences at this time and need to concentrate on building your strength physically, emotionally and spiritually before moving forward.

Reversed, Algiz is a sign that hidden dangers lie ahead. Ill-health may be about to strike. It may also represent a warning to get a second (or third) opinion before proceeding with anything of importance (eg. signing contracts etc).

Because this specific phoneme was lost at an early time, the Elder Futhark rune underwent changes in the medieval runic alphabets. In the Anglo-Saxon futhorc it retained its shape, but it was given the sound value of Latin x.

The name of the Anglo-Saxon rune ᛉ is variously recorded as eolx, ilcs, ilix, elux, eolhx. Manuscript tradition gives its sound value as Latin x, i.e. /ks/, or alternatively as il, or yet again as “l and x”.

This is a secondary development, possibly due to runic manuscript tradition, and there is no known instance of the rune being used in an Old English inscription. In Proto-Norse and Old Norse, the Germanic *z phoneme developed into an R sound, perhaps realized as a retroflex approximant [ɻ], which is usually transcribed as ʀ.

In the earliest inscriptions, the rune invariably has its standard Ψ-shape. From the 5th century or so, the rune appears optionally in its upside-down variant which would become the standard Younger Futhark yr shape.

There are also other graphical variants; for example, the Charnay Fibula has a superposition of these two variants, resulting in an “asterisk” shape (ᛯ). The 9th-century abecedarium anguliscum in Codex Sangallensis 878 shows eolh as a peculiar shape, as it were a bindrune of the older ᛉ with the Younger Futhark ᛦ, resulting in an “asterisk” shape similar to ior ᛡ.

The shape of the rune may be derived from that a letter expressing /x/ in certain Old Italic alphabets (𐌙), which was in turn derived from the Greek letter Ψ, which had the value of /kʰ/ (rather than /ps/) in the Western Greek alphabet.

The Elder Futhark rune ᛉ is conventionally called Algiz or Elhaz, from the Common Germanic word for “elk”. However, it is suggested that the original name of the rune could have been Common Germanic *algiz (‘Algie’), meaning not “elk” but “protection, defence”.

Manuscript tradition gives its sound value as Latin x, i.e. /ks/, or alternatively as il, or yet again as “l and x”. It has benn suggested that the eolhx (etc.) may have been a corruption of helix, and that the name of the rune may be connected to the use of elux for helix to describe the constellation of Ursa major (as turning around the celestial pole).

An earlier suggestion is that the earliest value of this rune was the labiovelar /hw/, and that its name may have been hweol “wheel”. In the 6th and 7th centuries, the Elder Futhark began to be replaced by the Younger Futhark in Scandinavia. By the 8th century, the Elder Futhark was extinct, and Scandinavian runic inscriptions were exclusively written in Younger Futhark.

The sound was written in the Younger Futhark using the Yr rune ᛦ, the Algiz rune turned upside down, from about the 7th century. This phoneme eventually became indistinguishable from the regular r sound in the later stages of Old Norse, at about the 11th or 12th century.

The Yr rune ᛦ is a rune of the Younger Futhark. Its common transliteration is a small capital ʀ. The shape of the Yr rune in the Younger Futhark is the inverted shape of the Elder Futhark rune (ᛉ). Its name yr (“yew”) is taken from the name of the Elder Futhark Eihwaz rune.

In recent Futhark rune Algiz symbolize the man, which ultimately is just an extension of its meaning of “life” is linked elk, deer, an animal very important for the people of Northern Ireland and the Celtic tradition , represents the God Cernunnos, god of fertility and abundance.

Independently, the shape of the Elder Futhark Algiz rune reappears in the Younger Futhark Maðr rune ᛘ, continuing the Elder Futhark ᛗ rune *Mannaz. *Mannaz is the conventional name of the m-rune ᛗ of the Elder Futhark. It is derived from the reconstructed Common Germanic word for “man”, *mannaz.

Younger Futhark ᛘ is maðr (“man”). It took up the shape of the algiz rune ᛉ, replacing Elder Futhark ᛗ. As its sound value and form in the Elder Futhark indicate, it is derived from the letter M (𐌌) in the Old Italic alphabets, ultimately from the Greek letter Mu (μ).

Algiz Rune

Algiz Rune

Tyr

Bilderesultat for tiwas rune

Týr is a Germanic god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. One handed, Tyr is worshipped as a pinnacle of righteousness, called upon for valor in battle, balance in law, and the fortitude to face the impossible.

As the cloud of war blackens the world, and fear grips the people, Tyr is stooped by the weight of expectation. With blade in hand, he takes the field. For he is Courage, honor, and justice. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

Old Norse Týr, literally “god”, plural tívar “gods”, comes from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz (cf. Old English Tīw, Old High German Zīo), which continues Proto-Indo-European *deiwós “celestial being, god” (cf. Welsh duw, Latin deus, Lithuanian diẽvas, Sanskrit dēvá, Avestan daēvō (false) “god”, Serbo-Croatian div giant). And *deiwós is based in *dei-, *deyā-, *dīdyā-, meaning ‘to shine’.

It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war. Dyēus is believed to have been the chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylit sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society.

Although some of the more iconic reflexes of Dyeus are storm deities, such as Zeus and Jupiter, this is thought to be a late development. The deity’s original domain was over the daylight sky, and indeed reflexes emphasise this connection to light: Tiwaz (Stem: Tiwad-) was the Luwian Sun-god.

Tiwas rune

Tiwaz is a warrior rune named after the god Tyr who is the Northern god of law and justice. It is a rune that represents the balance and justice ruled from a higher rationality. It represents the sacrifice of the individual (self) for the well-being of the whole (society).

Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Analysis, rationality. Knowing where one’s true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters.

Tiwaz Reversed or Merkstave: One’s energy and creative flow are blocked. Mental paralysis, over-analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance. Strife, war, conflict, failure in competition. Dwindling passion, difficulties in communication, and possibly separation.

Tiwaz Rune

Mannaz rune

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Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. According to Tacitus Mannus was the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones. The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”.

Mannaz represents the fundamental human qualities of all the men and the women: it is the common experience. The archetype of the humans, considered as the reflection of every thing in the existence, is represented by its shape which still evokes by its geometry the idea of the mutual support. Its legs, connected by Gebo’s cross, evoke a stiff shape identical to the stability acquired thanks to the solidarity.

Mannaz is the rune of the accomplished Man. The most positive human qualities are associated with Mannaz, this rune symbolizes the hope in a bigger accomplishment of Humanity and about its best qualities such as the kindness and the generosity. Mannaz also represents the social order necessary to every person to realize his or her human potential.

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The trident is the weapon of Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea in classical mythology. In Hindu mythology it is the weapon of Shiva, known as trishula (Sanskrit for “triple-spear”). In Greek, Roman, and Hindu mythology, the trident is said to have the power of control over the ocean.

Neptune

Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. Salacia, the goddess of saltwater, was his wife. As his wife, Salacia bore Neptune three children, the most celebrated being Triton, whose body was half man and half fish. She is identified with the Greek goddess Amphitrite, who is the wife of Poseidon and the queen of the sea.

In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld.

Neptune was also considered the legendary progenitor god of a Latin stock, the Faliscans, who called themselves Neptunia proles. In this respect he was the equivalent of Mars, Janus, Saturn and even Jupiter among Latin tribes. Salacia would represent the virile force of Neptune.

Among ancient sources Arnobius provides important information about the theology of Neptune: he writes that according to Nigidius Figulus Neptune was considered one of the Etruscan Penates, together with Apollo, the two deities being credited with bestowing Ilium or Troy situated in the southwest mouth of the Dardanelles strait and northwest of Mount Ida with its immortal walls.

Trident

A trident is a three-pronged spear. It is used for spear fishing and historically as a polearm. The trident is the weapon of Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea in classical mythology. In Hindu mythology it is the weapon of Shiva, known as trishula (Sanskrit for “triple-spear”).

The word “trident” comes from the French word trident, which in turn comes from the Latin word tridens or tridentis: tri “three” and dentes “teeth”. Sanskrit trishula is compound of tri (“three”) + ṣūla (“thorn”). The Greek equivalent is “tríaina”, from Proto-Greek “trianja” (“threefold”).

In Greek, Roman, and Hindu mythology, the trident is said to have the power of control over the ocean. In relation to its fishing origins, the trident is associated with Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology, and his Roman counterpart Neptune. In Roman myth, Neptune also used a trident to create new bodies of water and cause earthquakes. A good example can be seen in Gian Bernini’s Neptune and Triton.

In Greek myth, Poseidon used his trident to create water sources in Greece and the horse. Poseidon, as well as being god of the sea, was also known as the “Earth Shaker” because when he struck the earth in anger he caused mighty earthquakes and he used his trident to stir up tidal waves, tsunamis and sea storms.

In Hindu legends and stories Shiva, a Hindu God who holds a trident in his hand, uses this sacred weapon to fight off negativity in the form of evil villains. The trident is also said to represent three gunas mentioned in Indian vedic philosophy namely sāttvika, rājasika, and tāmasika. The trishula of the Hindu god Shiva. A weapon of South-East Asian (particularly Thai) depiction of Hanuman, a character of Ramayana.

In religious Taoism, the trident represents the Taoist Trinity, the Three Pure Ones. In Taoist rituals, a trident bell is used to invite the presence of deities and summon spirits, as the trident signifies the highest authority of Heaven.

Paredrae

Salacia is known as the goddess of springs, ruling over the springs of highly mineralized waters. Salacia is represented as a beautiful nymph, crowned with seaweed, either enthroned beside Neptune or driving with him in a pearl shell chariot drawn by dolphins, sea-horses (hippocamps) or other fabulous creatures of the deep, and attended by Tritons and Nereids.

Venilia, in Roman mythology, is a deity associated with the winds and the sea. She and Salacia are the paredrae, entities who pair or accompany a god, of Neptune. According to Virgil and Ovid she was a nymph, the sister of Amata, and the wife of Janus (or Faunus) with whom she had three children, Turnus, Juturna, and Canens.

In the view of Dumézil, Neptune’s two paredrae Salacia and Venilia represent the overpowering and the tranquil aspects of water, both natural and domesticated: Salacia would impersonate the gushing, overbearing waters and Venilia the still or quietly flowing waters. Dumézil’s interpretation has though been varied as he also stated that the jolt implied by Salacia’s name, the attitude to be salax lustful, must underline a feature characteristic of the god.

Salacia and Venilia have been discussed by scholars both ancient and modern. Varro connects the first to salum, sea, and the second to ventus, wind. Festus writes of Salacia that she is the deity that generates the motion of the sea. While Venilia would cause the waves to come to the shore Salacia would cause their retreating towards the high sea.

Mermaid

In folklore, a mermaid is an aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition), they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.

The word mermaid is a compound of the Old English mere (sea), and maid (a girl or young woman). The male equivalent of the mermaid is the merman, also a familiar figure in folklore and heraldry. Although traditions about and sightings of mermen are less common than those of mermaids, they are generally assumed to co-exist with their female counterparts.

Pisces is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 330° to 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 18 and March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits this area between approximately March 13 and April 13. The symbol of the fish is derived from the ichthyocentaurs, who aided Aphrodite when she was born from the sea.

Virgo is the sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 150-180th degree of the zodiac. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between August 23 and September 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits the constellation of Virgo from September 17 to October 17.

The constellation Virgo has multiple different origins depending on which mythology is being studied. The symbol of the maiden is based on Astraea. Pisces has been called the “dying god,” where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary.

Most myths generally view Virgo as a virgin/maiden with heavy association with wheat. In Greek and Roman mythology they relate the constellation to Demeter, mother of Persephone, or Proserpina in Roman, the goddess of the harvest.

The first stories of mermaids appeared in ancient Assyria c. 1000 BC., in which the goddess Atargatis, the chief goddess of northern Syria in Classical Antiquity, transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover.

Primarily Atargatis was a goddess of fertility, but, as the baalat (“mistress”) of her city and people, she was also responsible for their protection and well-being. As Ataratheh, doves and fish were considered sacred to her: doves as an emblem of the Love-Goddess, and fish as symbolic of the fertility and life of the waters.

Atargatis is seen as a continuation of Bronze Age goddesses. At Ugarit, cuneiform tablets attest the three great Canaanite goddesses:ʾAṭirat, described as a fecund “Lady Goddess of the Sea”, who is identified with Asherah, Anat, the war-like virgin goddess, andʿAțtart, the goddess of love.

These shared many traits with each other and may have been worshipped in conjunction or separately during 1500 years of cultural history. Cognates of Ugaritic ʿAțtart include Phoenician ʿAštart – hellenized as Astarte –, Old Testament Hebrew ʿAštoreth, and Himyaritic ʿAthtar. Compare the cognate Akkadian form Ištar.

Asherah in ancient Semitic religion, is a mother goddess who appears in a number of ancient sources. Sources from before 1200 BC almost always credit Athirat with her full title “Lady Athirat of the Sea” or as more fully translated “she who treads on the sea”. The name is understood by various translators and commentators to be from the Ugaritic root ʾaṯr “stride”, cognate with the Hebrew root ʾšr, of the same meaning.

Asherah is identified as the queen consort of the Sumerian god Anu, and Ugaritic El, the oldest deities of their respective pantheons, as well as Yahweh, the god of Israel and Judah. She is equated with the native Egyptian goddess Hathor. Among the Hittites this goddess appears as Asherdu(s) or Asertu(s), the consort of Elkunirsa (“El the Creator of Earth”).

Athirat in Akkadian texts appears as Ashratum (or, Antu), the wife of Anu, the God of Heaven. In contrast, ʿAshtart is believed to be linked to the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar who is sometimes portrayed as the daughter of Anu while in Ugaritic myth, ʿAshtart is one of the daughters of El, the West Semitic counterpart of Anu.

Pisces

Neptune is the ruling planet of Pisces and is exalted in Cancer. The Pisces is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 330° to 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 18 and March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits this area between approximately March 13 and April 13. Its glyph is taken directly from Neptune’s trident, symbolizing the curve of spirit being pierced by the cross of matter.

Today, the First Point of Aries, or the vernal equinox, is in the Pisces constellation. Pisces are the mutable water sign of the zodiac. They represent emotion, intuition, imagination, escapism, romance, and impressionism. The astrological symbol shows the two fishes captured by a string, typically by the mouth or the tails. The fish are usually portrayed swimming in opposite directions; this represents the duality within the Piscean nature.

The age of Pisces began c. 1 AD and will end c. 2150 AD. With the story of the birth of Christ coinciding with this date, many Christian symbols for Christ use the astrological symbol for Pisces, the fishes.

The story of the birth of Christ is said to be a result of the spring equinox entering into the Pisces, as the Savior of the World appeared as the Fisher of Men. This parallels the entering into the Age of Pisces. Pisces has been called the “dying god,” where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary.

Etymology

The etymology of Latin Neptunus is unclear and disputed. The ancient grammarian Varro derived the name from nuptus i.e. “covering” (opertio), with a more or less explicit allusion to the nuptiae, “marriage of Heaven and Earth”.

Among modern scholars Paul Kretschmer proposed a derivation from IE *neptu- “moist substance”. Similarly Raymond Bloch supposed it might be an adjectival form in -no from *nuptu-, meaning “he who is moist”.

Georges Dumézil though remarked words deriving root *nep- are not attested in IE languages other than Vedic and Avestan. He proposed an etymology that brings together Neptunus with Vedic and Avestan theonyms Apam Napat, Apam Napá and Old Irish theonym Nechtan, all meaning descendant of the waters.

By using the comparative approach the Indo-Iranian, Avestan and Irish figures would show common features with the Roman historicised legends about Neptune. Dumézil thence proposed to derive the nouns from IE root *nepot-, “descendant, sister’s son”.

More recently, in his lectures delivered on various occasions in the 1990s, German scholar Hubert Petersmann proposed an etymology from IE rootstem *nebh- related to clouds and fogs, plus suffix -tu denoting an abstract verbal noun, and adjectival suffix -no which refers to the domain of activity of a person or his prerogatives.

IE root *nebh-, having the original meaning of “damp, wet”, has given Sanskrit nábhah, Hittite nepis, Latin nubs, nebula, German Nebel, Slavic nebo etc. The concept would be close to that expressed in the name of Greek god Uranus, derived from IE root *hwórso-, “to water, irrigate” and *hworsó-, “the irrigator”. This etymology would be more in accord with Varro’s.

Nepet is considered a hydronymic toponym of pre Indoeuropean origin widespread in Europe and from an appellative meaning “damp wide valley, plain”, cognate with the pre-Greek word for “wooded valley”.

The god of springs 

Neptune was likely associated with fresh water springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshipped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing.

It has been argued that Indo-European people, having no direct knowledge of the sea as they originated from inland areas, reused the theology of a deity originally either chthonic or wielding power over inland freshwaters as the god of the sea.

This feature has been preserved particularly well in the case of Neptune who was definitely a god of springs, lakes and rivers before becoming also a god of the sea, as is testified by the numerous findings of inscriptions mentioning him in the proximity of such locations.

In the earlier times it was the god Portunus or Fortunus who was thanked for naval victories, but Neptune supplanted him in this role by at least the first century BC when Sextus Pompeius called himself “son of Neptune.”

Servius the grammarian also explicitly states Neptune is in charge of all the rivers, springs and waters. He also is the lord of horses because he worked with Minerva to make the chariot.

He may find a parallel in Irish god Nechtan, master of the well from which all the rivers of the world flow out and flow back to. Poseidon on the other hand underwent the process of becoming the main god of the sea at a much earlier time, as is shown in the Iliad.

Fertility deity and divine ancestor

Preller, Fowler, Petersmann and Takács attribute to the theology of Neptune broader significance as a god of universal worldly fertility, particularly relevant to agriculture and human reproduction. Thence they interpret Salacia as personifying lust and Venilia as related to venia, the attitude of ingraciating, attraction, connected with love and desire for reproduction.

Neptune might have been an ancient deity of the cloudy and rainy sky in company with and in opposition to Zeus/Jupiter, god of the clear bright sky. Besides Zeus/Jupiter, (rooted in IE *dei(h) to shine, who originally represented the bright daylight of fine weather sky), the ancient Indo-Europeans venerated a god of heavenly damp or wet as the generator of life.

This fact would be testified by Hittite theonyms nepišaš (D)IŠKURaš or nepišaš (D)Tarhunnaš “the lord of sky wet”, that was revered as the sovereign of Earth and men. Even though over time this function was transferred to Zeus/Jupiter who became also the sovereign of weather, reminiscences of the old function survived in literature.

The indispensability of water for its fertilizing quality and its strict connexion to reproduction is universal knowledge. The sexual and fertility significance of both Salacia and Venilia is implicated on the grounds of the context of the cults of Neptune, of Varro’s interpretation of Salacia as eager for sexual intercourse and of the connexion of Venilia with a nymph or Venus.

Similar to Caelus, he would be the father of all living beings on Earth through the fertilising power of rainwater. This hieros gamos of Neptune and Earth would be reflected in literature. The virile potency of Neptune would be represented by Salacia (derived from salax, salio in its original sense of salacious, lustful, desiring sexual intercourse, covering).

Salacia would then represent the god’s desire for intercourse with Earth, his virile generating potency manifesting itself in rainfall. While Salacia would denote the overcast sky, the other character of the god would be reflected by his other paredra Venilia, representing the clear sky dotted with clouds of good weather.

The theonym Venilia would be rooted in a not attested adjective *venilis, from IE root *ven(h) meaning to love, desire, realised in Sanskrit vánati, vanóti, he loves, Old Island. vinr friend, German Wonne, Latin Venus, venia.

The deity of the cloudy and rainy sky

Developing his understanding of the theonym as rooted in IE *nebh, it has been proposed that the god would be an ancient deity of the cloudy and rainy sky in company with and in opposition to Zeus/Jupiter, god of the clear bright sky. Similar to Caelus, he would be the father of all living beings on Earth through the fertilising power of rainwater.

This hieros gamos of Neptune and Earth would be reflected in literature, e.g. in pater Neptunus. The virile potency of Neptune would be represented by Salacia (derived from salax, salio in its original sense of salacious, lustful, desiring sexual intercourse, covering).

Salacia would then represent the god’s desire for intercourse with Earth, his virile generating potency manifesting itself in rainfall. While Salacia would denote the overcast sky, the other character of the god would be reflected by his other paredra Venilia, representing the clear sky dotted with clouds of good weather.

The theonym Venilia would be rooted in a not attested adjective *venilis, from IE root *ven(h) meaning to love, desire, realised in Sanskrit vánati, vanóti, he loves, Old Island. vinr friend, German Wonne, Latin Venus, venia. Reminiscences of this double aspect of Neptune would be “uterque Neptunus”.

In Petersmann’s conjecture, besides Zeus/Jupiter, (rooted in IE *dei(h) to shine, who originally represented the bright daylight of fine weather sky), the ancient Indo-Europeans venerated a god of heavenly damp or wet as the generator of life. This fact would be testified by Hittite theonyms nepišaš (D)IŠKURaš or nepišaš (D)Tarhunnaš “the lord of sky wet”, that was revered as the sovereign of Earth and men.

Even though over time this function was transferred to Zeus/Jupiter who became also the sovereign of weather, reminiscences of the old function survived in literature. The indispensability of water for its fertilizing quality and its strict connexion to reproduction is universal knowledge.

Hadad, Adad, Haddad (Akkadian) or Iškur (Sumerian) was the storm and rain god in the Northwest Semitic and ancient Mesopotamian religions. He was attested in Ebla as “Hadda” in c. 2500 BCE. From the Levant, Hadad was introduced to Mesopotamia by the Amorites, where he became known as the Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian) god Adad.

Adad and Iškur are usually written with the logogram dIM—the same symbol used for the Hurrian god Teshub. Hadad was also called “Pidar”, “Rapiu”, “Baal-Zephon”, or often simply Baʿal (Lord), but this title was also used for other gods. The bull was the symbolic animal of Hadad. He appeared bearded, often holding a club and thunderbolt while wearing a bull-horned headdress.

Hadad was equated with the Greek god Zeus; the Roman god Jupiter, as Jupiter Dolichenus; the Indo-European Nasite Hittite storm-god Teshub; the Egyptian god Amun; the Rigvedic god Indra. In Akkadian, Adad is also known as Ramman (“Thunderer”) cognate with Aramaic Rimmon, which was a byname of Hadad. Ramman was formerly incorrectly taken by many scholars to be an independent Assyrian-Babylonian god later identified with the Hadad.

Though originating in northern Mesopotamia, Adad was identified by the same Sumerogram dIM that designated Iškur in the south. His worship became widespread in Mesopotamia after the First Babylonian Dynasty. A text dating from the reign of Ur-Ninurta characterizes Adad/Iškur as both threatening in his stormy rage and generally life-giving and benevolent.

The form Iškur appears in the list of gods found at Shuruppak but was of far less importance, probably partly because storms and rain were scarce in Sumer and agriculture there depended on irrigation instead. The gods Enlil and Ninurta also had storm god features that decreased Iškur’s distinctiveness. He sometimes appears as the assistant or companion of one or the other of the two.

When Enki distributed the destinies, he made Iškur inspector of the cosmos. In one litany, Iškur is proclaimed again and again as “great radiant bull, your name is heaven” and also called son of Anu, lord of Karkara; twin-brother of Enki, lord of abundance, lord who rides the storm, lion of heaven.

In other texts Adad/Iškur is sometimes son of the moon god Nanna/Sin by Ningal and brother of Utu/Shamash and Inanna/Ishtar. Iškur is also sometimes described as the son of Enlil. The bull was portrayed as Adad/Iškur’s sacred animal starting in the Old Babylonian period (the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE).

Adad/Iškur’s consort (both in early Sumerian and the much later Assyrian texts) was Shala, a goddess of grain, who is also sometimes associated with the god Dagan. She was also called Gubarra in the earliest texts. The fire god Gibil (named Gerra in Akkadian) is sometimes the son of Iškur and Shala.

He is identified with the Anatolian storm-god Teshub, whom the Mitannians designated with the same Sumerogram dIM. Occasionally Adad/Iškur is identified with the god Amurru, the god of the Amorites.

Adad/Iškur presents two aspects in the hymns, incantations, and votive inscriptions. On the one hand he is the god who, through bringing on the rain in due season, causes the land to become fertile, and, on the other hand, the storms that he sends out bring havoc and destruction.

He is pictured on monuments and cylinder seals (sometimes with a horned helmet) with the lightning and the thunderbolt (sometimes in the form of a spear), and in the hymns the sombre aspects of the god on the whole predominate. His association with the sun-god, Shamash, due to the natural combination of the two deities who alternate in the control of nature, leads to imbuing him with some of the traits belonging to a solar deity.

Descriptions of Adad starting in the Kassite period and in the region of Mari emphasize his destructive, stormy character and his role as a fearsome warrior deity, in contrast to Iškur’s more peaceful and pastoral character. Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general.

In religious texts, Ba‘al/Hadad is the lord of the sky who governs the rain and thus the germination of plants with the power to determine fertility. He is the protector of life and growth to the agricultural people of the region. The absence of Ba‘al causes dry spells, starvation, death, and chaos.

Nechtan

The name could ultimately be derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *nepot- “descendant, sister’s son”, or, alternatively, from nebh- “damp, wet”. Another etymology suggests that Nechtan is derived from Old-Irish necht “clean, pure and white”, with a root -neg “to wash”, from IE neigᵘ̯- “to wash”.

As such, the name would be closely related mythological beings, who were dwelling near wells and springs: English neck (from Anglosaxon nicor), Swedish Näck, German Nixe and Dutch nikker, meaning “river monster, water spirit, crocodile, hippopotamus”, hence Old-Norse nykr “water spirit in the form of a horse”.

In Etruscan mythology, Nethuns was the god of wells, later expanded to all water, including the sea. According to Georges Dumézil the name Nechtan is perhaps cognate with that of the Romano-British god Nodens or the Roman god Neptunus, and the Persian and Vedic gods sharing the name Apam Napat.

In Irish mythology, the Well of Nechtan (also called the Well of Coelrind, Well of Connla, and Well of Segais) is one of a number of Otherworldly wells that are variously depicted as “The Well of Wisdom”, “The Well of Knowledge” and the source of some of the rivers of Ireland. The well is the home to the salmon of wisdom, and surrounded with hazel trees, which also signify knowledge and wisdom.

Nechtan or Nectan became a common Celtic name and a number of historical or legendary figures bear it. Nechtan was a frequent name for Pictish kings.

In Norse mythology, Mímisbrunnr (Old Norse “Mímir’s well”) is a well associated with the being Mímir, located beneath the world tree Yggdrasil. The well contains “wisdom and intelligence” and “the master of the well is called Mimir.

Mimir is full of learning because he drinks of the well from the horn Giallarhorn (Old Norse “yelling horn” or “the loud sounding horn”), a horn associated with the god Heimdallr and the wise being Mímir. Using Gjallarhorn, Heimdallr drinks from the well and thus is himself wise.

Urðarbrunnr (Old Norse “Well of Urðr”; either referring to a Germanic concept of fate—urðr—or the norn named Urðr) is a well in Norse mythology. Urðarbrunnr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson.

In both sources, the well lies beneath the world tree Yggdrasil, and is associated with a trio of norns (Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld). In the Prose Edda, Urðarbrunnr is cited as one of three wells existing beneath three roots of Yggdrasil that reach into three distant, different lands; the other two wells being Hvergelmir, located beneath a root in Niflheim, and Mímisbrunnr, located beneath a root near the home of the frost jötnar.

In the Poetic Edda, Urðarbrunnr is mentioned in stanzas 19 and 20 of the poem Völuspá, and stanza 111 of the poem Hávamál. In stanza 19 of Völuspá, Urðarbrunnr is described as being located beneath Yggdrasil, and that Yggdrasil, an ever-green ash-tree, is covered with white mud or loam.

Stanza 20 describes that three norns (Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld) “come from” the well, here described as a “lake”, and that this trio of norns then “set down laws, they chose lives, for the sons of men the fates of men.”

Apzu

The name “Nethuns” is likely cognate with that of the Celtic god Nechtan and the Persian and Vedic gods sharing the name Apam Napat, perhaps all based on the Proto-Indo-European word *népōts “nephew, grandson.” In the Rig Veda, Apām Napāt (Lord Varuna) is the angel of rain. Apam Napat created all existential beings.

Apām Napāt in Sanskrit mean “son of waters” and grandson of Apah and Apąm Napāt in Avestan means “Fire on Water”. Sanskrit and Avestan napāt (“grandson”) are cognate to Latin nepōs and English nephew, but the name Apām Napāt has also been compared to Etruscan Nethuns and Celtic Nechtan and Roman Neptune. Apam Napat has a golden splendour and is said to be kindled by the cosmic waters.

The Abzu or Apsu (ZU.AB; Sumerian: abzu; Akkadian: apsû), also called engur (Sumerian: engur; Akkadian: engurru – lit., ab=’water’ zu=’deep’), was the name for fresh water from underground aquifers which was given a religious fertilising quality in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology.

Lakes, springs, rivers, wells, and other sources of fresh water were thought to draw their water from the abzu. In this respect, in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology it referred to the primeval sea below the void space of the underworld (Kur) and the earth (Ma) above.

 

Abzu is depicted as a deity only in the Babylonian creation epic, the Enûma Elish, taken from the library of Assurbanipal (c 630 BCE) but which is about 500 years older. In this story, he was a primal being made of fresh water and a lover to another primal deity, Tiamat, who was a creature of salt water.

The Enuma Elish begins: “When above the heavens did not yet exist nor the earth below, Apsu the freshwater ocean was there, the first, the begetter, and Tiamat, the saltwater sea, she who bore them all; they were still mixing their waters, and no pasture land had yet been formed, nor even a reed marsh.”

This resulted in the birth of the younger gods, who later murder Apsu in order to usurp his lordship of the universe. Enraged, Tiamat gives birth to the first dragons, filling their bodies with “venom instead of blood”, and made war upon her treacherous children, only to be slain by Marduk, the god of Storms, who then forms the heavens and earth from her corpse.

 

Enki

Enki (Sumerian: dEN.KI(G) is the Sumerian god of water, knowledge (gestú), mischief, crafts (gašam), and creation (nudimmud). He was later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians.

Enki was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). Pegasus is a constellation in the northern sky, named after the winged horse Pegasus in Greek mythology.

The Babylonian constellation IKU (field) had four stars of which three were later part of the Greek constellation Hippos (Pegasus). In ancient Persia, Pegasus was depicted by al-Sufi as a complete horse facing east, unlike most other uranographers, who had depicted Pegasus as half of a horse, rising out of the ocean.

In the city of Eridu, Enki’s temple was known as E-abzu (house of the cosmic waters) and was located at the edge of a swamp, an abzu. Certain tanks of holy water in Babylonian and Assyrian temple courtyards were also called abzu (apsû). Typical in religious washing, these tanks were similar to Judaism’s mikvot, the washing pools of Islamic mosques, or the baptismal font in Christian churches.

The Sumerian god Enki (Ea in the Akkadian language) was believed to have lived in the abzu since before human beings were created. His wife Damgalnuna, his mother Nammu, his advisor Isimud and a variety of subservient creatures, such as the gatekeeper Lahmu, also lived in the abzu.

In the later Babylonian epic Enûma Eliš, Abzu, the “begetter of the gods”, is inert and sleepy but finds his peace disturbed by the younger gods, so sets out to destroy them. His grandson Enki, chosen to represent the younger gods, puts a spell on Abzu “casting him into a deep sleep”, thereby confining him deep underground. Enki subsequently sets up his home “in the depths of the Abzu.” Enki thus takes on all of the functions of the Abzu, including his fertilising powers as lord of the waters and lord of semen.

In another even older tradition, Nammu, the goddess of the primeval creative matter and the mother-goddess portrayed as having “given birth to the great gods,” was the mother of Enki, and as the watery creative force, was said to preexist Ea-Enki.

In Sumerian mythology, Nammu (also Namma, spelled ideographically dNAMMA = dENGUR) was a primeval goddess, corresponding to Tiamat in Babylonian mythology. She was the Goddess sea (Engur) that gave birth to An (heaven) and Ki (earth) and the first gods, representing the Apsu, the fresh water ocean that the Sumerians believed lay beneath the earth, the source of life-giving water and fertility in a country with almost no rainfall.

Nammu is the goddess who “has given birth to the great gods”. It is she who has the idea of creating mankind, and she goes to wake up Enki, who is asleep in the Apsu, so that he may set the process going. Benito states “With Enki it is an interesting change of gender symbolism, the fertilising agent is also water, Sumerian “a” or “Ab” which also means “semen”. In one evocative passage in a Sumerian hymn, Enki stands at the empty riverbeds and fills them with his ‘water'”.

The main temple to Enki was called E-abzu, meaning “abzu temple” (also E-en-gur-a, meaning “house of the subterranean waters”), a ziggurat temple surrounded by Euphratean marshlands near the ancient Persian Gulf coastline at Eridu. It was the first temple known to have been built in Southern Iraq.

Four separate excavations at the site of Eridu have demonstrated the existence of a shrine dating back to the earliest Ubaid period, more than 6,500 years ago. Over the following 4,500 years, the temple was expanded 18 times, until it was abandoned during the Persian period.

On this basis Thorkild Jacobsen has hypothesized that the original deity of the temple was Abzu, with his attributes later being taken by Enki over time. P. Steinkeller believes that, during the earliest period, Enki had a subordinate position to a goddess (possibly Ninhursag), taking the role of divine consort or high priest, later taking priority.

The Enki temple had at its entrance a pool of fresh water, and excavation has found numerous carp bones, suggesting collective feasts. Carp are shown in the twin water flows running into the later God Enki, suggesting continuity of these features over a very long period.

These features were found at all subsequent Sumerian temples, suggesting that this temple established the pattern for all subsequent Sumerian temples. “All rules laid down at Eridu were faithfully observed”.

Enki and later Ea were apparently depicted, sometimes, as a man covered with the skin of a fish, and this representation, as likewise the name of his temple E-apsu, “house of the watery deep”, points decidedly to his original character as a god of the waters.

Beginning around the second millennium BCE, he was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for “40”, occasionally referred to as his “sacred number”. The planet Mercury, associated with Babylonian Nabu (the son of Marduk) was, in Sumerian times, identified with Enki.

A large number of myths about Enki have been collected from many sites, stretching from Southern Iraq to the Levantine coast. He is mentioned in the earliest extant cuneiform inscriptions throughout the region and was prominent from the third millennium down to Hellenistic times.

The exact meaning of his name is uncertain: the common translation is “Lord of the Earth”. The Sumerian En is translated as a title equivalent to “lord” and was originally a title given to the High Priest. Ki means “earth”, but there are theories that ki in this name has another origin, possibly kig of unknown meaning, or kur meaning “mound”.

Early royal inscriptions from the third millennium BCE mention “the reeds of Enki”. Reeds were an important local building material, used for baskets and containers, and collected outside the city walls, where the dead or sick were often carried. This links Enki to the Kur or underworld of Sumerian mythology.

The name Ea is allegedly Hurrian in origin while others claim that his name ‘Ea’ is possibly of Semitic origin and may be a derivation from the West-Semitic root *hyy meaning “life” in this case used for “spring”, “running water”. In Sumerian E-A means “the house of water”, and it has been suggested that this was originally the name for the shrine to the god at Eridu.

It has also been suggested that the original non-anthropomorphic divinity at Eridu was not Enki but Abzu. The emergence of Enki as the divine lover of Ninhursag, and the divine battle between the younger Igigi divinities and Abzu, saw the Abzu, the underground waters of the Aquifer, becoming the place in which the foundations of the temple were built.

Enki was the keeper of the divine powers called Me, the gifts of civilization. He is often shown with the horned crown of divinity. Considered the master shaper of the world, god of wisdom and of all magic, Enki was characterized as the lord of the Abzu (Apsu in Akkadian), the freshwater sea or groundwater located within the earth.

On the Adda Seal, Enki is depicted with two streams of water flowing into each of his shoulders: one the Tigris, the other the Euphrates. Alongside him are two trees, symbolizing the male and female aspects of nature. He is shown wearing a flounced skirt and a cone-shaped hat. An eagle descends from above to land upon his outstretched right arm. This portrayal reflects Enki’s role as the god of water, life, and replenishment.

Enki/Ea is essentially a god of civilization, wisdom, and culture. He was also the creator and protector of man, and of the world in general. It is, however, as the third figure in the triad (the two other members of which were Anu and Enlil) that Ea acquires his permanent place in the pantheon. To him was assigned the control of the watery element, and in this capacity he becomes the shar apsi; i.e. king of the Apsu or “the deep”.

The Apsu was figured as the abyss of water beneath the earth, and since the gathering place of the dead, known as Aralu, was situated near the confines of the Apsu, he was also designated as En-Ki; i.e. “lord of that which is below”, in contrast to Anu, who was the lord of the “above” or the heavens.

The consort of Ea, known as Ninhursag, Ki, Uriash Damkina, “lady of that which is below”, or Damgalnunna, “big lady of the waters”, originally was fully equal with Ea, but in more patriarchal Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian times plays a part merely in association with her lord.

Generally, however, Enki seems to be a reflection of pre-patriarchal times, in which relations between the sexes were characterised by a situation of greater gender equality. In his character, he prefers persuasion to conflict, which he seeks to avoid if possible.

Ninhursag

In Sumerian religion, Ninḫursaĝ (DNIN-ḪUR.SAG) was a mother goddess of the mountains, and one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the “true and great lady of heaven” (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were “nourished by Ninhursag’s milk”.

Sometimes her hair is depicted in an omega shape and at times she wears a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders. Frequently she carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash. She is the tutelary deity to several Sumerian leaders.

In the text ‘Creator of the Hoe’, she completed the birth of mankind after the heads had been uncovered by Enki’s hoe. In creation texts, Ninmah (another name for Ninhursag) acts as a midwife whilst the mother goddess Nammu makes different kinds of human individuals from lumps of clay at a feast given by Enki to celebrate the creation of humankind.

Her symbol, resembling the Greek letter omega Ω, has been depicted in art from approximately 3000 BC, although more generally from the early second millennium BC. The omega symbol is associated with the Egyptian cow goddess Hathor, and may represent a stylized womb. The symbol appears on very early imagery from Ancient Egypt. Hathor is at times depicted on a mountain, so it may be that the two goddesses are connected.

Cybele (perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük in Anatolia, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations dated to the 6th millennium BC and identified by some as a mother goddess.

Hursag

Hursag (ḪUR.SAĜ) is a Sumerian term variously translated as meaning “mountain”, “hill”, “foothills” or “piedmont”. Thorkild Jacobsen extrapolated the translation in his later career to mean literally, “head of the valleys”. Some scholars also identify hursag with an undefined mountain range or strip of raised land outside the plain of Mesopotamia.

In a myth variously entitled by Samuel Noah Kramer as “The Deeds and Exploits of Ninurta” and later Ninurta Myth Lugal-e by Thorkild Jacobsen, Hursag is described as a mound of stones constructed by Ninurta after his defeat of a demon called Asag.

Ninurta’s mother Ninlil (DNIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), the consort goddess of Enlil, visits the location after this great victory. In return for her love and loyalty, Ninurta gives Ninlil the hursag as a gift. Her name is consequentially changed from Ninlil to Ninhursag or the “mistress of the Hursag”.

The hursag is described here in a clear cultural myth as a high wall, levee, dam or floodbank, used to restrain the excess mountain waters and floods caused by the melting snow and spring rain. The hursag is constructed with Ninurta’s skills in irrigation engineering and employed to improve the agriculture of the surrounding lands, farms and gardens where the water had previously been wasted.

Apkallu

Adapa, the first of the Mesopotamian seven sages (apkallu[a]), was a mythical figure who unknowingly refused the gift of immortality. The story is first attested in the Kassite period (14th century BC), in fragmentary tablets from Tell el-Amarna, and from Assur, of the late second millennium BC.

Adapa was a mortal man from a godly lineage, a son of Ea (Enki in Sumerian), the god of wisdom and of the ancient city of Eridu, who brought the arts of civilization to that city (from Dilmun, according to some versions).

Adapa is often identified as an adviser to the mythical first (antediluvian) king of Eridu, Alulim. In addition to his advisory duties, he served as a priest and exorcist, and upon his death took his place among the Seven Sages or Apkallū. (Apkallu “sage”, comes from Sumerian AB.GAL “great water”, a reference to Adapa the first sage’s association with water).

Mesopotamian myth tells of seven antediluvian sages, who were sent by Ea, the wise god of Eridu, to bring the arts of civilisation to humankind. They were seen as fish-like men who emerged from the sweet water Abzu. The first of these, Adapa, also known as Uan, the name given as Oannes by Berossus, introduced the practice of the correct rites of religious observance as priest of the E’Apsu temple, at Eridu.

The sages are described in Mesopotamian literature as ‘pure parādu-fish, probably carp, whose bones are found associated with the earliest shrine, and still kept as a holy duty in the precincts of Near Eastern mosques and monasteries. Adapa as a fisherman was iconographically portrayed as a fish-man composite.

According to the myth, human beings were initially unaware of the benefits of culture and civilization. The god Enki (or Ea) sent from Dilmun (or Abzu) amphibious half-fish, half-human divine creatures, who emerged from the oceans to live with the early human beings and teach them the arts and other aspects of civilization such as writing, law, temple and city building and agriculture. According to the Temple Hymn of Ku’ara, all seven sages are said to have originally belonged to the city of Eridu.

These creatures are known as the Apkallu. They are credited with giving mankind the Me (moral code), the crafts, and the arts, and therefore referred to at times with the epithet ‘Craftsmen’. They remained with human beings after teaching them the ways of civilization, and served as advisors to the antediluvian kings. After the Flood, Marduk banished them back to Abzu.

Apkallu and human beings were presumably capable of conjugal relationships since after the flood, the myth states that four Apkallu appeared. These were part human and part Apkallu. These Apkallus are said to have committed various transgressions which angered the gods.

These seeming negative deeds of the later Apkallu and their roles as wise councillors has led some scholars to equate them with the nephilim of Genesis 6:4. After these four post-diluvian Apkallus came the first completely human advisers, who were called ummanu.

Gilgamesh, the mythical king of Uruk, is said to be the first king to have had an entirely human adviser. In recent times, scholars have also suggested the Apkallu are the Raphaim and are the model for the biblical world human beings and flood survivors such as Enoch, the ancestor of Noah.

Apkallu reliefs appear prominently in Assyrian palaces as guardians against evil spirits, particularly during the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911-605 BC). They are one of the more prominent supernatural creatures that appear in the art of Ashurnasirpal II of the 9th century BC. They appear in one of three forms, bird-headed, human-headed or dressed in fish-skin cloaks.

In non-cuneiform sources, they find references in the writings of Berossus, the 3rd century BC, Babylonian priest of Bel Marduk. Berossus describes the appearance from the Persian Gulf of the first of these sages Oannes and describes him as a monster with two heads, the body of a fish and human feet. He then relates that more of these monsters followed. The seven sages are also referred to in an exorcistic text where they are described as bearing the likeness of carps.

Oannes (Ὡάννης) was the name given by the Babylonian writer Berossus in the 3rd century BC to a mythical being who taught mankind wisdom. Berossus describes Oannes as having the body of a fish but underneath the figure of a man. He is described as dwelling in the Persian Gulf, and rising out of the waters in the daytime and furnishing mankind instruction in writing, the arts and the various sciences.

Oannes and the Semitic god Dagon were considered identical, but not until long after those gods were formally worshiped – this belief was popularized by the medieval Jewish commentator Rashi and in Dante’s Inferno, but has been discarded by modern scholars.

The name “Oannes” was once conjectured to be derived from that of the ancient Babylonian god Ea, but it is now known that the name is the Greek form of the Babylonian Uanna (or Uan), a name used for Adapa in texts from the Library of Ashurbanipal. The Assyrian texts attempt to connect the word to the Akkadian for a craftsman, ummanu, but this is merely a pun.

Consus

Neptune does not show any direct equine character or linkage. On the other hand, Roman god Consus, the protector of grains represented by a grain seed, was associated with horses: his underground altar was located in the valley of the Circus Maximus at the foot of the Palatine, the place of horse races.

Perhaps under the influence of Poseidon Consus, whose festival entailed horse races, was reinterpreted as Neptunus equestris and for his underground altar also identified with Poseidon. Moreover, the etymology of Poseidon, understood as from Posis lord, husband and De grain or Earth, may have contributed to the identification of Consus with Neptune.

Consus became a god associated with secret conferences, as his name was also interpreted allegorically in relation to consilium (“council, assembly”). Servius says that Consus is the god of councils. This power of hidden counselling held by Consus seems to be related to the concept expressed by Dionysius and Plutarch that he is the “holder” of the Earth, an idea that makes of him a parallel to Poseidon.

So although it is certain that condere and consulere are from two different roots, it looks the character of Consus as hidden master of the Earth was at the basis of the identification with Poseidon, as well as the strict affinity of the two gods with the horse.

Sabazius

Neptune is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. It has been argued that Indo-European people, having no direct knowledge of the sea as they originated from inland areas, reused the theology of a deity originally either chthonic or wielding power over inland freshwaters as the god of the sea.

This feature has been preserved particularly well in the case of Neptune who was definitely a god of springs, lakes and rivers before becoming also a god of the sea, as is testified by the numerous findings of inscriptions mentioning him in the proximity of such locations.

Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshipped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing. Poseidon was connected to the horse since the earliest times, well before any connection of him with the sea was attested, and may even have originally been conceived under equine form.

Sabazios is the horseman and sky father god of the Phrygians and Thracians. In Indo-European languages, such as Phrygian, the -zios element in his name derives from dyeus, the common precursor of Latin deus (‘god’) and Greek Zeus.

Though the Greeks interpreted Phrygian Sabazios as both Zeus and Dionysus, representations of him, even into Roman times, show him always on horseback, as a nomadic horseman god, wielding his characteristic staff of power.

It seems likely that the migrating Phrygians brought Sabazios with them when they settled in Anatolia in the early first millennium BCE, and that the god’s origins are to be looked for in Macedonia and Thrace.

The recently discovered ancient sanctuary of Perperikon in modern-day Bulgaria is believed to be that of Sabazios. The Macedonians were also noted horsemen, horse-breeders and horse-worshippers up to the time of Philip II, whose name signifies “lover of horses”.

Possible early conflict between Sabazios and his followers and the indigenous mother goddess of Phrygia (Cybele) may be reflected in Homer’s brief reference to the youthful feats of Priam, who aided the Phrygians in their battles with Amazons.

An aspect of the compromise religious settlement, similar to the other such mythic adjustments throughout Aegean culture, can be read in the later Phrygian King Gordias’ adoption “with Cybele” of Midas.

One of the native religion’s creatures was the Lunar Bull. Sabazios’ relations with the goddess may be surmised in the way that his horse places a hoof on the head of the bull, in a Roman marble relief at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Though Roman in date, the iconic image appears to be much earlier.

The iconic image of the god or hero on horseback battling the chthonic serpent, on which his horse tramples, appears on Celtic votive columns, and with the coming of Christianity it was easily transformed into the image of Saint George and the Dragon, whose earliest known depictions are from tenth- and eleventh-century Cappadocia and eleventh-century Georgia and Armenia.

Among Roman inscriptions from Nicopolis ad Istrum, Sabazios is generally equated with Jove and mentioned alongside Mercury. Similarly in Hellenistic monuments, Sabazios is either explicitly (via inscriptions) or implicitly (via iconography) associated with Zeus.

On a marble slab from Philippopolis, Sabazios is depicted as a curly-haired and bearded central deity among several gods and goddesses. According to Macrobius, Liber and Helios were worshipped among the Thracians as Sabazios; this description fits other Classical accounts that identify Sabazios with Dionysos.

Sabazios is also associated with a number of archeological finds depicting a bronze, right hand in the benedictio latina gesture. The hand appears to have had ritual significance and may have been affixed to a sceptre (as the one carried by Sabazios on the Philippopolis slab).

Although there are many variations, the hand of Sabazios is typically depicted with a pinecone on the thumb and with a serpent or pair of serpents encircling the wrist and surmounting the bent ring and pinky fingers.

Additional symbols occasionally included on the hands of Sabazios include a lightning bolt over the index and middle fingers, a turtle and lizard on the back of the hand, an eagle, a ram, a leafless branch, the thyrsos, and the Mounted Heros.

Transference of Sabazios to the Roman world appears to have been mediated in large part through Pergamum. The naturally syncretic approach of Greek religion blurred distinctions. Later Greek writers, like Strabo in the first century CE, linked Sabazios with Zagreus, among Phrygian ministers and attendants of the sacred rites of Rhea and Dionysos.

Strabo’s Sicilian contemporary, Diodorus Siculus, conflated Sabazios with the secret ‘second’ Dionysus, born of Zeus and Persephone, a connection that is not borne out by surviving inscriptions, which are entirely to Zeus Sabazios.

The Christian Clement of Alexandria had been informed that the secret mysteries of Sabazius, as practiced among the Romans, involved a serpent, a chthonic creature unconnected with the mounted skygod of Phrygia.

Small votive hands, typically made of copper or bronze, are often associated with the cult of Sabazios. Many of these hands have a small perforation at the base which suggests they may have been attached to wooden poles and carried in processions. The symbolism of these objects is not well known.

The first Jews who settled in Rome were expelled in 139 BCE, along with Chaldaean astrologers by Cornelius Hispalus under a law which proscribed the propagation of the “corrupting” cult of “Jupiter Sabazius,” according to the epitome of a lost book of Valerius Maximus: By this it is conjectured that the Romans identified the Jewish YHVH Tzevaot (“sa-ba-oth,” “of the Hosts”) as Jove Sabazius.

This mistaken connection of Sabazios and Sabaos has often been repeated. In a similar vein, Plutarch maintained that the Jews worshipped Dionysus, and that the day of Sabbath was a festival of Sabazius.

Plutarch also discusses the identification of the Jewish God with the “Egyptian” Typhon, an identification which he later rejects, however. The monotheistic Hypsistarians worshipped the Most High under this name, which may have been a form of the Jewish God.

Neptune, the planet

In Roman mythology, Neptune is the god of the sea, and the deep, ocean blue color of the planet Neptune reflects this. Its glyph is taken directly from Neptune’s trident, symbolizing the curve of spirit being pierced by the cross of matter. Neptune also represents the day of Friday, alongside Venus.

Astrologically speaking, Neptune is associated with idealism, dreams, dissolution, artistry, and empathy, but with illusion and vagueness too. In political terms, Neptune was linked to the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe in countries like Germany, Italy, Hungary, Ireland, and Serbia, seeking independence for their nations inspired by an idealized past of legend. It was also linked to the rise of socialism and the beginnings of the welfare state.

Poseidon

Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of the Sea and other waters; of earthquakes; and of horses. Like Dionysus, who inflamed the maenads, Poseidon also caused certain forms of mental disturbance. His Roman equivalent is Neptune.

In Greek art, Poseidon rides a chariot that was pulled by a hippocampus or by horses that could ride on the sea. He was associated with dolphins and three-pronged fish spears (tridents). He lived in a palace on the ocean floor, made of coral and gems.

Poseidon was the second son of titans Cronus and Rhea. In most accounts he is swallowed by Cronus at birth but later saved, with his other brothers and sisters, by Zeus. However, in some versions of the story, he, like his brother Zeus, did not share the fate of his other brother and sisters who were eaten by Cronus.

He was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which she gave to Cronus to devour. According to John Tzetzes the kourotrophos, or nurse of Poseidon was Arne, who denied knowing where he was, when Cronus came searching; according to Diodorus Siculus Poseidon was raised by the Telchines on Rhodes, just as Zeus was raised by the Korybantes on Crete.

According to a single reference in the Iliad, when the world was divided by lot in three, Zeus received the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea. In the Odyssey (v.398), Poseidon has a home in Aegae.

The earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is Po-se-da-o or Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Poseidaōn and Poseidawonos in Mycenean Greek. A common epithet of Poseidon is Enosichthon, “Earth-shaker”, an epithet which is also identified in Linear B, as E-ne-si-da-o-ne, This recalls his later epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.

In the historical period, Poseidon was often referred to by the epithets Enosichthon, Seisichthon and Ennosigaios, and Gaiēochos all meaning “earth-shaker” and referring to his role in causing earthquakes.

He was closely related with the springs, and with the strike of his trident, he created springs. Many springs like Hippocrene and Aganippe in Helikon are related with the word horse (hippos). (also Glukippe, Hyperippe).

He was protector of seafarers, and of many Hellenic cities and colonies. Poseidon was a major civic god of several cities: in Athens, he was second only to Athena in importance, while in Corinth and many cities of Magna Graecia he was the chief god of the polis. In Plato’s Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was Poseidon’s domain.

Athena became the patron goddess of the city of Athens after a competition with Poseidon. Yet Poseidon remained a numinous presence on the Acropolis in the form of his surrogate, Erechtheus. The contest of Athena and Poseidon was the subject of the reliefs on the western pediment of the Parthenon, the first sight that greeted the arriving visitor.

At the dissolution festival at the end of the year in the Athenian calendar, the Skira, the priests of Athena and the priest of Poseidon would process under canopies to Eleusis. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and the Athenians would choose whichever gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a spring sprang up; the water was salty and not very useful, whereas Athena offered them an olive tree.

The Athenians or their king, Cecrops, accepted the olive tree and along with it Athena as their patron, for the olive tree brought wood, oil and food. After the fight, infuriated at his loss, Poseidon sent a monstrous flood to the Attic Plain, to punish the Athenians for not choosing him.

In his benign aspect, Poseidon was seen as creating new islands and offering calm seas. When offended or ignored, he supposedly struck the ground with his trident and caused chaotic springs, earthquakes, drownings and shipwrecks. Sailors prayed to Poseidon for a safe voyage, sometimes drowning horses as a sacrifice.

According to Pausanias, Poseidon was one of the caretakers of the oracle at Delphi before Olympian Apollo took it over. Apollo and Poseidon worked closely in many realms: in colonization, for example, Delphic Apollo provided the authorization to go out and settle, while Poseidon watched over the colonists on their way, and provided the lustral water for the foundation-sacrifice.

He was connected to the horse since the earliest times, well before any connection of him with the sea was attested, and may even have originally been conceived under equine form. Such a feature is a reflection of his own chronic, violent, brutal nature as earth-quaker, as well as of the link of the horse with springs, i.e. underground water, and the psychopompous character inherent in this animal.

If surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted, the name po-se-da-wo-ne (“Poseidon”) occurs with greater frequency than does di-u-ja (“Zeus”). A feminine variant, po-se-de-ia, is also found, indicating a lost consort goddess, in effect the precursor of Amphitrite, a sea goddess and wife of Poseidon and the queen of the sea.

Amphitrite’s offspring included seals and dolphins. Poseidon and Amphitrite had a son, Triton who was a merman, and a daughter, Rhodos (if this Rhodos was not actually fathered by Poseidon on Halia or was not the daughter of Asopus as others claim).

Poseidon and Apollo, having offended Zeus by their rebellion in Hera’s scheme, were temporarily stripped of their divine authority and sent to serve King Laomedon of Troy. He had them build huge walls around the city and promised to reward them well, a promise he then refused to fulfill. In vengeance, before the Trojan War, Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack Troy. The monster was later killed by Heracles.

Etymology

The origins of the name “Poseidon” are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning “husband” or “lord” (Greek posis, from PIE *pótis) and another element meaning “earth” (da, Doric for gē), producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth; this would link him with Demeter, “Earth-mother”. Walter Burkert finds that “the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous” and finds a “husband of Earth” reading “quite impossible to prove.”

Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word dâwon, “water”; this would make *Posei-dawōn into the master of waters. There is also the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin. Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a “foot-bond”, or he “knew many things”.

Poseidon carries frequently the title wa-na-ka (wanax) in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld. The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is also indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute (earthquakes had accompanied the collapse of the Minoan palace-culture).

Poseidon “Wanax”, is the male companion (paredros) of the goddess of nature. In the relative Minoan myth, Pasiphaë is mating with the white bull, and she bears the hybrid creature Minotaur. The Bull was the old pre-Olympian Poseidon. The goddess of nature and her paredros survived in the Eleusinian cult, where the following words were uttered : ” Mighty Potnia bore a strong son”.

In the cave of Amnisos (Crete) Enesidaon is related with the cult of Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. She was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, and Wanax (wa-na-ka) was her male companion (paredros) in Mycenean cult. It is possible that Demeter appears as Da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription, however the interpretetion is still under dispute.

In Linear B inscriptions found at Pylos, E-ne-si-da-o-ne is related with Poseidon, and Si-to Po-tini-ja is probably related with Demeter. Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for “the Two Queens and Poseidon” (“to the Two Queens and the King”: wa-na-soi, wa-na-ka-te). The “Two Queens” may be related with Demeter and Persephone, or their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in later periods.

The illuminating exception is the archaic and localised myth of the stallion Poseidon and mare Demeter at Phigalia in isolated and conservative Arcadia, noted by Pausanias (2nd century AD) as having fallen into desuetude.

Poseidon appears as a beast (horse), which is the river spirit of the underworld, as it usually happens in northern-European folklore, and not unusually in Greece. It seems that the Arcadian myth is related with the first Greek speaking people who entered the region during the Bronze Age. (Linear B represents an archaic Greek dialect). Their religious beliefs were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population.

It is possible that the Greeks did not bring with them other gods except Zeus, Eos, and the Dioskouroi. The horse (numina) was related with the liquid element, and with the underworld. The stallion Poseidon pursues the mare-Demeter, and from the union she bears the horse Arion, and a daughter (Despoina), who obviously had the shape of a mare too. The violated Demeter was Demeter Erinys (furious).

In Arcadia, Demeter’s mare-form was worshiped into historical times. Her xoanon of Phigaleia shows how the local cult interpreted her, as goddess of nature. A Medusa type with a horse’s head with snaky hair, holding a dove and a dolphin, probably representing her power over air and water.

In the heavily sea-dependent Mycenaean culture, there is not sufficient evidence that Poseidon was connected with the sea. We do not know if “Posedeia” was a sea-goddess. Homer and Hesiod suggest that Poseidon became lord of the sea following the defeat of his father Kronos, when the world was divided by lot among his three sons; Zeus was given the sky, Hades the underworld, and Poseidon the sea, with the Earth and Mount Olympus belonging to all three.

Given Poseidon’s connection with horses as well as the sea, and the landlocked situation of the likely Indo-European homeland, Nobuo Komita has proposed that Poseidon was originally an aristocratic Indo-European horse-god who was then assimilated to Near Eastern aquatic deities when the basis of the Greek livelihood shifted from the land to the sea, or a god of fresh waters who was assigned a secondary role as god of the sea, where he overwhelmed the original Aegean sea deities such as Proteus and Nereus.

Conversely, Walter Burkert suggests that the Hellene cult worship of Poseidon as a horse god may be connected to the introduction of the horse and war-chariot from Anatolia to Greece around 1600 BC.

Poseidon was known in various guises, denoted by epithets. In Arcadia he was known under the epithet Poseidon Hippios. He is more often regarded as the tamer of horses, but in some myths he is their father, either by spilling his seed upon a rock or by mating with a creature who then gave birth to the first horse.

It is almost sure that once Poseidon was worshiped as a horse, and this is evident by his cult in Peloponnesos. However he was originally a god of the waters, and therefore he became the “earth-shaker”, because the Greeks believed that the cause of the earthquakes was the erosion of the rocks by the waters, by the rivers who they saw to disappear into the earth and then to burst out again.

This is what the natural philosophers Thales, Anaximenes and Aristotle believed, which could not be different from the folklore belief. Later, when the Myceneans travelled along the sea, he was assigned a role as god of the sea.

In any case, the early importance of Poseidon can still be glimpsed in Homer’s Odyssey, where Poseidon rather than Zeus is the major mover of events. In Homer, Poseidon is the master of the sea.

Nereus and Proteus

In Greek mythology, Nereus was the eldest son of Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth), who with Doris fathered the Nereids and Nerites, with whom Nereus lived in the Aegean Sea. Nereus and Proteus (the “first”), an early sea-god or god of rivers and oceanic bodies of water, one of several deities whom Homer calls the “Old Man of the Sea”, seem to be two manifestations of the god of the sea who was supplanted by Poseidon when Zeus overthrew Cronus.

Proteus is the god of “elusive sea change”, which suggests the constantly changing nature of the sea or the liquid quality of water in general. He can foretell the future, but, in a mytheme familiar to several cultures, will change his shape to avoid having to; he will answer only to someone who is capable of capturing the beast.

From this feature of Proteus comes the adjective protean, with the general meaning of “versatile”, “mutable”, “capable of assuming many forms”. “Protean” has positive connotations of flexibility, versatility and adaptability.

Anax

The figure of a goddess of nature, birth, and death, was dominant in both Minoan and Mycenean cults during the Bronze Age. Wanax was her male companion (paredros) in the Mycenean cult, and usually, this title was applied to the god Poseidon as king of the sea. Poseidon carries frequently the title wa-na-ka (wanax) in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld.

The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is also indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute (earthquakes had accompanied the collapse of the Minoan palace-culture).

In the cave of Amnisos (Crete) Enesidaon is related with the cult of Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. She was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, and Wanax (wa-na-ka) was her male companion (paredros) in Mycenean cult.

It is possible that Demeter appears in Linear A as da-ma-te on three documents, all three apparently dedicated in religious situations and all three bearing just the name (i-da-ma-te). It is unlikely that Demeter appears as da-ma-te in a Linear B (Mycenean Greek) inscription; the word da-ma-te, probably refers to “households”. On the other hand si-to-po-ti-ni-ja, “Potnia of the Grain”, is regarded as referring to her Bronze Age predecessor or to one of her epithets.

Demeter’s character as mother-goddess is identified in the second element of her name meter derived from Proto-Indo-European *méh₂tēr (mother). In antiquity, different explanations were already proffered for the first element of her name. It is possible that Da, a word which corresponds to Ge in Attic, is the Doric form of De, “earth”, the old name of the chthonic earth-goddess, and that Demeter is “Mother-Earth”.

This root also appears in the Linear B inscription E-ne-si-da-o-ne, “earth-shaker”, as an aspect of the god Poseidon. However, the dā element in the name of Demeter is not so simply equated with “earth” according to John Chadwick.

The element De- may be connected with Deo, an epithet of Demeter probably derived from the Cretan word dea, Ionic zeia—variously identified with emmer, spelt, rye, or other grains by modern scholars—so that she is the Mother and the giver of food generally.

Wanax (wa-na-ka) was her male companion (Greek: Paredros) in Mycenaean cult. The Arcadian cult links her to the god Poseidon, who probably substituted the male companion of the Great Goddess ; Demeter may therefore be related to a Minoan Great Goddess (Cybele).

An alternative Proto-Indo-European etymology comes through Potnia and Despoina, where Des- represents a derivative of PIE *dem (house, dome), and Demeter is “mother of the house” (from PIE *dems-méh₂tēr).

Anax (Greek: from earlier wánax) is an ancient Greek word for “tribal chief, lord, (military) leader”. It is one of the two Greek titles traditionally translated as “king”, the other being basileus. Anax is the more archaic term of the two, inherited from Mycenaean Greece, and is notably used in Homeric Greek, e.g. of Agamemnon. The feminine form is anassa, “queen” (from wánassa, itself from *wánakt-ja).

The word anax derives from the stem wanakt-, and appears in Mycenaean Greek written in Linear B script as wa-na-ka, and in the feminine form as wa-na-sa (later ánassa).

The word Anax in the Iliad refers to Agamemnon (i.e. “leader of men”) and to Priam, high kings who exercise overlordship over other, presumably lesser, kings. This possible hierarchy of one “anax” exercising power over several local “basileis” probably hints to a proto-feudal political organization of Aegean civilizations.

The Linear B adjective wa-na-ka-te-ro (wanákteros), “of the [household of] the king, royal”, and the Greek word anáktoron (“royal [dwelling], palace”) are derived from anax. Anax is also a ceremonial epithet of the god Zeus (“Zeus Anax”) in his capacity as overlord of the Universe, including the rest of the gods.

The meaning of basileus as “king” in Classical Greece is due to a shift in terminology during the Greek Dark Ages. In Mycenaean times, a *gʷasileus appears to be a lower-ranking official (in one instance a chief of a professional guild), while in Homer, Anax is already an archaic title, most suited to legendary heroes and gods rather than for contemporary kings.

The Greek title has been compared to Sanskrit vanij, a word for “merchant”, but in the Rigveda once used as a title of Indra. The word could then be from Proto-Indo-European *wen-aǵ-, roughly “bringer of spoils” (compare the etymology of lord, “giver of bread”).

The archaic plural Ánakes (“Kings”) was a common reference to the Dioskouroi, whose temple was usually called the Anakeion and their yearly religious festival the Anákeia.

The words ánax and ánassa are occasionally used in Modern Greek as a deferential to royalty, whereas the word anáktoro[n] and its derivatives are commonly used with regard to palaces.

Anakes were ancestral spirits worshipped for their government or religious service in Attica and/or Argos. Titles corresponded to their function on Earth, such as “Son of Zeus.” The clearest symbol of their existence, in Greek Mythology, was the wolf.

Nakharar (Armenian: naxarar, from Parthian naxvadār “holder of the primacy”) was a hereditary title of the highest order given to houses of the ancient and medieval Armenian nobility.

Armenia was divided into large estates, which were the property of an enlarged noble family and were ruled by a member of it, to whom the title of nahapet “chief of the family” or tanuter “master of the house” was given. Other members of a nakharar family in their turn ruled over smaller portions of the family estate. Nakharars with greater authority were recognized as ishkhans (princes).

Anakites / Nephilim

Anak (lit. ‘Giant’) is a figure in the Hebrew Bible. His descendants are mentioned in narratives concerning the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites. According to the Book of Numbers, Anak was a forefather of the Anakim.

The Bible describes them as very tall descendants of the Nephilim, the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” before the Deluge, according to Genesis 6:1-4 of the Bible. A similar or identical biblical Hebrew term, read as “Nephilim” by some scholars, or as the word “fallen” by others, appears in Ezekiel 32:27.

When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.

The word is loosely translated as giants in some Bibles and left untranslated in others. The “sons of God” have been interpreted to be fallen angels according to some classical Judaic explanations. According to Numbers 13:33, they later inhabited Canaan at the time of the Israelite conquest of Canaan.

Etymologically it means “neck”, implying that the “sons of Anak” were “long-necked men.” J. C. Greenfield mentions that “it has been proposed that the tale of the Nephilim, alluded to in Genesis 6 is based on some of the negative aspects of the Apkallu tradition”.

The text states that the Anakim were Rephaites, and that Anak was a son of Arba,  in Joshua 14:15 called the “greatest man among the Anakites”. In the Hebrew Bible, as well as non-Jewish ancient texts from the region, the North-West Semitic term Rephaite (Heb. plural Rephaim) refers either to a people group of greater-than-average height and stature (possibly giants), or to dead ancestors who are residents of the Netherworld.

Rephaim have also been considered the residents of the Netherworld (Sheol in the Hebrew Bible) in more recent scholarship. Possible examples of this usage appear as “shades”, “spirits” or “dead” in various translations of the Bible.

Repha’im was “dead ancestors” or “weakeners”, as opposed to Rophe’im, “doctors.” Various ancient Northwest Semitic texts are also replete with references to terms evidently cognate with Rephaim as the dead or dead kings.

The Anakites are later mentioned briefly in the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges. Joshua, the Israelite leader and one of the twelve spies sent by Moses into Canaan, later drove out the descendants of Anak — his three sons — from Hebron, also called Kiriath Arba (Joshua 11:21).

The Egyptian Execration texts of the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) mention a list of political enemies in Canaan, and among this list are a group called the “ly Anaq” or people of Anaq. Robert Graves, considering the relationship between the Anakites and Philistia (Joshua 11:21, Jeremiah 47:5), identifies the Anakim with Anax, the giant ruler of the Anactorians in Greek mythology.

The Eleusinian Mysteries

The origins of the name “Poseidon” are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning “husband” or “lord” (Greek (posis), from PIE *pótis) and another element meaning “earth” (da), Doric for (gē), producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth; this would link him with Demeter, “Earth-mother”.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito, “she of the Grain”, as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros, thesmos: divine order, unwritten law; phoros: bringer, bearer), “Law-Bringer”, as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.

Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone, also called Kore (“the maiden”), were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. They are the “most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece.”

Persephone held an ancient role as the dread queen of the Underworld, within which tradition it was forbidden to speak her name. This tradition comes from her conflation with the very old chthonic divinity Despoina (“the mistress”), whose real name could not be revealed to anyone except those initiated to her mysteries.

In Greek mythology, Despoina was the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon and sister of Arion. She was the goddess of mysteries of Arcadian cults who was worshipped under the title Despoina (“the mistress”), alongside her mother Demeter, one of the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Her real name could not be revealed to anyone except those initiated to her mysteries.

Her epithet, “the mistress”, has its analogue in Mycenean Greek inscriptions found at Pylos in southern Greece and at Knossos in Crete. Karl Kerenyi asserted that the cult was a continuation of a Minoan goddess, and that her name recalls the Minoan-Mycenaean goddess da-pu-ri-to-jo,po-ti-ni-ja, i.e. the unnamable “Mistress of the Labyrinth” at Knossos.

“Despoina” was an epithet for several goddesses, especially Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter, and Hecate. It is related to the Mycenean title, “potnia” (po-ti-ni-ja), that usually referred to goddesses. This divine title could be the translation of a similar title of Pre-Greek origin, just as the title “Our lady” in Christianity is translated in several languages. It seems that the original title accompanied the Aegean mother goddess.

Writing during the second century A.D., Pausanias spoke of Demeter as having two daughters; Kore being born first, before Despoina was born, with Zeus being the father of Kore and Poseidon as the father of Despoina. Pausanias made it clear that Kore is Persephone, although he did not reveal Despoina’s proper name.

The cult of Despoina is very important in the history of ancient Greek religion. The Arcadian cults come from a more primitive religion. Evidently, the religious beliefs of the first Greek-speaking people who entered the region were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population.

It seems that the myths in Arcadia were connected with the first Greek-speaking people who came from the north during the Bronze Age. In Arcadia, Demeter and Persephone were often called Despoinai (“the mistresses”) in historical times. They are the two Great Goddesses of the Arcadian cults, and evidently they come from a more primitive religion.

Their basis was an old agrarian cult, and there is some evidence that they were derived from the religious practices of the Mycenean period. It was a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later spread to Rome. Similar religious rites appear in the agricultural societies of Near East and in Minoan Crete.

The two goddesses were not clearly separated and had close connections with the rivers, springs and animals. They were related to Poseidon, the god of the rivers and the springs, and especially to Artemis, the Mistress of the Animals who was the first nymph. According to the Greek tradition a hunt-goddess preceded the harvest goddess.

In the myth of the isolated land of Arcadia, Poseidon, the river spirit of the underworld, saw Demeter and desired her. To avoid him, she took her archaic form of a mare, but he took the form of a stallion (Poseidon Hippios), as was usual in northern European folklore, and mated with her.

From this union Demeter bore a daughter, Despoina, who originally had the shape of a mare too, and a fabulous horse, Arion. Due to her anger at this turn of events, Demeter also was given the epithet, Erinys (raging). Later, Despoina was conflated with Kore (Persephone), the goddess of the Eleusinian mysteries, in a life-death-rebirth cycle.

It seems that the Greek deities started as powers of nature, and then they were given other attributes. These powers of nature developed into a belief in nymphs and in deities with human forms and the heads or tails of animals. Some of them, such as Pan and the Silenoi, survived into the classical age.

The two great Arcadian goddesses, Demeter and Despoina (later Persephone), were closely related to the springs and the animals, and especially, to the goddess Artemis (Potnia Theron: “The mistress of the animals”), who was the first nymph.

On a marble relief at Lycosura is the veil of Despoina, on which human figures are represented with the heads of different animals, obviously, in a ritual dance. Some of them hold flutes. These could be a procession of women with animal masks or of hybrid creatures. Similar processions of daemons or human figures with animal masks appear on Mycenean frescoes and gold rings.

Most of the temples were built near springs, and in some of them there is evidence of a fire which always was kept burning. At Lycosura, a fire burned in front of the temple of Pan, the goat god. The megaron of Eleusis is quite similar to the “megaron” of Despoina at Lycosura.

The word, Despoina (“mistress”), is derived from *des-potnia, “lady or mistress of the house”, from PIE *dóm(ha)os, “house(hold)” [*dem(ha)-, “build”] and *potniha-, “lady, mistress”; cf. Greek domos and potnia. The masculine form is Despotes, “master of the house”; cf. posis.

Related attested forms, written in the Linear B syllabary, are the Mycenaean Greek po-ti-ni-ja, (potnia) and perhaps po-se-da-o, and po-se-da-wo-ne (Poseidon), which were inherited into classical Greece with identical or related meanings. Demeter is possibly a related word, interpreted by some, as “mother of the house” (from PIE *dems-mater).

Persephone and Demeter are two of the three goddesses of the Eleusinian mysteries. Perhaps they could be the “Two Queens” referred to in various Linear B inscriptions. At Olympia they were called, Despoinae.

The mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter and is the queen of the underworld, from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases; the descent (loss), the search, and the ascent, with the main theme being the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother.

Homer describes Persephone as the formidable, venerable majestic princess of the underworld, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. She was married to Hades, the god of the underworld. In some versions, Persephone is the mother of Zeus’s sons Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus. In Roman mythology, she is called Proserpina, and her mother, Ceres and her father Jupiter.

The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation, which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence, she is also associated with spring as well as the fertility of vegetation. Similar myths appear in the Orient, in the cults of male gods like Attis, Adonis, and Osiris, and in Minoan Crete.

The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret and consistently preserved from antiquity. For the initiated, the rebirth of Persephone symbolized the eternity of life which flows from generation to generation, and they believed that they would have a reward in the afterlife.

One line of thought by modern scholars has been that the Mysteries were intended “to elevate man above the human sphere into the divine and to assure his redemption by making him a god and so conferring immortality upon him.”

Comparative study shows parallels between these Greek rituals and similar systems—some of them older—in the Near East. Such cults include the mysteries of Isis and Osiris in Egypt, the Adoniac of Syrian cults, the Persian mysteries, and the Phrygian Cabeirian mysteries.

Some useful information from the Mycenean period can be taken from the study of the cult of Despoina, (the precursor goddess of Persephone), and the cult of Eileithyia who was the goddess of childbirth.

The main theme was the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother Demeter. The megaron of Despoina at Lycosura is quite similar with the Telesterion of Eleusis, and Demeter is united with the god Poseidon, bearing a daughter, the unnamable Despoina (the mistress).

In the myth Pluto abducts Persephone to be his wife and the queen of his realm. Pluto (Ploutōn) was a name for the ruler of the underworld; the god was also known as Hades, a name for the underworld itself.

The name Pluton was conflated with that of Ploutos (“wealth”), a god of wealth, because mineral wealth was found underground, and because Pluto as a chthonic god ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds necessary for a bountiful harvest. Plouton is lord of the dead, but as Persephone’s husband he has serious claims to the powers of fertility.

In the Theogony of Hesiod, Demeter was united with the hero Iasion in Crete and she bore Ploutos. This union seems to be a reference to a hieros gamos (ritual copulation) to ensure the earth’s fertility. This ritual copulation appears in Minoan Crete, in many Near Eastern agricultural societies, and also in the Anthesteria.

It is believed that the original cult of Ploutos (or Pluto) in Eleusis was similar with the Minoan cult of the “divine child”, who died in order to be reborn. The child was abandoned by his mother and then it was brought up by the powers of nature. Similar myths appear in the cults of Hyakinthos (Amyklai), Erichthonios (Athens), and later in the cult of Dionysos.

The Greek version of the abduction myth is related to grain – important and rare in the Greek environment – and the return (ascent) of Persephone was celebrated at the autumn sowing. Pluto (Ploutos) represents the wealth of the grain that was stored in underground silos or ceramic jars (pithoi), during summer months.

Similar subterranean pithoi were used in ancient times for burials and Pluto is fused with Hades, the King of the realm of the dead. During summer months, the Greek grain-Maiden (Kore) is lying in the grain of the underground silos in the realm of Hades, and she is fused with Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld.

At the beginning of the autumn, when the seeds of the old crop are laid on the fields, she ascends and is reunited with her mother Demeter, for at that time the old crop and the new meet each other. For the initiated, this union was the symbol of the eternity of human life that flows from the generations which spring from each other.

In the cave of Amnisos at Crete, the goddess Eileithyia is related with the annual birth of the divine child, and she is connected with Enesidaon ( The Earth Shaker), who is the chthonic aspect of Poseidon.

In the Linear B Mycenean Greek tablets of c. 1400–1200 BC found at Pylos, the “two queens and the king” may be related with Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon. Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.

Hebat / Hannahanna – Inara

Inara, in Hittite–Hurrian mythology, was the goddess of the wild animals of the steppe and daughter of the Storm-god Teshub/Tarhunt. She corresponds to the “potnia theron” of Greek mythology, better known as Artemis. Inara’s mother is probably Hebat and her brother is Sarruma.

After the dragon Illuyanka wins an encounter with the storm god, the latter asks Inara to give a feast, most probably the Purulli festival, a Hattian spring festival, held at Nerik, dedicated to the earth goddess Hannahanna, who is married to a new king. The corresponding Assyrian festival is the Akitu of the Enuma Elish.

Inara decides to use the feast to lure and defeat Illuyanka, who was her father’s archenemy, and enlists the aid of a mortal named Hupasiyas of Zigaratta by becoming his lover. The dragon and his family gorge themselves on the fare at the feast, becoming quite drunk, which allows Hupasiyas to tie a rope around them. Inara’s father can then kill Illuyanka, thereby preserving creation.

Inara built a house on a cliff and gave it to Hupasiyas. She left one day with instructions that he was not to look out the window, as he might see his family. But he looked and the sight of his family made him beg to be allowed to return home. It is not known what happened next, but there is speculation that Inara killed Hupasiyas for disobeying her, or for hubris, or that he was allowed to return to his family.

The mother goddess Hannahanna promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahanna with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth.

Inanna – Dumuzid

In Sumerian mythology, Dumuzid later known by the alternate form Tammuz, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of shepherds, who was also the primary consort of the goddess Inanna (later known as Ishtar). Dumuzid’s sister was Geshtinanna, the goddess of vegetation.

Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power. Her husband was the god Dumuzid the Shepherd (later known as Tammuz) and her sukkal, or personal attendant, was the goddess Ninshubur (who later became the male deity Papsukkal).

She was known as the “Queen of Heaven” and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center. She was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star.

In the ancient Sumerian poem Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld Ereshkigal (DEREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. “Queen of the Great Earth”), sometimes called Ninkigal (lit. “Great Lady of the Earth”) or (“Lady of the Great Earth”), is described as Inanna’s older sister.

Ereshkigal was the goddess of Kur, the land of the dead or underworld in Sumerian mythology. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler. In Sumerian myths, Ereshkigal was the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom.

In later East Semitic myths she was said to rule Irkalla alongside her husband Nergal. Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun.

Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”. Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld.

In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars)—hence the current name of the planet.

Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”. Aplu may be related with Apaliunas who is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo.

In Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld, Dumuzid fails to mourn Inanna’s death and, when she returns from the Underworld, she allows the galla demons to drag him down to the Underworld as her replacement.

Dumuzid was associated with fertility and vegetation and the hot, dry summers of Mesopotamia were believed to be caused by Dumuzid’s yearly death. During the month in midsummer bearing his name, people all across Mesopotamia would engage in public, ritual mourning for him.

Inanna later regrets this decision and decrees that Dumuzid will spend half the year in the Underworld, but the other half of the year with her, while his sister Geshtinanna stays in the Underworld in his place, thus resulting in the cycle of the seasons.

Tammuz is widely seen as a prime example of the archetypal dying-and-rising god. The cult of Dumuzid was later spread to the Levant and to Greece, where he became known under the West Semitic name Adonis.

Inanna-Ishtar’s most famous myth is the story of her descent into and return from Kur, the ancient Sumerian underworld, a myth in which she attempts to conquer the domain of her older sister Ereshkigal, the queen of the Underworld, but is instead deemed guilty of hubris by the seven judges of the Underworld and struck dead.

Three days later, Ninshubur pleads with all the gods to bring Inanna back, but all of them refuse her except Enki, who sends two sexless beings to rescue Inanna. They escort Inanna out of the Underworld, but the galla, the guardians of the Underworld, drag her husband Dumuzid down to the Underworld as her replacement.

 

 

 

 

 

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The gods and the planets

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 20, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

The name “Sunday”, the day of the Sun, is derived from Hellenistic astrology, where the seven planets, known in English as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, each had an hour of the day assigned to them, and the planet which was regent during the first hour of any day of the week gave its name to that day.

During the 1st and 2nd century, the week of seven days was introduced into Rome from Egypt, and the Roman names of the planets were given to each successive day. Germanic peoples seem to have adopted the week as a division of time from the Romans, but they changed the Roman names into those of corresponding Teutonic deities. Hence, the dies Solis became Sunday (German, Sonntag).

The Latin name dies Martis (“day of Mars”) is equivalent to Tuesday. The Latin name dies Mercurii “day of Mercury” is equivalent to Wednesday. In Latin, thursday was known as Iovis Dies, “Jupiter’s Day”. The Romans named Saturday Sāturni diēs (“Saturn’s Day”).

Hurrian Mythology

Alalu, Anu, Kumarbi and Teshub

Kumarbi is the chief god of the Hurrians. He is the son of Anu (the sky), and father of the storm-god Teshub. He was identified by the Hurrians with Sumerian Enlil, and by the Ugaritians with El.

Kumarbi is known from a number of mythological Hittite texts, sometimes summarized under the term “Kumarbi Cycle”. These texts notably include the myth of The Kingship in Heaven (also known as the Song of Kumarbi, or the “Hittite Theogony”.

The Song of Kumarbi or Kingship in Heaven is the title given to a Hittite version of the Hurrian Kumarbi myth, dating to the 14th or 13th century BC. It is preserved in three tablets, but only a small fraction of the text is legible.

The song relates that Alalu was overthrown by Anu who was in turn overthrown by Kumarbi. When Anu tried to escape, Kumarbi bit off his genitals and spat out three new gods.

In the text Anu tells his son that he is now pregnant with the Teshub, Tigris, and Tašmišu. Upon hearing this Kumarbi spit the semen upon the ground and it became impregnated with two children. Kumarbi is cut open to deliver Tešub. Together, Anu and Teshub depose Kumarbi.

In another version of the Kingship in Heaven, the three gods, Alalu, Anu, and Kumarbi, rule heaven, each serving the one who precedes him in the nine-year reign. It is Kumarbi’s son Tešub, the Weather-God, who begins to conspire to overthrow his father.

From the first publication of the Kingship in Heaven tablets scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian creation myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

The Theogony

Uranus / Caelus

The Theogony (i.e. “the genealogy or birth of the gods”) is a poem by Hesiod (8th – 7th century BC) describing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods, composed c. 700 BC. It is written in the Epic dialect of Ancient Greek.

Uranus (meaning “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. His name in Roman mythology was Caelus (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”). In Hesiod’s Theogony, Uranus is the offspring of Gaia, the earth goddess. Uranus was the brother of Pontus, the God of the sea.

One of the principal components of the Theogony is the presentation of the “Succession Myth”. It tells how Cronus overthrew Uranus, and how in turn Zeus overthrew Cronus and his fellow Titans, and how Zeus was eventually established as the final and permanent ruler of the cosmos.

Sumerian

The main source of information about the Sumerian creation myth is the prologue to the epic poem Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld, which briefly describes the process of creation: originally, there was only Nammu, the primeval sea. Then, Nammu gave birth to An, the sky, and Ki, the earth. An and Ki mated with each other, causing Ki to give birth to Enlil. Enlil separated An from Ki and carried off the earth as his domain, while An carried off the sky.

Anu (Akkadian: 𒀭𒀭 DAN, Anu‹m› or Ilu) or An (Sumerian: 𒀭 AN, from 𒀭 an “Sky, Heaven”) is the divine personification of the sky, supreme God, and ancestor of all the deities in ancient Mesopotamian religion. Anu was believed to be the supreme source of all authority, for the other gods and for all mortal rulers, and he is described in one text as the one “who contains the entire universe”.

He is identified with the north ecliptic pole centered in the constellation Draco and, along with his sons Enlil and Enki, constitutes the highest divine triad personifying the three bands of constellations of the vault of the sky. These three deities together were the embodiment of all the fixed stars in the night sky. An was identified with all the stars of the equatorial sky, Enlil with those of the northern sky. and Enki with those of the southern sky.

By the time of the earliest written records, Anu was rarely worshipped, and veneration was instead devoted to his son Enlil, but, throughout Mesopotamian history, the highest deity in the pantheon was always said to possess the anûtu, meaning “An-power”.

Anu’s primary role in myths is as the ancestor of the Anunnaki, the major deities of Sumerian religion. His primary cult center was the Eanna temple in the city of Uruk, but, by the Akkadian Period (c. 2334 – 2154 BC), his authority in Uruk had largely been ceded to the goddess Inanna, the Queen of Heaven.

The Amorite god Amurru was sometimes equated with Anu. Later, during the Seleucid Empire (213 BC — 63 BC), Anu was identified with Enmešara and Dumuzid. Enmesarra, or Enmešarra, in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology is an underworld god of the law. Described as a Sun god, protector of flocks and vegetation, and therefore he has been equated with Nergal. On the other hand, he has been described as an ancestor of Enlil, and it has been claimed that Enlil slew him.

Cronus / Saturn

In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture, leader of the titans, founder of civilizations, social order, and conformity. The glyph is shaped like a scythe, but it is known as the “crescent below the cross”, whereas Jupiter’s glyph is the “crescent above the cross”.

In ancient Roman mythology, the god Saturnus, from which the planet takes its name, was the god of agriculture. The Romans considered Saturnus the equivalent of the Greek god Cronus. The Greeks had made the outermost planet sacred to Cronus, and the Romans followed suit.

Saturn is a god in ancient Roman religion, and a character in myth. The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum housed the state treasury. In December, he was celebrated at what is perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, the Saturnalia, a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving and revelry. Saturn the planet and Saturday are both named after the god.

He was the first god of the Capitol, known since the most ancient times as Saturnius Mons, and was seen as a god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation. In later developments he came to be also a god of time. His reign was depicted as a Golden Age of plenty and peace.

In the Olympian creation myth, as Hesiod tells it in the Theogony, Uranus came every night to cover the earth and mate with Gaia, but he hated the children she bore him. Uranus imprisoned Gaia’s youngest children in Tartarus, deep within Earth, where they caused pain to Gaia.

Gaia shaped a great flint-bladed sickle and asked her sons to castrate Uranus. Only Cronus, youngest and most ambitious of the Titans, was willing: he ambushed his father and castrated him, casting the severed testicles into the sea. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus.

Cronus was usually depicted with a harpe, scythe or a sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of the harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.

After Uranus was deposed, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hekatonkheires and Cyclopes in Tartarus. Uranus and Gaia then prophesied that Cronus in turn was destined to be overthrown by his own son, and so the Titan attempted to avoid this fate by devouring his young.

Sumerian

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn. Saturn is associated with Saturday, which was named after the deity Saturn. Capricorn is the tenth astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Capricornus. It spans the 270–300th degree of the zodiac, corresponding to celestial longitude. In astrology, Capricorn is the third and last of the earth signs in the zodiac, the other two being Taurus and Virgo. It is considered a negative sign, and one of the four cardinal signs.

It is said to be ruled by the planet Saturn. However, its symbol is based on the Sumerians’ primordial god of wisdom and waters, Enki with the head and upper body of a mountain goat, and the lower body and tail of a fish.

Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this area from December 22 to January 19 each year, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits the constellation of Capricorn from approximately January 16 to February 16.

The mountain goat part of the symbol depicts ambition, resolute, intelligence, curiosity, but also steadiness, and ability to thrive in inhospitable environments while the fish represents passion, spirituality, intuition, and connection with the soul.

In Mesopotamian religion, Ninurta (Sumerian: DNIN.URTA, lord of barley) was a god of law, scribes, farming, and hunting. In Lagash he was identified with the city god Ningirsu (DNIN.ĜIR.SU). In the early days of Assyriology, the name was often transliterated Ninib or Ninip and he was sometimes analyzed as a solar deity. Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace; the mace, named Sharur.

He was worshipped in Babylonia and Assyria and in Lagash he was identified with the city god Ningirsu. In older transliteration the name is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes portrayed as a solar deity.

 

In the astral-theological system Ninurta was associated with the planet Saturn, or perhaps as offspring or an aspect of Saturn. In his capacity as a farmer-god, there are similarities between Ninurta and the Greek Titan Cronus, whom the Romans in turn identified with their Titan Saturn.

The Babylonian name for the planet was Ninib, another name for the ancient Sumerian god Ninurta. In very early times, Ninurta was regarded as a king of the gods and a powerful dragon -slayer. However, he was replaced in the hearts and minds of the Mesopotamian people by Marduk, a “younger” god and another dragon-slayer, associated with the planet Jupiter.

Ninurta, or more properly Ninib, survived as a god of agriculture, a kind of celestial magistrate over fields and their bounderies – and, by extension, the bounderies and limits of consciousness that are suggested by Saturn’s position as the visible limit of the solar system. He also governed the irrigation technology that helped move the ancient Mesopotamia along the road to achievement, and that made the fields prosper.

 

Enlil, later known as Elil, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of wind, air, earth, and storms. Enlil’s name comes from ancient Sumerian EN, meaning “lord” and LÍL meaning “storm” or “wind”. His name therefore literally translates as “Lord Storm”. Enlil’s name is not a genitive construction, indicating that Enlil was seen as the personification of the storm itself rather than merely the cause of storms.

He is first attested as the chief deity of the Sumerian pantheon, but he was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Hurrians. The path of Enlil’s celestial orbit was a continuous, symmetrical circle around the north celestial pole, but those of An and Enki were believed to intersect at various points. Enlil was associated with the constellation Boötes.
 
He was regarded as the “mooring-rope” of heaven and earth, meaning that it was seen as “a channel of communication between earth and heaven”. Enlil plays a vital role in the Sumerian creation myth; he separates An (heaven) from Ki (earth), thus making the world habitable for humans.
 
The Sumerians envisioned Enlil as a benevolent, fatherly deity, who watches over humanity and cares for their well-being. Enlil was regarded as the inventor of the mattock, a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax, or digging tool of the Sumerians, and the patron of agriculture.

Zeus / Jupiter

Zeus, Poseidon and Hades

Zeus, through deception by his mother Rhea, avoided this fate. When Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children.

Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, also known as the Omphalos Stone, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his last child. The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus.

Zeus was raised by a nurse named Amalthea. Since Cronus ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth, sea and sky and thus, invisible to his father.

Throughout history Zeus has used violence to get his way, or even terrorize humans. As God of the sky he has the power to hurl lightning bolts as his weapon of choice. Since lightning is quite powerful and sometimes deadly, it is a bold sign when lightning strikes because it is known that Zeus most likely threw the bolt.

Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld.

In Greek mythology, Hades was regarded as the oldest son of Cronus and Rhea, although the last son regurgitated by his father. He and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon defeated their father’s generation of gods, the Titans, and claimed rulership over the cosmos. Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, and Poseidon the sea, with the solid earth—long the province of Gaia—available to all three concurrently.

Sumerian

Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius. Jupiter is associated with Thursday, and in Romance languages, the name for Thursday often comes from Jupiter (e.g., joi in Romanian, jeudi in French, jueves in Spanish, and giovedì in Italian).

Pabilsaĝ, in Mesopotamian tradition was a tutelary god of the city of Isin. He is represented in the constellation Sagittarius. The Sumerian name Pabilsag (Pabil: “elder paternal kinsman” and Sag: “chief” or “head”) is translated as the “Forefather” or “Chief Ancestor”. The figure is reminiscent of modern depictions of Sagittarius.

Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû); a Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future.

Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the “Slain Heroes”. Eventually, Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil. There are many parallels with both and the story of Marduk (son of Enki) who slew Tiamat and delivered the Tablets of Destiny from Kingu to his father, Enki.

The planet Jupiter has been known since ancient times. It is visible to the naked eye in the night sky and can occasionally be seen in the daytime when the Sun is low. To the Babylonians, this object represented their god Marduk. They used Jupiter’s roughly 12-year orbit along the ecliptic to define the constellations of their zodiac.

Marduk (D.AMAR.UTU; Sumerian: amar utu.k “calf of the sun; solar calf”) was a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon. The name Marduk was probably pronounced Marutuk.

The etymology of the name Marduk is conjectured as derived from amar-Utu (“bull calf of the sun god Utu”). The origin of Marduk’s name may reflect an earlier genealogy, or have had cultural ties to the ancient city of Sippar (whose god was Utu, the sun god), dating back to the third millennium BC.

When Babylon became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century BC), he slowly started to rise to the position of the head of the Babylonian pantheon, a position he fully acquired by the second half of the second millennium BC. In the city of Babylon, Marduk was worshiped in the temple Esagila. Marduk is associated with the divine weapon Imhullu. “Marduk” is the Babylonian form of his name.

By the Hammurabi period, Marduk had become astrologically associated with the planet Jupiter. For people living in the ancient city of Babylon, Marduk was their patron god, and thus it is not a surprise that Babylonian astronomers took an interest in tracking the comings and goings of the planet Jupiter, which they regarded as a celestial manifestation of Marduk.

He was also regarded as the son of Enki (Sumerian Enki) and Damkina and the heir of Anu, but whatever special traits Marduk may have had were overshadowed by the political development through which the Euphrates valley passed and which led to people of the time imbuing him with traits belonging to gods who in an earlier period were recognized as the heads of the pantheon. There are particularly two gods—Ea and Enlil—whose powers and attributes pass over to Marduk.

Pluto

Dis Pater / Dyeus

Pluto (Greek: Ploutōn) was the ruler of the underworld in classical mythology. The earlier name for the god was Hades, which became more common as the name of the underworld itself.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Pluto represents a more positive concept of the god who presides over the afterlife. Ploutōn was frequently conflated with Ploutos (Plutus), a god of wealth, because mineral wealth was found underground, and because as a chthonic god Pluto ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds necessary for a bountiful harvest.

The name Ploutōn came into widespread usage with the Eleusinian Mysteries, in which Pluto was venerated as a stern ruler but the loving husband of Persephone. The couple received souls in the afterlife, and are invoked together in religious inscriptions. Hades, by contrast, had few temples and religious practices associated with him, and he is portrayed as the dark and violent abductor of Persephone.

In Greek cosmogony, Pluto received the rule of the underworld in a three-way division of sovereignty over the world, with his brother Zeus ruling the Sky and his other brother Poseidon sovereign over the Sea.

Plūtō is the Latinized form of the Greek Plouton. Pluto’s Roman equivalent is Dis Pater, a Roman god of the underworld, whose name is most often taken to mean “Rich Father” and is perhaps a direct translation of Plouton.

Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, Dis Pater was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

Dyēus (also *Dyḗus Phtḗr , alternatively spelled dyēws) is believed to have been the chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylit sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society.

This deity is not directly attested; rather, scholars have reconstructed this deity from the languages and cultures of later Indo-European peoples such as the Greeks, Latins, and Indo-Aryans.

According to this scholarly reconstruction, Dyeus was known as Dyeus Phter, literally “sky father” or “shining father”, as reflected in Latin Iūpiter, Diēspiter, possibly Dis Pater and deus pater, Greek Zeu pater, Sanskrit Dyàuṣpítaḥ.

As the pantheons of the individual mythologies related to the Proto-Indo-European religion evolved, attributes of Dyeus seem to have been redistributed to other deities. However, in Greek and Roman mythology, Dyeus remained the chief god.

Ares / Mars

Ares is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars, who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity.

His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia.

Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

The spear is the instrument of Mars in the same way that Jupiter wields the lightning bolt, Neptune the trident, and Saturn the scythe or sickle. A relic or fetish called the spear of Mars was kept in a sacrarium at the Regia, the former residence of the Kings of Rome.

Like Ares who was the son of Zeus and Hera, Mars is usually considered to be the son of Jupiter and Juno. However, in a version of his birth given by Ovid, he was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mother’s function when he gave birth to Minerva directly from his forehead (or mind); to restore the balance, Juno sought the advice of the goddess Flora on how to do the same.

Flora obtained a magic flower (Latin flos, plural flores, a masculine word) and tested it on a heifer who became fecund at once. She then plucked a flower ritually using her thumb, touched Juno’s belly, and impregnated her. Juno withdrew to Thrace and the shore of Marmara for the birth.

The consort of Mars was Nerio or Neriene, an ancient war goddess and the personification of valor. She represents the vital force (vis), power (potentia) and majesty (maiestas) of Mars. Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, “manly virtue” (from vir, “man”). A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Neriene were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23. In the later Roman Empire, Neriene came to be identified with Minerva.

Sumerian

Mars is the ruling planet of Aries. Mars is associated with Tuesday and in Romance languages the word for Tuesday often resembles Mars (in Romanian, marţi, in Spanish, martes, in French, mardi and in Italian “martedì”). The English “Tuesday” is a modernised form of “Tyr’s Day”, Tyr being the Germanic analogue to Mars.

Nergal was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia. Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”.

Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld. In the mythology, this occurred when Enlil and Ninlil gave him the underworld. In this capacity he has associated with him a goddess Allatu or Ereshkigal, though at one time Allatu may have functioned as the sole mistress of Aralu, ruling in her own person. In some texts the god Ninazu is the son of Nergal and Allatu/Ereshkigal.

In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars)—hence the current name of the planet. Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”.

Hermes / Mercury

Hermes is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, and the second youngest of the Olympian gods (Dionysus being the youngest). In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon, Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.

Mercury is a major god in Roman religion and mythology, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages, communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he also serves as the guide of souls to the underworld. He was considered the son of Maia, who was a daughter of the Titan Atlas, and Jupiter in Roman mythology.

Sumerian

Mercury rules over Wednesday. In Romance languages, the word for Wednesday is often similar to Mercury (miercuri in Romanian, mercredi in French, miercoles in Spanish and mercoledì in Italian).

Mercury is the ruling planet of Gemini. Gemini is the third astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Gemini. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this sign between May 21 and June 21.

Gemini is represented by the twins Castor and Pollux. The symbol of the twins is based on the Dioscuri, one mortal and one immortal, that were granted shared half-immortality after the death of the mortal brother (Castor).

In Babylonian astronomy, the stars Castor and Pollux were known as the Great Twins (MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL). The Twins were regarded as minor gods and were called Meshlamtaea and Lugalirra, meaning respectively ‘The One who has arisen from the Underworld’ and the ‘Mighty King’. Both names can be understood as titles of Nergal, the major Babylonian god of plague and pestilence, who was king of the Underworld.

Nergal’s chief temple at Cuthah bore the name Meslam, from which the god receives the designation of Meslamtaeda or Meslamtaea, “the one that rises up from Meslam”. The name Meslamtaeda/Meslamtaea indeed is found as early as the list of gods from Fara while the name Nergal only begins to appear in the Akkadian period.

Ninshubur was the sukkal or second-in-command of the goddess Inanna in Sumerian mythology. Her name means “Queen of the East” in ancient Sumerian. Much like Iris or Hermes in later Greek mythology, Ninshubur served as a messenger to the other gods.

Ninshubur accompanied Inanna as a vassal and friend throughout Inanna’s many exploits. She helped Inanna fight Enki’s demons after Inanna’s theft of the sacred me. Later, when Inanna became trapped in the Underworld, it was Ninshubur who pleaded with Enki for her mistress’s release.

In later Akkadian mythology, Ninshubur was syncretized with the male messenger deity Papsukkal. In older sources, Ninshubur herself is usually referred to as a male god as well; more recent sources have recognized this portrayal as erroneous.

The gender of a sukkal always matches the gender of the deity it serves. Thus, Enki’s sukkal Isimud is male, but Ninshubur is female. In her primary aspect as the sukkal to Inanna, Ninshubur was female, but, when she served as the sukkal to An, he was male.

In Sumerian mythology, Ninshubur is portrayed as “unshakably loyal” in her devotion to her mistress. In addition to being a source of great wisdom and knowledge, Ninshubur was also a warrior goddess. She was the guardian and messenger of the god An. She is said to have walked in front of An wherever he went, a position traditionally reserved for a bodyguard.

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Scorpius the Scorpion

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 19, 2018

Bilderesultat for zodiac

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Scorpius constellation lies in the southern sky. The constellation is easy to find in the sky because it is located near the centre of the Milky Way. The Western astrological sign Scorpio differs from the astronomical constellation. Astronomically, the sun is in Scorpius for just six days, from November 23 to November 28.

The autumn skies are dominated by the enormous figure of the Scorpion. Its array of weaponry has led it to be regarded as a creature symbolising war and the martial prowess of the king. And its venomous nature further expresses the autumnal themes of death and descent to the underworld.

It contains a number of notable stars and deep sky objects, including the bright stars Antares and Shaula, the Butterfly Cluster (Messier 6), the Ptolemy Cluster (Messier 7), Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334), the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302), and the War and Peace Nebula (NGC 6357).

It is one of the twelve members of the zodiac, depicted as a scorpion. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius occupy and define the zones of the sky that the sun would traverse on the vernal equinox, summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice, respectively.

The eagle serves as the astrological equivalent of the scorpion, and thus, the lion, bull, man, and eagle represent the complete cycle of the year, and the four quarters of the earth. In Ezekiel commentaries, it is frequently claimed that the sign of the eagle is equivalent to the scorpion, perhaps because the constellation Aquila the Eagle is in the House of Scorpio. However, the origins of this equivalence are extremely obscure.

It is one of the zodiac constellations, first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. It represents the scorpion and is associated with the story of Orion in Greek mythology.

In Greek mythology, the constellation Scorpius was identified with the scorpion that killed Orion, the mythical hunter. The two constellations lie opposite each other in the sky, and Orion is said to be fleeing from the scorpion as it sets just as Scorpius rises.

In one version of the myth, Orion tried to ravish the goddess Artemis and she sent the scorpion to kill him. In another version, it was the Earth that sent the scorpion after Orion had boasted that he could kill any wild beast.

In ancient Greek times, the constellation Scorpius was significantly larger and comprised of two halves, one with the scorpion’s body and the sting, and one containing the claws. The latter was called Chelae, or “claws” of the Scorpion in Babylonian (zibānītu (compare Arabic zubānā). In the first century BC, the Romans turned the claws into a separate constellation, Libra, the Scales. In some old descriptions the constellation of Libra is treated as the Scorpion’s claws.

However, Scorpius pre-dates the Greeks, and is one of the oldest constellations known. The Sumerians called it GIR-TAB, or “the scorpion,” about 5,000 years ago. The Babylonians called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, the signs can be literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’.

One of earliest occurrences of the scorpion in culture is its inclusion, as Scorpio, in the twelve signs of the series of constellations known as the Zodiac by Babylonian astronomers during the Chaldean period.

In ancient Egypt the goddess Serket was often depicted as a scorpion, one of several goddesses who protected the Pharaoh. Surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel makes notable symbolic use of scorpions in his 1930 classic L’Age d’or (The Golden Age).

Scorpion I was the first of two rulers of Upper Egypt during Naqada III. His name may refer to the scorpion goddess Serket, though evidence suggests Serket’s rise in popularity to be in the Old Kingdom, bringing doubt to whether Scorpion actually took his name from her. He was one of the first rulers of ancient Egypt.

Scorpion is believed to have lived in Thinis one or two centuries before the rule of the better-known Scorpion II of Nekhen and is presumably the first true king of Upper Egypt. To him belongs the U-j tomb found in the royal cemetery of Abydos where Thinite kings were buried.

Two of those plaques seem to name the towns Baset and Buto, showing that Scorpion’s armies had penetrated the Nile Delta. It may be that the conquests of Scorpion started the Egyptian hieroglyphic system by starting a need to keep records in writing.

Recently a 5,000-year-old graffito has been discovered in the Theban Desert Road Survey that also bears the symbols of Scorpion and depicts his victory over another protodynastic ruler (possibly Naqada’s king). The defeated king or place named in the graffito was “Bull’s Head”, a marking also found in U-j.

Scorpion II (Ancient Egyptian: possibly Selk or Weha), also known as King Scorpion, refers to the second of two kings or chieftains of that name during the Protodynastic Period of Upper Egypt. He ruled one or two centuries after Scorpion I.

The Scorpion macehead (also known as the Major Scorpion macehead) is a decorated ancient Egyptian macehead found in the main deposit in the temple of Horus at Hierakonpolis during the dig season of 1897/1898.

It measures 25 centimeters long, is made of limestone, is pear-shaped, and is attributed to the pharaoh Scorpion due to the glyph of a scorpion engraved close to the image of a king wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt. A second, smaller macehead fragment showing Scorpion wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt is referred to as the Minor Scorpion macehead.

When Scorpio was first described in Sumer, the constellation and the associated region of sky was represented by a scorpion, and this association appears to have persisted in Mesopotamian literature for the next 1500 years.

Scorpion men are featured in several Akkadian language myths, including the Enûma Elish and the Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh. They were also known as aqrabuamelu or girtablilu. The Scorpion Men are described to have the head, torso, and arms of a man and the body of a scorpion.

In the religion of ancient Babylon, Tiamat is a primordial goddess of the salt sea, mating with Abzû, the god of fresh water, to produce younger gods. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation. She creates the Scorpion men in order to wage war against the younger gods for the betrayal of her mate Apsu.

They were said to be guardians of Shamash, the god of Sun truth, justice and healing. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, they stand guard outside the gates of the sun god Shamash at the mountains of Mashu. These give entrance to Kurnugi, the land of darkness. The scorpion men open the doors for Shamash as he travels out each day, and close the doors after him when he returns to the underworld at night.

The people of Mesopotamia invoked the Scorpion People as figures of powerful protection against evil and the forces of chaos. In The Epic of Gilgamesh the Scorpion couple, Scorpion Man and Scorpion Woman, guard the great Gate of the Mountain where the sun rises and are described as `terrifying’.

They also warn travellers of the danger that lies beyond their post. Their heads touch the sky, their “terror is awesome” and their “glance is death”. This meeting of Gilgameš, on his way to Ūta-napišti, with the Scorpion-folk guarding the entrance to the tunnel is described in Iškār Gilgāmeš, tablet IX, lines 47–81.

Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. She was associated with the underworld. Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio and she is called the mother of the Sebitti (the Seven Stars).

Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deity, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. Her cult was of considerable importance in Ebla from the mid 3rd millennium. She first appeared in Ebla and was incorporated to the Hurrian pantheon from which she found her way to the Hittite pantheon.

The etymology of Ishara is unknown. In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar. Her main epithet was belet rame, lady of love, which was also applied to Ishtar. Ishara was also worshipped within the Hurrian pantheon.

Variants of the name appear as Ašḫara (in a treaty of Naram-Sin of Akkad with Hita of Elam) and Ušḫara (in Ugarite texts). In Ebla, there were various logographic spellings involving the sign AMA “mother”. In Alalah, her name was written with the Akkadogram IŠTAR plus a phonetic complement -ra, as IŠTAR-ra.

She was invoked to heal the sick. As a goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers, in particular ascites. In this context, she came to be seen as a “goddess of medicine” whose pity was invoked in case of illness. There was even a verb, isharis- “to be afflicted by the illness of Ishara”. Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath.

Sherida is one of the oldest Mesopotamian gods, attested in inscriptions from pre-Sargonic times, her name (as “Aya”) was a popular personal name during the Ur III period (21st-20th century BCE), making her among the oldest Semitic deities known in the region.

As the Sumerian pantheon formalized, Utu became the primary sun god, and Sherida was syncretized into a subordinate role as an aspect of the sun alongside other less powerful solar deities (c.f. Ninurta) and took on the role of Utu’s consort.

When the Semitic Akkadians moved into Mesopotamia, their pantheon became syncretized to the Sumerian. Inanna to Ishtar, Nanna to Sin, Utu to Shamash, etc. The minor Mesopotamian sun goddess Aya became syncretized into Sherida during this process.

The goddess Aya in this aspect appears to have had wide currency among Semitic peoples, as she is mentioned in god-lists in Ugarit and shows up in personal names in the Bible. Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth.

The Babylonians sometimes referred to her as kallatu (the bride), and as such she was known as the wife of Shamash. By the Neo-Babylonian period at the latest (and possibly much earlier), Shamash and Aya were associated with a practice known as Hasadu, which is loosely translated as a “sacred marriage.”

A room would be set aside with a bed, and on certain occasions the temple statues of Shamash and Aya would be brought together and laid on the bed to ceremonially renew their vows. This ceremony was also practiced by the cults of Marduk with Sarpanitum, Nabu with Tashmetum, and Anu with Antu.

Babylonian_Scorpio.pdf

Scorpius Constellation

Scorpius the Scorpion

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“I am the alpha and the omega”

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 18, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

scorpio

Aries and Libra – Alpha and Omega

Mary the virgin (Virgo) and Jesus the fish (Pisces)

The symbol of Libra is a simplified drawing of the setting sun, as it falls at dusk. This is also related to the origin of the letter omega in the Greek alphabet. Omega is the 24th and last letter of the Greek alphabet. In the Greek numeric system, it has a value of 800. The word literally means “great O” (ō mega, mega meaning “great”), as opposed to omicron, which means “little O” (o mikron, micron meaning “little”).

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 1. It was derived from the Phoenician and Hebrew letter aleph Aleph – an ox (bull) or leader. The Phoenician letter is derived from an Egyptian hieroglyph depicting an ox’s head. Letters that arose from alpha include the Latin A and the Cyrillic letter А.

As the last letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega is often used to denote the last, the end, or the ultimate limit of a set, in contrast to alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet. In English, the noun “alpha” is used as a synonym for “beginning”, or “first” (in a series), reflecting its Greek roots.

Alpha (Α or α) and omega (Ω or ω) is a title of Christ and God in the Book of Revelation. This pair of letters are used as Christian symbols, and are often combined with the Cross, Chi-rho, or other Christian symbols.

The term Alpha and Omega comes from the phrase “I am the alpha and the omega”, an appellation of Jesus in the Book of Revelation (verses 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13). This phrase is interpreted by many Christians to mean that Jesus has existed for all eternity or that God is eternal, as in the additional phrase, “the beginning and the end”.

 

The ecliptic is the circular path on the celestial sphere that the Sun appears to follow over the course of a year; it is the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system. An equinox is commonly regarded as the moment the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun’s disk, which occurs twice each year, around 20 March and 22-23 September. In other words, it is the point in which the center of the visible sun is directly over the equator.

The equinoxes are the only times when the solar terminator (the “edge” between night and day) is perpendicular to the equator. As a result, the northern and southern hemispheres are equally illuminated. The word comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal”, and nox, meaning “night”.

The equinoxes, along with solstices, are directly related to the seasons of the year. In the northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox (March) conventionally marks the beginning of spring in most cultures and is considered the start of the New Year, while the autumnal equinox (September) marks the beginning of autumn.

The union of Venus and Mars held greater appeal for poets and philosophers, and the couple were a frequent subject of art. The two standard sex symbols are the Mars symbol (often considered to represent a shield and spear) for male and Venus symbol (often considered to represent a bronze mirror with a handle) for female, derived from astrological symbols, denoting the classical planets Mars and Venus, respectively.

Tao or Dao is a Chinese word signifying ‘way’, ‘path’, ‘route’, ‘road’, ‘choose’, ‘key’ or sometimes more loosely ‘doctrine’, ‘principle’ or ‘holistic science’. Within the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, the Tao is the intuitive knowing of “life” that cannot be grasped full-heartedly as just a concept but is known nonetheless through actual living experience of one’s everyday being.

In Chinese philosophy, yin yang (lit. “dark-bright”, “negative-positive”) describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

Lingam (Sanskrit word, lit. “sign, symbol or mark”; also linga, Shiva linga), is an abstract or aniconic representation of the Hindu deity Shiva, used for worship in temples, smaller shrines, or as self-manifested natural objects. In traditional Indian society, the linga is seen as a symbol of the energy and potential of Shiva himself.

The lingam is often represented as resting on yoni (Sanskrit word, lit. “origin” or “source”, “vulva”), a symbol of Goddess Durga in Hinduism. Other aconistic representations are yoni (of Shakti) and Shaligram (of Vishnu).

In Sumerian religion, Ninḫursaĝ was a mother goddess of the mountains. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the “true and great lady of heaven” (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were “nourished by Ninhursag’s milk”.

Sometimes her hair is depicted in an omega shape and at times she wears a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders. Frequently she carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash. She is the tutelary deity to several Sumerian leaders.

Her symbol, resembling the Greek letter omega, has been depicted in art from approximately 3000 BC, although more generally from the early second millennium BC. It appears on some boundary stones — on the upper tier, indicating her importance.

The omega symbol is associated with the Egyptian cow goddess Hathor, and may represent a stylized womb. The symbol appears on very early imagery from Ancient Egypt. Hathor is at times depicted on a mountain, so it may be that the two goddesses are connected.

Cybele (Phrygian: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya “Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations dated to the 6th millennium BC and identified by some as a mother goddess.

She is Phrygia’s only known goddess, and was probably its state deity. Her Phrygian cult was adopted and adapted by Greek colonists of Asia Minor and spread to mainland Greece and its more distant western colonies around the 6th century BC. In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”).

Libra is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 180°–210° celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, Sun transits this area on average between (northern autumnal equinox) September 23 and October 23, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Libra from approximately October 16 to November 17. 

According to the Tropical system of astrology, the Sun enters the sign of Libra when it reaches the southern vernal equinox, which occurs around September 22. The sign of Libra is symbolized by the scales. The symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice. The ruling planet of Libra is Venus.

According to the Romans in the First Century, Libra was a constellation they idolized. The moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded. Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. The Roman writer Manilius once said that Libra was the sign “in which the seasons are balanced”. Both the hours of the day and the hours of the night match each other. Thus why the Romans put so much trust in the “balanced sign”.

Going back to ancient Greek times, Libra the constellation between Virgo and Scorpio used to be over ruled by the constellation of Scorpio. They called the area the Latin word “chelae”, which translated to “the claws” which can help identify the individual stars that make up the full constellation of Libra, since it was so closely identified with the Scorpion constellation in the sky.

In some old descriptions the constellation of Libra is treated as the Scorpion’s claws. Libra was known as the Claws of the Scorpion in Babylonian (zibānītu (compare Arabic zubānā)). The Babylonians called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, the signs can be literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’.

Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Scorpius. It spans 210°–240° ecliptic longitude. Under the tropical zodiac (most commonly used in Western astrology), the sun transits this area on average from October 23 to November 21. Under the sidereal zodiac (most commonly used in Hindu astrology), the sun is in Scorpio from approximately November 16 to December 15.

In ancient times, Scorpio was associated with the planet Mars. After Pluto was discovered in 1930, it became associated with Scorpio instead. Scorpio is also associated with the Greek deity, Artemis, who is said to have created the constellation Scorpius.

Scorpio is associated with three different animals: the scorpion, the snake, and the eagle (or phoenix). The snake and eagle are related to the nearby constellations of Ophiuchus and Aquila, a constellation on the celestial equator. Its name is Latin for ‘eagle’ and it represents the bird that carried Zeus/Jupiter’s thunderbolts in Greco-Roman mythology.

Ophiuchus is a large constellation located around the celestial equator. Its name is from the Greek Ophioukhos; “serpent-bearer”, and it is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens. Ophiuchus is one of thirteen constellations that cross the ecliptic. It has therefore been called the “13th sign of the zodiac”. However, this confuses sign with constellation.

There is no evidence of the constellation preceding the classical era, and in Babylonian astronomy, a “Sitting Gods” constellation seems to have been located in the general area of Ophiuchus. To the ancient Greeks, the constellation represented the god Apollo struggling with a huge snake that guarded the Oracle of Delphi.

However, it is proposed that Ophiuchus may in fact be remotely descended from this Babylonian constellation, representing Nirah, a serpent-god who was sometimes depicted with his upper half human but with serpents for legs.

Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. She was associated with the underworld. Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio and she is called the mother of the Sebitti (the Seven Stars).

Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deity, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. Her cult was of considerable importance in Ebla from the mid 3rd millennium. She first appeared in Ebla and was incorporated to the Hurrian pantheon from which she found her way to the Hittite pantheon.

The etymology of Ishara is unknown. In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar. Her main epithet was belet rame, lady of love, which was also applied to Ishtar. Ishara was also worshipped within the Hurrian pantheon.

Variants of the name appear as Ašḫara (in a treaty of Naram-Sin of Akkad with Hita of Elam) and Ušḫara (in Ugarite texts). In Ebla, there were various logographic spellings involving the sign AMA “mother”. In Alalah, her name was written with the Akkadogram IŠTAR plus a phonetic complement -ra, as IŠTAR-ra.

She was invoked to heal the sick. As a goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers, in particular ascites. In this context, she came to be seen as a “goddess of medicine” whose pity was invoked in case of illness. There was even a verb, isharis- “to be afflicted by the illness of Ishara”. Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath.

Taurus (Latin for “the Bull”) is the second astrological sign in the present zodiac. It spans the 30–60th degree of the zodiac. The Sun is in the sign of Taurus from about April 20 until about May 21 (Western astrology) (Sidereal astrology).

Taurus was the first sign of the zodiac established among the ancient Mesopotamians – the constellation was listed in the MUL.APIN as GU4.AN.NA, “The Bull of Heaven” and described it as “The Bull in Front” – because it was the constellation through which the sun rose on the vernal equinox at that time.

Taurus marked the point of vernal (spring) equinox in the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, from about 4000 BC to 1700 BC. Due to the precession of the equinox, it has since passed through the neighboring constellation Aries and into the constellation Pisces (hence our current era being known as the Age of Pisces).

The Akkadian name was Alu. To the early Hebrews, Taurus was the first constellation in their zodiac and consequently it was represented by the first letter in their alphabet, Aleph. Alalu is god in Hurrian mythology. He is considered to have housed the divine family, because he was a progenitor of the gods, and possibly the father of Earth.

Alalu was a primeval deity of the Hurrian mythology. After nine years of reign, Alalu was defeated by Anu. Alaluʻs son Kumarbi also defeated Anu, biting and swallowing his genitals, hence becoming pregnant of three gods, among which Teshub who eventually defeated him. Scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

Alalu fled to the underworld. In Akkadian and Sumerian mythology, Alû is a vengeful spirit of the Utukku that goes down to the underworld Kur. In Akkadian and Sumerian mythology, it is associated with other demons like Gallu and Lilu.

The sequence alu (ᚨᛚᚢ) is found in numerous Elder Futhark runic inscriptions of Germanic Iron Age Scandinavia (and more rarely in early Anglo-Saxon England) between the 3rd and the 8th century.

The word usually appears either alone (such as on the Elgesem runestone) or as part of an apparent formula (such as on the Lindholm “amulet” from Scania, Sweden). The symbols represent the runes Ansuz, Laguz, and Uruz.

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Three things cannot be long hidden

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 18, 2018

Karima Ouchan sitt bilde.

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The Star of David

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 18, 2018

The Star of David is sometimes known as the Creator’s Star, in which each of the six points represents a day of the week and the center corresponds to the Sabbath.

The Star of David

Bilderesultat for zodiac

 

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The ARyans – ARmenians of ARarat

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 13, 2018

Bilderesultat for sun wheel armenian

Armenian is an Indo-European language. It has two mutually intelligible and written forms: Eastern Armenian, today spoken mainly in Armenia, Artsakh, Iran and the former Soviet republics, and Western Armenian, used in the historical Western Armenia and, after the Armenian Genocide, primarily in the Armenian diasporan communities. The unique Armenian alphabet was invented in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.

Graeco-Aryan, or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family that would be the ancestor of Greek, Armenian, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-3rd millennium BC.

Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, which would be consistent with the fact that Armenian shares some features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

The earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu (in Babylonian) as Armina (in Old Persian) and Harminuya (in Elamite). Herodotus, in c. 440 BC, said “the Armenians were equipped like Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists”.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources.

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. It is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach and home to the goddess Inana, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk.

Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is a legendary Sumerian account, of preserved, early post-Sumerian copies, composed in the Neo-Sumerian period (ca. 21st century BC). It is one of a series of accounts describing the conflicts between Enmerkar, king of Unug-Kulaba (Uruk), and the unnamed king of Aratta (probably somewhere in modern Iran or Armenia).

Because it gives a Sumerian account of the “confusion of tongues”, and also involves Enmerkar constructing temples at Eridu and Uruk, it has, since the time of Samuel Kramer, been compared with the Tower of Babel narrative in the Book of Genesis.

Armani is mentioned among the enemies defeated by the Akkadian king Naram-Sin (2300 BC), locating them in the southern Armenian Highland. The Assyrians (direct descendants of Akkadians) to this day refer Armenians by their inscription Armani.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria (Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) was a Hurrian kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in what is now known as the Armenian Highlands, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. Some scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia.

Weidner interpreted textual evidence to indicate that after the Hurrian king Shattuara of Mitanni was defeated by Adad-nirari I of the Middle Assyrian Empire in the early 13th century BC, he then became ruler of a reduced vassal state known as Shubria or Subartu.

The name Subartu (Sumerian: Shubur) for the region is attested much earlier, from the time of the earliest Mesopotamian records (mid 3rd millennium BC), although the term during Sumerian times appears to have described Upper Mesopotamia (Assyria).

Together with Armani-Subartu (Hurri-Mitanni), Hayasa-Azzi and other populations of the region such as the Nairi fell under Urartian (Kingdom of Ararat) rule in the 9th century BC, and their descendants, according to most scholars, later contributed to the ethnogenesis of the Armenians.

Some archaeologists have speculated that the original speakers of ancient Sumerian may have been farmers, who moved down from the north of Mesopotamia after perfecting irrigation agriculture there.

The Ubaid period pottery of southern Mesopotamia has been connected via Choga Mami transitional ware to the pottery of the Samarra period culture (c. 5700 – 4900 BC C-14) in the north, who were the first to practice a primitive form of irrigation agriculture along the middle Tigris River and its tributaries.

The Samarran Culture was the precursor to the Mesopotamian culture of the Ubaid period. The Samarra culture is a Chalcolithic archaeological culture in northern Mesopotamia that is roughly dated to 5500–4800 BCE. It partially overlaps with Hassuna and early Ubaid.

The Halaf culture is a prehistoric period which lasted between about 6100 BCE and 5100 BCE. Archaeology demonstrate that Halaf culture was not sudden and was not the result of foreign people, but rather a continuous process of indigenous cultural changes in northern Syria, that spread to the other regions.

Shulaveri-Shomu culture is a Late Neolithic/Eneolithic culture that existed on the territory of present-day Georgia, Azerbaijan and the Armenian Highlands. The culture is dated to mid-6th or early-5th millennia BC and is thought to be one of the earliest known Neolithic cultures.

Many of the characteristic traits of the Shulaverian material culture (circular mudbrick architecture, pottery decorated by plastic design, anthropomorphic female figurines, obsidian industry with an emphasis on production of long prismatic blades) are believed to have their origin in the Near Eastern Neolithic (Hassuna, Halaf).

In English, the archaeological term kurgan is a loanword from East Slavic languages (and, indirectly, from Turkic languages), equivalent to the archaic English term barrow, also known by the Latin loanword tumulus and terms such as burial mound. The term kurgan is the standard term for such structures in the context of Central European, Northern European, Eastern European and Central Asian archaeology.

The earliest kurgans date to the 4th millennium BC in the Caucasus and are associated with the Indo-Europeans. Kurgan barrows were characteristic of Bronze Age peoples, and have been found from the Altay Mountains to the Caucasus, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. Kurgans were used in the Ukrainian and Russian steppes, their use spreading with migration into eastern, central, and northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC.

It has been suggested that the Leyla-Tepe were the founders of the Maykop culture that has been described as, at the very least, a “kurganized” local culture with strong ethnic and linguistic links to the descendants of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.

Shulaveri culture predates the Kura-Araxes culture which flourished in this area around 4000–2200 BC. The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from about 4000 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end; in some locations it may have disappeared as early as 2600 or 2700 BC.

The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain; it spread northward in Caucasus by 3000 BC (but never reaching Colchis). In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages.

Altogether, the early trans-Caucasian culture enveloped a vast area approximately 1,000 km by 500 km, and mostly encompassed, on modern-day territories, the Southern Caucasus (except western Georgia), northwestern Iran, the northeastern Caucasus, eastern Turkey, and as far as Syria.

The name of the culture is derived from the Kura and Araxes river valleys. Kura–Araxes culture is sometimes known as Shengavitian, Karaz (Erzurum), Pulur, and Yanik Tepe (Iranian Azerbaijan, near Lake Urmia) cultures. It gave rise to the later Khirbet Kerak-ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire.

Khirbet Kerak (“the ruin of the fortress”) or Beth Yerah (“House of the Moon (god)”) is a tell (archaeological mound) located on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee in modern-day Israel.

The tell spans an area of over 50 acres—one of the largest in the Levant—and contains remains dating from the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC – 2000 BC) and from the Persian period (c. 450 BC) through to the early Islamic period (c. 1000 AD). The 2009 discovery at the tell of a stone palette with Egyptian motifs, including an ankh, points to trade/political relations with the First dynasty of Egypt, at approximately 3000 BCE.

“Khirbet Kerak ware” is a type of Early Bronze Age Syro-Palestinian pottery first discovered at this site. It is also found in other parts of the Levant (including Jericho, Beth Shan, Tell Judeideh, and Ugarit).[5] Khirbet Kerak culture appears to have been a Levantine version of the Early Transcaucasian Culture.

Urartu, also known as Kingdom of Van (Urartian: Biai, Biainili; Assyrian: māt Urarṭu; Babylonian: Urashtu) was an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. It corresponds to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat.

It is argued on linguistic evidence that proto-Armenian came in contact with Urartian at an early date (3rd-2nd millennium BC), before the formation of Urartu as a kingdom.

Nuzi was a Hurrian administrative center not far from the Hurrian capital at Kirkuk in northern Iraq. The Hurrians are equivalent to the Horites in the Old Testament, also called Hivites and Jebusites.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited Jerusalem prior to its conquest by Joshua (11:3 and 12:10) or King David (2 Samuel 5:6-10). The Books of Kings as well as 1 Chronicles 11:4 state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event.

In the Amarna letters, mention is made that the contemporaneous king of Jerusalem was named Abdi-Heba, which is a theophoric name invoking a Hurrian mother goddess named Hebat, also transcribed, Khepat, one title of the Hurrian Mother goddess Hannahannah (from Hurrian hannah, “mother”).

Hebat was known as “the mother of all living”. She is also a Queen of the deities. It is thought that Hebat may have had a Southern Mesopotamian origin, being the deification of Kubaba, the founder and first ruler of the Third Dynasty of Kish.

The mother goddess is likely to have had a later counterpart in the Phrygian goddess Cybele. Cybele (“Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations, dated to the 6th millennium BC and identified by some as a mother goddess.

This implies that the Jebusites were Hurrians themselves, were heavily influenced by Hurrian culture, or were dominated by a Hurrian maryannu class (i.e., a Hurrian warrior-class elite). Moreover, the last Jebusite king of Jerusalem, Araunah/Awarna/Arawna (or Ornan), bore a name generally understood as based on the Hurrian honorific ewir.

Excavations were carried out at Nuzi by American teams from 1925 to 1933. The major find was more than 5,000 family and administrative archives spanning six generations, ca. 1450-1350 BC. They deal with the social, economic, religious and legal institutions of the Hurrians.

The Nuzi tablets have significant parallels with patriarchal customs. The tablets tell of practices similar to those in Genesis. As with Mari, the Nuzi records demonstrate that the cultural practices recorded in the book of Genesis are authentic. The accounts are not fictional stories written at a much later time, as some critics claim, since the customs were unknown in later periods.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

Robert Drews writes that the name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Armenian Highlands, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located north of the Euphrates and to the south of Hayasa.

The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis.

The Kassites were people of the ancient Near East, who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire c. 1531 BC and until c. 1155 BC (short chronology). The endonym of the Kassites was probably Galzu, although they have also been referred to by the names Kaššu, Kassi, Kasi or Kashi.

They gained control of Babylonia after the Hittite sack of the city in 1595 BC (i.e. 1531 BC per the short chronology), and established a dynasty based first in Babylon and later in Dur-Kurigalzu.

The Kassites were members of a small military aristocracy but were efficient rulers and not locally unpopular, and their 500-year reign laid an essential groundwork for the development of subsequent Babylonian culture. The horse, which the Kassites worshipped, first came into use in Babylonia at this time.

The Kassite language has not been classified. What is known is that their language was not related to either the Indo-European language group, nor to Semitic or other Afro-Asiatic languages, and is most likely to have been a language isolate (a stand-alone language unrelated to any other), although some linguists have proposed a link to the Hurro-Urartian languages of Asia Minor.

However, several Kassite leaders bore Indo-European names, and they might have had an Indo-European elite similar to the Mitanni, who ruled over the Hurro-Urartian-speaking Hurrians of Asia Minor.

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably. Egyptian sources call Mitanni “nhrn”, which is usually pronounced as Naharin/Naharina from the Assyro-Akkadian word for “river”, cf. Aram-Naharaim.

Hittite annals mention a people called Hurri (Ḫu-ur-ri), located in northeastern Syria. A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a “King of the Hurri”. The Assyro-Akkadian version of the text renders “Hurri” as Hanigalbat. Tushratta, who styles himself “king of Mitanni” in his Akkadian Amarna letters, refers to his kingdom as Hanigalbat.

The name Mitanni is first found in the “memoirs” of the Syrian wars (c. 1480 BC) of the official astronomer and clockmaker Amenemhet, who returned from the “foreign country called Me-ta-ni” at the time of Thutmose I.

Thutmose III of Egypt (1500 BC in his 23rd year records) mentions the people of ‘Ermenen’ as paying tribute when he held his court at Nineveh, and says that in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars.” (To this day Turks refer to Armenians by this form ‘Ermeni’).

Artatama I (Sanskrit: Ṛta-dhaman, “his abode is Ṛta”) was a king of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni in the late fifteenth century BC. Artatama’s (Armenian name with ‘Arta’ prefix) title was “King of the Hurri”, which reveals the Hurrian-Aryan Armenian links.

The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses. It is suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language, but Mayrhofer (1974) has shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.

The common people’s language, the Hurrian language, is neither Indo-European nor Semitic. Hurrian is related to Urartian, the language of Urartu, both belonging to the Hurro-Urartian language family.

The names of the Mitanni aristocracy frequently are of Indo-Aryan origin, but it is specifically their deities which show Indo-Aryan roots (Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Nasatya), though some think that they are more immediately related to the Kassites.

The first extant record of Indic Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. Mitra appears there together with four other Indic divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact.

Both Vedic Mitra and Avestan Mithra derive from an Indo-Iranian common noun *mitra-, generally reconstructed to have meant “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise.” This meaning is preserved in Avestan miθra “covenant.” In Sanskrit and modern Indo-Aryan languages, mitra means “friend,” one of the aspects of bonding and alliance.

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Nergal – Mars / Apollo

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 10, 2018

Utu, later worshipped by East Semitic peoples as Shamash, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of the sun, justice, morality, and truth, and the twin brother of the goddess Inanna, the Queen of Heaven. Shamash was the solar deity in ancient Semitic religion, corresponding to the Sumerian god Utu. Shamash was also the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria.

According to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica the Shamash cults at Sippar and Larsa so overshadowed local Sun deities elsewhere as to lead to an absorption of the minor deities by the predominating one, in the systematized pantheon these minor Sun gods become attendants that do his service.

Sun deities such as Ninurta and Nergal, the patron deities of other important centers, retained their independent existences as certain phases of the Sun, with Ninurta becoming the Sun god of the morning and spring time and Nergal the Sun god of the noon and the summer solstice.

Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun. He was worshipped throughout Mesopotamia. He is a son of Enlil and Ninlil, along with Nanna and Ninurta.

Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”.

Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld. In the mythology, this occurred when Enlil and Ninlil gave him the underworld. Nergal presided over the netherworld. In this capacity he has associated with him a goddess Allatu or Ereshkigal (“Queen of the Great Earth”), though at one time Allatu may have functioned as the sole mistress of Aralu, ruling in her own person.

Ereshkigal was the goddess of Kur, the land of the dead or underworld in Sumerian mythology. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler, and sometimes it is given as Ninkigal, lit. “Great Lady of the Earth” or “Lady of the Great Earth”.

In Sumerian myths, Ereshkigal was the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom. She is described as Inanna’s older sister. Inanna and Ereshkigal represent polar opposites. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven, but Ereshkigal is the queen of Irkalla.

In later East Semitic myths she was said to rule Irkalla alongside her husband Nergal. The two main myths involving Ereshkigal are the story of Inanna’s descent into the Underworld and the story of Ereshkigal’s marriage to the god Nergal.

In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars)—hence the current name of the planet.

Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”, a title that was given to the god Nergal, who was linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the Sun, and with the plague. Aplu may be related with Apaliunas who is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo.

Apaliunas is attested in a Hittite language treaty as a protective deity of Wilusa, a major city of the late Bronze Age in western Anatolia described in 13th century BC Hittite sources as being part of a confederation named Assuwa. The city is often identified with the Troy of the Ancient Greek Epic Cycle.

Many modern archaeologists have suggested that Wilusa corresponds to an archaeological site in Turkey known as Troy VIIa, which was destroyed circa 1190 BC. Ilios and Ilion, which are alternate names for Troy in the Ancient Greek languages, are linked etymologically to Wilusa.

This identification by modern scholars has been influenced by the Chronicon (a chronology of mythical and Ancient Greece) written circa 380 AD by Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (also known as Saint Jerome). In addition, the modern Biga Peninsula, on which Troy VIIa is located, is now generally believed to correspond to both the Hittite placename Taruiša and the Troas or Troad of late antiquity.

Apaliunas is among the gods who guarantee a treaty drawn up about 1280 BCE between Alaksandu of Wilusa, interpreted as “Alexander of Ilios” and the great Hittite king, Muwatalli II. He is one of the three deities named on the side of the city. In Homer, Apollo is the builder of the walls of Ilium, a god on the Trojan side.

A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo “The One of Entrapment”, perhaps in the sense of “Hunter”. Further east of the Luwian language area, a Hurrian god Aplu was a deity of the plague – bringing it, or, if propitiated, protecting from it – and resembles Apollo Smintheus, “mouse-Apollo” worshiped at Troy and Tenedos, who brought plague upon the Achaeans in answer to a Trojan prayer at the opening of Iliad.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague.

Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

His twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis, is one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: “Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals”. The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.

Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature in Roman mythology, associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals.

In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.

The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Amongst the god’s custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks.

As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.

In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.

The Pythia was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi who also served as the oracle, commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi. In Greek mythology, Python was the serpent, sometimes represented as a dragon, living at the centre of the earth, believed by the ancient Greeks to be at Delphi.

Python, sometimes written Phython, presided at the Delphic oracle, which existed in the cult centre for its mother, Gaia, “Earth,” Pytho being the place name that was substituted for the earlier Krisa. Greeks considered the site to be the centre of the earth, represented by a stone, the omphalos or navel, which Python guarded.

Python became the chthonic enemy of the later Olympian deity Apollo, who slew it and took over Python’s former home and oracle. These were the most famous and revered in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.

The motif of Chaoskampf (“struggle against chaos”) is ubiquitous in myth and legend, depicting a battle of a culture hero deity with a chaos monster, often in the shape of a serpent or dragon. The same term has also been extended to parallel concepts in the religions of the ancient Near East, such as the abstract conflict of ideas in the Egyptian duality of Maat and Isfet.

The origins of the Chaoskampf myth most likely lie in the Proto-Indo-European religion whose descendants almost all feature some variation of the story of a storm god fighting a sea serpent representing the clash between the forces of order and chaos. Early work by German academics such as Gunkel and Bousset in comparative mythology popularized translating the mythological sea serpent as a “dragon.”

Indo-European examples of this mythic trope include Thor vs. Jörmungandr (Norse), Tarḫunz vs. Illuyanka (Hittite), Indra vs. Vritra (Vedic), Θraētaona vs. Aži Dahāka (Avestan) and Zeus vs. Typhon (Greek) among others. Non-Indo-European examples of this trope are Susano’o vs. Yamata no Orochi (Japanese) and Mwindo vs. Kirimu (African).

In the religion of ancient Babylon, Tiamat is a primordial goddess of the salt sea, mating with Abzû, the god of fresh water, to produce younger gods. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation. She is referred to as a woman, and described as the glistening one.

It is suggested that there are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is a creator goddess, through a sacred marriage between salt and fresh water, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations. In the second Chaoskampf Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos. Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon.

Puruli was a Hattian spring festival, held at Nerik, dedicated to the earth goddess Hannahanna (Hebat), who is married to a new king. The central ritual of the Puruli festival is dedicated to the destruction of the dragon Illuyanka by the storm god Teshub. The corresponding Assyrian festival is the Akitu of the Enuma Elish.

Akitu or Akitum (“the barley-cutting”, “barley-sowing” or “head of the year”) was a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia. The festival has played a pivotal role in the development of theories of religion, myth and ritual, yet the purpose of the festival remains a point of contention.

The name is from the Sumerian for “barley”, originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to Marduk’s victory over Tiamat.

The First Point of Aries, also known as the Cusp of Aries, is the location of the vernal equinox, and is named for the constellation of Aries. It is one of the two points on the celestial sphere at which the celestial equator meets the ecliptic plane, the other being the First Point of Libra, located exactly 180° from it.

Over its year-long journey through the constellations, the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north at the First Point of Aries, and from north to south at the First Point of Libra. The First Point of Aries is considered to be the celestial “prime meridian” from which right ascensions are calculated.

The March equinox was chosen as the point to consider the position of the sun in the heavens rather than the northern hemisphere’s autumnal equinox six months later as this was the day before a major festival, Hilaria, and marked the sowing or first growth/blossoming of trees and summer crops.

As opposed to the Summer and Winter Solstices, the equinoxes occur on the day on which the sun and other stars appear in the sky not at their extremes of north declination, nor at south declination.

The naming of Aries is late in the Babylonian zodiac where the equinox was in its earliest tradition marked as in the early Middle Bronze Age by actual coincidence with the Pleiades. The time also corresponds to the time of castration of male calves, mules and donkeys, Sanguia on the vernal equinox and marked the start of spring proper.

The First Point of Aries is so called because, when Hipparchus defined it in 130 BCE, it was located in the western extreme of the constellation of Aries, near its border with Pisces and the star γ Arietis. Due to the Sun’s eastward movement across the sky throughout the year, this western end of Aries was the point at which the Sun entered the constellation, hence the name First Point of Aries.

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Mythology and the Zodiac

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 23, 2018

The zodiac (Greek: zōdiakos) is the term used to describe the circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude that are centred upon the ecliptic – the path of the sun. The term zodiac derives from Latin zōdiacus, which in its turn comes from the Greek zōdiakos kuklos, meaning “circle of animals”.

In Western astrology, astrological signs are the twelve 30° sectors of the ecliptic, starting at the vernal equinox (one of the intersections of the ecliptic with the celestial equator), also known as the First Point of Aries. The order of the astrological signs is Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

In Sumerian mythology, An or Anu (Sumerian: 𒀭 AN, from 𒀭 an “Sky, Heaven”) was a sky-god, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods, spirits and demons, and dwelt in the highest heavenly regions. He is the personification of the sky, the utmost power in the universe, the supreme being or supreme god in Mesopotamian religion.

It was believed that he had the power to judge those who had committed crimes, and that he had created the stars as soldiers to destroy the wicked. His attribute was the royal tiara. His attendant and minister of state was the god Ilabrat.

The doctrine once established remained an inherent part of the Babylonian-Assyrian religion and led to the more or less complete disassociation of the three gods constituting the triad from their original local limitations.

An intermediate step between Anu viewed as the local deity of Uruk, Enlil as the god of Nippur, and Ea as the god of Eridu is represented by the prominence which each one of the centres associated with the three deities in question must have acquired, and which led to each one absorbing the qualities of other gods so as to give them a controlling position in an organized pantheon.

For Nippur we have the direct evidence that its chief deity, En-lil, was once regarded as the head of the Sumerian pantheon. The sanctity and, therefore, the importance of Eridu remained a fixed tradition in the minds of the people to the latest days, and analogy therefore justifies the conclusion that Anu was likewise worshipped in a centre which had acquired great prominence.

The summing-up of divine powers manifested in the universe in a threefold division represents an outcome of speculation in the schools attached to the temples of Babylonia, but the selection of Anu, Enlil (and later Marduk), and Ea for the three representatives of the three spheres recognized, is due to the importance which, for one reason or the other, the centres in which Anu, Enlil, and Ea were worshipped had acquired in the popular mind.

Each of the three must have been regarded in his centre as the most important member in a larger or smaller group, so that their union in a triad marks also the combination of the three distinctive pantheons into a harmonious whole.

In the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria, Anu, Enlil, and Ea became the three zones of the ecliptic, the northern, middle and southern zone respectively. Anu existed in Sumerian cosmogony as a dome that covered the flat earth; Outside of this dome was the primordial body of water known as Tiamat (not to be confused with the subterranean Abzu).

The purely theoretical character of Anu is thus still further emphasized, and in the annals and votive inscriptions as well as in the incantations and hymns, he is rarely introduced as an active force to whom a personal appeal can be made. His name becomes little more than a synonym for the heavens in general and even his title as king or father of the gods has little of the personal element in it.

A consort Antum (or as some scholars prefer to read, Anatum) is assigned to him, on the theory that every deity must have a female associate. But Anu spent so much time on the ground protecting the Sumerians he left her in Heaven and then met Innin, whom he renamed Innan, or, “Queen of Heaven”. She was later known as Ishtar. Anu resided in her temple the most, and rarely went back up to Heaven.

An was sometimes equated with the Amorite/Amurru thunder god Amurru or MAR.TU. Accordingly, it has been suggested by L. R. Bailey (1968) and Jean Ouelette (1969), that this Bêl Šadê might be the same as the Biblical ’Ēl Šaddāi who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the “Priestly source” of narrative, according to the documentary hypothesis.

Later, during the Seleucid Empire, Anu was identified with Enmešara, an underworld god of the law, and Dumuzid / Tammuz. Described as a Sun god, protector of flocks and vegetation Enmešara has been equated with Nergal, who in the late Babylonian astral-theological system is related to the planet Mars.

Inanna was the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power. She was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. She was known as the “Queen of Heaven” and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center.

In the Mesopotamian pantheon Inanna’s geneology varies with the era of the myth and the tale told. She is the daughter of the supreme god Anu but also is depicted as the daughter of the moon-god Nanna and his consort Ningal.

Alternately, she is the daughter of the god of wisdom Enki and sister to Ereshkigal (goddess of the underworld), twin sister of the sun god Utu/Shamash, and sister of Ishkur (also known as Adad), god of storms. She is also sometimes referenced as the daughter of the Supreme God of the Air, Enlil.

Inanna is always depicted as a young woman, never as mother or faithful wife, who is fully aware of her feminine power and confronts life boldly without fear of how she will be perceived by others, especially by men. She was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star.

Her husband was the god Dumuzid the Shepherd, later known as Tammuz (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”), and her sukkal, or personal attendant, was the goddess Ninshubur (who later became the male deity Papsukkal). Much like Iris or Hermes / Mercury in later Greek / Roman mythology, Ninshubur served as a messenger to the other gods.

Dumuzid/Tammuz was a god of Sumerian origin associated with vegetation and fertility who eventually came to be worshipped across the Near East. He was associated with springtime agricultural fertility and, when the crops withered during the hot summer months, women would mourn over his death. He was seen as a “dying-and-rising god”.

Dumuzi, – who suffers for Inanna’s rash choices in the poem “The Descent of Inanna”, transforms in time into the dying-and-reviving god Tammuz and, annually at the autumn equinox, the people would celebrate the sacred marriage rites of Inanna and Dumuzi (Ishtar and Tammuz) as he returned from the underworld to mate again with her, thus bringing the land to life.

The Sacred Marriage of Inanna and Dumuzi was central to the fertility of the land and was re-enacted at important festivals (such as the Akitu Festival at Babylon) by the king and a priestess having sexual intercourse or, perhaps, only symbolically mating in a kind of pantomime.

The myth of Inanna and Dumuzid later became the basis for the Greek myth of Aphrodite and Adonis. The cult of Inanna and Dumuzid was later spread to the Levant and to Greece, where he became known under the West Semitic name Adonis (“lord”).

Queen of Heaven is a title given to Mary, mother of Jesus, by Christians mainly of the Roman Catholic Church, and also, to some extent, in Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicanism. The title is a consequence of the First Council of Ephesus in the fifth century, in which Mary was proclaimed “theotokos”, a title rendered in Latin as Mater Dei, in English “Mother of God”.

Saint Mary Magdalene (literally “Mary the Magdalene”), sometimes called simply the Magdalene, was a Jewish woman who, according to texts included in the New Testament, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is also said to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Within the four Gospels she is named at least 12 times, more than most of the apostles.

Inanna was associated with the eastern fish of the last of the zodiacal constellations, Pisces. Her consort Dumuzi was associated with the contiguous first constellation, Aries (meaning “ram”), the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°). The Sun transits this sign mostly from March 21 to April 20 each year.

The point where the Sun crosses the celestial equator northwards is called the First Point of Aries. However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, this point is no longer in the constellation Aries, but rather in Pisces. By the year 2600 it will be in Aquarius.

The March equinox on the 20th or 21st marks the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, where September is the seasonal equivalent of the Northern Hemisphere’s March.

The name of March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war, and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus.

The consort of Mars was Nerio or Neriene, “Valor.” She represents the vital force (vis), power (potentia) and majesty (maiestas) of Mars. Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, “manly virtue” (from vir, “man”).

A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Neriene were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23. In the later Roman Empire, Neriene came to be identified with Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare.

Mars is usually considered to be the son of Jupiter and Juno. However, in a version of his birth given by Ovid, he was the son of Juno alone. Minerva was born of Metis, who had been swallowed by Jupiter, and burst from her father’s head, fully armed and clad in armor.

In ancient Roman religion, the Matronalia (or Matronales Feriae) was a festival celebrating Juno Lucina, the goddess of childbirth (“Juno who brings children into the light”), and of motherhood (mater is “mother” in Latin) and women in general.

In the original Roman calendar traditionally thought to have been established by Romulus, it was the first day of the year. As the first day of March (Martius), the month of Mars, it was also the Feriae Martis.

Nerio probably originates as a divine personification of Mars’ power, as such abstractions in Latin are generally feminine. Her name appears with that of Mars in an archaic prayer invoking a series of abstract qualities, each paired with the name of a deity.

The union of Venus and Mars held greater appeal for poets and philosophers, and the couple were a frequent subject of art.  His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

Virility as a kind of life force (vis) or virtue (virtus) is an essential characteristic of Mars. As an agricultural guardian, he directs his energies toward creating conditions that allow crops to grow, which may include warding off hostile forces of nature. As an embodiment of masculine aggression, he is the force that drives wars – but ideally, war that delivers a secure

The English name Tuesday is derived from Old English Tiwesdæg and Middle English Tewesday, meaning “Tīw’s Day”, the day of Tiw or Týr, the god of single combat, and law and justice in Norse mythology. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica, and the name of the day is a translation of Latin dies Martis.

The age of Pisces began c. 1 AD and will end c. 2150 AD. With the story of the birth of Christ coinciding with this date, many Christian symbols for Christ use the astrological symbol for Pisces, the fishes. Pisces has been called the “dying god,” where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary. Virgo have been connected with the Virgin Mary.

In Germanic mythology, Frigg (Old Norse), Frija (Old High German), Frea (Langobardic), and Frige (Old English) is a goddess. In nearly all sources, she is described as the wife of the god Odin. In Old High German and Old Norse sources, she is also connected with the goddess Fulla.

Due to significant thematic overlap, scholars have debated whether Freyja and the goddess Frigg ultimately stem from a single goddess common among the Germanic peoples and proposed a particular connection to the goddess Freyja (Old Norse for “(the) Lady”), a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death.

Freyja’s name appears in numerous place names in Scandinavia, with a high concentration in southern Sweden. Various plants in Scandinavia once bore her name, but it was replaced with the name of the Virgin Mary during the process of Christianization.

The English weekday name Friday (etymologically Old English “Frīge’s day”) bears her name. The name Wednesday is derived from Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wednesdei (“day of Woden” or “Day of Odin”), reflecting the pre-Christian religion practiced by the Anglo-Saxons. In other languages, such as the French mercredi or Italian mercoledì, the day’s name is a calque of dies Mercurii “day of Mercury”.

The children of Frigg and Odin include the gleaming god Baldr(“lord, prince, king”), an Æsir god of light, joy, purity, and the summer sun in Norse mythology. In addition to being loved by all gods and more physical beings, he was so handsome, generous, and good that he gave off light simply by the purity of his character.

Balder is mostly remembered for his tragic death. After Baldr’s death, Nanna dies of grief. Nanna is placed on Baldr’s ship with his corpse and the two are set aflame and pushed out to sea. In Hel, Baldr and Nanna are united again. The Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda contain numerous references to the death of Baldr as both a great tragedy to the Æsir and a harbinger of Ragnarök.

Baldr’s wife is Nanna Nepsdóttir or simply Nanna and their son is Forseti (Old Norse “the presiding one,” actually “president” in modern Icelandic and Faroese), the god of justice and reconciliation.

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En ny gullalder er på vei

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 22, 2018

Religion er tuftet på dogmer og tilhengerne blir bedt om å tro blindt. Det er med andre ord mangel på kunnskap og forståelse. Sistnevnte kan i beste fall tilfalle kun en liten gruppe mennesker som står som ledere av religionen. Og denne gruppen kan med letthet misslede og missbruke den store tilhengerskaren for egen vinning, noe de også flere ganger har gjort gjennom historien.

Når man veiledes av blind tro og dogmer blir man raskt fundamentalist. Og ledes man av en liten gruppe mennesker blir ens handlinger deretter. Realiteten er at religionen generelt sett deler en rekke karaktertrekk med fascismen. Dette uansett hvor god den gjeldende religionen ellers måtte være.

Sannheten er at dogmatikk er direkte ødeleggende for en religiøs livsførsel. Religiøse ledere har oppfordret oss direkte til å ikke tro på noe som helst før vi har oppdaget at det er sant, som vil si at vi skal ta deres visdom, fortellinger og levesett kun som rettesnorer og ikke som lovgivning.  Problemer er at dagens religiøse autoriteter fraråder refleksjon, meditasjon, analyse og debatt.

I stedet for å være tuftet på dogmer og blind tro bør ens livssyn heller være tuftet på kunnskap og forståelse, teori og refleksjon, empiri og praksis. Det er kun gjennom en prosess av økende erkjennelse at mennesker kan vokse og bli modne nok til selv å kunne ta ansvar for sine handlinger. For det er i dette at de er er fri. Og menneskene er født fri.

Menneskene er ikke uvitende barn som lever i mangel på lys, men må bli ansett som modne eller i det minste at de har potensiale for å bli det. Og ens etikk og handlinger bør ikke være noe som blir spikret fast en gang for alle men bli offer for stadig refleksjon, overveiing og diskurs. Det er gjennom denne prosessen at vi får velfungerende samfunn som utvikler seg.

Riv derfor av deg de golde lenkene som historiens hjul har smidd rundt deg for å hindre deg i å leve et ansvarlig liv i frihet. Den mørke vinter er over og sommeren er på vei. Natten er forbi og vi beveger oss inn i en ny dag. Kunnskapens lys er tent og vi hører de første forvarslene av en ny gullalder. Stjernegudinnen Astraea beveger seg mellom oss.

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