Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The sky / day god

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 14, 2017

Dingir (usually transliterated diĝir, pronounced /diŋir/) is a Sumerian word for “god.” Its cuneiform sign is most commonly employed as the determinative for “deity” although it has related meanings as well. As a determinative, it is not pronounced, and is conventionally transliterated as a superscript “D” as in e.g. DInanna. Generically, dingir can be translated as “god” or “goddess”.

The sign in Sumerian cuneiform by itself represents the Sumerian word an (“sky” or “heaven”), the ideogram for An or the word diĝir (“god”), the supreme deity of the Sumerian pantheon. In Assyrian cuneiform, it (AN, DIĜIR, B010ellst.png) could be either an ideogram for “deity” (ilum) or a syllabogram for an, or ìl-. In Hittite orthography, the syllabic value of the sign was again 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. The original association of “divinity” is thus with “bright” or “shining” hierophanies in the sky.

The term comes from the Old English dæg, with its cognates such as dagur in Icelandic, Tag in German, and dag in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Dutch. All of them from the Indo-European root dyau which explains the similarity with Latin dies though the word is known to come from the Germanic branch.

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 daylight sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih Méhter, “earth mother”.

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 addressed as Dyeu 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. In Greek and Roman mythology, Dyeus remained the chief god; however, in Vedic mythology, the etymological continuant of Dyeus became a very abstract god, and his original attributes and dominance over other gods appear to have been transferred to gods such as Agni or Indra.

Later figures etymologically connected with Dyeus is Zeus in Greek mythology, Iūpiter (from *Iou-pater), and Dis Pater, and possibly Dis Pater (although he is more connected with the Greco-Roman Pluto theologically) in Roman mythology, Dyauṣ Pitār in Historical Vedic religion, and Dionysus, especially with the Thracians and Sabines.

Rooted in the related but distinct Indo-European word *deiwos is the Latin word for deity, deus. The Latin word is also continued in English divine, “deity”, and the original Germanic word remains visible in “Tuesday” (“Day of Tīwaz”) and Old Norse tívar, which may be continued in the toponym Tiveden (“Wood of the Gods”, or of Týr).

The following names derive from the related *deiwos: Germanic Tīwaz (known as Týr in Old Norse), Latin Deus (originally used to address Jupiter, but later adopted as the name of God), Indo-Aryan deva: Vedic/Puranic deva, Buddhist deva, Iranic daeva, daiva, diw, etc., Baltic Dievas, Celtic e.g. Gaulish Dēuos, Gaelic dia, Welsh duw, Slavic div (genitive divese; “miracle”), Estonian Tharapita bears similarity to Dyaus Pita in name, although it has been interpreted as being related to the god Thor.

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 exclusive to mediterranean traditions, probably derived from syncretism with canaanite deities and Perkwunos.

The deity’s original domain was over the daylit sky, and indeed reflexes emphasise this connection to light: Istanu (Tiyaz) is a solar deity, Helios is often referred to as the “eye of Zeus”, in Romanian paganism the Sun is similarly called “God’s eye” and in Indo-Iranian tradition Surya/Hvare-khshaeta is similarly associated with Ahura Mazda. Even in Roman tradition, Jupiter often is only associated with diurnal lightning at most, while Summanus is a deity responsible for nocturnal lightning or storms as a whole.

Dyēus’s name also likely means “the daytime sky”. In Sanskrit as div- (nominative singular dyāus with vrddhi), its singular means “the sky” and its plural means “days”. Its accusative form *dyēm became Latin diem “day”, which later gave rise to a new nominative diēs. The original nominative survives as diūs in a few fixed expressions.

Finnish taivas, Estonian taevas, Livonian tōvaz etc. (from Proto-Finnic *taivas), meaning “heaven” or “sky,” are likely rooted in the Indo-European word. The neighboring Baltic Dievas or Germanic Tiwaz are possible sources, but the Indo-Iranian *daivas accords better in both form and meaning. Similar origin has been proposed for the word family represented by Finnish toivoa “to hope” (originally “to pray from gods”).

Deus is Latin for “god” or “deity”. Latin deus and dīvus “divine”, are descended from Proto-Indo-European *deiwos, “celestial” or “shining”, from the same root as *Dyēus, the reconstructed chief god of the Proto-Indo-European pantheon. Latin dies (“day”) is considered to have derived from the same PIE root that originated deus. This is to say that a celestial shining body, the Sun, gives material form to the words for “day” in the Romance Languages.

In Classical Latin, deus (feminine dea) was a general noun referring to a deity, while in technical usage a divus or diva was a figure who had become divine, such as a divinized emperor. In Late Latin, Deus came to be used mostly for the Christian God. It was inherited by the Romance languages in French Dieu, Spanish Dios, Portuguese and Galician Deus, Italian Dio, etc., and by the Celtic languages in Welsh Duw and Irish Dia.

In Norse mythology, Dellingr (Old Norse possibly “the dayspring” or “shining one”) is a god. Dellingr is described as the father of Dagr, the personified day. Depending on manuscript variation, he is either the third husband of Nótt, the personified night, or the husband of Jörð, the personified earth. Scholars have proposed that Dellingr is the personified dawn.

In Norse mythology, Nótt (Old Norse “night”) is grandmother of Thor, who is listed as the son of the god Odin and the personified earth, Jörð. Nótt is listed as the daughter of the jötunn Nörfi or Narfi (with variant spellings) and is associated with the horse Hrímfaxi.

The form Nörr has been related to narouua, which occurs in the fragmentary Old Saxon Genesis poem in the phrase narouua naht. This and hence the giant’s name, as first suggested by Adolf Noreen, may be a synonym for “night” or, perhaps more likely, an adjective related to Old English nearwe, “narrow”, meaning “closed-in” and thus “oppressive”.

Thor is the origin of the weekday name Thursday. By employing a practice known as interpretatio germanica during the Roman Empire period, the Germanic peoples adopted the Roman weekly calendar, and replaced the names of Roman gods with their own. Latin dies Iovis (‘day of Jupiter’) was converted into Proto-Germanic *Þonares dagaz (“Thor’s day”), from which stems modern English “Thursday” and all other Germanic weekday cognates.

The earliest records of the Germanic peoples were recorded by the Romans, and in these works Thor is frequently referred to – via a process known as interpretatio romana (where characteristics perceived to be similar by Romans result in identification of a non-Roman god as a Roman deity)—as either the Roman god Jupiter (also known as Jove) or the Greco-Roman god Hercules.

In Norse mythology, Dagr (Old Norse “day”) is day personified. Dagr is stated to be the son of the god Dellingr and is associated with the bright-maned horse Skinfaxi, who “draw[s] day to mankind”. Dagr is either Dellingr’s son by Nótt, the personified night, or Jörð, the personified Earth. Otherwise, Dagr appears as a common noun simply meaning “day” throughout Old Norse works.

The t-rune ᛏ is named after Týr, and was identified with this god. The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *Tîwaz or *Teiwaz. The d rune (ᛞ) is called dæg “day” in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem. The corresponding letter of the Gothic alphabet d is called dags. This rune is also part of the Elder Futhark, with a reconstructed Proto-Germanic name *dagaz.

Tinia (also Tin, Tinh, Tins or Tina) was the god of the sky and the highest god in Etruscan mythology, equivalent to the Roman Jupiter and the Greek Zeus. He was the husband of Thalna or Uni and the father of Hercle.

The Etruscans believed in Nine Great Gods, who had the power of hurling thunderbolts; they were called Novensiles by the Romans. Of thunderbolts there were eleven sorts, of which Tinia, as the supreme thunder-god, wielded three.

Tinia was also part of the powerful “trinity” that included Menrva and Uni and had temples in every city of Etruria. Tinia was sometimes represented as seated and with a beard or sometimes standing and beardless.

In terms of symbolism, Tinia has the thunderbolt and the rod of power, and is generally accompanied by the eagle and sometimes has a wreath of ivy round his head, in addition to the other insignia of Jove.

Some of Tinia’s possible epithets are detailed on the Piacenza Liver, a bronze model of a liver used for haruspicy. These inscriptions have been transcribed as Tin Cilens, Tin Θuf and Tinś Θne. There have been a number of suggestions as to their meaning, but the Etruscan language is poorly understood and there is no scholarly consensus for the translation.

Tiān is one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven and a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophy, and religion. During the Shang Dynasty (17–11th centuries BCE), the Chinese referred to their supreme god as Shàngdì (“Lord on High”) or Dì (“Lord”). During the following Zhou Dynasty, Tiān became synonymous with this figure. Heaven worship was, before the 20th century, an orthodox state religion of China.

In Taoism and Confucianism, Tiān is often translated as “Heaven” and is mentioned in relationship to its complementary aspect of Dì, which is most often translated as “Earth”. These two aspects of Daoist cosmology are representative of the dualistic nature of Taoism. They are thought to maintain the two poles of the Three Realms of reality, with the middle realm occupied by Humanity (Rén), and the lower world occupied by Demons (Mó) and Ghosts (Guǐ).

The sinologist Herrlee Creel, who wrote a comprehensive study on “The Origin of the Deity T’ien”, gives this overview. For three thousand years it has been believed that from time immemorial all Chinese revered T’ien, “Heaven,” as the highest deity, and that this same deity was also known as Ti or Shang Ti. But the new materials that have become available in the present century, and especially the Shang inscriptions, make it evident that this was not the case. It appears rather that T’ien is not named at all in the Shang inscriptions, which instead refer with great frequency to Ti or Shang Ti. T’ien appears only with the Chou, and was apparently a Chou deity. After the conquest the Chou considered T’ien to be identical with the Shang deity Ti (or Shang Ti), much as the Romans identified the Greek Zeus with their Jupiter.

Another possibility is that Tian may be related to Tengri and possibly was a loan word from a prehistoric Central Asian language. For the etymology of tiān, Schuessler links it with the Mongolian word tengri “sky, heaven, heavenly deity” or the Tibeto-Burman words taleŋ (Adi) and tǎ-lyaŋ (Lepcha), both meaning “sky”. Schuessler also suggests a likely connection between Chinese tiān, diān “summit, mountaintop”, and diān “summit, top of the head, forehead”, which have cognates such as Naga tiŋ “sky”.

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Guden Tyr – Vekten og Sola

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 6, 2017

Mitt stjernetegn Libra / Vekten blir symbolisert med en vekt, “T”. Dets motsatte stjernetegn er Væren / Aries. Personer som er født i perioden 23. september – 21. oktober regnes som «vekt» ifølge astrologien.

Hver planet hersker over et tegn i dyrekretsen. Venus er den herskende planeten i Taurus og Vekten. Siden alle tegn korresponderer med et spesielt hus, kan også husene knyttes til tegnets hersker. Venus er hersker i det andre og det syvende hus. Planetens innflytelse blir som regel ekstra strek dersom den ved fødselsøyeblikket befinner seg i sitt ”eget” tegn eller hus.

Venus er den nest mest lyseste objektet på nattehimmelen, mens månen er den lyseste. Den blir vanligvis ansett som Jordas tvillingplanet. Fredag har blitt oppkalt etter Venus. I germansk religion blir planeten Venus assosiert med Freyja / Frigg.

Planter som befinner seg midt i mot sitt herskende tegn, blir tvert om svakere. Eksempel; Mars blir altså svakere i Vekten, men ”sterkere” i sitt eget tegn, Væren. Oppstillingen under gir en indikasjon over plantenes astrologiske betydning, og viser forbindelsen mellom tegn og hus.

De kardinale tegnene er ett fra hvert element: Væren, Krepsen, Vekten og Steinbukken. Felles for dem er at de vil styre og ha kontroll, og trives best når de kan bestemme hvor skapet skal stå.

Ved et jevndøgn står solen i ett av to motsatte punkter på himmelkulen der himmelekvator (det vil si deklinasjon 0) og ekliptikken skjærer hverandre. Disse skjæringspunktene kalles jevndøgnspunktene: vårjevndøgnspunktet eller vårpunktet (Væren) og høstjevndøgnspunktet eller høstpunktet (Vekten).

Stjernetegnet Vekten er tilknyttet guden Tyr, samt guder som Nergal (Sumer), Shiva (India), Aries (Hellas), Mars (Roma) osv. Disse er tilknyttet planeten Mars, som er den herskende planeten i Væren og Skorpionen. Mars og Venus er med andre ord forbundet på samme måte som Væren og Vekten, samt Taurus og Skorpionen, er det.

Mars var krigsguden i romersk mytologi. Han har gitt navn til planeten Mars og måneden mars, samt til stjernetegnet Væren (Aries). Han tilsvarer i gresk mytologi krigsguden Ares. Hovedtempelet til Mars lå på Kapitolhøyden i Roma og var delt med Jupiter og Quirinus.

I likhet med Ares, som var sønn av Zeus og Hera, var han sønn av Juno og Jupiter. I en versjon gitt av Ovid er han kun sønn av Juno. Dette ettersom Jupiter hadde tilranet seg morens funksjon da han ga fødsel til Minerva direkte fra sitt pannen, eller tanken.

For å gjenopprette balansen søkte Juno råd fra gudinnen Flora, som ga henne en magisk blomst. Det latinske ordet flos, flertall flores, er et maskulint ord. Hun gjorde Juno gravid. Juno dro deretter til Trakia og Marmara kysten for å føde.

Dette kan forklare hvorfor Matronalia, en festival feiret av gifte kvinner til ære for Juno som gudinnen for barnefødsler, ble avholdt den første dagen i mars, som også er fødselsdagen til Mars. Mars var den første måneden og guden ble født med det nye året. Dette utgjør overgangen mellom Fisken (Pisces) til Væren (Aries).

Mars var gift med Nerio, eller Nerine (“mot”). Nerio representerer den vitale styrken (vis), makt (potentia) og majestet (maiestas) til Mars. Hennes navn vle ansett som sabinsk i sin opprinnelse og er likestilt med det latinske virtus (“mannlig dyd”; fra vir, “mann”). Mars og Nerine ble feiret på en festival holdt den 23. mars. Ting tatt fra fienden i en krig ble dedikert til Nerio.

Nerine, som senere kom til å bli identifisert med Minerva, ble identifisert med krigsgudinnen Bellona. Hennes hovedkjennemerke er en militærhjelm; hun holder ofte et sverd, spyd eller skjold, og vifter med en lykt eller eller pisker mens hun rider i kamp i en vogn trukket av fire hester. Hun ble assosiert med Virtus, personifiseringen av mot. Hennes tempel lå i Campus Martius (“Mars’ åker”), et offentlig eid område i det gamle Roma.

Mars representerte militærmakt som en måte å sikre fred, og var far (pater) til det romerske folk. I opphavsgeneologien til det romerske folk og grunnleggermyten til Roma var Mars far til Romulus og Remus med Rhea Silvia. Ettersom han ble sett som den legendariske far til Romas grunnlegger Romulus ble det likeledes antatt at alle romere nedstammet fra Mars.

Hans kjærlighetsaffære med Venus forsonet de to ulike tradisjonene av Romas grunnleggelse; Venus var den guddommelige moren til helten Aeneas, som ble feiret som den trojanske flyktningen som grunnla Roma flere generasjoner før Romulus bygget ut bymurene.

Mars’ festivaler ble holdt i måneden mars (Væren) og i oktober (Vekten). Ettersom navnet Mars ikke har noen indoeuropeisk utledning er det mest sannsynlig en latinsk form for etruskernes jordbruksgud Maris, og opprinnelig synes Mars å ha vært en jordbruksgud, knyttet til grøderikdom og fruktbarhet, beskytter av krøtter, markene og landegrensene mellom bøndene.

Ettersom romerne var hovedsakelig bønder fryktet de pest og sykdom ville ødelegge deres avlinger. Insekter, skadelige smådyr, platesykdommer var fiender som «invaderte» deres land, og Mars ble guden som beskytter dem mot invasjonene.

Tyr eller Ty er i den norrøne mytologien krigsguden – han som rår over hvem som skal vinne i strid. Han er guden for lov, rettferdighet, himmelen, krig og heroisk ære. Tyr og Tor kan også være det tvillingparet som opptrer med store økser på danske helleristninger og som i fellesskap het Øl.

Tiw ble ansett som Mars i interpretatio germanica. Tirsdag blir kalt Tīw’s Day, også Zischtig fra zîes tag, oversatt fra dies Martis. Det nordiske gudenavnet Tyr stammer kanskje opprinnelig fra det indoeuropeiske ordet *deyewos, som er relatert til den indoeuropeiske himmelguds navn *Dyews, og er det samme ordet som ordet Dyaus i Sanskrit og det greske Zevs.

Zevs er det eneste gudenavnet i gresk mytologi vi vet med sikkerhet har en indoeuropeisk rot, nemlig *Dyews, også *Dyews pHter, som kan sammenliknes med Dyaus Pitar på sanskrit, og Jup(p)iter, opprinnelig Deus Pater, «Himmelfaren» eller «Gudefaren» på latin.

Tyr het Týr på norrønt, og navnet kom fra det germanske Tiwaz. Tyr er det eneste norrøne gudenavnet som representerer et opprinnelig indoeuropeisk grunnord som kan bety «gud», «dag» eller «himmel». Tyr er derfor sannsynligvis en yngre variant av indoeuropeisk himmelgud, selv om mange av hans funksjoner og betydning ble overtatt av Tor (Þórr), som tordengud, og Odin, som fryktinngytende krigsgud, i jernalderen.

I Snorres Edda leser vi at da æsene skulle binde Fenrisulven, krevde ulven at noen la hånden sin i munnen dens. Kun Tyr hadde mot til dette. Han la høyre hånden i ulvens gap. Men lenken holdt, og æsene nektet å slippe ham fri, og Tyr var etter dette enhendt. Tyr var også kjent for å være den eneste som torde å mate Fenrisulven fordi den var så stor og sterk.

Tyr representerer sammen med Heimdall (verdenstreet – Yggdrasil), som utgjør Vannmannen (Aquarius), hovedguden i germansk mytologi. T står for Dyeus, gud, og formet som en pil viser den oppover mot himmelen. Det islandske týr (i flertall tívar) brukes også som fellesnavn for «gudevesen», altså æser.

Mannus var en figur i skapelsesmyten til de germanske stammene. Tacitus skrev at Mannus var sønnen til Tuisto og forfaren til de tre germanske stammene ingaevoner, herminoner og istvaeoner. Navnene Mannus og Tuisto/Tuisco synes å ha en relasjon til proto-germansk Mannaz, “mann / menneske” og Tiwaz, “Tyr, guden”.

Pilen er den samme som symboliserer krigsguden Mars. Symbolet for Mars ble under middelalderen merke for grunnstoffet jern, planeten mars og hankjønn. Det er i dag vanlig utbredt som generelt maskuline kjønnssymbol. Piktogrammet kan tolkes som krigsgudens skjold og spyd.

Mens æsene bodde i Åsgard bodde vanene i Vanheim (eller Vanaland). Denne verden er aldri gitt noen beskrivelse i de norrøne kildene, men ble betraktet som en av de ni verdener. Alle kilder beskriver guddommene Njord (norrønt Njǫrðr, muligens fra urnordiske Nerthuz, oldgermansk *Nerþuz, således beslektet med navnet Njord), Frøy og Frøya som medlemmer av vanene.

Nerthus er en urnordisk eller gammelgermansk jord- og fruktbarhetsgudinne, samt gudinne for fred og velstand. Njorun er i norrøn mytologi en av de mest perifere gudinner. Hun kan representere jorda. En mulig etymologisk forbindelse til Nerthus / Njord og den romerske gudinnen Nerio har vært foreslått.

Opprinnelsen til ordet vane er usikker, og det er gitt flere forslag. Ordet stammer muligens fra den indoeuropeiske ordroten wen-, “strebe etter” eller “vinne”. En alternativ rot kan være wenos i betydning “å begjære”. Den urgermanske rot er Wanizaz som er beslektet med angelsaksiske wynn (“glede”, “lykke”).

Forskeren Raymond Ian Page har sagt at det mangler ikke på etymologiske forslag, men det er fristende å forbinde det med norrøne ordet vinr, «venn». I og med at vanene assosieres med fruktbarhet har det også vært foreslått å se en forbindelse med latinske Venus, romersk gudinne for fysisk kjærlighet.

Risset man inn runen Tîwaz på sitt våpen ville man dedikere det til Týr. Tiwas, også kjent som Tijaz, eller Istanu (Ištanu; fra hattitisk Estan, “Solgud”), var en tidligere anatolisk solgud. Han var guden for rettferdighet og ble avbildet med en bevinget sol på sin krone eller hodeplagg og en kurvet stav. Solen sto tidligere for rettferdighet, slik stjernetegnet mitt, Libra / Vekten, står for nå. Den franske revolusjon og frihetsgudinnen er begge symboler på dette.

Solen er den herskende planeten over Leo. I gresk mytologi ble solen representert av titanene Hyperion og Helios (romersk Sol, og senere av Apollo, lysets gud). Sola hersker over det femte huset. En av de første nedtegnede referensene til soldyrking er fra Mesopotamia og beskrevet i det episke verket om Gilgamesh, som i seg selv nedstammer fra sola. Det ble vanlig å legitimere sin makt som etterkommere av solguden.

Solen er stjernen i sentrum av vårt solsystem, som Jorda og de andre planetene sirkulerer rundt. Solen bidrar med varme og lys. Lysbuen soler reiser i hvert år, stiger og setter på et litt annet sted hver dag, er derfor i realiteten en refleksjon av jordas egen bane rundt sola. Denne buen er større jo lenger nord eller sør fra ekvator, noe som gir en mer ekstrem forskjell mellom dag og natt og mellom årstidene i løpet av året.

Solen reiser gjennom de tolv tegnene i dyrekretsen på sin årlige reise, tilbringer omtrent en måned i hver. Solens posisjon på en persons fødselsdag bestemmer derfor det som gjerne kalles hans eller hennes “sol” tegn. Imidlertid varierer soltegns tildeling mellom vestlig astrologi, hvor tegnet endrer seg rundt 22-23 i hver måned, og hinduistisk astrologi, hvor endringen skjer rundt 14-15 i hver måned. dette på grunn av ulike systemer for planetenes beregninger, etter de tropiske og sideriske definisjoner.

Solen representerer det bevisste ego, selvet og dets uttrykk, personlig makt, stolthet og autoritet, lederskapskvaliteter og kreativitet, spontanitet, helse og vitalitet, som til sammen det som har blitt kjent som livsstyrke. I kinesisk astrologi representerer sola Yang, det aktive, maskuline livsprinsippet.

Hetittene og luwierne har beholdt elementer av rekonstruert urindoeuropeisk religion. For eksempel ligner ordenguden Tarhunt og hans konflikt med slangen Illuyanka på konflikten mellom Indra og den kosmiske slangen Vritra i vedisk mytologi, samt på kampen mellom Tor og Midgardsormen i norrøn mytologi. Hans hustru er den hattiske solguden. Dette guddommelige paret ble antagelig dyrket i tvillingkammeret i det største templet i hovedstaden Hattusa.

Mens luwierne opprinnelig dyrket den gamle proto-indoeuropeiske solguden Tiwaz så er solgudinnen av Arinna en ledende gudinne og kone av værguden Tarḫunna i hettittisk mytologi. Hun beskyttet det hetittiske riket og ble kalt “Dronning av alle land”. Hennes kultsenter var den hellige byen Arinna. Ørnen fungert som hennes budbringer. Det ser ut til at var det ikke var noen mannlig solgud i den nordlige kulturelle sfære av hetittene.

I tillegg til solgudinnen av Arinna tilba hetittene også Solgudinnen av jorda og Solguden av himmelen. Det å skille de ulike solguddommene fra hverandre er vanskelig siden de fleste er skrevet med sumerogrammet D.UTU (solgud). Som et resultat er tolkningen av solgudene fortsatt gjenstand for debatt.

 

I mytene spiller solgudinnen av Arinna en mindre rolle. Hun var opprinnelig fra hattisk opprinnelse og ble tilbedt som Estan. Et av hennes tilnavn var Wurunšemu (“Landsmoren”). Det hattiske navnet ble av hettittene oversatt som Ištanu og Urunzimu. De har også påkalt henne som Arinitti. Tilnavnet “Arinna / Arinitti” opptrer kun i løpet av det hetittiske mellomrike. Dette for å skille solgudinnen fra den mannlige solguden av himmelen, som hadde blitt adoptert av hetittene fra interaksjon med hurrierne.

Navnet Ištanu er den hetittiske formen av det hattitiske navnet Estan og refererer til solgudinnen Arinna. Tidligere forsto man Ištanu som navnet på den mannlige solguden av himmelen, men nyere forskning hevder at navnet brukes kun for å referere til solgudinnen Arinna. Enkelte forskere skiller dog fortsatt mellom en mannlig Ištanu som representerer dag-stjernen og en kvinnelig Wurunšemu som er solgudinnen Arinna og tilbringer nettene i underverdenen.

Solgudinnen Arinna og værguden Tarhunna dannet et par, og sammen de okkuperte de den høyeste posisjonen i den hetittiske statens pantheon. Fra det hetittiske gamleriket er hun kjent som den herskende gudinnen av den hettitiske staten. Gudenes by, Arinna, var stedet for kroningen av de første hettittiske kongene og en av rikets tre hellige byer. Parets datter er Mezulla, som ga dem barnebarnet Zintuhi. Deres andre barn var værguden Nerik, værguden Zippalanda og kornguden Telipinu.

Under det hetittiske nyriket ble hun identifisert med den hurrisk-syriske gudinnen Ḫepat, og den hetittiske dronningen Puduhepa nevner henne i hennes bønner hvor hun bruker begge navnene: Solgudinne Arinna, frue, dronningen av alle land! I hattitenes land er du kjent som solgudinnen av Arinna, men i det land du har gjort landet av sedertre har du tatt navnet Ḫepat.

I det hetittiske gamleriket legitimerer solgudinnen av Arinna sammen med værguden Tarḫunna kongens makt. Landet tilhørte de to gudene og den etablerte kongen, som henviste til solgudinnen som “Mor”.

Under det hetittiske nyriket ble det antatt at solgudinnen våke over kongen og hans rike, med kongen som hennes prest og dronningen som hennes prestinne. Hetittenes konge tilba solgudinnen med daglige bønner ved solnedgang. De hettittiske tekstene bevarte mange bønner til solgudinnen av Arinna: den eldste er fra Arnuwanda I.

Shamash var solguden i den gamle semittiske religionen, og tilsvarte den sumeriske guden Utu. Shamash var også guden for rettferdighet i Babylonia og Assyria. Akkadisk samas “sol” er beslektet til syrisk: šemša, hebraisk: ֶֶׁׁsemes og arabisk: sams.

Ifølge 1911-utgaven av Encyclopedia Britannica førte de dominerende Shamash kultene i Sippar og Larsa til at de lokale solguddommene andre steder ble overskygget og ble absorbert. De ulike mindre solgudene ble sider av den dominerende solguden. Slik ble Bunene omtalt som vognføreren og hans koner Atgi-makh, Kettu (“rettferdighet”) og Mesharu (“rett”) ble deretter innført som ledsagere av Shamash.

Andre solguddommer som Ninurta og Nergal, ledende guddommer av andre viktige sentre, beholdt sine uavhengige eksistenser som visse faser av solen, med Ninurta som solgud av formiddagen og våren og Nergal solguden av middag og sommersolverv. I kjølvannet av en slik synkretisme ble Shamash vanligvis sett på som den generelle solguden.

Sammen med måneguden Nannar-Sin og krigs- og kjærlighetsgudinnen Ishtar utgjorde solguden Shamash en triade ved siden av Anu, Enlil og Ea. De tre kreftene Sin, Shamash og Ishtar symboliserte de tre store naturkreftene: henholdsvis månen, solen og jorden.

Til tider i stedet for Ishtar finner vi stormguden Adad forbundet med måneguden Sin og solguden Shamash, og det kan være at disse to sett av triader representerer læresetningene til to ulike skoler av teologiske tanker i Babylonia som senere ble harmonisert gjennom anerkjennelsen av en gruppe bestående av alle de fire gudene.

Shamash er ofte forbundet med løven, både i mytologi og kunstneriske skildringer. I den gamle kanaaneisk religion er en sønn av Baal Shamash kjent for å ha drept en løve (sønnen er muligens et aspekt av guden), og Shamash selv er avbildet som en løve i religiøs ikonografi.

Konen til Shamash var kjent som Aya i akkadisk mytologi. Hun er imidlertid sjelden nevnt i inskripsjoner bortsett fra i kombinasjon med Shamash. Hun var en modergudinne og er attestert i inskripsjoner fra pre-sargonisk tid, noe som gjør henne blant de eldste semittiske guddommer kjent i regionen.

Aya er et akkadisk navn og blir funnet i personnavn så tidlig som i pre-sargonisk tid (før c.2400 f.Kr.). Aya var en spesielt populær gudinne under den gamle babylonske perioden (c.2000-1595 f.Kr.). I den gamle babylonske byen Sippar var Aya et vanlig guddommelig element i personnavn på kvinnelige slaver som ble eid av prestinner (nadītu).

 

Hun utviklet fra den sumeriske gudinnen Sherida, konen til solguden Utu. Når de semittiske akkadierne flyttet inn i Mesopotamia ble deres guder synkretisert med de sumeriske. Inanna ble til Ishtar, Nanna til Sin, Utu til Shamash osv. Den mindre mesopotamiske solgudinnen Aya ble synkretisert inn i Sherida under denne prosessen.

Gudinnen Aya i dette aspektet ser ut til å ha vært populær blant semittiske folkeslag. Aya var en sumerisk gudinne for lys og konen til Utu / Shamas, som ble tilbedt i byene Sippar og Larsa, hvor av begge ble kalt E-Babbar (“Lysets hus”). I Ugarit ble Aya likestilt med en guddom som delte samme navn som henne. I sumerisk litterær komposisjon Nanna-Suen reise til Nibru er Šerida forbundet med hennes kult i byen Larsa.

Ayas rolle som Shamas kone er eksemplifisert ved sin presentasjon i Standard babylonske versjonen av Epic av Gilgameš, hvor Aya kalles “den store brud”. Babylonerne noen ganger referert til henne som kallatu (bruden), og som sådan ble hun kjent som kona til Shamash. Faktisk ble hun dyrket som en del av en egen-men-festet kult i Shamash e-Babbar templer i Larsa og Sippar.

I gamle babylonske administrative dokumenter synes Aya også å dele sin mann Shamas rolle når det kommer til rettferdighet. Aya er akkadisk for “dawn”, og av den akkadiske perioden var hun forbundet med den stigende solen og med seksuell kjærlighet og ungdom.

I den neo-babylonske perioden senest (og muligens mye tidligere) ble Shamash og Aya assosiert med en praksis kalt hasadu, som løst oversatt betyr “hellig ekteskap.” Et rom ble satt til side med en seng og ved enkelte anledninger tempel statuer av Shamash og Aya ville bli brakt sammen og lagt på sengen til seremonielt fornye sine løfter. Denne seremonien ble også praktisert av kulter av Marduk med Sarpanitum, Nabu med tashmetu, og Anu med ÄNTU.

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Sumerian Hymns and Prayers to God Dumu-Zi

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 5, 2017

There is no myth in any of the known religions which, as regards its importance, can be compared with the so-called Dumuzi-Ninanna myth of the early Sumerians.

The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania. Sumerian Hymns and

Sumerian Hymns and Prayers to God Dumu-Zi

In it are rooted not only the later conceptions which the Egyptians, Phoenioians, Greeks and Latins entertained with regard to the death and resurrection of their Osiris, Esmun, Adonis, but and this we may now confidently assert – it forms also the prototype of our Christian Lenten season and of the death and resurrection of Christ. It explains why the Lenten season terminates the winter, the time of darkness and death, and why it precedes the Easter festival which celebrates the resurrection of nature and of Christ.

In order to understand, from this point of view, the Dumuzi-Ninanna myth more accurately and thus be put into a position to appreciate its later developments more thoroughly, I shall try to give here in mere outlines its essential features, leaving its details and later accretions for future discussion.

The religion of the Sumerians, together with their conception of the macro-cosmos, is but a reflex of their human institutions as given on hand by their micro-cosmos or kalam, in which they lived.

As this kalam or “Babylonia” proper developed, so the ” world” was thought to have developed. This gives us the maxims: Human society = divine society; micro-cosmos or the kalam of the Sumerians = macro-cosmos or world.

The kalam, originally one whole, presided over by god An, the “king of the kalam”, very soon came to be looked upon, at a period which is still pre-historic for us, as consisting of two parts: a “northern” or “lower” and a “southern” or “upper” part. The latter was represented by the city of Erech with the temple of An: Ean; the former by the city of Nippur with the temple of Enlil: Ekur.

At an other and later period the south was centered in the city of Eridu with the north in A-HA or HA-A, i. e., in “northern Mesopotamia”. At still other times the north was either the city of Girsu or Kutha or Akkad or the Armenian mountains or the so-called “Westland” or even Elam.

At the time of the kings of the II dynasty of Ur – the time from which a large portion of the Nippur Temple Library dates -Babylonia as a whole was designated by Ki-en-gi-ki-Uri (= BUR-BUR) which the Semites translated by “Shumer and Akkad”, the former being the “southern” or “upper” and the latter the “northern” or “lower” part – a designation clearly showing that the physical condition of Babylonia played absolutely no role whatever in the selection of these names, or else the northern mountaineous regions of Babylonia as, e. g., the Armenian mountains, Elam, the Westland, would much rather have deserved the name “highland” or “upper” part of Babylonia.

The “southern” part was the region of the “Father” and the “northern” that of the “Son”; and as the “north” was also the “great abode” (iri-gal) of the Babylonian gods, was, in fact, the “netherworld”, the “Son” came to be looked upon as the “lord of the netherworld”. The first and oldest “lord of the netherworld” was Enlil.

The displacing of An by Enlil necessitated, of course, a shifting of the “southern” center from Erech to Nippur, i. e., Nippur, during the Enlil period, became what Erech was during that of An: the “southern” or “upper” part of Babylonia, with Girsu or Kutha, etc. as the “northern” or “lower” part. Hence, the gods of Girsu (dNin-Girsu), Kutha (dNergal), etc. had necessanly to become not only the “Sons” of Enlil, but also and especially the “lords of the netherworld”.

Similar to the micro-cosmos was the development of the Babylonian macro-cosmos, which, though it originally formed but one whole (the An), was later on made to conform with its micro-cosmic pattern, becoming an an-ki, a “heaven” or “upper” and an “earth” or “lower” part.

But the Sumerians were apparently not satisfied with this, they subdivided the “heaven” as well as the “earth” into two other parts: the “upper” or “southern” heaven, i. e., the heaven as it appears during the “summer” half of the year, and the “lower” or “northern” heaven, i. e., the heaven as it appears during the “winter” half of the year. This latter division applied to the “earth” gives us the “upper” earth as it appears to man, or the “earth” in opposition to the “heaven”, and the “lower” earth or “netherworld”. Even the very “netherworld” seems to have been subdivided into an “upper” and a “lower” netherworld: an-din ki-din.

At a still later time the boundaries of Babylonia were so far extended as to include not only the Euphrates and the Tigris, but even the “sea of the going down of the sun” and the “sea of the rising of the sun”, in other words, the kalam at this time was a “world” which was on all sides surrounded by water.

Also this conception was transferred to both the macro-cosmos with its “heavenly” and “terrestrial” ocean and to the netherworld with its Sahan, which was a river consisting, like the Euphrates and Tigris, of two arms, one in the west and one in the east. When entering or leaving the netherworld this Sahan had to be crossed, becoming in this wise the prototype of the later “Styx” among the Greeks.

The conveyance in ships of the Babylonian gods from one temple to the other, at the time of the Sumerian Akiti of “New Year’s” festival, i. e., at the time, of the vernal equinox, is nothing but a symbolic action indicating that the gods have crossed the Sahan and, by doing so, have left the netherworld, the region of the north, the cold, the winter – a conception revealed in the heavens by the sun crossing the muruban or equator.

Another division of the Babylonian macro- and micro-cosmos, of the heavens and the netherworld is into “seven parts”, which seven parts were again modeled after the “seven UB” or “DA”, i. e., “compartments, divisions, spheres” of Erech.

The god of the Babylonian kalam was An of Erech, “the god of the totality of heaven and earth”. At some as yet undefined period of the Sumerian religion An was differentiated into a husband and wife: An + An – a differentiation still betraying the fact that the wife of a god shared with her husband the same name, functions, attributes, and even gender. The wife of An, therefore, was not only the “queen” or “goddess of the totality of heaven and earth”, but also the “lord of heaven and the mistress of earth”.

This is apparent from Zimmern, S. K., p. 32, no. 28: 7a, where Innanna, i. e., Ninanna, the wife of An, speaks of herself: an-na u-mu-un-bi me-en ki-a ga-sha-an-bi me-en, “of the heaven his lord I am; of the earth her lady I am”, a passage showing that Ishtar – and for that matter any other god or goddess – is both male and female, and that the “heaven” and the “earth”, the two parts of the Babylonian macro-cosmos, stand in the relation of “male” and “female”, or “husband” (umun = en) and “wife” (gashan = nin), thus forming the prototype of the Greek Uranus and Gaia, where Gashan-anna tells us that she has received into her hands the E-an-na E-ki-a, “the house of heaven and earth”, identifying herself with Enlil and Ninlil, the “lord” and “lady” of heaven and earth during the Enlil period of the Sumerian religion.

This “heaven” and “earth”: an + an, or an + ki, or differentiated into En (Umun) – an + Nin (Gashan)-an and translated into Semitic by An-um – Antum were the first divine pair, the first “father-mother” (ama-a-a) or parents, the begetters and creators of everything. They had a “Son” (dumu): the god Lil, later on differentiated into Enlil and Ninlil, the well-known gods of Nippur. This son was the original, only and “true son” (Dumu-zi) – thus called to distinguish him from the later sons of An who usurped the role of Enlil, such as dIM, dMAR-TU, dEn-zu, etc.

Enlil was, as his name indicates, the “god of the powers of nature”, i. e., of thunder, lightning, storm, clouds, rain, and thus necessarily the “god of the fertility of the ground”. An, the heaven, as “Father”, Enlil, the god of the powers of nature, as “Son”, and Nin (Gashan)-a*, the earth, as “Mother”, constitute the members of the fist and oldest trinity in the religion of the Sumerians – a trinity, without which an accurate understanding of the so-called Dumuzi-Ninanna myth is evidently impossible.

The origin of this myth is to be sought in the city of Erech (Iriki), signifying in Sumerian merely “city”, “abode”. Here was the temple of An, called &-an, which was the “sphere of influence” of both An and Nin (Gashan)-an, the latter being, thereforc, very often called Nin ashan an)-A-anna, “the mistress of the house of An”. This name, together with that of Nin (Gashan)-anna, are the two foremost ones, in the texts here published, by which the later Ishtar is known.

The significance of, this myth does not offer any difficulties, provided we accept the above offered explanation with regard to Dumu-zi, “the true ‘Son’ “, as the god of the ” powers of nature”, and Gashan-an, the “Mother”, as the goddess of the “earth”. The Dumuzi-Ninanna myth, then, treats of the relation of the “Mother”, or “earth”, to the “Son”, as the god of the “fertility of the ground”.

This Nin-anna appears in our texts soon as “virgin” (ki-el), and soon as “mother” (ama), “sister” (SAL-KU = ahat),’ or “bride” (dam) of Dumuzi, while the latter is termed either the “youthful one” kal-tur), or “brother” (ses), “son” (dumu), and “husband” (mu-tan-na) of Nin-anna.

These very names, it would seem, should suffice for a correct understanding of this myth. Nin-anna is the “Mother”, because she bore, as the wife of An, Dumuzi. But she is, or may become, the “wife” also of her own beloved “Son”, i. e., she as “earth” enters every year, at the time of the early spring, into wedlock with the god of “rain” or of the “fertility of the ground”, in consequence of which she becomes pregnant and produces the “vegetation” or the “new life of nature”.

This production of the new life of nature is described partly as a “resurrection” and partly as a “giving of birth”. Though the actual wedlock took place in the “netherworld”, i. e., in the “north” where there is the “mountain of the gods”, it was celebrated or re-enacted upon “earth” in the various temples, and revealed in the “heavens”.

Up to the time of the vernal equinox Nin-anna was a “virgin”, appearing in the heavens as “virgo”; with the occurrence of the equinox this virgin becomes the “Mother”, the “creatrix and bearer of everything”, revealing herself in the heavens as the “sublime lady” (Win-mah), who holds a “babe” in her arms which she nourishes. Who or what this babe is, is not difficult to explain: it is the personified vegetation (spica), the new-born creation, the “resurrected” and hence “new-born god of vegetation”.

No wonder, then, that before the IV century A. D., some Christian sects believed that Christ was born at the end of March, and that, though this belief was later on discarded in favor of the 26. of December, the Christian Church saw fit to compromise on this question by naming the first sunday after Easter quasi modo geniti, “like the new-born babes”.

The two-fold idea of Nin-anna’s being a “virgin” and “mother” we still find in our modern “virgin soil” and “mother earth”. The remaining peculiarity according to which Nin-anna was also the “sister” of Dumuzi, is due mainly to the fact that the Sumerians considered the husband and wife to be “one”. From this it follows that Nin-anna had to become, as “bride” of Dumuzi, the “daughter” of An, just as Dumuzi himself was the “son” of An. Dumuzi and Ninanna, then, as husband and wife, are the “son” and “daughter” of An, and hence “brother” and “sister”.

Later on, when the myth of Dumuzi and Nin-anna was transferred to the “Son” and “Mother” of the various other Sumerian trinities, it came to pass that Nin-anna or Ishtar as well as Dumuzi or Tamuz were looked upon as the “son” and “daughter” of each and every god who happened to play, in a particular city, the role of the “Father”. This is the reason for the various and manifold genealogies of both Ishtar and Tamuz which make them the “daughter” and “son” of An, Enlil, Enzu, Enki (ahzu), Ningishzida, etc., etc., and for their being identified with practically each and every “Mother” and “Son” of the Sumerian trinities.

The above mentioned wedlock of Dumuzi and Nin-anna is, however, only one of, the two relations in which they stand. The texts published in this volume do not refer to this marriage at all. On the contrary, we find that the “mother”, “bride” and “sister” of Dumuzi is pictured in them as being on her way to or through the “netherworld” in search for her “beloved”, who is described as being “dead”, having taken up his abode in the Sumerian hades – a locality or state referred to by extremely interesting and highly descriptive names.

While on her way to the “abode of Dumuzi”, Nin-anna passes the so-called “street full of wailing” (sil a-si-ga) continually crying out a, or a-a, or u-a, or wa-wa, i. e., “alas”, or “how long still”, or “when at last”, sc., “shall I be joined to my beloved?” Numerous and difficult are the obstacles which Nin-anna has to overcome until she at last is permitted to find her “beloved”, with whom she enters the “bridal chamber”.

The meaning of this episode in the myth is plain. Dumuzi, the god of the “fertility of the ground”, is “dead” (dig) or “powerless” (u-la) during the winter, at which time he was thought to have descended into the netherworld, situated in the north.

The necessary consequence of this impotency on the part of the “god of the fertility of the ground” was the barrenness of the earth or mother. The earth is barren during the winter season and, as the winter corresponds to the north, Nin-anna likewise is said to be in the north, where there is the netherworld, hoping, longing and praying to be united with her “beloved” in holy wedlock and thus be able to produce the new verdure, the new life of nature.

These observations alone would justify us in maintaining that the so-called “wailings of Nin-anna for Dumuzi”, which are the subject of the tablets here published, must have taken place some time during the winter season. Elsewhere I have shown that the 6th month of a year beginning with the autumnal equinox was the month of the “wailings for Dumuzi”.

This 6th month corresponded to our February-March and was called Ululu, from which we have the Latin ulul-are (howl or cry) frequently used in connection with the wailings of Aphrodite for Adonis. Now, as the resurrection of Dumuzi falls at the time of the vernal equinox, and as the wailings for Dumuzi take place in the month immediately preceding it, we may confidently assert, that these two features of the Dumuzi-Ninanna myth constitute the prototype of the Christian Lenten and Resurrection festivals. Both have for their basis the annual barrenness of nature and its resurrection to new life, and both are nature and spring festivals.

But each and every festival, though primarily given on hand by the immutable laws of nature, was at one time or another connected with actual, historical facts. The Christian lenten and resurrection festivals were connected with the actual and historical death and resurrection of Christ. The same is true of the Sumerian lenten and resurrection festivals. Again and again Nin-anna complains about the “enemies” and “dogs” who have invaded Babylonia, defiled and destroyed its cities and temples, asking and praying that these her cities and temples “be again restored”.

Thanks to the tablets of the Nippur Library, we know now who these “enemies” and “dogs” were and whence they came. They were the “hords” from the north of Babylonia: the Guti, Lulubi, Elamites etc., etc.

The macro-cosmic barrenness of the earth during the winter corresponds exactly to the destruction of Babylonia as micro-cosmos – a destruction which is wrought by the people from the north, the region of the winter and of the netherworld. To overcome this enemy, Dumuzi, like the later Nin-ib of the Nippur trinity, has to go to the north and smite this foe of Babylonia. And he does. As soon as this northern enemy is overcome, the rebuilding and dedication of the Babylonian cities and temples may and does take place.

The destruction of the temples and cities represents the historical micro-cosmic lent; the dedication of the temples the historical micro-cosmic resurrection, while the “wailings” of Nin-anna, from this point of view, are nothing but the appeal of her “lamentation men” and “women” to the generosity and liberality of the Babylonian kings and faithful ones to open their purses and make a most liberal offering at “Easter (Ishtar) time”. This having been complied with, the gods, more particularly the “Son” and “Bride”, can again take up their abode in the restored and dedicated temples, be re-united, and enter into holy wedlock.

This conception, it is needless to say, introduced into the Dumuzi-Ninanna myth quite a new feature: – a fight between the “enemy from the north” and the “god of the powers of nature”. And seeing that the north was also the region of the netherworld, this fight of Dnmuzi acquired very soon a mythological significance – it was looked upon as a fight between the “powers of nature” and the “powers of darkness” (Humbaba): the winter, the cold, mythologically pictured as a serpent (sahan).

It became a fight between the winter and spring, between darkness and light, between death and life – a fight such as took place not only at the “beginning of the world”, when Marduk overcame Tiamat, or when Jahveh conquered Rahab-Liviathan, but a fight which is repeated every year, month (Enzu as Dumuzi) and day (Utu as Dumuzi) until the end of the world.

The outcome of this fight is well-known: the enemy from the north as well as the mythological foe is overcome; Dumuzi the god of the powers of nature remains victorious. Also this victory is revealed in the heavens by the appearance, at the time of the Sumerian resurrection festival, i. e., at the time of the vernal equinox, of the star En-te-na MASH (BAR)-SIG (LUM), informing the faithful upon earth that now the dragon, the winter, the cold (en-te-nu) has been conquered, that its rulership has come to an end and that, in consequence of this victory, the new life, the new creation, the resurrection has not only been made possible but has become an actual fact.

Dumuzi having overcome the foes of Babylonia – both historical and mythological – receives as a reward the power to “judge” the universe, its living and its dead. The vernal equinox with the sign libra tells us that this his judgment is one of absolute justice and equity: it is as evenly balanced as is the day and night as this time.

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De fire årstider

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 2, 2017

Du har Janus/Saturn (Capricorn) og Juno (Cancer), men også Mars (Aries) og Venus (Libra) – Og i gamle dager begynte året med Mars, men gikk deretter over til å bli med Janus – dette utgjør vinter- og sommersolverv kontra vår- og høstjevndøgn – med andre ord de fire årstider. De fire kardinal tegnene er med andre ord Væren, Krepsen, Vekten og Steinbukken.

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Because dimensions are based on a range of frequencies, eventually this will be true. When the Earth’s frequency increases to the level where it will not support a 3D or 4D reality, everyone living on the planet will have to maintain a fifth dimensional vibration. 4D arrived in 2012, and will most likely be perceivable to everyone by mid-2014. --Sandra Walker:

Astrological signs:

Astrology: Planetary Keywords, Elements, Qualities, Triplicities, Natal Aspects, Sign Rulers Chart | #astrology:

Astrological Planets Meaning and Symbol Explained:

Astrology Houses:

Polarities:

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Horoscope Signs and Meanings | zodiac signs element quality polarity labeled wheel:

Everything you need to know about astrology - zodiac signs, planets, houses - in a single astrology map!:

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Egyptian Astrology | Find your #astrological #sign and discover your personal #zodiac star sign here http://findyourastrologicalsign.blogspot.com:

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Aquarius (Uranus) – Capricorn (Saturn) – Sagittarius (Jupiter)

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 28, 2016

Relatert bilde

Enki

Enki was considered a god of life and replenishment, and was often depicted with two streams of water flowing into his shoulders, one the Tigris, the other the Euphrates. Alongside him were trees symbolising the female and male aspects of nature, each holding the female and male aspects of the ‘Life Essence’, which he, as apparent alchemist of the gods, would masterfully mix to create several beings that would live upon the face of the earth.

According to Sumerian mythology, Enki also assisted humanity to survive the Deluge designed to kill them. Nintinugga was a Babylonian goddess of healing, the consort of Ninurta. She is identical with the goddess of Akkadian mythology, known as Bau or Baba, though it would seem that the two were originally independent. The name Bau is more common in the oldest period and gives way to Gula after the First Babylonian Dynasty.

Other names borne by this goddess are Nin-Karrak, Nin Ezen, Ga-tum-dug and Nm-din-dug, the latter signifying “the lady who restores to life”, or the Goddess of Healing. After the Great Flood, she helped “breathe life” back into mankind.

Ninurta appears in a double capacity in the epithets bestowed on him, and in the hymns and incantations addressed to him. On the one hand he is a farmer and a healing god who releases humans from sickness and the power of demons; on the other he is the god of the South Wind as the son of Enlil, displacing his mother Ninlil who was earlier held to be the goddess of the South Wind. Enlil’s brother, Enki, was portrayed as Ninurta’s mentor from whom Ninurta was entrusted several powerful Mes, including the Deluge.

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 Kronos, whom the Romans in turn identified with their Titan Saturn.

Aquarius is identified as GU.LA “The Great One” in the Babylonian star catalogues and represents the god Enki himself. His symbols included a goat and a fish, which later combined into a single beast, the goat Capricorn, recognised as the Zodiacal constellation Capricornus. He was accompanied by an attendant Isimud. He was also associated with the planet Mercury in the Sumerian astrological system.

Aquarius contained the winter solstice in the Early Bronze Age. In Old Babylonian astronomy, Enki was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, the “Way of Enki”, corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice.

Despite its faintness, Capricornus has one of the oldest mythological associations, having been consistently represented as a hybrid of a goat and a fish since the Middle Bronze Age. First attested in depictions on a cylinder-seal from around the 21st century BC, it was explicitly recorded in the Babylonian star catalogues as MULSUḪUR.MAŠ “The Goat-Fish” before 1000 BC. The constellation was a symbol of the god Ea and in the Early Bronze Age marked the winter solstice.

Due to the precession of the equinoxes the December solstice no longer takes place while the sun is in the constellation Capricornus, as it did until 130 BCE, but the astrological sign called Capricorn begins with the solstice. The solstice now takes place when the Sun is in the constellation (not the sign) of Sagittarius.

The sun’s most southerly position, which is attained at the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice, is now called the Tropic of Capricorn, a term which also applies to the line on the Earth at which the sun is directly overhead at noon on that solstice. The Sun is now in Capricorn from late January through mid-February.

Bilderesultat for enki

The Flood

Ziusudra (also Zi-ud-sura and Zin-Suddu; Hellenized Xisuthros: “found long life” or “life of long days”) of Shuruppak is listed in the WB-62 Sumerian king list recension as the last king of Sumer prior to the deluge.

Ziusudra being a king from Shuruppak is supported by the Gilgamesh XI tablet (see below) making reference to Utnapishtim (Akkadian translation of the Sumerian name Ziusudra) with the epithet “man of Shuruppak” at line 23.

In the WB-62 Sumerian king list recension, Ziusudra, or Zin-Suddu of Shuruppak is recorded as having reigned as both king and gudug priest for 10 sars, or periods of 3,600, although this was probably a copy error for 10 years.

In this version, Ziusudra inherited rulership from his father Šuruppak (written SU.KUR.LAM) who ruled for 10 sars. The line following Ziusudra in WB-62 reads: Then the flood swept over. The next line reads: After the flood swept over, kingship descended from heaven; the kingship was in Kish.

The city of Kish flourished in the Early Dynastic period soon after an archaeologically attested river flood in Shuruppak (modern Tell Fara, Iraq) and various other Sumerian cities. This flood has been radiocarbon dated to ca. 2900 BC.

The significance of Ziusudra’s name appearing on the WB-62 king list is that it links the flood mentioned in the three surviving Babylonian deluge epics of Ziusudra (Eridu Genesis), Utnapishtim (Epic of Gilgamesh), and Atrahasis (Epic of Atrahasis) to river flood sediments in Shuruppak, Uruk, Kish et al. that have been radiocarbon dated to ca. 2900 BC.

This has led some scholars to conclude that the flood hero was king of Shuruppak at the end of the Jemdet Nasr period (ca. 3000–2900) which ended with the river flood of 2900 BC.

Polychrome pottery from the Jemdet Nasr period, an archaeological culture in southern Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) that is generally dated to 3100–2900 BCE., was discovered immediately below the Shuruppak flood stratum, and the Jemdet Nasr period immediately preceded the Early Dynastic I period.

The culture of the proto-historical Jemdet Nasr period is a local development out of the preceding Uruk period and continues into the Early Dynastic I period. he Jemdet Nasr period in south–central Iraq is contemporary with the early Ninevite V period in Upper Mesopotamia and the Proto-Elamite stage in western Iran and shares with these periods characteristics such as an emerging bureaucracy and inequality.

He is subsequently recorded as the hero of the Sumerian flood epic. He is also mentioned in other ancient literature, including The Death of Gilgamesh and The Poem of Early Rulers, and a late version of The Instructions of Shuruppak refers to Ziusudra. Akkadian Atrahasis (“extremely wise”) and Utnapishtim (“he found life”), as well as biblical Noah (“rest” or “comfort”) are similar heroes of flood legends of the ancient Near East.

Although each version of the flood myth has distinctive story elements, there are numerous story elements that are common to two, three, or four versions. The earliest version of the flood myth is preserved fragmentarily in the Eridu Genesis, written in Sumerian cuneiform and dating to the 17th century BC, during the 1st Dynasty of Babylon when the language of writing and administration was still Sumerian. Strong parallels are notable with other Near Eastern flood legends, such as the biblical account of Noah.

Aquarius – Sagittarius

Nintinugga was a Babylonian goddess of healing. She was the daughter of An and the consort of Ninurta, who appears in a double capacity in the epithets bestowed on him, and in the hymns and incantations addressed to him.

On the one hand he is a farmer and a healing god who releases humans from sickness and the power of demons; on the other he is the god of the South Wind as the son of Enlil, displacing his mother Ninlil who was earlier held to be the goddess of the South Wind.

Enlil’s brother, Enki, was portrayed as Ninurta’s mentor from whom Ninurta was entrusted several powerful Mes, including the Deluge. 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 Kronos, whom the Romans in turn identified with their Titan Saturn.

She had seven daughters, including Hegir-Nuna (Gangir). She was known as a patron deity of Lagash, where Gudea built her a temple. After the Great Flood, she helped “breathe life” back into mankind.

She is identical with the goddess of Akkadian mythology, known as Bau or Baba, though it would seem that the two were originally independent. The name Bau is more common in the oldest period and gives way to Gula after the First Babylonian Dynasty.

Since it is probable that Ninurta has absorbed the cults of minor sun-deities, the two names may represent consorts of different gods. However this may be, the qualities of both are alike, and the two occur as synonymous designations of Ninurta’s female consort.

Other names borne by this goddess are Nin-Karrak, Nin Ezen, Ga-tum-dug and Nm-din-dug, the latter signifying “the lady who restores to life”, or the Goddess of Healing. The designation well emphasizes the chief trait of Bau-Gula which is that of healer. She is often spoken of as “the great physician,” and accordingly plays a specially prominent role in incantations and incantation rituals intended to relieve those suffering from disease.

She is, however, also invoked to curse those who trample upon the rights of rulers or those who do wrong with poisonous potions. As in the case of Ninib, the cult of Bau-Gula is prominent in Shirgulla and in Nippur. While generally in close association with her consort, she is also invoked alone, giving her more dominance than most of the goddesses of Babylonia and Assyria.

She appears in a prominent position on the designs accompanying the Kudurrus boundary-stone monuments of Babylonia, being represented by a portrait, when other gods and goddesses are merely pictured by their shrines, by sacred animals or by weapons.

In neo-Babylonian days her cult continues to occupy a prominent position, and Nebuchadrezzar II speaks of no less than three chapels or shrines within the sacred precincts of E-Zida in the city of Borsippa, besides a temple in her honour at Babylon.

In Sumerian mythology, Ninsun or Ninsuna (“lady wild cow”) is a goddess, best known as the mother of the legendary hero Gilgamesh, and as the tutelary goddess of Gudea of Lagash. Ninsun was originally named Nininsina, according to Pabilsag’s journey to Nibru. She was called Gula in Sumerian Mythology until the name was later changed to Ninisina. Gula in the latter became a Babylonian goddess. Her parents are the deities Anu and Uras.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Ninsun is depicted as a human queen who lives in Uruk with her son as king. Since the father of Gilgamesh was former king Lugalbanda, it stands to reason that Ninsun procreated with Lugalbanda to give birth.

Also in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Ninsun is summoned by Gilgamesh and Enkidu to help pray to the god Utu to help the two on their journey to the Country of the Living to battle Humbaba.

Ninsun is called “Rimat-Ninsun”, the “August cow”, the “Wild Cow of the Enclosure”, and “The Great Queen”. In the Tello relief (the ancient Lagash, 2150 BC) her name is written with the cuneiform glyphs as: DINGIR.NIN.GUL where the glyph for GUL is the same for SUN. The meaning of SUN is attested as “cow”.

According to the ancient Babylonian text, Nininsina wedded Pabilsag, a tutelary god of the city of Isin, and identified with the lost city of Larak, near a riverbank. By Pabilsag she bore Damu.

The text Pabilsag’s journey to Nibru describes Pabilsag as journeying to Nippur and presenting the god Enlil with gifts. He was given the epithet of “the wild bull with multicoloured legs”. He is represented in the constellation Sagittarius.

Sagittarius is the ninth astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Sagittarius and spans 240–270th degrees of the zodiac. In tropical astrology, the Sun is considered to be in the sign Sagittarius from 22 November to 21 December, and in sidereal astrology, from 16 December to 14 January.

Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and Pisces, and it is exalted in Cancer. The detriment to Sagittarius is Gemini. Along with Aries and Leo, Sagittarius is a part of the Fire Trigon.

The symbol of the zodiac sign is a Centaur armed with arrows following an old tradition coming from the Ancient Greece and from other cultures of the past. The image of the sign says a lot about his features, he’s able to be incredibly violent or wise, brave or mild.

Sagittarius, half human and half horse, is the centaur of mythology, the learned healer whose higher intelligence forms a bridge between Earth and Heaven. Also known as the Archer, Sagittarius is represented by the symbol of a bow and arrow.

The symbol of the archer is based on the centaur Chiron, who mentored Achilles, a Greek hero of the Trojan War, in archery. In Greek mythology, Sagittarius is usually identified as a centaur: half human, half horse. However, perhaps due to the Greek’s adoption of the Sumerian constellation, some confusion surrounds the identity of the archer.

Some identify Sagittarius as the centaur Chiron, the son of Philyra and Saturn and tutor to Jason, who was said to have changed himself into a horse to escape his jealous wife, Rhea. However, some identify Chiron with the constellation Centaurus, the other heavenly centaur.

An alternative tradition is that Chiron merely invented the constellation Sagittarius to help in guiding the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece. A competing mythological tradition, as espoused by Eratosthenes, identified the Archer not as a centaur but as the satyr Crotus, son of Pan, who Greeks credited with the invention of archery.

According to myth, Crotus often went hunting on horseback and lived among the Muses, who requested that Zeus place him in the sky, where he is seen demonstrating archery.

The arrow of this constellation points towards the star Antares, the “heart of the scorpion,” and Sagittarius stands poised to attack should Scorpius ever attack the nearby Hercules, or to avenge Scorpius’s slaying of Orion.

In Roman mythology, Jupiter is the ruler of the gods and their guardian and protector, and his symbol is the thunderbolt. The Romans believed that Jupiter granted them supremacy because they had honored him more than any other people had. Jupiter is usually the fourth-brightest object in the sky (after the Sun, the Moon and Venus).

Jupiter was “the fount of the auspices upon which the relationship of the city with the gods rested.” He personified the divine authority of Rome’s highest offices, internal organization, and external relations. His image in the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore regalia associated with Rome’s ancient kings and the highest consular and Imperial honours.

In the same way, the planet Jupiter is the king of the other planets, a giant in size with spectacular, brightly colored clouds and intense storms. Some astronomers believe that it plays an important protecting role in using its massive gravity to capture or expel from the solar system many comets and asteroids that would otherwise threaten Earth and the inner planets.

Astrologically speaking, Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity, and good fortune. Jupiter governs long distance and foreign travel, big business and wealth, higher education, religion, and the law. It is also associated with the urge for freedom and exploration, humanitarian and protecting roles, and with gambling and merrymaking.

Aquarius is one of the oldest of the recognized constellations along the zodiac (the sun’s apparent path). 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.

As of 2002, the Sun appears in the constellation Aquarius from 16 February to 11 March. In tropical astrology, the Sun is considered to be in the sign Aquarius from 20 January to 19 February, and in sidereal astrology, from 15 February to 14 March.

Aquarius is a constellation of the zodiac, situated between Capricornus and Pisces. Its name is Latin for “water-carrier” or “cup-carrier”, and its symbol is a representation of water. It is found in a region often called the Sea due to its profusion of constellations with watery associations such as Cetus the whale, Pisces the fish, and Eridanus the river.

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. The Babylonian star-figure appears on entitlement stones and cylinder seals from the second millennium. It contained the winter solstice in the Early Bronze Age.

In Old Babylonian astronomy, Enki was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, the “Way of Enki”, corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice. Aquarius was also associated with the destructive floods that the Babylonians regularly experienced, and thus was negatively connoted. In Ancient Egypt, Aquarius was associated with the annual flood of the Nile; the banks were said to flood when Aquarius put his jar into the river, beginning spring.

In the Greek tradition, the constellation became represented as simply a single vase from which a stream poured down to Piscis Austrinus. The name in the Hindu zodiac is likewise kumbha “water-pitcher”, showing that the zodiac reached India via Greek intermediaries.

In Greek mythology, Aquarius is sometimes associated with Deucalion, the son of Prometheus who built a ship with his wife Pyrrha to survive an imminent flood. They sailed for nine days before washing ashore on Mount Parnassus. Aquarius is also sometimes identified with beautiful Ganymede, a youth in Greek mythology and the son of Trojan king Tros, who was taken to Mount Olympus by Zeus to act as cup-carrier to the gods.

Neighboring Aquila represents the eagle, under Zeus’ command, that snatched the young boy; some versions of the myth indicate that the eagle was in fact Zeus transformed.

Creation myth

Sumerian creation myth

Jemdet Nasr period

Flood myth

Gilgamesh flood myth

Ziusudra

Utnapishtim

Atra-Hasis

Noah

Noah’s Ark

Deucalion

isuthros

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An (Tyr – Mars / Balder – Dionysus) – Enlil (Saturn, Njord) / Enki (Janus, Odin)

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 25, 2016

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Mundilfari

In Norse mythology Mundilfari (Old Norse, possibly “the one moving according to particular times”) is the father of Sól, goddess associated with the Sun, and Máni, associated with the Moon. Mundilfari is attested in the Poetic Edda poem Vafþrúðnismál stanza 23, and in chapter 11 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning.

The name appears in various forms in attestations for the figure, some of them significantly different, and various theories have been proposed for the name. John Lindow states that if the first element, mundil- is related to mund, meaning “period of time,” then the name may be a kenning for the Moon, as Rudolf Simek theorizes.

1. Generation: Uranus / Caelus (Aquarius) – Sol/ Apollo (Leo – Sun)

Greek: Uranus – Helios / Apollo

Germanic: Heimdall – Tyr / Sol – Sunna

However, Tyr can also be Libra

India: Indra – Surya

Sumerian: An – Enmessara/ Nergal

Days: Sunday / Tuesday

2. Generation: Saturn (Capricorn) – Luna / Diana (Cancer – Moon)

Greek: Cronus – Selene / Artemis

Germanic: Njord – Frigg / Freyja – Mani

However, it can also be Hel – Frigg and Freyja represents Libra / Virgo

India: Shani – Chandra

Sumerian: Enlil – Nanna

Days: Saturday – Monday / Friday

3. Generation: Jupiter (Sagittarius) – Mercury (Gemini)

Greek: Zeus – Hermes

Germanic: Thor – Odin

India: Brihaspati – Budha

Sumerian: Ninurta – Enki

Days: Thursday – Wednesday

– So the last shall be first, and the first last

Glossary of Norse and German Mythology

Norse Gods and Goddesses

Monday – Moon 

Tuesday – Tyr

Wednesday – Odin

As Capricorn can be said to make the center of the year,

Wednesday can be said to be in the middle of the week

Wednesday is the day of the week following Tuesday and before Thursday. According to international standard ISO 8601 adopted in most western countries it is the third day of the week. In countries that use the Sunday-first convention Wednesday is defined as the fourth day of the week. It is the fourth day of the week in the Judeo-Christian calendar as well, and was defined so in the ancient Mesopotamian and biblical calendars.

The name is derived from Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wednesdei, “day of Woden”, reflecting the Viking invasions of the British Isles and subsequent effect on the language there. In other languages, such as the French mercredi, the day’s name is a calque of dies Mercurii “day of Mercury”. It has the most letters out of all the Gregorian calendar days.

The Latin name is reflected directly in the weekday name in Romance languages: Mércuris (Sardinian), mercredi (French), mercoledì (Italian), miércoles (Spanish), miercuri (Romanian), dimecres (Catalan), Marcuri or Mercuri (Corsican), dies Mercurii (Latin).

Wednesday is in the middle of the common Western five-day workweek that starts on Monday and finishes on Friday. The German name for the day, Mittwoch (literally: “mid-week”), replaced the former name Wodenstag (“Wodan’s day”) in the tenth century. The Dutch name for the day, woensdag has the same etymology as English Wednesday, it comes from Middle Dutch wodenesdag, woedensdag (“Wodan’s day”).

Thursday – Thor

Friday – Frigg / Freyja

Saturday – Saturn

Sunday – Sun 

Aries (Mars) and Pisces (Venus) – Polytheism

Mary the virgin (Virgo) and Jesus (Pisces)

The cosmogenic myth common in Sumer was that of the hieros gamos, a sacred marriage where divine principles in the form of dualistic opposites came together as male and female to give birth to the cosmos.

Capricorn (Enki) – Monotheism

Father (God)

Monotheism has been defined as the belief in the existence of only one god or in the oneness of God. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church gives a more restricted definition: “belief in one personal and transcendent God”, as opposed to polytheism and pantheism.

A distinction may be made between exclusive monotheism, and both inclusive monotheism and pluriform (panentheistic) monotheism which, while recognising many distinct gods, postulate some underlying unity.

Anu (in Akkadian; Sumerian: An, from 𒀭An “sky, heaven”) is the earliest attested Sky Father deity. 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 and Dumuzi.

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.

In Old Babylonian astronomy, Ea was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, the “Way of Ea”, corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice. His symbols included a goat and a fish, which later combined into a single beast, the goat Capricorn, recognised as the Zodiacal constellation Capricornus.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus (Ianuarius), but according to ancient Roman farmers’ almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.

Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat, was associated with the eastern fish of the last of the zodiacal constellations, Pisces. Her consort Dumuzi, an annual life-death-rebirth deity in Sumerian religion, was associated with the contiguous first constellation, Aries.

Aries (meaning “ram”) is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°). Pisces is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the Pisces constellation. It spans the 330° to 360° of the zodiac.

Saturn (Capricorn) and the Moon

Apollo and Artemis – Janus and Diana

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is exalted in Libra. Capricorn is detriment to Cancer. The Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer and is exalted in Taurus.

In Roman mythology, the Moon was Luna, at times identified with Diana, while the Sun was Sol, at times identified with Apollo. In Greek mythology, the Moon was Selene, at times identified with Artemis, while the Sun was Helios, at times identified with Apollo.

In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona, and was born with her twin brother, Apollo, on the island of Delos. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis. In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria, and the mother, by Zeus, of Apollo and Artemis.

In Chinese astrology, the Sun represents Yang, the active, assertive masculine life principle, while the Moon represents Yin, the passive and receptive feminine life principle.

According to Macrobius who cites Nigidius Figulus and Cicero, Janus and Jana (Diana) are a pair of divinities, worshipped as Apollo or the sun and moon, whence Janus received sacrifices before all the others, because through him is apparent the way of access to the desired deity.

One etymology when it comes to Janus proposed by Nigidius Figulus is related by Macrobius: Ianus would be Apollo and Diana Iana, by the addition of a D for the sake of euphony. This explanation has been accepted by A. B. Cook and J. G. Frazer. It supports all the assimilations of Janus to the bright sky, the sun and the moon. It supposes a former *Dianus, formed on *dia- < *dy-eð from Indo-European root *dey- shine represented in Latin by dies day, Diovis and Iuppiter. However the form Dianus postulated by Nigidius is not attested.

Solstice

A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year (around June 21 and December 21) as the Sun reaches its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. The seasons of the year are directly connected to both the solstices and the equinoxes.

The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the day when this occurs. The day of the solstice has either the most sunlight of the year (summer solstice) or the least sunlight of the year (winter solstice) for any place other than the equator. Alternative terms, with no ambiguity as to which hemisphere is the context, are June solstice and December solstice, referring to the months of year in which they take place.

At latitudes outside the tropics, the summer solstice marks the day when the sun appears highest in the sky. Within the tropics, the sun appears directly overhead (called the subsolar point) from days to months before the solstice and again after the solstice, which means the subsolar point occurs twice each year.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction.

The northern solstice passed from Leo into Cancer in year −1458, passed into Gemini in year −10, passed into Taurus in December 1989, and is expected to pass into Aries in year 4609. The southern solstice passed from Capricornus into Sagittarius in year −130, is expected to pass into Ophiuchus in year 2269, and is expected to pass into Scorpius in year 3597.

Capricorn

Capricornus is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for “horned goat” or “goat horn” or “having horns like a goat’s”, and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature that is half goat, half fish. Its symbol is Capricorn.

The constellation is located in an area of sky called the Sea or the Water, consisting of many water-related constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus. It is the smallest constellation in the zodiac. The brightest star in Capricornus is δ Capricorni, also called Deneb Algedi. Like several other stars such as Denebola and Deneb, it is named for the Arabic word for “tail” (deneb); its traditional name means “the tail of the goat”.

Despite its faintness, Capricornus has one of the oldest mythological associations, having been consistently represented as a hybrid of a goat and a fish since the Middle Bronze Age. First attested in depictions on a cylinder-seal from around the 21st century BC, it was explicitly recorded in the Babylonian star catalogues as MULSUḪUR.MAŠ “The Goat-Fish” before 1000 BC. The constellation was a symbol of the god Ea and in the Early Bronze Age marked the winter solstice.

Due to the precession of the equinoxes the December solstice no longer takes place while the sun is in the constellation Capricornus, as it did until 130 BCE, but the astrological sign called Capricorn begins with the solstice. The solstice now takes place when the Sun is in the constellation (not the sign) of Sagittarius. The sun’s most southerly position, which is attained at the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice, is now called the Tropic of Capricorn, a term which also applies to the line on the Earth at which the sun is directly overhead at noon on that solstice. The Sun is now in Capricorn from late January through mid-February.

Cancer – the Moon

Cancer

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius and is exalted in Libra. Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio. Before the discovery of Uranus, Saturn was regarded as the ruling planet of Aquarius alongside Capricorn of course, which is the preceding sign. Many traditional types of astrologers prefer Saturn as the planetary ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius.

Aquarius 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 20 and February 18, while under the Sidereal Zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius from approximately February 15 to March 14, depending on leap year.

Aquarius is detriment to Leo, the fifth astrological sign of the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Leo. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between July 22 and August 23; the sign spans the 120th to 150th degree of celestial longitude.

Capricorn is detriment to Cancer. The Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. Cancer is the fourth astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Cancer. It spans the 90-120th degree of the zodiac, between 90 and 120 degrees of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between June 22 and July 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the Sun transits this area between approximately July 15 and August 15.

Along with Scorpio and Pisces, Cancer forms the Water Trigon. The Water Trigon is one of four elemental trigons, fire, earth, air, and water. When a trigon is influential, it affects changes on earth. Cancer is said to be the house of Neptune and the exaltation of Jupiter, both astronomical bodies having influence over those born under Cancer. In Vedic astrology the sign has name Karka and its Lord is Moon.

The sign of Cancer is said to be associated with the characteristics: water, phlegmatic, cardinal, northern, nocturnal, tenacious, intuitive, and fruitful. Cancer is a northern sign and its opposite southern sign is Capricorn. Places that Cancer is associated with are the sea, rivers, brooks, wells, wash-houses, marsh grounds, and trenches.

The symbol of the crab is based on the Karkinos, a giant crab that harassed Heracles during his fight with the Hydra. The story of Cancer the Crab is said to be connected to Hercules. Some storytellers say that during Hercules’ fight with Lernaean Hydra, Hera, sent a crab to snap at Hercules’ toes because Hera had sworn to kill Hercules. Hercules was able to kill the crab by smashing its shell with his foot. As a reward for its efforts serving her, Hera placed the crab in the sky and it became Cancer.

The Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. Nanna (Sumerian: DŠEŠ.KI, DNANNA) or Sin (Akkadian: Su’en, Sîn) was the god of the moon in the Mesopotamian mythology of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia. Nanna is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin. The two chief seats of Nanna’s/Sin’s worship were Ur in the south of Mesopotamia and Harran in the north.

He is commonly designated as En-zu, which means “lord of wisdom”. The “wisdom” personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of the science of astronomy or the practice of astrology, in which the observation of the moon’s phases is an important factor. In the astral-theological system he is represented by the number 30 and the moon. This number probably refers to the average number of days (correctly around 29.53) in a lunar month, as measured between successive new moons.

During the period (c.2600-2400 BC) that Ur exercised a large measure of supremacy over the Euphrates valley, Sin was naturally regarded as the head of the pantheon. It is to this period that we must trace such designations of Sin as “father of the gods”, “chief of the gods”, “creator of all things”, and the like.

His wife was Ningal (“Great Lady”), who bore him Utu/Shamash (“Sun”) and Inanna/Ishtar (the goddess of the planet Venus). The tendency to centralize the powers of the universe leads to the establishment of the doctrine of a triad consisting of Sin/Nanna and his children.

Sin had a beard made of lapis lazuli and rode on a winged bull. The bull was one of his symbols, through his father, Enlil, “Bull of Heaven”, along with the crescent and the tripod (which may be a lamp-stand). On cylinder seals, he is represented as an old man with a flowing beard and the crescent symbol.

An important Sumerian text (“Enlil and Ninlil”) tells of the descent of Enlil and Ninlil, pregnant with Nanna/Sin, into the underworld. There, three “substitutions” are given to allow the ascent of Nanna/Sin. The story shows some similarities to the text known as “The Descent of Inanna”.

In Roman mythology, the Moon was Luna, at times identified with Diana. The Moon is large enough for its gravity to affect the Earth, stabilizing its orbit and producing the regular ebb and flow of the tides. The lunar day syncs up with its orbit around Earth in such a manner that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth and the other side, known as the “far side of the Moon” faces towards space.

The Moon or Luna is associated with Monday, the word Monday comes from the Old English word for Moon day or Moon’s day, and in Romance languages, the name for Monday comes from luna (e.g., luni in Romanian, lundi in French, lunes in Spanish and lunedi in Italian). Dante Alighieri associated the Moon with the liberal art of grammar.

In Chinese astrology, the Moon represents Yin, the passive and receptive feminine life principle. In Indian astrology, the Moon is called Chandra or Soma and represents the mind, queenship and mother. The north lunar node (called Rahu) and the south lunar node (called Ketu) are considered to be of particular importance and are given an equal place alongside the seven classical planets as part of the nine navagraha.

The Theogony (“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 Homeric Greek.

Theogony

Anu (in Akkadian; Sumerian: An, from 𒀭An “sky, heaven”) is the earliest attested Sky Father deity. 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 Nammu (not to be confused with the subterranean Abzu). His attribute was the Royal Tiara. His attendant and vizier was the god Ilabrat.

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.

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.

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 and Dumuzi.

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.

As Enlil was the only god who could reach An, the god of heaven, he held sway over the other gods who were assigned tasks by his agent and would travel to Nippur to draw in his power. He is thus seen as the model for kingship. Enlil was assimilated to the north “Pole of the Ecliptic”. His sacred number name was 50.

Enki 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. 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.”

In Old Babylonian astronomy, Ea was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, the “Way of Ea”, corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice. His symbols included a goat and a fish, which later combined into a single beast, the goat Capricorn, recognised as the Zodiacal constellation Capricornus.

He was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). The planet Mercury, associated with Babylonian Nabu (the son of Marduk) was in Sumerian times, identified with Enki.

The main temple to Enki is 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. He was the keeper of the divine powers called Me, the gifts of civilization. His image is a double-helix snake, or the Caduceus. He is often shown with the horned crown of divinity dressed in the skin of a carp.

He was accompanied by an attendant Isimud (also Isinu; Usmû; Usumu (Akkadian)) is a minor god, the messenger of the god, Enki. In ancient Sumerian artwork, Isimud is easily identifiable due to the fact that he is always depicted with two faces facing in opposite directions in a way that is similar to the ancient Roman god, Janus.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus (Ianuarius), but according to ancient Roman farmers’ almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.

Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The doors of his temple were open in time of war, and closed to mark the peace. As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping.

January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first month to have the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year’s Day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa.

Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months totaling 304 days, winter being considered a month-less period. Originally March was the first month and February the last one. January, the month of Janus, became the first afterwards and through several manipulations. Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, so that the calendar covered a standard lunar year (354 days).

Although March was originally the first month in the old Roman calendar, January became the first month of the calendar year either under Numa or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers differ). In contrast, each specific calendar year was identified by the names of the two consuls, who entered office on May 1[citation needed] or March 15 until 153 BC, from when they entered office on January 1.

The liminal character of Janus is though present in the association to the Saturnalia of December, reflecting the strict relationship between the two gods Janus and Saturn and the rather blurred distinction of their stories and symbols.

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius and is exalted in Libra. Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio. Before the discovery of Uranus, Saturn was regarded as the ruling planet of Aquarius alongside Capricorn of course, which is the preceding sign. Many traditional types of astrologers prefer Saturn as the planetary ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius.

Aquarius 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 20 and February 18, while under the Sidereal Zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius from approximately February 15 to March 14, depending on leap year.

Isimud is featured in the legend of “Inanna and Enki” in which he is the one who greets Inanna upon her arrival to the E-Abzu temple in Eridu. He also is the one who informs Enki that the Mes have been stolen. In the myth, Isimud also serves as a messenger, telling Inanna to return the Mes to Enki or face the consequences. In the legend, Isimud plays a similar role to Ninshubur, Inanna’s sukkal or second-in-command.

Ninshubur was an important figure in ancient Sumerian mythology and she played an integral role in several myths involving her mistress, the goddess, Inanna. A goddess in her own right, her name can be translated as ‘Queen of the East’, and she was said to be a messenger and traveller for the other gods.

As Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, Ninshubur was said to be associated with Mercury, as Venus and Mercury appear together in the sky. Due to similarities between the two, some believe the later Hermes to have been based in part on Ninshubur.

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. Though described as an unmarried virgin, in a few accounts Ninshubur is said to be one of Inanna’s lovers. In later Akkadian mythology, Ninshubur was male. In “A Hymn to Nergal,” Ninshubur appears as the minister of the underworld.

Capricorn is said to be ruled by the planet Saturn. 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. In astrology, Capricorn is considered an earth sign, negative sign, and one of the four cardinal signs.

It 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. 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.

Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat, was associated with the eastern fish of the last of the zodiacal constellations, Pisces. Her consort Dumuzi, an annual life-death-rebirth deity in Sumerian religion, was associated with the contiguous first constellation, Aries.

Aries (meaning “ram”) is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°). Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this sign mostly between March 21 and April 20 each year. Under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits Aries from April 15 to May 14 (approximately).

The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram, which was held in Colchis.

The earliest identifiable reference to Aries as a distinct constellation comes from the boundary stones that date from 1350 to 1000 BC. On several boundary stones, a zodiacal ram figure is distinct from the other characters present.

The shift in identification from the constellation as the Agrarian Worker to the Ram likely occurred in later Babylonian tradition because of its growing association with Dumuzi the Shepherd.

By the time the MUL.APIN was created – by 1000 BC – modern Aries was identified with both Dumuzi’s ram and a hired laborer. The exact timing of this shift is difficult to determine due to the lack of images of Aries or other ram figures.

Pisces is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the Pisces constellation. It spans the 330° to 360° of the zodiac, between 332.75° and 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 19 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. According to some tropical astrologers, the current astrological age is the Age of Pisces, while others maintain that it is the Age of Aquarius.

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. Jupiter got the sky, Neptune got the sea, and Pluto got the shaft.

Neptune is the ruling planet of Pisces and is possibly exalted in Cancer. Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and Scorpio and is exalted in Capricorn. Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and Pisces, and it is exalted in Cancer. Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is possibly exalted in Leo.

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. Augustine regularly calls the Roman ruler of the underworld Pluto in De civitate Dei, where Pluto and Neptune are described as the brothers of Jove, in noting their three-way division of sovereignty over the earth and with Proserpina as Pluto’s spouse.

According to Dumézil (1898-1986), Proto-Indo-European society comprised three main groups corresponding to three distinct functions: Sovereignty, which fell into two distinct and complementary sub-parts: one formal, juridical and priestly but worldly; the other powerful, unpredictable, and also priestly but rooted in the supernatural world. military, connected with force, the military and war. productivity, herding, farming and crafts; ruled by the other two.

In the Proto-Indo-European mythology each social group had its own god or family of gods to represent it and the function of the god or gods matched the function of the group. Many such divisions occur in the history of Indo-European societies. Norse mythology: Odin (sovereignty), Týr (law and justice), the Vanir (fertility). Odin has been interpreted as a death-god and connected to cremations, and has also been associated with ecstatic practices.

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The mythological origin of Mercury

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 24, 2016

The earliest known recorded observations of Mercury are from the Mul.Apin tablets. These observations were most likely made by an Assyrian astronomer around the 14th century BC. The cuneiform name used to designate Mercury on the Mul.Apin tablets is transcribed as Udu.Idim.Gu\u.Ud (“the jumping planet”).

Babylonian records of Mercury date back to the 1st millennium BC. The Babylonians called the planet Nabu after the messenger to the gods in their mythology.i is a god in Sumerian mythology, 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.

The planet Mercury, associated with Babylonian Nabu (the son of Marduk), the patron god of scribes, wisdom and literature, was in Sumerian times, identified with Enki.

Nabu’s name itself means “to call” in Akkadian language, while later cognates in Aramaic language and Hebrew language have a sense of one who has been called, or one who can prophesy.

Nabu was known as Nisaba, the Sumerian goddess of writing, learning, and the harvest, gaining prominence among the Assyrians and Babylonians in the first millennium BC following his association with Marduk.

As with many Sumerian deities, Nisaba’s exact place in the pantheon and her heritage appears somewhat ambiguous. She is the daughter of An and Urash. In some other tales, she is considered the mother of Ninlil, and by extension, the mother-in-law of Enlil.

From Sumerian texts, the language used to describe Urash is very similar to the language used to describe Ninhursag. Therefore, the two goddess may be one and the same. Nisaba is the sister of Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh. If Urash and Ninhursag are the same goddess, then Nisaba is also the half sister of Nanshe and (in some versions) Ninurta.

She is the chief scribe of Nanshe, the daughter of Enki (god of wisdom, magic and fresh water) and Ninhursag (earth and mother goddess). Nanshe, is like her father heavily associated with water. Nanshe has two major symbols, both of which are also seen in Christian folklore. The fish represents her original role as a water and fishing goddess. The pelican, said in folklore to rip open its own chest to feed its young, represents her role as a protector and caregiver.

On the first day of the new year, she and Nanshe work together to settle disputes between mortals and give aid to those in need. Nisaba keeps a record of the visitors seeking aid and then arranges them into a line to stand before Nanshe, who will then judge them. Nisaba is also seen as a caretaker for Ninhursag’s temple at Kesh, where she gives commands and keeps temple records.

Nabu was worshipped in Babylon’s sister city Borsippa, where his statue was moved to Babylon each New Year so that he could pay his respects to his father. Nabu’s symbol was a stylus resting on a tablet. His wife was the Akkadian goddess Tashmet.

His cult later spread to Egypt and Anatolia due to Aramaic settlers.[citation needed] Nabu was also the keeper of the Tablets of Destiny, which recorded the fate of mankind.

He wore a horned cap, and stood with his hands clasped, in the ancient gesture of priesthood. He rode on a winged dragon known as Sirrush that originally belonged to his father Marduk.

In Babylonian astrology, Nabu was identified with the planet Mercury. In Hellenistic times, Nabu was identified with the Greek god Apollo. As the god of wisdom and writing, Nabu was linked by the Romans with Mercury, and by the Egyptians with Thoth. In the Bible, Nabu is mentioned as Nebo in Isaiah 46:1 and Jeremiah 48:1.

Ninshubur was the sukkal or second-in-command of the goddess Inanna in Sumerian mythology. A goddess in her own right, her name can be translated as ‘Queen of the East’, and she was said to be a messenger and traveller for the other gods.

As Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, Ninshubur was said to be associated with Mercury, as Venus and Mercury appear together in the sky. Due to similarities between the two, some believe the later Hermes to have been based in part on Ninshubur.

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.

Though described as an unmarried virgin, in a few accounts Ninshubur is said to be one of Inanna’s lovers. In later Akkadian mythology, Ninshubur was male. In “A Hymn to Nergal,” Ninshubur appears as the minister of the underworld.

Ninshubur was an important figure in ancient Sumerian mythology and she played an integral role in several myths involving her mistress, the goddess, Inanna.

In the Sumerian myth of “Inanna and Enki,” Ninshubur is described as the one who rescues Inanna from the monsters that Enki has sent after her. In this myth, Ninshubur plays a similar role to Isimud, who acts as Enki’s messenger to Inanna.

In the Sumerian myth of Inanna’s descent into the Netherworld, Ninshubur is described as the one who pleads with all of the gods in an effort to persuade them to rescue Inanna from the Netherworld.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria (Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) was a Proto-Armenian Hurrian-speaking kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in the Armenian Highland, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. The capital was called Ubbumu. 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).

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.

The land of Subartu (Akkadian Šubartum / Subartum / ina Šú-ba-ri, Assyrian mât Šubarri) or Subar (Sumerian Su-bir / Subar / Šubur) is mentioned in Bronze Age literature. The name also appears as Subari in the Amarna letters, and, in the form Šbr, in Ugarit.

Subartu was apparently a polity in Upper Mesopotamia, at the upper Tigris. Most scholars suggest that Subartu is an early name for Assyria proper on the Tigris and westward, although there are various other theories placing it sometimes a little farther to the east and/or north. Its precise location has not been identified.

From the point of view of the Akkadian Empire, Subartu marked the northern geographical horizon, just as Mar.tu, Elam and Sumer marked “west”, “east” and “south”, respectively.

The Great Zab or Upper Zab is an approximately 400-kilometre (250 mi) long river flowing through Turkey and Iraq. It rises in Turkey near Lake Van and joins the Tigris in Iraq south of Mosul.The Little Zab or Lower Zab originates in Iran and joins the Tigris in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The ancient Greeks knew the planet as Stilbon, meaning “the gleaming”, Hermaon and Hermes, a planetary name that is retained in modern Greek Ermis. The Romans named the planet after the swift-footed Roman messenger god, Mercury (Latin Mercurius), which they equated with the Greek Hermes, because it moves across the sky faster than any other planet. The astronomical symbol for Mercury is a stylized version of Hermes’ caduceus.

Mercury is a major Roman god, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages, communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he is also the guide of souls to the underworld.

In his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms; both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes: a caduceus, a petasos (often winged), and/or winged sandals. Etruscan artwork often depicts Turms in his role as psychopomp, conducting the soul into the afterlife. Bernard Combet-Farnoux interprets comments by Servius and Macrobius as indicating that “Hermes-Turms” had the epithet Camillus, meaning ‘servant’ (i.e. of the other deities).

He was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology. His name is possibly related to the Latin word merx (“merchandise”; compare merchant, commerce, etc.), mercari (to trade), and merces (wages); another possible connection is the Proto-Indo-European root merĝ- for “boundary, border” (cf. Old English “mearc”, Old Norse “mark” and Latin “margō”) and Greek Arctūrus, as the “keeper of boundaries,” referring to his role as bridge between the upper and lower worlds.

Arcturus, also designated Alpha Boötis (α Boötis, abbreviated Alpha Boo, α Boo) is a star in the constellation of Boötes. Together with Spica and Denebola (or Regulus, depending on the source), Arcturus is part of the Spring Triangle asterism and, by extension, also of the Great Diamond along with the star Cor Caroli.

In ancient Mesopotamia, it was linked to the god Enlil, and also known as Shudun, “yoke”, or SHU-PA of unknown derivation in the Three Stars Each Babylonian star catalogues and later MUL.APIN around 1100 BC. Romans associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan or Odin (from Old Norse Óðinn), by interpretatio Romana; 1st-century Roman writer Tacitus identifies him as the chief god of the Germanic peoples.

In Norse mythology, from which stems most of the information about the god, Odin is associated with healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and is the husband of the goddess Frigg.

In wider Germanic mythology and paganism, Odin was known in Old English as Wōden, in Old Saxon as Wōdan, and in Old High German as Wuotan or Wōtan, all stemming from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym wōđanaz.

Mercury is the ruling planet of Gemini and Virgo and is exalted in Virgo or Aquarius. The symbol of the maiden is based on Astraea. In Greek mythology, she was the last immortal to abandon Earth at the end of the Silver Age, when the gods fled to Olympus – hence the sign’s association with Earth.

The constellation Virgo has lots of different origins depending on which mythology is being studied. 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.

In the Egyptian myths, when the constellation Virgo was in the sun was when the start of the wheat harvest again thus connecting Virgo back to the wheat grain. She also has various connections with the India goddess Kanya, and even the Virgin Mary.

The consort of Mars was Nerio or Nerine, “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”).

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 peace.

In Greek mythology, Gemini was associated with the myth of Castor and Pollux, the children of Leda and Argonauts both. Pollux was the son of Zeus, who seduced Leda, while Castor was the son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta and Leda’s husband. Castor and Pollux were also mythologically associated with St. Elmo’s fire in their role as the protectors of sailors. When Castor died, because he was mortal, Pollux begged his father Zeus to give Castor immortality, and he did, by uniting them together in the heavens.

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.

O’Brien (1982) reconstructs a horse goddess with twin offspring, pointing to Gaulish Epona, Irish Macha (the twins reflected in Macha’s pair, Liath Macha and Dub Sainglend), Welsh Rhiannon, and Eddaic Freyja in the tale of the construction of the walls of Asgard, seeing a vestige of the birth of hippomorphic twins in Loki in the form of a mare (in place of Freyja) giving birth to eight-legged Sleipnir.

In his 8th century Ecclesiastical History, Bede records that the first chieftains among the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes in England were said to have been Hengist and Horsa. He relates that Horsa was killed in battle against the Britons and was thereafter buried in East Kent, where at the time of writing a monument still stood to him. According to Bede, Hengist and Horsa were the sons of Wictgils, son of Witta, son of Wecta, son of Woden.

The myths surrounding Hengest and Horsa could come from a common source, since they were descendants of Woden and Hengest’s name meant “stallion” (in German: Hengst) Shapiro (1982) points to Slavic Volos and Veles.

Hindu mythology used the name Budha for Mercury, and this god was thought to preside over Wednesday. In Hindu mythology, Budha is the god of Mercury (planet), mid-week Wednesday, and of Merchants and merchandise.

The god Odin (or Woden) of Germanic paganism was associated with the planet Mercury and Wednesday. The name is derived from Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wednesdei, “day of Woden”, ultimately a calque of dies Mercurii “day of Mercury”.

In Chinese astrology, Mercury represents Water, the fourth element, therefore symbolizing communication, intelligence, and elegance.

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New Year celebration – when?

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 23, 2016

Bilderesultat for astrological signs

Winter solstice

Summer solstice

March equinox

From Aries to Pisces and then to Aquarius (Spring Equinox)

From Aquarius to Capricorn and then to Sagittarius (Winter Solstice)

Anu – Nergal (Tyr) – Mars – Libra / Tammuzi (Balder) – Dionysus – Aries 

Enlil (North) (Njord) – Cancer / Enki (South) (Odin) – Saturn – Capricorn

Anu (in Akkadian; Sumerian: An, from 𒀭An “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 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. 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.

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 and Dumuzi. Enmesarra, 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.

Cancer – the Moon

Cancer is the fourth astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Cancer. It spans the 90-120th degree of the zodiac, between 90 and 120 degrees of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between June 22 and July 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the Sun transits this area between approximately July 15 and August 15.

Along with Scorpio and Pisces, Cancer forms the Water Trigon. The Water Trigon is one of four elemental trigons, fire, earth, air, and water. When a trigon is influential, it affects changes on earth. Cancer is said to be the house of Neptune and the exaltation of Jupiter, both astronomical bodies having influence over those born under Cancer. In Vedic astrology the sign has name Karka and its Lord is Moon.

The sign of Cancer is said to be associated with the characteristics: water, phlegmatic, cardinal, northern, nocturnal, tenacious, intuitive, and fruitful. Cancer is a northern sign and its opposite southern sign is Capricorn. Places that Cancer is associated with are the sea, rivers, brooks, wells, wash-houses, marsh grounds, and trenches.

The symbol of the crab is based on the Karkinos, a giant crab that harassed Heracles during his fight with the Hydra. The story of Cancer the Crab is said to be connected to Hercules. Some storytellers say that during Hercules’ fight with Lernaean Hydra, Hera, sent a crab to snap at Hercules’ toes because Hera had sworn to kill Hercules. Hercules was able to kill the crab by smashing its shell with his foot. As a reward for its efforts serving her, Hera placed the crab in the sky and it became Cancer.

The Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. Nanna (Sumerian: DŠEŠ.KI, DNANNA) or Sin (Akkadian: Su’en, Sîn) was the god of the moon in the Mesopotamian mythology of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia. Nanna is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin. The two chief seats of Nanna’s/Sin’s worship were Ur in the south of Mesopotamia and Harran in the north.

He is commonly designated as En-zu, which means “lord of wisdom”. The “wisdom” personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of the science of astronomy or the practice of astrology, in which the observation of the moon’s phases is an important factor. In the astral-theological system he is represented by the number 30 and the moon. This number probably refers to the average number of days (correctly around 29.53) in a lunar month, as measured between successive new moons.

During the period (c.2600-2400 BC) that Ur exercised a large measure of supremacy over the Euphrates valley, Sin was naturally regarded as the head of the pantheon. It is to this period that we must trace such designations of Sin as “father of the gods”, “chief of the gods”, “creator of all things”, and the like.

His wife was Ningal (“Great Lady”), who bore him Utu/Shamash (“Sun”) and Inanna/Ishtar (the goddess of the planet Venus). The tendency to centralize the powers of the universe leads to the establishment of the doctrine of a triad consisting of Sin/Nanna and his children.

Sin had a beard made of lapis lazuli and rode on a winged bull. The bull was one of his symbols, through his father, Enlil, “Bull of Heaven”, along with the crescent and the tripod (which may be a lamp-stand). On cylinder seals, he is represented as an old man with a flowing beard and the crescent symbol.

An important Sumerian text (“Enlil and Ninlil”) tells of the descent of Enlil and Ninlil, pregnant with Nanna/Sin, into the underworld. There, three “substitutions” are given to allow the ascent of Nanna/Sin. The story shows some similarities to the text known as “The Descent of Inanna”.

In Roman mythology, the Moon was Luna, at times identified with Diana. The Moon is large enough for its gravity to affect the Earth, stabilizing its orbit and producing the regular ebb and flow of the tides. The lunar day syncs up with its orbit around Earth in such a manner that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth and the other side, known as the “far side of the Moon” faces towards space.

The Moon or Luna is associated with Monday, the word Monday comes from the Old English word for Moon day or Moon’s day, and in Romance languages, the name for Monday comes from luna (e.g., luni in Romanian, lundi in French, lunes in Spanish and lunedi in Italian). Dante Alighieri associated the Moon with the liberal art of grammar.

In Chinese astrology, the Moon represents Yin, the passive and receptive feminine life principle. In Indian astrology, the Moon is called Chandra or Soma and represents the mind, queenship and mother. The north lunar node (called Rahu) and the south lunar node (called Ketu) are considered to be of particular importance and are given an equal place alongside the seven classical planets as part of the nine navagraha.

Saturn

The figure of Saturn is one of the most complex in Roman religion. G. Dumézil refrained from discussing Saturn in his work on Roman religion on the grounds of our insufficient knowledge. On the contrary, his follower Dominique Briquel has attempted a thorough interpretation of Saturn utilising Dumézil’s three-functional theory of Indoeuropean religion, taking the ancient testimonies and the works of A. Brelich and G. Piccaluga as his basis.

The main difficulty scholars find in studying Saturn is in assessing what is original of his figure and what is due to later hellenising influences. Moreover, some features of the god may be common to Cronus but are nonetheless very ancient and can be considered proper to the Roman god, whereas others are certainly later and arrived after 217 BC, the year in which the Greek customs of the Kronia were introduced into the Saturnalia.

Among the features which are definitely authentic of the Roman god, Briquel identifies: the time of his festival in the calendar, which corresponds to the date of the consecration of his temple (the Greek Cronia on the other hand took place in June–July); his association with Lua Mater, and the location of his cult on the Capitol, which goes back to remote times.

These three elements in Briquel’s view indicate that Saturn is a sovereign god. The god’s strict relationship with the cults of the Capitoline Hill and in particular with Jupiter are highlighted by the legends concerning the refusal of gods Iuventas and Terminus to leave their abode in the shrines on the Capitol when the temple of Jupiter was to be built. These two deities correspond to the helper gods of the sovereign in Vedic religion (Briquel refers to Dhritarashtra and Vidura, the figures of the Mahabharata) and to the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires in Hesiod.

Whereas the helper gods belong to the second divine generation they become active only at the level of the third in each of the three instances of India, Greece and Rome, where they become a sort of continuation of Jupiter.

Dumézil postulated a split of the figure of the sovereign god in Indoeuropean religion, which is embodied by Vedic gods Varuna and Mitra. Of the two, the first one shows the aspect of the magic, uncanny, awe inspiring power of creation and destruction, while the second shows the reassuring aspect of guarantor of the legal order in organised social life. Whereas in Jupiter these double features have coalesced, Briquel sees Saturn as showing the characters of a sovereign god of the Varunian type.

His nature becomes evident in his mastership over the annual time of crisis around the winter solstice, epitomised in the power of subverting normal codified social order and its rules, which is apparent in the festival of the Saturnalia, in the mastership of annual fertility and renewal, in the power of annihilation present in his paredra Lua, in the fact that he is the god of a timeless era of plenty and bounty before time, which he reinstates at the time of the yearly crisis of the winter solstice.

Also, in Roman and Etruscan reckoning Saturn is a wielder of lightning; no other agricultural god (in the sense of specialized human activity) is one. Hence the mastership he has on agriculture and wealth cannot be that of a god of the third function, i.e. of production, wealth, and pleasure, but it stems from his magical lordship over creation and destruction.

Although these features are to be found in Greek god Cronus as well, it appears that those features were proper to Roman Saturn’s most ancient aspects, such as his presence on the Capitol and his association with Jupiter, who in the stories of the arrival of the Pelasgians in the land of the Sicels and that of the Argei orders human sacrifices to him.

Sacrifices to Saturn were performed according to “Greek rite” (ritus graecus), with the head uncovered, in contrast to those of other major Roman deities, which were performed capite velato, “with the head covered.” Saturn himself, however, was represented as veiled (involutus), as for example in a wall painting from Pompeii that shows him holding a sickle and covered with a white veil. This feature is in complete accord with the character of a sovereign god of the Varunian type and is common with German god Odin.

Briquel remarks Servius had already seen that the choice of the Greek rite was due to the fact that the god himself is imagined and represented as veiled, thence his sacrifice cannot be carried out by a veiled man: this is an instance of the reversal of the current order of things typical of the nature of the deity as appears in its festival. Plutarch writes his figure is veiled because he is the father of truth.

Pliny notes that the cult statue of Saturn was filled with oil; the exact meaning of this is unclear. Its feet were bound with wool, which was removed only during the Saturnalia. The fact that the statue was filled with oil and the feet were bound with wool may relate back to the myth of “The Castration of Uranus”. In this myth Rhea gives Cronus a rock to eat in Zeus’ stead thus tricking Cronus. Although mastership of knots is a feature of Greek origin it is also typical of the Varunian sovereign figure, as apparent e.g. in Odin.

Once Zeus was victorious over Cronus, he sets this stone up at Delphi and constantly it is anointed with oil and strands of unwoven wool are placed on it. It wore a red cloak, and was brought out of the temple to take part in ritual processions and lectisternia, banquets at which images of the gods were arranged as guests on couches. All these ceremonial details identify a sovereign figure. Briquel concludes that Saturn was a sovereign god of a time that the Romans perceived as no longer actual, that of the legendary origins of the world, before civilization.

Little evidence exists in Italy for the cult of Saturn outside Rome, but his name resembles that of the Etruscan god Satres. The potential cruelty of Saturn was enhanced by his identification with Cronus, known for devouring his own children. He was thus used in translation when referring to gods from other cultures the Romans perceived as severe; he was equated with the Carthaginian god Ba’al Hammon, to whom children were sacrificed, and to Yahweh, whose Sabbath was first referred to as Saturni dies, “Saturn’s day,” in a poem by Tibullus, who wrote during the reign of Augustus; eventually this gave rise to the word “Saturday” in English.

The identification with Ba’al Hammon later gave rise to the African Saturn, a cult that enjoyed great popularity until the 4th century. It had a popular but also a mysteric character and required child sacrifices. It is also considered as inclining to monotheism. In the ceremony of initiation the myste intrat sub iugum, ritual that Leglay compares to the Roman tigillum sororium.

Even though their origin and theology are completely different the Italic and the African god are both sovereign and master over time and death, fact that has permitted their encounter. Moreover, here Saturn is not the real Italic god but his Greek counterpart Cronus.

Saturn had two consorts who represented different aspects of the god. The name of his wife Ops, the Roman equivalent of Greek Rhea, means “wealth, abundance, resources.” The association with Ops though is considered a later development, as this goddess was originally paired with Consus, the protector of grains.

Earlier was Saturn’s association with Lua (“destruction, dissolution, loosening”), a goddess who received the bloodied weapons of enemies destroyed in war. H.S. Versnel, however, proposed that Lua, sometimes called Lua Saturni (“Saturn’s Lua”), should not be identified with Lua Mater, but rather refers to “loosening”; she thus represents the liberating function of Saturn.

The Opiconsivia (or Opeconsiva or Opalia) was an ancient Roman religious festival held August 25 in honor of Ops (“Plenty”), also known as Opis, a goddess of agricultural resources and wealth. The festival marked the end of harvest, with a mirror festival on December 19 concerned with the storage of the grain.

The Latin word consivia (or consiva) derives from conserere (“to sow”). Opis was deemed a chthonic (underworld, inside the earth) goddess who made the vegetation grow. Since her abode was inside the earth, Ops was invoked by her worshipers while sitting, with their hands touching the ground, according to Macrobius (Saturnalia, I:10). Consus seems to be an alternate name of Saturn in the chthonic aspect as consort, since he is also held to be the husband of Ops.

Although Ops is a consort of Saturn, she was also closely associated with Consus, the protector of grains and subterranean storage bins (silos). The festival of Consus, the Consualia, was celebrated twice a year, each time preceding that of Ops: once on August 21, after the harvest, and once on December 15, after the sowing of crops was finished.

In ancient Roman religion, the god Consus was the protector of grains. He was represented by a grain seed. 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.

Consus is perhaps to be identified with “Equestrian Neptune” (Neptunus Equestris). Mule or horse races were the main event of the festival. During the festival horses and mules were garlanded with flowers, and given a rest from work. This fact is ascribed by Capdeville to the fact that Poseidon was the successor of the unknown god of the Arcadian Hippocrateia mentioned by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who himself was perhaps the successor of a horse god. A close connection of Consus with the two Pales and of both with the horse looks apparent.

The festivals of Ops (Opiconsivia or Opalia) followed his closely, being held every August 25 and December 19, at the time of reaping and the seeding of crops.

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius and is exalted in Libra. Saturn takes 29.5 years to orbit the Sun, spending about 2.46 years in each sign of the zodiac. 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 Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture, leader of the titans, founder of civilizations, social order, and conformity. The famous rings of the planet Saturn that enclose and surround it, reflect the idea of human limitations.

Astrologically speaking, Saturn is associated with focus, precision, nobility, ethics, civility, lofty goals, purpose, career, great achievements, dedication, authority figures, ordered hierarchy, stability, virtues, productiveness, valuable hard lessons learned, destiny, conforming social structures, balance, and karma (reaping what you have sowed or divine cosmic justice) but also with limitations, restrictions, boundaries, anxiety, tests, practicality, reality, and time. It concerns a person’s sense of duty, discipline, responsibility, including their physical and emotional endurance during hardships.

Saturn is also considered to represent the part of a person concerned with long-term planning or foresight. The Return of Saturn is said to mark significant events in each person’s life. According to the 1st-century poet Manilius, Saturn is sad, morose, and cold, and is the greater malefic. According to Claudius Ptolemy, “Saturn is lord of the right ear, the spleen, the bladder, the phlegm, and the bones.” Saturn symbolized processes and things that were dry and cold, which are necessary balancing aspects to maintain life. It governed the melancholic humor.

According to Sefer Yetzirah – GRA Version – Kaplan 4:13: “He made the letter Resh king over Peace And He bound a crown to it And He combined one with another And with them He formed Saturn in the Universe Friday in the Year The left nostril in the Soul, male and female.”

Before the discovery of Uranus, Saturn was regarded as the ruling planet of Aquarius alongside Capricorn of course, which is the preceding sign. Many traditional types of astrologers prefer Saturn as the planetary ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius. In modern astrology, it is the primary native ruler of the tenth house. Traditionally however, Saturn ruled both the first and eighth houses.

Saturn is associated with Saturday, which was named after the deity Saturn. Dante Alighieri associated Saturn with the liberal art of astronomia (astronomy and astrology).

In Chinese astrology, Saturn is ruled by the element earth, which is warm, generous, and co-operative. In Indian astrology, Saturn is called Shani or “Sani”, representing a noteworthy career and longevity. He is also the bringer of obstacles and hardship.

In Norse mythology, Njörðr is a god among the Vanir. Njörðr, father of the deities Freyr and Freyja by his unnamed sister, was in an ill-fated marriage with the goddess Skaði, lives in Nóatún and is associated with sea, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth, and crop fertility. In Old Icelandic translations of Classical mythology the Roman god Saturn’s name is glossed as “Njörðr.”

In Germanic paganism, Nerthus is a goddess associated with fertility. The name Nerthus is generally held to be a Latinized form of Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz, a direct precursor to the Old Norse deity name Njörðr. While developments in historical linguistics ultimately allowed for the identification of Nerthus with Njörðr, various other readings of the name were in currency prior to the acceptance of this identification, most commonly the form Hertha. This form was proposed as an attempt to mirror the Old Norse goddess name Jörð ‘earth’.

In Norse mythology, Njörun (Old Norse Njǫrun, sometimes modernly anglicized as Niorun) is a goddess attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and various kennings (including once in the Poetic Edda). Scholarly theories concerning her name and function in the pantheon include etymological connections to the Norse god Njörðr and the Roman goddess Nerio, and suggestions that she may represent the earth and/or be the unnamed sister-wife of Njörðr.

Several scholars have suggested that the stem syllable in her name, Njǫr-, may represent the element *ner- as in Tacitus’ earth-goddess Nerthus (*Ner-þuz), whose name is etymologically identical with that of the Norse god Njǫrðr, and that Njörun may therefore be a name for the earth.

First Point of Aries 

The First Point 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 First Point of Aries (also known as the Cusp 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. However, due to Earth’s axial precession, this point gradually moves westwards at a rate of about one degree every 72 years.

This means that, since the time of Hipparchus, it has shifted across the sky by about 30°, and is currently located within Pisces, near its border with Aquarius. The Sun now appears in Aries from late April through mid May, though the constellation is still associated with the beginning of spring. Currently, the closest major star to the First Point of Aries is λ Piscium, located at (23h 42m 03s, 01° 46′ 48″).

The Cusp of Aries is important to the fields of astronomy, nautical navigation and astrology. Navigational ephemeris tables record the geographic position of the First Point of Aries as the reference for position of navigational stars.

Due to the slow precession of the equinoxes, the Zenith view (above a location) of constellations at a time of year from a given location have slowly walked West (by using solar epochs the drift is known).

The tropical zodiac is identically affected and no longer correspond with the constellations (the Cusp of Libra today is located within Virgo), and is the basis for the concept of astrological ages. In sidereal astrology, by contrast, the first point of Aries remains aligned with the Aries constellation.

Winter Solstice

Capricornus is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for “horned goat” or “goat horn” or “having horns like a goat’s”, and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature that is half goat, half fish. Its symbol is Capricorn.

Capricornus is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. Under its modern boundaries it is bordered by Aquila, Sagittarius, Microscopium, Piscis Austrinus, and Aquarius. The constellation is located in an area of sky called the Sea or the Water, consisting of many water-related constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus. It is the smallest constellation in the zodiac.

Despite its faintness, Capricornus has one of the oldest mythological associations, having been consistently represented as a hybrid of a goat and a fish since the Middle Bronze Age. First attested in depictions on a cylinder-seal from around the 21st century BC, it was explicitly recorded in the Babylonian star catalogues as MULSUḪUR.MAŠ “The Goat-Fish” before 1000 BC. The constellation was a symbol of the god Ea and in the Early Bronze Age marked the winter solstice.

Due to the precession of the equinoxes the December solstice no longer takes place while the sun is in the constellation Capricornus, as it did until 130 BCE, but the astrological sign called Capricorn begins with the solstice. The solstice now takes place when the Sun is in the constellation (not the sign) of Sagittarius.

The sun’s most southerly position, which is attained at the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice, is now called the Tropic of Capricorn, a term which also applies to the line on the Earth at which the sun is directly overhead at noon on that solstice. The Sun is now in Capricorn from late January through mid-February.

In Greek mythology, the constellation is sometimes identified as Amalthea, the goat that suckled the infant Zeus after his mother, Rhea, saved him from being devoured by his father, Cronos. The goat’s broken horn was transformed into the cornucopia or horn of plenty. Capricornus is also sometimes identified as Pan, the god with a goat’s head, who saved himself from the monster Typhon by giving himself a fish’s tail and diving into a river.

Capricorn and Aries

Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and Scorpio and is exalted in Capricorn. Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is possibly exalted in Leo. The detriment to Aries is Libra.

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius and is exalted in Libra. Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio. The detriment to Capricorn is Cancer.

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.

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. Individuals born between December 21 to January 19 may be called Capricornian.

In astrology, Capricorn is considered an earth sign, negative sign, and one of the four cardinal signs. Capricorn is said to be ruled by the planet Saturn. 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.

Aries (meaning “ram”) is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°). Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this sign mostly between March 21 and April 20 each year. Under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits Aries from April 15 to May 14.

The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram, which was held in Colchis. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

According to the tropical system of astrology, the Sun enters the sign of Aries when it reaches the northern vernal equinox, which occurs around March 21. Hamal, alternatively designated Alpha Arietis (α Arietis, abbreviated Alpha Ari, α Ari), is the brightest star in the northern zodiacal constellation of Aries.

The traditional name Hamal (also written Hemal, Hamul, Ras Hammel) derives from the Arabic rās al-ħamal “head of the ram”, in turn from the name for the constellation as a whole, Al Ħamal “the ram”.

January and March

January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first month to have the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year’s Day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa.

January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after the Latin word for door (ianua), since January is the door to the year. The month is conventionally thought of as being named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology, but according to ancient Roman farmers’ almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.

Juno is an ancient Roman goddess, the protector and special counselor of the state. She is a daughter of Saturn and sister (but also the wife) of the chief god Jupiter and the mother of Mars and Vulcan. Juno also looked after the women of Rome.

Her Greek equivalent was Hera. Her Etruscan counterpart was Uni. As the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire, Juno was called Regina (“Queen”) and, together with Jupiter and Minerva, was worshipped as a triad on the Capitol (Juno Capitolina) in Rome.

Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months totaling 304 days, winter being considered a month-less period. Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, so that the calendar covered a standard lunar year (354 days).

Although March was originally the first month in the old Roman calendar, January became the first month of the calendar year either under Numa or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers differ). In contrast, each specific calendar year was identified by the names of the two consuls, who entered office on May 1[citation needed] or March 15 until 153 BC, from when they entered office on January 1.

Various Christian feast dates were used for the New Year in Europe during the Middle Ages, including March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) and December 25. However, medieval calendars were still displayed in the Roman fashion with twelve columns from January to December.

Beginning in the 16th century, European countries began officially making January 1 the start of the New Year once again—sometimes called Circumcision Style because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, being the seventh day after December 25.

Contradictions of the ancient Roman calendar on the beginning of the new year: originally March was the first month and February the last one. January, the month of Janus, became the first afterwards and through several manipulations.

Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox – Mythology

Many modern Christmas customs have been directly influenced by such festivals, including gift-giving and merrymaking from the Roman Saturnalia, greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year, and Yule logs and various foods from Germanic feasts.

Macrobius (5th century AD) presents an interpretation of the Saturnalia as a festival of light leading to the winter solstice. The renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the later Roman Empire at the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus, the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun,” on December 25.

Saint Nicholas (15 March 270 – 6 December 343), also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey).

Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.

Saturn is a god in ancient Roman religion, and a character in myth. 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. 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.

The winter solstice (or hibernal solstice), also known as midwinter, is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the December solstice and in the Southern Hemisphere this is the June solstice.

Elagabalus or Heliogabalus was initially venerated at Emesa in Syria. The name is the Latinised form of the Semitic Ilāh hag-Gabal, which derives from Ilāh “god” and gabal “mountain”, resulting in “the God of the Mountain”, the Emesene manifestation of the deity.

The cult statue was brought to Rome by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who, before his accession, was the hereditary high priest at Emesa and was commonly called Elagabalus after the deity. After the Emperor was killed in 222, his religious edicts were reversed and the cult of Elagabalus returned to Emesa.

A temple called the Elagabalium was built on the east face of the Palatine Hill, to house the holy stone of the Emesa temple, a black conical meteorite. Herodian writes of that stone: This stone is worshipped as though it were sent from heaven; on it there are some small projecting pieces and markings that are pointed out, which the people would like to believe are a rough picture of the sun, because this is how they see them.

Baetylus (also Bethel, or Betyl, from Semitic bet el “house of god”) is a word denoting sacred stones that were supposedly endowed with life. According to ancient sources, these objects of worship were meteorites, which were dedicated to the gods or revered as symbols of the gods themselves. A baetyl is also mentioned in the Bible at Bethel in the Book of Genesis in the story of Jacob’s Ladder. Among monotheists, a similar practice survives today with Islam’s Black Stone.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the term was specially applied to the Omphalos, the stone supposed to have been swallowed by Cronus (who feared misfortune from his own children) in mistake for his infant son Zeus, for whom it had been substituted by Gaea. This stone was carefully preserved at Delphi, anointed with oil every day and on festive occasions covered with raw wool.

Ekur is a Sumerian term meaning “mountain house”. It is the assembly of the gods in the Garden of the gods, parallel in Greek mythology to Mount Olympus and was the most revered and sacred building of ancient Sumer. This was carried-on into later tradition in the Bible by the prophet Micah who envisions “the mountain of the temple of Yahweh”.

In mythology, the Ekur was the centre of the earth and location where heaven and earth were united. It is also known as Duranki and one of its structures is known as the Kiur (“great place”). Enamtila, a Sumerian term meaning “house of life” or possibly “house of creation”, has also been suggested by Piotr Michalowski to be a part of the Ekur.

The Ekur was seen as a place of judgement and the place from which Enlil’s divine laws are issued. The ethics and moral values of the site are extolled in myths, which Samuel Noah Kramer suggested would have made it the most ethically-oriented in the entire ancient Near East. Its rituals are also described as: “banquets and feasts are celebrated from sunrise to sunset” with “festivals, overflowing with milk and cream, are alluring of plan and full of rejoicing”.

Enlil (EN = Lord + LÍL = Wind, “Lord (of the) Storm”) is the god of breath, wind, loft and breadth (height and distance). It was the name of a chief deity listed and written about in Mesopotamian religion. He was known as the inventor of the mattock (a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax or digging tool of the Sumerians) and helped plants to grow.

As Enlil was the only god who could reach An, the god of heaven, he held sway over the other gods who were assigned tasks by his agent and would travel to Nippur to draw in his power. He is thus seen as the model for kingship. Enlil was assimilated to the north “Pole of the Ecliptic”. His sacred number name was 50. Among the titles accorded to him are “king of lands”, “king of heaven and earth”, and “father of the gods”.

An omphalos is a religious stone artifact, or baetylus. In Greek, the word omphalos means “navel”. In Greek lore, Zeus sent two eagles across the world to meet at its center, the “navel” of the world. Omphalos stones marking the centre were erected in several places about the Mediterranean Sea. In the ancient world of the Mediterranean, it was a powerful religious symbol.

The omphalos was not only an object of Hellenic religious symbolism and world centrality; it was also considered an object of power. Its symbolic references included the uterus, the phallus, and a cup of red wine representing royal blood lines. Omphalos stones were believed to allow direct communication with the gods.

The omphalos at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, represents, in Christian mediaeval tradition, the navel of the world (the spiritual and cosmological centre of the world). Jewish tradition held that God revealed himself to His people through the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple in Jerusalem, which rested on the Foundation stone marking the centre of the world.

Sol Invictus (“The Unconquered Sun”) was originally a Syrian god who was later adopted as the chief god of the Roman Empire under Emperor Aurelian in 274 AD. He became the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers.

Scholars disagree about whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine I. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to AD 387, and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.

His holiday is traditionally celebrated on December 25, as are several gods associated with the winter solstice in many pagan traditions. Sol Invictus played a prominent role in the Mithraic mysteries, and was equated with Mithra, the Zoroastrian angelic divinity (yazata) of covenant and oath, who in addition to being the divinity of contracts, also is a judicial figure, an all-seeing protector of truth, and the guardian of Cattle, the harvest and the waters.

Mitra is the reconstructed Proto-Indo-Iranian name of an Indo-Iranian divinity from which the names and some characteristics of Rigvedic Mitrá and Avestan Mithra derive. 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. There Mitra appears 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.

The Christian ecclesiastical calendar contains many remnants of pre-Christian festivals. Although the dating as December 25 predates pagan influence, the later development of Christmas as a festival includes elements of the Roman feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra as described in the Roman cult of Mithraism.

Isis (original Egyptian pronunciation more likely “Aset” or “Iset”) is a goddess from the polytheistic pantheon of Egypt. The name Isis means “Throne”. She was first worshiped in ancient Egyptian religion, and later her worship spread throughout the Roman Empire and the greater Greco-Roman world.

The cult of Isis was part of the syncretic tendencies of religion in the Greco-Roman world of late antiquity. The names Isidoros and Isidora in Greek mean “gift of Isis” (similar to “Theodoros”, “God’s gift”).

Her names include manifestations of the goddess as Ceres, “the original nurturing parent”; Heavenly Venus (Venus Caelestis); the “sister of Phoebus”, that is, Diana or Artemis as she is worshipped at Ephesus; or Proserpina (Greek Persephone) as the triple goddess of the underworld.

From the middle Imperial period, the title Caelestis, “Heavenly” or “Celestial”, is attached to several goddesses embodying aspects of a single, supreme Heavenly Goddess. The Dea Caelestis was identified with the constellation Virgo (the Virgin), who holds the divine balance of justice.

Hathor (Egyptian: ḥwt-ḥr; meaning “mansion of Horus”) is an Ancient Egyptian goddess who personified the principles of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt. Hathor may be the cow goddess who is depicted from an early date on the Narmer Palette and on a stone urn dating from the 1st dynasty that suggests a role as sky-goddess and a relationship to Horus who, as a sun god, is “housed” in her.

Hathor was worshipped by royalty and common people alike. In tomb paintings, she is often depicted as “Mistress of the West,” welcoming the dead into the next life. In other roles, she was a goddess of music, dance, foreign lands, and fertility. She was believed to assist women in childbirth. She was also believed to be the patron goddess of miners. She is commonly depicted as a cow goddess with horns in which is set a sun disk with Uraeus. Twin feathers are also sometimes shown in later periods as well as a menat necklace.

The Ancient Egyptians viewed reality as multi-layered in which deities who merge for various reasons, while retaining divergent attributes and myths, were not seen as contradictory but complementary. The cult of Osiris promised eternal life to those deemed morally worthy. Originally the justified dead, male or female, became an Osiris but by early Roman times females became identified with Hathor and men with Osiris.

The Ancient Greeks sometimes identified Hathor with the goddess Aphrodite. One of the most important goddesses of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is the personification of dawn as a beautiful young woman. Her name is reconstructed as Hausōs (PIE *hewsṓs- or *hausōs-, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

Derivatives of *hewsṓs in the historical mythologies of Indo-European peoples include Indian Uṣas, Greek Ēōs, Latin Aurōra, and Baltic Aušra (“dawn”, c.f. Lithuanian Aušrinė). Germanic *Austrōn- is from an extended stem *hews-tro-.

The name *hewsṓs is derived from a root *hwes / *au̯es “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *awso-. The name for “spring season”, *wes-r- is also from the same root.

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *h₂ewsṓs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wenos- (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir. The name indicates that the goddess was imagined as a beautiful nubile woman, who also had aspects of a love goddess.

The love goddess aspect was separated from the personification of dawn in a number of traditions, including Roman Venus vs. Aurora, and Greek Aphrodite vs. Eos. The name of Aphrodite may still preserve her role as a dawn goddess, etymologized as “she who shines from the foam [ocean]” (from aphros “foam” and deato “to shine”).

J.P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams (1997) have also proposed an etymology based on the connection with the Indo-European dawn goddess, from *abhor- “very” and *dhei “to shine”. Other epithets include Ἠριγόνη Erigone “early-born” in Greek.

The Italic goddess Mater Matuta “Mother Morning” has been connected to Aurora by Roman authors (Lucretius, Priscianus). Her festival, the Matralia, fell on 11 June, beginning at dawn.

The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god (reflected in the Rigveda as Indra, in Greek mythology as Dionysus and Cronus).

The abduction and imprisonment of the dawn goddess, and her liberation by a heroic god slaying the dragon who imprisons her, is a central myth of Indo-European religion, reflected in numerous traditions. Most notably, it is the central myth of the Rigveda, a collection of hymns surrounding the Soma rituals dedicated to Indra in the new year celebrations of the early Indo-Aryans.

In a complicated relationship Hathor is at times the mother, daughter and wife of Ra and, like Isis, is at times described as the mother of Horus, and associated with Bast.

The Egyptian deity Horus, son to goddess Isis, was celebrated at the winter solstice. Horus served many functions, most notably being a god of the sky, war and hunting. Macrobius’ Chronicon noted the annual ancient Egyptian celebration of Horus, specifying the time as the winter solstice.

The most commonly encountered family relationship describes Horus as the son of Isis and Osiris, and he plays a key role in the Osiris myth as Osiris’s heir and the rival to Set, the murderer of Osiris. In another tradition Hathor is regarded as his mother and sometimes as his wife.

Osiris’s death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals. The worship of Isis eventually spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era. The popular motif of Isis suckling her son Horus, however, lived on in a Christianized context as the popular image of Mary suckling her infant son Jesus from the fifth century onward..

The sacred image of Isis with the Horus Child in Rome often became a model for the Christian Mary carrying her child Jesus and many of the epithets of the Egyptian Mother of God came to be used for her.

Týr is a Germanic god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. Corresponding names in other Germanic languages are Gothic Teiws, Old English Tīw and Old High German Ziu and Cyo, all from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz. The Latinised name is rendered as Tius or Tio and also formally as Mars Thincsus.

In the late Icelandic Eddas, Týr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda). However, 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.

The origins of his name and his possible relationship to Tuisto suggest he was once considered the father of the gods and head of the pantheon since his name is ultimately cognate to that of *Dyeus (cf. Dyaus), the reconstructed chief deity in Indo-European religion.

Týr is a god of war and will take mead, meat and blood for sacrifice. If a warrior carved the rune Tîwaz on his weapon he would be dedicating it to Týr and strengthen the outcome of a battle to be in his favor. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is in fact “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

There is sketchy evidence of a consort, in German named Zisa: Tacitus mentions one Germanic tribe who worshipped “Isis”, and Jacob Grimm pointed to Cisa/Zisa, the patroness of Augsburg, in this connection. The name Zisa could be derived from Ziu etymologically. This Zisa would be the female consort of Ziu, as Dione was of Zeus.

Enki (Sumerian: EN.KI(G)) is a god in Sumerian mythology, later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). 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.”

A large number of myths about Enki have been collected from many sites, stretching from Southern Iraq to the Levantine coast. He figures 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”.

The main temple to Enki is 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. He was the keeper of the divine powers called Me, the gifts of civilization. His image is a double-helix snake, or the Caduceus. He is often shown with the horned crown of divinity dressed in the skin of a carp.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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'”. This may be a reference to Enki’s hieros gamos or sacred marriage with Ki/Ninhursag (the Earth).

Her symbol, resembling the Greek letter omega Ω, has been depicted in art from around 3000 BC, though 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. Hathor is at times depicted on a mountain, so it may be that the two goddesses are connected.

His symbols included a goat and a fish, which later combined into a single beast, the goat Capricorn, recognised as the Zodiacal constellation Capricornus. He was also associated with the planet Mercury in the Sumerian astrological system.

He was accompanied by an attendant Isimud (also Isinu; Usmû; Usumu (Akkadian)) is a minor god, the messenger of the god, Enki, in Sumerian mythology. In ancient Sumerian artwork, Isimud is easily identifiable due to the fact that he is always depicted with two faces facing in opposite directions in a way that is similar to the ancient Roman god, Janus.

The liminal character of Janus is though present in the association to the Saturnalia of December, reflecting the strict relationship between the two gods Janus and Saturn and the rather blurred distinction of their stories and symbols.

The initial role of Janus in the political-religious operations of January: the nuncupatio votorum spanning the year, the imperial symbol of the boat in the opening rite of the sailing season, the vota felicia: Janus and his myths allow for an ancient interpretation of the vota felicia, different from the Isiadic one.

Later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology, Enki was the god of intelligence (gestú, literally “ear”), creation, crafts; magic; water, seawater and lakewater (a, aba, ab).

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 the description of the Babylonian zodiac given in the clay tablets known as the MUL.APIN, the constellation now known as Aries was the final station along the ecliptic. The MUL.APIN was a comprehensive table of the risings and settings of stars, which likely served as an agricultural calendar. Modern-day Aries was known as MULLÚ.ḪUN.GÁ, “The Agrarian Worker” or “The Hired Man”.

Although likely compiled in the 12th or 11th century BC, the MUL.APIN reflects a tradition which marks the Pleiades as the vernal equinox, which was the case with some precision at the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age.

The earliest identifiable reference to Aries as a distinct constellation comes from the boundary stones that date from 1350 to 1000 BC. On several boundary stones, a zodiacal ram figure is distinct from the other characters present.

The shift in identification from the constellation as the Agrarian Worker to the Ram likely occurred in later Babylonian tradition because of its growing association with Dumuzi the Shepherd.

By the time the MUL.APIN was created—by 1000 BC—modern Aries was identified with both Dumuzi’s ram and a hired laborer. The exact timing of this shift is difficult to determine due to the lack of images of Aries or other ram figures.

Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat, 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

Tammuz (Akkadian: Duʾzu, Dūzu; Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”) is a Sumerian god of food and vegetation, also worshiped in the later Mesopotamian states. The Levantine (“lord”) Adonis, who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz, son and consort.

In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar.

Beginning with the summer solstice came a time of mourning in the Ancient Near East, as in the Aegean: the Babylonians marked the decline in daylight hours and the onset of killing summer heat and drought with a six-day “funeral” for the god. In cult practice, the dead Tammuz was widely mourned in the Ancient Near East.

Recent discoveries reconfirm him as an annual life-death-rebirth deity: tablets discovered in 1963 show that Dumuzi was in fact consigned to the Underworld himself, in order to secure Inanna’s release, though the recovered final line reveals that he is to revive for six months of each year.

According to some scholars, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is built over a cave that was originally a shrine to Adonis-Tammuz. The church was originally commissioned in 327 by Constantine the Great and his mother Helena over the site that was traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus.

Ngeshtin-ana is a minor goddess in Sumerian mythology, the so-called “heavenly grape-vine”. The sister of Dumuzi and consort of Ningisida, she is involved in the account of Dumuzi trying to escape his fate at the hands of Inana and Ereshkigal. In her house he is changed into a gazelle before being caught and transported to the underworld.

In sumerian mythology she is the daughter of Enki and Ninhursag. When Dumuzi died, Geshtinanna lamentated days and nights. After her death, she became the goddess of wine and cold seasons. She is a divine poet and interpreter of dreams.

Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in ancient Greek religion and myth. Wine played an important role in Greek culture, and the cult of Dionysus was the main religious focus for its unrestrained consumption.

He may have been worshipped as early as c. 1500–1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks; traces of Dionysian-type cult have also been found in ancient Minoan Crete. His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek. In some cults, he arrives from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner; in others, from Ethiopia in the South.

He is a god of epiphany, “the god that comes”, and his “foreignness” as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults. He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, becoming increasingly important over time, and included in some lists of the twelve Olympians, as the last of their number, and the only god born from a mortal mother. His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theatre.

Baldr (“lord, prince, king”) is a god in Norse mythology, who is given a central role in the mythology. Despite this his precise function is rather disputed. He is often interpreted as the god of love, peace, forgiveness, justice, light or purity, but was not directly attested as a god of such. He is the second son of Odin and the goddess Frigg. His twin brother is the blind god Höðr.

Nanna Nepsdóttir or simply Nanna is a goddess associated with the god Baldr. Accounts of Nanna vary greatly by source. In the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nanna is the wife of Baldr and the couple produced a son, the god Forseti (Old Norse “the presiding one,” actually “president” in Modern Icelandic and Faroese), an Æsir god of justice and reconciliation.

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.

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, Aries was associated with the god Amon-Ra, who was depicted as a man with a ram’s head and represented fertility and creativity. Because it was the location of the vernal equinox, it was called the “Indicator of the Reborn Sun”.

During the times of the year when Aries was prominent, priests would process statues of Amon-Ra to temples, a practice that was modified by Persian astronomers centuries later. Aries acquired the title of “Lord of the Head” in Egypt, referring to its symbolic and mythological importance.

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På vippepunktet

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 23, 2016

Ut fra dagens situasjon skulle man tro at menneskene er ekstremt lite tilpasningsdyktige, men målinger vitner om noe annet. Saken er at en liten gruppe mektige mennesker med rikdom og nettverk har tilpasset menneskene sine egne særinteresser – mennesker har blitt en vare man kan kjøpe og selge.

Det er kortvarige profittinteresser som teller og menneskene skal hverken tenke individuelt eller være kritiske. Ettersom de aller fleste mennesker på grunn av fremmedgjøring godtar dette ser det ut til at vi er den første arten som kommer til å utrydde oss selv – nettopp på grunn av at vår sterke side har blitt benyttet mot oss selv.

Vi mennesker er så selvgode at vi tror vi er unnværlige. Og mye er det vi har utviklet – av både godt og vondt. Vi er lik et barn som har forlatt vår symbiose med mor og far. Kanskje er vi på ungdomsstadiet – rebelske og umodne som vi. Kanskje vi må gå inn i voksenalder hvor vi på nytt lever i pakt med vår mor og far – utvikle en ny gullalder hvor vi lever i fred med hverandre og med resten av naturen.

Tenk om hele verdener venter på at vi skal klare det neste trinn i utviklingen av vår sivilisasjon – det å utvikle oss til en fredelig sivilisasjon bygget på rettferdighet, frihet, fred og bærekraft. Tenk om det finnes sivilisasjoner der ute som ikke ønsker å inkludere oss før vi har utviklet en slik sivilisasjon og er modne til å bli inkludert i dette brorskapet av sivilisasjoner.

Spørsmålet da er om vi noen sinne vil klare det. Vi er nå i ferd med å utrydde oss selv. Mennesket fortjener så avgjort en sjanse – og det har vi jo også fått. Kanskje er det mange sivilisasjoner som har gjort dette før oss. Som ikke har klart å skape en bærekraftig sivilisasjon og som derfor har utryddet seg selv.

Det vi trener er en transformasjon av hele vår sivilisasjon og kanskje dagens teknologiske utvikling vil gjøre det mulig for oss. Men samtidig trenger vi å utvikle oss spirituelt slik at vi blir i stand til å ta de riktige valgene. Klarer ikke vi det vil kanskje en ny art klare det om noen millioner år. Men kanskje er det ikke for sent for oss til å klare det – muligheten er ennå her.

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The Master or Lord (king) and Mistress (queen) of (the) Animals

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 23, 2016

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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. The Elder Futhark rune ᛉ is conventionally called Algiz or Elhaz, from the Common Germanic word for “elk”.  The white elk was a symbol to the Norse of divine blessing and protection to those it graced with sight of itself. It is associated with the god Heimdall.

The Lord of the Animals (also known as Master of (the) Animals) is a generic term for a number of deities from a variety of cultures with close relationships to the animal kingdom or in part animal form (in cultures where that is not the norm).

Many depictions use a female version of the widespread ancient motif of the male Master of Animals, the so-called Mistress of the Animals, showing a central figure with a human form grasping two animals, one to each side.

Master of (the) Animals

Potnia Theron

Deer in mythology

List of hunting deities

List of nature deities

Diana (Frame gods)

The Master of (the) Animals or Lord of the Animals

The Master of (the) Animals or Lord of the Animals is a motif in ancient art showing a human between and grasping two confronted animals. It is very widespread in the art of the Ancient Near East and Egypt. The figure is normally male, but not always, the animals may be realistic or fantastical, and the figure may have animal elements such as horns, or an animal upper body. They may all have a Stone Age precursor who was probably a hunter’s deity.

Unless he is shown with specific divine attributes, he is typically described as a hero, although what the motif represented to the cultures which created the works probably varies greatly. The motif is so widespread and visually effective that many depictions were probably conceived as decoration with only a vague meaning attached to them.

The human figure may be standing, found from the 4th millennium BC, or kneeling on one knee, these latter found from the 3rd millennium BC. He is usually shown looking frontally, but in Assyrian pieces typically shown from the side. Sometimes the animals are clearly alive, whether fairly passive and tamed, or still struggling or attacking. In other pieces they may represent dead hunter’s prey.

The Greek god shown as “Master of Animals” is usually Apollo, the god of hunting. Shiva has the epithet Pashupati meaning the “Lord of cattle”, and these figures may derive from a Proto-Indo-European deity or archetype. Chapter 39 of the Book of Job has been interpreted as an assertion of the God of the Hebrew Bible as Master of Animals. The Master of Animals is the “favorite motif of Achaemenian official seals”, but the figures in these cases should be understood as the king.

In the art of Mesopotamia the motif appears very early, usually with a “naked hero”, for example at Uruk in the Uruk period (c. 4000 to 3100 BC), but was “outmoded in Mesopotamia by the seventh century BC”. Many Mesopotamian examples may represent Enkidu, a central figure in the Ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. In Luristan bronzes the motif is extremely common, and often highly stylized.

Other associated representations show a figure controlling or “taming” a single animal, usually to the right of the figure. But the many representations of heroes or kings killing an animal are distinguished from these.

The motif takes pride of place at the top of the famous Gebel el-Arak Knife, an ivory and flint knife dating from the Naqada II d period of Egyptian prehistory, which began c.3450 BC, showing Mesopotamian influence. Here a figure in Mesopotamian dress, often taken to be a god, grapples with two lions.

It has been connected to the famous Pashupati seal from the Indus Valley Civilization (2500-1500 BC), showing a figure seated in a yoga-like posture, with a horned headress (or horns), and surrounded by animals.

This in turn is related to a figure on the Gundestrup cauldron, who sits with legs part-crossed, has antlers, is surrounded by animals and grasps a snake in one hand and a torc in the other. This famous and puzzling object probably dates to 200 BC, or possibly as late as 300 AD, and though found in Denmark was perhaps made in Thrace.

The purse cover from the Sutton Hoo burial of about 620 AD has two plaques with a man between two wolves, and the motif is common in Anglo-Saxon art and related Early Medieval styles, where the animals generally remain aggressive.

Although such figures are not all, or even usually, deities, the term can also be a generic name for a number of deities from a variety of cultures with close relationships to the animal kingdom or in part animal form (in cultures where that is not the norm).

The horned god of the hunt

Many relate to the horned deity of the hunt, another common type. The implication being that these all have a Stone Age precursor who was probabably a hunter’s deity. The classic example of which is the ‘horned god of the hunt’, typified by Cernunnos, Herne the Hunter and Arnon, and a variety of Stag, Bull, Ram and Goat gods. Horned gods are not universal however, and in some cultures bear gods, like Arktos might take the role, or even the more anthropomorphic deities who lead the Wild Hunt.

Cernunnos is the conventional name given in Celtic studies to depictions of the “horned god” of Celtic polytheism. Cernunnos was a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. The name itself is only attested once, on the 1st-century Pillar of the Boatmen, but he appears all over Gaul, and among the Celtiberians.

Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, sometimes carries a purse filled with coin, often seated cross-legged and often associated with animals and holding or wearing torcs, are known from over 50 examples in the Gallo-Roman period, mostly in north-eastern Gaul.

Not much is known about the god from literary sources, and details about his name, his followers or his significance in Celtic religion are unknown. Speculative interpretations identify him as a god of nature, life or fertility.

Gaulish karnon “horn” is cognate with Latin cornu and Germanic *hurnaz, English horn, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *k̑r̥no-. The etymon karn- “horn” appears in both Gaulish and Galatian branches of Continental Celtic. Hesychius of Alexandria glosses the Galatian word karnon as “Gallic trumpet”, that is, the Celtic military horn listed as the carnyx by Eustathius of Thessalonica, who notes the instrument’s animal-shaped bell.

Deer have significant roles in the mythology of various peoples. The Insular Celts have stories involving supernatural deer, who are associated with a spiritual figure, and spirits or deities who may take the form of deer.

In some Scottish and Irish tales deer are seen as “fairy cattle” and are herded and milked by a tutelary, benevolent, otherworldly woman (such as a bean sìdhe or in other cases the goddess Flidais), who can shapeshift into the form of a red or white deer. In the West Highlands, this woman of the otherworld selects the individual deer who will be slain in the next day’s hunt.

In Ireland, The Cailleach Bhéara (“The Old Woman of Beare”), who lives on an island off the coast of County Cork, takes the form of a deer to avoid capture, and herds her deer down by the shore. The Beare peninsula is also associated with the islands in the western sea that are the lands of the dead. Other Celtic mythological figures such as Oisin and Sadbh also have connections to deer.

Cernunnos is a mythological figure in Continental Celtic mythology, and possibly one of the figures depicted on the Gundestrup cauldron. He has deer or stag antlers on the top of his head. His role in the religion and mythology is unclear, as there are no particular stories about him.

An Anglo-Saxon royal scepter found at the Sutton Hoo burial site in England features a depiction of an upright, antlered stag. In the Old English language poem Beowulf, much of the first portion of the story focuses on events surrounding a great mead hall called Heorot, meaning “Hall of the Hart”.

In the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál the four stags of Yggdrasil are described as feeding on the world tree, Yggdrasil, and the poem further relates that the stag Eikþyrnir lives on top of Valhalla. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, the god Freyr is having once killed Beli with an antler. In Þiðrekssaga, Sigurd is presented as having been nursed by a doe.

Andy Orchard proposes a connection between the hart Eikþyrnir atop Valhalla, the hart imagery associated with Heorot, and the Sutton Hoo scepter. Sam Newton identifies both the Sutton Hoo whetstone and the hall Heorot as early English symbols of kingship.

Rudolf Simek says that “it is not completely clear what role the stag played in Germanic religion” and theorizes that “the stag cult probably stood in some sort of connexion to Odin’s endowment of the dignity of kings.”

In Greek mythology, the deer is particularly associated with Artemis in her role as virginal huntress. Actaeon, after witnessing the nude figure of Artemis bathing in a pool, was transformed by Artemis into a stag that his own hounds tore to pieces. Callimachus, in his archly knowledgeable “Hymn III to Artemis”, mentions the deer that drew the chariot of Artemis:

One of the Labors of Heracles was to capture the Cerynian Hind sacred to Artemis and deliver it briefly to his patron, then rededicate it to Artemis. As a hind bearing antlers was unknown in Greece, the story suggests a reindeer, which, unlike other deer, can be harnessed and whose females bear antlers. The myth relates to Hyperborea, a northern land that would be a natural habitat for reindeer. Heracles’ son Telephus was exposed as an infant on the slopes of Tegea but nurtured by a doe.

In Hindu mythology, the Aitareya Upanishad tells us that the goddess Saraswati takes the form of a red deer called Rohit. Saraswati is the goddess of learning, so learned men use deer skin as clothing and mats to sit upon.

A golden deer plays an important role in the epic Ramayana. While in exile in the forest, Rama’s wife Sita sees a golden deer and asks Rama and Lakshmana to get it for her. The deer is actually a rakshasa called Maricha in disguise. Maricha takes this form to lure Rama and Lakshmana away from Sita so his nephew Ravana can kidnap her.

The Tribe Naftali bore a Stag on its tribal banner, and was poetically described as a Hind in the Blessing of Jacob. In Jewish mythology – as discussed in the Talmud exists a giant kind of stag by the name “Keresh”. He is said to live in a mythical forest called “Bei Ilai”.

In Hungarian mythology, Hunor and Magor, the founders of the Magyar peoples, chased a white stag in a hunt. The stag lead them into unknown land that they named Scythia. Hunor and Magor populated Scythia with their descendants the Huns and the Magyars. To this day, an important emblem in Hungary is a many-antlered stag with its head turned back over its shoulder.

The Scythians had some reverence for the stag, which is one of the most common motifs in their artwork, especially at funeral sites. The swift animal was believed to speed the spirits of the dead on their way, which perhaps explains the curious antlered headdresses found on horses buried at Pazyryk. In Slavic fairytales, Golden-horned deer is a large deer with golden antlers.

Saint Giles, a Catholic saint especially revered in the south of France, is reported to have lived for many years as a hermit in the forest near Nîmes, where in the greatest solitude he spent many years, his sole companion being a deer, or hind, who in some stories sustained him on her milk. In art, he is often depicted together with that hind.

Deer figure in the founding legend of Le Puy-en-Velay, where a Christian church replaced a megalithic dolmen said to have healing powers. A local tradition had rededicated the curative virtue of the sacred site to Mary, who cured ailments by contact with the standing stone. When the founding bishop Vosy climbed the hill, he found that it was snow-covered in July; in the snowfall, the tracks of a deer around the dolmen outlined the foundations of the future church.

Saint Hubertus (or “Hubert”) is a Christian saint, the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians and metalworkers, and used to be invoked to cure rabies. The legend of St Hubertus concerned an apparition of a stag with the crucifix between its horns, effecting the worldly and aristocratic Hubert’s conversion to a saintly life.

In the story of Saint Hubertus, on Good Friday morning, when the faithful were crowding the churches, Hubertus sallied forth to the chase. As he was pursuing a magnificent stag the animal turned and, as the pious legend narrates, he was astounded at perceiving a crucifix standing between its antlers, which occasioned the change of heart that led him to a saintly life. The story of the hart appears first in one of the later legendary hagiographies (Bibliotheca hagiographica Latina, nos. 3994–4002) and has been appropriated from the earlier legend of Saint Eustace (Placidus).

Later in the 6th century, the Bishop Saint Gregory of Tours wrote his chronicles about the Merovingian rulers. Historia Francorum contains the legend of King Clovis I, who prayed to Christ in one of his campaigns so he could find a place to cross the river Vienne. Considered as a divine sign, a huge deer appeared and showed where the army could pass.

In the 14th century, probably keeping some relation with Saint Eustace’s legend, the deer again appears in Christian legend. The Chronicon Pictum contains a story where the later King Saint Ladislaus I of Hungary and his brother the King Géza I of Hungary were hunting in a forest, and a deer with numerous candles on his antlers appeared to them.

Saint Ladislaus told his brother that it wasn’t a deer but an angel of God, and his antlers were wings; the candles were shining feathers. He also stated his intent to build a cathedral in honor of the Holy Virgin in the place where the deer appeared.

Protective / Tutelary deities

The stag was revered alongside the bull at Alaca Höyük and continued in the Hittite mythology as the protective deity whose name is recorded as KAL. Other Hittite gods were often depicted standing on the backs of stags.

In Hittite texts the God on the Stag is a Tutelary Deity (Sumerogram LAMMA). A lamassu (Cuneiform: AN.KAL; Sumerian: dlammař; Akkadian: lamassu; sometimes called a lamassus) is an Assyrian protective deity, often depicted as having a human’s head, a body of an ox or a lion, and bird’s wings.

In some writings, it is portrayed to represent a female deity. A less frequently used name is shedu (Cuneiform: AN.KAL×BAD; Sumerian: dalad; Akkadian, šēdu) which refers to the male counterpart of a lamassu. The Lammasu or Lumasi represent the zodiacs, parent-stars or constellations.

The Lammasu or Lumasi represent the zodiacs, parent-stars, or constellations. They are depicted as protective deities because they encompass all life within them. In the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh they are depicted as physical deities as well, which is where the Lammasu iconography originates, these deities could be microcosms of their microcosmic zodiac, parent-star, or constellation.

Although “lamassu” had a different iconography and portrayal in Sumerian culture, the terms lamassu, alad, and shedu evolved throughout the Assyro-Akkadian culture from the Sumerian culture to denote the Assyrian-winged-man-bull symbol and statues during the Neo-Assyrian empire. Female lamassus were called “apsasû”.

The motif of the Assyrian-winged-man-bull called Aladlammu and Lamassu interchangeably is not the lamassu or alad of Sumerian origin which were depicted with different iconography.[clarification needed] These monumental statues were called aladlammû or lamassu which meant “protective spirit”.

In Hittite, the Sumerian form LAMMA is used both as a name for the so-called “tutelary deity”, identified in certain later texts with Inara, and a title given to similar protective gods. Thesigns LAMMA has two possible readings: Hittite Inara (Luwian Annari) and Luwian Kurunta. 

The proto-Hittite iconography of Kurunta is a god standing on a stag. He has in one hand a raptor and in the other hand a hare. His Luwian hieroglyph is a stag of only the antler in the Luwian reading Runtiya.

Kuruntiya and Runtiya are linguistical not a problem Volkert Haas reported that Kurunta-Runtiya, like Karhuhi-Karhuha are the ‘paredros’ of Kubaba, who was worshipped in Karkamish and Malataya.

The Pantheon of Karkamish did not show a Stag god, it seems that the LAMMA god and the ‘paredros‘ of Kubabba is in Karakamish Karhuhi-Karhuha and in Malatay Kurunta-Runtiya. So it is assumedthat the myth of the god Kurunta would originate from the Stag god of Malatya.

Also Daniel Schwemer mentioned in an article the connection: “the Hittite Stag-god KAL — Hittite Innara, Luwian Annari,Hittite-Luwian Kurunti(ya)  was associated with Mesopotamian LÀMA = lamassu , the protective deity, in the same lexical entry”.

Alternative titles are Kurunda, Runda, Ruwata, and Tuwata. Rundas is the Hittite god of the hunt and of good fortune. His emblem is a double eagle with a hare in each talon. Rudra is a Rigvedic deity, associated with wind or storm, and the hunt. The name has been translated as “the roarer”. In the Rigveda, Rudra has been praised as the “mightiest of the mighty”. The Shri Rudram hymn from the Yajurveda is dedicated to Rudra, and is important in the Saivism sect.

The Hindu god Shiva shares several features with the Rudra: the theonym Shiva originated as an epithet of Rudra, the adjective shiva (“kind”) being used euphemistically of Rudra, who also carries the epithet Aghora, Abhayankar (“extremely calm [sic] non terrifying”).

Usage of the epithet came to exceed the original theonym by the post-Vedic period (in the Sanskrit Epics), and the name Rudra has been taken as a synonym for the god Shiva and the two names are used interchangeably. 

Alu the Stag

The identification of the constellation of Taurus with a bull is very old, certainly dating to the Chalcolithic, and perhaps even to the Upper Paleolithic. Michael Rappenglück of the University of Munich believes that Taurus is represented in a cave painting at the Hall of the Bulls in the caves at Lascaux (dated to roughly 15,000 BC), which he believes is accompanied by a depiction of the Pleiades.

The name “seven sisters” has been used for the Pleiades in the languages of many cultures, including indigenous groups of Australia, North America and Siberia. This suggests that the name may have a common ancient origin.

Taurus marked the point of vernal (spring) equinox in the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, from about 4000 BC to 1700 BC, after which it moved into the neighboring constellation Aries. The Pleiades were closest to the Sun at vernal equinox around the 23rd century BC. In Babylonian astronomy, the constellation was listed in the MUL.APIN as GU.AN.NA, “The Bull of Heaven”.

As this constellation marked the vernal equinox, it was also the first constellation in the Babylonian zodiac and they described it as “The Bull in Front”. 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.

In the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest works of literature, the goddess Ishtar sends Taurus, the Bull of Heaven, to kill Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. Some locate Gilgamesh as the neighboring constellation of Orion, facing Taurus as if in combat, while others identify him with the sun whose rising on the equinox vanquishes the constellation.

In early Mesopotamian art, the Bull of Heaven was closely associated with Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare. One of the oldest depictions shows the bull standing before the goddess’ standard; since it has 3 stars depicted on its back (the cuneiform sign for “star-constellation”), there is good reason to regard this as the constellation later known as Taurus.

The same iconic representation of the Heavenly Bull was depicted in the Dendera zodiac, an Egyptian bas-relief carving in a ceiling that depicted the celestial hemisphere using a planisphere. In these ancient cultures, the orientation of the horns was portrayed as upward or backward. This differed from the later Greek depiction where the horns pointed forward.

To the Egyptians, the constellation Taurus was a sacred bull that was associated with the renewal of life in spring. When the spring equinox entered Taurus, the constellation would become covered by the Sun in the western sky as spring began. This “sacrifice” led to the renewal of the land.

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. The name “Alalu” was borrowed from Semitic mythology and is a compound word made up of the Semitic definite article al and the Semitic deity Alû. The -u at the end of the word is an inflectional ending; thus, Alalu may also occur as Alali or Alala depending on the position of the word in the sentence. He was identified by the Greeks as Hypsistos. He was also called Alalus.

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. Alalu fled to the underworld. Scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

Alulim was the first king of Eridu, and the first king of Sumer, according to the mythological antediluvian section of the Sumerian King List. Enki, the god of Eridu, is said to have brought civilization to Sumer at this point, or just shortly before. The Sumerian King List has the following entry for Alulim: “After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug (Eridu). In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28,800 years.”

In a chart of antediluvian generations in Babylonian and Biblical traditions, Professor William Wolfgang Hallo associates Alulim with the composite half-man, half-fish counselor or culture hero (Apkallu) Uanna-Adapa (Oannes), and suggests an equivalence between Alulim and Enosh in the Sethite genealogy given in Genesis chapter 5. Hallo notes that Alulim’s name means “Stag”.

The World Tree

In terms of its composition the Master of Animals motif compares with another very common motif in the art of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, that of two confronted animals flanking and grazing on a Tree of Life.

The concept of a tree of life is a widespread mytheme or archetype in the world’s mythologies, related to the concept of sacred tree more generally, and hence in religious and philosophical tradition. Various trees of life are recounted in folklore, culture and fiction, often relating to immortality or fertility. They had their origin in religious symbolism.

The tree of knowledge, connecting to heaven and the underworld, and the tree of life, connecting all forms of creation, are both forms of the world tree or cosmic tree, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, and are portrayed in various religions and philosophies as the same tree.

To the Ancient Egyptians, the Tree of Life represented the hierarchical chain of events that brought everything into existence. The spheres of the Tree of Life demonstrate the order, process, and method of creation.

In Egyptian mythology, in the Ennead system of Heliopolis, the first couple, apart from Shu and Tefnut (moisture and dryness) are Geb and Nuit (earth and sky), are Isis and Osiris. They were said to have emerged from the acacia tree of Iusaaset, which the Egyptians considered the tree of life, referring to it as the “tree in which life and death are enclosed.”

In ancient Urartu, the Tree of Life was a religious symbol and was drawn on walls of fortresses and carved on the armor of warriors. The branches of the tree were equally divided on the right and left sides of the stem, with each branch having one leaf, and one leaf on the apex of the tree. Servants stood on each side of the tree with one of their hands up as if they are taking care of the tree.

The tree of life appears in Norse religion as Yggdrasil, the world tree, a massive tree (sometimes considered a yew or ash tree) with extensive lore surrounding it. Perhaps related to Yggdrasil, accounts have survived of Germanic Tribes’ honouring sacred trees within their societies. Examples include Thor’s Oak, sacred groves, the Sacred tree at Uppsala, and the wooden Irminsul pillar. In Norse Mythology, the apples from Iðunn’s ash box provide immortality for the gods.

 

Lord of the Mountain

Such figures are also often referred to as ‘Lord of the forest’* or ‘Lord of the mountain’. Dushara (“Lord of the Mountain”), also transliterated as Dusares, is a deity worshipped by the Nabataeans at Petra and Madain Saleh (of which city he was the patron).

In Greek times, he was associated with Zeus because he was the chief of the Nabataean pantheon as well as with Dionysus. His sanctuary at Petra contained a great temple in which a large cubical stone was the centrepiece.

A shrine to Dushara has been discovered in the harbour of ancient Puteoli in Italy. The city was an important nexus for trade to the Near East, and it is known to have had a Nabataean presence during the mid 1st century BCE. The cult continued in some capacity well into the Roman period

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. His name means “king of the mountains”. He seems to be associated with Dionysus.

Amurru and Martu are names given in Akkadian and Sumerian texts to the god of the Amorite people, often forming part of personal names. He is sometimes called Ilu Amurru (MAR.TU). He was the patron god of the Mesopotamian city of Ninab, whose exact location is unknown.

He is sometimes described as a ‘shepherd’ or as a storm god, and as a son of the sky-god Anu. He is sometimes called bêlu šadī or bêl šadê, ‘lord of the mountain’; dúr-hur-sag-gá sikil-a-ke (“He who dwells on the pure mountain”); and kur-za-gan ti-[la] (“The one who inhabits the shining mountain”). In Cappadocian Zinčirli inscriptions he is called ì-li a-bi-a (“the god of my father”).

Girish (also spelled as Gireesh) is a Hindu name which means “lord of the Mountains” in Sanskrit (“giri” means Mountain and “ish” means God). This is a name of Lord Shiva, given because of his abode in the Himalayan Mountains. Lord Sri Ventakeshwara who resides on top of seven hills called Saptagiri also has Girish as one of his names. Girish, the king of mountains, is also referred by some to Himavan, father of Shiva’s wife Parvati.

Elagabus

Elagabalus or or Heliogabalus (Aramaic Ilaha Gabal, the “lord of the mountain”), is a Syro-Roman sun god. His cult was introduced in Rome by the boy-emperor Heliogabalus (218-222). After the Emperor was killed in 222, his religious edicts were reversed and the cult of Elagabalus returned to Emesa.

The cult statue was brought to Rome by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who, before his accession, was the hereditary high priest at Emesa and was commonly called Elagabalus after the deity. The Syrian deity was assimilated with the Roman sun god known as Sol Invictus (“the Undefeated Sun”).

Elagabalus was initially venerated at Emesa in Syria. All gods of the pantheon of the Arabian city Emesa, in Syria, had Semitic names, with one exception: the supreme god Elagabal, who represented the sun. His unusual name suggests an earlier origin and suggests this god was a local deity, related to similar pre-Arabian gods from Canaan.

The name is the Latinised form of the Semitic Ilāh hag-Gabal, which derives from Ilāh “god” and gabal “mountain” (compare Arabic: jabal), resulting in “the God of the Mountain”, the Emesene manifestation of the deity. The Aramaic form of name of Elagabal is Ilaha Gabal, meaning “God of the mountain”.

A temple called the Elagabalium was built on the east face of the Palatine Hill, to house the holy stone of the Emesa temple, a black conical meteorite. Herodian writes of that stone: This stone is worshipped as though it were sent from heaven; on it there are some small projecting pieces and markings that are pointed out, which the people would like to believe are a rough picture of the sun, because this is how they see them.

Herodian also relates that Elagabalus forced senators to watch while he danced around his deity’s altar to the sound of drums and cymbals, and at each summer solstice celebrated a great festival, popular with the masses because of food distributions, during which he placed the holy stone on a chariot adorned with gold and jewels, which he paraded through the city:

A six horse chariot carried the divinity, the horses huge and flawlessly white, with expensive gold fittings and rich ornaments. No one held the reins, and no one rode in the chariot; the vehicle was escorted as if the god himself were the charioteer. Elagabalus ran backward in front of the chariot, facing the god and holding the horses reins. He made the whole journey in this reverse fashion, looking up into the face of his god.

Herodian’s description strongly suggests that the Emesene cult was inspired by the Babylonian Akitu-festival (Sumerian: ezen á.ki.tum, akiti-šekinku, á.ki.ti.še.gur.ku (“The barley-cutting”), akiti-šununum (“barley-sowing”), Akkadian: akitu or rêš-šattim (“Head of the year”), a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia.

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 Emperor also tried to bring about a union of Roman and Syrian religion under the supremacy of his deity, which he placed even above Jupiter, and to which he assigned either Astarte, Minerva or Urania, or some combination of the three, as wife.

The most sacred relics from the Roman religion were transferred from their respective shrines to the Elagabalium, including “the emblem of the Great Mother, the fire of Vesta, the Palladium, the shields of the Salii, and all that the Romans held sacred.” He reportedly also declared that Jews, Samaritans and Christians must transfer their rites to his temple so that it “might include the mysteries of every form of worship.”

Gibil in Sumerian mythology is the god of fire, variously of the son of An and Ki, An and Shala or of Ishkur and Shala. He later developed into the Akkadian god Gerra. In some versions of the Enûma Eliš Gibil is said to maintain the sharp point of weapons, have broad wisdom, and that his mind is “so vast that all the gods, all of them, cannot fathom it”. Some versions state Gibil, as lord of the fire and the forge, also possesses wisdom of metallurgy.

Nergal is a son of Enlil and Ninlil, along with Nanna and Ninurta. Nergal’s fiery aspect appears in names or epithets such as Lugalgira, Lugal-banda (Nergal as the fighting-cock), Sharrapu (“the burner,” a reference to his manner of dealing with outdated teachings), Erra, Gibil (though this name more properly belongs to Nusku), and Sibitti or Seven.

Mountain gods had been known in Anatolia, Syria, and Palestine since Hittite times, and they continued to be venerated up until the Roman age. They were often portrayed with eagles. At a later stage, the worshippers of Elagabal were influenced by the cult of the Babylonian sun god Šamaš. Elagabal has also been compared to the Chaldaean god Gibil, which can be translated as “god of the black stone”. Gebal is a Semitic root which means “to create”.

Triads were common in Syrian and Mesopotamian cities, and Elagabal, the personification of a male principle and fertile warmth, had two female consorts of Semitic origin: Atargatis can be compared to the Phrygian goddess Cybele, the “great mother”; the other female deity, Astarte, resembles Aphrodite. She offered water and fertility to the people, and was immensely popular in Syria.

Mistress of Animals

These figures control animals, usually wild ones, and are responsible for their continued reproduction and availability for hunters. They sometimes also have female equivalents, the so-called Mistress of the Animals. Potnia Theron, a phrase used by Homer meaning “Mistress of the Animals” is used for early Greek depictions of goddesses, usually Artemis, holding animals.

Potnia Theron is a term first used (once) by Homer (Iliad 21. 470) and often used to describe female divinities associated with animals. The word Potnia, meaning mistress or lady, was a Mycenaean Greek word inherited by Classical Greek, with the same meaning, cognate to Sanskrit patnī.

The oldest depiction has been discovered in Çatalhöyük. Another example of Potnia theròn is situated in Museo civico archeologico di Monte Rinaldo in Italy: plate illustrates goddess that wears with a long dress and holds hands two panthers.

Cybele (“Kubeleyan Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she has a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where the statue of a pregnant, seated goddess was found in a granary dated to the 6th millennium BCE. She is Phrygia’s only known goddess, and was probably its state deity.

This corpulent, fertile Mother Goddess appears to be giving birth on her throne, which has two feline-headed hand rests. In Phrygian art of the 8th century BCE, the cult attributes of the Phrygian mother-goddess include attendant lions, a bird of prey, and a small vase for her libations or other offerings.

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” (“The Mistress of the Animals”) of Greek mythology, better known as Artemis. Inara’s mother is probably Hebat and her brother is Sarruma.

In Egyptian mythology, Satet (also spelt Satis, Satjit, Sates, and Sati) was the deification of the floods of the Nile River. Her cult originated in the ancient city of Swenet, now called Aswan on the southern edge of Egypt. Her name means she who shoots forth referring to the annual flooding of the river. Satet was also connected with the Eye of Ra.

She was an early war, hunting, and fertility deity who was seen as the mother of the goddess Anuket, the personification and goddess of the Nile river in the Egyptian mythology, and a protector of southern Egypt. Satet, goddess of the hunt, was shown with the horns of a deer, and sometimes a deer’s face.

One of her titles was She Who Runs Like an Arrow, which is thought to refer to the river current, and her symbols became the arrow and the running river. Satet was pictured as a woman wearing the conical crown of Upper Egypt, the Hedjet, with gazelle or antelope horns, or as an antelope, a fast moving creature living near the banks of the river in the southern portion of Ancient Egypt. She also was depicted with a bow and arrows.

Other interpretations say her primary role was that of the war goddess, a guardian of Egypt’s southern (Nubian) frontier and killing the enemies of the Pharaoh with her arrows.

She usually is depicted as holding an ankh also, due to her association with the life giving flooding of the Nile. Consequently, Satet acted as a fertility goddess, thus granting the wishes of those who sought love. Satet is also described as offering jars of purifying water.

Later she became regarded as one of the consorts of Khnum, the god identified as the guardian of the source of the Nile, with whom she was worshipped at Elephantine (the First nome of Egypt), indeed the centre of her cult was nearby, at Sahal, another island of the Nile. Since she was most dominant at the southern end of Egypt, she became regarded as the guard of Egypt’s southern border with Nubia.

Satet’s child was Anuket, goddess of the Nile River herself, who formed the third part of the Elephantine triad of deities when formed. Anuket is in the interpretatio graeca, considered equivalent to Hestia or Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth and home.

An Artemis type deity, a ‘Mistress of the Animals’, is often assumed to have existed in prehistorical religion and often referred to as Potnia Theron, with some scholars positing a relationship between Artemis and goddesses depicted in Minoan art and “Potnia Theron has become a generic term for any female associated with animals.”

Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. 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.

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 deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

The consort of Mars was Nerio or Nerine, “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”).

In the early 3rd century BC, the comic playwright Plautus has a reference to Mars greeting Nerio, his wife. A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Nerine were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23. In the later Roman Empire, Nerine came to be identified with Minerva.

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 influence of Greek mythology and its anthropomorphic gods may have caused Roman writers to treat these pairs as “marriages.”

 

Diana and Janus

In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was eventually equated with the Greek goddess Artemis.

Diana was worshipped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism and Stregheria. Diana was known to be the virgin goddess of childbirth and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, along with Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.

Oak groves were especially sacred to her as were deer. According to mythology (in common with the Greek religion and their deity Artemis), Diana was born with her twin brother, Apollo, on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. She made up a triad with two other Roman deities: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.

As a goddess of hunting, Diana often wears a short tunic and hunting boots. She is often portrayed holding a bow, and carrying a quiver on her shoulder, accompanied by a deer or hunting dogs. Like Venus, she was portrayed as beautiful and youthful. The crescent moon, sometimes worn as a diadem, is a major attribute of the goddess.

Diana (pronounced with long ‘ī’ and ‘ā’) is an adjectival form developed from an ancient *divios, corresponding to later ‘divus’, ‘dius’, as in Dius Fidius, Dea Dia and in the neuter form dium meaning the sky. It is rooted in Indoeuropean *d(e)y(e)w, meaning bright sky or daylight, from which also derived the name of Vedic god Dyaus and the Latin deus, (god), dies, (day, daylight), and ” diurnal”, (daytime).

On the Tablets of Pylos a theonym diwia is supposed as referring to a deity precursor of Artemis. Modern scholars mostly accept the identification. The ancient Latin writers Varro and Cicero considered the etymology of Dīāna as allied to that of dies and connected to the shine of the Moon.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. While the fundamental nature of Janus is debated, in most modern scholars’ view the god’s functions may be seen as being organized around a single principle: presiding over all beginnings and transitions, whether abstract or concrete, sacred or profane.

Interpretations concerning the god’s fundamental nature either limit it to this general function or emphasize a concrete or particular aspect of it (identifying him with light the sun, the moon, time, movement, the year, doorways, bridges etc.) or else see in the god a sort of cosmological principle, interpreting him as a uranic deity.

He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The doors of his temple were open in time of war, and closed to mark the peace.

As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping.

It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus (Ianuarius), but according to ancient Roman farmers’ almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month. Janus had a ubiquitous presence in religious ceremonies throughout the year, and was ritually invoked at the beginning of each one, regardless of the main deity honored on any particular occasion.

Janus had no flamen or specialised priest (sacerdos) assigned to him, but the King of the Sacred Rites (rex sacrorum) himself carried out his ceremonies. Three etymologies were proposed by ancient erudites, each of them bearing implications about the nature of the god.

The first one is based on the definition of Chaos given by Paul the Deacon: hiantem, hiare, be open, from which word Ianus would derive by loss of the initial aspirate. In this etymology the notion of Chaos would define the primordial nature of the god.

Another etymology proposed by Nigidius Figulus is related by Macrobius: Ianus would be Apollo and Diana Iana, by the addition of a D for the sake of euphony. This explanation has been accepted by A. B. Cook and J. G. Frazer.

It supports all the assimilations of Janus to the bright sky, the sun and the moon. It supposes a former *Dianus, formed on *dia- < *dy-eð from Indo-European root *dey- shine represented in Latin by dies day, Diovis and Iuppiter. However the form Dianus postulated by Nigidius is not attested.

The interpretation of Janus as the god of beginnings and transitions is based on a third etymology indicated by Cicero, Ovid and Macrobius, which explains the name as Latin, deriving it from the verb ire (“to go”).

Modern scholars have conjectured that it derives from the Indo-European root meaning transitional movement (cf. Sanskrit “yana-” or Avestan “yah-“, likewise with Latin “i-” and Greek “ei-“). Iānus would then be an action name expressing the idea of going, passing, formed on the root *yā- < *y-eð- theme II of the root *ey- go from which eō.

Other modern scholars object to an Indo-European etymology either from Dianus or from root *yā-. From Ianus derived ianua (“door”), and hence the English word “janitor” (Latin, ianitor).

Frame gods

The persona of Diana is complex and contains a number of archaic features. According to Georges Dumézil it falls into a particular subset of celestial gods, referred to in histories of religion as frame gods. Such gods, while keeping the original features of celestial divinities, i.e. transcendent heavenly power and abstention from direct rule in worldly matters, did not share the fate of other celestial gods in Indoeuropean religions—that of becoming dei otiosi or gods without practical purpose, since they did retain a particular sort of influence over the world and mankind.

The celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connection with light, inaccessibility, virginity, and her preference for dwelling on high mountains and in sacred woods. Diana therefore reflects the heavenly world (diuum means sky or open air) in its sovereignty, supremacy, impassibility, and indifference towards such secular matters as the fates of mortals and states. At the same time, however, she is seen as active in ensuring the succession of kings and in the preservation of humankind through the protection of childbirth.

These functions are apparent in the traditional institutions and cults related to the goddess. The institution of the rex Nemorensis, Diana’s sacerdos (priest) in the Arician wood, who held the position until someone else challenged and killed him in a duel, after breaking a branch from a certain tree of the wood.

This ever open succession reveals the character and mission of the goddess as a guarantor of kingly status through successive generations. Her function as bestower of authority to rule is also attested in the story related by Livy in which a Sabine man who sacrifices a heifer to Diana wins for his country the seat of the Roman empire.

Diana was also worshipped by women who wanted to be pregnant or who, once pregnant, prayed for an easy delivery. This form of worship is attested in archeological finds of votive statuettes in her sanctuary in the nemus Aricinum as well as in ancient sources, e.g. Ovid.

The Scandinavian god Heimdallr performs an analogous function: he is born first and will die last. He too gives origin to kingship and the first king, bestowing on him regal prerogatives. Diana, although a female deity, has exactly the same functions, preserving mankind through childbirth and royal succession.

Dumezil’s interpretation appears deliberately to ignore that of James G. Frazer, who links Diana with the male god Janus as a divine couple. This looks odd as Dumézil’s definition of the concept of frame god would fit well the figure of Janus.

Frazer identifies the two with the supreme heavenly couple Jupiter-Juno and additionally ties in these figures to the overarching Indoeuropean religious complex. This regality is also linked to the cult of trees, particularly oaks. In this interpretative schema, the institution of the Rex Nemorensis and related ritual should be seen as related to the theme of the dying god and the kings of May.

 

Dyeus

According to Dumezil the forerunner of all frame gods is an Indian epic hero who was the image (avatar) of the Vedic god Dyaus Pita (literally “Sky Father”), the ancient sky god of the Vedic pantheon, consort of Prithvi Mata “Earth Mother” and father of the chief deities of the Rigveda, Agni (Fire), Indra, and Ushas (Dawn).

Having renounced the world, in his roles of father and king, he attained the status of an immortal being while retaining the duty of ensuring that his dynasty is preserved and that there is always a new king for each generation.

Dyaus Pita is a very marginal deity in Rigvedic mythology, but his intrinsic importance is visible from his being the father of the chief deities. That Dyaus was seen as the father of Indra is known only from one verse, RV 4.17.4: “Thy Father Dyaus esteemed himself a hero: most noble was the work of Indra’s Maker / His who begat the strong bolt’s Lord who roareth, immovable like earth from her foundation.”

He is mainly considered in comparative philology as a last remnant of the chief god of Proto-Indo-European religion. The name Dyauṣ Pitā is etymologically parallel to the Greek Zeus Pater, and closely related to Latin Jupiter. Both Dyauṣ and Zeus reflect a Proto-Indo-European *Dyeus.

Based on this reconstruction, the widespread opinion in scholarship since the 19th century has been that Indra had replaced Dyaus as the chief god of the early Indo-Aryans. While Prthivi survives as a Hindu goddess after the end of the Vedic period, Dyaus Pita became almost unknown already in antiquity.

The noun dyaús (when used without the pitā “father”) means “sky, heaven” and occurs frequently in the Rigveda, as a mythological entity, but not as a male deity: the sky in Vedic mythology was imagined as rising in three tiers, avama , madhyama, and uttama or tṛtīya. In the Purusha Suktam, the sky is described to have been created from the head of the primaeval being, the Purusha.

Dyēus (also *Dyēus 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 daylight sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih Méhter, “earth mother”.

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 addressed as Dyeu Ph2ter, 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. In Greek and Roman mythology, Dyeus remained the chief god; however, in Vedic mythology, the etymological continuant of Dyeus became a very abstract god, and his original attributes and dominance over other gods appear to have been transferred to gods such as Agni or Indra.

Rooted in the related but distinct Indo-European word *deiwos is the Latin word for deity, deus. The Latin word is also continued in English divine, “deity”, and the original Germanic word remains visible in “Tuesday” (“Day of Tīwaz”) and Old Norse tívar, which may be continued in the toponym Tiveden (“Wood of the Gods”, or of Týr).

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 exclusive to mediterranean traditions, probably derived from syncretism with canaanite deities and Perkwunos.

The deity’s original domain was over the daylit sky, and indeed reflexes emphasise this connection to light: Istanu (Tiyaz) is a solar deity, Helios is often referred to as the “eye of Zeus”, in Romanian paganism the Sun is similarly called “God’s eye” and in Indo-Iranian tradition Surya/Hvare-khshaeta is similarly associated with Ahura Mazda. Even in Roman tradition, Jupiter often is only associated with diurnal lightning at most, while Summanus is a deity responsible for nocturnal lightning or storms as a whole.

Mesopotamia

Anu (in Akkadian; Sumerian: An, from 𒀭An “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.

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 and Dumuzi.

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.

He is a son of Enlil and Ninlil, along with Nanna and Ninurta. A certain confusion exists in cuneiform literature between Ninurta (slayer of Asag and wielder of Sharur, an enchanted mace) and Nergal. Nergal has epithets such as the “raging king,” the “furious one,” and the like. The worship of Nergal does not appear to have spread as widely as that of Ninurta, but in the late Babylonian and early Persian period, syncretism seems to have fused the two divinities, which were invoked together as if they were identical.

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.

Ninurta was a Sumerian and the Akkadian god of hunting and war. In a legend, 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.

Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek divine hero Heracles, who was the son of Zeus (Roman equivalent Jupiter) and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures. He is known for his many adventures, which took him to the far reaches of the Greco-Roman world. One cycle of these adventures became canonical as the “Twelve Labours,” but the list has variations. He is equated with the Germanic Þunraz, or Thor, by way of interpretatio romana.

In Mesopotamian religion (Sumerian, Assyrian, Akkadian and Babylonian), Tiamat is a primordial goddess of the ocean, mating with Abzû (the god of fresh water) to produce younger gods. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation, depicted as a woman, she represents the beauty of the feminine, depicted as the glistening one. Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon.

Tiamat was the “shining” personification of salt water who roared and smote in the chaos of original creation. She and Apsu filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters. She is “Ummu-Hubur who formed all things”.

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.

In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, she gives birth to the first generation of deities; her husband, Apsu, correctly assuming they are planning to kill him and usurp his throne, later makes war upon them and is killed.

Enraged, she, too, wars upon her husband’s murderers, taking on the form of a massive sea dragon, she is then slain by Enki’s son, the storm-god Marduk, but not before she had brought forth the monsters of the Mesopotamian pantheon, including the first dragons, whose bodies she filled with “poison instead of blood”. Marduk then forms heavens and the earth from her divided body.

Abzu (or Apsû) fathered upon Tiamat the elder deities Lahmu and Lahamu (masc. the “hairy”), a title given to the gatekeepers at Enki’s Abzu/E’engurra-temple in Eridu. Lahmu and Lahamu, in turn, were the parents of the ‘ends’ of the heavens (Anshar, from an = heaven, shár = horizon, end) and the earth (Kishar); Anshar and Kishar were considered to meet at the horizon, becoming, thereby, the parents of Anu (Heaven) and Ki (Earth).

In the myth recorded on cuneiform tablets, the deity Enki (later Ea) believed correctly that Apsu was planning to murder the younger deities, upset with the chaos they created, and so captured him and held him prisoner beneath his temple the E-Abzu.

Kingu reported the event to Tiamat, whereupon she fashioned eleven monsters to battle the deities in order to avenge Apsu’s death. Tiamat possessed the Tablet of Destinies and in the primordial battle, who she have to Kingu, their son, and the one she had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host.

The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as “king of the gods”, overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

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