Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development


Posted by Fredsvenn on June 20, 2018

Ansuz is the conventional name given to the a-rune of the Elder Futhark, ᚨ. The name is based on Proto-Germanic *ansuz, denoting a deity belonging to the principal pantheon in Germanic paganism. The shape of the rune is likely from Neo-Etruscan a, like Latin A ultimately from Phoenician aleph.

In the Norwegian rune poem, óss is given a meaning of “estuary” while in the Anglo-Saxon one, ōs ᚩ takes the Latin meaning of “mouth”. The Younger Futhark rune is transliterated as ą to distinguish it from the new ár rune (ᛅ), which continues the jēran rune after loss of prevocalic *j- in Proto-Norse *jár (Old Saxon jār).

Since the name of Gothic a is attested in the Gothic alphabet as ahsa or aza, the common Germanic name of the rune may thus either have been *ansuz “god”, or *ahsam “ear (of wheat)”.

Jera (also Jeran, Jeraz) is the conventional name of the j-rune ᛃ of the Elder Futhark, from a reconstructed Common Germanic stem *jēra- meaning “harvest, (good) year”. Ár literally translates to year but means a particularly good or plentiful year.

The reconstructed Common Germanic name *jēran is the origin of English year (Old English ġēar). In contrast to the modern word, it had a meaning of “season” and specifically “harvest”, and hence “plenty, prosperity”.

The Germanic word is cognate with Greek horos (“year”) (and hora (“season”), whence hour), Slavonic jarŭ (“spring”) and with the -or- in Latin hornus (“of this year”) (from *ho-jōrinus), as well as Avestan yāre (“year”), all from a PIE stem *yer-o-.

The derivation of the rune is uncertain; some scholars see it as a modification of Latin G (“C (ᚲ) with stroke”) while others consider it a Germanic innovation. The letter in any case appears from the very earliest runic inscriptions, figuring on the Vimose comb inscription, harja, a Germanic word for “warrior”, found especially as an element in given names.

Harja is developed from Proto-Indo-European *kóryos (“war, troops”), from *ker-. Cognate with Old Irish cuire (“troop, host, company; muster”), Lithuanian kãras, kãrias (“war”), Ancient Greek κοίρανος (koíranos, “ruler, commander, military leader”), Old Persian 𐎼𐎢 (kāra, “people of war, army”).

The corresponding letter of the Gothic alphabet is Gothic 𐌾, named jēr, also expressing /j/. The Elder Futhark rune gives rise to the Anglo-Frisian runes ᛄ /j/, named gēr /jeːr/, and ᛡ /io/, named ior, and to the Younger Futhark ár rune ᛅ, which stood for /a/ as the /j/ phoneme had disappeared in Old Norse.

ᛄ is a letter of the Runic alphabet, present in the Elder Fuþark (ᛃ), the Anglo-Saxon Fuþorc (ᛄ, called ġēr), and the Younger Fuþark (ᛅ, called ár in Old Norse), representing /j/ in the Anglo-Saxon Fuþorc, and associated with the year or the harvest. It comes from the Elder Fuþark ᛃ, possibly a modification of the Latin G or C, possibly a Germanic innovation.

The Song of the hoe or the Creation of the pickax is a Sumerian creation myth, written on clay tablets from the last century of the 3rd millennium BC. The poem is composed of the frequent use of the word “al”, which means hoe.

The song starts with a creation myth where Enlil separates heaven and earth in Duranki, the cosmic Nippur or ‘Garden of the Gods’. The myth continues with a description of Enlil creating daylight with his hoe; he goes on to praise its construction and creation.

Enlil makes civilized man, from a brick mould with his hoe. The useful construction and agricultural uses of the hoe are summarized, along with its capabilities for use as a weapon and for burying the dead.

The hymn ends with extensive praisings of the hoe, Enlil, and Nisaba: “The hoe makes everything prosper; the hoe makes everything flourish. The hoe is good barley; the hoe is an overseer. The hoe is brick moulds; the hoe has made people exist. It is the hoe that is the strength of young manhood. The hoe and the basket are the tools for building cities. It builds the right kind of house; it cultivates the right kind of fields. It is you, hoe, that extend the good agricultural land!”

Modern society may have trouble comprehending the virtue of extolling a tool such as the lowly hoe, for the Sumerians the implement had brought agriculture, irrigation, drainage and the ability to build roads, canals and eventually the first proto-cities.

One of the tablets from the Yale Babylonian Collection was published by J.J. Van Dijk which spoke of three cosmic realms; heaven, earth and kur in a time when darkness covered an arid land, when heaven and earth were joined and the Enlil’s universal laws, the me did not function.

Two of the major traditions of the Sumerian concept of the creation of man are discussed in the myth. The first is the creation of mankind from brick moulds or clay. This has notable similarities to the creation of man from the dust of the earth in the Book of Genesis in the Bible (Genesis 2:6-7). This activity has also been associated with creating clay figurines.

The second Sumerian tradition which compares men to plants, made to “break through the ground”, an allusion to imagery of the fertility or mother goddess and giving an image of man being “planted” in the ground.

Wayne Horowitz notes that five Sumerian myths recount a creation scene with the separation of heaven and earth. He further notes the figurative imagery relaying the relationship between the creation of agricultural implements making a function for mankind and thereby its creation from the “seed of the land”.

The myth was called the “Creation of the Pickax” by Samuel Noah Kramer, a name by which it is referred in older sorurces. In Sumerian literature, the hoe or pickaxe is used not only in creation of the Ekur but also described as the tool of its destruction in lament hymns such as the Lament for Ur, where it is torn apart with a storm and then pickaxes.

The cosmological position of the hoe does not fit into Charles Long’s categorization of cosmogenic myths. Creation has been suggested to have been the responsibility of different gods via different processes.

Creation via a cosmological agricultural implement seems to occupy a unique place in the creation myth genre. The song was meant to be sung aloud with the repetition of the word hoe or “al” a total of forty five times in the text with common use of the two syllables together “al”/”ar”.

A cosmological link is suggested between the hoe’s being and its doing; making everything prosper and flourish within a community. Gary Martin discusses the sociological benefits of singing songs to a hoe, to remind people that they wield the implement of Enlil and of creation. That they can participate in creativity and work well to preserve and improve society.

He suggests that “perhaps by praising the simple tool of an extremely important group of laborers, and imbuing it with cosmological significance, those wielders of the hoe are themselves brought into a grand cosmological drama.”


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The Sintashta Culture and Some Questions of Indo-Europeans Origins

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 11, 2018

The Sintashta Culture and Some Questions of Indo-Europeans Origins

S. A. Grigoryev

Institute of History and Archaeology

Ural brunch of Russian Academy of Sciences

Chelyabinsk – Russia

Origins of Indo-Europeans is one of the most significant problems of history, archaeology and linguistics. This problem has already been discussed for 200 years after the kinship of Indo-European languages was demonstrated.

Various scholars localised the Indo-European homeland in different places of Eurasian continent. J.P. Mallory has shown that the Indo-European homeland’s localisation in Northern or Central Europe is impossible because the cultures of these regions have successors neither in Steppe zone nor in Anatolia, Iran and India.

Any attempts to search for such successors there for Balkan cultures have no chance of success, except Anatolia. The most popular now is the theory placing Indo-European homeland in Steppe of Eastern Europe . J.P.Mallory called this theory the “conventional wisdom” of Indo-European studies.

This theory proposes a local development of East-European cultures from Enaeolithic to Pit-grave culture, Catacomb culture, Timber-grave (or Srubnaya) culture and Andronovo culture, which (? 1 vs. all) migrated south to India. It is the most convincing theory today, but it contains some important defects.

Catacomb and Pit-grave cultures have no genetic connection. Timber-grave and Andronovo cultures have no such connection with Catacomb culture too. Cultures of Scythian and Sarmatian world were not forming on the basis of the Late Bronze Age cultures placed from the Dnieper river to the Altai. And the so called “Andronovo culture” is an archaeological myth. There are no features of “Steppe cultures” in cultures of India and Iran. And there are no Finno-Ugric borrowings in languages of Avesta and Rig Veda.

Linguists T.V. Gamkrelidze and V.V.Ivanov basing on analyses of Indo-European languages have localised the Indo-European homeland in Near East and described migrations of separate groups . C.Renfrew is partly agree with them placing Proto-Indoeuropeans in Anatolia.

However, these hypotheses don’t conform to archaeological conceptions on cultural processes in Eurasia and most scholars don’t hold them. My study of Eurasian cultures allows me to say that Indo-European homeland was really in Near East.

I am beginning my survey from Indo-Iranians. Roman Ghirshman connected Mitannian Aryans with North-Eastern Iran. Vakhsh and Bishkent cultures, which are used usually as a bridge between so called “Steppe cultures” and Indostan, have their roots in this region too.

Early Swata culture in Pakistan has analogies in Hissar IIB, IIIB. The presence of Indo-Aryans in Northern Pontic area is marked by place-names. In this region we can connect Catacomb culture with Indo-Aryans, because catacomb burial ritual had roots in South-Western Turkmenistan from the early 4th millennium (Parkhai cemetery).

V.I. Sarianidi have demonstrated that the appearance of Iranians in Central Asia and Eastern Iran and forming of Bactria-Margiana archaeological complex had been caused by migration from Syro-Anatolian region . The next moving of Western Iranians from North-Eastern Iran has been shown by T.C.Young.

So, we have only one problem with our searching for Indo-Iranians. That is an origin of Iranians of the Steppe area. A key to a solution of this problem are sites of Sintashta culture, discovered recently in the Southern Urals. Features of the culture have prototypes neither in the Urals nor in Eastern Europe.

The Sintashta fortified settlements (Arkaim and Sintashta) have round walls and moats . The houses are blocked together. Direct analogies with them are known only in Anatolia (Demirchiuyuk, Pulur, Mercin), Syro-Palestine (Rogem Hiri) and the Transcaucasus (Uzerlic-Tepe). Sintashta burial traditions are identical to ones in this region too. Other artefacts (metal, ceramics etc.) have parallels there .

A technology of metal production is very specific. Metallurgists alloyed copper with arsenic on an ore-smelting stage. In Eastern Europe such way of bronze production was not known. However, it was known in the Transcaucasus and, perhaps, in Near East. A correlation of weapons, tools, ornaments and other artefacts is similar to those in the Transcaucasus and Asia Minor.

A weaving technology had been borrowed from any south centre.

Sintashta culture, of course, includes a number of local substratum’s, but in general, Sintashta people were strangers for Eastern Europe and the Urals. The homeland of these tribes was placed somewhere in Syro-Anatolian region, like as the homeland of Iranians of Margiana and Bactria.

The Sintashta culture appeared in the Urals in XVIII century (in non-calibrated system). As a result, Abashevo cultures, which were closely related to Sintashta culture were formed from the Don river up to the Urals.

Timber-grave, Petrovka and Alakul cultures, distributing in a huge area from the Dnieper river to CentralKazakhstan, were formed on the base of Sintashta and Abashevo cultures in the XVI century.

Some include Petrovka and Alakul cultures in Andronovo culture. The forming of these cultures reflected an Iranization of Steppe zone. Although the appearance of Scithian and Sarmatian tribes was not connected with these cultures.

Another important problem of Indo-European study is a migration of ancient Europeans. T.V.Gamkrelidze and V.V.Ivanov consider that their languages were differentiated already in Near East. These peoples (Celts,Germans, Slavs, Balts) moved to Europe through Iran and Central Asia around Caspian See.

As a result ofcombined migrations, an area of the second intimacy of these dialects formed somewhere to the North ofCaspian See. This linguistic reconstruction corresponded to archaeological evidence.

In the XVII century Seyma-Turbino tribes moved westwards from the Altai. The most significantcharacteristic of their culture are tools and weapons from tin-bronzes: daggers, celts, socketed spearheads,chisels and so on.

Prototypes of these bronzes (except prototypes of celts) are known in Near East. Contacts of these populations with local tribes caused a forming of many new cultures from Irtish up to Middle Volga: Elunino, Krotovo, Tashkovo, Chirkovo.

New cultural features appeared in Western Siberia: fortified settlements, settlements with round plan, ceramics with roller, bone plate armours, developed metallurgy and domestic animals.

During XVI-XV centuries artefacts closely related to Seyma tradition became typical for hoards inPannonia, France and England. Thus, these bronzes distribution marks the moving of Celts.

A new wave of newcomers left F’odorovo culture sites. Some include usually this culture, together withAlakul culture, in Andronovo culture. However, all attempts to find its local roots had no success.

But these roots are in North-Western Iran and South Azerbaijan: cremation in stone boxes and cysts under mounds, clayprops for hearth, oval dishes, polished ware. Complex of metal have analogies in Circumpontic area, but first ofall, in Sumbar culture in South-Western Turkmenistan. Potteries from Central Asia have been found in someF’odorovo sites.

Typical F’odorovo artefacts are known up to Dnieper river. However, a contact of F’odorovo tribes withfirst wave of newcomers is more important for us. As a result of this contact new cultures were formed, whichfix this contact and a gradual displacement of these populations to the West.

Chernoozerie in Irtish basin, Cherkaskul in the Urals, Suskan and Prikazanskaia in Volga-Kama region, Pozdniakovo in Oka basin. These cultures combine cremation and inhumation, mounds and flat burials, bronzes of Seyma and F’odorovo types.

Next moving of these tribes to the West leads to forming of Sosnitzkaia culture on the left-bank ofDnieper, Trzciniec-Komarov culture from Dnieper to Vistula and Tumulus culture in Central and NorthernEurope. These cultures reflect localisation of Balts, Slavs and Germans.

I don’t have possibility to touch upon the questions of an origin of Proto-Indoeuropeans and their moreearly migrations. I have done it in my book “Ancient Indo-Europeans. An attempt of historical reconstruction”.To my regret, I can do only a short survey of these problems in this article.

The Indo-European homeland was placed on the territory of Kurdistan. The most early complexes whichwe can connect with Proto-Indoeuropeans are such objects as Tel Magzalia, Tel Sotto, Hassuna, dating from theVIII to the early V millenniums.

The first Indo-Europeans migrated to the Balkan peninsula after and together with other anatolian peoples at about the end of the VI millennium. The Anatolian tribes were formed here on this base. But most part of Indo-European migrations began later – at about the early IV millennium.

Thracians (Novo-Danilovo, Lower Mikhailovka and, perhaps, Sredniy Stog) through the Caucasus and Steppe came to Balkan and forced out Anatolians to Asia Minor, where features of more early european cultures appeared at thelatter half of the IV millennium.

The Indo Europeanization of the Caucasus and Eastern Europe lasted for a longtime – from the Neolithic to the beginning of the Iron Age. In the Middle Bronze Age Indo-Aryans (Catacombculture) and, perhaps, Greeks (Multiroller Ware Culture) came to the South of Eastern Europe. Maikop culture ofthe Early Bronze Age had, for example, undoubted Neareastern roots.

The first coming of Indo-Europeans to Central and Northern Europe was connected perhaps with TRB-culture and quite certainly with Corded Ware cultures. The latest were a local Indo-European substratum whichhad been assimilated by ancient Europeans.

Tokharians reached the Altai, Saian and Ordos in the Middle Bronze Age, forming the Okunev culture and, perhaps, the Late Afanasyevo culture. The Early Afanasyevo culture was formed as a result of Indo-Iranian migration from Eastern Europe at the Early Bronze Age.

Ancestors of Scithian and Kimmerian tribes settled, contemporary to Sintashta migration, in the Transcaucasus (Sevan-Uzerlic cultural type). About the XIV century (BC?) a part of this population moved to Southern Siberia and Mongolia (Carasuk andIrmen’ cultures).

At the end of the Bronze Age Kimmerians migrated westwards to Northern Pontic area. Scithian migration through Iran, Near East and the Caucasus took place at the beginning of the Iron Age. At last, various streams of Indo-Europeans (Tokharians, Europeans and Iranians) influenced forming and development of the Chinese civilisation.


Let’s sum up. As a result of my study, I worked out a new historical model of origins and migrations of Indo-European peoples, which I have tried to show in this article. The conformity of my archaeological model to the linguistic one, proposed by Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, permits to say that Indo-European problem is solved, but in general outline only. The detailed description of early Indo-European history could be done within some years, in case of closely concerted actions by archaeologists and linguists.

From Danube to Asia. From West to East and Back. PIE. Indo-Europeans. Indo-Iranians

The Sintashta Culture and Some Questions of Indo-Europeans Origins

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Origin of the carpet

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 10, 2018

Fundamental laws of life  Recorded in the iconography of  an Armenian Khentsoresk rug  The reading is:  For the  SEED to bloom into ETERNAL life,  four essential elements  EARTH WIND  WATER FIRE  must be present at the same time and place.  Each element must contribute it’s  POSITIVE (MALE) and  NEGATIVE (FEMALE) energy force harmoniously.  “SEED” then grows into A TREE OF LIFE.  This is true in  FOUR CORNERS of THIS WORLD,  EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN,  Surrounded with many  SUNS PLANETS STARS   Thes

Armenia / Urartu

Bilderesultat for Pazyryk Carpet

The Pazyryk carpet

The knotted pile carpet probably originated in the Caspian Sea area (Northern Iran) or the Armenian Highland. Various rug fragments have been excavated in Armenia dating back to the 7th century BC or earlier. The historian Herodotus writing in the 5th century BC also informs us that the inhabitants of the Caucasus wove beautiful rugs with brilliant colors which would never fade.

Although there is evidence of goats and sheep being sheared for wool and hair which was spun and woven as far back at the 7th millennium, the earliest surviving pile carpet in existence is the “Pazyryk carpet”, which dates from the 5th-4th century BC.

This richly coloured carpet is 200 x 183 cm (6’6″ x 6’0″) and framed by a border of griffins. It was excavated from a Pazyryk burial mound in a frozen tomb in the Altai Mountains in Siberia by Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko in 1949. It is now in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

This square tufted carpet, almost perfectly intact, is considered by many experts to be of Caucasian, specifically Armenian, origin. The eminent authority of ancient carpets, Ulrich Schurmann, says of it, “From all the evidence available I am convinced that the Pazyryk rug was a funeral accessory and most likely a masterpiece of Armenian workmanship”.

Gantzhorn concurs with this thesis. It is interesting to note that at the ruins of Persepolis in Iran where various nations are depicted as bearing tribute, the horse design from the Pazyryk carpet is the same as the relief depicting part of the Armenian delegation.

Armenian carpets were renowned by foreigners who travelled to Artsakh; the Arab geographer and historian Al-Masudi noted that, among other works of art, he had never seen such carpets elsewhere in his life.

Art historian Hravard Hakobyan notes that “Artsakh carpets occupy a special place in the history of Armenian carpet-making.” Common themes and patterns found on Armenian carpets were the depiction of dragons and eagles.

They were diverse in style, rich in colour and ornamental motifs, and were even separated in categories depending on what sort of animals were depicted on them, such as artsvagorgs (eagle-carpets), vishapagorgs (dragon-carpets) and otsagorgs (serpent-carpets).

The rug mentioned in the Kaptavan inscriptions is composed of three arches, “covered with vegatative ornaments”, and bears an artistic resemblance to the illuminated manuscripts produced in Artsakh.

The art of carpet weaving was in addition intimately connected to the making of curtains as evidenced in a passage by Kirakos Gandzaketsi, a 13th-century Armenian historian from Artsakh, who praised Arzu-Khatun, the wife of regional prince Vakhtang Khachenatsi, and her daughters for their expertise and skill in weaving.

The magic carpet

The Armenian carpet and it’s significance

Woven carpets in Cappadocia

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Mannaz: (M: Man, mankind)

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 22, 2018

Bilderesultat for aquarius

Bilderesultat for vannmannen enki

Bilderesultat for vannmannen

Aquarius: Water and Man (Enki)

Aquarius: Gula / Ninurta (Thor)

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is exalted in Libra. 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 refer Saturn as the planetary ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius.

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

Saturn is associated with Saturday, which was named after the deity Saturn. The famous rings of the planet Saturn that enclose and surround it, reflect the idea of human limitations.  The Return of Saturn is said to mark significant events in each person’s life.

Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio. In Greek mythology, Uranus is the personification of the sky. Uranus is also associated with Wednesday, alongside Mercury (since Uranus is in the higher octave of Mercury).

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

Uranus, the planet of sudden and unexpected changes, rules freedom and originality. In society, it rules radical ideas and people, as well as revolutionary events that upset established structures. Uranus governs societies, clubs, and any group based on humanitarian or progressive ideals. 

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.

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.

Enki, was portrayed as Ninurta’s mentor from whom Ninurta was entrusted several powerful Mes, including the Deluge. In the late neo-Babylonian and early Persian period, syncretism seems to have fused Ninurta’s character with that of Nergal. The two gods were often invoked together, and spoken of as if they were one divinity.

In Sumerian mythology, Ninsun or Ninsumun (“lady of the wild cows”) is a goddess, best known as the mother of the legendary hero Gilgamesh, and as the tutelary goddess of Gudea of Lagash. Her parents are the deities Anu and Uras. Ninsun has also been linked to older deities as she is believed to be their reincarnation.

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.

She assists her son in his adventure by providing him with the meanings of his dream in the beginning. 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.

In Sumerian mythology, Ninsun was originally called Gula until her name was later changed to Ninisina. Later, Gula became a Babylonian goddess. According to “Pabilsag’s Journey to Nibru,” Ninsun was originally named Nininsina. According to the ancient Babylonian text, Nininsina wedded Pabilsag near a riverbank and gave birth to Damu as a result of the union.

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. Later as Gula and in medical incantations, Bēlet or Balāti, also as the Azugallatu the “great healer”,same as her son Damu.

Other names borne by this goddess are Nin-Karrak, Nin Ezen, Ga-tum-dug and Nm-din-dug. Her epithets are “great healer of the land” and “great healer of the black-headed ones”, a “herb grower”, “the lady who makes the broken up whole again”, and “creates life in the land”, making her a vegetation/fertility goddess endowed with regenerative power.

After the Great Flood, she helped “breathe life” back into mankind. 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. In the Neo-Babylonian period, she also had an oneiric quality. She had sometimes violent nature as the “queen whose ‘tempest’, like a raging storm, makes heaven tremble, makes earth quake”). She was a source for blasphemous remarks where Gula and her dogs are mentioned in formulae of a curse.

Leo: Nergal (Tyr)

The standard iconography pictured Nergal as a lion. In Assyro-Babylonian ecclesiastical art the great lion-headed colossi serving as guardians to the temples and palaces seem to symbolise Nergal, just as the bull-headed colossi probably typify Ninurta.

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Leo. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area approximately between July 23 and August 22, and under the sidereal zodiac from approximately August 16 to September 15.

Leo is a fixed sign along with Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius. The sign spans the 120th to 150th degree of celestial longitude.The symbol of the lion is based on the Nemean lion, a lion with an impenetrable hide. It is a northern sign and its opposite southern sign is Aquarius.

Leo was one of the earliest recognized constellations, with archaeological evidence that the Mesopotamians had a similar constellation as early as 4000 BCE. The Persians called Leo Ser or Shir; the Turks, Artan; the Syrians, Aryo; the Jews, Arye; the Indians, Simha, all meaning “lion”.

In Babylonian astronomy, the constellation was called UR.GU.LA, the “Great Lion”; the bright star Regulus was known as “the star that stands at the Lion’s breast.” Regulus also had distinctly regal associations, as it was known as the King Star.

Bilderesultat for pegasus

Bilderesultat for pegasus constellation


Horse – Horus / Hest – Jesus

Pisces – Inanna / Aries – Tammuz

The beginning and the end – of the year

Enki was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). 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”. He was associated with the planet Mercury in the Sumerian astrological system.

Pegasus constellation, the Winged Horse, is a northern constellation above Aquarius constellation and below Cygnus constellation, between Delphinius constellation and Andromeda constellation. It spans 40 degrees of the zodiac in the signs of Aries and Pisces, and contains 12 named fixed stars. Many stargazers use the Square of Pegasus to locate Pisces.

Mythologically he was the son of Neptune and Medusa, sprung by his father’s command from the blood of the latter which dropped into the sea after her head had been severed by Perseus; and he was named either from Pegai, the Springs of the Ocean, the place of his birth, or from Pegos, Strong.

Pegasus stretches across Pisces constellation and Aquarius constellation, so it could feasibly represent the evolution between one mode of thinking to another. The meaning of Pegasus seems to mirror that leap of consciousness needed to get into the supposed “Age Of Aquarius”, Pegasus representing the shift in mindset from worshiping a God to becoming your own God.

But when one looks at the stars in Pegasus, it is evident the transition is not going to be easy. Pegasus was born from the blood of Medusa (Algol) – his mother, and his father Poseidon who had raped Medusa before she was turned into a Gorgon.

Bilderesultat for zodiac

Bilderesultat for zodiac

Uranus, god of the heavens, represents air, Neptune, god of the sea, represents water and Pluto, god of the underworld, represents fire.

The Moon or Luna is associated with Monday.

Pluto is also associated with Tuesday, alongside Mars.

Uranus is also associated with Wednesday, alongside Mercury.

Jupiter is associated with Thursday.

Neptune also represents the day of Friday, alongside Venus.

Saturn is associated with Saturday, which was named after the deity Saturn.

The Sun is associated with Sunday.


Bilderesultat for mannus tyr

TUMBLR SOWILO - Pesquisa Google


Bilderesultat for mars venus symbol

Tyr and Mannus

Furthermore, Heimdall is in many attributes identical with Tyr. Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. Tacitus wrote that Mannus was the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones.

The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz (“man”) and Tiwaz (“Tyr, the god”). Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis. Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.

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


Dyēus (also *Dyēus phter, alternatively spelled dyēws) is believed to have been 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 Mhter, “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 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 (Zeus), Sanskrit Dyauṣ Pitār, and Dionysus, especially with the Thracians and Sabines.

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, but in Vedic mythology, the etymological continuant of Dyeus became a very abstract god, and his original attributes, and his dominance over other gods, seem 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).

Germanic Tīwaz (known as Týr in Old Norse), Latin Deus (originally used to address Jupiter, but later adopted as the name of the Christian god), Indo-Aryan deva: Vedic/Puranic deva, Buddhist deva, Iranic daeva, daiva, diw, etc., Baltic Dievas, Celtic e.g. Gaulish Dēuos, and Slavic div(-ese) (miracle) derive from the related *deiwos. 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”).


Dingir (usually transliterated diĝir is a Sumerian word for “god” or “goddess”. 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. Its emesal pronunciation was dimer.

The Sumerian sign DIĜIR originated as a star-shaped ideogram indicating a god in general, or the Sumerian god An, the supreme father of the gods. Dingir also meant sky or heaven in contrast with ki which meant earth.

The sign in Sumerian cuneiform DIĜIR 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) could be either an ideogram for “deity” (ilum) or a syllabogram for an, or ìl-. InHittite 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.

Tiwaz: (T: Tyr, the sky god)

Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Analysis, rationality. Knowing where one’s true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters. Tiwaz Reversed or Merkstave: One’s energy and creative flow are blocked. Mental paralysis, over-analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance. Strife, war, conflict, failure in competition. Dwindling passion, difficulties in communication, and possibly separation.

Tiwaz is a warrior rune named after the god Tyr who is the Northern god of law and justice. Tyr is related to the north star in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, around which the fixed stars in the night sky appear to rotate. Ancient seamen used Polaris as their main navigational aid in their long journeys, and the symbol as an arrow pointing upward is perhaps made in reference to this.

This symbolizes the positive ordering of the cosmos and humankind through law and justice and our moral compass. Chaos comes to order through the attributes of awakened consciousness and the guiding principles concerned with carrying out such an awakening.

Tyr is a one-handed god with a long history, and his hand was sacrificed to trick the wolf, Fenris, into being chained. Tiwaz is just victory according to the law of accumulated right past action. To rule justly, one is asked to make many self-sacrifices, and Tiwaz can develop the power of positive self-sacrifice and temper over-sacrifice. The belief that courage and a right cause carries the day is governed by Tiwaz. It is the common justice of the people rather than the use of law by tyrants (a word that uses Tyr as a root)

Tiwaz will bring about a correct balancing of the scales so that you are assured a fair hearing and fair decision. Do not be thrown off balance by the chaos of your environment. Like the North star, you must remain true and calm, assert your case with confidence and let the energies of your orlog assisted by the force of Tiwaz bring about a right solution.

Should you need reassurances that there is value in building up positive patterns in advance of emergency, this is the time you will see its greatest manifestation. You have earned the right to a fair and just decision. Tiwaz will be used to bring fair distribution of the earned energies from your ancestral stream.

Tiwaz can be used to bring about a missionary zeal for a righteous cause. The most powerful insight we can draw from Tiwaz is that we must target our energies in the single most correct place, just as the arrow or spear symbolized by the rune must. Call upon Tiwaz for justice.


Tau (uppercase Τ, lowercase τ; Greek: ταυ) is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 300. Tau was derived from the Phoenician letter taw. It is the twenty-second and last letter of the Semitic abjads. Its original sound value is /t/. The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek tau (Τ), Latin T, and Cyrillic Т.

Taw is believed to be derived from the Egyptian hieroglyph meaning “mark”. “From aleph to taf” describes something from beginning to end, the Hebrew equivalent of the English “From A to Z.”

Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew word emet, which means ‘truth’. The midrash explains that emet is made up of the first, middle, and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet (aleph, mem, and tav).

Sheqer (falsehood), on the other hand, is made up of the 19th, 20th, and 21st (and penultimate) letters. Thus, truth is all-encompassing, while falsehood is narrow and deceiving.

In Jewish mythology it was the word emet that was carved into the head of the golem, an animated anthropomorphic being, magically created entirely from inanimate matter, which ultimately gave it life. But when the letter aleph was erased from the golem’s forehead, what was left was “met”—dead. And so the golem died.

In Biblical times, the taw was put on men to distinguish those who lamented sin, although newer versions of the Bible have replaced the ancient term taw with mark (Ezekiel 9:4) or signature (Job 31:35).

The tau was also considered a symbol of salvation due to the identification of the tau with the sign which in Ezekiel 9:4 was marked on the forehead of the saved ones (“set a mark (tav; after the Phoenician cross-shape 𐤕) on the forehead of the men”), or due to the tau-shaped outstretched hands of Moses in Exodus 17:11.

The symbolism of the cross was connected not only to the letter chi but also to tau, the equivalent of the last letter in the Phoenician and Old Hebrew alphabets, and which was originally cruciform in shape.

An essay written around 160 AD, attributed to Lucian, a mock legal prosecution called The Consonants at Law — Sigma v. Tau in the Court of Seven Vowels, contains a reference to the cross attribution. Sigma petitions the court to sentence Tau to death by crucifixion, saying:

Men weep, and bewail their lot, and curse Cadmus with many curses for introducing Tau into the family of letters; they say it was his body that tyrants took for a model, his shape that they imitated, when they set up structures on which men are crucified. Stauros (cross) the vile engine is called, and it derives its vile name from him.

Now, with all these crimes upon him, does he not deserve death, nay, many deaths? For my part I know none bad enough but that supplied by his own shape — that shape which he gave to the gibbet named stauros after him by men

The Tau Cross is most commonly used in reference to the Franciscan Order and Saint Francis of Assisi, who adopted it as his personal coat of arms after hearing Pope Innocent III talk about the Tau symbol. It is now used as a symbol of the Franciscan Order.

Almost all Franciscan churches have painted a tau with two crossing arms, both with stigmata, the one of Jesus and the other of Francis; usually members of the Secular Franciscan Order wear a wooden τ in a string with three knots around the neck.

The Cross of Tau is a form of the Christian cross symbol named after the Greek letter it resembles. It is also variously St. Anthony’s Cross, Old Testament Cross, Anticipatory Cross, Cross Commissee, Egyptian Cross, Advent Cross, Croce taumata, Saint Francis’s Cross, Crux Commissa.

The staurogram was a tau-rho ligature used to abbreviate the Greek word for cross in very early New Testament manuscripts. The tau was also considered a symbol of salvation due to the identification of the tau with the sign which in Ezechiel 9:4 was marked on the forehead of the saved ones “set a mark on the forehead of the men”, or due to the tau-shaped outstretched hands of Moses in Exodus 17:11.

The bovines in the region in which Ptah was worshipped exhibited white patterning on their mainly black bodies, and so a belief grew up that the Apis bull had to have a certain set of markings suitable to its role. It was required to have a white triangle upon its forehead, a white vulture wing outline on its back, a scarab mark under its tongue, a white crescent moon shape on its right flank, and double hairs on its tail.

In ancient times, tau was used as a symbol for life or resurrection, whereas the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, theta, was considered the symbol of death.

According to Porphyry of Tyros, the Egyptians used an X within a circle as a symbol of the soul; having a value of nine, it was used as a symbol for Ennead or Great Ennead, a group of nine deities in Egyptian mythology worshipped at Heliopolis.

Johannes Lydus says that the Egyptians used a symbol for cosmos in the form of theta, with a fiery circle representing the world, and a snake spanning the middle representing Agathos Daimon (literally: good spirit).

Theta is the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, derived from the Phoenician letter Teth. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 9. The Egyptians also used the symbol of a point within a circle (the sun disc) to represent the sun, which might be a possible origin of its use as the Sun’s astrological glyph. It is worthwhile to note that theta has the same numerical value in isopsephy as Helios.

In classical Athens, it was used as an abbreviation for the Greek thanatos (“death”) and as it vaguely resembles a human skull, theta was used as a warning symbol of death, in the same way that skull and crossbones are used in modern times. It survives on potsherds used by Athenians when voting for the death penalty.

Petrus de Dacia in a document from 1291 relates the idea that theta was used to brand criminals as empty ciphers, and the branding rod was affixed to the crossbar spanning the circle. For this reason, use of the number theta was sometimes avoided where the connotation was felt to be unlucky—the mint marks of some Late Imperial Roman coins famously have the sum ΔΕ or ΕΔ (delta and epsilon, that is 4 and 5) substituted as a euphemism where a Θ (9) would otherwise be expected. 

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Uranus / Mercury

In Chinese astrology Mercury represents Water, the fourth element, therefore symbolizing communication, intelligence, and elegance. n Japanese, the word for Wednesday is (sui youbi), meaning ‘water day’ and is associated with (suisei): Mercury (the planet), literally meaning “water star”. Similarly, in Korean the word Wednesday is (su yo il), also meaning water day.

Uranus (meaning “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying the sky and one of the Greek primordial deities. His name in Roman mythology was Caelus. In Ancient Greek literature, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, Mother Earth. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Uranus was conceived by Gaia alone, but other sources cite Aether as his father. Uranus was the brother of Pontus, the God of the sea.

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

The most probable etymology traces the name to a Proto-Greek form *worsanós enlarged from *ṷorsó- (also found in Greek ouréō ‘to urinate’, Sanskrit varṣá ‘rain’, Hittite ṷarša- ‘fog, mist’). The basic Indo-European root is *ṷérs- ‘to rain, moisten’ (also found in Greek eérsē ‘dew’, Sanskrit várṣati ‘to rain’, Avestan aiβi.varəšta ‘it rained on’), making Ouranos the ‘rainmaker’.

A less likely etymology is a derivative with meaning ‘the one standing on high’ from PIE *ṷérso- (cf. Sanskrit várṣman ‘height, top’, Lithuanian viršùs ‘upper, highest seat’, Russian verx ‘height, top’).

Of some importance in the comparative study of Indo-European mythology is the identification by Georges Dumézil (1934) of Uranus with the Vedic deity Váruṇa (Mitanni Aruna), the supreme keeper of order who later became the god of oceans and rivers, but the etymological equation is considered untenable.

Mercury represents the principles of communication, mentality, thinking patterns, rationality and reasoning, and adaptability and variability. Mercury governs schooling and education, the immediate environment of neighbors, siblings and cousins, transport over short distances, messages and forms of communication such as post, email and telephone, newspapers, journalism and writing, information gathering skills and physical dexterity.

It is an opportunistic planet, decidedly unemotional and curious. It is the planet of day-to-day expression and relationships. The 1st-century poet Manilius described Mercury as an inconstant, vivacious and curious planet. Dante Alighieri associated Mercury with the liberal art of dialectic.

In medicine, Mercury is associated with the nervous system, the brain, the respiratory system, the thyroid and the sense organs. It is traditionally held to be essentially cold and dry, according to its placement in the zodiac and in any aspects to other planets.

Mercury rules over Wednesday. In Romance languages, the word for Wednesday is often similar to Mercury (miercuri in Romanian, mercredi in French, miercoles in Spanish and mercoledì in Italian). Uranus is also associated with Wednesday, alongside Mercury (since Uranus is in the higher octave of Mercury).

In Indian astrology, Mercury is called Budha, a word related to Buddhi (“intelligence”) and represents communication. In Chinese astrology, Mercury represents Water, the fourth element, therefore symbolizing communication, intelligence, and elegance.




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’.

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. In “A hymn to Nergal” Ninshubur appeared as the minister of the underworld.

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.


Thoth was one of the deities of the Egyptian pantheon. In art, he was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him. His feminine counterpart was Seshat, and his wife was Ma’at.

Thoth’s chief temple was located in the city of Khmun, later called Hermopolis Magna during the Greco-Roman era (in reference to him through the Greeks’ interpretation that he was the same as their god Hermes) and Shmounein in the Coptic rendering, and was partially destroyed in 1826. In that city, he led the Ogdoad pantheon of eight principal deities.

Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma’at) who stood on either side of Ra’s boat. In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.


Hermes is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, and the second youngest of the Olympian gods (Dionysus being the youngest).

Hermes is considered a god of transitions and boundaries. He is described as quick and cunning, moving freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine. He is also portrayed as an emissary and messenger of the gods; an intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. He has been viewed as the protector and patron of herdsmen, thieves, oratory and wit, literature and poetry, athletics and sports, invention and trade, roads, boundaries and travelers.

In some myths, he is a trickster and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or for the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, purse or pouch, winged sandals, and winged cap. His main symbol is the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus, which appears in a form of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff.

In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.

Mercury is a major 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 and communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he is also the guide of souls to the underworld. 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), andmerces (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 οὖρος (by analogy of Arctūrus/Ἀρκτοῦρος), as the “keeper of boundaries,” referring to his role as bridge between the upper and lower worlds.

In his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms; both gods share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes. He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand.

When they described the gods of Celtic and Germanic tribes, rather than considering them separate deities, the Romans interpreted them as local manifestations or aspects of their own gods, a cultural trait called the interpretatio Romana.

Mercury in particular was reported as becoming extremely popular among the nations the Roman Empire conquered; Julius Caesar wrote of Mercury being the most popular god in Britain and Gaul, regarded as the inventor of all the arts. This is probably because in the Roman syncretism, Mercury was equated with the Celtic god Lugus, and in this aspect was commonly accompanied by the Celtic goddess Rosmerta.

Although Lugus may originally have been a deity of light or the sun (though this is disputed), similar to the Roman Apollo, his importance as a god of trade made him more comparable to Mercury, and Apollo was instead equated with the Celtic deity Belenus.

Romans also associated Mercury with the Germanic god Wotan or Odin, by interpretatio Romana; 1st-century Roman writer Tacitus identifies him as the chief god of the Germanic peoples.


In Germanic mythology, Odin is a widely revered god. In Norse mythology, from which stems most of our 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, a goddess associated with foreknowledge and wisdom in Norse mythology.

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 orWōtan, all stemming from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz.

References to Odin appear in place names throughout regions historically inhabited by the ancient Germanic peoples, and the day of the week Wednesday bears his name in many Germanic languages, including English.

In Anglo-Saxon England, Odin held a particular place as a euhemerized ancestral figure among royalty, and he is frequently referred to as a founding figure among various other Germanic peoples, including the Langobards and in most of Scandinavia.

Forms of his name appear frequently throughout the Germanic record, though narratives regarding Odin are primarily found in Old Norse works recorded in Iceland, primarily around the 13th century, texts which make up the bulk of modern understanding of Norse mythology.

In Old Norse texts, Odin is depicted as one-eyed and long-bearded, frequently wielding a spear named Gungnir, and wearing a cloak and a broad hat. He is often accompanied by his animal companions—the wolves Geri and Freki and the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from all over Midgard—and Odin rides the flying, eight-legged steed Sleipnir across the sky and into the underworld.

Odin is attested as having many sons, most famously the god Baldr with Frigg, and is known by hundreds of names. In these texts, Odin frequently seeks knowledge in some manner and in disguise (most famously by obtaining the Mead of Poetry), at times makes wagers with his wife Frigg over the outcome of exploits, and takes part in both the creation of the world by way of slaying the primordial being Ymir and the gift of life to the first two humans Ask and Embla. Odin has a particular association with Yule, and mankind’s knowledge of both the runes and poetry is also attributed to Odin.

In Old Norse texts, Odin is given primacy over female beings associated with the battlefield—the valkyries — and he himself oversees the afterlife location Valhalla, where he receives half of those who die in battle, the einherjar. The other half are chosen by goddess Freyja for her afterlife location, Fólkvangr.

Odin consults the disembodied, herb-embalmed head of the wise being Mímir for advice and during the foretold events of Ragnarök, Odin is told to lead the einherjar into battle before being consumed by the monstrous wolf Fenrir.

In later folklore, Odin appears as a leader of the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession of the dead through the winter sky. Odin is also particularly associated with charms and other forms of magic, such as in Old English and Old Norse texts.

Odin has been a frequent subject of study in Germanic studies and numerous theories surround the god. Some of these focus on Odin’s particular relation to other figures, such as that Freyja’s husband Óðr appears to be something of an etymological doublet of the god, whereas Odin’s wife Frigg is in many ways similar to Freyja, and that Odin has a particular relation to the figure of Loki.

Other approaches focus on Odin’s place in the historical record, a frequent question being whether Odin is derived from Proto-Indo-European religion, or whether he developed later in Germanic society.

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Bilderesultat for humans

Bilderesultat for m letter phoenician

Letter M

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Letter M

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Rune M


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Mannaz: (M: Man, mankind)

Mannaz is the conventional name of the m-rune ᛗ of the Elder Futhark. It is derived from the reconstructed Common Germanic word for “man”, *mannaz. Younger Futhark ᛘ is maðr (“man”). It took up the shape of the algiz rune ᛉ, replacing Elder Futhark ᛗ.

Mannaz represents the alphabet M. As its sound value and form in the Elder Futhark indicate, it is derived from the letter M (𐌌) in the Old Italic alphabets, ultimately from the Greek letter Mu (μ).

The rune is recorded in all three Rune Poems, in the Norwegian and Icelandic poems as maðr, and in the Anglo-Saxon poem as man. Younger Futhark ᛘ is maðr (“man”). It took up the shape of the algiz rune ᛉ, replacing Elder Futhark ᛗ.

Mannaz when translated means mankind or human. Its meaning can also be interpreted as man, humanity and the inner self. It can also symbolize manhood, womanhood and soul. Mannaz is symbolic of both male and female polarity.

It represents the human race and the fact that humans share a relation with each other and yet are alone in the final journey of life towards death. The rune characterizes the ego of a person, the people in general, the world, family and a person’s mind and body.

Mannaz suggests that there is close cooperation between various people who communicate for the common good of all and let their self interests take a back seat. It tells a person that whatever may come, one will lead a destined life. The rune also represents a person who is friendly, extrovert and social.

In the spiritual sense the rune asks a person to accept everything, good or bad, which comes his way alike. It says that to be a spiritual being, a person needs to have a balance of the body, mind and spirit. It also asks a person to learn from every experience of life as this knowledge helps in moving forward and upwards.

In divination, the rune is a symbol for a group of people or an individual, humanity, social order and help from others in a community. The rune’s magical powers can be used to invoke bonding between the members of a community. It helps people to assist each other and also develop a positive attitude towards each other when they are living in a community.

In the reverse position, Mannaz indicates rejection, isolation, manipulation, inhumanity and break down in the social order. It brings forward the cunning and sly nature of a person when it is in a reverse position. In its reverse state it says that a person’s actions are the main reason for him being cast aside from the community and creating enemies. When Mannaz appears in a person’s reading in its converse position, it states that the person is dishonest. It also warns against the flaws and weaknesses that a person has.

The Self; the individual or the human race. Your attitude toward others and their attitudes towards you. Friends and enemies, social order. Intelligence, forethought, create, skill, ability. Divine structure, intelligence, awareness. Expect to receive some sort of aid or cooperation now. Mannaz Reversed or Merkstave: Depression, mortality, blindness, self-delusion. Cunning, slyness, manipulation, craftiness, calculation. Expect no help now.

Symbolism in Mannaz

Mem (Semitic)

Mu was derived from the Phoenician Mem (also spelled Meem, Meme, or Mim), the thirteenth letter of the Semitic abjads, which it self derived from Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for water, which had been simplified by the Phoenicians and named after their word for water, mem, ultimately coming from Proto-Semitic *maʾ-/*may-.

In Jewish Mysticism, Mem is the letter of “water” (mayim), symbolizing the “spring” of the Torah. Just as the waters of an underground spring rise upward from an unknown source to reveal themselves, so does the spring of wisdom rise up from the mysterious Source that is God. This flowing stream of the inner wisdom can be expressed through the gift of man’s speech: “The words a man speaks are deep waters, A flowing stream, a fountain of wisdom.” (Proverbs 18:4).

Mem symbolizes the fountain of the divine wisdom of Torah. Just as the waters of a physical fountain (spring) ascend from their unknown subterranean source (the secret of the abyss in the account of creation) to reveal themselves on earth, so does the fountain of wisdom express the power of flow from the superconscious source. In the terminology of Kabbalah, this flow is from keter (“crown” to chochmah (“wisdom”). The stream is symbolized in Proverbs as “the flowing stream, the source of wisdom.”

We can see the idea of life and death even more evidently in the Hebrew word for truth, emet, which is made up of the first, middle and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet – Mem being the middle letter. In this word, Mem is the mediator between life and death, since the first two letters of the word spell em (mother – the beginning of life), and the last two letters spell met(death). Mem is the tie that figuratively mediates between the two and allows us to pass from life to death peacefully and vice versa.

This concept of mediation is very important because in the end, the letter Mem is a symbol of Jesus, the mediator between God and man who had to die to bring us life. Like water, it is He who cleanses us, tests us, and will judge us, like the flood of Noah both cleansed and judged.

Traditionally, Mem has several related meanings: “waters,” “people,” “nations,” “languages,” and “tongues.” The name of the letter probably signifies water itself, and its most ancient forms bore a resemblance to waves of water. As such, Mem represents the sea of Torah, the ocean of Talmud, knowledge, wisdom, etc.

The word mayim is closely related to Yam, Sea. Yam (also Yamm), the Canaanite word for “Sea”, is the god of the sea in the Canaanite pantheon. Yam takes the role of the adversary of Baal in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle.

As a prefix, the letter Mem means “of, from, with”. It is a Hebrew pun that the letter name Mem means “from the sea”. Mayom (spelled with the same letters) means “out of the sea” a phrase found in the 13th chapter of Revelations. Mem is the 13th letter of the alphabet.

It is in fact a pun on the Hebrew phrase MiYaM, which means “from the sea. For examples of miyam see Isaiah 24:14, Isaiah 63:11, Zechariah 9:10. It is formed by prefixing the word Yam with the letter Mem, which is how the Hebrew preposition “of”, “from”, or “out of” is formed. This pun embodies the fact that the entire hydrologic system of the planet is based on the sea, from which we get all our water.

Mem has two forms: an open form and a closed form. The open form (pesucha) is said to represent the revealed truth of God (as demonstrated by Moses), whereas the closed form (stumah) is said to represent the concealed truth of God (as demonstrated by the Mashiach, the revealer of mysteries).

The words for “one” (echad) and “love” (ahavah) both equal thirteen, the secret of the letter mem. The closed, final mem, the source of the fountain of wisdom connected and included within its subterranean, superconscious source, corresponds to the secret of echad, “one.” The open mem, from which emerges the point (yud) of conscious insight, is the first manifestation of love (i.e., will to cling to another) in the soul.

The connection between the two fountains of the mem, the “closed” fountain and the “open” fountain, is by the power of the Thirteen Divine Attributes of Mercy. This is the secret of God’s Essential Name Havayah – the “Name of Mercy.” The Name Havayah equals 26 = 2 times 13, the union of “one” and “love,” the power to draw into consciousness the wisdom of Torah.

Mem is already associated with water and cleansing, but the depth of symbolism goes even further. In both Jewish and Christian understanding, immersion/baptism is a place of death and rebirth. Our old self dies, and our we are born again, clean and renewed. As if this simple symbolism were not enough, the letter Mem literally illustrates this concept. There are two forms of the letter Mem, one used at the beginning or middle of words (open), and one only used to end a word (closed).

Jewish tradition regarding these letters indicates that the open Mem is a womb, open so that life can come forth, and that the closed Mem is a closed womb or a tomb, a place where there is no life.

Each Hebrew letter has a numerical value. The value of Mem is 40. This is significant in several ways: The number 40 appears numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments connected to the concepts cleansing or refining.

Two such examples are the flood of Noah and the temptation of Jesus. Furthermore, many of these accounts that mention 40 are closely associated with water. Noah’s flood was a massive cleansing by water, and Jesus’ temptation took place immediately after he was baptized in the Jordan river.

The Mikvah, or Hebrew ritual immersion must contain at least 40 sa’ahs of water (about 200 gallons) to be a mikvah. Thus the number 40 and the concept of water again connect the idea of cleansing intimately to the letter Mem.

In gematria, Mem represents the number 40 in both the Standard and Mispar Gadol Methods of Gematria; However, (mem sofit) final mem’s value is 40 in the Standard Method and 600 in the Mispar Gadol method. The Standard Method adds the values of Tav and Resh (400+200) to denote the value of mem sofit.

Both of these numbers make their Scriptural debut together in the context of the greatest hydrologic event in the history of the planet, the Flood of Noah. Beginning in Genesis 7.4 we read:

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. (Genesis 7:4).

According to these texts, after being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the Judaean Desert. During this time, Satan appeared to Jesus and tried to tempt him. Jesus having refused each temptation, the Devil then departed and Jesus returned to Galilee to begin his ministry.

The ascension of Jesus (anglicized from the Vulgate Latin Acts 1:9-11 section title: Ascensio Iesu) is the departure of Christ from Earth into the presence of God. The biblical narrative in Acts 1 takes place 40 days after the resurrection. The Feast of the Ascension is celebrated on the 40th day of Easter.

In Judaism, messiah (Greek: χριστός, translit. khristós, lit. ‘anointed, covered in oil’), is a title for a savior and liberator of the Jewish people. In Tarot Mem is associated with The Hanged Man (Atu XII), the element of water and the path between Geburah and Hod on the Tree of Life. Týr in origin was a generic noun meaning “god”, e.g. Hangatyr, literally, the “god of the hanged”, as one of Odin’s names, which was probably inherited from Týr in his role as god of justice.


In the religion of ancient Babylon, Tiamat (Akkadian: DTI.AMAT or DTAM.TUM, Greek: Thaláttē) is a primordial goddess of the salt sea, mating with Abzû, the god of fresh water, to produce younger gods. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation. She is referred to as a woman, and described as the glistening one. Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon.

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. Tiamat possessed the Tablet of Destinies and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, the deity she had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host, and who was also one of her children.

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.

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. The principal theme of the epic is the justified elevation of Marduk to command over all the deities.

Akitu or Akitum (lit. “the barley-cutting”, “barley-sowing” or “head of the year”) was 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.


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

Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace; the mace, named Sharur, is capable of speech and can take the form of a winged lion, possibly representing an archetype for the later Shedu, which refers to the male counterpart of a lamassu, an Assyrian protective deity, often depicted as having a human’s head, a body of a bull or a lion, and bird’s wings.

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.

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 lumasi were called “apsasû”.

In a legend with many parallels with the story of Marduk, who slew Tiamat and delivered the Tablets of Destiny from Kingu to his father Enki, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud or Anzû; a Babylonian version relates how the monster steals the Tablet of Destinies—believed to contain the details of fate and the future—from Enlil. Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the “Slain Heroes”. Eventually, Ninurta kills Anzû and returns the Tablet of Destinies to his father Enlil.

Chaos or Chaoskampf

It exists 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.

Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (“holy marriage”) refers to a sexual ritual that plays out a marriage between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities.

Sacred prostitution was common in the Ancient Near East as a form of “Sacred Marriage” or hieros gamos between the king of a Sumerian city-state and the High Priestess of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare.

Along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers there were many shrines and temples dedicated to Inanna. The temple of Eanna, meaning “house of heaven” in Uruk was the greatest of these. The temple housed Nadītu, priestesses of the goddess. The high priestess would choose for her bed a young man who represented the shepherd Dumuzid, consort of Inanna, in a hieros gamos or sacred marriage, celebrated during the annual Duku ceremony, just before Invisible Moon, with the autumn Equinox (Autumnal Zag-mu Festival).

Akitu or Akitum (Sumerian: ezen á.ki.tum, akiti-šekinku, á.ki.ti.še.gur.ku, lit. “the barley-cutting”, akiti-šununum, lit. “barley-sowing”; Akkadian: akitu orrêš-šattim, “head of the year”) was 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.

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

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

The origins of the Chaoskampf myth most likely lie in the Proto-Indo-European religion whose descendants almost all feature some variation of the story of a storm god fighting a sea serpent representing the clash between the forces of order and chaos.

Early work by German academics such as Gunkel and Bousset in comparative mythology popularized translating the mythological sea serpent as a “dragon.” Indo-European examples of this mythic trope include Thor vs. Jörmungandr (Norse), Tarhunt vs. Illuyanka (Hittite), Indra vs.Vritra (Vedic), Fereydun vs. Aži Dahāka (Avestan), and Zeus vs. Typhon (Greek) among others.

Chaos refers to the formless or void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths, or to the initial “gap” created by the original separation of heaven and earth. Greek χάος means “emptiness, vast void, chasm, abyss”, from the verb χαίνω, “gape, be wide open, etc.”, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵhehn, cognate to Old English geanian, “to gape”, whence English yawn. It may also mean space, the expanse of air, and the nether abyss, infinite darkness.

Robert Graves considered Tiamat’s death by Marduk as evidence of his hypothesis that a shift in power from a matriarchy controlling society to a patriarchy happened in the ancient past. Grave’s ideas were later developed into the Great Goddess theory by Marija Gimbutas, Merlin Stone and others.

The theory suggests Tiamat and other ancient monster figures were presented as former supreme deities of peaceful, woman-centered religions that were turned into monsters when violent. Their defeat at the hands of a male hero corresponded to the manner in which male-dominated religions overthrew ancient society.


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

Nammu is not well attested in Sumerian mythology. She may have been of greater importance prehistorically, before Enki took over most of her functions. An indication of her continued relevance may be found in the theophoric name of Ur-Nammu, the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur.

According to the Neo-Sumerian mythological text Enki and Ninmah, Enki is the son of An and Nammu. Nammu is the goddess who “has given birth to the great gods”. It is she who has the idea of creating mankind, and she goes to wake up Enki, who is asleep in the Apsu, so that he may set the process going.

The Atrahasis-Epos has it that Enlil requested from Nammu the creation of humans. And Nammu told him that with the help of Enki (her son) she can create humans in the image of gods. Reay Tannahill in Sex in History (1980) singled out Nammu as the “only female prime mover” in the cosmogonic myths of antiquity.


Ma is a Sumerian word meaning “land” that in Sumerian mythology was also used to regard Primordial Land. There seems to be some loss in records as to the transition, but the same name Ma appears again later, also tied to the Earth, in Ma being referred to as “Mother of the mountain” – in this case, Kur (Mountain) the first dragon god. The underworld Kur is the void space between the primeval sea (Abzu) and the earth (Ma). Which seem a likely pairing for parentage, in a fuzzy set of records.

Ma was a local goddess at Ma and a Phrygian alternative name for Cybele (Phrygian: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya “Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”; Lydian Kuvava; Greek: Kybele, Kybebe, Kybelis), an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük in Anatolia, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations dated to the 6th millennium BC and identified by some as a mother goddess.


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

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

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

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



In Sumerian mythology, a me (Sumerian: me; Akkadian: paršu) is one of the decrees of the gods that is foundational to those social institutions, religious practices, technologies, behaviors, mores, and human conditions that make civilization, as the Sumerians understood it, possible. They are fundamental to the Sumerian understanding of the relationship between humanity and the gods.



Nammu, the mother goddess of the primeval creative matter, was the mother of Enki, and as the watery creative force, was said to preexist Ea-Enki. With Enki it is an interesting change of gender symbolism, the fertilising agent is also water, Sumerian “a” or “Ab” which also means “semen”.

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

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

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

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

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

His image is a double-helix snake, or the Caduceus, sometimes confused with the Rod of Asclepius used to symbolize medicine. He is often shown with the horned crown of divinity dressed in the skin of a carp.

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

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

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

In one evocative passage in a Sumerian hymn, Enki stands at the empty riverbeds and fills them with his ‘water'”. The story thus symbolically reflects the way in which life is brought forth through the addition of water to the land, and once it grows, water is required to bring plants to fruit. 

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

As Ea, Enki had a wide influence outside of Sumer, being equated with El (at Ugarit) and possibly Yah (at Ebla) in the Canaanite ‘ilhm pantheon, he is also found in Hurrian and Hittite mythology, as a god of contracts, and is particularly favourable to humankind.

To him was assigned the control of the watery element, and in this capacity he becomes the shar apsi; i.e. king of the Apsu or “the deep”. The Apsu was figured as the abyss of water beneath the earth, and since the gathering place of the dead, known as Aralu, was situated near the confines of the Apsu, he was also designated as En Ki; i.e. “lord of that which is below”, in contrast to Anu, who was the lord of the “above” or the heavens.

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

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.

This seems also implicated in the epic of the hieros gamos or sacred marriage of Enki and Ninhursag (above), which seems an etiological myth of the fertilisation of the dry ground by the coming of irrigation water (from Sumerian a, ab, water or semen).

Forbidden fruits

Uttu in Sumerian mythology is the goddess of weaving and clothing. She is both the child of Enki and Ninkur, and she bears seven new child/trees from Enki, the eighth being the Ti (Tree of “Life”, associated with the “Rib”).

When Enki then ate Uttu’s children, Ninhursag cursed him with eight wounds and disappears. Uttu in Sumerian means “the woven” and she was illustrated as a spider in a web. She is a goddess in the pantheon.

Ninti is the Sumerian goddess of life. Ninti is also one of the eight goddesses of healing who was created by Ninhursag to heal Enki’s body. Her specific healing area was the rib (sumerian Ti means rib and to live).

Enki had eaten forbidden flowers and was then cursed by Ninhursaga, who was later persuaded by the other gods to heal him. Some scholars suggest that this served as the basis for the story of Eve created from Adam’s rib in the Book of Genesis.

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.

In the epic Enki and Ninhursag, Enki, as lord of Ab or fresh water (also the Sumerian word for semen), is living with his wife in the paradise of Dilmun. The subsequent tale, with similarities to the Biblical story of the forbidden fruit, repeats the story of how fresh water brings life to a barren land.

Enki, the Water-Lord then “caused to flow the ‘water of the heart” and having fertilised his consort Ninhursag, also known as Ki or Earth, after “Nine days being her nine months, the months of ‘womanhood’… like good butter, Nintu, the mother of the land, …like good butter, gave birth to Ninsar, (Lady Greenery)”. When Ninhursag left him, as Water-Lord he came upon Ninsar (Lady Greenery).

Not knowing her to be his daughter, and because she reminds him of his absent consort, Enki then seduces and has intercourse with her. Ninsar then gave birth to Ninkurra (Lady Fruitfulness or Lady Pasture), and leaves Enki alone again. A second time, Enki, in his loneliness finds and seduces Ninkurra, and from the union Ninkurra gave birth to Uttu (weaver or spider, the weaver of the web of life).

A third time Enki succumbs to temptation, and attempts seduction of Uttu. Upset about Enki’s reputation, Uttu consults Ninhursag, who, upset at the promiscuous wayward nature of her spouse, advises Uttu to avoid the riverbanks, the places likely to be affected by flooding, the home of Enki.

In another version of this myth Ninhursag takes Enki’s semen from Uttu’s womb and plants it in the earth where eight plants rapidly germinate. With his two-faced servant and steward Isimud, “Enki, in the swampland, in the swampland lies stretched out, ‘What is this (plant), what is this (plant).

His messenger Isimud, answers him; ‘My king, this is the tree-plant’, he says to him. He cuts it off for him and he (Enki) eats it”. And so, despite warnings, Enki consumes the other seven fruit.

Consuming his own semen, he falls pregnant (ill with swellings) in his jaw, his teeth, his mouth, his hip, his throat, his limbs, his side and his rib. The gods are at a loss to know what to do, chagrinned they “sit in the dust”.

As Enki lacks a womb with which to give birth, he seems to be dying with swellings. The fox then asks Enlil King of the Gods, “If I bring Ninhursag before thee, what shall be my reward?” Ninhursag’s sacred fox then fetches the goddess.

Ninhursag relents and takes Enki’s Ab (water, or semen) into her body, and gives birth to gods of healing of each part of the body. Abu for the Jaw, Nintul for the Hip, Ninsutu for the tooth, Ninkasi for the mouth, Dazimua for the side, Enshagag for the Limbs.

The last one, Ninti (Lady Rib), is also a pun on Lady Life, a title of Ninhursag herself. The story thus symbolically reflects the way in which life is brought forth through the addition of water to the land, and once it grows, water is required to bring plants to fruit. It also counsels balance and responsibility, nothing to excess.

Ninti, the title of Ninhursag, also means “the mother of all living”, and was a title given to the later Hurrian goddess Kheba. This is also the title given in the Bible to Eve, the Hebrew and Aramaic Ḥawwah (חוה), who was made from the rib of Adam, in a strange reflection of the Sumerian myth, in which Adam — not Enki — walks in the Garden of Paradise.

Adapa – Apkallu

Adapa, a mortal man from a godly lineage, a son of Ea (Enki in Sumerian), the god of wisdom and of the ancient city of Eridu, brought the arts of civilization to that city. Adapa, the first man fashioned, later goes and acts as the advisor to the King of Eridu, when in the Sumerian Kinglist, the Me of “kingship descends on Eridu”.

He introduced the practice of the correct rites of religious observance as priest of the E’Apsu temple, at Eridu. The cuneiform for ‘adapa’ was also used as an appellative for “wise” (the Apkallu being wisdom giving beings). Apkallu “sage”, comes from Sumerian AB.GAL “great water”, a reference to Adapa the first sage’s association with water.)

Mesopotamian myth tells of seven antediluvian sages, who were sent by Enki (Ea), the wise god of Eridu, to bring the arts of civilisation to humankind. The first of these, Adapa, also known as Uan, the name given as Oannes by Berossus.

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

Apkallu (Akkadian), or Abgal (Sumerian), are terms found in Cuneiform inscriptions that in general mean either “wise” or “sage”. The terms apkallu has multiple uses, but usually refers to some form of wisdom – translations of the term generally equate to english language uses of the terms “the wise”, or “sage”.

As an epithet, prefix, or adjective it can mean “the wise”; it has been used as an epithet for the gods Ea and Marduk, simply interpreted as “wise one amomgst gods” or similar forms; it has also been applied to Enlil, Ninurta, and Adad – also tranlated as meaning ‘expert’.

A second meaning is when used to refer to the “seven sages”. It has also been applied as an epithet of the sage Adapa. The term has also been used specifically when referring to apotropaic figures – which are often figurines the ‘seven sages’ themselfs.

Additionally the term is used when referring to human “priests” (also ‘exorcists’, ‘diviners’). However mesopotamian human sages also used the term ummianu (ummânù). The term ‘apkallu’ is Akkadian, it is though to derive from the Sumerian abgal.

In several contexts the Apkallu are seven demi-gods, sometimes described as part-man and part fish, associated with human wisdom; these creatures are often referred to in scholarly literature as the Seven Sages.

Each sage has an association with a specific mythic King. After the seventh sage and king a deluge is said to have occurred – records list further sages and further historic king pairings; post-deluge the sages are consider human, and in some texts are distinguished by being referred to as Ummanu, not Apkallu.

The terms Apkallu (as well as Abgal) is also used as an epithet for kings and gods as a mark of wisdom or knowledge. A further use of the term Apkallu is when referring to figurines used in apotropaic rituals – these figurines include fish-man hybrids representing the seven sages, but also include bird-headed and other figures.

In the later work by Berossus describing Babylonia the Apkallu appear again, also described as fish-man who are sent by the gods to impart knowledge to people – in Berossus the first one Oannes (a variant of Uanna) is said to have taught people the creation myth the Enuma Elis.

The gift of immortality

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

Adapa broke the wings of Ninlil the South Wind, who had overturned his fishing boat, and was called to account before Anu. Ea, his patron god, warned him to apologize humbly for his actions, but not to partake of food or drink while he was in heaven, as it would be the food of death. Anu, impressed by Adapa’s sincerity, offered instead the food of immortality, but Adapa heeded Ea’s advice, refused, and thus missed the chance for immortality that would have been his.

Vague parallels can be drawn to the story of Genesis, where Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden by Yahweh, after they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus gaining death.

Parallels are also apparent (to an even greater degree) with the story of Persephone visiting Hades, who was warned to take nothing from that kingdom. Stephanie Dalley writes “From Erra and Ishum we know that all the sages were banished … because they angered the gods, and went back to the Apsu, where Ea lived, and … the story … ended with Adapa’s banishment.”


Rune Elhaz - Elk, protection

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Aegishjalmur (Helm of Awe) - Rune Secrets Community

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A trident is a three-pronged spear. It is used for spear fishing and historically as a polearm. The word “trident” comes from the French word trident, which in turn comes from the Latin word tridens or tridentis: tri “three” and dentes “teeth”. Sanskrit trishula is compound of tri (“three”)+ ṣūla (“thorn”).

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

Neptune / Poseidon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


In Norse mythology, Heimdallr is a god who possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn, owns the golden-maned horse Gulltoppr and has gold teeth. He is said to be the originator of social classes among humanity. Heimdall is associated with the rune Algiz because of his role as protector and guardian.

He is attested as possessing foreknowledge, keen eyesight and hearing, and keeps watch for the onset of Ragnarök while drinking fine mead in his dwelling Himinbjörg, located where the burning rainbow bridge Bifröst meets heaven.

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

Heimdallr is the son of nine waves or nine giantesses, who were sisters; this mean that Heimdall had nine mothers who may represent personified waves pictured as “ewes”, and the Heimdall is “the ram”, the ninth wave. Scholars have theorized that Heimdallr’s Nine Mothers may be identical to the Nine Daughters of Ægir and Rán, who personify waves. In turn, Heimdallr would be born of the sea.

Ægir (Old Norse “sea”) is a sea jötunn associated with the ocean. He is also known for being a friend of the gods and hosting elaborate parties for them. Ægir’s wife is Rán. She is mother of the Nine Daughters of Ægir.

Rán is a goddess and a personification of the sea. The goddesses is frequently associated with a net, which she uses to capture sea-goers. While Ægir personifies the sea as a friendly power, Rán embodies the sinister side of the sea.

The Helm of Awe (Old Norse Ægishjálmr) is one of the most mysterious and powerful symbols in Norse mythology. Just looking at its form is enough to inspire awe and fear: eight arms that look like spiked tridents radiate out from a central point, as if defending that central point by going on the offensive against any and all hostile forces that surround it.

The aegis or aigis, as stated in the Iliad, is carried by Athena and Zeus, but its nature is uncertain. It had been interpreted as an animal skin or a shield, sometimes bearing the head of a Gorgon. The modern concept of doing something “under someone’s aegis” means doing something under the protection of a powerful, knowledgeable, or benevolent source.

The word aegis is identified with protection by a strong force with its roots in Greek mythology and adopted by the Romans; there are parallels in Norse mythology and in Egyptian mythology as well, where the Greek word aegis is applied by extension.

In Sumerian mythology Kingu, also spelled Qingu, meaning “unskilled laborer,” was a god in Babylonian mythology, and — after the murder of his father Abzu — the consort of the goddess Tiamat, his mother, who wanted to establish him as ruler and leader of all gods before she was killed by Marduk. Tiamat gave Kingu the 3 Tablets of Destiny, which he wore as a breastplate and which gave him great power. She placed him as the general of her army.

However, like Tiamat, Kingu was eventually killed by Marduk. Marduk mixed Kingu’s blood with earth and used the clay to mold the first human beings, while Tiamat’s body created the earth and the skies. Kingu then went to live in the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, along with the other deities who had sided with Tiamat.

In Norse mythology, the dragon Fafnir (best known in the form of a dragon slain by Sigurðr) bears on his forehead the ægishjálmr “Ægir’s helmet” or “Helm of Terror”. However, some versions would say that Alberich was the one holding a helm called the Tarnkappe that functioned as a cloak of invisibility. It may be an actual helmet or a magical sign with a rather poetic name.

Algiz: (Z or -R: Elk, protection)

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 *zcontinuing Proto-Indo-European terminal *s.

In Proto-Norse and Old Norse, the Germanic *z phoneme developed into an R sound, which is usually transcribed as ʀ. This sound was written in the Younger Futhark using the Yr rune ᛦ, the Algiz rune turned upside down, from about the 7th century.

Algiz is a powerful rune, because it represents the divine might of the universe. It is the rune of higher vibrations, the divine plan and higher spiritual awareness. The energy of Algiz is what makes something feel sacred as opposed to mundane.

It represents the worlds of Asgard (gods of the Aesir), Ljusalfheim (The Light Elves) and Vanaheim (gods of the Vanir), all connecting and sharing energies with our world, Midgard. The white elk was a symbol to the Norse of divine blessing and protection to those it graced with sight of itself.

Alignment with the divine plan activates our Higher Self, pushes us from within toward the self-actualization of Mannaz. In exchange for such a sacrifice you explore Tiwas. Alignment with the divine makes a person sacred — set apart from the mundane and therefor blessed by divine protection.

It stands for protection, a shield. The protective urge to shelter oneself or others. Defense, warding off of evil, shield, guardian. Connection with the gods, awakening, higher life. It can be used to channel energies appropriately. Follow your instincts. Keep hold of success or maintain a position won or earned.

Algiz Reversed or Merkstave means hidden danger, consumption by divine forces, loss of divine link. Taboo, warning, turning away, that which repels.

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Virgo (constellation, the virgin)

The ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect within Pisces and in Virgo, the sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac. Virgo is the second-largest constellation. It spans the 150-180th degree of the zodiac, between 152.75 and 180 degree of celestial longitude.

Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between August 23 and September 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Virgo from September 17 to October 17. Individuals born during these dates, depending on which system of astrology they subscribe to, may be called Virgos or Virgoans.

Virgo is the Latin name for virgin. In the Middle Ages, Virgo was sometimes associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The symbol of the maiden is based on Astraea. 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 Greeks and Romans associated Virgo with their goddess of wheat/agriculture, Demeter-Ceres, the mother of Persephone-Proserpina. Alternatively, she was sometimes identified as the virgin goddess Iustitia or Astraea, holding the scales of justice in her hand as the constellation Libra.

According to the Babylonian Mul.Apin, which dates from 1000–686 BCE, the constellation of Virgo was known as “The Furrow”, representing the goddess Shala’s ear of grain, and is often portrayed carrying two sheaves of wheat, one of which is marked by another star in this constellation, the bright star Spica, as it is Latin for “ear of grain”, one of the major products of the Mesopotamian furrow.

The constellation Virgo was also known as “AB.SIN” and “absinnu”. For this reason the constellation became associated with fertility. According to Gavin White the figure of Virgo corresponds to two Babylonian constellations: the “Furrow” in the eastern sector of Virgo and the “Frond of Erua” in the western sector. The Frond of Erua was depicted as a goddess holding a palm-frond – a motif that still occasionally appears in much later depictions of Virgo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inanna (Pisces) and Tammuz (Aries) and the surrounding stars

Scorpius the Scorpion

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

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. 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.

Aquarius is identified as GU.LA “The Great One” in the Babylonian star catalogues and represents the god Enki-Ea himself, who is commonly depicted holding an overflowing vase. Capricornus is generally accepted as the zodiac sign for Ea/Enki but Aquarius may also be Ea/Enki because in his human form the carved reliefs are identical to the earliest imagery of Aquarius with the water/nectar of the gods flowing out of his shoulder into the mouth of a fish in the cosmic sea sky area of the constellations.

Aquarius, the sign of the Water Pourer, is an Air rather than a Water sign. Aquarius, the Water Pourer, is linked to the Upper Waters or the Sky. When She pours the water from Her jugs rain falls on Earth. Essentially Aquarius symbolises the nourishing rain itself. Symbolically the vessel, cup, jar or vase represents the womb of the Goddess. It symbolises fertility, birth and life.

Across the desert in ancient Sumer the origins of Aquarius lie with the Goddess Gula, the Great One. She is described as a Goddess of Healing, but on closer inspection it becomes obvious that the healing that Gula gifts upon the Earth is that of the nourishing rain and fresh water floods that turn the dry land green again. Gula was linked to the Great Flood and is often depicted with dogs by Her side.

Later accounts describe Gula in the form of Mul Gula as being a male Water Pourer who is immortalised in the constellation of Aquarius. However, essentially the male Mul Gula is the same image as Enki, the Sumerian Lord of Fresh Water, who is often depicted pouring water from two jugs.

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. 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 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.

Piscis Austrinus

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

The name is Latin for “the southern fish”, in contrast with the larger constellation Pisces, which represents a pair of fishes. Prior to the 20th century, it was also known as Piscis Notius. Its only star brighter than 4th magnitude is Fomalhaut, which is a first-magnitude star and is the 18th brightest star in the night sky.

Piscis Austrinus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. The stars of the modern constellation Grus once formed the “tail” of Piscis Austrinus. In 1597 (or 1598), Petrus Plancius carved out a separate constellation and named it after the crane.

In Greek mythology, this constellation is known as the Great Fish and it is portrayed as swallowing the water being poured out by Aquarius, the water-bearer constellation. The two fish of the constellation Pisces are said to be the offspring of the Great Fish. In Egyptian mythology, this fish saved the life of the Egyptian goddess Isis, so she placed this fish and its descendants into the heavens as constellations of stars.

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Aries Cheat Sheet Astrology - Aries Zodiac Sign - Aries Info - Learning Astrology - AstroGraph Astrology

Pegasus: Pisces and Aries

Inanna (Venus) and Tammuz / Nergal (Mars) 

Inanna was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare. Her symbol is an eight-pointed star or a rosette. She was associated with lions – even then a symbol of power – and was frequently depicted standing on the backs of two lionesses.

Her cuneiform ideogram was a hook-shaped twisted knot of reeds, representing the doorpost of the storehouse (and thus fertility and plenty). She was associated with the planet Venus, which at that time was regarded as two stars, the “morning star” and the “evening star.”

Inanna was associated with the eastern fish of the last of the zodiacal constellations, Pisces. Her consort Dumuzi was associated with the contiguous first constellation, Aries.


Pisces (Ancient Greek: Ἰχθύες Ikhthues) is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the Pisces constellation. Its name is the Latin plural for fish. The symbol of the fish is derived from the ichthyocentaurs, who aided Aphrodite (also considered Venus) when she was born from the sea. Divine associations with Pisces include Poseidon/Neptune, Vishnu, Christ, Aphrodite, Eros, and Typhon.

Pisces lies between Aquarius to the west and Aries to the east. The ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect within this constellation and in Virgo. The Vernal equinox is currently located in Pisces, due south of ω Psc, and, due to precession, slowly drifting below the western fish towards Aquarius. According to some tropical astrologers, the current astrological age is the Age of Pisces, while others maintain that it is the Age of Aquarius.

Pisces 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. Individuals born during these dates, depending on which system of astrology they subscribe to, may be called “Pisceans.”

While the astrological sign Pisces per definition runs from elliptical longitude 330° to 0°, this position is now mostly covered by the constellation of Aquarius, due to the precession from when the constellation and the sign coincided. Today, the First Point of Aries, or the vernal equinox is in the Pisces constellation.

The fish are usually portrayed swimming in opposite directions; this represents the duality within the Piscean nature. Although they appear as a pair, the name of the sign in all languages originally referred to only one fish with the exception of Greek, Bulgarian and Dutch.

Pisces originates from some composition of the Babylonian constellations Šinunutu “the great swallow”, belonging to a group of passerine birds, in current western Pisces, and Antum, the Lady of the Heaven and the first consort of Anu, at the place of the northern fish.

In Akkadian mythology, Antu or Antum is a Babylonian goddess. She was the first consort of Anu, and the pair was the parents of the Anunnaki and the Utukki. Antu was a dominant feature of the Babylonian akit festival until as recently as 200 BC, her later pre-eminence possibly attributable to identification with the Greek goddess Hera. Antu was replaced as consort by Ishtar or Inanna, who may also be a daughter of Anu and Antu.


Aries is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It is located in the northern celestial hemisphere between Pisces to the west and Taurus to the east. The name Aries is Latin for ram, representing a ram’s horns. It is a mid-sized constellation, ranking 39th overall size, with an area of 441 square degrees (1.1% of the celestial sphere).

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

Although Aries came to represent specifically the ram whose fleece became the Golden Fleece of Ancient Greek mythology, it has represented a ram since late Babylonian times. Before that, the stars of Aries formed a farmhand.

The zodiac signs for the month of March are Pisces (until March 20) and Aries (March 21 onwards). The name of March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war.

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

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

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

In the description of the Babylonian zodiac given in the clay tablets known as the MUL.APIN, a comprehensive table of the risings and settings of stars, which likely served as an agricultural calendar, the constellation now known as Aries was the final station along the ecliptic. Modern-day Aries was known as LÚ.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.

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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Isimud/ Janus

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 accompanied by an attendant Isimud (also Isinu; Usmû; Usumu (Akkadian)) , 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.

Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. 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 (in Latin, Ianuarius) 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.

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

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. 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 or March 15 until 153 BC, from when they entered office on January 1.

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. 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.

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius and is exalted in Libra. The Roman soil preserved the remembrance of a very remote time during which Saturn and Janus reigned on the site of the city before its foundation: the Capitol was named mons Saturnius.

Accius describes the Kronia in order to explain its perceived influence on the Roman Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival in honour of deity Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar.




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. Its name is Latin for “horned goat” or “goat horn”, and it is commonly represented in the form of a sea-goat: a mythical creature that is half goat, half fish.

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.

Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this area from December 22 to January 19 each year, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Capricorn from approximately January 14 to February 14. Individuals born between December 21 to January 19 may be called Capricornian.

In astrology, Capricorn is considered an earth sign, introvert sign, a power 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.

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, connection with soul.

Capricorn is third and last of the earth signs in the zodiac. The other two earth signs are Taurus and Virgo but, as Capricorn take place around January. Its numerology for January is 1, and certain astrology experts chose Capricorn to be the starting sign than Aries hence the month and year which meant Capricorn is associated with the construction career, in a reference to Janus. Who was the one named for January and is associated with things that can open like doors.

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Sagittarius is the ninth astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Sagittarius and spans 240–270th degrees of the zodiac. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this sign between approximately November 23 and December 21. Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and it is exalted in Cancer.

Sagittarius, the 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 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.

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 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 extremely violent or wise, brave or mild.

Pabilsaĝ in Mesopotamian tradition was given the epithet of “the wild bull with multicoloured legs”. He is represented in the constellation Sagittarius. The figure is reminiscent of modern depictions of Sagittarius. According to the ancient Babylonian text, Pabilsag wedded Nininsina near a riverbank.

The Sumerian name is composed of two elements – Pabil, meaning ‘elder paternal kinsman’ and Sag, meaning ‘chief, head’. The name may thus be translated as the ‘Forefather’ or ‘Chief Ancestor’.

Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and it is exalted in Cancer. In Roman mythology, Jupiter is the ruler of the gods and their guardian and protector, and his symbol is the thunderbolt. Jupiter is the ancient ruler of Pisces. Neptune is today the ruling planet of Pisces and is exalted in Leo.

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

In Greek mythology, Sagittarius is usually identified as a centaur: half human, half horse. However, perhaps due to the Greeks’ adoption of the Sumerian constellation, some confusion surrounds the identity of the archer. As there are two centaurs in the sky, some identify Chiron with the other constellation, known as Centaurus.

Greek mythology associates Sagittarius with the centaur (Greek: Kéntauros, Latin: centaurus), or occasionally hippocentaur, Chiron (“hand”), who mentored Achilles, a Greek hero of the Trojan War, in archery. Chiron was held to be the superlative centaur amongst his brethren, as he was called as the “wisest and justest of all the centaurs”.

Myths in the Olympian tradition attributed Chiron’s uniquely peaceful character and intelligence to Apollo and Artemis teaching him in his younger days. Some sources speculate that Chiron was originally a Thessalian god, later subsumed into the Greek pantheon as a centaur.

A great healer, astrologer, and respected oracle, Chiron was said to be the first among centaurs and highly revered as a teacher and tutor. Among his pupils were many culture heroes: Asclepius, Aristaeus, Ajax, Aeneas, Actaeon, Caeneus, Theseus, Achilles, Jason, Peleus, Telamon, Perseus, sometimes Heracles, Oileus, Phoenix, and in one Byzantine tradition, even Dionysus.

A centaur is a mythological creature with the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse. They were born of sun and rain cloud, rendered by Greeks of the Classic period as from the union of the king Ixion, consigned to a fiery wheel, and Nephele (“cloud”), which in the Olympian telling Zeus invented to look like Hera to trick Ixion to test his integrity after displaying his lust for Hera during a feast as a guest of Zeus. Ixion failed in restraining his lust for Hera, thus fathering the Centaurs.

Nephele (Latinized to Nubes) was a cloud nymph who figured prominently in the story of Phrixus and Helle. Nephele was also the goddess of hospitality.


Some identify Sagittarius as the centaur Chiron, the son of Philyra and Cronus, who was said to have changed himself into a horse to escape his jealous wife, Rhea, and tutor to Jason. Or, as an alternative tradition holds, that Chiron devised the constellations Sagittarius and Centaurus to help guide 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.

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*Ehwaz is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the Elder Futhark e rune ᛖ, meaning “horse” (cognate to Latin equus, Gaulish epos, Tocharian B yakwe, Sanskrit aśva, Avestan aspa and Old Irish ech). In the Anglo-Saxon futhorc, it is continued as ᛖ eh (properly eoh, but spelled without the diphthong to avoid confusion with ᛇ ēoh “yew”).

Ehwaz symbolizes all the various bodies as vehicles for travel and movement. Twins represent the Sacred Marriage of the Inner and the Outer, or mind and body. The horse and rider metaphor is the best way to represent the symbiotic relationship between two individualized, yet harmonious beings.

Letter Mem

Neptune, Poseidon and Heimdall

Heimdall and his equals

Neptune, Poseidon and Heimdall

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Aries (Mars) and Libra (Venus)

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 21, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.
Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

The First Point of Aries, also known as the Cusp of Aries, is the location of the vernal equinox, used as a reference point in celestial coordinate systems. Named for the constellation of Aries, it is one of the two points on the celestial sphere at which the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic, the other being the First Point of Libra, located exactly 180° from it. Due to precession of the equinoxes, currently, the position of the Sun on the March equinox is in Pisces, while that on the September equinox is in Virgo.

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

The name of March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war and agriculture, a combination characteristic of early Rome. Most of his festivals were held in March and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people. In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

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

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

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 from approximately March 20 to April 21 each year. The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

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

Its name is Latin for weighing scales. Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”), or alternatively as the Claws of the Scorpion. The scales were held sacred to the sun god Shamash, who was also the patron of truth and justice. The ruling planet of Libra is Venus, however some may consider Eris as its ruler as well. The symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice.

Libra’s status as the location of the equinox earned the equinox the name “First Point of Libra”, though this location ceased to coincide with the constellation in 730 because of the precession of the equinoxes. According to the Romans in the First Century, Libra was a constellation they idolized. The moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded. Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. The Roman writer Manilius once said that Libra was the sign “in which the seasons are balanced”.

Astraea (“star-maiden” or “starry night”), in ancient Greek religion, was the virgin goddess of innocence and purity and is always associated with the Greek goddess of justice, Dike (daughter of Zeus and Themis and the personification of just judgement). She was the last of the immortals to live with humans during the Golden Age, one of the old Greek religion’s five deteriorating Ages of Man.

According to Ovid, Astraea abandoned the earth during the Iron Age. Fleeing from the new wickedness of humanity, she ascended to heaven to become the constellation Virgo. The nearby constellation Libra reflected her symbolic association with Dike, who in Latin culture as Justitia is said to preside over the constellation. According to legend, Astraea will one day come back to Earth, bringing with her the return of the utopian Golden Age of which she was the ambassador.

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Ara the beautiful and the mountains of Aragats

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 20, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Since ancient times the cult of sun worship occupied a special place in Armenian mythology. The main proto-Armenian god was Ar, the god of Sun, Fire and Revival. It is connected with light, sun, fire found in Ararat (the people of Ar), Arev (Sun), Arpi (Light of heaven), Ararich (God or Creator), Aryan, Rta, Arta etc.

The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc. The names Armen and Arman, feminine Arminé, are common given names by Armenians. Armin is also a Persian given name, and is an ancient Zoroastrian given name, meaning Guardian of Aryan Land. Armin meanings in Urdu & English is Dweller Of The Garden Of Eden.

The Proto-Indo-Iranian term is hypothesized to have proto-Indo-European origins, while it is probably a Near-Eastern loanword from the Ugaritic ary, kinsmen. In Akkadian ayyaru means “young man”.

It has been postulated the Proto-Indo-European root word is *haerós with the meanings “members of one’s own (ethnic) group, peer, freeman” as well as the Indo-Iranian meaning of Aryan. Some authors have connected the Indo-European root *ar- meaning “to assemble”.

In Hittite arā- means “friend” from arā, “right, proper(ly)”, derived in turn from Sanskrit áram, “fittingly” and ṛtá-, “truth, order” as well as Greek “to fit together, construct, equip” (< IE *haer-, “fit”), with its derivative “friendship”. The word is probably non-Semitic, possibly a kulturwort, a word borrowed among many languages denoting a cross-cultural concept.

Vedic Mitra is a prominent deity of the Rigveda distinguished by a relationship to Varuna, the protector of rta (Sanskrit ṛtaṃ “that which is properly/excellently joined; order, rule; truth”, the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it).

Both Vedic Mitra and Avestan Mithra derive from an Indo-Iranian common noun *mitra-, generally reconstructed to have meant “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise, oath.” 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. Vedic Mitra is the patron divinity of honesty, friendship, contracts and meetings.

Together with Varuna, he counted among the Adityas, a group of solar deities, also in later Vedic texts. The first extant record of Indic Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. Mitra appears there together with four other Indic divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact.

In Zoroastrianism, Mithra is a member of the trinity of ahuras, protectors of asha/arta, “truth” or “[that which is] right”. As preserver of covenants, Mithra is also protector and keeper of all aspects of interpersonal relationships, such as friendship and love. Arta- sometimes appears as an element in Vedic and Indic personal names, as with Iranian.

Artatama I (Sanskrit: Ṛta-dhaman, “his abode is Ṛta”; Sanskrit ṛtaṃ “that which is properly/excellently joined; order, rule; truth”) was a king of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni in the late fifteenth century BC. His reign coincided with the reigns of Egyptian pharaohs Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV.

In the 33rd year of his reign, while he was in the Armenian Highlands in 1446 BC, Thutmose III of Egypt, referred to the people of Ermenen (Armenians), and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably.

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

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

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

Mount Aragats is an isolated four-peaked volcano massif in Armenia. The name of the mountain is less often spelled Aragatz or Aragac. According to Armenian tradition, Aragats originates from the words Արա Ara + գահ gah, which translates to “Ara’s throne”. Ara refers to the legendary hero Ara the Beautiful.

Aragats was mentioned by the early medieval historian Movses Khorenatsi. In his History of the Armenians Khorenatsi claims that the mountain is named after Aramaneak, the son of Hayk, the legendary father of the Armenian people. Aramaneak called his possessions “the foot of Aragats”.

Mt. Aragats plays a special role in Armenian history and culture. Along with Ararat, it is considered a sacred mountain for the Armenians. According to an ancient Armenian legend, Aragats and Mount Ararat were loving sisters who parted after a quarrel and separated permanently. The modern Aragatsotn Province, dominated by the mountain, was formed in 1995.

The original cult worship in Armenia was a kind of unfathomable higher power or intelligence called Ara, called the physical embodiment of the sun (Arev) worshiped by the ancient Armenians, who called themselves “the children of the sun”.

Aralezs (plural: Aralezs or Aralezner, singular: Aralez) are dog-like creatures, or spirits, in Armenian cultural beliefs or in the Armenian mythology, who live in the sky, or on mount Massis (Mount Ararat), according to other imaginations.

They were praised with Ara the Beautiful (also Ara the Handsome; Arnian: Ara Geghetsik), sometimes associated with the historical king of Ararat known as Arame who ruled in the 9th century BC, and the Assyrian queen Shamiram (Semiramis), who waged war against Armenia to get him in Old Armenia.

Armenians believed that Aralezs descended from the sky to lick the wounds of dead heroes so they could relive or resurrect. According to Armenian historians, when Mushegh Mamikonyan died, his relatives placed his corpse on a tower, hoping that Aralezs would lick and revive him.

But before this, a similar event had took place when Aralezs had licked and revived Ara the Beautiful. Semiramis had heard about the beauty of the Armenian king, and sent him a letter in which she asked him to become her husband and to ascend to the throne, trying to combine the two powers.

However, messengers returned and passed her Ara’s refusal which humiliated Shamiram. She felt hatred towards Ara, so she ordered her commanders to capture Ara alive in the region called Ararat, but he was vanquished and killed by one of her sons. His body was found on the battlefield among the other slain soldiers. Shamiram then told Ara’s people to place his corpse on the top of the mountains, where Aralezs would revive him.

Inconsolable Semiramis reputed to be sorceress took his body and tried in vain to enliven him. When Armenians advanced to avenge their leader, she disguised one of her lovers and spread the rumor that Gods brought Ara back to life. As a result, the war was ceased.

Aragil or Stork – considered as the messenger of Ara the Beautiful, as well as the defender of fields. According to ancient mythological conceptions, two stork symbolize the sun.

Ara / Usha, also known as Aurora, is the Latin word for dawn, and the goddess of dawn in Roman mythology and Latin poetry. Like Greek Eos and Rigvedic Ushas, Aurora continues the name of an earlier Indo-European dawn goddess, Hausos. In Roman mythology, Aurora renews herself every morning and flies across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun.

Due to the dawn heralding the sun and inducing the daily routine, the Dawn Goddess is associated with instilling the cosmic order. Ushas is the arouser of Ṛta, while the role of Aušrinė as the maid of the sun renders her a moral example in Lithuanian traditions and helped her syncretism with the Virgin Mary.

Ararat and the Armenian nation:


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Is there any connections between Armenians and Arameans?

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 17, 2018

The two words for “bull” seem to coincide between the Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Semitic, as do most of their descendants. For example, from PIE *táwros, we have Celtic *tarwos, Kurdish dewar, Greek tauros, Latin taurus. From PS *thawr-, we have Arabic ṯawr, Hebrew shor/tawrā, Akkadian shuru. The English descendant is steer.

Scholars believe this indicates a very early borrowing between the two language families. Considering the fact that the words in both families have gone through all of the sound changes seen in fully native words, this indicates a very early borrowing, either from PS to PIE, or vice versa, probably having occurred in the ancestors of THESE ancestral languages.

Considering that PIE and PS are both around 6,000 years old, such an early borrowing would be incredible to see between two incredibly ancient languages with two different (but not-so-far-apart) homelands.


Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples were West Asian people who lived throughout the Ancient Near East, including the Levant, Mesopotamia, Arabian peninsula, and Horn of Africa from the third millennia until the end of antiquity. Semitic languages were spoken across much of the Middle East and Asia Minor during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The languages they spoke are usually divided into three branches: East, Central, and South Semitic.

Proto-Semitic was likely spoken in the 4th millennium BC, and the oldest attested forms of Semitic date to the mid-3rd millennium (the Early Bronze Age). The earliest attested being the East Semitic Akkadian of the Mesopotamian and south eastern Anatolian polities of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia, and the also East Semitic Eblaite language of the kingdom of Ebla in the north eastern Levant in western modern Syria.

There are several locations proposed as possible sites for prehistoric origins of Semitic-speaking peoples: Mesopotamia, the Levant, Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and North Africa, with the most recent Bayesian studies indicating Semitic originated in the Levant circa 3800 BC, and was later also introduced to the Horn of Africa in approximately 800 BC.

A 2009 Bayesian analysis identified an origin for Semitic languages in the Levant around 3750 BC with a later single introduction of Ge’ez from what is now South Arabia into the Horn of Africa around 800 BC, with a slightly earlier introduction into parts of North Africa and southern Spain with the founding of Phoenician colonies such as ancient Carthage in the ninth century BC and Cádiz in the tenth century BC.

The Kish civilization or Kish tradition is a time period corresponding to the early East Semitic era in Mesopotamia and the Levant. The epoch began in the early 4th millennium BC. The tradition encompasses the sites of Ebla and Mari in the Levant, Nagar in the north, and the proto-Akkadian sites of Abu Salabikh and Kish in central Mesopotamia which constituted the Uri region as it was known to the Sumerians.

The East-Semitic population migrated from what is now the Levant and spread into Mesopotamia, and the new population could have contributed to the collapse of the Uruk period c. 3100 BC.

This early East Semitic culture is characterized by linguistic, literary and orthographic similarities extending from Ebla in the west to Abu Salabikh in the East. The similarities included the using of a writing system that contained non-Sumerian logograms, the use of the same system in naming the months of the year, dating by regnal years and a similar measuring system among many other similarities.

Each city had its own monarchical system, in addition to some linguistic differences for a while the languages of Mari and Ebla were closely related. Kish represented an independent East-Semitic linguistic entity that spoke a dialect (Kishite), different from both pre-Sargonic Akkadian and the Ebla-Mari language.

The personal names from the Sumerian city of Kish show an East Semitic nature and reveals that the city population had a strong Semitic component from the dawn of recorded history. Kish is considered to be the center of this civilization hence the naming. The Kish civilisation is considered to end with the rise of the Akkadian empire in the 24th century BC.

Tell Brak

Tell Brak (Nagar, Nawar) was an ancient city in Syria; its remains constitute a tell located in the Upper Khabur region, near the modern village of Tell Brak, 50 kilometers north-east of Al-Hasaka city, Al-Hasakah Governorate. Different peoples inhabited the city, including the Halafians, Semites and the Hurrians.

The original name of the city is unknown. The lake was probably named after Tell Brak which was the nearest camp in the area. The name “Brak” might therefore be an echo of the most ancient name. It was a religious center from its earliest periods. The findings in the Eye Temple indicate that Tell Brak is among the earliest sites of organized religion in northern Mesopotamia.

The culture of Tell Brak was defined by the different civilizations that inhabited it. The Halafians were the indigenous people of Neolithic northern Syria, who later adopted the southern Ubaidian culture. Contact with the Mesopotamian south increased during the early and middle Northern Uruk period, and southern people moved to Tell Brak in the late Uruk period, forming a colony, which produced a mixed society.

The Urukean colony was abandoned by the colonist toward the end of the fourth millennium BC, leaving the indigenous Tell Brak a much contracted city. The pre-Akkadian kingdom’s population was Semitic, and spoke its own East Semitic dialect of the Eblaite language used in Ebla and Mari. The Nagarite dialect is closer to the dialect of Mari rather than that of Ebla.

No Hurrian names are recorded in the pre-Akkadian period, although the name of prince Ultum-Huhu is difficult to understand as Semitic. During the Akkadian period, both Semitic and Hurrian names were recorded, as the Hurrians appears to have taken advantage of the power vacuum caused by the destruction of the pre-Akkadian kingdom, in order to migrate and expand in the region.

The post-Akkadian period Tell Brak had a strong Hurrian element, and Hurrian named rulers, although the region was also inhabited by Amorite tribes. A number of the Amorite Banu-Yamina tribes settled the surroundings of Tell Brak during the reign of Zimri-Lim of Mari, and each group used its own language (Hurrian and Amorite languages).

Tell Brak was a center of the Hurrian-Mitannian empire, which had Hurrian as its official language. However, Akkadian was the region’s international language, evidenced by the post-Akkadian and Mitannian eras tablets, discovered at Tell Brak and written in Akkadian. Mari rather than that of Ebla.

Tell Brak was a trade center due to its location between Anatolia, the Levant and southern Mesopotamia. Starting as a small settlement in the seventh millennium BC. The earliest period A, is dated to the proto Halaf culture c. 6500 BC, when a small settlement existed. Many objects dated to that period were discovered including the Halaf pottery.

By 5000 BC, Halaf culture transformed into Northern Ubaid, and many Ubaid materials were found in Tell Brak. Excavations and surface survey of the site and its surroundings, unearthed a large platform of patzen bricks that dates to late Ubaid, and revealed that Tell Brak developed as an urban center slightly earlier than better known cities of southern Mesopotamia, such as Uruk.

In southern Mesopotamia, the original Ubaid culture evolved into the Uruk period. The people of the southern Uruk period used military and commercial means to expand the civilization. In Northern Mesopotamia, the post Ubaid period is designated Late Chalcolithic / Northern Uruk period, during which, Tell Brak started to expand.

Tell Brak evolved during the fourth millennium BC into one of the biggest cities in Upper Mesopotamia, and interacted with the cultures of southern Mesopotamia. It is famous for its glyptic style, equids and glass. The Eye Temple is unique in the Fertile Crescent, and its main deity, Belet-Nagar, was revered in the entire Khabur region, making the city a pilgrimage site. The Eye Temple, which was named for the thousands of small alabaster “Eye idols” figurines discovered in it.

Interactions with the Mesopotamian south grew c. 3600 BC, and an Urukean colony was established in the city. With the end of Uruk culture c 3000 BC, Tell Brak’s Urukean colony was abandoned and deliberately leveled by its occupants. The city shrank in size at the beginning of the third millennium BC with the end of Uruk period. Tell Brak contracted during the following periods H and J, and became limited to the mound.

Evidence exists for an interaction with the Mesopotamian south represented by the existence of materials similar to the ones produced during the southern Jemdet Nasr period. The city remained a small settlement during the Ninevite 5 period, with a small temple and associated sealing activities before expanding again around c. 2600 BC, when a large administrative building was built and the city expanded out of the tell again.

The revival is connected with the Kish civilization. It became known as Nagar, and was the capital of a regional kingdom that controlled the Khabur river valley. During the second half of the third millennium BC, the city was known as Nagar and later on, Nawar, which might be of Semitic origin and mean a “cultivated place”.

The oldest references to Nagar comes from Mari and tablets discovered at Nabada. However, the most important source on Nagar come from the archives of Ebla. Most of the texts record the ruler of Nagar using his title “En”, without mentioning a name. However a text from Ebla mentions Mara-Il, a king of Nagar; thus, he is the only ruler known by name for pre-Akkadian Nagar and ruled a little more than a generation before the kingdom’s destruction.

Nagar was destroyed around c. 2300 BC, and came under the rule of the Akkadian Empire, followed by a period of independence as a Hurrian city-state, before contracting at the beginning of the second millennium BC. Nagar prospered again by the 19th century BC, and came under the rule of different regional powers.

In c. 1500 BC, Tell Brak was a center of Mitanni before being destroyed by Assyria c. 1300 BC. The name “Nagar” ceased occurring following the Old Babylonian period, however, the city continued to exist as Nawar, under the control of Hurrian state of Mitanni. The city never regained its former importance, remaining as a small settlement, and abandoned at some points of its history, until disappearing from records during the early Abbasid era.


The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European homeland suggests that Proto-Indo-European was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highlands. It is claimed that the Indo-European languages derive from a language spoken originally in Armenia, later migrating to the Pontic steppe from which it expanded, according to the Kurgan hypothesis, into Western Europe.

The Hittite, Indo-Iranian, Greek and Armenian branches split off when this Proto-Indoeuropean language was still spoken in the Armenian homeland. The Indo-Hittite model does not include the Anatolian languages in its scenario, which are identified with the Kura-Araxes culture.

The phonological peculiarities proposed in the glottalic theory would be best preserved in Armenian and the Germanic languages. Armenian remained in situ and would be particularly archaic despite its late attestation.

Proto-Greek would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek from the 17th century BC and closely associate Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (the Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).

The hypothesis argues for the latest possible date of Proto-Indo-European (without Anatolian), roughly a millennium later than the mainstream Kurgan hypothesis. In this respect, it represents an opposite to the Anatolian hypothesis in spite of the geographical proximity of the respective suggested Urheimaten by diverging from the timeframe suggested there by approximately 3000 years.


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

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

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

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

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

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

The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in c. 2250 BC identified with an Akkadian colony in the Diarbekr region. However, many historians, such as Wayne Horowitz, identify Armanî which was conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad, with the Syrian city of Aleppo and not with the Armenian Highland.


Armenia is interpreted by some as ḪARMinni, that is, “the mountainous region of the Minni”. The Mannaeans (country name usually Mannea; Akkadian: Mannai, possibly Biblical Minni) were an ancient people who lived in the territory of present-day northwestern Iran south of lake Urmia, around the 10th to 7th centuries BC.

At that time they were neighbors of the empires of Assyria and Urartu, as well as other small buffer states between the two, such as Ardini,  in Assyrian known as Musasir, an ancient city of Urartu attested in Assyrian sources of the 9th and 8th centuries BC., and Zikirta, an ancient kingdom (750-521 BC), in northern Zagros, which comprised the easternmost part of Greater Mannae.

The name Musasir in Akkadian means exit of the serpent. The city’s tutelary deity was Ḫaldi. It is believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after the god Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi. Khaldi was a warrior god to whom the kings of Urartu would pray for victories in battle. Of all the gods of the Urartian pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to Khaldi.

In the Bible (Jeremiah 51:27) the Mannaeans are called Minni. In the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906), Minni is identified with Armenia, but it could refer to one of the provinces in ancient Armenia; Minni, Ararat and Ashkenaz. According to examinations of the place and personal names found in Assyrian and Urartian texts, the Mannaeans, or at least their rulers, spoke Hurrian.


The present-day Armenians are an amalgam of the Indo-European groups with the Hurrians and Urartians. The Hurro-Urartian languages are an extinct language family of the Ancient Near East, comprising only two known languages: Hurrian and Urartian, both of which were spoken in the Taurus mountains area.

The Hurrians (also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language called Hurrian and lived in Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia. The heartlands of the Hurrians, the Khabur river valley and south eastern Anatolia.

Some scholars have suggested that Hurrians lived on in the country of Nairi north of Assyria during the early Iron Age, before this too was conquered by Assyria. The Hurrian population of northern Syria in the following centuries seems to have given up their language in favor of the Assyrian dialect of Akkadian, and later, Aramaic.

Hurrian was the language of the Hurrians and was spoken in the northern parts of Mesopotamia and Syria and the southeastern parts of Anatolia between at least last quarter of the third millennium BC and its extinction towards the end of the second millennium BC.


Furthermore, the Kassite language was possibly related to Hurro-Urartian. The Kassites were a people of the ancient Near East, who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire c. 1531 BC and until c. 1155 BC (short chronology).

The endonym of the Kassites was probably Galzu, although they have also been referred to by the names Kaššu, Kassi, Kasi or Kashi. The original homeland of the Kassites is not well known, but appears to have been located in the Zagros Mountains, in what is now the Lorestan Province of Iran.

The Kassite language has not been classified, but it has been proposed to have a link to the Hurro-Urartian languages of Asia Minor. However, several Kassite leaders bore Indo-European names, and they might have had an Indo-European elite similar to the Mitanni, who ruled over the Hurro-Urartian-speaking Hurrians of Asia Minor.

Francfort and Tremblay on the basis of the Akkadian textual and archaeological evidence, proposed to identify the kingdom of Marhashi (Mar-ḫa-šiKI or Parhasi; in earlier sources Waraḫše), a 3rd millennium BC polity situated east of Elam, on the Iranian plateau, and Ancient Margiana, also known as the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (short BMAC) or as the Oxus civilisation, as Hurrian states.

The Marhashite personal names seems to point towards an Easten variant of Hurrian or another language of the Hurro-Urartian language family. It is known from Mesopotamian sources, but its precise location has not been identified, though some scholars link it with Jiroft.

BMAC is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia, dated to c. 2300–1700 BC, located in present-day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus River).


Urartian is attested from the late 9th century BC to the late 7th century BC as the official written language of the state of Urartu and was probably spoken by the majority of the population in the mountainous areas around Lake Van and the upper Zab valley. It branched off from Hurrian at approximately the beginning of the second millennium BC.

Urartu (Urartian: Biai, Biainili) was an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. It corresponds to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat. The Urartian toponym Biainili (or Biaineli) was adopted in the Old Armenian as Van. Hence the names “Kingdom of Van” or “Vannic Kingdom”.

Assyrian inscriptions of Shalmaneser I (c. 1274 BC) first mention Uruartri as one of the states of Nairi, a loose confederation of small kingdoms and tribal states in the Armenian Highland in the 13th to 11th centuries BC which he conquered. Uruartri itself was in the region around Lake Van.

The Nairi states were repeatedly subjected to further attacks and invasions by the Assyrians. Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC as a powerful northern rival of Assyria, which lay to the south in northern Mesopotamia and northeast Syria.

The Nairi states and tribes became a unified kingdom under king Aramu (c. 860–843 BC), whose capital at Arzashkun was captured by the Assyrians under Shalmaneser III. Living at the time of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria (ruled 859–824 BC), Arame united the Nairi tribe against the threat of the Assyrian Empire and became the first known king of Urartu.

Arame has been suggested as the prototype of both Aram (and, correspondingly the popular given name Aram) and Ara the Beautiful, two of the legendary forefathers of the Armenian people.

Since the Urartian language is not a part of the Indo-European language family, linguists and historians have attempted to explain the emergence of the Armenian language in the area. The Armenian hypothesis theory supports the theory that the Urartian language was not spoken, but simply written, and postulating the Armenian language as an in situ development of a 3rd millennium BC Proto-Indo-European language.

It is suggested that the Armenian Highlands is the Proto-Indo-European homeland (the location where Indo-European would have emerged from), which would entail the presence of proto-Armenians in the area during the entire lifetime of the Urartian state.

In the early sixth century BC, Urartu was replaced by the Armenian Orontid Dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun Inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius I, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in the Elamite language.

The mentions of Urartu in the Books of Kings and Isaiah were translated as “Armenia” in the Septuagint. Some English language translations, including the King James Version follow the Septuagint translation of Urartu as Armenia.

The biblical hare Ararat (mountains of Ararat) is called bet Kardu (house of Kardu or Kurdistan) in Aramaic. It was called ture-Kardu (mountains of Kardu) in the Targum Onkelos, and there are several references to Kardu in the Talmud.

The presence of a proto-Armenian-speaking population in Urartu prior to its demise is subject to speculation, but the existence of Urartian words in the Armenian language suggests early contact between the two languages and long periods of bilingualism.

The Armenian hypothesis theory supports the theory that the Urartian language was not spoken, but simply written, and postulating the Armenian language as an in situ development of a 3rd millennium BC Proto-Indo-European language.

The Kingdom of Urartu united the disparate peoples of the highlands, which began a process of intermingling and amalgamation of the peoples, languages, and cultures within the highlands. This intermixing would ultimately culminate in the emergence of the Armenian people as the direct successors and inheritors of the Urartian domain.

While the Urartian language was used by the royal elite, the population they ruled may have been multi-lingual, and some of these peoples would have spoken an Indo-European language which would later be known as “Armenian.”

In the later days of the Kingdom of Urartu, its population may have already been speaking the Armenian language, which, after the fall of Urartu, would rise to prominence and replace the Urartian language used by the former ruling elite.

An addition to this theory, supported by the official historiography of Armenia and experts in Assyrian and Urartian studies suggests that Urartian was solely the formal written language of the state, while its inhabitants, including the royal family, spoke Armenian.

This theory primarily hinges on the fact that the Urartian language used in the cuneiform inscriptions were very repetitive and scant in vocabulary (having as little as 350–400 roots). Furthermore, over 250 years of usage, it shows no development, which is taken to indicate that the language had ceased to be spoken before the time of the inscriptions or was used only for official purposes.

Kura-Araxes culture or Early trans-Caucasian culture

Kura-Araxes culture or Early trans-Caucasian culture is a civilization that existed from about 4000 BC until about 2000 BC. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain. Some scholars have suggested that the earliest manifestation of the Kura-Araxes phenomenon should be dated at least to the last quarter of the 5th millennium BC. This is based on the recent data from Ovçular Tepesi, a Late Chalcolithic settlement located in Nakhchivan by the Arpaçay river.

Rather quickly, elements of Kura–Araxes culture started to proceed westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, and to the southeast into the area of Lake Van, and below the Urmia basin in Iran, such as to Godin Tepe. Finally, it proceeded into the present-day Syria (Amuq valley), and as far as Palestine.

There is evidence of trade with Mesopotamia as well as Asia Minor. It is, however, considered above all to be indigenous to the Caucasus, and its major variants characterized later major cultures in the region.

The Kura–Araxes culture would later display “a precocious metallurgical development, which strongly influenced surrounding regions”. Their metal goods were widely distributed, from the Volga, Dnieper and Don-Donets river systems in the north to Syria and Palestine in the south and Anatolia in the west.

Their pottery was distinctive. The spread of their pottery along trade routes into surrounding cultures was much more impressive than any of their achievements domestically. The spread of this pottery, along with archaeological evidence of invasions, suggests that the Kura-Araxes people may have spread outward from their original homes and, most certainly, had extensive trade contacts.

Khirbet Kerak

Archaeologists have attested a striking parallel in the spread to Syria of a distinct pottery type associated with what they call the Kura-Araxes culture or Early trans-Caucasian culture. Khirbet Kerak (“the ruin of the fortress”) or Beth Yerah (“House of the Moon (god)”) appears to have been a Levantine version of the Early Transcaucasian Culture.

The Khirbet Kerak is a tell (archaeological mound) located on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee in modern-day Israel. The tell spans an area of over 50 acres—one of the largest in the Levant—and contains remains dating from the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC – 2000 BC) and from the Persian period (c. 450 BC) through to the early Islamic period (c. 1000 AD).

Khirbet Kerak ware is a type of Early Bronze Age Syro-Palestinian pottery first discovered at this site. It is also found in other parts of the Levant (including Jericho, Beth Shan, Tell Judeideh, and Ugarit).

Early Bronze Age (3300/3500-2200 BCE) – The 2009 discovery at the tell of a stone palette with Egyptian motifs, including an ankh, points to trade/political relations with the First dynasty of Egypt, at approximately 3000 BCE.

Significant discontinuity from the local tradition have been found. This is showing influence from the world of Eastern Anatolia and the Upper Euphrates region. As a result, the introduction of Khirbet Kerak Ware in the Levant ca 2800 BCE is probable. It is further suggested that this provides evidence of kin-based group migration. Middle Bronze Age (2200–1550 BC) – Around 2000 BC, the city was destroyed or abandoned.


The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably.

Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni are considered to form (part of) an Indo-Aryan superstrate, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion.

While the Mitanni kings were Indo-Iranians, they used the language of the local people, which was at that time a non-Indo-European language, Hurrian. Their sphere of influence is shown in Hurrian place names, personal names and the spread through Syria and the Levant of a distinct pottery type.

Thutmose III of Egypt, mention the people of Ermenen in 1446 BC, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. Thutmose was the first Pharaoh to cross the Euphrates to reach the Armenian Highlands. To this day Kurds and Turks refer to Armenians by Ermeni.

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

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


The Arameans, or Aramaeans, were an ancient Northwest Semitic Aramaic-speaking tribal confederation who emerged from the region known as Aram (in present-day Syria) in the Late Bronze Age (11th to 8th centuries BC). They established a patchwork of independent Aramaic kingdoms in the Levant and seized large tracts of Mesopotamia.

The toponym A-ra-mu appears in an inscription at the East Semitic speaking kingdom of Ebla listing geographical names, and the term Armi, which is the Eblaite term for nearby Idlib (modern Aleppo), occurs frequently in the Ebla tablets (c. 2300 BC).

One of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad (c. 2250 BC) mentions that he captured “Dubul, the ensí of A-ra-me” (Arame is seemingly a genitive form), in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains. Other early references to a place or people of “Aram” have appeared at the archives of Mari (c. 1900 BC) and at Ugarit (c. 1300 BC).

However, there is no historical, archaeological or linguistic evidence that the Aramu, Armi or Arame were actually Arameans or related to them; and the earliest undisputed historical attestation of Arameans as a people appears much later, in the inscriptions of Tiglath Pileser I (c. 1100 BC).

The people who had long been the prominent population within what is today Syria (called the Land of the Amurru during their tenure) were the Amorites, a Canaanite speaking group of Semites who had appeared during the 25th century BC, destroying the hitherto dominant East Semitic speaking state of Ebla, founding the powerful state of Mari in the Levant, and during the 19th century BC founding Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia.

However, they seem to have been displaced or wholly absorbed by the appearance of a people called the Ahlamu by the 13th century BC, disappearing from history. The Arameans rose to be the prominent group amongst the Ahlamu, and from c. 1200 BC on, the Amorites disappeared from the pages of history. From then on, the region that they had inhabited became known as Aram (“Aramea”) and Eber-Nari.

The Amorites (Sumerian MAR.TU; Akkadian Tidnum or Amurrūm; Egyptian Amar) were an ancient Semitic-speaking people from Syria who also occupied large parts of southern Mesopotamia from the 21st century BC to the end of the 17th century BC.

The term Amurru in Akkadian and Sumerian texts refers to both them and to their principal deity. The ethnic terms Mar.tu (Westerners), Amurru (likely derived from ‘aburru’, pasture) and Amar were used for them in Sumerian, Akkadian,[2] and Ancient Egyptian respectively.

In the earliest Sumerian sources concerning the Amorites, beginning about 2400 BC, the land of the Amorites (“the Mar.tu land”) is associated not with Mesopotamia but with the lands to the west of the Euphrates, including Canaan and what was to become Syria by the 3rd century BC, then known as The land of the Amurru, and later as Aram and Eber-Nari.

They appear as an uncivilized and nomadic people in early Mesopotamian writings from Sumer, Akkad, and Assyria, especially connected with the mountainous region now called Jebel Bishri in northern Syria called the “mountain of the Amorites”.

The Arameans would appear to be one part of the larger generic Ahlamû group rather than synonymous with the Ahlamu. Ahlamû appears to be a generic term for a new wave of Semitic wanderers and nomads of varying origins who appeared during the 13th century BC across the Near East, Arabian peninsula, Asia Minor and Egypt.

The presence of the Ahlamû is attested during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1020 BC), which already ruled many of the lands in which the Ahlamû arose, in the Babylonian city of Nippur and even at Dilmun (modern Bahrain).

Shalmaneser I (1274–1245 BC) is recorded as having defeated Shattuara, King of the Mitanni and his Hittite and Ahlamû mercenaries. In the following century, the Ahlamû cut the road from Babylon to Hattusas, and Tukulti-Ninurta I (1244–1208 BC) conquered Mari, Hanigalbat and Rapiqum on the Euphrates and “the mountain of the Ahlamû”, apparently the region of Jebel Bishri in northern Syria.

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The god of justice, oath and judgement

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 17, 2018

The Phrygian cap or liberty cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia, Dacia, and the Balkans. In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty.

It is used in the coat of arms of certain Republics or of republican State institutions in the place where otherwise a Crown would be used (in the heraldry of monarchies). It thus came to be identified as a symbol of the republican form of government. A number of national personifications, in particular France’s Marianne, are commonly depicted wearing the Phrygian cap.

The Phrygian cap reappears in figures related to the first to fourth century religion Mithraism. The first extant record of 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.

Thutmose III of Egypt, mention the people of Ermenen in 1446 BC, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. Thutmose was the first Pharaoh to cross the Euphrates to reach the Armenian Highlands. To this day Kurds and Turks refer to Armenians by Ermeni.

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.

It is suggested to be a derivation from the Proto-Indo-European root *mei “to exchange.” A suggested alternative derivation was *meh “to measure” or *mei as “to bind.” Combining the root *mei with the “tool suffix” -tra- “that which [causes] …”, then literally means “that which binds,” and thus “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise, oath” etc.

It is also suggested to mean “to fasten, strengthen”, which may be found in Latin moenia “city wall, fortification”, and in an antonymic form, Old English (ge)maere “border, boundary-post”.

Mithra is the Zoroastrian angelic divinity (yazata) of Covenant, Light, and Oath. In addition to being the Divinity of Contracts, Mithra is also a judicial figure, an all-seeing Protector of Truth, and the Guardian of Cattle, the Harvest, and of the Waters.

In Zoroastrianism, Mithra is a member of the trinity of ahuras, protectors of asha/arta, “truth” or “[that which is] right”. It is a concept of cardinal importance. In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism”. The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “deceit, falsehood”.

Together with Rashnu “Justice” and Sraosha “Obedience”, Mithra is one of the three judges at the Chinvat Bridge, the “Bridge of Separation” that all Souls must cross. Unlike Sraosha, Mithra is not, however, a Psychopomp, a guide of souls to the place of the dead. Should the Good Thoughts, Words and Deeds outweigh the Bad, Sraosha alone conveys the Soul across the Bridge.

The Romans attributed their Mithraic mysteries (the mystery religion known as Mithraism) to “Persian” (i.e. Zoroastrian) sources relating to Mithra. The religion was inspired by Persian worship of the god Mithra (proto-Indo-Iranian Mitra), though the Greek Mithras was linked to a new and distinctive imagery.

Tiwaz (Stem: Tiwad-) was the Luwian Sun-god. He was among the most important gods of the Luwians. The name of the Proto-Anatolian Sun god can be reconstructed as *Diuod-, which derives from the Proto-Indo-European word *dei- (“shine”, “glow”).

In Bronze Age texts, Tiwaz is often referred to as “Father” and as “Great Tiwaz”, and invoked along with the “Father gods”. His Bronze Age epithet, “Tiwaz of the Oath” (cuneiform Luwian: ḫirutalla- dUTU-az), indicates that he was an oath-god.

In the Hittite and Hurrian religions the Sun goddess of the Earth played an important role in the death cult and was understood to be the ruler of the world of the dead. For the Luwians there is a Bronze Age source which refers to the “Sun god of the Earth”: “If he is alive, may Tiwaz release him, if he is dead, may the Sun god of the Earth release him”.

The Sun god of Heaven was a Hittite solar deity. The Sun god of Heaven was identified with the Hurrian solar deity, Šimige. The Sun god of Heaven was the protector of the Hittite king, indicated by a winged solar disc on the royal seals, and was the god of the kingdom par excellence.

The god played an important role as the foremost oath god in interstate treaties. As a result of the influence of the Mesopotamian Sun god Šamaš, the Sun god of Heaven also gained an important role as the god of law, legality, and truth.

He was the second-most worshipped solar deity of the Hittites, after the Sun goddess of Arinna, who protected the Hittite kingdom and was called the “Queen of all lands.” From the Hittite Old Kingdom, she was the chief goddess of the Hittite state.

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

She is Phrygia’s only known goddess, and was probably its state deity. Many of her Greek cults included rites to a divine Phrygian castrate shepherd-consort Attis, who was probably a Greek invention. In Greece, Cybele is associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions.

Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas, a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite (Venus). Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgil’s Aeneid, where he is an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. He became the first true hero of Rome.

Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus. This name is cognate with the Norse Tyr. Utu, later worshipped by East Semitic peoples as Shamash, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of the sun, justice, morality, and truth.

The t-rune ᛏ is named after Týr, and was identified with this god. The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *Tîwaz or *Teiwaz. Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”.

Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome.

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

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

Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming. Astrologically, Aries has been associated with Mars, both the planet and the god.

Aries 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 from approximately March 20 to April 21 each year.

The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship. It figures in the tale of the hero Jason and his crew of Argonauts, who set out on a quest for the fleece by order of King Pelias, in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly. Through the help of Medea, they acquire the Golden Fleece.

The First Point of Aries, the location of the vernal equinox, is named for the constellation. This is because the Sun crossed the celestial equator from south to north in Aries more than two millennia ago.

Hipparchus defined it in 130 BC. as a point south of Gamma Arietis. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, the First Point of Aries has since moved into Pisces and will move into Aquarius by around 2600 AD.

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”.

Libra is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 180°–210° celestial longitude. Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”), or alternatively as the Claws of the Scorpion. The scales were held sacred to the sun god Shamash, who was also the patron of truth and justice.

It only became a constellation in ancient Rome, when it began to represent the scales held by Astraea, the goddess of justice, associated with Virgo in the Greek mythology. Since these times, Libra has been associated with law, fairness and civility.

It has been suggested that the scales are an allusion to the fact that when the sun entered this part of the ecliptic at the autumnal equinox, the days and nights are equal. According to the Romans in the First Century, Libra was a constellation they idolized. The moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded.

Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. The Roman writer Manilius once said that Libra was the sign “in which the seasons are balanced”. Both the hours of the day and the hours of the night match each other. Thus why the Romans put so much trust in the “balanced sign”.

Libra’s status as the location of the equinox earned the equinox the name “First Point of Libra”, though this location ceased to coincide with the constellation in 730 because of the precession of the equinoxes.

The ruling planet of Libra is Venus, however some may consider Eris (“Strife”), the Greek goddess of strife and discord, as its ruler as well. Hausos is the reconstructed name for the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn.

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. 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).

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction 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.

Aya in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Sherida, consort of Utu. Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth.

Maat or Ma’at (“truth, justice”) refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological opposite was Isfet, meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil.

After her role in creation and continuously preventing the universe from returning to chaos, her primary role in Egyptian mythology dealt with the weighing of souls (also called the weighing of the heart) that took place in the underworld, Duat. Her feather was the measure that determined whether the souls (considered to reside in the heart) of the departed would reach the paradise of afterlife successfully.

The earliest surviving records indicating that Maat is the norm for nature and society, in this world and the next, were recorded during the Old Kingdom. Later, as a goddess in other traditions of the Egyptian pantheon, where most goddesses were paired with a male aspect, her masculine counterpart was Thoth, as their attributes are similar.

In other accounts, Thoth was paired off with Seshat, goddess of wisdom, knowledge, writing and measure, who is a lesser known deity. Spell 10 of the Coffin Texts states “Seshat opens the door of heaven for you.” She was seen as a scribe and record keeper, and her name means she who scrivens (i.e. she who is the scribe), and is credited with inventing writing.

Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma’at) who stood on either side of Ra’s boat. In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.

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Hvorfor feirer vi 17. mai?

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 16, 2018

Bilderesultat for 17 mai

Bilderesultat for 17 mai

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Den 17. mai er Norges nasjonaldag. På denne dagen i 1814 ble Norges Grunnlov datert og undertegnet av presidentskapet i Riksforsamlingen på Eidsvoll.

Vi feirer trikoloren, den franske revolusjon og den videre utvikling – vi feirer prinsippene og idealene fra opplysningstiden: Liberté, égalité, fraternité – «Frihet, likhet, brorskap». Norge er på mange måter tuftet på dette grunnlaget.

Det som inspirerte dem som møtte opp for å skrive grunnloven, som dannet grunnlaget for utviklingen av folkestyret, var den franske revolusjonen og den franske grunnloven fra 1791, samt den amerikanske uavhengighetserklæringen fra 1776 og amerikanske konstitusjonen fra 1787.

Frihet, likhet, brorskap var budskapet i den franske revolusjonen. Det var radikale, liberale og sosiale verdier som innebar et tidsskifte. Sentrale prinsipper var politisk frihet, ytringsfrihet og maktfordeling. Dette dannet de nye forestillingene om menneskerettigheter.

Hovedprinsippene i Grunnloven bygde stort sett på de samme ideene. Det var en seier for folkesuverenitet, maktfordeling og borgerrettighetene. Folkesuvereniteten innebar at makten skulle ligge hos folket, som dermed hadde rett til å styre seg selv. Maktfordelingen skulle sikre at maktutøvelsen ble delt på tre uavhengige myndigheter. Dette for å hindre maktkonsentrasjon og maktmisbruk.

Borgerrettighetene skulle sikre borgernes «medfødte og umistelige» rettigheter. Grunnloven slo fast borgernes rett til ytringsfrihet, næringsfrihet og rettssikkerhet, selv om den manglet mye av det vi i dag ser på som selvsagte menneskerettigheter.

Menneskerettighetserklæringen ble vedtatt av De forente nasjoners tredje generalforsamling den 10. desember 1948 ved Palais de Chaillot i Paris. Noen av de mest grunnleggende menneskerettighetene er retten til mat, klær og husly. Likevel er dette rettigheter ingen land i verden så langt har klart å innfri for alle sine innbyggere.

I et så overveldende rikt samfunn som vårt er arven fra den franske revolusjonen og amerikanske konstitusjonen først og fremst å gi de som trenger det mest hjelp til å oppleve den samme frihet som oss andre.

Tiden er inne for å for noen radikale endringer. Vi trenger å redefinere arbeid og verdiskapning, og sammen skape et bærekraftig samfunn hvor alle er sikret livets nødvendigheter. Vi må redusere gapet mellom fattig og rik, innføre reelt demokrati, tenke økonomi på en ny måte og innføre borgerlønn.

I klassiske tider var det vanlig å representere ideer og abstrakte enheter av guder, gudinner og allegoriske personligheter. Det var mindre vanlig i middelalderen, men en dette endret seg i renessansen.

Under den franske revolusjonen i 1789 dukket mange personifikasjoner av “Frihet” og “Fornuft” fram. Disse figurene fusjonerte til en kvinnelig figur, som enten sitter eller står og er ledsaget av forskjellige attributter, inkludert trikoloren og frygerlua.

Denne kvinnen symboliserte frihet, fornuft, nasjonen, hjemlandet og republikkens idealer. I september 1792 bestemte nasjonalkonvensjonen ved dekret at den nye statens segl ville representere en stående kvinne som holder et spyd med en frygerlue holdt oppe på toppen av den.

Historikeren Maurice Agulhon, som i flere kjente verker har skrevet detaljerte undersøkelser når det kommer til Mariannes opprinnelse, antyder at det er tradisjonene og mentaliteten til franskmennene som førte til bruk av en kvinne til å representere republikken.

Frankrike og republikken er i selv feminine substantiver på fransk (la France, la République), og det samme kan sies om de franske substantivene (fr: Liberté) og (fr: Raison). En feminin allegori var også et symbol på å bryte med det gamle monarkiet ledet av konger og fremme moderne republikansk ideologi.

Vekten (Libra) er det syvende stjernebilde i dyrekretsen. Det strekker seg mellom 180°–210° på stjernehimmelen. Under den tropiske dyrekretsen beveger sola seg gjennom dette feltet under høstjevdøgnet, som vil si i perioden mellom 23. september og 23. oktober, mens den i den sideriske dyrekretsen beveger seg i denne sonen mellom 16. oktober og 17. november.

Vekten ligger mellom Jomfruen (Virgo) i vest og Skorpionen (Scorpio) i øst. Vekten var kjent i babylonsk astronomi som MUL Zibanu («vekten» eller «balansen»), eller alternativt som «skorpionens klør». Vekten ble holdt hellig av solguden Shamash, som var beskytteren av sannhet og rettferdighet. Den ble også sett på som «skorpionens klør» i antikkens Hellas.

Romerne ideoliserte Vekten og det ble sagt at månen var i Vekten da Roma ble grunnlagt. Alt var balansert under dette rettferdige tegnet. Vekten er basert på vektene holdt av gudinnene Themis og Dike, som er de greske personifiseringene av guddommelig orden, lov og praksis. Hun ble inspirasjon for dagens bilder av Justitia, eller rettferdighetens gudinne.

Justitia er et symbol for lov og rett, der sverdet står for rettshåndhevelsen, vekten for dømmende virksomhet og bindet for upartiskhet. Justitia og hennes sverd og vekt er fortsatt brukt i nye våpenskjold og andre kjennetegn. Hun sammenlignes blant annet med den egyptiske gudinnen Maat, og senere Isis.

Bildet av Isis som vugger eller ammer sin sønn ble dyrket til langt inn på 500-tallet e.vt. før hun ble overtatt og videreført av den kristne jomfru Maria med Kristus-barnet og har gjenoppstått av samtidige «kulter» av en Moder Jord.

Aktelsen for Kristus’ mor tok plassen til dyrkelsen av Isis ved at den ikke ville bli undertrykt i en tid av religiøs intoleranse, og således inkluderte billedspråket assosiert med Hathor-Isis som strakte seg tilbake i tid til 3000 år før kristendommens oppstandelse.

Den herskende planeten av Vekten er Venus. Som et av de mest lyssterke objektene på himmelen har Venus vært kjent siden forhistorisk tid, og som sådan fått en befestet posisjon i menneskelig kultur. Babylonerne navnga planeten Ishtar (sumerisk Inanna), en personifisering av kvinnelighet og gudinnen for kjærlighet.

Innen iransk mytologi, spesielt persisk mytologi, henviser planeten vanligvis til gudinnen Anahita. Romerne, som hadde mye av sitt religiøse syn fra gresk tradisjon, oppkalte planeten Venus etter sin kjærlighetsgudinne. Plinius den eldre identifiserte planeten Venus med Isis.

Hun har mye til felles med norrøn mytologis Frøya, som er krigs-, fruktbarhets- og kjærlighetsgudinnen i norrøn mytologi og viss navn var å finne i navn på ulike planter i Skandinavia frem til det ble skiftet ut med navnet på Jomfru Maria i etterkant av kristningen.

Det astronomiske symbolet for Venus er det samme som man i biologien bruker for å symbolisere hunkjønn: en sirkel med et lite kors under. Symbolet brukes også som et feministsymbol. I vestlig alkymi symboliserer det kobber. I antikken ble polert kobber brukt som speil, og symbolet for Venus er i blant blitt tolket som gudinnens speil.

På grunn av jordas rotasjon ligger Første punkt i Vekten, også kjent som høstjevndøgnet, nå i Virgo, som er basert på den latinske Iustitia eller den greske Astraea (Stjernejomfruen) og har forbindelse med blant annet den indiske guddinnen Kanya og med Jomfru Maria.

Dette er et av to punkter på himmelen hvor stjernehimmelens ekvator krysser eklipten, mens det andre, kjent som Første punkt i Væren (Aries), som er det første stjernetegnet i Dyrekretsen, nå ligger i Fiskene (Pisces).

Ichthys eller fisken er et symbol som har blitt brukt av kristne fra den første kristne tiden. Av flere grunner var dette kanskje det viktigste symbolet blant de første kristne. Bokstavene i det greske ordet for fisk «ΙΧΘΥΣ» er et akronym for “Iesous Khristos, Theou hyios, soter”, som betyr “Jesus Kristus, Guds sønn, frelser”. Symbolet ble med dette en kort trosbekjennelse.

Navnet på måneden mars, og dermed også Aries, eller Væren, kommer av Mars. Mars’ festivaler ble holdt i måneden mars og i oktober. Symbolet for krigsguden 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.

Astraea symboliserer renhet og var den siste av de udødelige til å forlate jorden på slutten av sølvalderen, da gudene flyktet til Olympus på grunn av menneskenes dårlige holdninger. Hun steg til himmelen og er å finne i stjernebildet Virgo, mens Vekten symboliserer hennes assosiasjon med den greske gudinnen for rettferdighet, Dike, eller den romerske Justitia.

Gullalderen var ifølge gresk mytologi navnet på den første og beste av de fire tidsaldre som menneskenes historie er delt inn i. Etter Gullalderen fulgte Sølvalderen, Bronsealderen og til slutt Jernalderen, som tilsvarer nåtida. Ifølge legenden vil Astraea en dag vende tilbake til jorda og bringe tilbake den utopiske gullalderen sammen med henne.

Figuren brukes som kjennetegn av mange jurister, som dekorasjon bl.a. på rettsbygninger/tinghus, som motiv i kunst, segl, våpenskjold og lignende. Justitia inngår i seglene på Grunnloven av 17. mai 1814. Bare en stilisert skålvekt er symbol for det gamle tingstedet i Eidsvolls kommunevåpen.

Bilderesultat for cybele

Bilderesultat for løvebakken

Kybele (frygisk: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya «Kubelanske Moder», kanskje «Fjellmoderen») var opprinnelig en modergudinne i Anatolia. Hun kan ha utviklet seg fra anatolisk modergudinne i henhold til en type funnet ved Çatal Höyük, datert til rundt 5000-tallet f.vt. Denne korpulente, fruktbare modergudinnen synes å føde sittende på en trone med to armlener bestående av kattehoder.

Lite er kjent om hennes eldste anatoliske kulter, annet enn hennes tilknytning fjellene, hauker og løver. Hun kan ha blitt oppfattet som Frygias særskilte skytsgudinne, men hennes frygiske kult ble adoptert og tilpasset av greske kolonister langs kysten av Anatolia og kulten spredte seg derfra til det greske fastlandet og til mer fjerne vestlige kolonier på 500-tallet f.vt.

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The redheads and blond hair

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 16, 2018

The Neanderthals 

2012 genetic studies seem to suggest that modern humans may have mated with “at least two groups” of archaic humans: Neanderthals and Denisovans. It is suggested that Denisovans shared a common origin with Neanderthals, that they ranged from Siberia to Southeast Asia, and that they lived among and interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans, with about 3% to 5% of the DNA of Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians deriving from Denisovans.

Neanderthals were archaic humans who lived in Eurasia during roughly 250,000 to 40,000 years ago. They seem to have appeared in Europe and expanded into Southwest and Central Asia. Total Neanderthal effective population size has been estimated at close to 15,000 individuals (corresponding to a total population of roughly 150,000 individuals), living in small isolated, inbred groups.

Since 2010, evidence for substantial admixture of Neanderthals DNA in modern populations has accumulated. Evidence of admixture was found in both European and Asian populations, but not in Africans, suggesting that interbreeding between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans took place after the recent “out of Africa” migration, likely between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago. This is a counter to strict versions of the recent African origin theory, since it would imply that at least part of the genome of Europeans would descend from Neanderthals.

Both Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans are thought to have evolved from Homo erectus between 300,000 and 200,000 years ago. H. erectus had emerged around 1.8 million years ago, and had long been present, in various subspecies throughout Eurasia. The divergence time between the Neanderthal and modern human lineages is estimated at between 800,000 and 400,000 years ago.

Early Neanderthals, living before the Eemian interglacial (130 ka), are poorly known and come mostly from European sites. From 130 ka onwards, the quality of the fossil record increases dramatically. From then on, Neanderthal remains are found in Western, Central, Eastern, and Mediterranean Europe, as well as Southwest, Central, and Northern Asia up to the Altai Mountains in Siberia. No Neanderthal has ever been found outside Central to Western Eurasia, namely neither to the south of 30° N (Shuqba, Levant), nor east of 85° E (Denisova, Siberia).

About 55,000 years ago, the climate began to fluctuate wildly from extreme cold conditions to mild cold and back in a matter of decades. Neanderthal bodies were well-suited for survival in a cold climate—their stocky chests and limbs stored body heat better than the Cro-Magnons. Neanderthals died out in Europe between 41,000 and 39,000 years ago, apparently coinciding with the start of a very cold period.

Raw material sourcing and the examination of faunal remains by Adler et al. (2006) in the southern Caucasus suggest that modern humans may have had a survival advantage during this period, being able to use social networks to acquire resources from a greater area. They found that in both the Late Middle Palaeolithic and Early Upper Palaeolithic more than 95% of stone artifacts were drawn from local material, suggesting Neanderthals restricted themselves to more local sources.

In November 2011 tests conducted at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit in England on what were previously thought to be Neanderthal baby teeth, which had been unearthed in 1964 from the Grotta del Cavallo in Italy, were identified as the oldest modern human remains discovered anywhere in Europe, dating from between 43,000 and 45,000 years ago.

Modern humans co-existed with them in Europe starting around 45,000 years ago and perhaps even earlier. Neanderthals inhabited that continent long before the arrival of modern humans. These modern humans may have introduced a disease that contributed to the extinction of Neanderthals, and that may be added to other recent explanations for their extinction.

When Neanderthal ancestors left Africa roughly 100,000 years earlier they adapted to the pathogens in their European environment, unlike modern humans who adapted to African pathogens. If contact between humans and Neanderthals occurred in Europe and Asia the first contact may have been devastating to the Neanderthal population, because they would have had little if any immunity to the African pathogens.

More recent historical events in Eurasia and the Americas show a similar pattern, where the unintentional introduction of viral or bacterial pathogens to unprepared populations has led to mass mortality and local population extinction. The most well-known example of this is the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the New World, which brought and introduced foreign diseases when he and his crew arrived to a native population who had no immunity.

The redheads and blond hair

A 2007 genetic study suggested some Neanderthals may have had red hair and blond hair, along with a light skin tone. As of 2015, the earliest light eyes and light hair of hominid (Homo sapiens) individuals after the long extinct Neanderthals have been documented in 8,000-year-old remains in Motala, Sweden, belonging to subclades of Haplogroup I2 and mitochondrial Haplogroup U5.

The lightness of the hair ultimately depends on other mutations regulating the general pigmentation of both the skin and hair. Skin and hair pigmentation is caused by two different kinds of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin.

The most common is eumelanin, a brown-black polymer responsible for dark hair and skin, and the tanning of light skin. Pheomelanin has a pink to red hue and is present in lips, nipples, and genitals. The mutations in the MC1R gene imparts the hair and skin more pheomelanin than eumelanin, causing both red hair and freckles.

Redheads have very fair skin, almost always lighter than non-redheads. This is an advantage in northern latitudes and very rainy countries, where sunlight is sparse, as lighter skin improves the absorption of sunlight, which is vital for the production of vitamin D by the body. The drawback is that it confers redheads a higher risk for both sunburns and skin cancer.

Studies have demonstrated that people with red hair are more sensitive to thermal pain and also require greater amounts of anesthetic than people with other hair colours. The reason is that redheads have a mutation in a hormone receptor that can apparently respond to at least two different hormones: the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (for pigmentation) and endorphins (the pain relieving hormone).

Red hair is a recessive genetic trait caused by a series of mutations in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a gene located on chromosome 16. As a recessive trait it must be inherited from both parents to cause the hair to become red. Consequently there are far more people carrying the mutation for red hair than people actually having red hair.

Red hair has long been associated with Celtic people. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans described the Celts as redheads. The Romans extended the description to Germanic people, at least those they most frequently encountered in southern and western Germany. It still holds true today.

However, although red hair is an almost exclusively northern and central European phenomenon, isolated cases have also been found in the Middle East, Central Asia (notably among the Tajiks), as well as in some of the Tarim mummies from Xinjiang, in north-western China. All these people share a common ancestry that can be traced back to a single Y-chromosomal haplogroup: R1b.

It has been suggested that red hair could have originated in Paleolithic Europe, especially since Neanderthal also had red hair. The only Neanderthal specimen tested so far (from Croatia) did not carry the same MC1R mutation responsible for red hair in modern humans (the mutation in question in known as Arg307Gly).

However, since Neanderthals evolved alongside Homo Sapiens for 600,000 years, and had numerous subspecies across all Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, it cannot be ruled out that one particular subspecies of Neanderthal passed on the MC1R mutation to Homo Sapiens.

It is however unlikely that this happened in Europe, because red hair is conspicuously absent from, or very low in parts of Europe with the highest percentages of haplogroup I (e.g. Finland, Bosnia, Sardinia) and R1a (Eastern Europe), the only two lineages associated with Mesolithic and Paleolithic Europeans. We must therefore look for the source of red hair, elsewhere. unsurpisingly, the answer lies with the R1b people – thought to have recolonised Central and Western Europe during the Bronze Age.

Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH)

Haplogroup IJK is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. IJK is a primary branch of the macrohaplogroup HIJK. Its direct descendants are haplogroup IJ and haplogroup K.

The basal paragroup HIJK* has not been identified in living males or ancient remains. Populations with high proportions of males who belong to descendant major haplogroups of Haplogroup HIJK live across widely dispersed areas and populations.

The existence of Haplogroup IJK – the ancestor of both haplogroups IJ and K (M9) – and its evolutionary distance from other subclades of Haplogroup F (M89), supports the inference that haplogroups IJ and K both arose in Southwestern Asia. Living carriers of F* and IJ* have been reported from the Iranian Plateau.

Around 40,000 years ago haplogroup IJK seperated into two distinct new haplogroups which were japplogroups IJ and K. Both originated in southwest Asia but most of the K people went up into central Asia where new mutations took place within the haplogroup. Confirmed examples of K-M9* now appear to be most common amongst some populations in Island South East Asia and Melanesia.

Haplogroup K or K-M9 represents a geographically widespread and diverse haplogroup. The lineages have long been found among males on every continent. It is an old lineage that arose approximately 47,000-50,000 years ago, probably in South Asia or West Asia.

Relative to its age, the internal structure of K2 is extremely complex, and subclades of it are carried by males native to regions including Australasia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Horn of Africa.

It seems that a rapid diversification of K2 (K-M526) into K2a and K2b, followed by K2b1 and P (also known as K2b2) likely occurred in Southeast Asia. K2a and C1 have been found in the oldest sequenced male remains from Western Eurasia (dating from circa 45,000 to 35,000 years BP), such as: Ust’-Ishim man (modern west Siberia) K2a*, Oase 1 (Romania) K2a*, Kostenki 14 (south west Russia) C1b, and Goyet Q116-1 (Belgium) C1a.

This was followed by the relatively rapid westward expansion of P1 (P-M45), the immediate ancestor of both Haplogroups Q and R, which likely emerged in Southeast Asia. It seems that a rapid diversification process of K-M526 likely occurred in Southeast Asia, with subsequent westward expansions of the ancestors of haplogroups R and Q.

Haplogroup Q (M242) is the predominant Y-DNA haplogroup among Native Americans and several peoples of Central Asia and Northern Siberia. Q-M242 is believed to have arisen around the Altai Mountains area (or South Central Siberia), approximately 17,000 to 31,700 years ago.

The SNP M207, which defines Haplogroup R, is believed to have arisen during the Upper Paleolithic era, about 27,000 years ago. Only one confirmed example of basal R* has been found, in 24,000 year old remains, known as MA1, found at Mal’ta–Buret’ culture near Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Haplogroup I and J were subsequently distributed in Asia and Europe in a disjunctive phylogeographic pattern typical of “sibling” haplogroups. A natural geographical corridor like the Balkans is likely to have been used later by members of other subclades of IJ, as well as other haplogroups, including those associated with Early European Farmers.

Haplogroup IJ was in the Middle East and/or Europe about 40,000 years ago. Early evidence for haplogroup J has been found in the Caucasus and Iran. In addition, living examples of the precursor Haplogroup IJ* have been found only in Iran, among the Mazandarani and ethnic Persians from Fars. This may indicate that IJ originated in South West Asia.

Haplogroup I (M170) diverged from common ancestor IJ* about 43,000 years BP. The TMRCA (time to most recent common ancestor) for I-M170 was estimated in 2008 to be 22,200 years ago, with a confidence interval between 15,300–30,000 years ago. The oldest I-M170 found is that of an individual known as Krems WA3 (lower Austria), dating from circa 33,000-24,000 BP.

This would make the founding event of I-M170 approximately contemporaneous with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which lasted from 26,500 years ago until approximately 19,500 years ago.

It would seem to be that separate waves of population movement impacted Southeastern Europe. The role of the Balkans as a long-standing corridor to Europe from Anatolia and/or the Caucasus is shown by the common phylogenetic origins of both haplogroups I and J in the parent haplogroup IJ (M429). This common ancestry suggests that the subclades of IJ entered the Balkans from Anatolia or the Caucasus, some time before the Last Glacial Maximum.

The available evidence suggests that I-M170 was preceded into areas in which it would later become dominant by haplogroups K2a (K-M2308) and C1 (Haplogroup C-F3393). Consequently, I-M170 represents up to one-fifth of the male population of Europe, being the continent’s second major Y-DNA haplogroup (behind Haplogroup R).

I-M170 is one of the most numerous haplogroups among European males. Subclades can be found in most present-day European populations, with peaks in some Northern European and South East European countries. The haplogroup reaches its maximum frequency in the Balkans (with the highest concentration in present-day Herzegovina). It may be associated with unusually tall males, since those in the Dinaric Alps have been reported to be the tallest in the world.

It is speculated that the initial dispersion of this population corresponds to the diffusion of the Gravettian culture. Later the haplogroup, along with two cases of Haplogroup C, was found in human remains belonging to the culture and in individuals of the Magdalenian and Azilian cultures.

It is suggested that each of the ancestral populations now dominated by a particular subclade of Haplogroup I-M170 experienced an independent population expansion immediately after the Last Glacial Maximum.

Haplogroup I2 (I-M438) originated some time around 26,000–31,000 BCE and has two primary subclades: I-L460 and I-L1251. The haplogroup reaches its maximum frequency in the Dinaric Alps in Eastern Europe (especially in the Balkans), where the men are on record as being the tallest in the world, with a male average height of 185.6 cm (6 ft 1.1 in).

Haplogroup I2a may be the haplogroup of the first anatomically modern humans to inhabit Europe, Cro-Magnon. Basal I2* (I-M438*) has been found in ancient remains from Frankthi cave, in the eastern Peloponnese region of Greece. Along with its modern presence in Crete and Sicily, this may suggest that the haplogroup originated in the Eastern Mediterranean. Haplogroup I2a was the most frequent Y-DNA among western European mesolithic hunter gatherers (WHG).

An I2a1 carrier was a carrier of red hair and others of genes of blond/light hair, while all the Motala hunter-gatherers were light-skinned and blue-eyed males. (Light-skin genes, but not those for blond/red hair, have been found in Siberia on a 17,000-year-old carrier of Haplogroup R*, as well as 8,000–9,000-year-old R1a remains from Karelia.)

Due to the arrival of so-called Early European Farmers, I-M170 is outnumbered by Haplogroup G among Neolithic European remains and by Haplogroup R in later remains. I2 subclade of I-M170 is the main haplogroup found on male remains in Mesolithic Europe, until circa 6,000 BCE, when mass migration into Europe of Middle Eastern farmers carrying Y-DNA G2a happened.

Haplogroup R1b

Haplogroup R* originated in North Asia just before the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500-19,000 years ago). This haplogroup has been identified in the remains of a 24,000 year-old boy from the Altai region, in south-central Siberia (Raghavan et al. 2013). This individual belonged to a tribe of mammoth hunters that may have roamed across Siberia and parts of Europe during the Paleolithic.

Autosomally this Paleolithic population appears to have contributed mostly to the ancestry of modern Europeans and South Asians, the two regions where haplogroup R also happens to be the most common nowadays (R1b in Western Europe, R1a in Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, and R2 in South Asia).

The oldest forms of R1b (M343, P25, L389) are found dispersed at very low frequencies from Western Europe to India, a vast region where could have roamed the nomadic R1b hunter-gatherers during the Ice Age.

The three main branches of R1b1 (R1b1a, R1b1b, R1b1c) all seem to have stemmed from the Middle East. The southern branch, R1b1c (V88), is found mostly in the Levant and Africa. The northern branch, R1b1a (P297), seems to have originated around the Caucasus, eastern Anatolia or northern Mesopotamia, then to have crossed over the Caucasus, from where they would have invaded Europe and Central Asia. R1b1b (M335) has only been found in Anatolia.

Like its northern counterpart (R1b-M269), R1b-V88 is associated with the domestication of cattle in northern Mesopotamia. Both branches of R1b probably split soon after cattle were domesticated, approximately 10,500 years ago (8,500 BCE).

The origins of haplogroup R1b are complex, and shrouded in controversy to this day. The present author favours the theory of a Middle Eastern origin (a point upon which very few population geneticists disagree) followed by a migration to the North Caucasus and Pontic Steppe, serving as a starting point for a Bronze-age invasion of the Balkans, then Central and Western Europe. This theory also happens to be the only one that explains the presence of red hair among the Udmurts, Central Asians and Tarim mummies.

Haplogroup R1b probably split from R1a during the Upper Paleolithic, roughly 25,000 years ago. The most likely location was Central Asia, around what is now the Caspian Sea, which only became a sea after the last Ice Age ended and the ice caps over western Russia melted. After the formation of the Caspian Sea, these nomadic hunter-gatherers, ended up on the greener and richer Caucaso-Anatolian side of the Caspian, where they may have domesticated local animals, such as cows, pigs, goats and sheep.

It has been hypothetised that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighbouring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs. With the increase of the human population in the Fertile Crescent from the beginning of the Neolithic (starting 12,000 years ago), selective hunting and culling of herds started replacing indiscriminate killing of wild animals.

The increased involvement of humans in the life of aurochs, wild boars and goats led to their progressive taming. Cattle herders probably maintained a nomadic or semi-nomadic existence, while other people in the Fertile Crescent (presumably represented by haplogroups E1b1b, G and T) settled down to cultivate the land or keep smaller domesticates.

The analysis of bovine DNA has revealed that all the taurine cattle (Bos taurus) alive today descend from a population of only 80 aurochs. The earliest evidence of cattle domestication dates from circa 8,500 BCE in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures in the Taurus Mountains.

The two oldest archaeological sites showing signs of cattle domestication are the villages of Çayönü Tepesi in southeastern Turkey and Dja’de el-Mughara in northern Iraq, two sites only 250 km away from each others. This is presumably the area from which R1b lineages started expanding – or in other words the “original homeland” of R1b.

The early R1b cattle herders would have split in at least three groups. One branch (M335) remained in Anatolia, but judging from its extreme rarity today wasn’t very successful, perhaps due to the heavy competition with other Neolithic populations in Anatolia, or to the scarcity of pastures in this mountainous environment. A second branch migrated south to the Levant, where it became the V88 branch. Some of them searched for new lands south in Africa, first in Egypt, then colonising most of northern Africa, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahel.

The third branch (P297), crossed the Caucasus into the vast Pontic-Caspian Steppe, which provided ideal grazing grounds for cattle. They split into two factions: R1b1a1 (M73), which went east along the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and R1b1a2 (M269), which at first remained in the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe between the Dnieper and the Volga.

It is not yet clear whether M73 actually migrated across the Caucasus and reached Central Asia via Kazakhstan, or if it went south through Iran and Turkmenistan. In any case, M73 would be a pre-Indo-European branch of R1b, just like V88 and M335.

If the mutation for red hair was inherited from Neanderthal, it would have been from a Central Asian Neanderthal, perhaps from modern Uzbekistan, or an East Anatolian/Mesopotamian one. The mutation probably passed on to some other (extinct?) lineages for a few millennia, before being inherited by the R1b tribe. Otherwise, it could also have arisen independently among R1b people as late as the Neolithic period (but no later).


Developing pottery, or more probably acquiring the skills from Middle Eastern neighbours (notably tribes belonging to haplogroup G2a), part of the R1b tribe migrated across the Caucasus to take advantage of the vast expanses of grassland for their herds.

This is where the Proto-Indo-European culture would have emerged, and spread to the native R1a tribes of the Eurasian steppe, with whom the R1b people blended to a moderate level (the reason why there is always a minority of R1b among predominantly R1a populations today, anywhere from Eastern Europe to Siberia and India).

The domestication of the horse in the Volga-Ural region circa 4000-3500 BCE, combined with the emergence of bronze working in the North Caucasus around 3300 BCE, would lead to the spectacular expansion of R1b and R1a lineages, an adventure that would lead these Proto-Indo-European speakers to the Atlantic fringe of Europe to the west, to Siberia to the east, and all the way from Egypt to India to the south.

From 3500 BCE, the vast majority of the R1b migrated westward along the Black Sea coast, to the metal-rich Balkans, where they mixed with the local inhabitants of Chalcolithic “Old Europe”. A small number of R1b accompanied R1a to Siberia and Central Asia, which is why red hair very occasionally turns up in R1a-dominant populations of those areas (who usually still have a minority of R1b among their lineages, although some tribes may have lost them due to the founder effect).

The archeological record indicates that this sustained series of invasions was extremely violent and led to the complete destruction of the until then flourishing civilizations of the Balkans and Carpathians. The R1b invaders took local women as wives and concubines, creating a new mixed ethnicity. The language evolved in consequence, adopting loanwords from the languages of Old Europe. This new ethnic and linguistic entity could be referred to as the Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic people.

After nearly a millennium in the Danubian basin (as far west as Bavaria), they would continue their westward expansion (from 2500 BCE) to Western Europe. In fact, the westward expansion was most likely carried out exclusively by the westernmost faction of R1b, who had settled north of the Alps, around Austria and Bavaria, and developed the Unetice culture.

Many R1b lineages have remained in the Balkans, where they have gradually mixed with the indigenous populations, then with successive waves of immigrants and invaders over the next millennia, such as the Greeks, the Romans, the Bulgars and the Ottomans.

Almost all trace of red hair was lost in south-eastern Europe due to the high number of dark haired people brought by the long wave of invasions to the region over the last 5000 years. According to ancient Greek writers, red hair was common among the Thracians, who lived around modern Bulgaria, an region where rufosity has almost completely disappeared today. Red hair alleles may have survived in the local gene pool though, but cannot be expressed due to the lack of other genes for light hair pigmentation.

The red-haired Proto-Indo-Europeans split in three branches (Proto-Italic, Proto-Celtic and Proto-Germanic ) during the progressive expansion of the successive Bronze-age Unetice, Tumulus and Urnfield cultures from Central Europe.

The Proto-Germanic branch, originating as the R1b-U106 subclade, is thought to have migrated from present-day Austria to the Low Countries and north-western Germany. They would continue their expansion (probably from 1200 BCE) to Denmark, southern Sweden and southern Norway, where, after blending with the local I1 and R1a people, the ancient Germanic culture emerged.

Nowadays, the frequency of red hair among Germanic people is highest in the Netherlands, Belgium, north-western Germany and Jutland, i.e. where the percentage of R1b is the highest, and presumably the first region to be settled by R1b, before blending with the blond-haired R1a and I1 people from Scandinavia and re-expanding south to Germany during the Iron Age, with a considerably lower percentage of R1b and red-hair alleles.

Red-haired is therefore most associated with the continental West Germanic peoples, and least with Scandinavians and Germanic tribes that originated in Sweden, like the Goths and the Vandals. This also explains why the Anglo-Saxon settlements on southern England have a higher frequency of redheads than the Scandinavian settlements of northeast England.

The Italic branch crossed the Alps around 1300 BCE and settled across most of the peninsula, but especially in Central Italy (Umbrians, Latins, Oscans). They probably belonged predominantly to the R1b-U152 subclade.

It is likely that the original Italics had just as much red hair as the Celts and Germans, but lost them progressively as they intermarried with their dark-haired neighbours, like the Etruscans. The subsequent Gaulish Celtic settlements in northern Italy increased the rufosity in areas that had priorly been non-Indo-European (Ligurian, Etruscan, Rhaetic) and therefore dark-haired. Nowadays red hair is about as common in northern and in central Italy.

The Celtic branch is the largest and most complex. The area that was Celtic-speaking in Classical times encompassed regions belonging to several distinct subclades of R1b-S116 (the Proto-Italo-Celtic haplogroup).

The earliest migration of R1b to Western Europe must have happened with the diffusion of the Bronze Age to France, Belgium, Britain and Ireland around 2100 BCE – a migration best associated with the R1b-L21 subclade. A second migration took place around 1800 BCE to Southwest France and Iberia, and is associated with R1b-DF27.

These two branches are usually considered Celtic, but because of their early separation, they are likely to be more different from each other than were the later Italic and continental Celtic branches (both R1b-U152).

The Northwest Celtic branch could have been ancestral to Goidelic languages (Gaelic), and the south-western one to Celtiberian. Both belong to the Q-Celtic group, as opposed to the P-Celtic group, to which Gaulish and Brythonic belong and which is associated with the expansion of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures and R1b-U152 (the same subclade as the Italic branch).

The 45th parallel north

Nowadays, red hair is found in all three Celtic branches, although it is most common in the R1b-L21 branch. The reason is simply that it is the northernmost branch (red hair being more useful at higher latitudes) and that the Celtic populations of Britain and Ireland have retained the purest Proto-Celtic ancestry (extremely high percentage of R1b).

Red hair was also found among the tartan-wearing Chärchän man, one of the Tarim mummies dating from 1000 BCE, who according to the author were an offshoot of Central European Celts responsible for the presence of R1b among modern Uyghurs.

The earlier, non-tartan-wearing Tarim mummies from 2000 BCE, which were DNA tested and identified as members of haplogroup R1a, did not have red hair, just like modern R1a-dominant populations.

What is immediately apparent to genetic genealogists is that the map of red hair correlates with the frequency of haplogroup R1b in northern and western Europe. It doesn’t really correlate with the percentage of R1b in southern Europe, for the simple reason that red hair is more visible among people carrying various other genes involved in light skin and hair pigmentation.

At equal latitude, the frequency of red hair correlates amazingly well with the percentage of R1b lineages. The 45th parallel north, running through central France, northern Italy and Croatia, appears to be a major natural boundary for red hair frequencies. Under the 45th parallel, the UV rays become so strong that it is no longer an advantage to have red hair and very fair skin. Under the 41th parallel, redheads become extremely rare, even in high R1b areas.

The natural boundary probably has a lot to do with the sun and climate in general, since the 45th parallel is exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. Natural selection also progressively pruned red hair from the Mediterranean populations, because the higher amount of sunlight and strong UV rays in the region was more likely to cause potentially fatal melanoma in fair-skinned redheads.

It is entirely possible, and even likely, that the European north-south divide, not just for culture and agriculture, but also for phenotypes and skin pigmentation, go back to Neolithic times, when the expansion of agriculture from the Near East followed two separate routes.

Even as far back as Neolithic times, the 45th parallel roughly divided the Mediterranean Cardium Pottery culture from the Central European Linear Pottery culture. The southern route followed the Mediterranean coastlines until Iberia, while the northern route diffused along the Danubian basin then the North European Plain until the Low Countries and the Baltic.

Each group of farmer blended with indigenous Mesolitic hunter-gatherers over time, but those i the Mediterranean may have been genetically distinct from those of central and northern Europe. Then, from the Bronze Age, the Indo-European migrations from the Pontic Steppe affected much more central and northern Europe, considerably altering the gene pool and local lifestyle, by bringing East European and Caucasian genes and dairy farming, in addition to Indo-European language and culture.

It is only in the Late Bronze Age (c. 1500–1155 BCE), over a thousand years after the Indo-European expansion into Central Europe, that the Proto-Celts really expanded over the Italian and Iberian peninsulas. Greece also didn’t become Indo-Europeanised until the Mycenaeans, another group of Indo-European speakers from the Steppe took over the country circa 1600 BCE.

Slavic, Baltic and Finnish people are predominantly descended from peoples belonging to haplogroups R1a, N1c1 and I1. Their limited R1b ancestry means that the MC1R mutation is much rarer in these populations. This is why, despite their light skin and hair pigmentation and living at the same latitude as Northwest Europeans, almost none of them have red hair, apart from a few Poles or Czechs with partial German ancestry.

Southwest Norway may well be the clue to the origin of red hair. It has been discovered recently, thanks to genetic genealogy, that the higher incidence of both dark hair and red hair (as opposed to blond) in southwest Norway coincided with a higher percentage of the paternal lineage known as haplogroup R1b-L21, including its subclade R1b-M222, typical of northwestern Ireland and Scotland (the so-called lineage of Niall of the Nine Hostages).

It is now almost certain that native Irish and Scottish Celts were taken (probably as slaves) to southwest Norway by the Vikings, and that they increased the frequency of red hair there.

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