Man – Mars (war) and woman – Venus (love)
Posted by Fredsvenn on March 29, 2016
Venus: April: Dawn: Mother: Virgo: Feminin: Love and Fertility: Spirit: Water: Vanir: Spring Triangle: Pisces: Copper: Life: Doorpost/Mirror. Friday
Mars: March: Father: Sun: Leo: Masculin: War: Agriculture: Creation: Temper: Fire: Asir: Summer/Autumn Triangle: Taurus/Aries: Iron: Spear: Tuesday
Venus and Mars
The Venus symbol (♀) is a depiction of a circle with a small cross below it. The astronomical symbol for Venus is the same as that used in biology for the female sex: a circle with a small cross beneath.
The symbol is historically associated with the Roman goddess Venus or the Greek goddess Aphrodite. It is used in various media to represent things associated in some way with the mythological character, including the female sex, the planet Venus, the chemical element copper, and feminism in philosophy and sociology.
Throughout history and cultures, the planet has been of remarkable importance as an especial object of observation, reflection and projection. Popular beliefs and observations resulted in different and in parts similar patterns in mythology as well as phenomenological descriptions, attributions and depictions, e.g. in astrology. Such developments in manifestations of human thought reflect the planet’s image as a result of early observations of Venus and their impact on culture and science.
The adjective Venusian is commonly used for items related to Venus, though the Latin adjective is the rarely used Venerean; the archaic Cytherean is still occasionally encountered. Venus is the only planet in the Solar System that is named after a female figure. Earth and the Moon also have feminine names in many languages—Gaia/Terra, Selene/Luna.
Venus was offered official (state-sponsored) cult in certain festivals of the Roman calendar. Her sacred month was April (Latin Mensis Aprilis) which Roman etymologists understood to derive from aperire, “to open,” with reference to the springtime blossoming of trees and flowers.
The Romans gave this month the Latin name Aprilis but the derivation of this name is uncertain. The traditional etymology is from the verb aperire, “to open”, in allusion to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to “open”, which is supported by comparison with the modern Greek use of άνοιξη (ánixi) (opening) for spring.
Since some of the Roman months were named in honor of divinities, and as April was sacred to the goddess Venus, her Veneralia being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her equivalent Greek goddess name Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name Apru.
Aphrodite stems from the more archaic Cretan Aphordíta and Cypriot Aphorodíta, and was probably ultimately borrowed from Cypriot Phoenician. Herodotus and Pausanias recorded that Aphrodite’s oldest non-Greek temple lay in the Syrian city of Ascalon where she was known as Ourania, an obvious reference to Astarte. This suggests that Aphrodite’s cult located at Cythera-Cyprus came from the Phoenicians.
The fact that one of Aphrodite’s chief centers of worship remained on the southwestern Cypriot coast settled by Phoenicians, where the goddess had long been worshiped as Ashtart (ʻštrt), points to the transmission of Aphrodite’s original cult from Phoenicia to Cyprus then to mainland Greece. So far, however, attempts to derive the name from Aphrodite’s Semitic precursor have been inconclusive.
A number of false etymologies have been proposed through the ages. Hesiod derives Aphrodite from aphrós “foam,” interpreting the name as “risen from the foam”. Janda (2010), accepting this as genuine, claims the foam birth myth as an Indo-European mytheme. Janda intereprets the name as a compound aphrós “foam” and déato “[she] seems, shines”, meaning “she who shines from the foam [ocean]”, supposedly a byname of Eos, the dawn goddess.
Likewise, Mallory and Adams (1997) propose an Indo-European compound *abʰor- “very” and *dʰei- “to shine”, also referring to Eos. However, etymologies based on comparison with Eos are unlikely since Aphrodite’s attributes are entirely different from those of Eos (or the Vedic deity Ushas).
April was the second month of the earliest Roman calendar, before Ianuarius and Februarius were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC. It became the fourth month of the calendar year (the year when twelve months are displayed in order) during the time of the decemvirs about 450 BC, when it also was given 29 days. The 30th day was added during the reform of the calendar undertaken by Julius Caesar in the mid-40s BC, which produced the Julian calendar.
The Anglo-Saxons called April ēastre-monaþ. The Venerable Bede says in The Reckoning of Time that this month ēastre is the root of the word Easter. He further states that the month was named after a goddess Eostre whose feast was in that month. It is also attested by Einhard in his work, Vita Karoli Magni.
The Venus symbol also represents femininity, and in Western alchemy stood for the metal copper. Polished copper has been used for mirrors from antiquity, and the symbol for Venus has sometimes been understood to stand for the mirror of the goddess.
A widely held belief is that it represents a hand mirror (originally often made of bronze), with the top half of the symbol representing the actual mirror, and the bottom half representing the handle of the mirror. However, another plausible origin of the symbol is it being a contraction of script Greek.
Inanna’s 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).
The ankh, also known as breath of life, the key of the Nile or crux ansata (Latin meaning “cross with a handle”), was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that read “life”, a triliteral sign for the consonants Ayin-Nun-Het.
It represents the concept of life, which is the general meaning of the symbol. The Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand, arms crossed over their chest. The ankh appears in hand or in proximity of almost every deity in the Egyptian pantheon (including Pharaohs). It is a symbol of eternal life, and this is the literal meaning of the symbol.
A symbol similar to the ankh appears frequently in Minoan and Mycenaean sites. This is a combination of the sacral knot (symbol of holiness) with the double-edged axe (symbol of matriarchy) but it can be better compared with the Egyptian tyet which is similar.
This symbol can be recognized on the two famous figurines of the chthonian Snake Goddess discovered in the palace of Knossos. Both snake goddesses have a knot with a projecting loop cord between their breasts. In the Linear B (Mycenean Greek) script, ankh is the phonetic sign za.
The ankh also appeared frequently in coins from ancient Cyprus and Asia Minor (particularly the city of Mallus in Cilicia). In some cases, especially with the early coinage of King Euelthon of Salamis, the letter ku, from the Cypriot syllabary, appeared within the circle ankh, representing Ku(prion) (Cypriots).
To this day, the ankh is also used to represent the planet Venus (the namesake of which, the goddess Venus or Aphrodite was chiefly worshipped on the island) and the metal copper (the heavy mining of which gave Cyprus its name).
Coptic Christians preserved the shape of the ankh by sometimes representing the Christian cross with a circle in place of the upper bar. This is known as the Coptic ankh or crux ansata.
The origin of the symbol remains a mystery to Egyptologists, and no single hypothesis has been widely accepted. The origin of ankh is highly debated and it is represented by an oval or point-down teardrop set atop a T shape. Though lacking actual evidence, one of the commonly repeated explanation is that it is a union of a female symbol (the oval, representing the vagina or uterus) with a male symbol (the phallic upright line).
To this day, the ankh is also used to represent the planet Venus (the namesake of which, the goddess Venus or Aphrodite, was chiefly worshipped on the island) and the metal copper (the heavy mining of which gave Cyprus its name.
The Mars symbol (♂) is a depiction of a circle with an arrow emerging from it, pointing at an angle to the upper right. In old manuscripts, it is usually interpreted as the shield and spear from the war god Mars/Ares. The symbol is used in many fields as a representation of things historically associated with the mythological figure. These include the male sex, the planet Mars, the chemical element iron, and the Roman god Mars or the Greek god Ares.
The t-rune ᛏ is named after Týr, and was identified with this god; the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *Tîwaz. The rune is sometimes also referred to as *Teiwaz, or spelling variants.
If a warrior carved the rune Tîwaz on his weapon he would be dedicating it to Týr and strengthen the outcome of a battle to be in his favor. After a warrior has dedicated his weapon to Týr he should not lose it or break it.
The name of March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named for Mars, the Roman god of war who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities came to a close.
Martius remained the first month of the Roman calendar year perhaps as late as 153 BC, and several religious observances in the first half of the month were originally New Year’s celebrations. Even in late antiquity, Roman mosaics picturing the months sometimes still placed March first. March 1 began the numbered year in Russia until the end of the 15th century. Great Britain and its colonies continued to use March 25 until 1752, when they finally adopted the Gregorian calendar.
Many other cultures and religions still celebrate the beginning of the New Year in March. March is the first month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (North America, Europe, Asia and part of Africa) and the first month of fall or autumn in the Southern Hemisphere (South America, part of Africa, and Oceania).
Mars and Venus
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. 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.
Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.
In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. 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.
Ovid tells this story in the Fasti, his long-form poetic work on the Roman calendar. It may explain why the Matronalia, a festival celebrated by married women in honor of Juno as a goddess of childbirth, occurred on the first day of Mars’ month, which is also marked on a calendar from late antiquity as the birthday of Mars. In the earliest Roman calendar, March was the first month, and the god would have been born with the New Year.
Tyr and Hel
Týr (Old Norse: Týr) is a god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. Corresponding names in other Germanic languages are Gothic Teiws, Old English Tīw and Old High German Ziu and Cyo, all from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz. The Latinised name is Tius or Tio.
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 late Icelandic Eddas, Týr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda), while the origins of his name and his possible relationship to Tuisto suggest he was once considered the father of the gods and head of the pantheon, since his name is ultimately cognate to that of *Dyeus (cf. Dyaus), the reconstructed chief deity in Indo-European religion.
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.
According to Tacitus’s Germania (98 CE), “In their ancient songs, their only form of recorded history, the Germans celebrate the earth-born god, Tuisto. They assign to him a son, Mannus, the author of their race, and to Mannus three sons…” 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”.
The Germania manuscript corpus contains two primary variant readings of the name. The most frequently occurring is commonly connected to the Proto-Germanic root tvai (“two”) and its derivative tvis (“twice”; “doubled”). Allusion to intersex is entirely conjectural, as the tvia/tvis roots are also the roots of any number of other concepts/words in the Germanic languages. Take for instance the Germanic “twist”, which, in all but the English has the primary meaning of “dispute/conflict”.
The second variant of the name, occurring originally in manuscript E, is Tuisco (sometimes rendered Tuiscon). One proposed etymology for this variant reconstructs a Proto-Germanic tiwisko, and connects this with Proto-Germanic Tiwaz, yielded the meaning “son of Tiu”. This interpretation implies that Tuisco is the son of the sky god (Proto-Indo-European Dyeus) and the earth-goddess.
Tuisto is equated to the Vedic Tvastar, the first-born creator of the universe. The term Tvaṣṭṛ is mentioned in the Mitanni treaty, which establishes him as a proto-Indo-Iranian divinity.
The Purusha Sukta refers to the Purusha as Tvastr, who is the visible form of creativity emerged from the navel of the invisible Vishvakarman. In the Yajurveda, Purusha Sukta and the tenth mandala of the Rigveda, his character and attributes are merged with the concept of Hiranyagharbha/Prajapathy or Brahma.
The term, also transliterated as Tvaṣṭr, nominative Tvaṣṭā, is the heavenly builder, the maker of divine implements, especially Indra’s Vajra and the guardian of Soma. Tvaṣṭṛ is mentioned 65 times in the Ṛgveda and is the former of the bodies of men and animals, and invoked when desiring offspring, called garbha-pati or the lord of the womb.
As per the Ṛgveda, Tvaṣṭr belongs to clan of the Bhṛgus. Similarly, as mentioned in the epic Mahābhārata, Tvaṣṭr is Śukra’s son. Tvaṣṭṛ is sometimes associated or identified with similar deities, such as Savitṛ, Prajāpatī, Viśvakarman and Puṣan. He is the father of Saranyu, who twice bears twins to Surya (RV 10.17.1), Yama and Yami. He is also the father of Viśvarūpa or Triśiras who was killed by Indra, and in revenge Tvaṣṭṛ created Vrtra a fearsome dragon. Surprisingly he is also referred to as Indra’s father.
Tvaṣṭṛ is a solar deity in the Mahābhārata and the Harivaṃśa. He is mentioned as the son of Kāśyapa and Aditi and is said to have made the three worlds with pieces of the Sun god, Surya.
Týr is a god of war and will take mead, meat and blood for sacrifice. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is in fact “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.
There is sketchy evidence of a consort, in German named Zisa: Tacitus mentions one Germanic tribe who worshipped “Isis”, and Jacob Grimm pointed to Cisa/Zisa, the patroness of Augsburg, in this connection. The name Zisa could be derived from Ziu etymologically. This Zisa would be the female consort of Ziu, as Dione was of Zeus.
One Dione is identified as the mother of the Roman goddess of love, Venus, or equivalently as the mother of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite; but Dione is also sometimes identified with Aphrodite. However, some scholars identify her with Asherah, proposing that Sanchuniathon merely uses Dione as a translation of Asherah’s epithet Elat.
Istanu (Ištanu; from Hattic Estan, “Sun-god”) was the Hittite god of the sun, borrowed from the Hattian Estan (Luwian Tiwaz or Tijaz, Hurrian Shimegi, Urartian Shiwini, Babylonia and Assyria Shamash, Sumerian Utu). He was a god of judgement, and was depicted bearing a winged sun on his crown or head-dress, and a crooked staff.
Utu (Akkadian rendition of Sumerian UD “Sun”, Assyro-Babylonian Shamash “Sun”) is the god of the sun, justice, application of law, and the lord of truth in Sumerian mythology. He is usually depicted as wearing a horned helmet and carrying a saw-edged weapon not unlike a pruning saw. He is the son of the moon god Nanna and the goddess Ningal, a goddess of reeds. His brother and sisters are Ishkur, Ereshkigal, and his twin sister Inanna. His center cult was located in the city of Larsa.
It is thought that every day, Utu emerges from a mountain in the east, symbolizing dawn, and travels either via chariot or boat across the Earth, returning to a hole in a mountain in the west, symbolizing sunset. Every night, Utu descends into the underworld to decide the fate of the dead. He is also depicted as carrying a mace, and standing with one foot on a mountain. Its symbol is “sun rays from the shoulders, and or sun disk or a saw”.
Gilgamesh and his father, Lugalbanda were kings of the first dynasty of Uruk, a lineage that Jeffrey H. Tigay suggested could be traced back to Utu himself. He further suggested that Lugalbanda’s association with the sun-god in the Old Babylonian version of the epic strengthened “the impression that at one point in the history of the tradition the sun-god was also invoked as an ancestor”.
The attribute most commonly associated with Shamash is justice. Just as the Sun disperses darkness, so Shamash brings wrong and injustice to light. Hammurabi attributes to Shamash the inspiration that led him to gather the existing laws and legal procedures into code, and in the design accompanying the code the king represents himself in an attitude of adoration before Shamash as the embodiment of the idea of justice.
Shamash was historically associated with the planet Saturn. Morris Jastrow, Jr. identifies Shamash with the planet Saturn. He is frequently associated with the lion, both in mythology and artistic depictions. In the ancient Canaanite religion, a “son of Baal Shamash”, is known for slaying a lion (the son himself possibly an aspect of the god), and Shamash himself is depicted as a lion in religious iconography.
Aya (or Aja) in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Šherida, 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. 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.
During the Roman Empire, a festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated on the winter solstice—the “rebirth” of the sun—which occurred on December 25 of the Julian calendar. In late antiquity, the theological centrality of the sun in some Imperial religious systems suggests a form of a “solar monotheism”. The religious commemorations on December 25 were replaced under Christian domination of the Empire with the birthday of Christ.
Nergal and Ereshkigal
Nergal was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia (Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia) with the main seat of his worship at Cuthah represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim. He is a son of Enlil and Ninlil, along with Nanna (Sumerian: ŠEŠ.KI, NANNA) or Sin (Akkadian: Su’en, Sîn), the god of the moon, and Ninurta.
Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”.
Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld. In the mythology, this occurred when Enlil and Ninlil gave him the underworld. Nergal was also the deity who presides over the netherworld, and who stands at the head of the special pantheon assigned to the government of the dead (supposed to be gathered in a large subterranean cave known as Aralu or Irkalla).
In this capacity he has associated with him a goddess Allatu or Ereshkigal, though at one time Allatu may have functioned as the sole mistress of Aralu, ruling in her own person. In some texts the god Ninazu is the son of Nergal and Allatu/Ereshkigal.
Standard iconography pictured Nergal as a lion, and boundary-stone monuments symbolise him with a mace surmounted by the head of 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.
Nergal’s fiery aspect appears in names or epithets such as Lugalgira, Lugal-banda (Nergal as the fighting-cock), Sharrapu (“the burner,” a reference to his manner of dealing with outdated teachings), Erra, Gibil (though this name more properly belongs to Nusku), and Sibitti or Seven.
In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars)—hence the current name of the planet.
Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”.
The worship of Nergal does not appear to have spread as widely as that of Ninurta, a Sumerian and the Akkadian god of hunting and war, but in the late Babylonian and early Persian period, syncretism seems to have fused the two divinities, which were invoked together as if they were identical.
In a legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû); a Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future.
There are many parallels with both and the story of Marduk (son of Enki) who slew Abzu (or Apsu), and delivered the Tablets of Destiny from Kingu to his father, Enki.
Enlil’s brother, Enki, was portrayed as Ninurta’s mentor from whom Ninurta was entrusted several powerful Mes, including the Deluge.
In the astral-theological system Ninurta was associated with the planet Saturn, or perhaps as offspring or an aspect of Saturn. In his capacity as a farmer-god, there are similarities between Ninurta and the Greek Titan Kronos, whom the Romans in turn identified with their Titan Saturn.