Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Heimdall and his equals

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 10, 2016

Heimdall – Aquarius

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

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

Heimdall

(D)Algiz and (T)Yr runes

Bilderesultat for peace

Bilderesultat for symbol heimdall mythology

Purple YinYang:

Sacred Geometry <3:

los chakras y el arbol de la vida                                                                                                                                                      Más:

Le sphere de monde by Oronce Fine, 1549 j    / Sacred Geometry <3:

Bilderesultat for yggdrasil

Bilderesultat for yggdrasil

Bilderesultat for Algiz

(D)Algiz rune – Heimdall

Bilderesultat for Algiz

(D)Algiz (also Elhaz) and (T)Yr rune

Algiz – Rune Meaning Analysis

Bilderesultat for yr rune

Bilderesultat for yr rune

Ying Yang:

HIGH PRIESTESS | Yin Energy (Magician is Yang Energy):

Yin/Yang:

Centered:

Taoism Symbols | Here, we see the eight trigrams of the Ba Gua arranged around a Yin ...:

Accept that you are already perfect, the world around you is imperfect and therefore needs your creative thoughts and actions which is in itself a perfect action...:

Yin Yang as Sacred Geometry:

Yin and Yang:

Yin Yang Dragons:

White and Black Tree of Life Yin Yang Custom Invite:

Tree of Life: symbol of growth, wisdom, protection, bounty, redemption. with yin and yang.:

432Hz Golden Mean tuning system... / Sacred Geometry <3:

Bilderesultat for peace

Ancient Greek Symbol Of Strength:

Greek symbol of strength

Celtic symbol for courage & strength:

Heimdall’s helmet

The Helm of Awe

“Ægir’s helmet” or “Helm of Terror”

Moose superior.jpg

The Elder Futhark rune ᛉ is conventionally called Algiz or Elhaz, from the Common Germanic word for “elk”.

Bilderesultat for peace

Sabazios is the nomadic horseman and sky father god of the Phrygians and Thracians. In Indo-European languages, such as Phrygian, the -zios element in his name derives from dyeus, the common precursor of Latin deus (‘god’) and Greek Zeus. Though the Greeks interpreted Phrygian Sabazios as both Zeus and Dionysus, representations of him, even into Roman times, show him always on horseback, as a nomadic horseman god, wielding his characteristic staff of power.

Zababa (also Zamama) was the Hittite way of writing the name of a war god, using Akkadian writing conventions. Most likely, this spelling represents the native Anatolian Hattian god [Wurunkatte]. His Hurrian name was Astabis. He is connected with the Akkadian god Ninurta. The symbol of Zababa – the eagle-headed staff was often depicted next to Ninurta’s symbol.

In ancient Mesopotamia, Zababa was the tutelary god of the city of Kiš, whose sanctuary was the E-meteursag. Several ancient Mesopotamian kings were named in honor of Zababa, including Ur-Zababa of Kish listed on the Sumerian King List as the second king of the 4th Dynasty of Kish. The king list also says Sargon of Akkad was a cup-bearer for Ur-Zababa before becoming ruler of Akkadian Empire.

In Norse mythology, Gulltoppr (Old Norse “golden mane”) is one of the horses of the gods. Gulltoppr is mentioned in a list of horses in the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál and in Nafnaþulur section of the Prose Edda. According to Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, he is the horse of Heimdallr. Rudolf Simek theorizes that Snorri assigned a horse to Heimdallr in an attempt to systematize the mythology.

 

Bilderesultat for yggdrasil

As Heimdall, the world tree reach from the sky to the underworld so do Nergal (Tyr) as a skylord, but at the same time a god of the underworld

Heimdallr also appears as Heimdalr and Heimdali. The etymology of the name is obscure, but ‘the one who illuminates the world’ has been proposed.

The prefix Heim- means world, the affix -dallr is of uncertain origin, perhaps it means pole (Yggdrasil), perhaps bright – He is described as “the brightest of the gods”.

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

THE RAM:

Heimdall is regularly associated with the ram. Heimdali is a poetic synonym for ram, and while Heimdall has no weapon, a kenning for “sword” is “Heimdal’s head,” i.e., the butting weapon of a ram. Conversely, a kenning for “head” is “Heimdal’s sword.” Regular epithets for Heimdall are Gullintanni and Hallinskíði — “golden-toothed” and “bent sticks,” referring to the teeth and horns of an old ram.

Welsh folklore refers to whitecaps as the “sheep” of the mermaid Gwenhudwy, “the White Sorceress;” the eight sheep are followed by the ninth, most powerful, breaker, which is called “the ram.” Perhaps significantly, Heimdall is born of “one and eight mothers” (the nine sisters are sometimes giantesses) and he is called both Vindhlér (“gale sea”) and hvíti áss, (“the white god”).

NINE

Nine is a key number in Norse myth. Nine worlds, Odin’s three triangles and nine magic songs, Heimdall’s nine mothers, Hermod’s nine-day journey to the underworld, etc. In alchemy the Third referred to a unifying or synthesizing substance derived by combining two others (a duality). In many mythologies nine (three threes) represents the culmination of a cycle.

In Norse mythology, the Nine Mothers of Heimdallr are nine sisters who gave birth to the god Heimdallr. Some scholars have linked the Nine Mothers of Heimdallr with the Nine Daughters of Ægir (whose parentage and names combined imply waves), an identification that would mean that Heimdallr was thus born from the waves of the sea.

Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius 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 prefer Saturn as the planetary ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius

 Uranus: Aquarius is detriment to Leo

Saturn: Aquarius is detriment to Leo, and Capricorn  is detriment to Cancer

The Sun is the ruling planet of Leo and is exalted in Aries

In Greek mythology, the Sun was represented by the Titans Hyperion and Helios

In Roman mythology, the Sun was represented by Sol, and later by Apollo, the god of light

The Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer and is exalted in Taurus

In Roman mythology, the Moon was Luna, at times identified with Diana

In some scholarly accounts, parallels have been drawn between Heimdall and the Vedic deity Dyaus / Tyr, Saint Michael and Janus.

Dyeus – Dis Pater

Dyēus is believed to have been the chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylight sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih Méhter, “earth mother”.

This deity is not directly attested; rather, scholars have reconstructed this deity from the languages and cultures of later Indo-European peoples such as the Greeks, Latins, and Indo-Aryans. According to this scholarly reconstruction, Dyeus was addressed as Dyeu Ph2ter, literally “sky father” or “shining father”, as reflected in Latin Iūpiter, Diēspiter, possibly Dis Pater and deus pater, Greek Zeu pater, Sanskrit Dyàuṣpítaḥ.

An (Uranus – Caelus)

Enlil (Enki) (Cronus – Saturn (Mercury))

Nergal (Ares – Mars) / Ninurta (Zeus – Jupiter) – Tammuz (Dionysus – Bacchus / Liber)

Anu (in Akkadian; Sumerian: An, from 𒀭An “sky, heaven”) is the earliest attested Sky Father deity. In Sumerian religion, he was also “King of the Gods”, “Lord of the Constellations, Spirits and Demons”, and “Supreme Ruler of the Kingdom of Heaven”, where Anu himself wandered the highest Heavenly Regions.

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

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

Enmesarra, or Enmešarra, in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology is an underworld god of the law. Described as a Sun god, protector of flocks and vegetation, and therefore he has been equated with Nergal. On the other hand, he has been described as an ancestor of Enlil, and it has been claimed that Enlil slew him.

Tammuz (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”) is a Sumerian god of food and vegetation, also worshiped in the later Mesopotamian states. In cult practice, the dead Tammuz was widely mourned in the Ancient Near East.

In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar. The Levantine (“lord”) Adonis, who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz, son and consort.

Beginning with the summer solstice came a time of mourning in the Ancient Near East, as in the Aegean: the Babylonians marked the decline in daylight hours and the onset of killing summer heat and drought with a six-day “funeral” for the god. Recent discoveries reconfirm him as an annual life-death-rebirth deity: tablets discovered in 1963 show that Dumuzi was in fact consigned to the Underworld himself, in order to secure Inanna’s release, though the recovered final line reveals that he is to revive for six months of each year.

The theogony 

Uranus (meaning “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. 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 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. Elemental Earth, Sky and Styx might be joined, however, in a solemn invocation in Homeric epic.

In the Olympian creation myth, as Hesiod tells it in the Theogony, Uranus came every night to cover the earth and mate with Gaia, but he hated the children she bore him. Uranus imprisoned Gaia’s youngest children in Tartarus, deep within Earth, where they caused pain to Gaia. She shaped a great flint-bladed sickle and asked her sons to castrate Uranus. Only Cronus, youngest and most ambitious of the Titans, was willing: he ambushed his father and castrated him, casting the severed testicles into the sea.

After Uranus was deposed, Uranus and Gaia then prophesied that Cronus in turn was destined to be overthrown by his own son, and so the Titan attempted to avoid this fate by devouring his young. Zeus, through deception by his mother Rhea, avoided this fate.

Heimdall

In Norse mythology, Heimdallr is a god who possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn, owns the golden-maned horse Gulltoppr, has gold teeth, and is the son of nine maidens, all of whom were sisters. Furthermore, Heimdall is in many attributes identical with Tyr.

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.

Heimdall was, for reasons that have been lost to history, associated with sheep and rams. This explains some of his sobriquets, from the most overt (“Ram”) to the more indirect (“Golden-teeth,” with the theory being that his teeth were thought to have the same yellow sheen as an older ram’s). Likewise, this also explains why his sword would have been called “Head,” as the head presents the exact location of a ram’s offensive weapons.

He is the handsome gold-toothed guardian of Bifrost, the rainbow bridge leading to Asgard, the home of the Gods, and thus the connection between body and soul. 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.

Heimdallr is said to be the originator of social classes among humanity and once regained Freyja’s treasured possession Brísingamen while doing battle in the shape of a seal with Loki. Heimdallr and Loki are foretold to kill one another during the events of Ragnarök. Heimdallr is additionally referred to as Rig, Hallinskiði, Gullintanni, and Vindlér or Vindhlér. Heimdalls nickname Gullintanni golden-toothed would refer to the yellow coloring found in the teeth of old rams.

As a child, Heimdall was sent by the Gods to teach humans to kindle the holy fire, to instruct them in runic wisdom, to teach them workmanship and handicraft, organized their society, and originated and stabilized the three classes of men as spoken of in the Song of Rig. He lived long as a man among men, and his rulership was a golden age of peace and prosperity.

Heimdall slept with three different women who bore the ancestors to the three different classes: earls, farmers and serfs. When he died as a human, he returned to the Gods where he was stripped of his aged human shape, regained his eternal youth and was taken into Asgard. It is He who will sound the signal horn to the Aesir that Ragnarok is beginning.

His birth

One of the most confounding elements of Snorri’s account is the depiction of Heimdall as the son of nine mothers (with the father generally thought to be Odin). Further, two different sets of nine mothers are suggested in the Eddic poetry: nine related giantesses and the nine daughters of Aegir (the personification of the sea). Ægir is an Old Norse word meaning “terror” and the name of a destructive jötunn associated with the sea; ægis is the genitive case of ægir (and has no direct relation to Greek aigis).

According to the tale, in the course of a walk along the shoreline, Odin beheld the nine beautiful wave maidens as they slept on the white sand and he married all nine of them at once.  In time, they simultaneously gave birth to Heimdall, the White God who stood guard over the entrance of the fortress of the gods.

The Nine Mothers of Heimdallr are nine sisters who gave birth to the god Heimdallr. Some scholars have linked the Nine Mothers of Heimdallr with the Nine Daughters of Ægir (whose parentage and names combined imply waves), an identification that would mean that Heimdallr was thus born from the waves of the sea.

“The Wave Maidens’ themes are providence, protection (from water), charity, fertility, peace, cycles and water. Their symbols are fish and sea items.  These northern Teutonic Goddesses number nine and rule over the waves, being the joint mothers of the god Heimdel. In mythology, the Wave Maidens live at the bottom of the sea, watching over the World Mill that continually turns with the season to bring the earth and Her people fertility and harmony.

This blatantly impossible lineal situation has presented a puzzle to folklorists and scholars of religion for some time. However, Georges Dumézil, a noted comparativist, has found a reference in Welsh folklore that could present a solution to this puzzle. Specifically, he discovered in the Welsh corpus a reference to the characteristics of particular waves, with every wave being called a “ewe” and the ninth being called a “ram.”

We understand that whatever his mythical value and functions were, the scene of his birth made him, in the sea’s white frothing, the ram produce by the ninth wave. If this is the case, then it is correct to say that he has nine mothers, since one alone does not suffice, nor two, nor three. An exact succession of nine is necessary to produce him, and the ninth one, if she is the only one to beget him, begets him only because there are eight well-counted ones before her. In this way is best explained the singularly analytic expression of the Húdrápa, which calls Heimdall “son of one and eight waves.”

This theory, if correct, simultaneously accounts for Heimdall’s nine mothers, his association with rams, and the appellation “White God” (which could have been derived from the white froth on the tips of these waves).

Comparative

Hatepuna, also known as Hatepinu, is a Hattian goddess. Her Name originates in Hattic ha, “sea”, and puna, “Child”. She is the daughter of the sea god Aruna and becomes the wife of Telipinu (“Exalted Son”) because of the rescue of the sun good Istanu, also known as Tiwas (Tyr).

Tarhun and the sea god agree under the meditation of Hannahannah (from Hittite hanna- “grandmother”) to a bride price. Hannahannah was also identified with the Hurrian mother goddess Hebat, known as “Mother of all living” and “Queen of the deities”. Hebat is married to Teshub and is the mother of Sarruma and Alanzu, as well mother-in-law of the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka, a serpentine dragon slain by Tarhunt (dIM), the Hittite incarnation of the Hurrian god of sky and storm.

Aruna is a sea god in Hittite mythology, a son of the healing and magic goddess Kamrusepa involved in the Telepinu Myth, about the “missing” vegetation god. According to Hittite Mythology, she enlisted the help of a human to perform a ritual to remove the anger of an angry god, Telepinu. Upon completion of the ritual she sacrificed 12 rams of the sun gods and directed Telepinu’s anger into the Underworld.

Aruna is also the Hittite word for “sea”, and like Kamrusepa may also refer to the god of the sea. Various origins of this name are proposed. It is highly possible that it has the same origin as the name of the Vedic god Varuna. In Hindu mythology and scriptures, Aruṇá or Aru is a personification of the reddish glow of the rising Sun, which is believed to have spiritual powers. The presence of Aruṇá, the coming of day, is invoked in Hindu prayers to Surya.

Varuna is the Hindu god of water and the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law of the underwater world. A Makara is his mount. His consort is the Hindu goddess Varuni. The Rigveda and Atharvaveda portrays Varuna as omniscient, catching liars in his snares.

Originally the chief god of the Vedic pantheon, Varuna was replaced by Indra and later faded away with the ascendancy of Shiva and Vishnu. Arjun is the son of Indra/ Varuna in the great epic Mahabharatha and it is believed that if we pray to him we would be protected from thunder and lightning.

Varuna and Mitra are the gods of the societal affairs including the oath, and are often twinned Mitra-Varuna (a dvandva compound). Varuna is also twinned with Indra in the Rigveda, as Indra-Varuna (when both cooperate at New Year in re-establishing order).

Both Mitra and Varuna are classified as Asuras in the Rigveda, although they are also addressed as Devas as well. Varuna, being the king of the Asuras, was adopted or made the change to a Deva after the structuring of the primordial cosmos, imposed by Indra after he defeats Vrtra.

In the earliest Vedic literature, all supernatural beings are called Asuras. The concepts and legends evolve in ancient Indian literature, and by the late Vedic period, benevolent supernatural beings are referred to as Deva-Asuras. In post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, and the Asuras the bad. In some medieval Indian literature, Devas are also referred to as Suras and contrasted with their equally powerful but malevolent half-brothers, referred to as the Asuras.

Vedic Varuna is sometimes thought to be a reflex of the same Proto-Indo-European theonym as Greek Ouranos, based on similarities between both names and the respective gods’ attributes, but no successful derivation has yet been produced that is consistent with known laws of sound change.

The trifunctional hypothesis

The trifunctional hypothesis of prehistoric Proto-Indo-European society postulates a tripartite ideology (“idéologie tripartite”) reflected in the existence of three classes or castes – priests, warriors, and commoners (farmers or tradesmen) – corresponding to the three functions of the sacral, the martial and the economic, respectively. The trifunctional thesis is primarily associated with the French mythographer Georges Dumézil who proposed it in 1929 in the book Flamen-Brahman, and later in Mitra-Varuna.

In Norse mythology Odin represents sovereignty, Týr law and justice, and the Vanir fertility. Odin has been interpreted as a death-god and connected to cremations, and has also been associated with ecstatic practices. 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.

Tyr, also known as Tiwaz, was the Germanic war god. He was closely associated with Odin and like that god, received sacrifices of hanged men. It is not unlikely that Tyr was an early sky god whose powers were later passed on to Odin and Thor. Gungnir, Odin’s magic spear, may once have belonged to Tyr, since it was customary for the Vikings to cast a spear over the heads of an enemy as a sacrifice before fighting commenced in earnest, and over recent years archaeologists have found numerous splendidly ornamented spears dedicated to Tyr.

Ægir

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.

In classical mythology, the Cap of Invisibility (lit. dog-skin of Hades) is a helmet or cap that can turn the wearer invisible. It is also known as the Cap of Hades, Helm of Hades, or Helm of Darkness. Wearers of the cap in Greek myths include Athena, the goddess of wisdom, the messenger god Hermes, and the hero Perseus. The Cap of Invisibility enables the user to become invisible to other supernatural entities, functioning much like the cloud of mist that the gods surround themselves in to become undetectable.

One ancient source that attributes a special helmet to the ruler of the underworld is the Bibliotheca (2nd/1st century BC), in which the Uranian Cyclops give Zeus the ligtningbolt, Poseidon the trident, and a helmet (kyneê) to Hades in their war against the Titans.

In classical mythology the helmet is regularly said to belong to the god of the underworld. Rabelais calls it the Helmet of Pluto, and Erasmus the Helmet of Orcus. The helmet becomes proverbial for those who conceal their true nature by a cunning device: “the helmet of Pluto, which maketh the politic man go invisible, is secrecy in the counsel, and celerity in the execution.”

Trident

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

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

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”. The Greek equivalent is tríaina, from Proto-Greek trianja (threefold). 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. Parallel to its fishing origins, the trident is associated with Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology, the Roman god Neptune.

In Hindu legends and stories Shiva, a Hindu God who holds a trident in his hand, uses this sacred weapon to fight off negativity in the form of evil villains. The trident is also said to represent three gunas mentioned in Indian vedic philosophy namely sāttvika, rājasika and tāmasika.

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

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

(D)Algiz and (T)Yr rune

Algiz (also Elhaz) is the name conventionally given to the “z-rune” ᛉ of the Elder Futhark runic alphabet. Its transliteration is z, understood as a phoneme of the Proto-Germanic language, the terminal *z continuing Proto-Indo-European terminal *s.

It is one of two runes which express a phoneme that does not occur word-initially, and thus could not be named acrophonically, the other being the ŋ-rune Ingwaz ᛜ. As the terminal *-z phoneme marks the nominative singular desinence of masculine nouns, the rune occurs comparatively frequently in early epigraphy.

Because this specific phoneme was lost at an early time, the Elder Futhark rune underwent changes in the medieval runic alphabets. In the Anglo-Saxon futhorc it retained its shape, but it was given the sound value of Latin x. This is a secondary development, possibly due to runic manuscript tradition, and there is no known instance of the rune being used in an Old English inscription.

In Proto-Norse and Old Norse, the Germanic *z phoneme developed into an R sound, perhaps realized as a retroflex approximant [ɻ], which is usually transcribed as ʀ. This sound was written in the Younger Futhark using the Yr rune ᛦ, the Algiz rune turned upside down, from about the 7th century. This phoneme eventually became indistinguishable from the regular r sound in the later stages of Old Norse, at about the 11th or 12th century.

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

In the 6th and 7th centuries, the Elder Futhark began to be replaced by the Younger Futhark in Scandinavia. By the 8th century, the Elder Futhark was extinct, and Scandinavian runic inscriptions were exclusively written in Younger Futhark.

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

Its phonological value is the continuation of the phoneme represented by Algiz, the word-final *-z in Proto Germanic, In Proto-Norse pronounced closer to /r/, perhaps /ɻ/. Within later Old Norse, the Proto-Norse phoneme collapses with /r/ by the 12th century.

Unicode has “Latin Small Capital Letter R” at codepoint U+0280 ʀ. A corresponding capital letter is at U+01A6 Ʀ, called “Latin Letter Yr”. The rune itself is encoded at U+16E6 ᛦ “Long Branch Yr”. Variants are “Short Twig Yr” at U+16E7 ᛧ and “Icelandic Yr” at U+16E8 ᛨ.

The “scholastic” (found only in manuscript tradition) Anglo-Saxon calc rune ᛣ has the same shape as Younger Futhark yr, but is unrelated in origin (being a modification or “doubling” of cenᚳ).

Independently, the shape of the Elder Futhark Algiz rune reappears in the Younger Futhark Maðr rune ᛘ, continuing the Elder Futhark ᛗ rune *Mannaz.

Horse

In Norse mythology, Gulltoppr (Old Norse “golden mane”) is one of the horses of the gods. Gulltoppr is mentioned in a list of horses in the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál and in Nafnaþulur section of the Prose Edda. According to Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, he is the horse of Heimdallr. Rudolf Simek theorizes that Snorri assigned a horse to Heimdallr in an attempt to systematize the mythology.

In Norse mythology, Sleipnir (Old Norse “slippy” or “the slipper”) is an eight-legged horse. Sleipnir 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, Sleipnir is Odin’s steed, is the child of Loki and Svaðilfari, is described as the best of all horses, and is sometimes ridden to the location of Hel. The Prose Edda contains extended information regarding the circumstances of Sleipnir’s birth, and details that he is grey in color.

Zababa (also Zamama) was the Hittite way of writing the name of a war god, using Akkadian writing conventions. Most likely, this spelling represents the native Anatolian Hattian god [Wurunkatte]. His Hurrian name was Astabis. He is connected with the Akkadian god Ninurta. The symbol of Zababa – the eagle-headed staff was often depicted next to Ninurta’s symbol.

In ancient Mesopotamia, Zababa was the tutelary god of the city of Kiš, whose sanctuary was the E-meteursag. Several ancient Mesopotamian kings were named in honor of Zababa, including Ur-Zababa of Kish listed on the Sumerian King List as the second king of the 4th Dynasty of Kish. The king list also says Sargon of Akkad was a cup-bearer for Ur-Zababa before becoming ruler of Akkadian Empire.

According to the King list, Ur-Zababa was a son of King Puzur-Suen. His mother is unknown. His grandmother was the famous Queen Kugbau, the founder and first ruler of the Third Dynasty of Kish, but other versions combine her with the 4th dynast. Kubaba (in the Weidner or Esagila Chronicle; Sumerian: Kug-Bau) is the only queen on the Sumerian King List, which states she reigned for 100 years – roughly in the Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2500-2330 BC) of Sumerian history.

Her son Puzur-Suen and grandson Ur-Zababa followed her on the throne in Sumer as the fourth Kish dynasty on the king list, in some copies as her direct successors, in others with the Akshak dynasty intervening. Ur-Zababa is also known as the king said to be reigning in Sumer during the youth of Sargon the Great of Akkad, who militarily brought much of the near east under his regime shortly afterward.

Shrines in honour of Kubaba spread throughout Mesopotamia. In the Hurrian area she may be identified with Kebat, or Hepat, one title of the Hurrian Mother goddess Hannahannah (from Hurrian hannah, “mother”). Abdi-Heba was the palace mayor, ruling Jerusalem at the time of the Amarna letters (1350 BC). The mother goddess is likely to have had a later counterpart in the Phrygian goddess Cybele.

According to Emanuel Laroche (Laroche 1960), Maarten J. Vermaseren (Vermaseren 1977), and Mark Munn (Munn 2004), her cult later spread and her name was adapted for the main goddess of the Hittite successor kingdoms in Anatolia. This deity later developed into the Phrygian matar kubileya (“mother Cybele”), who was depicted in petroglyphs and mentioned in accompanying inscriptions. The Phrygian goddess otherwise bears little resemblance to Kubaba, who – according to Herodotus – was a sovereign deity at Sardis.

Her Lydian name was Kuvav or Kufav which Ionian Greeks initially transcribed Kybêbê, rather than Kybele; Jan Bremmer notes in this context the 7th century Semonides of Amorgos, who calls one of her Hellene followers a kybêbos. Bremmer observes that in the following century she was further Hellenized by Hipponax, as “Kybêbê, daughter of Zeus”.

Sabazios is the nomadic horseman and sky father god of the Phrygians and Thracians. In Indo-European languages, such as Phrygian, the -zios element in his name derives from dyeus, the common precursor of Latin deus (‘god’) and Greek Zeus. Though the Greeks interpreted Phrygian Sabazios as both Zeus and Dionysus, representations of him, even into Roman times, show him always on horseback, as a nomadic horseman god, wielding his characteristic staff of power.

The Thracian Horseman (also “Thracian Rider” or “Thracian Heros”) is the name given to a recurring motif of a horseman depicted in reliefs of the Hellenistic and Roman periods in the Balkans (Thrace, Macedonia, Moesia, roughly from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD). Its depiction is in the tradition of the funerary steles of Roman cavalrymen, with the addition of syncretistic elements from Hellenistic and Paleo-Balkanic religious or mythological tradition.

The Thracian horseman is depicted as a hunter on horseback, riding from left to right. Between the horse’s hooves is depicted either a hunting dog or a boar. In some instances, the dog is replaced by a lion. The motif of the Thracian horseman was continued in Christianised form in the equestrian iconography of both Saint George and Saint Demetrius.

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

In the Roman era, the “Thracian horseman” iconography is further syncretised. The rider is now someties shown as approaching a tree entwined by a serpent, or as approaching a goddess. These motifs are partly of Greco-Roman and partly of possible Scythian origin.

The motif of a horseman with his right arm raised advancing towards a seated female figure is related to Scythian iconographic tradition. It is frequently found in Bulgaria, associated with Asclepius and Hygeia. The motif of a standing goddess flanked by two horsemen, identified as Artemis flanked by the Dioscuri, and a tree entwined by a serpent flanked by the Dioscuri on horseback is transformed into a motif of a single horseman approaching the goddess or the tree. Related to the Dioscuri motif is the so-called “Danubian Horsemen” motif of two horsemen flanking standing goddess.

The Ashvins or Ashwini Kumaras, in Hindu mythology, are two Vedic gods, divine twin horsemen in the Rigveda, sons of Saranyu, a goddess of the clouds and wife of Surya in his form as Vivasvant. They symbolise the shining of sunrise and sunset, appearing in the sky before the dawn in a golden chariot, bringing treasures to men and averting misfortune and sickness. They are the doctors of gods and are devas of Ayurvedic medicine. They are represented as humans with the heads of horses.

The Ashvins can be compared with the Dioscuri (the twins Castor and Pollux) of Greek and Roman mythology, and especially to the divine twins Ašvieniai of the ancient Baltic religion. Gemini is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for “twins,” and it is associated with the twins Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology.

Among Roman inscriptions from Nicopolis ad Istrum, Sabazios is generally equated with Jove and mentioned alongside Mercury. Similarly in Hellenistic monuments, Sabazios is either explicitly (via inscriptions) or implicitly (via iconography) associated with Zeus. On a marble slab from Philippopolis, Sabazios is depicted as a curly-haired and bearded central deity among several gods and goddesses. Under his left foot is a ram’s head, and he holds in his left hand a sceptre tipped with a hand in the benedictio latina gesture. Sabazios is accompanied by busts on his right depicting Luna, Pan, and Mercury, and on his left by Sol, Fortuna, and Daphne.

According to Macrobius, Liber and Helios were worshipped among the Thracians as Sabazios; this description fits other Classical accounts that identify Sabazios with Dionysos. Sabazios is also associated with a number of archeological finds depicting a bronze, right hand in the benedictio latina gesture. The hand appears to have had ritual significance and may have been affixed to a sceptre (as the one carried by Sabazios on the Philippopolis slab).

Although there are many variations, the hand of Sabazios is typically depicted with a pinecone on the thumb and with a serpent or pair of serpents encircling the wrist and surmounting the bent ring and pinky fingers. Additional symbols occasionally included on the hands of Sabazios include a lightning bolt over the index and middle fingers, a turtle and lizard on the back of the hand, an eagle, a ram, a leafless branch, the thyrsos, and the Mounted Heros.

Transference of Sabazios to the Roman world appears to have been mediated in large part through Pergamum. The naturally syncretic approach of Greek religion blurred distinctions. Later Greek writers, like Strabo in the first century CE, linked Sabazios with Zagreus, among Phrygian ministers and attendants of the sacred rites of Rhea and Dionysos. Strabo’s Sicilian contemporary, Diodorus Siculus, conflated Sabazios with the secret ‘second’ Dionysus, born of Zeus and Persephone, a connection that is not borne out by surviving inscriptions, which are entirely to Zeus Sabazios.

The first Jews who settled in Rome were expelled in 139 BCE, along with Chaldaean astrologers by Cornelius Hispalus under a law which proscribed the propagation of the corrupting cult of Jupiter Sabazius. The praetor compelled the Jews, who attempted to infect the Roman custom with the cult of Jupiter Sabazius, to return to their homes. By this it is conjectured that the Romans identified the Jewish YHVH Tzevaot (“sa-ba-oth,” “of the Hosts”) as Jove Sabazius. This mistaken connection of Sabazios and Sabaos has often been repeated.

Netune / Poseidon 

Poseidon was one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain was the ocean, and he is called the “God of the Sea”. Additionally, he is referred to as “Earth-Shaker” due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the “tamer of horses”. He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and a beard.

Linear B tablets show that Poseidon was venerated at Pylos and Thebes in pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece as a chief deity, but he was integrated into the Olympian gods as the brother of Zeus and Hades. According to some folklore, he was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which was devoured by Cronus.

Given Poseidon’s connection with horses as well as the sea, and the landlocked situation of the likely Indo-European homeland, Walter Burkert have suggested that the Hellene cult worship of Poseidon as a horse god may be connected to the introduction of the horse and war-chariot from Anatolia to Greece around 1600 BC.

It is almost sure that once Poseidon was worshiped as a horse, and this is evident by his cult in Peloponnesos. However he was originally a god of the waters, and therefore he became the “earth-shaker”, because the Greeks believed that the cause of the earthquakes was the erosion of the rocks by the waters, by the rivers who they saw to disappear into the earth and then to burst out again. This is what the natural philosophers Thales, Anaximenes and Aristotle believed, which could not be different from the folklore belief. Later, when the Myceneans travelled along the sea, he was assigned a role as god of the sea.

The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology; both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon. Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. Neptune was likely associated with fresh water springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshipped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing. 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. Salacia was his consort.

Dyeus / Tyr

Dumézil suggests that Heimdall is related to the Hindu god Dyaus (one of the eight Vasus) who was reincarnated as the hero Bhishma in the epic Mahabharata. Supporting this conclusion, he draws upon the respective roles of each character as “framing deities” – helping to define the context and bounds of the cosmologies of which they are a part.

For example, Bhishma never held power himself, acting instead as an ageless uncle on behalf of the line of lords that tortuously descend from his half-brothers, including the Pandava brothers who represent four classes of society: royalty, noble warrior, lower class club-bearing warrior, and herdsmen. Bhishma was an unparalleled archer and warrior of his time. Also like Heimdall (in his role at Ragnarok), Bhishma is the last to die in the great battle of Kurukshetra. Strong parallels can be seen between this account and the generative myth of Heimdall in the Rígsthula.

In the epic Mahabharata, Devavrata also known as Gangaputra and Bhishma was well known for his celibate pledge, the eighth son of Kuru King Shantanu, who was blessed with wish-long life and had sworn to serve the ruling Kuru king and grand-uncle of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas. He also handed down the Vishnu Sahasranama to Yudhishthira when he was on his death bed (of arrows) in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. He also belonged to the Sankriti Gotra.

Kaurava is a Sanskrit term, that refers to the descendants of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahābhārata. In the Mahabharata the Pandavas are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu, by his two wives Kunti, who was a Yadav, and Madri, who was the princess of Madra. Their names are Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. All five brothers were married to the same woman, Draupadi.

Together the brothers fought and prevailed in a great war against their cousins the Kauravas, which came to be known as the Kurukshetra War, also called the Mahabharata War, a war described in the Indian epic Mahabharata.

The conflict arose from a dynastic succession struggle between two groups of cousins, the Kauravas and Pandavas, for the throne of Hastinapura in an Indian kingdom called Kuru. It involved a number of ancient kingdoms participating as allies of the rival groups.

The location of the battle is described as having occurred in Kurukshetra in the modern state of Haryana. Despite only referring to these eighteen days, the war narrative forms more than a quarter of the book, suggesting its relative importance within the epic, which overall spans decades of the warring families.

The narrative describes individual battles and deaths of various heroes of both sides, military formations, war diplomacy, meetings and discussions among the characters, and the weapons used. The chapters (parvas) dealing with the war (from chapter six to ten) are considered amongst the oldest in the entire Mahabharata.

The historicity of the war remains subject to scholarly discussions. Attempts have been made to assign a historical date to the Kurukshetra War. Popular tradition holds that the war marks the transition to Kaliyuga and thus dates it to 3102 BCE.

Dyēus is believed to have been the chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylight sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih Méhter, “earth mother”.

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

Although some of the more iconic reflexes of Dyeus are storm deities, such as Zeus and Jupiter, this is thought to be a late development exclusive to mediterranean traditions, probably derived from syncretism with canaanite deities and Perkwunos.

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

Dyauṣ Pitā (Dyauṣpitṛ, literally “Sky Father”) is the ancient sky god of the Vedic pantheon, consort of Prithvi Mata “Earth Mother” and father of the chief deities of the Rigveda, Agni (Fire), Indra, and Ushas (Dawn). In the Rigveda, Dyaus Pita appears alongside Mata Prithvi “Mother Earth”. He was seen as the father of Indra. He is a very marginal deity in Rigvedic mythology, but his intrinsic importance is visible from his being the father of the chief deities.

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

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

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

More explicitly, the poetic Rígsthula identifies Heimdall as the originator of stratified human society, where the god is described sleeping with three different human couples (named “Great-grandfather” and “Great-grandmother”; “Grandfather and Grandmother”; and “Father and Mother”), with the progeny emerging from each union corresping to the classes of human society (including laborers, warriors and royalty). In this instance as well, Heimdall can be seen as an interstitial figure, helping to create divisions without being part of them himself.

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”.

In many accounts, including the Prose Edda, Heimdall is described being “born at the beginning of time.” However, after his role sounding the clarion call of the apocalypse (Ragnarök), Heimdall is described as the last of the gods to perish, as he and Loki are destined to slay one another. According to the Prose version of Ragnarök, Týr is destined to kill and be killed by Garm, the guard dog of Hel. However, in the two poetic versions of Ragnarök, he goes unmentioned; unless one believes that he is the “Mighty One”.

Saint Michael

In addition to the possible Indo-European links in the depiction of Heimdall, it is also likely that some aspects of his characterization reflect syncretized Christian themes. Turville-Petre presents an elegant summary of this position:

Many readers have found the holy watchman, blowing his horn at the end of the world, alien to Norse heathendom. He is reminiscent of the Archangel Michael who, according to a Christian legend widespread in the Middle Ages, will awaken the dead with the blast of his trumpet. In the Norwegian visionary poem, Draumkvæde, probably of the thirteenth century, Saint Michael appears mounted on a white horse, as Heimdall once appeared on his splendid Gulltoppr (Golden Forelock). In the DraumkvædeMichael faces Grutte Grey-beard, who rides from the north, mounted on a black [horse], wearing a black hat. Grutte is perhaps the diabolical Odin. According to Snorri, the shining white Heimdall will face Loki, archenemy of gods and men.

Michael (lit. ‘Who is like God?’‎) is an archangel in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran traditions, he is called “Saint Michael the Archangel” and “Saint Michael”. In the Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox traditions, he is called “Taxiarch Archangel Michael” or simply “Archangel Michael”.

Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel, once as a “great prince who stands up for the children of your people”. The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that, in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy.

Michael is mentioned three times in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), all in the book of Daniel. The prophet Daniel experiences a vision after having undergone a period of fasting. Daniel 10:13-21 describes Daniel’s vision of an angel who identifies Michael as the protector of Israel and a “prince of the first rank”. At Daniel 12:1, Daniel is informed that Michael “will arise” during the “time of the end”.

The Book of Revelation (12:7-9) describes a war in heaven in which Michael, being stronger, defeats Satan. After the conflict, Satan is thrown to earth along with the fallen angels, where he (“that ancient serpent called the devil”) still tries to “lead the whole world astray”.

In the Epistle of Jude 1:9, Michael is referred to as an “archangel” when he again confronts Satan. A reference to an “archangel” also appears in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians 4:16. This archangel who heralds the second coming of Christ is not named, but is often associated with Michael (among others).

In the New Testament Michael leads God’s armies against Satan’s forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan. In the Epistle of Jude Michael is specifically referred to as “the archangel Michael”.

Christian sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil. By the 6th century, devotions to Archangel Michael were widespread both in the Eastern and Western Churches. Over time, teachings on Michael began to vary among Christian denominations.

Despite these parallels, it must be noted that Heimdall was definitely a member of the Norse pantheon, with a long and storied history (notwithstanding the fact that much of it has been lost). As such, any Christian attributions would simply be syncretic additions: for example, it is in fact quite logical that the divine sentry would be responsible to sound the warning of the approaching apocalypse.

Chaoskampf

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

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 ‘Apocalypse’ by the apostle John, it was written that a dragon with seven crowned heads and horns, and a tail that swept aside the stars, threatened the virgin Mary and her newly born child. St. Michael and his angels fought the serpent from Satan and destroyed it. Apep, the ancient Egyptian deity who embodied chaos (ı͗zft in Egyptian) and was thus the opponent of light and Ma’at (order/truth), has been identified with Tiamat, the Great Dragon of Sumeria. This primordial goddess is also the prototype of the biblical monster Leviathan.

Ra was the solar deity, bringer of light, and thus the upholder of Ma’at. Apep was viewed as the greatest enemy of Ra, and thus was given the title Enemy of Ra, and also “the Lord of Chaos”. He appears in art as a giant serpent.

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.

Ninurta / Nergal – the Twins (Gemini)

– One god and one mortal 

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

In Nippur, Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the harvest goddess Ninhursag. The consort of Ninurta was Ugallu in Nippur and Bau when he was called Ningirsu.

Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace named Sharur: Sharur is capable of speech in the Sumerian legend “Deeds and Exploits of Ninurta” and can take the form of a winged lion and may represent an archetype for the later Shedu.

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

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

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

In the 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. 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.

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

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

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”.

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

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

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

Being a deity of the desert, god of fire, which is one of negative aspects of the sun, god of the underworld, and also being a god of one of the religions which rivaled Christianity and Judaism, Nergal was sometimes called a demon and even identified with Satan. According to Collin de Plancy and Johann Weyer, Nergal was depicted as the chief of Hell’s “secret police”, and worked as “an honorary spy in the service of Beelzebub”.

Diana and Janus

The persona of Diana is complex and contains a number of archaic features. In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was eventually equated with the Greek goddess Artemis.

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

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

According to mythology (in common with the Greek religion and their deity Artemis), Diana was born with her twin brother, Apollo, on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. She was known to be the virgin goddess of childbirth and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, along with Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.

The celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connection with light, inaccessibility, virginity, and her preference for dwelling on high mountains and in sacred woods. Diana therefore reflects the heavenly world (diuum means sky or open air) in its sovereignty, supremacy, impassibility, and indifference towards such secular matters as the fates of mortals and states.

At the same time, however, she is seen as active in ensuring the succession of kings and in the preservation of humankind through the protection of childbirth. These functions are apparent in the traditional institutions and cults related to the goddess.

The institution of the rex Nemorensis, Diana’s sacerdos (priest) in the Arician wood, who held the position until someone else challenged and killed him in a duel, after breaking a branch from a certain tree of the wood. This ever open succession reveals the character and mission of the goddess as a guarantor of kingly status through successive generations.

Her function as bestower of authority to rule is also attested in the story related by Livy in which a Sabine man who sacrifices a heifer to Diana wins for his country the seat of the Roman empire. Diana was also worshipped by women who wanted to be pregnant or who, once pregnant, prayed for an easy delivery. This form of worship is attested in archeological finds of votive statuettes in her sanctuary in the nemus Aricinum as well as in ancient sources, e.g. Ovid.

According to Dumezil the forerunner of all frame gods is an Indian epic hero who was the image (avatar) of the Vedic god Dyaus. Having renounced the world, in his roles of father and king, he attained the status of an immortal being while retaining the duty of ensuring that his dynasty is preserved and that there is always a new king for each generation.

The theological features of Heimdallr look similar to Janus’s: both in space and time he stands at the limits. His abode is at the limits of Earth, at the extremity of Heaven; he is the protector of the gods; his birth is at the beginning of time; he is the forefather of mankind, the generator of classes and the founder of the social order.

Nonetheless he is inferior to the sovereign god Oðinn: the Minor Völuspá defines his relationship to Oðinn almost with the same terms as those in which Varro defines that of Janus, god of the prima to Jupiter, god of the summa: Heimdallr is born as the firstborn (primigenius, var einn borinn í árdaga), Oðinn is born as the greatest (maximus, var einn borinn öllum meiri). Analogous Iranian formulae are to be found in an Avestic gāthā (Gathas).

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

A similar solar interpretation has been offered by A. Audin who interprets the god as the issue of a long process of development, starting with the Sumeric cultures, from the two solar pillars located on the eastern side of temples, each of them marking the direction of the rising sun at the dates of the two solstices: the southeastern corresponding to the Winter and the northeastern to the Summer solstice.

These two pillars would be at the origin of the theology of the divine twins, one of whom is mortal (related to the NE pillar, as confining with the region where the sun does not shine) and the other is immortal (related to the SE pillar and the region where the sun always shines). Later these iconographic models evolved in the Middle East and Egypt into a single column representing two torsos and finally a single body with two heads looking at opposite directions.

Numa in his regulation of the Roman calendar called the first month Januarius after Janus, according to tradition considered the highest divinity at the time. Three etymologies were proposed by ancient erudites, each of them bearing implications about the nature of the god. The first one is based on the definition of Chaos given by Paul the Deacon: hiantem, hiare, be open, from which word Ianus would derive by loss of the initial aspirate. In this etymology the notion of Chaos would define the primordial nature of the god.

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

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

Modern scholars have conjectured that it derives from the Indo-European root meaning transitional movement (cf. Sanskrit “yana-” or Avestan “yah-“, likewise with Latin “i-” and Greek “ei-“.). Iānus would then be an action name expressing the idea of going, passing, formed on the root *yā- < *y-eð- theme II of the root *ey- go from which eō, ειμι. Other modern scholars object to an Indo-European etymology either from Dianus or from root *yā-. From Ianus derived ianua (“door”), and hence the English word “janitor” (Latin, ianitor).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: