Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Archive for June, 2017

Cybele / Venus and Attis / Mars

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 25, 2017

Anu (Akkadian: DAN, Anu‹m›; Sumerian: AN, from an “sky, heaven”) is the earliest attested sky-father deity.

In the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria, Anu, Enlil, and Ea became the three zones of the ecliptic, the northern, middle and southern zone respectively.

When Enlil rose to equal or surpass An in authority, the functions of the two deities came to some extent to overlap.

An was sometimes equated with Amurru, and, in Seleucid Uruk, with Enmešara and Dumuzi.

Because Earth’s rotational axis is not perpendicular to its orbital plane, Earth’s equatorial plane is not coplanar with the ecliptic plane, but is inclined to it by an angle of about 23.4°, which is known as the obliquity of the ecliptic. If the equator is projected outward to the celestial sphere, forming the celestial equator, it crosses the ecliptic at two points known as the equinoxes.

The Sun, in its apparent motion along the ecliptic, crosses the celestial equator at these points, one from south to north, the other from north to south. The crossing from south to north is known as the vernal equinox, also known as the first point of Aries and the ascending node of the ecliptic on the celestial equator. The crossing from north to south is the autumnal equinox or descending node.

The first point of Aries was named when the vernal equinox was actually in the constellation Aries; it has since moved into Pisces.

– Tammuz / Balder – Inanna / Nanna

The first point of Libra is the point on the celestial sphere where the sun crosses the celestial equator on September equinox.

– Nergal / Tyr – Ereshkigal – Hel

The ecliptic forms the center of a band about 20° wide called the zodiac, on which the Sun, Moon, and planets are seen always to move.

Traditionally, this region is divided into 12 signs of 30° longitude, each of which approximates the Sun’s motion through one month. In ancient times the signs corresponded roughly to 12 of the constellations that straddle the ecliptic. These signs give us some of the terminology used today.

The exact instants of equinoxes or solstices are the times when the apparent ecliptic longitude (including the effects of aberration and nutation) of the Sun is 0° (vernal), 90° (summer), 180° (autumn), or 270° (winter). Because of perturbations of Earth’s orbit and peculiarities of the calendar, the dates of these are not fixed.

– Aries: Begins the spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. – Tammuz

– Cancer: Begins the summer in the northern hemisphere, and winter in the southern hemisphere. – Enlil

– Libra: Begins the autumn in the northern hemisphere, and spring in the southern hemisphere. – Nergal

– Capricorn: Begins the winter in the northern hemisphere, and summer in the southern hemisphere. – Enki

Sun / Uranus

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

– Leo is detriment to Aquarius.

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

Spring / Autumn

– Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and is exalted in Capricorn.

– Aries is detriment to Libra.

– Venus is the ruling planet of Libra and is exalted in Pisces.

Winter / Summer

– Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is exalted in Libra.

– Capricorn is detriment to Cancer.

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

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

Spring: Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and is exalted in Capricorn.

Winter: Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is exalted in Libra.

Autumn: Venus is the ruling planet of Libra and is exalted in Pisces.

– Neptune is the ruling planet of Pisces and is exalted in Cancer.

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

In Western astrology, Venus rules both Libra, which is sophisticated, logical, and romantic, and Taurus, which is reserved, sensual, and unyielding.

In old opinion, Ceres is the ruling planet of Virgo but as more knowledge about the planet’s character has been revealed, majority of modern astrologers opinion, denote Ceres being the ruler for Taurus. In an updated revision, Virgo is ruled by Chiron.

Other astrologers have focused on the theory that in time, all twelve signs of the zodiac will each have their own ruler, so that another two planets have yet to be discovered; namely the “true” rulers of Taurus and Virgo.

The names of the planets mentioned in this regard by some are Vulcan (ruler of Virgo) and Apollo, the Roman god of the Sun (ruler of Taurus).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nergal seems to be a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash. Over time he 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 Mesopotamian mythology, Ereshkigal (DEREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. “Queen of the Great Earth”) was the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler, and sometimes it is given as Ninkigal, lit. “Great Lady of the Earth” or “Lady of the Great Earth”.

Ereshkigal is the queen of the Underworld. She is the older sister of the goddess, Inanna. Inanna and Ereshkigal represent polar opposites. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven, but Ereshkigal is the queen of Irkalla.

Ereshkigal was forcibly abducted, taken down to the Underworld by the Kur, and was forced to become queen of the Underworld against her will. Kur is a Sumerian word that expressed a broad variety of meanings.

In Sumerian religion, kur is normally used as a name for the Underworld, Irkalla, which is often personified as the first dragon, the Sumerian equivalent of the Babylonian Tiamat.

In the religion of ancient Babylon, Tiamat (Akkadian: Dti.amat) is a primordial goddess of the salt sea, mating with Abzû, the god of fresh water, to produce younger gods. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation. Depicted as a woman, she represents the beauty of the feminine, depicted as the glistening one.

It is suggested that there are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is a creator goddess, through a “Sacred marriage” between salt and fresh water, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations.

In the second “Chaoskampf” Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos. Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon.

The word originates from the Sumerian word for life and the noun ama “mother”. Ninti is the Sumerian goddess of life. Her specific healing area was the rib (sumerian Ti means rib and to live).

In Sumerian mythology, Nammu (also Namma, spelled ideographically dNAMMA = dENGUR) was a primeval goddess, corresponding to Tiamat in Babylonian mythology.

Nammu was the Goddess sea (Engur) that gave birth to An (heaven) and Ki (earth) and the first gods. Nammu is the goddess who “has given birth to the great gods”.

Ma is a Sumerian word meaning “land” that in Sumerian mythology was also used to regard Primordial Land. Ma was a local goddess at Ma and a Phrygian alternative name for Cybele.

There seems to be some loss in records as to the transition, but the same name Ma appears again later, also tied to the Earth, in Ma being referred to as “Mother of the mountain” – in this case, Kur (Mountain) the first dragon god.

The underworld Kur is the void space between the primeval sea (Abzu) and the earth (Ma). Which seem a likely pairing for parentage, in a fuzzy set of records.

In Sumerian religion, kur is normally used as a name for the Underworld, Irkalla, which is often personified as the first dragon, the Sumerian equivalent of the Babylonian Tiamat.

Abzu (apsû) is depicted as a deity only in the Babylonian creation epic, the Enûma Elish, taken from the library of Assurbanipal (c 630 BCE) but which is about 500 years older.

In this story, he was a primal being made of fresh water and a lover to another primal deity, Tiamat, who was a creature of salt water. The Enuma Elish begins: “When above the heavens did not yet exist nor the earth below, Apsu the freshwater ocean was there, the first, the begetter, and Tiamat, the saltwater sea, she who bore them all; they were still mixing their waters, and no pasture land had yet been formed, nor even a reed marsh.”

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

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 of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.

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.

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

Aya (or Aja) in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Sherida, consort of Utu. Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth. The Babylonians sometimes referred to her as kallatu (the bride).

Ishara is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar. In Alalah, her name was written with the Akkadogram IŠTAR plus a phonetic complement -ra, as IŠTAR-ra.

The Akkadian poetess Enheduanna, the daughter of Sargon, wrote numerous hymns to the Sumerian goddess Inanna in which she identified her with her native goddess Ishtar. This helped to cement the syncretism between the two.

Variants of the name appear as Ašḫara (in a treaty of Naram-Sin of Akkad with Hita of Elam) and Ušḫara (in Ugarite texts). In Ebla, there were various logographic spellings involving the sign AMA “mother”.

Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath. She was associated with the underworld. Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio and she is called the mother of the Sebitti (the Seven Stars). In astronomy, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters (Messier 45 or M45), is an open star cluster located in the constellation of Taurus.

The Babylonian star catalogues name the Pleiades MULMUL or “star of stars”, and they head the list of stars along the ecliptic, reflecting the fact that they were close to the point of vernal equinox around the 23rd century BC.

One of the most important goddesses of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is the personification of dawn as a beautiful young woman. Her name is reconstructed as Hausōs or Ausōs (PIE *héwsōs, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets. The name *héwsōs is derived from a root *hews- “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”.

The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god.

The abduction and imprisonment of the dawn goddess, and her liberation by a heroic god slaying the dragon who imprisons her, is a central myth of Indo-European religion, reflected in numerous traditions.

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.

Cybele (“Kubeleyan Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where statues of obese women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations.

She is Phrygia’s only known goddess, and was probably its state deity. Her Phrygian cult was adopted and adapted by Greek colonists of Asia Minor and spread to mainland Greece and its more distant western colonies around the 6th century BC.

Cybele’s major mythographic narratives attach to her relationship with Attis, who is described by ancient Greek and Roman sources and cults as her youthful consort, and as a Phrygian deity.

The Principate brought the development of an extended festival or “holy week” for Cybele and Attis in March (Latin Martius), from the Ides to nearly the end of the month.

March 25 (vernal equinox on the Roman calendar): Hilaria (“Rejoicing”), when Attis was reborn. Some early Christian sources associate this day with the resurrection of Jesus.

The Sun goddess of Arinna is the chief goddess and wife of the weather god Tarḫunna in Hittite mythology. She protected the Hittite kingdom and was called the “Queen of all lands.” Her cult centre was the sacred city of Arinna.

In addition to the Sun goddess of Arinna, the Hittites also worshipped the Sun goddess of the Earth and the Sun god of Heaven, while the Luwians originally worshipped the old Proto-Indo-European Sun god Tiwaz.

Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus, who was superseded among the Hittites by the Hattian Sun goddess of Arinna.

Distinguishing the various solar deities in the texts is difficult since most are simply written with the Sumerogram dUTU (Solar deity). As a result, the interpretation of the solar deities remains a subject of debate.

The Sun goddess of the Earth (Hittite: taknaš dUTU, Luwian: tiyamaššiš Tiwaz) was the Hittite goddess of the underworld. Her Hurrian equivalent was Allani (de) and her Sumerian/Akkadian equivalent was Ereshkigal, both of which had a marked influence on the Hittite goddess from an early date.

The Sun goddess of the Earth, as a personification of the chthonic aspects of the Sun, had the task of opening the doors to the Underworld. She was also the source of all evil, impurity, and sickness on Earth.

The Sun god of Heaven (Hittite: nepišaš Ištanu) was a Hittite solar deity. He was the second-most worshipped solar deity of the Hittites, after the Sun goddess of Arinna. The Sun god of Heaven was identified with the Hurrian solar deity, Šimige (de).

From the time of Tudḫaliya III, the Sun god of Heaven was the protector of the Hittite king, indicated by a winged solar disc on the royal seals, and was the god of the kingdom par excellence.

From the time of Suppiluliuma I (and probably earlier), the Sun god of Heaven played an important role as the foremost oath god in interstate treaties. As a result of the influence of the Mesopotamian Sun god Šamaš, the Sun god of Heaven also gained an important role as the god of law, legality, and truth.

In the Hittite and Hurrian religions the Sun goddess of the Earth played an important role in the death cult and was understood to be the ruler of the world of the dead.

For the Luwians there is a Bronze Age source which refers to the “Sun god of the Earth” (cuneiform Luwian: tiyamašši- dU-za): “If he is alive, may Tiwaz release him, if he is dead, may the Sun god of the Earth release him”.

Telipinu (“Exalted Son”) was a Hittite god who most likely served as a patron of farming, though he has also been suggested to have been a storm god or an embodiment of crops. He was a son of the weather god Teššub and the solar goddess Arinniti according to their mythology.

Týr is a Germanic god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. Corresponding names in other Germanic languages are Gothic Teiws, Old English Tīw and Old High German Ziu and Cyo, all from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz.

The Latinised name is rendered as Tius or Tio and also formally as Mars Thincsus. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

In 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.

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.

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.

In Norse mythology, Hel is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. She may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali or that Hel may have become a being only as a late personification of the location of the same name.

Nanna is a goddess and wife of the god Baldr in Norse mythology, and the couple produced a son, the god Forseti (Old Norse “the presiding one,” actually “president” in modern Icelandic and Faroese), an Æsir god of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The gift of God

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 21, 2017

Mateus, also spelled Matheus, is a Portuguese given name and surname, equivalent to the english Matthew. It ultimately derives from the Hebrew name Matityahu which means “Gift of Yahweh”.

The Hebrew name Matityahu was transliterated into Greek to Mattathias. It was subsequently shortened to Greek Matthaios; this was Latinised as Matthaeus, which became Matthew in English. The name is also sometimes used as an anglicisation of the Irish name Mathúin, meaning bear.

Popularity of the name is due to Matthew the Apostle who in Christian theology is considered one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the author of the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.

The narrative tells how the Messiah, Jesus, rejected by Israel, finally sends the disciples to preach the gospel to the whole world. As Son of Man he will return to judge the world, an expectation which his disciples recognise but of which his enemies are unaware.

As Son of God he is God revealing himself through his son, and Jesus proving his sonship through his obedience and example. The gospel reflects the struggles and conflicts between the evangelist’s community and the other Jews, particularly with its sharp criticism of the scribes and Pharisees.

Prior to the Crucifixion the Jews are called Israelites, the honorific title of God’s chosen people; after it, they are called “Ioudaioi”, Jews, a sign that through their rejection of the Christ the “Kingdom of Heaven” has been taken away from them and given instead to the church.

Matthew drew on three main sources: the Gospel of Mark, the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source, and material unique to his own community, called the M source or “Special Matthew”.

The Gospel According to Mark, the second book of the New Testament, is one of the four canonical gospels and the three synoptic gospels. It tells of the ministry of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist to his death and burial and the discovery of the empty tomb – there is no genealogy or birth narrative, nor, in the original ending at chapter 16, any post-resurrection appearances.

It portrays Jesus as a heroic man of action, an exorcist, a healer, and a miracle worker. Jesus is also the Son of God, but he keeps his identity secret, concealing it in parables so that even the disciples fail to understand.

All this is in keeping with prophecy, which foretold the fate of the messiah as suffering servant. The gospel ends, in its original version, with the discovery of the empty tomb, a promise to meet again in Galilee, and an unheeded instruction to spread the good news of the resurrection.

Traditionally thought to be an epitome (summary) of Matthew, which accounts for its place as the second gospel in the Bible, most scholars now regard it as the earliest of the gospels, dating from c. AD 66–70.

Most scholars also reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative.

Attis was the consort of Cybele in Phrygian and Greek mythology. His priests were eunuchs, the Galli, as explained by origin myths pertaining to Attis and castration. Attis was also a Phrygian god of vegetation, and in his self-mutilation, death, and resurrection he represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter only to rise again in the spring.

Adonis, in Greek mythology, is a central figure in various mystery religions. In 1966, Wahib Atallah wrote that the “cult of Adonis belonged to women”, and further asserted “the cult of dying Adonis was fully developed in the circle of young girls around Sappho on Lesbos, about 600 BC, as a fragment of Sappho reveals.” His name is often applied in modern times to handsome youths, of whom he is the archetype.

There has been much scholarship over the centuries concerning the multiple roles of Adonis, if any, and his meaning and purpose in Greek religious beliefs. Modern scholarship sometimes describes him as an annually renewed, ever-youthful vegetation god, a life-death-rebirth deity whose nature is tied to the calendar.

Adōnis was a borrowing from the Canaanite word ʼadōn, meaning “lord”, which is related to Adonai, one of the names used to refer to the God of the Hebrew Bible and still used in Judaism to the present day. Syrian Adonis is Gauas or Aos, akin to Egyptian Osiris, the Semitic Tammuz and Baal Hadad, the Etruscan Atunis and the Phrygian Attis, all of whom are deities of rebirth and vegetation.

Circa the sixth century BC, the appearance of the cult of Adonis is reported in Jerusalem by the biblical Book of Ezekiel, although under the Babylonian name Tammuz (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”), a Sumerian god of food and vegetation, also worshiped in the later Mesopotamian states of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.

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.

The Aramaic name “Tammuz” seems to have been derived from the Akkadian form Tammuzi, based on early Sumerian Damu-zid. The later standard Sumerian form, Dumu-zid, in turn became Dumuzi in Akkadian. Tamuzi also is Dumuzid or Dumuzi.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The covered bride in the underworld

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 19, 2017

Ishara – Ishtar – Sherida / Aya / Kallatu (the bride) – Kali – Hel  

From sun goddess to goddess of dawn – love goddess

she was known as the wife of the sun god Shamash

Ninhursag-Uttu – Frigg / Odin – Enki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nergal – Tyr / Ereshkigal – Hel

The veil and headscarf have political, sexual, religious, and social meanings that combine and overlap: the head covering can connote class affiliation, regional distinctions, or religious belief as well as signifying the status of femaleness.

The veil can be traced back all the way to early antiquity as both attribute of goddesses and a garment worn by ordinary mortal women. The earliest evidence comes from Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean region.

In ancient Greece as well, the veil was part of the attire worn by married women from the upper classes. Brides likewise wear a veil over their face as a sign of their modesty—a custom practiced by both the Jews and the Greeks and later adopted by the Romans.

In Hebrew the literal meaning of the word for bride (kallatu) is “the veiled one.” By lifting the bride’s veil the bridegroom symbolically exposes her pudenda, and by thus “knowing” her he symbolically performs the sexual act.

Aya (or Aja) in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Sherida, consort of Utu.

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

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

When the Semitic Akkadians moved into Mesopotamia, their pantheon became syncretized to the Sumerian. Inanna to Ishtar, Nanna to Sin, Utu to Shamash, etc.

The minor Mesopotamian sun goddess Aya became syncretized into Sherida during this process. The goddess Aya in this aspect appears to have had wide currency among Semitic peoples, as she is mentioned in god-lists in Ugarit and shows up in personal names in the Bible.

Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth. The Babylonians sometimes referred to her as kallatu (the bride), and as such she was known as the wife of Shamash. In fact, she was worshiped as part of a separate-but-attached cult in Shamash’s e-babbar temples in Larsa and Sippar.

By the Neo-Babylonian period at the latest (and possibly much earlier), Shamash and Aya were associated with a practice known as Hasadu, which is loosely translated as a “sacred marriage.”

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

Inanna (Sumerian: Dinanna) was the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, and political power, equivalent to the Akkadian and Babylonian goddess Ishtar. She was also the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center. She was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star.

In Mesopotamian mythology, Ereshkigal (EREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. “Queen of the Great Earth”) was the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler, and sometimes it is given as Ninkigal, lit. “Great Lady of the Earth” or “Lady of the Great Earth”. Ereshkigal was the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom.

Ereshkigal is the older sister of the goddess, Inanna. Inanna and Ereshkigal represent polar opposites. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven, but Ereshkigal is the queen of Irkalla. Ereshkigal plays a very prominent and important role in two particular myths.

The Sun goddess of Arinna is the chief goddess and wife of the weather god Tarḫunna in Hittite mythology. She protected the Hittite kingdom and was called the “Queen of all lands.” Her cult centre was the sacred city of Arinna.

In addition to the Sun goddess of Arinna, the Hittites also worshipped the Sun goddess of the Earth and the Sun god of Heaven, while the Luwians originally worshipped the old Proto-Indo-European Sun god Tiwaz.

Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus, who was superseded among the Hittites by the Hattian Sun goddess of Arinna.

The name of the Proto-Anatolian Sun god can be reconstructed as *Diuod-, which derives from the Proto-Indo-European word *dei- (“shine”, “glow”). This name is cognate with the Greek Zeus, Latin Jupiter, and Norse Tyr.

While Tiwaz (and the related Palaic god Tiyaz) retained a promenant role in the pantheon, the Hittite cognate deity, Šiwat (de) was largely eclipsed by the Sun goddess of Arinna, becoming a god of the day, especially the day of death.

The Sun goddess of the Earth (Hittite: taknaš dUTU, Luwian: tiyamaššiš Tiwaz) was the Hittite goddess of the underworld. Her Hurrian equivalent was Allani (de) and her Sumerian/Akkadian equivalent was Ereshkigal, both of which had a marked influence on the Hittite goddess from an early date. In the Neo-Hittite period, the Hattian underworld god, Lelwani was also syncretised with her.

In Hittite texts she is referred to as the “Queen of the Underworld” and possesses a palace with a vizier and servants. As a personification of the chthonic aspects of the Sun, had the task of opening the doors to the Underworld. She was also the source of all evil, impurity, and sickness on Earth. She is mostly attested in curses, oaths, and purification rituals.

The Sun god of Heaven (Hittite: nepišaš Ištanu) was a Hittite solar deity. He was the second-most worshipped solar deity of the Hittites, after the Sun goddess of Arinna. The Sun god of Heaven was identified with the Hurrian solar deity, Šimige (de).

From the time of Tudḫaliya III, the Sun god of Heaven was the protector of the Hittite king, indicated by a winged solar disc on the royal seals, and was the god of the kingdom par excellence.

From the time of Suppiluliuma I (and probably earlier), the Sun god of Heaven played an important role as the foremost oath god in interstate treaties. As a result of the influence of the Mesopotamian Sun god Šamaš, the Sun god of Heaven also gained an important role as the god of law, legality, and truth.

In Norse mythology, Hel is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. She may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali.

The Old Norse feminine proper noun Hel is identical to the name of the location over which she rules, Old Norse Hel. The word has cognates in all branches of the Germanic languages, including Old English hell (and thus Modern English hell), Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Old High German hella, and Gothic halja.

All forms ultimately derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic feminine noun *xaljō or *haljō (‘concealed place, the underworld’). In turn, the Proto-Germanic form derives from the o-grade form of the Proto-Indo-European root *kel-, *kol-: ‘to cover, conceal, save’.

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

In the late Icelandic Eddas, Týr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda), 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. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

The Excerptum ex Gallica Historia of Ursberg (ca. 1135) records a dea Ciza as the patron goddess of Augsburg. According to this account, Cisaria was founded by Swabian tribes as a defence against Roman incursions. This Zisa would be the female consort of Ziu, as Dione was of Zeus.

Dione is translated as “Goddess”, and given the same etymological derivation as the names Zeus, Diana, et al., the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals.

She was eventually equated with the Greek goddess Artemis. Diana was 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.

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.

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

Potnia Theron, a phrase used by Homer meaning “Mistress of the Animals” is used for early Greek depictions of goddesses, usually Artemis, holding animals. The Greek god shown as “Master of Animals” is usually Apollo, the god of hunting. Shiva has the epithet Pashupati meaning the “Lord of cattle”, and these figures may derive from a Proto-Indo-European deity or archetype.

The veil

Christina von Braun, The Headscarf – an Empty Signifier

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Den gyldne regel – Frihet, likhet og brorskap – Mars og Venus

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 19, 2017

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Vi – bærere av korset – representerer verdenssivilisasjonen og er grunnleggerne av den nye gullalder – en verden basert på rettferdighet, frihet, fred og bærekraft.

Bak dualiteten skjuler enheten seg – innen taoismen blir dette kalt taiji. Denne filosofien har sin bakgrunn for 4000 år siden i Kina, men stammer fra det armenske høylandet.

De sentrale ideer innen taoismen kretser omkring begrepene tao og tê der det førstnevnte betegner den ytterste, evige og kreative realitet som er alle tings kilde som kan erfares gjennom den mystiske ekstase, og sistnevnte betegner manifestasjonen av tao i alle ting.

Det å besitte fylden av tê innebærer å være i fullkommen harmoni med ens opprinnelige natur. Den som har oppnådd en slik tilstand forstår naturens ordninger i sin helhet og trenger derfor ikke frykte noe verken i liv eller død.

En slik person er vis og avstår fra all formålsrettede og aktive handlinger. I stedet følger den vise prinsippet om wu-wei, som vil si den ikke-formålsrettede handling som er spontan (tzu-jan) og uten baktanker.

Dette er slike handlinger man er vitne til når en for eksempel ser fugler flyr og fisk svømmer. Naturens ordninger viser mennesket hvordan det bør innrette sitt liv.

Dette tilsvarer den maskuline og feminine kraft – anima og animus – sol og måne – dag og natt – lys og mørke – Væren og Vekten – Mars (mars-april) og Venus (september-oktober).

I indoeuropeisk religion har vi Dyeus (himmel / gud) og Hausha og i germansk religion har vi guden Tyr og gudinnen Ostara, som er den etymologiske bakgrunnen til Easter. I kristendommen har vi Jesus og Maria.

Alt tilsvarer de to motpolene, som både har sin opprinnelse og sammen danner et hele. Derfor har man for eksempel det sumeriske Ekur og skapelsens hus, det indiske yoni / shivaling og det greske omfalos.

I de vediske hymnene utgjør begrepet Ṛta (Sanskrit ṛtaṃ) det som er “riktig”, “utmerket”, “orden”, “regel”, “sannhet”, og er et prinsipp om en naturlig orden som regulerer og koordinerer universet.

I vedaen beskrives Ṛta som det som i siste instans er ansvarlig for den naturlige og moralske orden, og da især når det kommer til ofring. Ordet tilsvarer blant annet det norske begrepet rett.

Konseptuelt er begrepet nært knyttet til påleggene og ordinansene som er tenkt å opprettholde denne orden og som kollektivt blir referert til som Dharma, som vil si individets handling i forhold til disse ordinansene, referert til som karma. Disse to termene smeltet sammen i betydningen rta som betegnet den naturlige, religiøse og moralske orden i senere hinduisme.

Dharma betyr naturlov eller virkelighet, og kan i religiøs sammenheng oversettes til læren om den underliggende sannhet. Dharma kan også oversettes med «doktrine», «filosofi», «trosretning» eller «livsregel». Dharma er en naturlov som bestemmer alle regler i naturen.

Dharma stammer fra roten dhṛ, som betyr “å opprettholde”, og betyr det som er “hva som er etablert”, eller “lov”. Det kommer fra den eldre stammen dharman-, som betyr “opprettholder”, som er et aspekt av Rta. Det tilsvarer det greske begrepet om ethos, som vil si “forordning”, “statutt” eller “lov”. Begrepet benyttes i hinduisme, buddhisme, jainisme og sikhisme.

Brahman er et sentralt begrep innen hinduismen og indisk filosofi. Brahman er det høyeste universelle prinsippet, den ultimate realitet, den uendrede permanente, høyeste realiteten. Brahman er alt som er stabilt og fast, men samtidig årsaken til at alt endrer seg. Det er det som binder alt som eksisterer sammen.

Ishvara er et konsept innen hinduismen som i ulike kontekster kan bety den øverste sjel, hersker, konge, dronning, ektemann, kone mm., men også gud og øverste vesen. Det er synonymt med Shiva, men også med Vishnu. Ishvara er en monistisk universell absolutt som forbinder alt og alle.

Brahman er «verdenssjelen» – det store verdensaltet, den guddommelige virkeligheten, «Gud finnes i alt» – som menneskets sjel, atman, forsøker å gå inn i. Begrepet er særlig viktig i Vedanta-filosofien, og hinduistiske slekter som kommer derfra.

Upanishadene, som er de eldste tekstene innen Vedanta, beskriver Brahman på ulike måter. Det er evig, endeløst og grenseløst, og er den urolige kilden for alt i universet. Brahman er årsaken til verden og alle skapninger. Det fins i alt og over alt, og er det innerste jeget for alle vesener.

Brahman skapte universet fra kaos og holder (dhar-) jorda og solen fra hverandre, holder (dhar-) himmelen og jorda fra hverandre og stabiliserer (dhar-) fjellene og slettene. Gudene, og da hovedsaklig Indra, opprettholder den guddommelige orden gjennom handlinger forbundet med dharma.

Shiva er endringen, den som transformerer, innen Trimurti, den hinduistiske treenigheten som inkluderer Brahma og Vishnu. Shiva skaper, forsvarer og endrer universet. På sitt høyeste nivå blir Shiva ansett som formløs, grenseløs, oversanslig og uendret. Den absolutte Brahman, samt Atman, som vil si universets sjel.

Om er en hellig lyd og et et spirituelt ikon innen hinduismen. Det er et mantra innen hinduismen, buddhismen, jainismen og sikhismen. Symbolet har en spirituell betydning i alle indiske dharmaer.

Innen hinduismen utgjør Om en av de viktigste spirituelle symbolene. Det refererer til Atman, eller sjelen, og Brahman, den ultimate realitet, universet, sannhet, goddommelig, det kosmiske prinsipp, kunnskap. Stavelsen blir som oftest funnet i begynnelsen og slutten i kapitlene i vedaene, upanishadaene osv.

I hinduismen er Dharma en annen type kraft enn Brahman, og det diskuteres mellom hinduer hva som er sterkest: Brahman eller Dharma. Mens Brahman styrer alt guddommelig i verden styrer Dharma alt det andre, som vil si fysiske lover, naturlover og er det som kan gjøre ting logisk.

I buddhismen brukes dharma synonymt med Buddhas lære, eller buddhadharma. Buddha giver heri sin erkjennelse og sin oppfordrende metode til å oppnå Nirvana. I Buddhas lære inngår De fire hellige sannheter som fører mennesket ut av et liv i uvitenhet, som er det første leddet i årsakskjeden.

Hans anbefalte metode til veien mot frelse, innsikt og erkjennelse skal ses som en gave til mennesket, men Buddha understreker dog, at den enkelte først skal erfare noe selv samt finner det sant, før han skal tro på det.

Manus lover, også kjent som Mānava-Dharmaśāstra, er en lærebok i riktig livsførsel – dharma, og er en av de tidligste tekstene i Dharmashastra tradisjonen i hinduismen, som ifølge hinduistisk tradisjon skal være Brahmas egne ord. Vanligvis dateres teksten til en gang mellom 200 f.vt. og 200 e.vt.

Teksten har form av undervisning gitt av Manu, hinduismens «første menneske», til en gruppe lærde. Teksten ble et standardverk som alle senere bøker i Dharmashastra tradisjonen forholdt seg til. I tillegg til etikk for de fire kastene, som er tekstens hoveddel, inneholder verket en kort drøfting av lovens kilder, og et åpningskapittel som skildrer verdens skapelse.

Mannus nevnes hos Tacitus som en forfaderskikkelse som germanerne fortalte om. Navnet Mannus betyr simpelthen «mann» eller «menneske». Mannus sies å ha vært sønn av Tuisto / Tyr. Han ligner Manu i vedaene.

Sanskritskolar Maurice Bloomfield refererte til Ṛta som “et av de viktigste religiøse oppfatningene innen Rig Vedaen”. Han hevdet at vi fra et historisk ståsted når det kommer til religiøse ideer må begynne historien om hinduistisk religion med historien om denne oppfatningen.

Imidlertid er begrepet en universell naturlig orden på ingen måte unikt for vedaene, og det har blitt sammenlignet med lignende ideer i andre kulturer, for eksempel Ma’at i gammel egyptisk religion, Moira og logo i gresk hedenskap og Tao.

Asha / Arta er et avestansk konsept innen den zoroastriske teologien og doktrinen. I den moralske sfæren utgjør begrepet det som blir kalt “det avgjørende konfessjonelle konseptet innen zoroastrianismen.”

Betydningen av begrepet er kompleks, med et svært nyansert spekter av betydninger, som ofte blir oppsummert i samsvar med kontekstuelle implikasjoner av “sannhet”, “høyre orden” og “det som er rett”. Det motsatte prinsippet er druj, som betyr “løgn”.

Innen zoroastrismen er Mithra et medlem av treenigheten av ahuraer, som forsvarer arta / asha. Relatert til hans posisjon som vokter av sannheten er Mithra en dommer (ratu), som sikrer at individer som bryter løfter eller ikke er rettferdige (artavan) ikke kommer til paradis. Mithra er forbundet med solen, men også adskilt fra den.

Både vedisk Mitra og Avestan Mithra stammer fra substantivet *mitra-, som betyr “pakt”, “avtale”, “overenskomst” og “lovnad.” Mitra betyr “venn”, og er et av aspektene som knytter en allianse. Brorskap. Den første tilstedeværelsen av Mitra, i form av mi-it-ra-, er fredsavtalen mellom hettittene og hurrierne i Mitanni fra 1400 f. vt.

Ishara (išḫara) er en gudinne av ukjent forbindelse fra det nordlige Syria. Det er en kjærlighetsgudinne som ofte blir identifisert som den protoindoeuropeiske Hausha, Venus, Ostara, Ishtara eller Inanna. Ishara er det hetittiske begrepet for “avtale”, “pakt” og “lovnad”. Det er gudinnen for løfter / ed. Hun er forbundet med underverden og personifiserte konstellasjonen Skorpionen / Vekten.

Maat er i egyptisk mytologi gudinne og forvalter av sannhet, rett og orden. Hun ble likestilt med greske Themis og den romerske Justitia, jussens gudinne.

Maat var også personifisert som en gudinne som regulerte stjernene, sesongene og handlingene til både vanlige mennesker som guder, og den som satte orden i universet fra kaos ved skapelsens øyeblikk. Hennes ideologiske motpart var Isfet, som betyr “urett”, kaos”, “vold”, eller som verbet “å gjøre ondt”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Asia in the Form of Pegasus

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 11, 2017

Armenia the head, the brains

Asia in the Form of Pegasus

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 5, 2017

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

The Luwians originally worshipped the old Proto-Indo-European Sun god Tiwaz. Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus, who was superseded among the Hittites by the Hattian Sun goddess of Arinna.

In Bronze Age texts, Tiwaz is often referred to as “Father” and once as “Great Tiwaz”, and invoked along with the “Father gods”. His Bronze Age epithet, “Tiwaz of the Oath”, indicates that he was an oath-god.

The Sun goddess of Arinna is the chief goddess and wife of the weather god Tarḫunna in Hittite mythology. She protected the Hittite kingdom and was called the “Queen of all lands.” Her cult centre was the sacred city of Arinna.

In addition to the Sun goddess of Arinna, the Hittites also worshipped the Sun goddess of the Earth and the Sun god of Heaven. The Sun god of Heaven was identified with the Hurrian solar deity, Šimige (de).

While Tiwaz (and the related Palaic god Tiyaz) retained a promenant role in the pantheon, the Hittite cognate deity, Šiwat (de) was largely eclipsed by the Sun goddess of Arinna, becoming a god of the day, especially the day of death.

The Sun goddess of the Earth (Hittite: taknaš dUTU, Luwian: tiyamaššiš Tiwaz) was the Hittite goddess of the underworld. Her Hurrian equivalent was Allani (de) and her Sumerian/Akkadian equivalent was Ereshkigal, both of which had a marked influence on the Hittite goddess from an early date. In the Neo-Hittite period, the Hattian underworld god, Lelwani was also syncretised with her.

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

Distinguishing the various solar deities in the texts is difficult since most are simply written with the Sumerogram dUTU (Solar deity). As a result, the interpretation of the solar deities remains a subject of debate.

An (Sumerian: AN, from an “sky, heaven”; Akkadian: ANU, Anu‹m›) is the earliest attested sky-father deity. In Sumerian, the designation “An” was used interchangeably with “the heavens” so that in some cases it is doubtful whether, under the term, the god An or the heavens is being denoted.

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

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

In the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria, Anu, Enlil, and Ea became the three zones of the ecliptic, the northern, middle and southern zone respectively.

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.

Ilabrat appears on the clay tablets which contain the legend of “Adapa and the food of life” which seems to explain the origin of death. Adapa, who has earned wisdom but not eternal life, is a son of and temple priest for Ea (Enki) in Eridu, and performs rituals with bread and water.

While Adapa is fishing in a calm sea, suddenly the South Wind rises up and overturns his boat, throwing him into the water. This reference to the ‘South Wind’ may refer to Ninlil, wife of Enlil, who was identified as goddess of the South Wind.

Adapa is enraged, and proceeds to break the ‘wings’ of the South Wind, so for seven days she can not blow the freshness of the sea on the warm earth. Adapa is summoned before the court of Anu in the heavens, and his father Ea advises him not to eat or drink anything placed before him, because he fears that this will be the food and water of death.

Anu, however, is impressed with Adapa and instead offers him the food and water of (eternal) life. However, Adapa follows the advice of Ea, and politely refuses to take any food or drink. This food and water of life offered by Anu would have made Adapa and his descendants immortal.

The Akkadians inherited An as the god of heavens from the Sumerian as Anu-, and in Akkadian cuneiform, the DINGIR character may refer either to Anum or to the Akkadian word for god, ilu-, and consequently had two phonetic values an and il. Hittite cuneiform as adapted from the Old Assyrian kept the an value but abandoned il.

Enlil (Sumerian: dEN.LÍL, “Lord of the Storm”) is the god of wind, air, earth, and storms. It was the name of a chief deity listed and written about in Sumerian religion, and later in Akkadian (Assyrian and Babylonian), Hittite, Canaanite, and other Mesopotamian clay and stone tablets. Enlil was assimilated to the north “Pole of the Ecliptic”. His sacred number name was 50.

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

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. Recent discoveries reconfirm him as an annual life-death-rebirth deity.

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.

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”.

Shamash (Akkadian: Šamaš dUD) was the solar deity in ancient Semitic religion, corresponding to the Sumerian god Utu. Shamash was also the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria.

Both in early and in late inscriptions Shamash is designated as the “offspring of Nannar”; i.e. of the Moon-god, and in an enumeration of the pantheon, Sin generally takes precedence of Shamash.

According to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica the Shamash cults at Sippar and Larsa so overshadowed local Sun-deities elsewhere as to lead to an absorption of the minor deities by the predominating one. In the wake of such syncretism Shamash was usually viewed as the Sun-god in general.

In the systematized pantheon these minor Sun-gods become attendants that do his service. Such are Bunene, spoken of as his chariot driver and whose consort is Atgi-makh, Kettu (“justice”) and Mesharu (“right”), who were then introduced as attendants of Shamash.

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

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.

Because he was a god of fire, the desert, and the Underworld and also a god from ancient paganism, later Christian writers sometimes identified Nergal as a demon and even identified him 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”.

A nearly complete 108-line poem describes Enlil’s invention of the mattock, a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax, or digging tool of the Sumerians. In the poem, Enlil conjures the pickax into existence and decrees its fate.

The pickax is described as gloriously beautiful; it is made of pure gold and has a head carved from lapis lazuli. Enlil gives the tool over to the humans, who use it to built cities, subjugate their people, and pull up weeds. Enlil was believed to aid in the growth of plants.

As Enlil was placed in command by An, the god of the heavens, he held sway over the other gods, who were assigned tasks by his sukkal, or attendant, and would travel to Nippur to draw in his power. He is thus seen as the model for kingship. Among the titles accorded to him are “King (of) Lands”, “King (of) Heaven and Earth”, “Father of the Gods”, and “Lord (of the) Command”.

The Sumerian creation myth holds that, originally, there was only Nammu, the primeval sea. Then, Nammu gave birth to An, the sky, and Ki, the earth, who gave birth to Enlil. Enlil separated An from Ki and carried off the earth as his domain, while An carried off the sky.

In Sumerian religion, Ninlil (DNIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), also called Sud, in Assyrian called Mulliltu, is the consort goddess of Enlil. She lived in Dilmun with her family.

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

Ninurta’s mother Ninlil visits the location after this great victory. In return for her love and loyalty, Ninurta gives Ninlil the hursag as a gift. Her name is consequentially changed from Ninlil to Ninhursag or the “mistress of the Hursag”.

Hursag (ḪUR.SAĜ) is a Sumerian term variously translated as meaning “mountain”, “hill”, “foothills” or “piedmont”. Thorkild Jacobsen extrapolated the translation in his later career to mean literally, “head of the valleys”. The hursag is described in a clear cultural myth as a high wall, levee, dam or floodbank, used to restrain the excess mountain waters and floods caused by the melting snow and spring rain.

The hursag is constructed with Ninurta’s skills in irrigation engineering and employed to improve the agriculture of the surrounding lands, farms and gardens where the water had previously been wasted.

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

In the epic Enki and Ninhursag, Enki, as lord of Ab or fresh water (also the Sumerian word for semen), is living with his wife in the paradise of Dilmun. Dilmun had no water and Enki heard the cries of its Goddess, Ninsikil, and orders the sun-God Utu to bring fresh water from the Earth for Dilmun.

The subsequent tale, with similarities to the Biblical story of the forbidden fruit, repeats the story of how fresh water brings life to a barren land. Enki succumbs to temptation, and attempts seduction of Uttu. Upset about Enki’s reputation, Uttu consults Ninhursag, who, upset at the promiscuous wayward nature of her spouse, advises Uttu to avoid the riverbanks, the places likely to be affected by flooding, the home of Enki.

In another version of this myth Ninhursag takes Enki’s semen from Uttu’s womb and plants it in the earth where eight plants rapidly germinate. Despite warnings, Enki consumes the fruits. Consuming his own semen, he falls pregnant (ill with swellings).

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

Ninhursag relents and takes Enki’s Ab (water, or semen) into her body, and gives birth to gods of healing of each part of the body. The last one, Ninti (Lady Rib), is also a pun on Lady Life, a title of Ninhursag herself. The story thus symbolically reflects the way in which life is brought forth through the addition of water to the land, and once it grows, water is required to bring plants to fruit. It also counsels balance and responsibility, nothing to excess.

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

The myth of “Enlil and Ninlil” discusses when Enlil was a young god, he was banished from Ekur in Nippur, home of the gods, to Kur, the underworld for seducing a goddess named Ninlil.

Ninlil followed him to the underworld where she bore his first child, the moon god Sin (Sumerian Nanna/Suen). After fathering three more underworld-deities (substitutes for Sin), Enlil was allowed to return to the Ekur.

Enlil impregnated her disguised as the gatekeeper, where upon she gave birth to their son Nergal, god of death. In some texts Ninlil is also the mother of Ninurta, the heroic god who slew Asag the demon with his mace, Sharur.

After her death, she became the goddess of the wind, like Enlil. She may be the Goddess of the South Wind referred to in the story of Adapa, as her husband Enlil was associated with northerly winter storms.

As “Lady Wind” she may be associated with the figure of the Akkadian demon “Lil-itu”, thought to have been the origin of the Hebrew Lilith legend. In the Sumerian version of the flood story, the causes of the flood are unclear due to the fact that portion of the tablet recording the beginning of the story has been destroyed.

Somehow, a mortal known as Ziusudra manages to survive the flood, likely through the help of the god Enki, although the exact nature of how he survives is unclear due to the relevant portion of the tablet being destroyed.

The tablet begins in the middle of the description of the flood. The flood lasts for seven days and seven nights before it subsides. Then, Utu, the god of the Sun, emerges. Ziusudra opens a window in the side of the boat and falls down prostrate before the god. Next, he sacrifices an ox and a sheep in honor of Utu.

Unfortunately, at this point, the text breaks off again. When it picks back up, Enlil and An are in the midst of declaring Ziusudra immortal as an honor for having managed to survive the flood. The remaining portion of the tablet after this point is destroyed.

In the later Babylonian version of the flood story, Enlil actually causes the flood, seeking to annihilate every living thing on earth because the humans make too much noise. In this version of the story, the hero is Utnapishtim, who is warned ahead of time by Ea, the Babylonian equivalent of Enki, that the flood is coming.

Aquarius is a constellation of the zodiac, situated between Capricornus and Pisces. Its name is Latin for “water-carrier” or “cup-carrier”, and its symbol is a representation of water. Aquarius is one of the oldest of the recognized constellations along the zodiac (the Sun’s apparent path).

Aquarius is identified as GU.LA “The Great One” in the Babylonian star catalogues and represents the god Ea himself, who is commonly depicted holding an overflowing vase. The Babylonian star-figure appears on entitlement stones and cylinder seals from the second millennium. It contained the winter solstice in the Early Bronze Age.

In Old Babylonian astronomy, Ea was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, the “Way of Ea”, corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice. Aquarius was also associated with the destructive floods that the Babylonians regularly experienced, and thus was negatively connoted.

In Ancient Egypt astronomy, Aquarius was associated with the annual flood of the Nile; the banks were said to flood when Aquarius put his jar into the river, beginning spring.

In the Greek tradition, the constellation came to be represented simply as a single vase from which a stream poured down to Piscis Austrinus. The name in the Hindu zodiac is likewise kumbha “water-pitcher”.

In Greek mythology, Aquarius is sometimes associated with Deucalion, the son of Prometheus who built a ship with his wife Pyrrha to survive an imminent flood. They sailed for nine days before washing ashore on Mount Parnassus.

In 1928, at the Conference of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Leiden, the Netherlands, the edges of the 88 official constellations became defined in astronomical terms.

The edge established between Pisces and Aquarius locates the beginning of the Aquarian Age around the year 2600. The Age of Aquarius begins when vernal equinox point moves out of constellation Pisces and into Aquarius.

Despite this prominence, the Age of Aquarius will not dawn until the year 2597, as an astrological age does not begin until the Sun is in a particular constellation on the vernal equinox.

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

The constellation is located in an area of sky called the Sea or the Water, consisting of many water-related constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus. It is the smallest constellation in the zodiac.

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

The constellation was a symbol of the god Ea and in the Early Bronze Age marked the winter solstice. The constellation Capricornus marked the winter solstice in the Early Bronze Age, for the Sun was in it when winter began until 130 BC.

In Greek mythology, the constellation is sometimes identified as Amalthea, the goat that suckled the infant Zeus after his mother, Rhea, saved him from being devoured by his father, Cronos.

The goat’s broken horn was transformed into the cornucopia or horn of plenty. Capricornus is also sometimes identified as Pan, the god with a goat’s head, who saved himself from the monster Typhon by giving himself a fish’s tail and diving into a river.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: