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Names Sis, Masis and Ararat

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 18, 2017

Ararat - Place Of Creation sitt bilde.

Ar – ensamble / create – sun

Ar – Ur – Hur – Kur

Aratta – Ararat – Armenia

Urartians – Hurrians – Armenians

Ama – Ma (Mother) – Ama-gi (Freedom)


Ma (myth)


Ararat comes from the word Ararel – Create. The same root is in the words Creator – Ararich, Creation – Ararats, and the very place of creation – Ararat. Ararichn ararets Araratsin Araratum. (Creator created (the) creation in the “Place of Creation”).

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list.
It is a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach. It is home to the goddess Inana, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk. It is conquered by Enmerkar of Uruk.
Armi, was an important Bronze Age city-kingdom during the late third millennium BC located in northern Syria. It was identified by some historians with the city of Aleppo. Armi was a vassal kingdom for Ebla, it had its own kings and worked as a trade center and Trading intermediary for Ebla.
King Naram-Sin of Akkad mentions that he conquered Armanum and Ib-la and captured the king of Armanum, the similarities between the names led historian Wayne Horowitz to identify Armanum with Armi.
If Armi was in fact Armanum mentioned by Naram-Sin, then the event can be dated to c. 2240 BC. In any case, it is clear that the whole of northern Syria including Ebla and Armi was under the domination of the Akkadian empire during the reign of Naram-Sin.
Naram-Sin gives a long description of his siege of Armanum, his destruction of its walls, and the capture of its king Rid-Adad. Astour believes that the Armanum mentioned in the inscriptions of Naram-Sin is not the same city as the Eblaite Armi, as Naram-Sin makes it clear that the Ebla he sacked (c. 2240 BC) was a border town of the land of Arman, while the Armi in the Eblaite tablets is a vassal to Ebla and (according to Astour), the Syrian Ebla would have been burned in 2290 BC (based on the political map given in the Eblaite tablets) long before the reign of Naram-Sin.

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

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

Urartu, also known as Kingdom of Van (Urartian: Biai, Biainili; Assyrian: māt Urarṭu; Babylonian: Urashtu), was an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. It corresponds to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat.

Strictly speaking, Urartu is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “kingdom of Urartu” or “Biainili lands” are terms used in modern historiography for the Urartian-speaking Iron Age state that arose in that region.

The Urartian, Vannic, (in older literature) Chaldean (Khaldian, or Haldian) language was spoken by the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Urartu. Urartian was an ergative, agglutinative language, which belongs to neither the Semitic nor the Indo-European families but to the Hurro-Urartian family (whose only other known member is Hurrian).

Urartian is closely related to Hurrian, a somewhat better documented language attested for an earlier, non-overlapping period, approximately from 2000 BCE to 1200 BCE (written by native speakers until about 1350 BCE). The two languages must have developed quite independently from approximately 2000 BCE onwards.

Although Urartian is not a direct continuation of any of the attested dialects of Hurrian, many of its features are best explained as innovative developments with respect to Hurrian as it is known from the preceding millennium. The closeness holds especially true of the so-called Old Hurrian dialect, known above all from Hurro-Hittite bilingual texts.

It is argued on linguistic evidence that proto-Armenian came in contact with Urartian at an early date (3rd-2nd millennium BC), before the formation of the Urartian kingdom.

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

Name of Armenia

The highest two- peak mountain (5.165 m) of Armenian Highland was called Sis and Masis by Armenians. Masis is also known as Ararat. Like many questions of Armenian History and ancient names, the names Masis and Ararat of sacred Armenian mountain also interested the researchers and brought forward many questions.

And the questions are many: why this sacred mountain has two names – Masis and Ararat, which one is more ancient, what do the names Sis, Masis and Ararat mean, why and when the mountain was called Ararat?

Let’s consider each of these questions and try to explain them. The names Sis and Masis are the most ancient names of the mountain. It can be noted that the other mountain peaks of Armenian Highland also have names close to the name Masis. So, the mountain to the North from Lake Van was called Nekh-Masiq (Sipan).

The mountain in Armenia Mesopotamia in the south-west of Armenian Highland, in ancient Greek (Strabon, The Geography, XI, 14/2/) and Armenian (S. Eremyan, Armenia According to Armenian Geography /«Աշխարհացույց»/) sources is called Masios or Masion (now – Tur-Abdin). Assurian written sources use the name Qashiari mountains for these mountains.

From the Shumer-accadian epos ”Gilgamesh” a two-peak mountain with name Masu or Mashu is known, behind which the sun rises and sets, and on which Utnapishti’s (Noah’s prototype) Ark stopped. Masu-Mashu is often identified with the Masios-Masion mountains.

There are many explanations and point of views about the origin of the names Sis and Masis. The most ancient is M. Khorenaci’s explanation: in his work “Armenian History” he wrote, that the name Masis came from Hayk’s great-grandson Amasia’s name (Hayk, Aramanyak, Aramayis, Amasia). According to one of the point of views the names Masis, Masu-Mashu have the meaning “twins”, “pair of mountains”, “twin mountains”.

By an other widespread viewpoint the name “Masis” is originated from Armenian word “mas” (part), because the mountain consists of two parts. However, the majestic view of the mountain suggests something else.

Sis and Masis by their view (lonely, two-peak) leave such an impression like they directly grew from Mother Earth, from the land and are firmly connected to the ground. In other cases, the high peaks are not lonely and are not directly connected to mother earth. They are high peaks of mountain chains.

The look of the mountain Masis (Sis, Ma-Sis) suggests that the name Sis can be connected to the meaning of word “Sis” “The Relics of Feeding Mother” («կաթնաբեր մասունք մարց»), (Leхicon of the Armenian language, Նոր բառգիրք Հայկազյան լեզվի, p. 746).

In the range of many Indo-European languages can be found words with similar meaning and pronounciation to word “Sis” (H. Acharyan, Armenian Radical Dictionary, 2, 1973, p. 471-472, /in Armenian/. В. Даль, Толковый словарь, М., 1956, с. 188 /in Russian/ ).

“Ma” from the word Masis have the meaning “spawn” in Armenian language, which means mother. Therefore it can be said, that Masis has the meaning Mother Sis.

The Armenians, by calling Sis and Masis the two-peak mountain, located nearly in the center of Armenian Highland, viewed it as the Mother Country, an earth nourishing relics, which with their high peaks receive cosmic life-giving stream and energy and nourish Mother Earth and country – Armenia, directly connected to them.

It is known that Sumerians came down to the Lower Mesopotamia from the southern parts of Armenian Highland taking with them many cultural values, including religious and mythological ones created in their motherland.

Certainly they knew about the two-peak sacred mountain of Armenian Highland with the names Sis and Masis, and in the new homeland while talking about the Flood, they called the two-peak mountain Masu-Mashu of the Arc.

By the way, the peak on which Utnapishti’s Ark stopped was called Nisir, which has а far similarity with the name Masis. The two-peak Masu-Mashu mountain from where according to “Gilgamesh” the sun rises and sets, are also illustrated on Acadian stamps, moreover the mountains are illustrated so, as they are seen from Mesopotamia – Masis on the left, and Sis on the right.

Armenians consider Masis as a holy, divine mountain, on the peak of which the mortal’s feet shouldn’t step. In Armenian believes the mountain is kept by devils and vishapazuns (dragon’s descendants). Let’s recall M. Khorenati’s mentioning, when Armenian king Artashes cursed his son Artavazd, saying:

If you get on a horse, go to hunt

Up to the free, to Masis,

Let the devils capture you and take away

Up to the free, to Masis.

These devils and vishapazuns that keep the mountain Masis remined of men-scorpions from epos “Gilgamesh”, which keep the gates of Masu-Mashu Mountains and open them only for gods.

In 1255, when French travaler U. Rubruq wanted to climb up to the top of Ararat, an Armenian old man convinced him not to climb, saying “no one… should climb up to Masis, she is the mother of the Earth” (Hovh. Hakobyan, Notes /in Armenian/, vol.1, Yerevan, 1932, p. 18).

For Armenians even the snow of Masis was considered sacred. When in 1829 Armenian writer Kh. Abovyan with German scientist F. Parrot climbed up to the top of Masis, he brought with him a bottle filled with snow, which he kept as sacred relics.

Thus, it can be said that for the names Nekh-Masiq, Masios-Masion, also Masu-Mashu which are located in other places of Armenian Highland, the ancient name Masis of Armenian sacred Mountain was used as a basis.

For the sacred mountain Masis the name Ararat is also used, which is the most ancient name given to Armenia. The name Ararat (Arar-at) with its meaning and explanation goes back to the times of creation and has a meaning of “place of creation” (A. Teryan, Armenia: Cradle of Creation and Civilization, 2002, p. 18-19 /in Armenian/).

The name Ararat was spread in the world through Bible. According to the Old Testament, during the Flood Noah’s Ark stopped on the “Ararat’s mountains” (In Genesis, 4,5). The Hebrew original of the Bible uses the name Ararat kingdom (Urartu) for Armenia, and the mountain of Noah’s Ark is called Ararat’s mountains (mountain).

Later, in early medieval times, the Christian interpreters of the Bible identified the mountain of Noah’s Ark, located in Ararat country (mountains) with the mountain called Masis by Armenians and Ararat-Masis was considered the mountain of Noah’s Ark by name Ararat.

Thus, the name Masis of the sacred mountain, located nearly in the center of Armenian Highland is the oldest name, given to the mountain by Armenians and has the meaning Mother-Nourishing (Ma-Sis), and the name Ararat was given later – as a mountain located in the center of Ararat-Urartu country, where during the Flood Noah’s descendants found a shelter and were saved. And after the Flood around the mountain Ararat-Masis was given birth to a new human civilization.

The article was printed in the book A. Teryan, “Armenia and History”, Yerevan, 2007

Translated by I. Khachikyan

Ararat- Masis today by Edgar Harutyunyan Photography

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Ti (“life”) and Din.gir (“god”)

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 9, 2017

Cuneiform TI or TÌL has the main meaning of “life” when used ideographically. The written sign developed from the drawing of an arrow, since the words meaning “arrow” and “life” were pronounced similarly in the Sumerian language.

With the determinative UZU “flesh, meat”, UZUTI, it means “rib”. This homophony is exploited in the myth of Ninti (NIN.TI (“lady of life” or “lady of the rib”), created by Ninhursag to cure the ailing Enki.

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.

Since Eve is called “mother of life” in Genesis, together with her being taken from Adam’s צלע tsela` “side, rib”, the story of Adam and Eve has sometimes been considered to derive from that of Ninti.

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

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

The concept of “divinity” in Sumerian is closely associated with the heavens, as is evident from the fact that the cuneiform sign doubles as the ideogram for “sky”, and that its original shape is the picture of a star. The original association of “divinity” is thus with “bright” or “shining” hierophanies in the sky.

Dyēus (also *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr, alternatively spelled dyēws) is believed to have been the chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylight sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih Méhter, “earth mother”.

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

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).

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.

In the late Icelandic Eddas, Týr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda). However, it is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war.

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

Týr is a god of war and will take mead, meat and blood for sacrifice. If a warrior carved the rune Tîwaz on his weapon he would be dedicating it to Týr and strengthen the outcome of a battle to be in his favor.

Tacitus relates that “ancient songs” (Latin carminibus antiquis) of the Germanic peoples celebrated Tuisto as “a god, born of the earth” (deum terra editum). Tacitus wrote that Mannus was the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones. The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”.

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

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming. Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.

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

The name of March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named for Mars, the Roman god of war who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities came to a close.

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

The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (“holy marriage”) is a sexual ritual that plays out a marriage between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities. Sacred prostitution was common in the Ancient Near East as a form of “Sacred Marriage” or hieros gamos between the king of a Sumerian city-state and the High Priestess of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare.

The Spear of Mars, which represents the spear and shield of Mars, is also the symbol for the planet Mars and Male gender. The spear was said to move, tremble or vibrate at impending war or other danger to the state, as was reported to occur before the assassination of Julius Caesar. When Mars is pictured as a peace-bringer, his spear is wreathed with laurel or other vegetation, as on the Ara Pacis or a coin of Aemilianus.

Venus is the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory. The Venus symbol consists of a circle with a small cross below it. It is used in sociological contexts to represent women or femininity.

Libra is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 180–210th degree of the zodiac, between 180 and 207.25 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, Sun transits this area on average between (northern autumnal equinox) September 23 and October 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Libra from approximately October 16 to November 17.

The symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice. The ruling planet of Libra is Venus.

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The Hurrians and the Levant

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 7, 2017

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites (/ˈdʒɛbjəˌsaɪts/; Hebrew: יְבוּסִי, Modern Yevusi, Tiberian Yəḇûsî ISO 259-3 Ybusi) were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited Jerusalem prior to its conquest by Joshua (11:3 and 12:10) or King David (2 Samuel 5:6-10).

The Books of Kings state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event. According to some biblical chronologies, the city was conquered by King David in 1003 BCE, or according to other sources 869 BCE.

In the Amarna letters, mention is made that the contemporaneous king of Jerusalem was named Abdi-Heba, which is a theophoric name invoking a Hurrian mother goddess named Hebat.

This implies that the Jebusites were Hurrians themselves, were heavily influenced by Hurrian culture, or were dominated by a Hurrian maryannu class (i.e., a Hurrian warrior-class elite).

Moreover, the last Jebusite king of Jerusalem, Araunah/Awarna/Arawna (or Ornan), bore a name generally understood as based on the Hurrian honorific ewir.

Another Jebusite, Araunah (referred to as Ornan by the Books of Chronicles) is described by the Books of Samuel as having sold his threshing floor to King David, which David then constructed an altar on, the implication being that the altar became the core of the Temple of Solomon.

Araunah means the lord in Hittite, and so most scholars, since they consider the Jebusites to have been Hittite, have argued that Araunah may have been another king of Jerusalem; some scholars additionally believe that Adonijah is actually a disguised reference to Araunah, the ר (r) having been corrupted to ד (d).

Zadok (Hebrew: צדוק‎ Tsadoq , meaning “Righteous”) or Zadoq was a priest, said to be descended from Eleazar the son of Aaron (1 Chron 6:4-8). He aided King David during the revolt of his son Absalom and was subsequently instrumental in bringing King Solomon to the throne. After Solomon’s building of The First Temple in Jerusalem, Zadok was the first High Priest to serve there.

The prophet Ezekiel extols the sons of Zadok as staunch opponents of paganism during the era of pagan worship and indicates their birthright to unique duties and privileges in the future temple (Ezekiel 44:15, 43:19).

Some scholars have speculated that as Zadok (also Zadoq) does not appear in the text of Samuel until after the conquest of Jerusalem, he was actually a Jebusite priest co-opted into the Israelite state religion.

Frank Moore Cross, professor at the Harvard Divinity School, refers to this theory as the “Jebusite Hypothesis,” criticizes it extensively, but terms it the dominant view among contemporary scholars, in Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel.

Elsewhere in the Bible, the Jebusites are described in a manner that suggests that they worshipped the same God (El Elyon—Ēl ‘Elyōn) as the Israelites (see, e.g., Melchizedek).

Further support for this theory comes from the fact that other Jebusites resident in pre-Israelite Jerusalem bore names invoking the principle or god Zedek (Tzedek) (see, e.g., Melchizedek and Adonizedek). Under this theory the Aaronic lineage ascribed to Zadok is a later, anachronistic interpolation.

Khirbet Kerak (“the ruin of the fortress”) or Beth Yerah (“House of the Moon (god)”) is a tell (archaeological mound) located on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee in modern-day Israel.

The tell spans an area of over 50 acres—one of the largest in the Levant—and contains remains dating from the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC – 2000 BC) and from the Persian period (c. 450 BC) through to the early Islamic period (c. 1000 AD).

“Khirbet Kerak ware” is a type of Early Bronze Age Syro-Palestinian pottery first discovered at this site. It is also found in other parts of the Levant (including Jericho, Beth Shan, Tell Judeideh, and Ugarit). Khirbet Kerak culture appears to have been a Levantine version of the Early Transcaucasian Culture.

As Ablm (Heb. Abel), this location is mentioned in the 14th century BCE Epic of Aqht, and is thought to be a reference to the Early Bronze Age structure extant at Khirbet Kerak.

The identification of Jebus with Jerusalem has been disputed, principally by Niels Peter Lemche. Supporting his case, every non-biblical mention of Jerusalem found in the ancient Near East refers to the city as ‘Jerusalem’.

An example of these records are the Amarna letters, several of which were written by the chieftain of Jerusalem Abdi-Heba and call Jerusalem either Urusalim (URU ú-ru-sa-lim) or Urušalim (URU ú-ru-ša10-lim) (1330s BCE). Also in the Amarna letters, it is called Beth-Shalem, the house of Shalem.

The Sumero-Akkadian name for Jerusalem, uru-salim, is variously etymologised to mean “foundation of [or: by] the god Shalim”: from Hebrew/Semitic yry, ‘to found, to lay a cornerstone’, and Shalim, the Canaanite god of the setting sun and the nether world, as well as of health and perfection.

Lemche states that there is no evidence of Jebus and the Jebusites outside of the Old Testament. Some scholars reckon Jebus to be a different place from Jerusalem; other scholars prefer to see the name of Jebus as a kind of pseudo-ethnic name without any historical background.

Theophilus G. Pinches has noted a reference to “Yabusu”, which he interpreted as an old form of Jebus, on a contract tablet that dates from 2200 BCE.

Shalim (Shalem, Salem, and Salim) is a god in the Canaanite religion pantheon, mentioned in inscriptions found in Ugarit (Ras Shamra) in Syria. William F. Albright identified Shalim as the god of dusk, and Shahar as god of the dawn.

Shalim, along with Shahar, is described as twin children of El. Both are gods of the planet Venus, and were considered by some to be a twinned avatar of the god Athtar. As the markers of dawn and dusk, Shahar and Shalim also represented the temporal structure of the day.

Isaiah 14:12–15 has been the origin of the belief that Satan was a fallen angel, who could also be referred to as Lucifer. It refers to the rise and disappearance of the morning star Venus in the phrase “O light-bringer, (Helel ben Shaḥar, translated as Lucifer in the Vulgate and preserved in the early English translations of the Bible) son of the dawn.”

In both genders, Aṯtar is identified with the planet Venus, the morning and evening star, in some manifestations of Semitic mythology. In Ugaritic mythology Aṯtar succeeds to the throne of the dead god Baal Hadad but proves inadequate.

In semi-arid regions of western Asia he was sometimes worshipped as a rain god. In more southerly regions he is probably known as Dhu-Samani.[citation needed]

Attar was worshipped in Southern Arabia in pre-Islamic times. A god of war, he was often referred to as “He who is Bold in Battle”. One of his symbols was the spear-point and the antelope was his sacred animal. He had power over Venus, the morning star, and was believed to provide humankind with water.

In ancient times, Arabia shared the gods of Mesopotamia, being so close to Babylon, except the genders and symbols of these deities were later swapped around.

For instance, the sun god Shamash became the sun goddess Shams, and in southern Arabia Ishtar became the male storm god Athtar. Athtar was a god of the thunderstorm, dispensing natural irrigation in the form of rain. Athtar also represented fertility and water as essential to fertility.

In the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Shalim is also identified as the deity representing Venus or the “Evening Star”, and Shahar, the “Morning Star”. His name derives from the triconsonantal Semitic root S-L-M.

A Ugaritic myth known as The Gracious and Most Beautiful Gods, describes Shalim and his brother Shahar as offspring of El through two women he meets at the seashore.

They are both nursed by “The Lady”, likely Anat (Athirat or Asherah), and have appetites as large as “(one) lip to the earth and (one) lip to the heaven.” In other Ugaritic texts, the two are associated with the sun goddess.

Another inscription is a sentence repeated three times in a para-mythological text, “Let me invoke the gracious gods, the voracious gods of ym.” Ym in most Semitic languages means “day,” and Shalim and Shahar, twin deities of the dusk and dawn, were conceived of as its beginning and end.

Shalim is also mentioned separately in the Ugaritic god lists and forms of his name also appear in personal names, perhaps as a divine name or epithet.

Many scholars believe that the name of Shalim is preserved in the name of the city Jerusalem. The god Shalim may have been associated with dusk and the evening star in the etymological senses of a ‘completion’ of the day, ‘sunset’ and ‘peace’.

Zion, also transliterated Sion, Sayon, Syon, Tzion or Tsion, is a place name often used as a synonym for Jerusalem. The word is first found in 2 Samuel 5:7 which dates from c.630–540 BC according to modern scholarship.

It commonly referred to a specific mountain near Jerusalem (Mount Zion), on which stood a Jebusite fortress of the same name that was conquered by David and was named the City of David.

The term Tzion came to designate the area of Jerusalem where the fortress stood, and later became a metonym for Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, the city of Jerusalem and “the World to Come”, the Jewish understanding of the hereafter.

In Kabbalah the more esoteric reference is made to Tzion being the spiritual point from which reality emerges, located in the Holy of Holies of the First, Second and Third Temple.

Zion is the Hebrew name for the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and was the seat of the first and second Holy Temple. It is the most holy place in the world for the Jewish people, seen as the connection between God and humanity.

Observant Jews recite the Amidah three times a day facing Zion in Jerusalem, praying for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, the restoration of the Temple service, the redemption of the world, and for the coming of the Messiah.

The etymology of the word Zion (ṣiyôn) is uncertain. Mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Samuel (2 Samuel 5:7) as the name of the Jebusite fortress conquered by King David, its origin likely predates the Israelites.

If Semitic, it may be derived from the Hebrew root ṣiyyôn (“castle”) or the Hebrew ṣiyya (“dry land,” Jeremiah 51:43). A non-Semitic relationship to the Hurrian word šeya (“river” or “brook”) has also been suggested.

The term “Zionism” coined by Austrian Nathan Birnbaum, was derived from the German rendering of Tzion in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation) in 1890.

Zionism as a political movement started in 1897 and supported a ‘national home’, and later a state, for the Jewish people in Palestine. The Zionist movement declared the re-establishment of its State of Israel in 1948, following the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Since then and with varying ideologies, Zionists have focused on developing and protecting this state.

The last line of the Israeli national anthem Hatikvah (Hebrew for Hope) is “….Eretz Zion, ViYerushalayim”, which means literally “The land of Zion and Jerusalem”. Yerushalayim is a plural, because there are 2 “Jerusalems” in Judaism, there is the physical land and the spiritual spot where God’s presence on Earth (Shechinah) is centered.

Today, Mount Zion refers to a hill south of the Old City’s Armenian Quarter, not to the Temple Mount. This apparent misidentification dates at least from the 1st century AD, when Josephus calls Jerusalem’s Western Hill “Mount Zion”. The Dormition Church (right) is located upon the hill currently called Mount Zion.

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The Heaven / the Sun / Mars and the Earth / the Moon / Venus (the dawn) – Tyr and Hel – Justice, creation and transformation

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 7, 2017

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. It appears that in the northern cultural sphere of the early Hittites, there was no male solar deity.

The Sun goddess of Arinna and the weather god Tarḫunna formed a pair and together they occupied the highest position in the Hittite state’s pantheon. The pair’s daughter is Mezulla, by whom they had the granddaughter Zintuḫi. Their other children were the Weather god of Nerik, the Weather god of Zippalanda, and the corn god Telipinu. The eagle served as her messenger.

In myths, she plays a minor role. A Hattian mythic fragment records the construction of her house in Liḫzina (de). Another myth fragment refers to her apple tree:

An apple tree stands at a well and is covered all over with a blood-red colour. The Sun goddess of Arinna saw (it) and she decorated (it) with her shining wand. (KUB 28.6 Vs. I 10’-13’ = II 10’-13’).

The Sun goddess of Arinna was originally of Hattian origin and was worshipped by the Hattians at Eštan. One of her Hattian epithets was Wurunšemu (“Mother of the land”?).

From the Hittite Old Kingdom, she was the chief goddess of the Hittite state. The “Gods’ city” of Arinna was the site of the coronation of the first Hittite kings and one of the empire’s three holy cities. The Hattian name of the goddess was transcribed by the Hittites as Ištanu and Urunzimu.

They also invoked her as Arinitti (“The Arinnian”). The epithet “of Arinna” only appears during the Hittite Middle Kingdom, to distinguish the Sun goddess from the male Sun god of Heaven, who had been adopted by the Hittites from interaction with the Hurrians.

During the Hittite New Kingdom, she was identified with the Hurrian-Syrian goddess Ḫepat and the Hittite Queen Puduḫepa mentions her in her prayers using both names:

Sun goddess of Arinna, my lady, queen of all lands! In the Land of Ḫatti, you ordained your name to be the “Sun goddess of Arinna”, but also in the land which you have made the land of the cedar, you ordained your name to be Ḫepat.

From the Hittite Old Kingdom, the Sun goddess of Arinna legitimised the authority of the king, in conjunction with the weather god Tarḫunna. The land belonged to the two deities and the established the king, who would refer to the Sun goddess as “Mother”. King Ḫattušili I would hold the Sun goddess in his lap. Several queens dedicated cultic solar discs to the Sun goddess in the city of Taḫurpa.

During the Hittite New Kingdom, the Sun goddess was said to watch over the king and his kingdom, with the king as her priest and the queen as her priestess. The Hittite king worshiped the Sun goddess with daily praters at sun set. The Hittite texts preserve many prayers to the Sun goddess of Arinna: the oldest is from Arnuwanda I, while the best known is the prayer of Queen Puduḫepa, cited above.

The most important temple of the Sun goddess was in the city of Arinna; there was another on the citadel of Ḫattuša. The goddess was depicted as a solar disc.In the city of Tarḫurpa, several such discs were venerated, which had been donated by the Hittite queens. King Ulmi-Teššup von Tarḫuntašša donated a Sun disc of gold, silver and copper to the goddess each year, along with a bull and three sheep. She was also often depicted as a woman and statuettes of a sitting goddess with a halo may also be depictions of her.

The deer was sacred to the Sun goddess and Queen Puduḫepa promised to give her many deer in her prayers. Cultic vessels in the shape of a deer presumably ere used for worship of the Sun goddess. It is also believed that the golden deer statuettes from the Early Bronze Age, which were found in the middle of the Kızılırmak River and belong to the Hattian cultural period, ere associated with the cult of the Sun goddess.

The name Ištanu is the Hittite form of the Hattian name Eštan and refers to the Sun goddess of Arinna. Earlier scholarship understood Ištanu as the name of the male Sun god of the Heavens, but more recent scholarship has held that the name is only used to refer to the Sun goddess of Arinna. Volker Haas (de), however, still distinguishes between a male Ištanu representing the day-star and a female Wurunšemu who is the Sun goddess of Arinna and spends her nights in the underworld.

Istanu (Ištanu; from Hattic Estan, “Sun-god”) was the Hittite and Hattic god of the sun. In Luwian he was known as Tiwaz or Tijaz. He was a god of judgement, and was depicted bearing a winged sun on his crown or head-dress, and a crooked staff.

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). It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war.

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

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.

Utu (Akkadian rendition of Sumerian dUD 𒀭𒌓 “Sun”, Assyro-Babylonian Shamash “Sun”) is the Sun god in Sumerian mythology, the son of the moon god Nanna and the goddess Ningal, a goddess of reeds in the Sumerian mythology, daughter of Enki and Ningikurga and the consort of the moon god Nanna by whom she bore Utu the sun god, Inanna, and in some texts, Ishkur.

Utu is the god of the sun, justice, application of law, and the lord of truth. He is usually depicted as wearing a horned helmet and carrying a saw-edged weapon not unlike a pruning saw.

It is thought that every day, Utu emerges from a mountain in the east, symbolizing dawn, and travels either via chariot or boat across the Earth, returning to a hole in a mountain in the west, symbolizing sunset.

Every night, Utu descends into the underworld to decide the fate of the dead. He is also depicted as carrying a mace, and standing with one foot on a mountain. Its symbol is “sun rays from the shoulders, and or sun disk or a saw”.

The sun god is only modestly mentioned in Sumerian mythology with one of the notable exceptions being the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the myth, Gilgamesh seeks to establish his name with the assistance of Utu, because of his connection with the cedar mountain.

Gilgamesh and his father, Lugalbanda were kings of the first dynasty of Uruk, a lineage that Jeffrey H. Tigay suggested could be traced back to Utu himself. He further suggested that Lugalbanda’s association with the sun-god in the Old Babylonian version of the epic strengthened “the impression that at one point in the history of the tradition the sun-god was also invoked as an ancestor”.

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 (Gen 36:24, 2 Sam 3:7, 1 Chr 7:28).

Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love[2]:173 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.

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Armenian music

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 5, 2017

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Mytologien og dyrekretsen

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 5, 2017

Gud, blant sumererne kalt An (himmel), av akkadierne kalt Anu, senere også kjent som as eller ar, som også kan bety sol, var hovedguden og representerte tallet 60 blant sumererne, hvor guder representerte partall (10, 20 …), mens gudinner representerte oddetall (5, 15 …).

An var herrer over konstellasjoner, over stjernene på himmelen. Sammen med Ki fikk han flere barn, som vil si guder og gudinner. Disse representerer stjernetegnene i den såkalte dyrekretsen på himmelen.

An var et abstrakt begrep og kom til å forsvinne da guden Enlil, som representerte 50, tok hans plass. An ble da skiftet ut med Dumuzid (den trofaste sønn) og Enmeshar (Nergal).

An er å se på som den greske Uranus, den romerske Caelus (himmel), eller den protoindoeuropeiske Dyeus, som har blitt til Deus (Gud), men også som Zeus, Jupiter, eller Tyr.

Enlil kan bli sett på som Saturn. På sumerisk har vi Enlil og Enki (40), som kan bli sett på som Saturn og Steinbukken (Capricorn), eller Janus.

Dumuzid kan bli ansett for å være en versjon av den gresk-romerske Dionysus eller den germanske Balder. Enmeshar (Nergal) representerer den greske Ares, den romerske Mars, eller den germanske Tyr.

Mars representerer det som tidligere var den første måneden mars, eller vårsolverv, og stjernetegnet Aries (Væren), mens hans kjæreste Venus representerer høstjevndøgnet, eller Libra (Vekten).

Mens aries i germansk mytologi representeres av aser (den ene gruppen av guder / gudinner) så representeres Venus av vaner (den andre gruppen av guder / gudinner).

Disse to gruppene kan også sies å representere det maskuline og det feminine, Mars og Venus, Tyr og Hel, Shiva og Kali. Odin og Njord kan sies å representere Enlil og Enki, eller Saturn og Janus.

Da vi gikk fra å starte vår kallender fra mars til januar gikk vi samtidig fra å tilbe mars til Saturn – fra jevndøgn til solverv – fra balanse til ytterpunkter. Enlil og Enki representerte motsatte sider av tilværelsen – luft / jord, nord / sør.

An representerte eklipsen – solens reise på himmelen – som om dagen var på himmelen, men om natten i underverden. Han reiste gjennom konstellasjonene, eller stjernetegnene, som representerte de andre gudene og gudinnene.

Man kan med andre ord si at An representerte det ene prinsippet bak alt i universet, slik Gud gjør i kristendommen. De resterende guder og gudinner ble i kristendommen gjort til karaktertrekk hos Gud, samt til de 12 profetene.

Jesus tok plassen til Tammuz eller Enmeshar (Nergal) og ettersom stjernetegnet Fiskene på grunn av jordas rotasjon har skiftet ut Væren så representerer Jesus stjernetegnet Fiskene.

I germansk mytologi representerer Jesus med andre ord Tyr / Balder og i romersk Mars / Dionysus. Motsatsen til Fiskene er Jomfruen (Virgo), som representeres av Maria. Jesus og Gud er med andre ord den ene og den samme – som solen og vår- / høstjevndøgnet.

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Hva om jorda kun er et atom forbundet med andre atomer og inngår i en abnorm stor helhet?

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 5, 2017

Spiralen representerer den basale formen for alt liv – jorda med stjernetegn representerer en spiral – på grunn av jordas helling endres stjernebildenes posisjon slik fisken nå står der hvor væren gjorde det tidligere – dette blir kalt for astrologiske perioder. Vi benyttet oss av dette til å konstruere og måle tid.

Solsystemet er det planetsystemet som består av blant annet solen, jorden og månen. Det består av solen og de himmellegemer som den binder til seg gjennom gravitasjon, og har sin opprinnelse i en gravitasjonskollaps av en gigantisk gass- og støvsky for 4,6 milliarder år siden.

Rundt solen kretser en rekke elementer i en nærmest flat skive i ekliptikken. Utenfor solen finnes det meste av solsystemets masse i de åtte planetene, som har tilnærmet sirkulære omløpsbaner.

De fire indre planetene Merkur, Venus, jorden og Mars består i stor grad av stein og metall og kalles steinplanetene. De fire ytre planetene Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus og Neptun består i stor grad av hydrogen og helium. De kalles ofte gasskjempene, da de er mye tyngre og større enn steinplanetene.

Universet er alt som som eksisterer av tid og rom, og innholdet i rommet, herunder materie og stråling. Det inkluderer planeter, måner, dvergplaneter, stjerner, galakser, intergalaktisk rom, og all materie og energi.

Det observerbare universet er cirka 93 milliarder lysår i diameter. Hvor stort hele universet faktisk er er ukjent, men det finnes flere teorier i forbindelse med hvordan det har utviklet seg.

De tidligste modellene av universet var geosentriske, det vil si at de plasserte Jorden i senteret av universet. Mens forståelsen av universet ble bedre, førte mer presise observasjoner til at Nikolaus Kopernikus utviklet den heliosentriske modellen, hvor Solen er senteret av solsystemet.

Isaac Newton bygget på Kopernikus’ arbeid, samt observasjonene til Tycho Brahe og Johannes Keplers arbeid, for å utvikle Newtons gravitasjonslov, som ga en forståelse av hvordan tyngdekraften fungerer i universet, og dens betydning.

Videre observasjoner førte til at man fikk vite at solsystemet befinner seg i Melkeveien, og er et av mange solsystemer og galakser.

Det antas at galaksene i universet er jevnt fordelt i alle retninger, som betyr at universet verken har en kant eller et sentrum.

Observasjoner i det 20. århundret fant ut at universet hadde en begynnelse, og at det utvider seg i en akselererende fart.

Big Bang-teorien, den mest fremtredende kosmologiske modellen, forteller at tid og rom startet i det øyeblikket Big-bang skjedde, og at universet har en fastsatt mengde materie og energi, som får en mindre og mindre tetthet mens tiden passerer og universet utvider seg.

Etter den umiddelbare utvidelsen av universet etter Big Bang, kjølte universet seg ned, som lot de første subatomære partiklene til å skapes, som da skapte de første atomene.

Gigantiske skyer med materie ble senere trukket sammen på grunn av tyngdekraften, som lot de første stjernene til å bli til.

Hvis den mest fremtredende modellen for Big Bang er riktig, er universet rundt 13,8 milliarder år gammelt.

Det finnes mange teorier om hvordan universet kommer til å ta slutt, og om hva som eksisterte før Big Bang, eller om det i det hele tatt var noe før det.

Noen fysikere har også foreslått forskjellige multivers-teorier, som foreslår at det finnes flere andre universer.

Terry Pratchett described the conventional view of the creation of the universe like this: “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” The current mainstream view of cosmology is of an expanding universe that originated from the big bang, which is well-supported by evidence in the form of cosmic background radiation and the shift of distant light toward the red end of the spectrum, suggesting that the universe is steadily expanding.

However, not everyone is convinced. Over the years, various alternative and varying views of cosmology have been presented. Some are interesting speculations that remain sadly unverifiable with our current evidence or technology. Others are misguided flights of fantasy, rebelling against the insufferable way that the universe appears to defy human notions of common sense.

10 Alternatives To The Conventional Big Bang Theory

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Posted by Fredsvenn on February 14, 2017

Anonymous sitt bilde.

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Posted by Fredsvenn on February 14, 2017

Anonymous sitt bilde.

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The “veil of ignorance” in mythology

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 14, 2017

Tyr – Justice / Libra – and Hel – the “veil of ignorance” / Scorpio-Libra-Virgo

The “veil of ignorance” is a method of determining the morality of political issues proposed in 1971 by American philosopher John Rawls in his “original position” political philosophy.

The Libra / Scorpio

The first step towards liberation

The concept of the veil of ignorance has been in use by other names for centuries by philosophers such as John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant whose work discussed the concept of the social contract. John Harsanyi helped to formalize the concept in economics. The modern usage was developed by John Rawls in his 1971 book A Theory of Justice.

It is based upon the following thought experiment: people making political decisions imagine that they know nothing about the particular talents, abilities, tastes, social class, and positions they will have within a social order.

When such parties are selecting the principles for distribution of rights, positions, and resources in the society in which they will live, this “veil of ignorance” prevents them from knowing who will receive a given distribution of rights, positions, and resources in that society.

For example, for a proposed society in which 50% of the population is kept in slavery, it follows that on entering the new society there is a 50% likelihood that the participant would be a slave.

The idea is that parties subject to the veil of ignorance will make choices based upon moral considerations, since they will not be able to make choices based on their own self- or class-interest.

As Rawls put it, “no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status; nor does he know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence and strength, and the like.”

The idea of the thought experiment is to render obsolete those personal considerations that are morally irrelevant to the justice or injustice of principles meant to allocate the benefits of social cooperation.

The veil of ignorance is part of a long tradition of thinking in terms of a social contract that includes the writings of Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Jefferson.

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 *h₂ewsṓs- or *h₂ausōs-, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

The name *h₂ewsṓs is derived from a root *h₂wes / *au̯es “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Derivatives of *h₂ewsṓs in the historical mythologies of Indo-European peoples include Indian Uṣas, Greek Ēōs, Latin Aurōra, and Baltic Aušra (“dawn”, c.f. Lithuanian Aušrinė). Germanic *Austrōn- is from an extended stem *h₂ews-tro-.

Ēostre or Ostara (Old English: Ēastre [æːɑstre], Northumbrian dialect Ēostre [eːostre]; Old High German: *Ôstara (reconstructed form)) is a Germanic goddess who, by way of the Germanic month bearing her name (Northumbrian: Ēosturmōnaþ; West Saxon: Ēastermōnaþ; Old High German: Ôstarmânoth ), is the namesake of the festival of Easter in some languages.

Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *awso-. Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *h₂ewsṓs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wenos- (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir.

The name for “spring season”, *wes-r- is also from the same root. The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god (reflected in the Rigveda as Indra, in Greek mythology as Dionysus and Cronus).

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

Ushas, Sanskrit for “dawn”, is a Vedic deity, and consequently a Hindu deity as well. Sanskrit uṣas is an s-stem, i.e. the genitive case is uṣásas. It is from PIE *h₂ausos-, cognate to Greek Eos and Latin Aurora.

Ushas is an exalted goddess in the Rig Veda but less prominent in post-Rigvedic texts. She is often spoken of in the plural, “the Dawns.” She is portrayed as warding off evil spirits of the night, and as a beautifully adorned young woman riding in a golden chariot on her path across the sky. Due to her color she is often identified with the reddish cows, and both are released by Indra from the Vala cave at the beginning of time.

Vala (valá-), meaning “enclosure” in Vedic Sanskrit, is a demon of the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda, the brother of Vrtra. Historically, it has the same origin as the Vrtra story, being derived from the same root, and from the same root also as Varuna, *val-/var- (PIE *wel-) “to cover, to enclose” (perhaps cognate to veil).

Parallel to Vrtra “the blocker”, a stone serpent slain by Indra to liberate the rivers, Vala is a stone cave, split by Indra (intoxicated and strengthened by Soma, identified) to liberate the cows and Ushas, hidden there by the Panis.

In one recent Hindu interpretation, Sri Aurobindo in his Secret of the Veda, described Ushas as “the medium of the awakening, the activity and the growth of the other gods; she is the first condition of the Vedic realisation. By her increasing illumination the whole nature of man is clarified; through her [mankind] arrives at the Truth, through her he enjoys [Truth’s] beatitude.”

Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deities, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. From the Hurrian Pantheon, Ishara entered the Hittite pantheon and had her main shrine in Kizzuwatna.

She first appeared in Ebla and was incorporated to the Hurrian pantheon from which she found her way to the Hittite pantheon. The etymology of Ishara is unknown. Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath.

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

Her main epithet was belet rame, lady of love, which was also applied to Ishtar. In the Epic of Gilgamesh it says: ‘For Ishara the bed is made’ and in Atra-hasis she is called upon to bless the couple on the honeymoon.”

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).While she was considered to belong to the entourage of Ishtar, she was invoked to heal the sick (Lebrun).

As a goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers, in particular ascites (see Hittite military oath). In this context, she came to be seen as a “goddess of medicine” whose pity was invoked in case of illness. There was even a verb, isharis- “to be afflicted by the illness of Ishara”.

Ama-gi is a Sumerian word written ama-gi or ama-ar-gi. It has been translated as “freedom”, as well as “manumission”, “exemption from debts or obligations”, and “the restoration of persons and property to their original status” including the remission of debts. Other interpretations include a “reversion to a previous state” and release from debt, slavery, taxation or punishment.

The word originates from the noun ama “mother” (sometimes with the enclitic dative case marker ar), and the present participle gi “return, restore, put back”, thus literally meaning “returning to mother”.

Assyriologist Samuel Noah Kramer has identified it as the first known written reference to the concept of freedom. Referring to its literal meaning “return to the mother”, he wrote in 1963 that “we still do not know why this figure of speech came to be used for “freedom.””

The earliest known usage of the word was in the reforms of Urukagina. By the Third Dynasty of Ur, it was used as a legal term for the manumission of individuals. It is related to the Akkadian word anduraāru(m), meaning “freedom”, “exemption” and “release from (debt) slavery”.

Aya (Akkadian for “dawn”) 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.

By the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth. The Babylonians sometimes referred to her as kallatu (the bride), and as such she was known as the wife of Shamash.

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

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

The attribute most commonly associated with Shamash is justice. Just as the Sun disperses darkness, so Shamash brings wrong and injustice to light.

Hammurabi attributes to Shamash the inspiration that led him to gather the existing laws and legal procedures into code, and in the design accompanying the code the king represents himself in an attitude of adoration before Shamash as the embodiment of the idea of justice.

Several centuries before Hammurabi, Ur-Engur of the Ur dynasty (c. 2600 BC) declared that he rendered decisions “according to the just laws of Shamash.”

It was a logical consequence of this conception of the Sun-god that he was regarded also as the one who released the sufferer from the grasp of the demons.

The sick man, therefore, appeals to Shamash as the god who can be depended upon to help those who are suffering unjustly. This aspect of the Sun-god is vividly brought out in the hymns addressed to him, which are, therefore, among the finest productions in the entire realm of Babylonian literature.

Astraea or Astrea (“star-maiden”), in ancient Greek religion, was a daughter of Astraeus and Eos. She was the virgin goddess of innocence and purity and is always associated with the Greek goddess of justice, Dike (daughter of Zeus and Themis and the personification of just judgement).

Astraea, the celestial virgin, was the last of the immortals to live with humans during the Golden Age, one of the old Greek religion’s five deteriorating Ages of Man.

According to Ovid, Astraea abandoned the earth during the Iron Age. Fleeing from the new wickedness of humanity, she ascended to heaven to become the constellation Virgo.

The nearby constellation Libra reflected her symbolic association with Dike, who in Latin culture as Justitia is said to preside over the constellation. In the Tarot, the 8th card, Justice, with a figure of Justitia, can thus be considered related to the figure of Astraea on historical iconographic grounds.

According to legend, Astraea will one day come back to Earth, bringing with her the return of the utopian Golden Age of which she was the ambassador.

Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”), or alternatively as the Claws of the Scorpion. The scales were held sacred to the sun god Shamash, who was also the patron of truth and justice. It was also seen as the Scorpion’s Claws in ancient Greece.

Since these times, Libra has been associated with law, fairness and civility. In Arabic zubānā means “scorpion’s claws”, and likely similarly in other Semitic languages: this resemblance of words may be why the Scorpion’s claws became the Scales. It has also been suggested that the scales are an allusion to the fact that when the sun entered this part of the ecliptic at the autumnal equinox, the days and nights are equal.

Libra’s status as the location of the equinox earned the equinox the name “First Point of Libra”, though this location ceased to coincide with the constellation in 730 because of the precession of the equinoxes. It only became a constellation in ancient Rome, when it began to represent the scales held by Astraea, the goddess of justice, associated with Virgo.

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