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Enlil and Enki – Saturn and Janus – Capricorn

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 20, 2016

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

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

Before the discovery of Uranus, Saturn was regarded as the ruling planet of Aquarius alongside Capricorn of course, which is the preceding sign. Many traditional types of astrologers prefer Saturn as the planetary ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius.

Nergal was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia. He seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”.

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

Standard iconography pictured Nergal as a lion, and boundary-stone monuments symbolise him with a mace surmounted by the head of a lion. In Assyro-Babylonian ecclesiastical art the great lion-headed colossi serving as guardians to the temples and palaces seem to symbolise Nergal, just as the bull-headed colossi probably typify Ninurta.

Nergal’s fiery aspect appears in names or epithets such as Lugalgira, Lugal-banda (Nergal as the fighting-cock), Sharrapu (“the burner,” a reference to his manner of dealing with outdated teachings), Erra, Gibil (though this name more properly belongs to Nusku), and Sibitti or Seven. He has epithets such as the “raging king,” the “furious one,” and the like. A play upon his name—separated into three elements as Ne-uru-gal (lord of the great dwelling)—expresses his position at the head of the nether-world pantheon.

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

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

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

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

A certain confusion exists in cuneiform literature between Ninurta (slayer of Asag and wielder of Sharur, an enchanted mace) and Nergal. The worship of Nergal does not appear to have spread as widely as that of Ninurta, but in the late Babylonian and early Persian period, syncretism seems to have fused the two divinities, which were invoked together as if they were identical.

He is a son of Enlil and Ninlil, along with Nanna and Ninurta. Enlil (EN = Lord + LÍL = Wind, “Lord (of the) Storm”) is the god of breath, wind, loft and breadth (height and distance). Enlil was known as the inventor of the mattock (a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax or digging tool of the Sumerians) and helped plants to grow.

The Ekur was seen as a place of judgement and the place from which Enlil’s divine laws are issued. The ethics and moral values of the site are extolled in myths, which Samuel Noah Kramer suggested would have made it the most ethically-oriented in the entire ancient Near East. Its rituals are also described as: “banquets and feasts are celebrated from sunrise to sunset” with “festivals, overflowing with milk and cream, are alluring of plan and full of rejoicing”.

The priests of the Ekur festivities are described with en being the high priest, lagar as his associate, mues the leader of incantations and prayers, and guda the priest responsible for decoration. Sacrifices and food offerings were brought by the king, described as “faithful shepherd” or “noble farmer”.

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. In Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram, which was held in Colchis. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.

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

Like Ares who was the son of Zeus and Hera, Mars is usually considered to be the son of Jupiter and Juno. However, in a version of his birth given by Ovid, he was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mother’s function when he gave birth to Minerva directly from his forehead (or mind); to restore the balance, Juno sought the advice of the goddess Flora on how to do the same.

The consort of Mars was Nerio or Nerine, “Valor.” She represents the vital force (vis), power (potentia) and majesty (maiestas) of Mars. Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, “manly virtue” (from vir, “man”).

In the early 3rd century BC, the comic playwright Plautus has a reference to Mars greeting Nerio, his wife. A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Nerine were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23. In the later Roman Empire, Nerine came to be identified with Minerva.

Nerio probably originates as a divine personification of Mars’ power, as such abstractions in Latin are generally feminine. Her name appears with that of Mars in an archaic prayer invoking a series of abstract qualities, each paired with the name of a deity. The influence of Greek mythology and its anthropomorphic gods may have caused Roman writers to treat these pairs as “marriages.”

Jupiter, also Jove (gen. Iovis), is the god of sky and thunder and king of the gods in Ancient Roman religion and mythology. Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. In Roman mythology, he negotiates with Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, to establish principles of Roman religion such as offering, or sacrifice.

Jupiter is usually thought to have originated as a sky god. His identifying implement is the thunderbolt and his primary sacred animal is the eagle, which held precedence over other birds in the taking of auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army. The two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins.

As the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline Hill, where the citadel was located. He was the chief deity of the early Capitoline Triad with Mars and Quirinus. In the later Capitoline Triad, he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.

The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art, the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Jupiter was the brother of Neptune and Pluto. Each presided over one of the three realms of the universe: sky, the waters, and the underworld.

The Italic Diespiter was also a sky god who manifested himself in the daylight, usually but not always identified with Jupiter. Dyēus is believed to have been the chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylight sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih Méhter, “earth mother”.

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

Later figures etymologically connected with Dyeus are Zeus in Greek mythology, Jupiter and Dis Pater in Roman mythology, Dyauṣ Pitār in Historical Vedic religion, Dionysus, especially with the Thracians and Sabines. 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). Tuesday is in fact “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

The Latins considered Saturn the predecessor of Jupiter. Saturn reigned in Latium during a mythical Golden Age reenacted every year at the festival of Saturnalia. Saturn also retained primacy in matters of agriculture and money. Unlike the Greek tradition of Cronus and Zeus, the usurpation of Saturn as king of the gods by Jupiter was not viewed by the Latins as violent or hostile; Saturn continued to be revered in his temple at the foot of the Capitol Hill, which maintained the alternative name Saturnius into the time of Varro.

A. Pasqualini has argued that Saturn was related to Iuppiter Latiaris, the old Jupiter of the Latins, as the original figure of this Jupiter was superseded on the Alban Mount, whereas it preserved its gruesome character in the ceremony held at the sanctuary of the Latiar Hill in Rome which involved a human sacrifice and the aspersion of the statue of the god with the blood of the victim.

In Greek mythology, Cronus was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of Uranus, the sky, and Gaia, the earth. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus. He was usually depicted with a harpe, scythe or a sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father.

In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, the first month of the Attic calendar and roughly equivalent to the latter part of July and first part of August, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius and is exalted in Libra. The Roman soil preserved the remembrance of a very remote time during which Saturn and Janus reigned on the site of the city before its foundation: the Capitol was named mons Saturnius. Accius describes the Kronia in order to explain its perceived influence on the Roman Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival in honour of deity Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar.

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

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

January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first month to have the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year’s Day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa.

Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months totaling 304 days, winter being considered a month-less period. Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, so that the calendar covered a standard lunar year (354 days).

Although March was originally the first month in the old Roman calendar, January became the first month of the calendar year either under Numa or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers differ). In contrast, each specific calendar year was identified by the names of the two consuls, who entered office on May 1[citation needed] or March 15 until 153 BC, from when they entered office on January 1.

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

Anu (in Akkadian; Sumerian: An, from 𒀭An “sky, heaven”) is the earliest attested Sky Father deity. In the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria, Anu, Enlil, and Ea became the three zones of the ecliptic, the northern, middle and southern zone respectively.

Enki was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). Beginning around the second millennium BCE, he was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for “40,” occasionally referred to as his “sacred number.” He was associated with the planet Mercury in the Sumerian astrological system.

In Old Babylonian astronomy, Ea was the ruler of the southernmost quarter of the Sun’s path, the “Way of Ea”, corresponding to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice. His symbols included a goat and a fish, which later combined into a single beast, the goat Capricorn, recognised as the Zodiacal constellation Capricornus.

He was accompanied by an attendant Isimud (also Isinu; Usmû; Usumu (Akkadian)) , a minor god, the messenger of the god, Enki. In ancient Sumerian artwork, Isimud is easily identifiable due to the fact that he is always depicted with two faces facing in opposite directions in a way that is similar to the ancient Roman god, Janus.

Capricorn is the tenth astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Capricornus. It spans the 270–300th degree of the zodiac, corresponding to celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this area from December 22 to January 19 each year, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits the constellation of Capricorn from approximately January 16 to February 16.

In astrology, Capricorn is considered an earth sign, negative sign, and one of the four cardinal signs. Capricorn is said to be ruled by the planet Saturn. Its symbol is based on the Sumerians’ primordial god of wisdom and waters, Enki[4] with the head and upper body of a mountain goat, and the lower body and tail of a fish.

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What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 17, 2016

First we created the gods / goddesses, then we organized them into the Zodiac or a God, Jesus and his 12 prophets – But wasn’t the first ones grounded on the Zodiac in the first place? At least some of them are. Buyt there also exists deities that has no sign in the Zodiac or a constellation, but rather symbolize other nature phenomenons.  

Zodiac

The Origins of Astrology

Origins of Star Wisdom

Gemini and Janus – The god of Chaos and Time

The Zodiac

The zodiac is the circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude employed by western astrology and (formerly) astronomy. The western zodiac is centered upon the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year.

The paths of the Moon and visible planets also remain close to the ecliptic, within the belt of the zodiac, which extends 8-9° north or south of the ecliptic, as measured in celestial latitude. Because the divisions are regular, they do not correspond exactly to the boundaries of the twelve constellations after which they are named.

Historically, these twelve divisions are called signs. Essentially, the zodiac is a celestial coordinate system, or more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude, and the position of the Sun at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude.

The English word zodiac derives from zōdiacus, the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek zōidiakòs kýklos, meaning “circle of little animals”. Zōidion is the diminutive of zōion (“animal”). The name reflects the prominence of animals (and mythological hybrids) among the twelve signs.

The zodiac was in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period (mid-1st millennium BC), which, in turn, derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the ecliptic. The construction of the zodiac is described in Ptolemy’s vast 2nd century AD work, the Almagest.

Although the zodiac remains the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system in use in astronomy besides the equatorial one, the term and the names of the twelve signs are today mostly associated with horoscopic astrology.

The term “zodiac” may also refer to the region of the celestial sphere encompassing the paths of the planets corresponding to the band of about eight arc degrees above and below the ecliptic. The zodiac of a given planet is the band that contains the path of that particular body; e.g., the “zodiac of the Moon” is the band of five degrees above and below the ecliptic. By extension, the “zodiac of the comets” may refer to the band encompassing most short-period comets.

The division of the ecliptic into the zodiacal signs originates in Babylonian (“Chaldean”) astronomy during the first half of the 1st millennium BC. The zodiac draws on stars in earlier Babylonian star catalogues, such as the MUL.APIN catalogue, which was compiled around 1000 BC. Some of the constellations can be traced even further back, to Bronze Age (Old Babylonian) sources, including Gemini “The Twins”, from MAŠ.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL “The Great Twins”, and Cancer “The Crab”, from AL.LUL “The Crayfish”, among others.

Around the end of the 5th century BC, Babylonian astronomers divided the ecliptic into twelve equal “signs”, by analogy to twelve schematic months of thirty days each. Each sign contained thirty degrees of celestial longitude, thus creating the first known celestial coordinate system.

Unlike modern astronomers, who place the beginning or the sign of Aries at the place of the Sun at the vernal equinox; Babylonian astronomers fixed the zodiac in relation to stars, placing the beginning of Cancer at the “Rear Twin Star” (β Geminorum) and the beginning of Aquarius at the “Rear Star of the Goat-Fish” (δ Capricorni).

Because the division was made into equal arcs, 30° each, they constituted an ideal system of reference for making predictions about a planet’s longitude. However, Babylonian techniques of observational measurements were in a rudimentary stage of evolution and they measured the position of a planet in reference to a set of “normal stars” close to the ecliptic (±9° of latitude) as observational reference points to help positioning a planet within this ecliptic coordinate system.

In Babylonian astronomical diaries, a planet position was generally given with respect to a zodiacal sign alone, less often in specific degrees within a sign. When the degrees of longitude were given, they were expressed with reference to the 30° of the zodiacal sign, i.e., not with a reference to the continuous 360° ecliptic.

In astronomical ephemerides, the positions of significant astronomical phenomena were computed in sexagesimal fractions of a degree (equivalent to minutes and seconds of arc). For daily ephemerides, the daily positions of a planet were not as important as the astrologically significant dates when the planet crossed from one zodiacal sign to the next.

In Western astrology, astrological signs are the twelve 30° sectors of the ecliptic, starting at the vernal equinox (one of the intersections of the ecliptic with the celestial equator), also known as the First Point of Aries. The order of the astrological signs is Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

Empedocles, a fifth-century BC Greek philosopher, identified Fire, Earth, Air, and Water as elements. He explained the nature of the universe as an interaction of two opposing principles called love and strife manipulating the four elements, and stated that these four elements were all equal, of the same age, that each rules its own province, and each possesses its own individual character. Different mixtures of these elements produced the different natures of things.

Each sign is associated with one of the classical elements, and these can also be grouped according to polarity: Fire and Air signs are considered positive or extrovert, masculine signs; while Water and Earth signs are considered negative or introvert, feminine signs.

The four astrological elements are also considered as a direct equivalent to Hippocrates’ personality types (sanguine = air; choleric = fire; melancholic = water; phlegmatic = earth). A modern approach looks at elements as “the energy substance of experience” and the next table tries to summarize their description through keywords.

Each of the four elements manifests in three modalities: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. As each modality comprehends four signs, these are also known as Quadruplicities. They are occasionally referred to as crosses because each modality forms a cross when drawn across the zodiac. Christian astrology relates the three qualities to the three aspects of God in the trinity.

Before the age of telescopes, the night sky was thought to consist of two very similar components: fixed stars, which remained motionless in relation to each other, and “wandering stars” (Ancient Greek: asteres planetai), which moved relative to the fixed stars over the course of the year.

To the earliest astronomers, this group comprised the five planets visible to the naked eye, and excluded the Earth. Although strictly the term “planet” applied only to those five objects, the term was latterly broadened, particularly in the Middle Ages, to include the Sun and the Moon (sometimes referred to as “Lights”), making a total of seven planets. Astrologers retain this definition today.

The planets represented the will of the gods and their direct influence upon human affairs. To modern astrologers the planets represent basic drives or urges in the unconscious, or energy flow regulators representing dimensions of experience. They express themselves with different qualities in the twelve signs of the zodiac and in the twelve houses. The planets are also related to each other in the form of aspects.

Modern astrologers differ on the source of the planets’ influence. Hone writes that the planets exert it directly through gravitation or another, unknown influence. Others hold that the planets have no direct influence in themselves, but are mirrors of basic organizing principles in the universe.

In other words, the basic patterns of the universe repeat themselves everywhere, in fractal-like fashion, and “as above, so below”. Therefore, the patterns that the planets make in the sky reflect the ebb and flow of basic human impulses. The planets are also associated, especially in the Chinese tradition, with the basic forces of nature.

Rulership is the connection between planet and correlated sign and house. In traditional Western astrology, each sign is ruled by one and only one of the seven visible planets (note that in astrology, the Sun and Moon are termed The Lights, while the other bodies are called planets, which literally means wanderers, i.e. wandering stars as opposed to the fixed stars).

The traditional rulerships are as follows: Aries (Mars), Taurus (Venus), Gemini (Mercury), Cancer (Moon), Leo (Sun), Virgo (Mercury), Libra (Venus), Scorpio (Mars), Sagittarius (Jupiter), Capricorn (Saturn), Aquarius (Uranus), Pisces (Neptune).

A traditional belief of astrology, known as essential dignity, is the idea that the Sun, Moon and planets are more powerful and effective in some signs than others, because the basic nature of both is held to be in harmony. By contrast, they are held to find some signs to be weak or difficult to operate in because their natures are thought to be in conflict. The most important of these categories are Dignity, Detriment, Exaltation and Fall.

The planets in Hindu astrology are known as the Navagraha or “nine realms”. In Chinese astrology, the planets are associated with the life forces of yin and yang and the five elements, which play an important role in the Chinese form of geomancy known as Feng Shui. Astrologers differ on the signs associated with each planet’s exaltation.

The father and mother of the deities

It is thought that female deities are older than male ones in Mesopotamia mythology. In Sumerian mythology, Nammu (also Namma, spelled ideographically NAMMA = ENGUR), a female principle of a watery creative force, with equally strong connections to the underworld, was a primeval goddess.

She was the Goddess Sea (Engur) that gave birth to An (heaven) and Ki (earth) and the first gods, representing the Apsu, the fresh water ocean that the Sumerians believed lay beneath the earth, the source of life-giving water and fertility in a country with almost no rainfall.

Nammu is the goddess who “has given birth to the great gods”. It is she who has the idea of creating mankind, and she goes to wake up Enki, who is asleep in the Apsu, so that he may set the process going. According to the Neo-Sumerian mythological text Enki and Ninmah, Enki is the son of An and Nammu, who is not well attested in Sumerian mythology. She may have been of greater importance prehistorically, before Enki took over most of her functions.

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

Nammu corresponds to Tiamat, a primordial goddess of the ocean, mating with Abzû (the god of fresh water) to produce younger gods, in Babylonian mythology. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation. Depicted as a woman she represents the beauty of the feminine, depicted as the glistening one. Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon.

Tiamat was the “shining” personification of salt water who roared and smote in the chaos of original creation. She and Apsu filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters. She is “Ummu-Hubur who formed all things”.

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.

The Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, is named for its incipit: “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 “mixing their waters”.

In Enûma Elish she gives birth to the first generation of deities; her husband, Apsu, correctly assuming they are planning to kill him and usurp his throne, later makes war upon them and is killed.

The deity Enki (later Ea) believed correctly that Apsu was planning to murder the younger deities, upset with the chaos they created, and so captured him and held him prisoner beneath his temple the E-Abzu. This angered Kingu, their son, who reported the event to Tiamat, whereupon she fashioned eleven monsters to battle the deities in order to avenge Apsu’s death.

Enraged, she, too, wars upon her husband’s murderers, taking on the form of a massive sea dragon, she is then slain by Enki’s son, the storm-god Marduk, but not before she had brought forth the monsters of the Mesopotamian pantheon, including the first dragons, whose bodies she filled with “poison instead of blood”. Marduk then forms heavens and the earth from her divided body.

Tiamat possessed the Tablet of Destinies and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, the deity she had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host, and who was also one of her children. The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as “king of the gods”, overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

Slicing Tiamat in half, he made from her ribs the vault of heaven and earth. Her weeping eyes became the source of the Tigris and the Euphrates, her tail became the Milky Way. With the approval of the elder deities, he took from Kingu the Tablet of Destinies, installing himself as the head of the Babylonian pantheon. Kingu was captured and later was slain: his red blood mixed with the red clay of the Earth would make the body of humankind, created to act as the servant of the younger Igigi deities.

The Tiamat myth is one of the earliest recorded versions of the Chaoskampf, the battle between a culture hero and a chthonic or aquatic monster, serpent or dragon. Chaoskampf motifs in other mythologies linked directly or indirectly to the Tiamat myth include the Hittite Illuyanka myth, and in Greek tradition Apollo’s killing of the Python as a necessary action to take over the Delphic Oracle.

The principal theme of the epic is the justified elevation of Marduk to command over all the deities. Robert Graves considered Tiamat’s death by Marduk as evidence for his hypothesis of an ancient shift in power from a matriarchal society to a patriarchy. Grave’s ideas were later developed into the Great Goddess theory by Marija Gimbutas, Merlin Stone and others.

The theory suggests Tiamat and other ancient monster figures were presented as former supreme deities of peaceful, woman-centered religions that were turned into monsters when violent. Their defeat at the hands of a male hero corresponded to the manner in which male-dominated religions overthrew ancient society. This theory is rejected by academia and modern authors such as Lotte Motz, Cynthia Eller and others.

Anu (in Akkadian; 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. His attendant and vizier was the god Ilabrat.

Laḫmu and Lahamu

The lamassu (Cuneiform: AN.KAL; Sumerian: dlammař; Akkadian: lamassu; sometimes called a lamassus) is a celestial being from ancient Mesopotamian religion bearing a human head, a body of an ox, sometimes with the horns and the ears of a bull, or a lion, and bird’s wings.

Laḫmu (also Lakhmu, Lache, and Lumasi) and Lahamu (Assyro-Akkadian Lammasu) are the first-born children of Abzu and Tiamat. They are the parents of Anshar and Kishar, the sky father and earth mother, who birthed the gods of the Mesopotamian Pantheon, and are also depicted as monsters, which each encompasses a specific constellation.

Lahamu is sometimes seen as a serpent, and sometimes as a woman with a red sash and six curls on her head. Laḫmu is depicted as a bearded man with a red sash-usually with three strands- and four to six curls on his head. He is often associated with the Kusarikku or “Bull-Man.”

In Sumerian times their names may have meant “the muddy ones”. It is suggested that the pair were represented by the silt of the sea-bed, but more accurately are known to be the representations of the zodiac, parent-stars, or constellations.

In some writings, it is portrayed to represent a female deity. A less frequently used name is shedu (Cuneiform: AN.KAL×BAD; Sumerian: dalad; Akkadian, šēdu;) which refers to the male counterpart of a lamassu. The Lammasu or Lumasi represent the zodiacs, parent-stars or constellations.

It appears frequently in Mesopotamian art. The lamassu and shedu were household protective spirits of the common Babylonian people, becoming associated later as royal protectors, were placed as sentinels at the entrances. Large lamassu figures up to nearly 5 metres high are spectacular showpieces in Assyrian sculpture, where they are the largest figures known to have been made.

In art, lamassu were depicted as hybrids, either winged bulls or lions with the head of a human male. In Assyro-Babylonian ecclesiastical art the great lion-headed colossi serving as guardians to the temples and palaces seem to symbolise Nergal, just as the bull-headed colossi probably typify Ninurta.

They were often placed as a pair at the entrance of palaces. At the entrance of cities, they were sculpted in colossal size, and placed as a pair, one at each side of the door of the city, that generally had doors in the surrounding wall, each one looking towards one of the cardinal points.

In astrology, cardinal signs (also called by older astrologers a moveable sign) are associated with being active, self-motivated, ambitious and having dynamic qualities that initiate a change. They can be bossy, opinionated, inconsiderate and domineering.

The word “cardinal” originates from the Latin word for “hinge,” since they each mark the turning point of a temperate season. They were called moveable by traditional astrologers because, as Bonatti says, the “air” changes when the Sun enters each of these signs, bringing a change of season.

Sometimes the word cardinal is confused with the word angular. Angular signs are those signs which are located on the astrological angles of any given natal chart. Angular houses may be cardinal, fixed or mutable, depending on the birth time of the chart, but only Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn are cardinal signs. Their starts are related to equinoxes and solstices.

The Sun pass through Aries in the spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere, Cancer in the summer in the northern hemisphere, and winter in the southern hemisphere, Libra in the autumn in the northern hemisphere, and spring in the southern hemisphere, and Capricorn in the winter in the northern hemisphere, and summer in the southern hemisphere.

The ancient Jewish people were influenced by the iconography of Assyrian culture. The prophet Ezekiel wrote about a fantastic being made up of aspects of a human being, a lion, an eagle and a bull. Later, in the early Christian period, the four Gospels were ascribed to each of these components. When it was depicted in art, this image was called the Tetramorph.

Ishum and Papsukkal

The Akkadians associated the god Papsukkal, the messenger and gatekeeper god in the Akkadian pantheon, with lamassu and the god Išum with shedu. Ishum is a minor god in Akkadian mythology, the brother of Shamash and an attendant of Erra. He may have been a god of fire and, according to texts, led the gods in war as a herald but was nonetheless generally regarded as benevolent.

Ishum is known particularly from the Babylonian legend of Erra and Ishum. He developed from the Sumerian figure of Endursaga, the herald god in the Sumerian mythology. He leads the pantheon, particularly in times of conflict. In Akkadian times he becomes Ishum.

Erra (sometimes called Irra) is an Akkadian plague god known from an ‘epos’ of the eighth century BCE. Erra is the god of mayhem and pestilence who is responsible for periods of political confusion. In the epic that is given the modern title Erra, the writer Kabti-ilani-Marduk, a descendant, he says, of Dabibi, presents himself in a colophon following the text as simply the transcriber of a visionary dream in which Erra himself revealed the text.

The poem opens with an invocation. The god Erra is sleeping fitfully with his consort identified with Mamītum but is roused by his advisor Išum and the Seven (Sibitti or Sebetti), who are the sons of heaven and earth “champions without peer” is the repeated formula and are each assigned a destructive destiny by Anu.

The Sibitti call on Erra to lead the destruction of mankind. Išum tries to mollify Erra’s wakened violence, to no avail. Foreign peoples invade Babylonia, but are struck down by plague. Even Marduk, the patron of Babylon, relinquishes his throne to Erra for a time. Tablets II and III are occupied with a debate between Erra and Išum.

Erra goes to battle in Babylon, Sippar, Uruk, Dūr-Kurigalzu and Dēr. The world is turned upside down: righteous and unrighteous are killed alike. Erra orders Išum to complete the work by defeating Babylon’s enemies. Then the god withdraws to his own seat in Emeslam with the terrifying Seven, and mankind is saved. A propitiatory prayer ends the work.

The poem must have been central to Babylonian culture: at least thirty-six copies have been recovered from five first-millennium sites—Assur, Babylon, Nineveh, Sultantepe and Ur—more, even, as the assyriologist and historian of religions Luigi Giovanni Cagni points out, than have been recovered of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The text appears to some readers to be a mythologisation of historic turmoil in Mesopotamia, though scholars disagree as to the historic events that inspired the poem: the poet exclaims (tablet IV:3) “You changed out of your divinity and made yourself like a man.”

Papsukkal is identified in late Akkadian texts and is known chiefly from the Hellenistic period. His consort is Amasagnul, an Akkadian fertility goddess. He becomes syncretised from Ninshubur. He is the regent of the 10th month in the Babylonian calendar.

Ninshubur was the sukkal or second-in-command of the goddess Inanna in Sumerian mythology. A goddess in her own right, her name can be translated as ‘Queen of the East’, and she was said to be a messenger and traveller for the other gods.

As Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, Ninshubur was said to be associated with Mercury, as Venus and Mercury appear together in the sky. Ninshubur accompanied Inanna as a vassal and friend throughout Inanna’s many exploits. She helped Inanna fight Enki’s demons after Inanna’s theft of the sacred me. Later, when Inanna became trapped in the Underworld, it was Ninshubur who pleaded with Enki for her mistress’s release.

Though described as an unmarried virgin, in a few accounts Ninshubur is said to be one of Inanna’s lovers. In later Akkadian mythology, Ninshubur was male. In “A hymn to Nergal” Ninshubur appeared as the minister of the underworld. Due to similarities between the two, some believe the later Hermes to have been based in part on Ninshubur.

The feminine and masculine

– Tyr and Hel – Balder and Nanna

In Hittite, the Sumerian form dLAMMA is used both as a name for the so-called “tutelary deity”, identified in certain later texts with Inara, in Hittite–Hurrian mythology the goddess of the wild animals of the steppe and daughter of the Storm-god Teshub/Tarhunt, and a title given to similar protective gods.

The meaning of Tauropolos denotes an Asiatic goddess with lunar attributes, lady of the herds. The only possible interpretatio graeca of high antiquity concerning Diana Nemorensis could have been the one based upon this ancient aspect of deity of light, master of wildlife. Tauropolos is an ancient epithet attached to Hecate, Artemis and even Athena.

Inara corresponds to the “potnia theron” of Greek mythology, better known as Artemis, one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Inara’s mother is probably Hebat and her brother is Sarruma. Artemis Tauropolos, in ancient Greece, was an epithet for the goddess Artemis, variously interpreted as worshipped at Tauris, or pulled by a yoke of bulls, or hunting bull goddess.

Šarruma is an originally Hurrian god who was adopted into the Hittite pantheon. His name means “king of the mountains”. He is a son of the weather-god Teshub and the goddess Hebat and brother of the goddess Inara. He is often depicted riding a tiger or panther and carrying an axe (cf. labrys). His wife is the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka.

Hatepuna, also known as Hatepinu, is a Hattian goddess. Her Name originates in Hattic ha, “sea”, and puna, “Child”. She is the daughter of the sea god and becomes the wife of Telipinu (Cuneiform: dTe(-e)-li-pí-nu(-ú), Hattic: Talipinu or Talapinu, “Exalted Son”) because of the rescue of Istanu. Tarhun and the sea god agree under the meditation of Hannahannah to a bride price.

Telipinu, who like Sharuma is connected with gods like Dionysus, Tammuz and Jesus, 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.

Some scholars believe that the name of Artemis, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: “Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals”. The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter. In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo.

She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology. In Greek mythology, he is presented as a son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, thus semi-divine or heroic: and as son of Zeus and Persephone or Demeter, thus both fully divine, part-chthonic and possibly identical with Iacchus of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Diana / Dione

The Roman equivalent of Artemis and Inara is Diana. Diana was born with her twin brother, Apollo, on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. She made up a triad with two other Roman deities: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.

Diana was one of the triple goddess, the same goddess being called Luna in heaven, Diana on earth, and Proserpina in hell. Michael Drayton praises the Triple Diana in poem The Man in the Moone (1606): “So these great three most powerful of the rest, Phoebe, Diana, Hecate, do tell. Her sovereignty in Heaven, in Earth and Hell”.

Though some Roman patrons ordered marble replicas of the specifically Anatolian “Diana” of Ephesus, where the Temple of Artemis stood, Diana was usually depicted for educated Romans in her Greek guise. If she is accompanied by a deer, as in the Diana of Versailles (illustration, above right) this is because Diana was the patroness of hunting.

Dione is the name of four women in ancient Greek mythology, and one in the Phoenician mythology of Sanchuniathon. Dione is translated as “Goddess”, and given the same etymological derivation as the names Zeus, Diana, et al.

Very little information exists about these nymphs or goddesses, although at least one is described as beautiful and is sometimes associated with water or the sea. Perhaps this same one was worshiped as a mother goddess who presided over the oracle at Dodona, Greece and was called the mother of Aphrodite. 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.

A Dione is among the Titanides or Titanesses. She is called a daughter of Okeanos and Tethys, hence an Oceanid, a water-nymph. She is otherwise called a daughter of Gaia; according to worshippers of Orpheus her father is the sky-god Uranus, while others identify her father as Aether. She and Zeus are called the parents of Aphrodite by some ancient sources. Hesiod listed Dione among the wives of Zeus who were daughters of Tethys and Okeanos; she is described as beautiful in the “sacred books of Orpheus”. She was one of the goddesses assembled to witness the birth of Apollo.

The Greek goddess of love sometimes takes the name Dione: this may identify her with Aphrodite, though Homer calls Dione the mother of Aphrodite. Károly Kerényi notes in this context that the name Dione resembles the Latin name Diana, and is a feminine form of the name Zeus (cf Latin deus, god), hence meaning “goddess of the bright sky”. This association does not prevent her, however, from being worshipped along with Zeus as a deity of springs, making her a water-goddess.

Janus and Diana

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

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

Janus had no flamen or specialised priest (sacerdos) assigned to him, but the King of the Sacred Rites (rex sacrorum) himself carried out his ceremonies. Janus had a ubiquitous presence in religious ceremonies throughout the year, and was ritually invoked at the beginning of each one, regardless of the main deity honored on any particular occasion.

Three etymologies were proposed by ancient erudites, each of them bearing implications about the nature of the god. The first one is based on the definition of Chaos given by Paul the Deacon: hiantem, hiare, be open, from which word Ianus would derive by loss of the initial aspirate. In this etymology the notion of Chaos would define the primordial nature of the god.

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

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

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

While the fundamental nature of Janus is debated, in most modern scholars’ view the god’s functions may be seen as being organized around a single principle: presiding over all beginnings and transitions, whether abstract or concrete, sacred or profane.

Interpretations concerning the god’s fundamental nature either limit it to this general function or emphasize a concrete or particular aspect of it (identifying him with light the sun, the moon, time, movement, the year, doorways, bridges etc.) or else see in the god a sort of cosmological principle, interpreting him as a uranic deity.

Almost all of these modern explanations were originally formulated by the ancients. Numa in his regulation of the Roman calendar called the first month Januarius after Janus, according to tradition considered the highest divinity at the time.

Isismud

Isimud (also Isinu; Usmû; Usumu (Akkadian)) is a minor god, the messenger of the god, Enki, in Sumerian mythology. In ancient Sumerian artwork, Isimud is easily identifiable due to the fact that he is always depicted with two faces facing in opposite directions in a way that is similar to the ancient Roman god, Janus.

Gemini

Gemini is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for “twins,” and it is associated with the twins Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology. Gemini is the third astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Gemini. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this sign between May 21 and June 21. Gemini is represented by The Twins Castor and Pollux. The symbol of the twins is based on the Dioscuri, two mortals that were granted shared godhood after death.

Gemini represents duality, as having two faces. One of the other symbols for Gemini is the face of Janus which is literally “two faced.” In ancient Rome, the main Temple of Janus stood in the Roman Forum near the Argiletum. It had doors on both ends, and inside was a statue of Janus, the two-faced god of boundaries. The Temple doors (the “Gates of Janus”) were closed in times of peace and opened in times of war.

Since movement and change are interconnected, Janus has a double nature, symbolised in his two headed image. He has under his tutelage the stepping in and out of the door of homes, the ianua, which took its name from him, and not vice versa. Similarly, his tutelage extends to the covered passages named iani and foremost to the gates of the city, including the cultic gate of the Argiletum, named Ianus Geminus or Porta Ianualis from which he protects Rome against the Sabines.

In one of his temples, probably that of Forum Holitorium, the hands of his statue were positioned to signify the number 355 (the number of days in a year), later 365, symbolically expressing his mastership over time. He presides over the concrete and abstract beginnings of the world, such as religion and the gods themselves, he too holds the access to Heaven and to other gods: this is the reason why men must invoke him first, regardless of the god they want to pray or placate

In Greek mythology, Gemini was associated with the myth of Castor and Pollux, the children of Leda and Argonauts both. Pollux was the son of Zeus, who seduced Leda, while Castor was the son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta and Leda’s husband. Castor and Pollux were also mythologically associated with St. Elmo’s fire in their role as the protectors of sailors. When Castor died, because he was mortal, Pollux begged his father Zeus to give Castor immortality, and he did, by uniting them together in the heavens.

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

Peace and war

According to Livy 1.19 the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, decided to distract the early, warlike Romans from their violent ways by instilling in them awe and reverence. His projects included promoting religion, certain priesthoods, and the building of temples as a distraction with the beneficial effect of imbuing spirituality. The Temple of Janus was Numa’s most famous temple project. During Numa’s reign, the Gates of the Temple of Janus were closed and Rome remained at peace.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, who is often treated with contempt and revulsion in Greek literature. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.

Mars’ altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although the center of Mars’ worship was originally located outside the sacred boundary of Rome (pomerium), Augustus made the god a renewed focus of Roman religion by establishing the Temple of Mars Ultor in his new forum.

Archaic Triad

Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman people had no Greek equivalent. Mars is invoked as Grabovius in the Iguvine Tablets, bronze tablets written in Umbrian that record ritual protocols for carrying out public ceremonies on behalf of the city and community of Iguvium. The same title is given to Jupiter and to the Umbrian deity Vofionus. This triad has been compared to the Archaic Triad, with Vofionus equivalent to Quirinus.

It has also been argued that Vofionus corresponds to Janus, because an entry in Sextus Pompeius Festus (204, edition of Lindsay) indicates there was a Roman triad of Jupiter, Mars, and Janus, each having quirinus as a title

In Roman mythology and religion, Quirinus (Latin: Quirīnus) is an early god of the Roman state. In Augustan Rome, Quirinus was also an epithet of Janus, as Janus Quirinus. His name may be derived from the Sabine word quiris “spear.” Quirinus is probably an adjective meaning “wielder of the spear”.

Mars Quirinus was the protector of the Quirites (“citizens” or “civilians”) as divided into curiae (citizen assemblies), whose oaths were required to make a treaty. As a guarantor of treaties, Mars Quirinus is thus a god of peace: “When he rampages, Mars is called Gradivus, but when he’s at peace Quirinus.”

The deified Romulus was identified with Mars Quirinus. In the Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus, however, Mars and Quirinus were two separate deities, though not perhaps in origin. Each of the three had his own flamen (specialized priest), but the functions of the Flamen Martialis and Flamen Quirinalis are hard to distinguish.

Gradivus was one of the gods by whom a general or soldiers might swear an oath to be valorous in battle. His cult title is most often taken to mean “the Strider” or “the Marching God,” from gradus, “step, march.” A source from Late Antiquity says that the wife of Gradivus was Nereia, the daughter of Nereus, and that he loved her passionately.

Solstice

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction.

A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year (around June 21 and December 21) as the Sun reaches its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. The seasons of the year are directly connected to both the solstices and the equinoxes.

The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the day when this occurs. The day of the solstice has either the most sunlight of the year (summer solstice) or the least sunlight of the year (winter solstice) for any place other than the equator. Alternative terms, with no ambiguity as to which hemisphere is the context, are June solstice and December solstice, referring to the months of year in which they take place.

At latitudes outside the tropics, the summer solstice marks the day when the sun appears highest in the sky. Within the tropics, the sun appears directly overhead (called the subsolar point) from days to months before the solstice and again after the solstice, which means the subsolar point occurs twice each year.

The northern solstice passed from Leo into Cancer in year −1458, passed into Gemini in year −10, passed into Taurus in December 1989, and is expected to pass into Aries in year 4609. The southern solstice passed from Capricornus into Sagittarius in year −130, is expected to pass into Ophiuchus in year 2269, and is expected to pass into Scorpius in year 3597.

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

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

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

The foundation

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 Roman soil preserved the remembrance of a very remote time during which Saturn and Janus reigned on the site of the city before its foundation: the Capitol was named mons Saturnius.

It was customary for the Romans to represent divine figures as kings of Latium at the time of their legendary origins. Macrobius states explicitly that the Roman legend of Janus and Saturn is an affabulation, as the true meaning of religious beliefs cannot be openly expressed. He was considered the ancestor of the Latin nation as he fathered Picus, the first king of Latium, who married Janus’ daughter Canens and in his turn fathered Faunus.

Saturn was also said to have founded the five Saturnian towns of Latium: Aletrium (today Alatri), Anagnia (Anagni), Arpinum (Arpino), Atina and Ferentinum (Ferentino, also known as Antinum) all located in present-day Ciociaria, province of Frosinone. All these towns are surrounded by cyclopical walls; their foundation is traditionally ascribed to the Pelasgians.

In the myth Saturn was the original and autochthonous ruler of the Capitolium, which had thus been called the Mons Saturnius in older times and on which once stood the town of Saturnia. He was sometimes regarded as the first king of Latium or even the whole of Italy. At the same time, there was a tradition that Saturn had been an immigrant god, received by Janus after he was usurped by his son Jupiter and expelled from Greece.

The Golden Age of Saturn’s reign in Roman mythology differed from the Greek tradition. He arrived in Italy “dethroned and fugitive,” but brought agriculture and civilization for which things was rewarded by Janus with a share of the kingdom, becoming he himself king. As the Augustan poet Virgil described it, “He gathered together the unruly race” of fauns and nymphs “scattered over mountain heights, and gave them laws … . Under his reign were the golden ages men tell of: in such perfect peace he ruled the nations.”

In Versnel’s view his contradictions—a foreigner with one of Rome’s oldest sanctuaries, and a god of liberation who is kept in fetters most of the year—indicate Saturn’s capacity for obliterating social distinctions.

Saturn is associated with a major religious festival in the Roman calendar, Saturnalia. Saturnalia celebrated the harvest and sowing, and ran from December 17–23. During Saturnalia, the social restrictions of Rome were relaxed. The figure of Saturn, kept during the year with its legs bound in wool, was released from its bindings for the period of the festival.

The revelries of Saturnalia were supposed to reflect the conditions of the lost “Golden Age” before the rule of Saturn was overthrown, not all of them desirable except as a temporary release from civilized constraint. The Greek equivalent was the Kronia.

Macrobius (5th century AD) presents an interpretation of the Saturnalia as a festival of light leading to the winter solstice. The renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the later Roman Empire at the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus, the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun,” on December 25.

But Saturn also had a less benevolent aspect, as indicated by the blood shed in his honor during gladiatorial munera. His consort in archaic Roman tradition was Lua, sometimes called Lua Saturni (“Saturn’s Lua”) and identified with Lua Mater, “Mother Destruction,” a goddess in whose honor the weapons of enemies killed in war were burned, perhaps as expiation. H.S. Versnel, however, proposed that Lua Saturni should not be identified with Lua Mater, but rather refers to “loosening”; she thus represents the liberating function of Saturn.

Anshar and Kishar

In the Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish, Anshar (also spelled Anshur), which means “whole heaven”, is a primordial god. His consort is Kishar which means “Whole Earth”. They were the children of Lahamu and Lahmu and the grandchildren of Tiamat and Apsû. They, in turn, are the parents of Anu, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods, spirits and demons.

If this name /Anšar/ is derived from */Anśar/, then it may be related to the Egyptian hieroglyphic /NṬR/ (“god”), since hieroglyphic Egyptian /Ṭ/ may be etymological */Ś/.

An and Ki

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

An 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.

In the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria, Anu, Enlil (Sky), and Enki (Earth) became the three zones of the ecliptic, the northern, middle and southern zone respectively. The purely theoretical character of Anu is thus still further emphasized, and in the annals and votive inscriptions as well as in the incantations and hymns, he is rarely introduced as an active force to whom a personal appeal can be made. His name becomes little more than a synonym for the heavens in general and even his title as king or father of the gods has little of the personal element in it.

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 (Nergal) and Dumuzi.

KI is the sign for “earth”. It is also read as GI, GUNNI (=KI.NE) “hearth”, KARAŠ (=KI.KAL.BAD) “encampment, army”, KISLAḪ (=KI.UD) “threshing floor” or steath, and SUR (=KI.GAG). In Akkadian orthography, it functions as a determiner for toponyms and has the syllabic values gi, ge, qi, and qe.

As an earth goddess in Sumerian mythology, Ki was the chief consort of An, the sky god. In some legends Ki and An were brother and sister, being the offspring of Anshar (“Sky Pivot”) and Kishar (“Earth Pivot”), earlier personifications of heaven and earth.

By her consort Anu, Ki gave birth to the Anunnaki, the most prominent of these deities being Enlil, god of the air. According to legends, heaven and earth were once inseparable until Enlil was born; Enlil cleaved heaven and earth in two. An carried away heaven. Ki, in company with Enlil, took the earth.

Some authorities question whether Ki was regarded as a deity since there is no evidence of a cult and the name appears only in a limited number of Sumerian creation texts. Samuel Noah Kramer identifies Ki with the Sumerian mother goddess Ninhursag and claims that they were originally the same figure.

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, the consoert of Enlil, 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”, who is the consort of Enki.

Ki later developed into the Babylonian and Akkadian goddess Antu, consort of the god Anu (from Sumerian An). She was the first consort of Anu, and the pair were the parents of the Anunnaki and the Utukki. Antu was a dominant feature of the Babylonian akit festival until as recently as 200 BC, her later pre-eminence possibly attributable to identification with the Greek goddess Hera. Antu was replaced as consort by Ishtar or Inanna, who may also be a daughter of Anu and Antu.

Dyeus / Dis Pater and Earth Mother 

Dyēus (also *Dyēus Phter, 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.

Dīs Pater was a Roman god of the underworld, later subsumed by Pluto or Hades (Hades was Greek). Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, he was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

Cicero in his De Natura Deorum derives the name of Dīs Pater from dives, suggesting a meaning of “father of riches”, directly corresponding to the name Pluto (from Greek Πλούτων, Ploutōn, meaning “wealthy”). Alternatively, he may be a secondary reflex of the same god as Jupiter (Proto-Indo-European Dyeus Phter).

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. However, just as Pluto / Hades, both Mars and Apollo has been developed from Nergal.

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.

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).

In the Prose Edda, additional information is given about Fenrir, including that, due to the gods’ knowledge of prophecies foretelling great trouble from Fenrir and his rapid growth, the gods bound him, and as a result Fenrir bit off the right hand of the god Týr. However, Mannus was the son of Tuisto (Tyr) and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones. The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco are related to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”.

Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim. She may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali.

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The connections to the Underworld from Pisces to Aries (March) – the New Year celebrations

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 16, 2016

venus-star

Indias vagina goddess:

The Lingam (also linga, ling, Shiva linga, Shiv ling, meaning sign, symbol or mark) is an abstract or aniconic representation of the Hindu deity, Shiva, used for worship in temples, smaller shrines, or as self-manifested natural objects. In traditional Indian society, the linga is seen as a symbol of the energy and potential of Shiva himself.

The lingam is often represented alongside the yoni (Sanskrit word, literally “origin”, “uterus”, “vagina”, “vulva”, “abode”, “source” or “womb”), a symbol of the goddess or of Shakti, female creative energy. The union of linga and yoni represents the “indivisible two-in-oneness of male and female, the passive space and active time from which all life originates”.

It is often misunderstood as penis or phallus. If it was so, it would have been called shiva shishna. Shiva Linga means Shiva’s form or Shiva’s symbol. The original meaning of of linga is not penis. But this word was used to represent genitals when we say purusha linga or stree linga which means male form or male symbol and female form or female symbol respectively.

Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, which at that time was regarded as two stars, the “morning star” and the “evening star.” There are hymns to Inanna as her astral manifestation. It also is believed that in many myths about Inanna, including Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld and Inanna and Shukaletuda, her movements correspond with the movements of Venus in the sky.

Also, because of its positioning so close to Earth, Venus is not visible across the dome of the sky as most celestial bodies are; because its proximity to the sun renders it invisible during the day. Instead, Venus is visible only when it rises in the East before sunrise, or when it sets in the West after sunset.

Because the movements of Venus appear to be discontinuous (it disappears due to its proximity to the sun, for many days at a time, and then reappears on the other horizon), some cultures did not recognize Venus as single entity, but rather regarded the planet as two separate stars on each horizon as the morning and evening star. The Mesopotamians, however, most likely understood that the planet was one entity. A cylinder seal from the Jemdet Nasr period expresses the knowledge that both morning and evening stars were the same celestial entity.

The discontinuous movements of Venus relate to both mythology as well as Inanna’s dual nature. Inanna is related like Venus to the principle of connectedness, but this has a dual nature and could seem unpredictable. Yet as both the goddess of love and war, with both masculine and feminine qualities, Inanna is poised to respond, and occasionally to respond with outbursts of temper. Mesopotamian literature takes this one step further, explaining Inanna’s physical movements in mythology as corresponding to the astronomical movements of Venus in the sky.

Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld explains how Inanna is able to, unlike any other deity, descend into the netherworld and return to the heavens. The planet Venus appears to make a similar descent, setting in the West and then rising again in the East.

In Inanna and Shukaletuda, in search of her attacker, Inanna makes several movements throughout the myth that correspond with the movements of Venus in the sky. An introductory hymn explains Inanna leaving the heavens and heading for Kur, what could be presumed to be, the mountains, replicating the rising and setting of Inanna to the West. Shukaletuda also is described as scanning the heavens in search of Inanna, possibly to the eastern and western horizons.

Furthermore, in the Qur’an, it is stated that the people of Abraham used to worship the Sun, moon and a star that ‘disappeared during night’. 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.

Inara, in Hittite–Hurrian mythology, was the goddess of the wild animals of the steppe and daughter of the Storm-god Teshub/Tarhunt. She corresponds to the “potnia theron” of Greek mythology, better known as Artemis. Inara’s mother is probably Hebat and her brother is Sarruma. His name means “king of the mountains”. His wife is the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka.

In Hittite mythology, Illuyanka was a serpentine dragon slain by Tarhunt (dIM), the Hittite incarnation of the Hurrian god of sky and storm. In the first version, the two gods fight and Illuyanka wins. Teshub then goes to the Hattian goddess Inaras for advice, and asks her to give a feast, most probably the Purulli festival.

Puruli was a Hattian spring festival, held at Nerik, dedicated to the earth goddess Hannahanna, who is married to a new king. The central ritual of the Puruli festival is dedicated to the destruction of the dragon Illuyanka by the storm god Teshub. The corresponding Assyrian festival is the Akitu of the Enuma Elish. Also compared are the Canaanite Poem of Baal and Psalms 93 and 29.

Having promised her love to a mortal named Hupasiyas in return for his help, she devises a trap for the dragon. Inara decides to use the feast to lure and defeat Illuyanka, who was her father’s archenemy, and enlists the aid of a mortal named Hupasiyas of Zigaratta by becoming his lover.

The dragon and his family gorge themselves on the fare at the feast. She goes to him with large quantities of food and drink, and entices him to drink his fill. He becomes quite drunk, which allows Hupasiyas to tie a rope around him. Then the Sky God Teshub appears with the other gods and kills the dragon, thereby preserving creation.

According to the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, at one stage the gods decided to shackle the Fenris wolf (Fenrir), but the beast broke every chain they put upon him. Eventually they had the dwarves make them a magical ribbon called Gleipnir.

It appeared to be only a silken ribbon but was made of six wondrous ingredients: the sound of a cat’s footfall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain, bear’s sinews (meaning nerves, sensibility), fish’s breath and bird’s spittle. The creation of Gleipnir is said to be the reason why none of the above exist.

Fenrir sensed the gods’ deceit and refused to be bound with it unless one of them put his hand in the wolf’s mouth. Týr, known for his great wisdom and courage, agreed, and the other gods bound the wolf. After Fenrir had been bound by the gods, he struggled to try to break the rope. Fenrir could not break the ribbon and, enraged, bit Týr’s right hand off. When the gods saw that Fenrir was bound they all rejoiced, except Týr.

Fenrir would remain bound until the day of Ragnarök. As a result of this deed, Týr is called the “Leavings of the Wolf”; which is to be understood as a poetic kenning for glory. As a consequence, however, his name is also associated with perjury. During the battle at Ragnarök, Fenrir swallows Odin whole.

Inara built a house on a cliff and gave it to Hupasiyas. She left one day with instructions that he was not to look out the window, as he might see his family. But he looked and the sight of his family made him beg to be allowed to return home. It is not known what happened next, but there is speculation that Inara killed Hupasiyas for disobeying her, or for hubris, or that he was allowed to return to his family.

In the second version, after the two gods fight and Teshub loses, Illuyanka takes Teshub’s eyes and heart. To avenge himself upon the dragon, the Sky God Teshub marries the goddess Hebat, daughter of a mortal, named Arm. They have a son, Sarruma, who grows up and marries the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka.

The Sky God Teshub tells his son to ask for the return of Teshub’s eyes and heart as a wedding gift, and he does so. His eyes and heart restored, Teshub goes to face the dragon Illuyanka once more. At the point of vanquishing the dragon, Sarruma finds out about the battle and realizes that he had been used for this purpose. He demands that his father take his life along with Illuyanka’s, and so Teshub kills them both with thundery rain and lightning.

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

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

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

In another story the mother goddess Hannahannah (Hebat) promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahannah with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth.

In Greek mythology, Persephone, also called Kore; “the maiden”) or Cora, is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, and is the queen of the underworld. She was married to Hades, the god-king of the underworld. Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic princess of the underworld, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. In Roman mythology, she is called Proserpina, and her mother, Ceres.

The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation, which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence, she is also associated with spring as well as the fertility of vegetation. Similar myths appear in the Orient, in the cults of male gods like Attis, Adonis and Osiris, and in Minoan Crete.

Persephone as a vegetation goddess and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon and promised the initiated a more enjoyable prospect after death. Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus the mother of Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus, usually in orphic tradition. The origins of her cult are uncertain, but it was based on very old agrarian cults of agricultural communities.

In ancient Sumerian mythology, Ereshkigal is the queen of the Underworld. She is the older sister of the goddess, Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat. 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 first myth featuring Ereshkigal is described in the ancient Sumerian epic poem of “Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld.” In the poem, the goddess, Inanna descends into the Underworld, apparently seeking to extend her powers there.

When Neti, the gatekeeper of the Underworld, informs Ereshkigal that Inanna is at the gates of the Underworld, demanding to be let in, Ereshkigal responds by ordering Neti to bolt the seven gates of the Underworld and to open each gate separately, but only after Inanna has removed one article of clothing.

Inanna proceeds through each gate, removing one article of clothing at each gate. Finally, once she has gone through all seven gates she finds herself naked and powerless, standing before the throne of Ereshkigal. The seven judges of the Netherworld judge Inanna and declare her to be guilty. Inanna is struck dead and her dead corpse is hung on a hook in the Underworld for everyone to see.

Inanna’s minister, Ninshubur, however, pleads with Enki and Enki agrees to rescue Inanna from the Underworld. Enki sends two sexless beings down to the Underworld to revive Inanna with the food and water of life. The sexless beings escort Inanna up from the Underworld, but a hoard of angry demons follow Inanna back up from the Underworld, demanding to take someone else down to the Underworld as Inanna’s replacement.

When Inanna discovers that her husband, Dumuzid (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”), a Sumerian god of food and vegetation, has not mourned her death, she becomes ireful towards him and orders the demons to take Dumuzid as her replacement.

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.

The Levantine (“lord”) Adonis, who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz, son and consort. Beginning with the summer solstice came a time of mourning in the Ancient Near East, as in the Aegean: the Babylonians marked the decline in daylight hours and the onset of killing summer heat and drought with a six-day “funeral” for the god. In cult practice, the dead Tammuz was widely mourned in the Ancient Near East.

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.

Telipinu (Cuneiform: dTe(-e)-li-pí-nu(-ú), Hattic: Talipinu or Talapinu, “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. His wife was the goddess Hatepuna, though he was also paired with Šepuru and Kašḫa at various cultic centres.

Telipinu was honored every nine years with an extravagant festival in the autumn at Ḫanḫana and Kašḫa, wherein 1000 sheep and 50 oxen were sacrificed and the symbol of the god, an oak tree, was replanted. The Telipinu Myth is an ancient Hittite myth about Telipinu, whose disappearance causes all fertility to fail, both plant and animal.

In order to stop the havoc and devastation, the gods seek Telipinu but fail to find him. Hannahannah, the mother goddess, sent a bee to find him; when the bee did, stinging Telipinu and smearing wax on him, the god grew angry and began to wreak destruction on the world.

Finally, Kamrušepa, goddess of magic, calmed Telipinu by giving his anger to the Doorkeeper of the Underworld. In other references it is a mortal priest who prays for all of Telipinu’s anger to be sent to bronze containers in the underworld, from which nothing escapes.

The other myth about Ereshkigal is the story of Nergal. Once, the gods held a banquet that Ereshkigal, as queen of the Netherworld, could not come up to attend. They invited her to send a messenger, and she sent her vizier Namtar in her place. He was treated well by all, but for the exception of being disrespected by Nergal.

As a result of this, Nergal was banished to the kingdom controlled by the goddess. Versions vary at this point, but all of them result in him becoming her husband. In later tradition, Nergal is said to have been the victor, taking her as wife and ruling the land himself.

In his book, Sumerian Mythology: A Study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium B.C., the renowned scholar of ancient Sumer, Samuel Noah Kramer writes that, according to the introductory passage of the ancient Sumerian epic poem, “Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld,” Ereshkigal was forcibly abducted, taken down to the Underworld by the Kur, and was forced to become queen of the Underworld against her will.

In order to avenge the abduction of Ereshkigal, Enki, the god of water, set out in a boat to slay the Kur. The Kur defends itself by pelting Enki with rocks of many sizes and by sending the waves beneath Enki’s boat to attack Enki. The poem never actually explains who the ultimate victor of the battle is, but it is implied that Enki wins. Samuel Noah Kramer relates this myth to the ancient Greek myth of the rape of Persephone, asserting that the Greek story is probably derived from the ancient Sumerian story.

In the Greek mythology, Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron (“Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals”). The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.

In ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito (“she of the Grain”), as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros (from thesmos “divine order” or “unwritten law” and phoros: “bringer, bearer”, meaning “Law-Bringer”) as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society. Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.

Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. In the Linear B Mycenean Greek tablets of circa 1400–1200 BC found at Pylos, the “two mistresses and the king” may be related with Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon. Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.

In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

When Hera discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she convinced the nature spirits to prevent Leto from giving birth on terra-firma, the mainland, or any island at sea. Poseidon gave pity to Leto and guided her to the floating island of Delos, which was neither mainland nor a real island where Leto was able to give birth to her children.

As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars. The island later became sacred to Apollo. Alternatively, Hera kidnapped Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. The other gods bribed Hera with a beautiful necklace nobody could resist and she finally gave in.

Either way, Artemis was born first and then assisted with the birth of Apollo. Some versions say Artemis helped her mother give birth to Apollo for nine days. Another variation states that Artemis was born one day before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia and that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth to Apollo.

In Norse mythology, Hel is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim.

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. Dione is translated as “Goddess”, and given the same etymological derivation as the names Zeus, Diana, et al.

Zisa would be the female consort of Ziu, as Dione was of Zeus. One Dione is identified as the mother of the Roman goddess of love, Venus, or equivalently as the mother of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite; but Dione is also sometimes identified with Aphrodite.

Scholarly theories have been proposed about Hel’s potential connections to figures appearing in the 11th century Old English Gospel of Nicodemus and Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, that 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.

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.

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. 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 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.

Dyēus (also *Dyēus Phtḗr, 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.

Dīs Pater was a Roman god of the underworld, later subsumed by Pluto or Hades (Hades was Greek). Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, he was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

Cicero in his De Natura Deorum derives the name of Dīs Pater from dives, suggesting a meaning of “father of riches”, directly corresponding to the name Pluto (from Greek Ploutōn, meaning “wealthy”). Alternatively, he may be a secondary reflex of the same god as Jupiter (Proto-Indo-European Dyeus Phter).

In being conflated with Pluto, Dīs Pater took on some of the Greek mythological attributes of Pluto/Hades, being one of the three sons of Saturn (Greek: Cronus) and Ops (Greek: Rhea), along with Jupiter and Neptune. He ruled the underworld and the dead beside his wife, Proserpina (Greek: Persephone). In literature, Dīs Pater was commonly used as a symbolic and poetic way of referring to death itself.

Kālī, also known as Kālikā, is a Hindu goddess. Kali is one of the ten Mahavidyas, a list which combines Sakta and Buddhist goddesses. Kali’s earliest appearance is that of a destroyer principally of evil forces. She is the goddess of one of the four subcategories of the Kulamārga, a category of tantric Saivism. Over time, she has been worshipped by devotional movements and tantric sects variously as the Divine Mother, Mother of the Universe, Adi Shakti, or Adi Parashakti.

Shakta Hindu and Tantric sects additionally worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also seen as divine protector and the one who bestows moksha, or liberation. Kali is often portrayed standing or dancing on her consort, the Hindu god Shiva, who lies calm and prostrate beneath her. Kali is worshipped by Hindus throughout India.

Shiva is “the transformer” within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Shaivism tradition, Shiva is the Supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe. At the highest level, Shiva is regarded as formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe.

Hausha

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 (PIE *hewsṓs- or *hausōs-, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

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 *hews-tro-,

The name *h₂ewsṓs is derived from a root *h₂wes / *au̯es “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *awso-.

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 indicates that the goddess was imagined as a beautiful nubile woman, who also had aspects of a love goddess.

The love goddess aspect was separated from the personification of dawn in a number of traditions, including Roman Venus vs. Aurora, and Greek Aphrodite vs. Eos. The name of Aphrodite Άφροδίτη may still preserve her role as a dawn goddess, etymologized as “she who shines from the foam [ocean]” (from aphros “foam” and deato “to shine”).

J.P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams (1997) have also proposed an etymology based on the connection with the Indo-European dawn goddess, from *abhor- “very” and *dhei “to shine”. Other epithets include Erigone “early-born” in Greek. The Italic goddess Mater Matuta “Mother Morning” has been connected to Aurora by Roman authors (Lucretius, Priscianus). Her festival, the Matralia, fell on 11 June, beginning at dawn.

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.

In early Mesopotamian mythology, Gugalanna (Sumerian gu.gal.an.na; “the Great Bull of Heaven”), better known as the Guanna (Sumerian: gu.an.na; “Bull of Heaven”), was a deity in ancient Mesopotamian religion originating in Sumer as well as the constellation known today as Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Taurus was the constellation of the Northern Hemisphere’s March equinox from about 3200 BC. The equinox was considered the Sumerian New Year, Akitu (Sumerian: ezen á.ki.tum, akiti-šekinku, á.ki.ti.še.gur.ku, lit. “the barley-cutting”, akiti-šununum, lit. “barley-sowing”; Akkadian: akitu or rêš-šattim, “head of the year”) , an important event in their religion.

The name is from the Sumerian for “barley”, originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to the storm-god Marduk’s victory over Tiamat.

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

The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as “king of the gods”, overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

In another legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû); a Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future. Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the “Slain Heroes”. Eventually, Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil.

Gugalanna was closely associated with Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat. One of the oldest depictions shows the bull standing before the goddess’ standard; since it has 3 stars depicted on its back (the cuneiform sign for “star-constellation”), there is good reason to regard this as the constellation later known as Taurus.

 

In the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest works of literature, the goddess Ishtar sends the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilgamesh for rejecting the sexual advances and spurning her advances.

Gugalanna, whose feet made the earth shake, was slain and dismembered by Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu. Inanna looked down from the city walls and Enkidu shook the haunches of the bull at her, threatening to do the same if he ever caught her. He is later killed for this impiety.

Some locate Gilgamesh as the neighboring constellation of Orion, facing Taurus as if in combat, while others identify him with the sun whose rising on the equinox vanquishes the constellation.

Gugalanna was the first husband of Ereshkigal, ruler of the Underworld, a gloomy place devoid of light. It was to share the sorrow with her sister that Inanna later descends to the Underworld. To further add to the confusion, Ereshkigal’s husband typically is the plague god, Nergal, who is said to have raped the goddess after the disappearance of Gugalana.

The moon god Nanna, also known as Suen (Sin) is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin. Sin had a beard made of lapis lazuli and rode on a winged bull. The bull was one of his symbols, through his father, Enlil, “Bull of Heaven”, along with the crescent and the tripod (which may be a lamp-stand). On cylinder seals, he is represented as an old man with a flowing beard and the crescent symbol.

In the Hymn to Enlil, the Ekur is closely linked to Enlil whilst in Enlil and Ninlil it is the abode of the Annanuki, from where Enlil is banished. In this myth Enlil 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.

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Libra

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 15, 2016

Libra2.jpg

 

Libra.svg

Griffin

Anzû

Lamassu

Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and Scorpio and is exalted in Capricorn

Venus is the ruling planet of Taurus and Libra and is exalted in Pisces

Mars: Aries is detriment to Scorpio, and Libra is detriment to Taurus

Venus: Taurus is detriment to Libra, and Scorpio is detriment to Aries

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)

– Some see the god Tyr connected with Libra 

Tyr is connected with Mars and Gemini, but also with the Sun

Tyr is also connected with the Sun god Istanu, also known as Tiwas

Tyr (Tiwas rune) means god just like Mannus (Mannaz rune) means man

– and these two are connected

Tyr is both connected to the cosmological order and the first man

Tyr – in the form of Dyeus Pater and Dis Pater – is connected with Pluto

Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is possibly exalted in Leo

Nergal is connected both with Gemini (the twins), Scorpio the stinger, Apollo and Mars

Standard iconography pictured Nergal as a lion

Apollo is connected to the Sun / Leo

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. It is fairly faint, with no first magnitude stars, and lies between Virgo to the west and Scorpius to the east.

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

Due to the effects of precession, the First Point of Libra, lies within the boundaries of Virgo very close to β Virginis. This is one of the two points in the sky where the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic (the other being the First Point of Aries, now in the constellation of Pisces.) This point will pass into the neighbouring constellation of Leo around the year 2440.

Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”), or alternatively as the Claws of the Scorpion, treated as the Scorpion’s claws. The Scorpion is another of the constellations of the zodiac. It lies between Libra to the west and Sagittarius to the east. The Babylonians called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, the signs can be literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’.

In Greek mythology, the myths associated with Scorpio almost invariably also contain a reference to Orion. According to one of these myths it is written that Orion boasted to goddess Artemis and her mother, Leto, that he would kill every animal on the Earth.

Although Artemis was known to be a hunter herself she offered protection to all creatures. Artemis and her mother Leto sent a scorpion to deal with Orion. The pair battled and the scorpion killed Orion. However, the contest was apparently a lively one that caught the attention of the king of the gods Zeus, who later raised the scorpion to heaven and afterwards, at the request of Artemis, did the same for Orion to serve as a reminder for mortals to curb their excessive pride.

There is also a version that Orion was better than the goddess Artemis but said that Artemis was better than he and so Artemis took a liking to Orion. The god Apollo, Artemis’s twin brother, grew angry and sent a scorpion to attack Orion. After Orion was killed, Artemis asked Zeus to put Orion up in the sky. So every winter Orion hunts in the sky, but every summer he flees as the constellation of the scorpion comes.

In another Greek story involving Scorpio without Orion, Phaeton (the mortal male offspring of Helios) went to his father, who had earlier sworn by the River Styx to give Phaeton anything he should ask for. Phaeton wanted to drive his father’s Sun Chariot for a day. Although Helios tried to dissuade his son, Phaeton was adamant. However, when the day arrived, Phaeton panicked and lost control of the white horses that drew the chariot.

First, the Earth grew chill as Phaeton flew too high and encountered the celestial scorpion, its deadly sting raised to strike. Alarmed, he dipped the chariot too close, causing the vegetation to burn. By accident, Phaeton turned most of Africa into desert and darkened the skin of the Ethiopian nation until it was black. Eventually, Zeus was forced to intervene by striking the runaway chariot and Phaeton with a lightning bolt to put an end to its rampage and Phaeton plunged into the River Eridanos.

The scales were held sacred to the sun god Shamash, who was also the patron of truth and justice. Since these times, Libra has been associated with law, fairness and civility. Shamash is frequently associated with the lion, both in mythology and artistic depictions. The lion and sun motif is based largely on astronomical and astrological configurations, and the ancient zodiacal sign of the sun in the house of Leo.

The Sun is the ruling planet of Leo and is exalted in Aries. In Greek mythology, the Sun was represented by the Titans Hyperion and Helios (Roman Sol, and later by Apollo, the god of light). The Sun is the star at the center of our solar system, around which the Earth and other planets revolve and provides us with heat and light. The arc that the Sun travels in every year, rising and setting in a slightly different place each day, is therefore in reality a reflection of the Earth’s own orbit around the Sun.

Astrologically speaking, the Sun is usually thought to represent the conscious ego, the self and its expression, personal power, pride and authority, leadership qualities and the principles of creativity, spontaneity, health and vitality, the sum of which is named the “life force”. In Chinese astrology, the Sun represents Yang, the active, assertive masculine life principle.

It was also seen as the Scorpion’s Claws in ancient Greece. 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.

In ancient Egypt the three brightest stars of Libra (α, β, and σ Librae) formed a constellation that was viewed as a boat. Libra is a constellation not mentioned by Eudoxus or Aratus. 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.

According to the Babylonian Mul.Apin, which dates from 1000–686 BCE, this constellation was known as “The Furrow”, representing the goddess Shala’s ear of grain. One star in this constellation, Spica, retains this tradition as it is Latin for “ear of grain”, one of the major products of the Mesopotamian furrow. The constellation was also known as “AB.SIN” and “absinnu”. For this reason the constellation became associated with fertility.

According to Gavin White the figure of Virgo corresponds to two Babylonian constellations: the “Furrow” in the eastern sector of Virgo and the “Frond of Erua” in the western sector. The Frond of Erua was depicted as a goddess holding a palm-frond – a motif that still occasionally appears in much later depictions of Virgo.

There is very important documentation referring to the description of the constellation Virgo, which has its origin in the ancient Assyrian-Babylonian culture. This constellation has always been female and has been especially associated with the tension between fertility and beauty. The Babylonians associated this constellation with the goddess Ishtar, also well-known under the name of Ashtoreth or Astarte.

The Greeks and Romans associated Virgo with their goddess of wheat/agriculture, Demeter-Ceres who is the mother of Persephone-Proserpina. Alternatively, she was sometimes identified as the virgin goddess Iustitia or Astraea, holding the scales of justice in her hand as the constellation Libra.

Another myth identifies Virgo as Erigone, the daughter of Icarius of Athens. Icarius, who had been favoured by Dionysus, was killed by his shepherds while they were intoxicated and Erigone hanged herself in grief; Dionysus placed the father and daughter in the stars as Boötes and Virgo respectively. In the Middle Ages, Virgo was sometimes associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

According to the Romans in the First Century, Libra was a constellation they idolized. The moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded. Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. The Roman writer Manilius once said that Libra was the sign “in which the seasons are balanced”. Both the hours of the day and the hours of the night match each other. Thus why the Romans put so much trust in the “balanced sign”.

Going back to ancient Greek times, Libra the constellation between Virgo and Scorpio used to be over ruled by the constellation of Scorpio. They called the area the Latin word “chelae”, which translated to “the claws” which can help identify the individual stars that make up the full constellation of Libra, since it was so closely identified with the Scorpion constellation in the sky.

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. Libra is the only constellation in the sky represented by an inanimate object. The other eleven signs are represented either as an animal or mythological characters throughout history.

The sign of Libra is symbolized by the gryphon, or griffin, a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle’s talons as its front feet.

Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of all creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.

The derivation of this word remains uncertain. It could be related to the Greek word grypos, meaning ‘curved’, or ‘hooked’. Also, this could have been an Anatolian loan word, compare Akkadian karūbu (winged creature), and similar to Cherub. A related Hebrew word is kerúv.

In Sumerian and Akkadian mythology, Anzû is a divine storm-bird and the personification of the southern wind and the thunder clouds. This demon—half man and half bird—stole the “Tablet of Destinies” from Enlil and hid them on a mountaintop. Anu ordered the other gods to retrieve the tablet, even though they all feared the demon. According to one text, Marduk killed the bird; in another, it died through the arrows of the god Ninurta.

Also in Babylonian myth, Anzû is a deity associated with cosmogeny. Anzû is represented as stripping the father of the gods of umsimi (which is usually translated “crown” but in this case, as it was on the seat of Bel, it refers to the “ideal creative organ”). Regarding this, Charles Penglase writes that “Ham is the Chaldean Anzû, and both are cursed for the same allegorically described crime,” which parallels the mutilation of Uranus by Cronus and of Osiris by Set.

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

A lamassu (Cuneiform: AN.KAL; Sumerian: dlammař; Akkadian: lamassu; sometimes called a lamassus) is an Assyrian protective deity, often depicted as having a human’s head, a body of an ox or a lion, and bird’s wings. In some writings, it is portrayed to represent a female deity.

A less frequently used name is shedu (Cuneiform: AN.KAL×BAD; Sumerian: dalad; Akkadian, šēdu), which refers to the male counterpart of a lamassu. The Lammasu or Lumasi represent the zodiacs, parent-stars or constellations.

In another legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû); a Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future. Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the “Slain Heroes”. Eventually, Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil.

In early Mesopotamian mythology, Gugalanna (Sumerian gu.gal.an.na; “the Great Bull of Heaven”), better known as the Guanna (Sumerian: gu.an.na; “Bull of Heaven”), was a deity in ancient Mesopotamian religion originating in Sumer as well as the constellation known today as Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Gugalanna was closely associated with Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat. One of the oldest depictions shows the bull standing before the goddess’ standard; since it has 3 stars depicted on its back (the cuneiform sign for “star-constellation”), there is good reason to regard this as the constellation later known as Taurus.

Taurus was the constellation of the Northern Hemisphere’s March equinox from about 3200 BC. The equinox was considered the Sumerian New Year, Akitu (Sumerian: ezen á.ki.tum, akiti-šekinku, á.ki.ti.še.gur.ku, lit. “the barley-cutting”, akiti-šununum, lit. “barley-sowing”; Akkadian: akitu or rêš-šattim, “head of the year”) , an important event in their religion.

The name is from the Sumerian for “barley”, originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to the storm-god Marduk’s victory over Tiamat.

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

The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as “king of the gods”, overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

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Cybele and the gallus

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 15, 2016

A Gallus (pl. Galli) was a eunuch priest of the Phrygian goddess Cybele and her consort Attis, whose worship was incorporated into the state religious practices of ancient Rome.

Queen Kubaba (in the Weidner or Esagila Chronicle; Sumerian: Kug-Bau), the only queen on the Sumerian King List, which states she reigned for 100 years – roughly in the Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2500-2330 BC) of Sumerian history was the founder and first ruler of the Third Dynasty of Kish, while other versions combine her with the 4th dynast.

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

Her cult later spread and her name was adapted for the main goddess of the Hittite successor kingdoms in Anatolia. This deity later developed into the Phrygian matar kubileya (“mother Cybele”), who was depicted in petroglyphs and mentioned in accompanying inscriptions. In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception. She was partially assimilated to aspects of the Earth-goddess Gaia, her Minoan equivalent Rhea, and the Harvest-Mother goddess Demeter.

Some city-states, notably Athens, evoked her as a protector, but her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-goddess who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following. Uniquely in Greek religion, she had a eunuch mendicant priesthood. In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”).

Conflation with Rhea led to Cybele’s association with various male demigods who served Rhea as attendants, or as guardians of her son, the infant Zeus, as he lay in the cave of his birth. In cult terms, they seem to have functioned as intercessors or intermediaries between goddess and mortal devotees, through dreams, waking trance or ecstatic dance and song.

They include the armed Kouretes, who danced around Zeus and clashed their shields to amuse him; their supposedly Phrygian equivalents, the youthful Corybantes, who provided similarly wild and martial music, dance and song; and the dactyls and Telchines, magicians associated with metalworking.

Fundamental to understanding the meaning and the function of the myth and ritual related to Attis in Rome is his relationship with the Galli. The role of prototype of the mythical castration of Attis for the institution of the “priesthood” of the Galli has almost always been emphasised, even if to different degrees.

The Galli castrated themselves during an ecstatic celebration called the Dies sanguinis, or “Day of Blood”, which took place on March 24. At the same time they put on women’s costume, mostly yellow in colour, and a sort of turban, together with pendants and ear-rings.

They also wore their hair long, and bleached, and wore heavy make-up. They wandered around with followers, begging for charity, in return for which they were prepared to tell fortunes. On the day of mourning for Attis they ran around wildly and disheveled. They performed dances to the music of pipes and tambourines, and, in an ecstasy, flogged themselves until they bled.

The high priests are well-documented from archaeology. At Pessinus, the centre of the Cybele cult, there were two high priests during the Hellenistic period, one with the title of “Attis” and the other with the name of “Battakes”. Both were eunuchs.

The high priests had considerable political influence during this period, and letters exist from a high priest Attis to the kings of Pergamon, Eumenes II and Attalus II, inscribed on stone. Later, during the Flavian period, there was a college of ten priests, not castrated, and now Roman citizens, but still using the title “Attis”.

In Rome, the head of the galli was known as the archigallus, at least from the period of Claudius on. A number of archaeological finds depict the archigallus wearing luxurious and extravagant costumes. The archigallus was always a Roman citizen chosen by the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, whose term of service lasted for life.

Being a Roman citizen, as well as being employed by the Roman State, meant that the archigallus had to preserve the traditions of Cybele’s cult while not violating Roman prohibitions in religious behavior. Hence, some argue that the archigallus was never a eunuch, as all citizens of Rome were forbidden from emasculation.

However, under Claudius Roman citizens were permitted to be castrated up until the reign of Domitian. The signs of his office have been described as a type of crown, possibly a laurel wreath, as well as a golden bracelet known as the occabus.

Along with the institution of the archigallus came the Phrygianum sanctuary as well as the rite of the taurobolium as it pertains to the Magna Mater, two aspects of the Magna Mater’s cultus that the archigallus held dominion over.

In the Roman Empire of the 2nd to 4th centuries, taurobolium referred to practices involving the sacrifice of a bull, which after mid-2nd century became connected with the worship of the Great Mother of the Gods; though not previously limited to her cultus, after 159 CE all private taurobolia inscriptions mention Magna Mater.

Originating in Asia Minor, its earliest attested performance in Italy occurred in 134 CE, at Puteoli, in honor of Venus Caelestis, the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity, victory, and desire, documented by an inscription.

The term Gallus is also a multiple pun in Latin, meaning a Gaul, or a rooster, as well as a castrated priest. Nergal was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia with the main seat of his worship at Cuthah represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim. According to the rabbins, his emblem was a cock and Nergal means a “dunghill cock”, although standard iconography pictured Nergal as a lion.

While these efforts at “folk” etymologies were widespread in classical times, it has been suggested that gallu comes from the Sumerian Gal meaning “great” and Lu meaning “man”, humans or sexually ambivalent demons that freed Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat, from the underworld. They originally seem to have been consecrated to the god Enki.

There was a category of Mesopotamian priests called kalu; in Sumerian gala. The Gala (Akkadian: kalû) were priests of the Sumerian goddess Inanna, significant numbers of the personnel of both temples and palaces, the central institutions of Mesopotamian city states, individuals with neither male nor female gender identities.

These priests played the tympanum and were involved in bull sacrifice. Another category of Mesopotamian priests called assinnu, galatur, and kurgarru had a sacred function. These transgender or eunuch priests participated in liturgical rites, during which they were costumed and masked. They played music, sang, and danced, most often in ceremonies dedicated to the goddess Ishtar.

Originally a specialist in singing lamentations, gala appear in temple records dating back from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. According to an old Babylonian text, Enki created the gala specifically to sing “heart-soothing laments” for the goddess Inanna. Cuniform references indicate the gendered character of the role. Lamentation and wailing originally may have been female professions, so that men who entered the role adopted its forms.

Their hymns were sung in a Sumerian dialect known as eme-sal, normally used to render the speech of female gods, and some gala took female names. Homosexual proclivities are clearly implied by the Sumerian proverb that reads, “When the gala wiped off his anus [he said], ‘I must not arouse that which belongs to my mistress [i.e., Inanna]’ “.

In fact, the word gala was written using the sign sequence UŠ.KU, the first sign having also the reading giš (“penis”), and the second one dur (“anus”), so perhaps there is some pun involved. Moreover, gala is homophonous with gal-la “vulva”. However, in spite of all their references of their effeminate character (especially in the Sumerian proverbs), many administrative texts mention gala priests who had children, wives, and large families. On the other hand, some gala priests were actually women.

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Tyr – “What is higher than the self is the Self become Higher”

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 14, 2016

Bilderesultat for tyr symbol

Bilderesultat for tyr symbol

Bilderesultat for tyr symbol

T – God / M – Man

Tyr 

Tuisto

Tiwas

Astrological Mars and the Norse God Tyr

Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. Tacitus is the only source of these myths. 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”.

Chaoskampf

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

In Nippur, Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the harvest goddess Ninhursag. Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace named Sharur: Sharur is capable of speech in the Sumerian legend “Deeds and Exploits of Ninurta” and can take the form of a winged lion and may represent an archetype for the later Shedu.

In another legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû), a lesser divinity or monster in several Mesopotamian religions. Anzû was seen as a massive bird who can breathe fire and water, although Anzû is alternately seen as a lion-headed eagle (like a reverse griffin). He was conceived by the pure waters of the Apsu and the wide Earth, or as son of Siris, the patron of beer who is conceived of as a demon, which is not necessarily evil.

A Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future. Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the “Slain Heroes”. Eventually, Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil.

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

It is suggested that there are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is a creator goddess, through a “Sacred marriage” between salt and fresh water, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations. In the second “Chaoskampf” Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos.

In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, she gives birth to the first generation of deities; her husband, Apsu, correctly assuming they are planning to kill him and usurp his throne, later makes war upon them and is killed.

Enraged, she, too, wars upon her husband’s murderers, taking on the form of a massive sea dragon, she is then slain by Enki’s son, the storm-god Marduk, but not before she had brought forth the monsters of the Mesopotamian pantheon, including the first dragons, whose bodies she filled with “poison instead of blood”. Marduk then forms heavens and the earth from her divided body.

Tiamat possessed the Tablet of Destinies and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, meaning “unskilled laborer,” the deity she — after the murder of his father Abzu — had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host, and who was also one of her children.

Tiamat gave Kingu the 3 Tablets of Destiny, which he wore as a breastplate and which gave him great power. She placed him as the general of her army. The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as “king of the gods”, overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

Like Tiamat, Kingu was eventually killed, and his blood was mixed with earth and used the clay to mold the first human beings that would act as the servant of the younger Igigi deities, while Tiamat’s body created the earth and the skies. Kingu then went to live in the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, along with the other deities who had sided with Tiamat.

The principal theme of the epic is the justified elevation of ove god to command over all the deities. The Tiamat myth is one of the earliest recorded versions of the Chaoskampf, the battle between a culture hero and a chthonic or aquatic monster, serpent or dragon.

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

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

Akitu or Akitum (Sumerian: ezen á.ki.tum, akiti-šekinku, á.ki.ti.še.gur₁₀.ku₅, lit. “the barley-cutting”, akiti-šununum, lit. “barley-sowing”; Akkadian: akitu or rêš-šattim, “head of the year”) was a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia.The Babylonian Akitu festival has played a pivotal role in the development of theories of religion, myth and ritual, yet the purpose of the festival remains a point of contention among both historians of religion and Assyriologists.

The name is from the Sumerian for “barley”, originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to Marduk’s victory over Tiamat.

A corresponding festival is the Hattian spring festival Puruli (EZEN Puruliyas), held at Nerik, dedicated to the earth goddess Hannahanna, who is married to a new king. The central ritual of the Puruli festival is dedicated to the destruction of the dragon Illuyanka by the storm god Teshub. Also compared are the Canaanite Poem of Baal and Psalms 93 and 29.

Ymir / Tuisto (Tyr)

In Norse mythology, Ymir, Aurgelmir, Brimir, or Bláinn is the ancestor of all jötnar. Taken together, several stanzas from four poems collected in the Poetic Edda refer to Ymir as a primeval being who was born from venom that dripped from the icy rivers Élivágar and lived in the grassless void of Ginnungagap. Ymir birthed a male and female from the pits of his arms, and his legs together begat a six-headed being.

The gods Odin, Vili and Vé fashioned the Earth (elsewhere personified as a goddess; Jörð) from his flesh, from his blood the ocean, from his bones the hills, from his hair the trees, from his brains the clouds, from his skull the heavens, and from his eyebrows the middle realm in which mankind lives, Midgard. In addition, one stanza relates that the dwarfs were given life by the gods from Ymir’s flesh and blood (or the Earth and sea).

In the Prose Edda, a narrative is provided that draws from, adds to, and differs from the accounts in the Poetic Edda. According to the Prose Edda, after Ymir was formed from the elemental drops, so too was Auðumbla, a primeval cow, whose milk Ymir fed from. The Prose Edda also states that three gods killed Ymir; the brothers Odin, Vili and Vé, and details that, upon Ymir’s death, his blood caused an immense flood.

Scholars have debated as to what extent Snorri’s account of Ymir is an attempt to synthesize a coherent narrative for the purpose of the Prose Edda and to what extent Snorri drew from traditional material outside of the corpus that he cites.

By way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, scholars have linked Ymir to Tuisto, the Proto-Germanic being attested by Tacitus in his 1st century AD work Germania and have identified Ymir as an echo of a primordial being reconstructed in Proto-Indo-European mythology.

According to Tacitus’s Germania (98 CE), Tuisto (or Tuisco) is the divine ancestor of the Germanic peoples. The figure remains the subject of some scholarly discussion, largely focused upon etymological connections and comparisons to figures in later (particularly Norse) Germanic mythology. In the larger Indo-European pantheon, Tuisto is equated to the Indic/Vedic Tvastar.

The Germania manuscript corpus contains two primary variant readings of the name. Root of the word is from the Hindu Vedic ‘Tvasthar’ – father of Manu. The most frequently occurring, Tuisto, is commonly connected to the Proto-Germanic root *tvai- “two” and its derivative *tvis- “twice” or “doubled”, thus giving Tuisto the core meaning “double”.

Any assumption of a gender inference is entirely conjectural, as the tvia/tvis roots are also the roots of any number of other concepts/words in the Germanic languages. Take for instance the Germanic “twist”, which, in all but the English has the primary meaning of “dispute/conflict”.

The second variant of the name, occurring originally in manuscript E, reads Tuisco. One proposed etymology for this variant reconstructs a Proto-Germanic *tiwisko and connects this with Proto-Germanic *Tiwaz, giving the meaning “son of Tiu”. This interpretation would thus make Tuisco the son of the sky-god (Proto-Indo-European *Dyeus) and the earth-goddess.

Connections have been proposed between the 1st century figure of Tuisto and the hermaphroditic primeval being Ymir in later Norse mythology, attested in 13th century sources, based upon etymological and functional similarity.

Meyer (1907) sees the connection as so strong, that he considers the two to be identical. Lindow (2001), while mindful of the possible semantic connection between Tuisto and Ymir, notes an essential functional difference: while Ymir is portrayed as an “essentially … negative figure” – Tuisto is described as being “celebrated” (celebrant) by the early Germanic peoples in song, with Tacitus reporting nothing negative about Tuisto.

Jacob (2005) attempts to establish a genealogical relationship between Tuisto and Ymir based on etymology and a comparison with (post-)Vedic Indian mythology: as Tvastr, through his daughter Saranyū and her husband Vivaswān, is said to have been the grandfather of the twins Yama and Yami, so Jacob argues that the Germanic Tuisto (assuming a connection with Tvastr) must originally have been the grandfather of Ymir (cognate to Yama).

Incidentally, Indian mythology also places Manu (cognate to Germanic Mannus), the Vedic progenitor of mankind, as a son of Vivaswān, thus making him the brother of Yama/Ymir.

Tacitus relates that “ancient songs” (Latin carminibus antiquis) of the Germanic peoples celebrated Tuisto as “a god, born of the earth” (deum terra editum). These songs further attributed to him a son, Mannus, who in turn had three sons, the offspring of whom were referred to as Ingaevones, Herminones and Istaevones, living near the Ocean (proximi Oceano), in the interior (medii), and the remaining parts (ceteri) of the geographical region of Germania, respectively.

Tacitus’s report falls squarely within the ethnographic tradition of the classical world, which often fused anthropogony, ethnogony, and theogony together into a synthetic whole. The succession of father-son-three sons parallels occurs in both Germanic and non-Germanic Indo-European areas. The essential characteristics of the myth have been theorized as ultimately originated in Proto-Indo-European society around 2,000 BCE.

Tyr

Fenris represents the old world order – Tyr reorganized our world and created what we have today – to do this he lost his arm – he did it on behalf of the community – he is a real leader – he gave him self.

In Norse mythology, Heimdallr is a god who possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn, owns the golden-maned horse Gulltoppr, has gold teeth, and is the son of Nine Mothers. He may be a personification of or connected to the world tree Yggdrasil. He is described as “the whitest of the gods”, and is said to be the originator of social classes among humanity.

Heimdallr is attested as possessing foreknowledge, keen eyesight and hearing, and keeps watch for the onset of Ragnarök while drinking fine mead in his dwelling Himinbjörg, located where the burning rainbow bridge Bifröst meets heaven. Heimdallr and Loki are foretold to kill one another during the events of Ragnarök.

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

Heimdall (Uranus) is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio

Sun: Leo is detriment to Aquarius

Uranus: Aquarius is detriment to Leo

Before the discovery of Uranus, Saturn was regarded as the ruling planet of Aquarius alongside Capricorn of course, which is the preceding sign. Many traditional types of astrologers prefer Saturn as the planetary ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius.

Heimdallr is a god who possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn (Old Norse “yelling horn” or “the loud sounding horn”), a horn associated with the god Heimdallr, who is the one who guards the social order. The Gjallarhorn can be heard in all worlds. After the enemies of the gods will gather at the plain Vígríðr, Heimdallr will stand and mightily blow into Gjallarhorn. The gods will awake and assemble together at the thing.

Bifröst is a burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (Earth) and Asgard, the realm of the gods. Alternately it is refered to as Ásbrú (Old Norse “Æsir’s bridge”). According to the Prose Edda, the bridge ends in heaven at Himinbjörg, the residence of the god Heimdallr, who guards it from the jötnar. It is a parallel between Bifröst, which he notes is “a bridge between earth and heaven, or earth and the world of the gods”, and the bridge Gjallarbrú, “a bridge between earth and the underworld, or earth and the world of the dead.

The bridge’s destruction during Ragnarök by the forces of Muspell is foretold. The denizens of Muspelheim were usually referred to as the Eldjötnar (or Eldthursar, Eldþursar — “fire giants”. Muspelheim is fire; and the land to the North, Niflheim, is ice. The two mixed and created water from the melting ice in Ginnungagap. The sun and the stars originate from Muspelheim.

According to the Ragnarök prophecies the sons of Muspell will break the Bifröst bridge, signaling the end of times. The etymology of “Muspelheim” is uncertain, but may come from Mund-spilli, “world-destroyers”, “wreck of the world”.

The sons of Muspel direct their course to the plain which is called Vígríðr or Óskópnir, a large field foretold to host a battle between the forces of the gods and the forces of Surtr as part of the events of Ragnarök. It is foretold that it is the location of the future death of several deities (and their enemies) before the world is engulfed in flames and reborn.

This will be mark the beginning of Ragnarök (Old Norse “Fate of the Gods” and “Twilight of the Gods”), a series of future events, including a great battle, foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water.

Other terms used to refer to the events surrounding Ragnarök include aldar rök (aldar means age, “end of an age”), þá er regin deyja (“when the gods die”) unz um rjúfask regin (“when the gods will be destroyed”) aldar rof (“destruction of the age”), regin þrjóta (“end of the gods”), and, þá er Muspellz-synir herja (“when the sons of Muspell move into battle”). In Old English and Middle English the term Crack of Doom was used, which then was transferred to the Christian Day of Judgement.

Afterward, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Eight of the Aesir/Vanir survive the great cataclysm of Ragnarok. These Gods are Widar, Wali, Magni, Mothi, Baeldag, Hothr, Hoenir and Njord. Seven of these Gods are Aesir and one a Van.

Víðarr (Old Norse, possibly “wide ruler”, sometimes anglicized as Vidar, Vithar, Vidarr, and Vitharr) is a god among the Æsir associated with revenge. Víðarr is described as the son of Odin and the jötunn Gríðr, and is foretold to avenge his father’s death by killing the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarök, a conflict which he is described as surviving.

Víðarr represents a cosmic figure. He is aligned with both vertical space, due to his placement of his foot on the wolf’s lower jaw and his hand on the wolf’s upper jaw, and horizontal space, due to his wide step and strong shoe. By killing the wolf, Víðarr keeps the wolf from destroying the cosmos, and the cosmos can thereafter be restored after the destruction resulting from Ragnarök. Thus he is a spatial god. Víðarr, trying to mediate the dispute with Loki, urges the other Aesir to “grant Loki his space” at the feasting table. This play on Víðarr’s spatiality would have been understood by an audience familiar with the God.

Víðarr’s spatiality is seen in the Vishnu of the Vedic traditions. In the legend of Bali and Vishnu, Vishnu (in the form of Vamana) tricks the malevolent king Bali, who has secured dominion over the whole Earth, by making Bali promise to grant Vamana all the land he can cover in three paces. Vamana turns himself into a giant and strides across all of heaven and Earth, taking Bali’s head and granting him immortality in lieu of taking the last pace.

Týr is a Germanic god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. According to the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, at one stage the gods decided to shackle the Fenris wolf (Fenrir), but the beast broke every chain they put upon him. Eventually they had the dwarves make them a magical ribbon called Gleipnir. Fenrir sensed the gods’ deceit and refused to be bound with it unless one of them put his hand in the wolf’s mouth.

Týr, known for his great wisdom and courage, agreed, and the other gods bound the wolf. After Fenrir had been bound by the gods, he struggled to try to break the rope. Fenrir could not break the ribbon and, enraged, bit Týr’s right hand off. When the gods saw that Fenrir was bound they all rejoiced, except Týr.

Fenrir would remain bound until the day of Ragnarök. As a result of this deed, Týr is called the “Leavings of the Wolf”; which is to be understood as a poetic kenning for glory. As a consequence, however, his name is also associated with perjury. During the battle at Ragnarök, Fenrir swallows Odin whole. According to the Prose version of Ragnarök, Týr is destined to kill and be killed by Garm, the guard dog of Hel.

The t-rune ᛏ is named after Týr, who is the god of law and justice, and was identified with this god. The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *Tîwaz or *Teiwaz. It stands for justice and sacrifice. It is the rune of the balance and justice ruled from a higher rationality. The rune of sacrifice of the individual (self) for well-being of the whole (society).

Contrast Tyr’s lineage with the Greco-Roman Mars, who was the child of Zeus’s wife, Hera, and never held a position as the Skyfather or Allfather. Tyr has other connections to the sky: one of the Vikings’ names for the North Star in their day was “Tir”. The star Tir was thought to be at the top of the world axis, which “keeps the cosmic forces in polarized order”.

Norse dragonships and merchanters steered by the stars at night, so the god Tyr was very likely associated with the ability to guide, and with the qualities immortalized in Shakespeare’s phrase, “fixed and constant as the Northern star”—not necessarily a trait of Graeco-Roman Mars, who was more volatile.

Tyr is related to the north star in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, around which the fixed stars in the night sky appear to rotate. Ancient seamen used Polaris as their main navigational aid in their long journeys, and the symbol as an arrow pointing upward is perhaps made in reference to this.

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

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

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

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

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

Purusha

Purusha is a complex concept whose meaning evolved in Vedic and Upanishadic times. Depending on source and historical timeline, it means the cosmic man or Self, Consciousness, and Universal principle. In early Vedas, Purusa meant a cosmic man whose sacrifice by the gods created all life. This was one of many creation theories discussed in the Vedas. The idea parallels Norse Ymir, with the myth’s origin in Proto-Indo-European religion.

In the Upanishads, the Purusa concept no longer meant a being or cosmic man. The meaning evolved to an abstract essence of Self, Spirit and the Universal Principle that is eternal, indestructible, without form and all pervasive. The Purusa concept is explained with the concept of Prakrti in the Upanishads.

The universe is envisioned, in these ancient Sanskrit texts, as a combination of perceivable material reality and non-perceivable, non-material laws and principles of nature. Material reality, or Prakrti, is everything that has changed, can change and is subject to cause and effect.

Purusa is the Universal principle that is unchanging, uncaused but is present everywhere and the reason why Prakrti changes, evolves all the time and why there is cause and effect. Purusa is what connects everything and everyone, according to various schools of Hinduism.

Purusha is a complex concept, whose meaning evolved over time in the philosophical traditions now called as Hinduism. During the Vedic period, Purusa concept was one of several theories offered for the creation of universe. Purusa, in Rigveda, was described as a being, who becomes a sacrificial victim of gods, and whose sacrifice creates all life forms including human beings.

In the Upanishads and later texts of Hindu philosophy, the Purusa concept moved away from the Vedic definition of Purusa and was no longer a person, cosmic man or entity. Instead, the concept flowered into a more complex abstraction.

Puru

Short version

King Puru was a Puranic king and the youngest son of king Yayati and Sharmishtha and one of ancestors of the Pandavas and Kauravas. In the nineteenth chapter of book nine of the Bhagavata Purana, Puru is described as having four brothers; Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu and Anu.

He exchanges his youth for old age of his father Yayati when Yayati gets cursed by Shukracharya. In return Yayati makes him his descendant though he was youngest of all. His son and successor is named as his son was Práchinvat; his son was Pravíra; his son was Manasyu.

In the Mahabharata – Adi Parva, he is said to have inherited his kingdom in the Gangatic plain. He is said to have three mighty heroes as sons by his wife Paushti; Pravira, and Raudraswa. Pravira succeeded Puru and was in turn succeeded by his son Manasyu.

Puru ruled from the centre as a supreme World Emperor or King of Kings. This also showed his supreme power and displays the right of people named Puru. His dynasty becomes the Puru vamsha which was later renamed as Kuru Vamsha to which Pandavas and Kauravas belong.

Another Puru is mentioned as a king in the Rigveda and as the father of Adityas, married to Aditi, living and ruling over and area of the Saraswati river. In Hinduism, Ādityas (meaning “of Aditi”, refers to the offspring of Aditi. The name, Aditya, is used in the singular to mean the Sun God, Surya. The Bhagavata Purana lists a total of twelve Adityas as Sun-gods. In each month of the year a different Aditya is said to shine. Each of these Adityas is a different expression of Lord Vishnu in the form of the Sun-God.

A King Puru is also mentioned in Korean mythology as the son of a heavenly king called Haemosu who ruled the Buyeo kingdom. The Korean King Puru went on to succeed his divine father and ruled in peace and prosperity.

Long version

In Hindu mythology, Vrishparva was a Danava king with great powers and magic. He fought and won many wars against Indra with the help of his main priest Shukracharya (Sanskrit: Śukra, meaning “lucid, clear, bright”), who in Vedic mythology was the guru of the Asuras, while in medieval mythology and Hindu astrology, refers to the planet Venus.

Historically there was little difference between Asuras and Devtas during the times of Veda. Many of them were highly regarded, and comparable to necessary forces of nature. In post Vedic era especially in the narratives of Puranas many Asuras became synonymous with trouble makers, who come into conflict with Mahadev Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and Indra wreaking havoc on civilizations.

There are some famous Asuras-Devtas conflicts including Samudra Manthan regarding churning of the Ocean. There are some famous Asuras such as Vritra-Asur, Bana-Asur, and Bhasma-Asura who challenge Adityas and specifically Indra, the king of Devtas.

Going by Sanskrit definitions Asura is opposite of Sura. Sura is anything that is in harmony, in tune with laws of nature, called eternal truth or Sanatan Dharam. A-Sura is a being or force of nature which is chaotic, disorderly, and out of tune.

Avestan Ahura derives from Indo-Iranian Asura, also attested in an Indian context as RigVedic Asura. Avestan Daivas are considered synonymous to Vedic Devtas, or Adityas. Vedas and Zoroastrian Avesta have a common name Ahura-Mazda, which may refer to some Vedic God.

Sometimes in Rigveda some demigods or devatas are worshipped as “asura”, which in Zoroastrianism is Ahura-Mazda, who is commonly considered a link between Avestan Zoroastrianism and Asuras of Vedic literature, however it must be noted that there is no one specifically called Ahura Mazda in the Vedas.

Additionally as suggested by the phonetic similarity to the Old Norse Gods called æsirs, Indo-Iranian Asura may have an even earlier Indo-European root. Aesirs are the Norse gods whose region became known as Asia, the land of Aesirs.

For evolutionary reasons Asuras and Devtas fought great battles. Adityas, sons of Rishi Kashyap and Aditi always followed the guidance of Trimurti, or the Trinty of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and are responsible for proper functioning of the universe.

Asuras challenged their authority at various occasions. Most significantly there are constant battles for the Elixir of Immortality, called Amrit, between the two. This could explain why Avestan Asura-Mazda advised his followers to stay away from Daivas or Vedic Devtas, calling them untrustworthy and unscrupulous shining beings to be avoided at all cost.

Devtas including Adityas are considered benevolent, and worshiped in the Vedas. There are various types of Devtas in Hinduism and Buddhism, all of them are venerable.

Shukracharya, alo known as Asuracharya, was a son of Vasishtha, of the third Manu, one of the saptarshi. According to the Mahabharata he divided himself into two, one half becoming the knowledge source for the Devas (gods) and the other half being the knowledge source of the Asuras (demons).

In the Puranic mythology he is is famed as one with the knowledge that raises the dead back to life, something that helps the violent evil return back to life even after the gods and the forces of good destroy them; this knowledge is sought by the gods and is ultimately gained by them.

In the Mahabharata, Shukracharya is mentioned as one of the mentors of Devavrata, also known as Gangaputra and Bhishma, having taught him political science in his youth. Bhishma was an unparalleled archer and warrior of his time. He also handed down the Vishnu Sahasranama to Yudhishthira when he was on his death bed (of arrows) in the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Vrishparva  made many attempts to kill Kacha, the son of Brihaspati, who in ancient Hindu literature is a Vedic era sage who counsels the gods, while in some medieval texts the word refers to the planet Jupiter.

Sharmishtha, the daughter of Vrishparva, was a friend of Devayani for whom she later becomes a servant. Devayani was the daughter of Shukracharya and his wife Jayanti, daughter of Indra, the king of the devas (gods) and ruler of Svarga (heaven), and his consort Shachi.

Devayani was married to Yayati, son of Nahusha and gave birth to two sons Yadu and Turvasu. Yadu is one of the five Indo-Aryan tribes (panchajana, panchakrishtya or panchamanusha) mentioned in the Rig Veda. Devayani took Sharmishtha with her as her maid in punishment for her throwing of Devayani into a well during a furious argument.

Yayati was a Puranic king and the son of King Nahusha and Ashokasundari. He was one of the ancestors of Pandavas. He had conquered the whole world and was the Chakravartin Samrat (Universal Monarch or World Emperor), an ancient Indian term used to refer to an ideal universal ruler who rules ethically and benevolently over the entire world.

Such a ruler’s reign is called sarvabhauma. It is a bahuvrīhi, figuratively meaning “whose wheels are moving”, in the sense of “whose chariot is rolling everywhere without obstruction”. It can also be analysed as an ‘instrumental bahuvrīhi: “through whom the wheel is moving” in the meaning of “through whom the Dharmachakra (“Wheel of the Dharma) is turning”.

In Buddhism, the chakravarti came to be considered the secular counterpart of a buddha. In general, the term applies to temporal as well as spiritual kingship and leadership, particularly in Buddhism and Jainism. In Hinduism, the term generally denotes a powerful ruler whose dominion extended to the entire earth.

Yayati marries Devayani and takes Sharmishtha as his mistress on her request. After hearing of his relationship with Sharmishtha, Devayani complains to her father Shukracharya, who in turn curses Yayati to old age in the prime of life for inflicting such pain upon his daughter. His story finds mention in the Mahabharata-Adi Parva and also Bhagavata Purana.

However, he later relents a little, telling Yayati that if he can persuade one of his sons to swap ages with him he will be able to escape the curse and regain his lost youth for a while. Yayati asks his sons if one of them will give up his youth to rejuvenate his father, but all refuse except the youngest, Puru (one of his sons by Sharmishtha).

In the words of the story, Yayati enjoys all the pleasures of the senses ‘for a thousand years’ and, by experiencing passion to the full, comes to realise its utter futility, saying : “Know this for certain, … not all the food, wealth and women of the world can appease the lust of a single man of uncontrolled senses. Craving for sense-pleasures is not removed but aggravated by indulgence even as ghee poured into fire increases it….One who aspires to peace and happiness should instantly renounce craving and seek instead that which neither grows old, nor ceases – no matter how old the body may become.”

Having found wisdom by following the road of excess, Yayati gratefully returns the youth of his son Puru and takes back his old age in return, renouncing the world to spend his remaining days as a forest ascetic. His spiritual practices are, at long last, blessed with success and, alone in the deep woods, he is rewarded with ascension to svarga – the heavenly realm of the righteous, ruled by Indra, that is but one step below the ultimate liberation of moksha.

In grateful recognition of Puru’s filial devotion, Yayati makes Puru his legitimate heir and it is from the line of Puru – later King Puru – that the Kuru dynasty, the name of a Vedic Aryan tribal union in northern Iron Age India, encompassing the modern-day states of Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and western part of Uttar Pradesh, later arises.

Kuru, which appeared in the Middle Vedic period (1200-850 BCE) and developed into the first recorded state-level society in South Asia around 1000 BCE, corresponds archaeologically to the Painted Grey Ware culture. It decisively changed the Vedic heritage of the early Vedic period, arranging the Vedic hymns into collections, and developing new rituals which gained their position in Indian civilization as the orthodox srauta rituals, which contributed to the so-called “classical synthesis” or “Hindu synthesis”.

It became the dominant political and cultural center of the middle Vedic Period during the reigns of Parikshit and Janamejaya, but it declined in importance during the Late Vedic period (c. 850-500 BCE), and had become “something of a backwater” by the Mahajanapada period in the 5th century BCE. However, traditions and legends about the Kurus continued into the post-Vedic period, providing the basis for the Mahabharata epic.

King Puru was a Puranic king and one of ancestors of the Pandavas and Kauravas. Together the brothers fought and prevailed in a great war against their cousins the Kauravas, which came to be known as the Kurukshetra War.

In the Mahabharata, Puru is said to have inherited his kingdom in the Gangatic plain. He is said to have three mighty heroes as sons by his wife Paushti; Pravira, and Raudraswa. Pravira succeeded Puru and was in turn succeeded by his son Manasyu.

He ruled from the centre as a supreme World Emperor or King of Kings. His dynasty becomes the Puru vamsha which was later renamed as Kuru Vamsha to which Pandavas and Kauravas belong. Another Puru is mentioned as a king in the Rigveda and as the father of Adityas, married to Aditi, living and ruling over and area of the Saraswati river.

In Hinduism, Ādityas, meaning “of Aditi”, refers to the offspring of Aditi. The name, Aditya, is used in the singular to mean the Sun God, Surya. The Bhagavata Purana lists a total of twelve Adityas as Sun-gods. In each month of the year a different Aditya is said to shine. Each of these Adityas is a different expression of Lord Vishnu in the form of the Sun-God.

In each month of the year, it is a different Aditya who shines as the Sun-God. As Indra, Surya destroys the enemies of the gods. As Dhata, he creates living beings. As Parjanya, he showers down rain. As Tvashta, he lives in the trees and herbs. As Pusha, he makes foodgrains grow. As Aryama, he is in the wind. As Bhaga, he is in the body of all living beings. As Vivasvana, he is in fire and helps to cook food. As Vishnu, he destroys the enemies of the gods. As Amshumana, he is again in the wind. As Varuna, he is in the waters and As Mitra, he is in the moon and in the oceans.

Adityas are responsible for proper functioning of the universe and in Hindu cosmology they are given lordship over celestial constellations, called Nakshtras in Jyotish. Nakshatras are forces of universal intelligence which are intertwined with the birth-death cycle of life, identity of all created beings, events and day to day consciousness in our lives. Aditays manage the Shakti of the nakshatras.

The Adityas have been described in the Rig Veda as bright and pure as streams of water, free from all guile and falsehood, blameless, perfect. This class of deities has been seen as upholding the movables and immovable Dharma. Adityas are beneficent gods who act as protectors of all beings, who are provident and guard the world of spirits and protect the world.

In the form of Mitra-Varuna, the Adityas are true to the eternal Law and act as the exactors of debt. In present-day usage in Sanskrit, the term Aditya has been made singular in contrast to Vedic Adityas, and are being used synonymously with Surya, the Sun.

The Vayu Purana, the Brahmanda Purana, the Shiva Purana and the Harivamsa Purana mention that Yayati possessed a divine chariot which could travel in any direction unimpeded. It is variously mentioned that Yayati acquired it from Shukracharya, Indra or from Shiva.

The Harivamsha Purana mentions that with the speed of this chariot, Yayati was able to conquer the earth and the heavens in merely six days. He had also vanquished the Asuras many times.

Yayati gave this chariot to his youngest son, Puru who succeeded his father as king. The chariot became a family heirloom among the descendants of Puru. The chariot however vanished due to a curse incurred by the Paurava King Janamejaya when he slew a Brahmana in his hatred.

Many years later, Indra once more gave that same chariot to King Vasu Uparichara, another descendant of Puru. Uparichara’s grandson, Jarasandha of Magadha, inherited that chariot. Jarasandha was eventually defeated and slain by the Pandava Bhima who gave the chariot to his cousin, Lord Krishna.

A King Puru is also mentioned in Korean mythology as the son of a heavenly king called Haemosu who ruled the Buyeo kingdom. The Korean King Puru went on to succeed his divine father and ruled in peace and prosperity.

There is a story that when he grew old in age without any children, he was led to a large stone by a horse. When the horse began to cry in front of the stone, the king had it moved and found a frog bathed in a golden light. The frog quickly turned into a handsome boy, which Puru interpreted as a sign from heaven and made him crown prince.

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The bull: Enlil (Bull of Heaven) – Nanna (Moon) – Ninurta (Saturn)

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 14, 2016

In Sumerian mythology and later for Assyrians and Babylonians, Anu was a sky-god, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods, spirits and demons, and dwelt in the highest heavenly regions. It was believed that he had the power to judge those who had committed crimes, and that he had created the stars as soldiers to destroy the wicked. He was the father of the Anunnaki. In art he was sometimes depicted as a jackal. His attribute was the royal tiara, most times decorated with two pairs of bull horns.

In Sumerian mythology, An was the god whose name was synonymous with the sun’s zenith, or heaven. He was the oldest god in the Sumerian pantheon, and part of a triad including Enlil, god of the sky and Enki, god of water. He was called Anu by the Akkadians, rulers of Mesopotamia after the conquest of Sumer in 2334 BCE by King Sargon of Akkad.

Enlil’s relation to An ‘Sky’, in theory the supreme god of the Sumerian pantheon, was somewhat like that of a Frankish mayor of the palace compared to the king, or that of a Japanese shogun compared to the emperor, or to a prime minister in a modern constitutional monarchy compared to the supposed monarch. While An was in name ruler in the highest heavens, it was Enlil who mostly did the actual ruling over the world.

As Enlil was the only god who could reach An, the god of heaven, he held sway over the other gods who were assigned tasks by his agent and would travel to Nippur to draw in his power. He is thus seen as the model for kingship. Enlil was assimilated to the north “Pole of the Ecliptic”. His sacred number name was 50, while the sacred number of An was 60. The sacred number of Enki was 40.

There is a clear association of Ziggurats with mountain houses. Mountain houses play a certain role in Mesopotamian mythology and Assyro-Babylonian religion, associated with deities such as Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursag.

It is the assembly of the gods in the Garden of the gods, parallel in Greek mythology to Mount Olympus and was the most revered and sacred building of ancient Sumer. The fall of Ekur is described in the Lament for Ur.

In the Hymn to Enlil, the Ekur is closely linked to Enlil whilst in Enlil and Ninlil it is the abode of the Annanuki, from where Enlil is banished. In this myth Enlil 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.

The Descent of Inanna

 

The story shows some similarities to the text known as “The Descent of Inanna”. Inanna’s reason for visiting the underworld is unclear. The reason she gives to the gatekeeper of the underworld is that she wants to attend the funeral rites of Ereshkigal’s husband, here said to be Gud-gal-ana.

In early Mesopotamian art, the Bull of Heaven was closely associated with Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare. One of the oldest depictions shows the bull standing before the goddess’ standard; since it has 3 stars depicted on its back (the cuneiform sign for “star-constellation”), there is good reason to regard this as the constellation later known as Taurus.

In the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest works of literature, the goddess Inanna sends Taurus, the Bull of Heaven, to kill Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. However, Gugalanna, whose feet made the earth shake, was slain and dismembered by Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu. Inanna looked down from the city walls and Enkidu shook the haunches of the bull at her, threatening to do the same if he ever caught her. He is later killed for this impiety.

Gugalanna was the first husband of Ereshkigal, ruler of the Underworld, a gloomy place devoid of light. It was to share the sorrow with her sister that Inanna later descends to the Underworld. To further add to the confusion, Ereshkigal’s husband typically is the plague god, Nergal, who is said to have raped the goddess after the disappearance of Gugalana.

Some locate Gilgamesh as the neighboring constellation of Orion, facing Taurus as if in combat, while others identify him with the sun whose rising on the equinox vanquishes the constellation.

Ninlil – Lilith

In Sumerian religion, Ninlil (NIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), also called Sud, in Assyrian called Mulliltu, is the consort goddess of Enlil. Her parentage is variously described. Most commonly she is called the daughter of Haia (god of stores) and Nunbarsegunu (or Ninshebargunnu [a goddess of barley] or Nisaba). Another Akkadian source says she is the daughter of Anu (aka An) and Antu (Sumerian Ki). Other sources call her a daughter of Anu and Nammu.

However, 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 Jewish folklore, from the satirical book Alphabet of Ben Sira (ca 700–1000 CE) onwards, Lilith appears as Adam’s first wife, who was created at the same time (Rosh Hashanah) and from the same dirt as Adam – compare Genesis 1:27.

This contrasts with Eve, who was created from one of Adam’s ribs: Genesis 2:22) The legend developed extensively during the Middle Ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar, and Jewish mysticism.

For example, in the 13th-century writings of Rabbi Isaac ben Jacob ha-Cohen, Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and then would not return to the Garden of Eden after she had coupled with the archangel Samael. The resulting Lilith legend continues to serve as source material in modern Western culture, literature, occultism, fantasy, and horror.

Ninlil – Ninhursag

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”.

As the wife and consort of Enki, Ninhursag was referred to as Damgulanna (“Great wife of heaven”) or Damkina (“Faithful wife”). She had many epithets including shassuru or ‘womb goddess’, tabsut ili ‘midwife of the gods’, ‘mother of all children’ and ‘mother of the gods’. In this role she is identified with Ki in the Enuma Elish.

Adam

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.

In one version of this myth Ninhursag takes Enki’s semen from Uttu’s womb and plants it in the earth where eight plants rapidly germinate. However, 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, 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. Some scholars suggest that this served as the basis for the story of Eve created from Adam’s rib in the Book of Genesis.

Enkidu

Enkidu (EN.KI.DU, “Enki’s creation”) is a central figure in the Ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. Enkidu was formed from clay and saliva by Aruru, the goddess of creation, to rid Gilgamesh of his arrogance.

In the story he is a wild man, raised by animals and ignorant of human society until he is bedded by Shamhat. Thereafter a series of interactions with humans and human ways bring him closer to civilization, culminating in a wrestling match with Gilgamesh, king of Uruk.

Enkidu embodies the wild or natural world. Though equal to Gilgamesh in strength and bearing, he acts in some ways as an antithesis to the cultured, urban-bred warrior-king. Enkidu then becomes the king’s constant companion and deeply beloved friend, accompanying him on adventures until he is stricken with illness and dies. The deep, tragic loss of Enkidu profoundly inspires in Gilgamesh a quest to escape death by obtaining godly immortality.

Adapa

Ilabrat in Assyrian, Babylonian and Akkadian mythology is the attendant and vizier of the chief sky god Anu, and part of his entourage. Ilabrat appears on the tablets of the legend of “Adapa and the food of life” which seems to explain the origin of death.

Mesopotamian myth tells of seven antediluvian sages (apkallu), who were sent by Ea, the wise god of Eridu, to bring the arts of civilisation to humankind. The story is first attested in the Kassite period (14th century BC), in fragmentary tablets from Tell el-Amarna, and from Assur, of the late second millennium BC.

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

The first of these, Adapa, also known as Uan, the name given as Oannes by Berossus, introduced the practice of the correct rites of religious observance as priest of the E’Apsu temple, at Eridu. 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. Anu called his vizier Ilabrat messenger: Why has not the wind blowing south for seven days? Ilabrat his vizier replied: “My lord, Adapa, son of Ea, has broken the wings of the south wind.”

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. According to the tablets, this food and water of life offered by Anu would have made Adapa and his descendants immortal.

Nanna

Nanna is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin. Sin had a beard made of lapis lazuli and rode on a winged bull. The bull was one of his symbols, through his father, Enlil, “Bull of Heaven”, along with the crescent and the tripod (which may be a lamp-stand). On cylinder seals, he is represented as an old man with a flowing beard and the crescent symbol.

He is commonly designated as En-zu, which means “lord of wisdom”. During the period (c.2600-2400 BC) that Ur exercised a large measure of supremacy over the Euphrates valley, Sin was naturally regarded as the head of the pantheon. The tendency to centralize the powers of the universe leads to the establishment of the doctrine of a triad consisting of Sin/Nanna and his children.

His wife was Ningal (“Great Lady”), who bore him the sun god Utu/Shamash (“Sun”), the storm and thunder god Ishkur, Ereshkigal, and Inanna/Ishtar (the goddess of the planet Venus). Inanna and Ereshkigal represent polar opposites. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven, but Ereshkigal is the queen of Irkalla, the Underworld.

It is to this period that we must trace such designations of Sin as “father of the gods”, “chief of the gods”, “creator of all things”, and the like. The “wisdom” personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of the science of astronomy or the practice of astrology, in which the observation of the moon’s phases is an important factor.

In the astral-theological system he is represented by the number 30 and the moon. This number probably refers to the average number of days (correctly around 29.53) in a lunar month, as measured between successive new moons. The sacred number of the sun god Utu-Shamash was 20, Inanna-Ishtar (Venus) 15, Nabu (Mercury) 12, Marduk (Jupiter) 10, Nergal (Mars) 8, Ninib, Adad or Ninurta (Saturn) 4.

Ninurta

Ninurta is a son of Enlil and Ninlil, along with Nanna and Nergal. In Assyro-Babylonian ecclesiastical art the great lion-headed colossi serving as guardians to the temples and palaces seem to symbolise Nergal, just as the bull-headed colossi probably typify Ninurta.

In the astral-theological system Ninurta was associated with the planet Saturn, or perhaps as offspring or an aspect of Saturn. In his capacity as a farmer-god, there are similarities between Ninurta and the Greek Titan Kronos, whom the Romans in turn identified with their Titan Saturn.

In the late neo-Babylonian and early Persian period, syncretism seems to have fused Ninurta’s character with that of Nergal. The two gods were often invoked together, and spoken of as if they were one divinity.

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The Elysian Fields and its connection with reeds

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 14, 2016

In Greek mythology, the Elysian Fields, or the Elysian Plains, the final resting places of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous, evolved from a designation of a place or person struck by lightning, enelysion, enelysios. This could be a reference to Zeus, the god of lightning/Jupiter, so “lightning-struck” could be saying that the person was blessed (struck) by Zeus (/lightning/fortune).

Egyptologist Jan Assmann has also suggested that Greek Elysion may have instead been derived from the Egyptian term ialu (older iaru), meaning “reeds,” with specific reference to the “Reed fields” (Egyptian: sekhet iaru / ialu), a paradisiacal land of plenty where the dead hoped to spend eternity.

Early royal inscriptions from the third millennium BCE mention “the reeds of Enki”. Reeds were an important local building material, used for baskets and containers, and collected outside the city walls, where the dead or sick were often carried. This links Enki to the Kur or underworld of Sumerian mythology.

According to Sumerian mythology, Enki also assisted humanity to survive the Deluge designed to kill them. In the later Legend of Atrahasis, Enlil, the king of the gods, sets out to eliminate humanity, whose noise is disturbing his rest. He successively sends drought, famine and plague to eliminate humanity, but Enki thwarts his half-brother’s plans by teaching Atrahasis how to counter these threats.

Each time, Atrahasis asks the population to abandon worship of all gods, except the one responsible for the calamity, and this seems to shame them into relenting. Humans, however, proliferate a fourth time. Enraged, Enlil convenes a Council of Deities and gets them to promise not to tell humankind that he plans their total annihilation.

Enki does not tell Atrahasis directly, but speaks to him in secret via a reed wall. He instructs Atrahasis to build a boat in order to rescue his family and other living creatures from the coming deluge. After the seven-day Deluge, the flood hero frees a swallow, a raven and a dove in an effort to find if the flood waters have receded. Upon landing, a sacrifice is made to the gods.

Enlil is angry his will has been thwarted yet again, and Enki is named as the culprit. Enki explains that Enlil is unfair to punish the guiltless, and the gods institute measures to ensure that humanity does not become too populous in the future. This is one of the oldest of the surviving Middle Eastern Deluge myths.

Ningikuga (“Lady of the Pure Reed”) in Sumerian mythology was a goddess of reeds and marshes. She was the daughter of An and Nammu, and one of the consorts of Enki, by whom she became the mother of Ningal (“Great Lady/Queen”).

Ningal was 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. She is chiefly recognised at Ur, and was probably first worshipped by cow-herders in the marsh lands of southern Mesopotamia.

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Death of a god

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 14, 2016

Tammuz (Balder) – The seasons

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. The Levantine (“lord”) Adonis, who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz, son and consort.

Beginning with the summer solstice came a time of mourning in the Ancient Near East, as in the Aegean: the Babylonians marked the decline in daylight hours and the onset of killing summer heat and drought with a six-day “funeral” for the god. In cult practice, the dead Tammuz was widely mourned in the Ancient Near East.

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.

Gugalanna – The equinox

Gugalanna (Sumerian gu.gal.an.na, “the Great Bull of Heaven”), better known as the Bull of Heaven (Sumerian: gu.an.na), was a deity in ancient Mesopotamian religion originating in Sumer as well as the constellation known today as Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. it was the first constellation in the Babylonian zodiac and they described it as “The Bull in Front”. The Akkadian name was Alu.

To the Egyptians, the constellation Taurus was a sacred bull that was associated with the renewal of life in spring. When the spring equinox entered Taurus, the constellation would become covered by the Sun in the western sky as spring began. This “sacrifice” led to the renewal of the land. To the early Hebrews, Taurus was the first constellation in their zodiac and consequently it was represented by the first letter in their alphabet, Aleph.

Taurus marked the point of vernal (spring) equinox in the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, from about 4000 BC to 1700 BC, after which it moved into the neighboring constellation Aries. The Pleiades were closest to the Sun at vernal equinox around the 23rd century BC. As this constellation marked the vernal equinox,

In early Mesopotamian art, the Bull of Heaven was closely associated with Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare. One of the oldest depictions shows the bull standing before the goddess’ standard; since it has 3 stars depicted on its back (the cuneiform sign for “star-constellation”), there is good reason to regard this as the constellation later known as Taurus.

In Egypt, Taurus was seen as the cow goddess Hathor. Hathor was the goddess of beauty, love, and happiness, and she represented all of the riches seen in cattle as the providers of nourishment. Roman astrologers considered Taurus ruled by Venus, the goddess of beauty, and Earth.

The symbol of the bull is based on the Cretan Bull, the white bull that fathered the Minotaur who was killed by Theseus. Greek mythographer Acusilaus marks the bull Taurus as the same that formed the myth of the Cretan Bull, one of The Twelve Labors of Heracles.

Gugalanna was sent by the gods to take retribution upon Gilgamesh for rejecting the sexual advances of the goddess Inanna. Gugalanna, whose feet made the earth shake, was slain and dismembered by Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu. Inanna looked down from the city walls and Enkidu shook the haunches of the bull at her, threatening to do the same if he ever caught her. He is later killed for this impiety.

Some locate Gilgamesh as the neighboring constellation of Orion, facing Taurus as if in combat, while others identify him with the sun whose rising on the equinox vanquishes the constellation.

Gugalanna was the first husband of Ereshkigal, ruler of the Underworld, a gloomy place devoid of light. 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. It was to share the sorrow with her sister that Inanna later descends to the Underworld.

Taurus was the constellation of the Northern Hemisphere’s March equinox from about 3200 bc. The equinox was considered the Sumerian New Year, Akitu, an important event in their religion. The story of the death of Gugalanna has been considered to represent the sun’s obscuring of the constellation as it rose on the morning of the equinox.

Between the period of the earliest female figurines circa 4500 BC, a span of a thousand years elapsed, during which the archaeological signs constantly increase of a cult of the tilled earth fertilised by that noblest and most powerful beast of the recently developed holy barnyard, the bull – who not only sired the milk yielding cows, but also drew the plow, which in that early period simultaneously broke and seeded the earth.

Moreover by analogy, the horned moon, lord of the rhythm of the womb and of the rains and dews, was equated with the bull; so that the animal became a cosmological symbol, uniting the fields and the laws of sky and earth.

Taurus was the second sign of the zodiac established among the ancient Mesopotamians – who knew it as the Bull of Heaven – because it was the constellation through which the sun rose on the vernal equinox at that time. Due to the precession of the equinox, it has since passed through the constellation Aries and into the constellation Pisces (hence our current era being known as the Age of Pisces).

The Bull represents a strong-willed character with great perseverance and determination. In Egypt, Taurus was seen as the cow goddess Hathor. Hathor was the goddess of beauty, love, and happiness, and she represented all of the riches seen in cattle as the providers of nourishment. Roman astrologers considered Taurus ruled by Venus, the goddess of beauty, and Earth.

Nergal (Tyr) – the Underworld and it’s rulers

Ereshkigal plays a very prominent and important role in two particular myths. The first myth featuring Ereshkigal is described in the ancient Sumerian epic poem of “Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld.” In the poem, the goddess, Inanna descends into the Underworld, apparently seeking to extend her powers there.

The other myth is the story of Nergal, the plague god. Once, the gods held a banquet that Ereshkigal, as queen of the Netherworld, could not come up to attend. They invited her to send a messenger, and she sent her vizier Namtar in her place. He was treated well by all, but for the exception of being disrespected by Nergal.

As a result of this, Nergal was banished to the kingdom controlled by the goddess. Versions vary at this point, but all of them result in him becoming her husband. In later tradition, Nergal is said to have been the victor, taking her as wife and ruling the land himself.

It is theorized that the story of Inanna’s descent is told to illustrate the possibility of an escape from the netherworld, while the Nergal myth is intended to reconcile the existence of two rulers of the Netherworld: a goddess and a god. The addition of Nergal represents the harmonizing tendency to unite Ereshkigal as the queen of the netherworld with the god who, as god of war and of pestilence, brings death to the living and thus becomes the one who presides over the dead.

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Thor – the thunder god

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 14, 2016

Bilderesultat for sagittarius

Bilderesultat for sagittarius

Bilderesultat for sagittarius

Jupiter – Sagittarius

Bilderesultat for thor symbol

Thor – Sacred Marriage and Chaoskampf

TarhuntTarḫunnaTarḫunzTaranisTarchonThorTharapita or TaaraPerkūnasPerunPerkūnasUkko or Perkele, PerëndiZeusJupiter,  IndraNinurtaTeshubAdad, Bel, MardukBaʿal, HadadSetAstrape and BronteBrontesSummanus, Ambisagrus, LoucetiosGebeleizisZibelthiurdos, and Horagalles

Enlil is the “Bull of Heaven”

Nanna, the Moon, is also a bull, and the same is Ninurta, also known as Saturn / Cronus

Ishkur / Haddad 

Iškur (Sumerian), Haddad (Akkadian) and Haddu (Ugaritic) was the storm and rain god in the Northwest Semitic and ancient Mesopotamian religions. It was attested in Ebla as “Hadda” in c. 2500 BC. In Akkadian, Adad is also known as Ramman (“Thunderer”) cognate with Aramaic Rimmon, which was a byname of Hadad. From the Levant, Hadad was introduced to Mesopotamia by the Amorites, where it became known as the Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian) god Adad.

The form Iškur appears in the list of gods found at Shuruppak but was of far less importance, probably partly because storms and rain were scarce in Sumer and agriculture there depended on irrigation instead. The gods Enlil and Ninurta also had storm god features that decreased Iškur’s distinctiveness. He sometimes appears as the assistant or companion of one or the other of the two.

When Enki distributed the destinies, he made Iškur inspector of the cosmos. In one litany, Iškur is proclaimed again and again as “great radiant bull, your name is heaven” and also called son of Anu, lord of Karkara; twin-brother of Enki, lord of abundance, lord who rides the storm, lion of heaven. He is also occasionally son of Enlil.

In other texts Adad/Iškur is sometimes son of the moon god Sin (Akkadian) or Nanna (Sumerian) by Ningal (“Great Lady/Queen”), and brother of Utu/Shamash, the sun god, Ereshkigal, and Inanna/Ishtar. Nanna is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin.

The two chief seats of Nanna’s/Sin’s worship were Ur in the south of Mesopotamia and Harran in the north. His consort is Ningal, a goddess of reeds in the Sumerian mythology, daughter of Enki and Ningikurga. She is chiefly recognised at Ur, and was probably first worshipped by cow-herders in the marsh lands of southern Mesopotamia.

Sin is commonly designated as En-zu, which means “lord of wisdom”. During the period (c.2600-2400 BC) that Ur exercised a large measure of supremacy over the Euphrates valley, Sin was naturally regarded as the head of the pantheon. The tendency to centralize the powers of the universe leads to the establishment of the doctrine of a triad consisting of Sin/Nanna and his children.

It is to this period that we must trace such designations of Sin as “father of the gods”, “chief of the gods”, “creator of all things”, and the like. The “wisdom” personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of the science of astronomy or the practice of astrology, in which the observation of the moon’s phases is an important factor.

Sin had a beard made of lapis lazuli and rode on a winged bull. The bull was one of his symbols, through his father, Enlil, “Bull of Heaven”, along with the crescent and the tripod (which may be a lamp-stand).

On cylinder seals, he is represented as an old man with a flowing beard and the crescent symbol. In the astral-theological system he is represented by the number 30 and the moon. This number probably refers to the average number of days (correctly around 29.53) in a lunar month, as measured between successive new moons.

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. Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general.

Whether the will of the gods is determined through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal, through observing the action of oil bubbles in a basin of water or through the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, it is Shamash and Adad who, in the ritual connected with divination, are invariably invoked.

Similarly in the annals and votive inscriptions of the kings, when oracles are referred to, Shamash and Adad are always named as the gods addressed, and their ordinary designation in such instances is bele biri (“lords of divination”).

The Babylonian center of Adad/Iškur’s cult was Karkara in the south, his chief temple being É.Kar.kar.a; his spouse Shala his was worshipped in a temple named É.Dur.ku. In Assyria, Adad was developed along with his warrior aspect.

During the Middle Assyrian Empire, from the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115–1077 BCE), Adad had a double sanctuary in Assur which he shared with Anu. Anu is often associated with Adad in invocations. The name Adad and various alternate forms and bynames (Dadu, Bir, Dadda) are often found in the names of the Assyrian kings.

Adad and Iškur are usually written with the logogram dIM. Hadad was also called “Pidar”, “Rapiu”, “Baal-Zephon”, or often simply Baʿal (Lord), but this title was also used for other gods. The bull was the symbolic animal of Hadad. He appeared bearded, often holding a club and thunderbolt while wearing a bull-horned headdress.

Hadad was equated with the Hurrian god of sky and storm, and later the Indo-European Nasite Hittite storm-god Teshub (cuneiform dIM; hieroglyphic Luwian (DEUS)TONITRUS, read as Tarhunzas); the Egyptian god Set; the Rigvedic god Indra, the Greek god Zeus; the Roman god Jupiter, as Jupiter Dolichenus.

Taru was the name of a similar Hattic Storm God, whose mythology and worship as a primary deity continued and evolved through descendant Luwian and Hittite cultures. In these two, Taru was known as Tarhun / Tarhunt- / Tarhuwant- / Tarhunta, names derived from the Anatolian root *tarh “to defeat, conquer”.

Taru/Tarhun/Tarhunt was ultimately assimilated into and identified with the Hurrian Teshub around the time of the religious reforms of Muwatalli II, ruler of the Hittite New Kingdom in the early 13th century BCE. These reforms can generally be categorized as an official incorporation of Hurrian deities into the Hittite pantheon, with a smaller number of important Hurrian gods (like Teshub) being explicitly identified with preexisting major Hittite deities (like Taru).

Teshub reappears in the post-Hurrian cultural successor kingdom of Urartu as Tesheba, one of their chief gods; in Urartian art he is depicted standing on a bull.

Virgo / Libra

Adad/Iškur’s consort (both in early Sumerian and the much later Assyrian texts) was Shala, a goddess of grain, who is also sometimes associated with the god Dagan. She was also called Gubarra in the earliest texts. The fire god Gibil (named Gerra in Akkadian) is sometimes the son of Iškur and Shala.

Virgo is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for virgin. Lying between Leo to the west and Libra to the east, it is the second largest constellation in the sky (after Hydra). It can be easily found through its brightest star, Spica.

According to the Babylonian Mul.Apin, which dates from 1000–686 BCE, this constellation was known as “The Furrow”, representing the goddess Shala’s ear of grain. One star in this constellation, Spica, retains this tradition as it is Latin for “ear of grain”, one of the major products of the Mesopotamian furrow. The constellation was also known as “AB.SIN” and “absinnu”. For this reason the constellation became associated with fertility.

According to Gavin White the figure of Virgo corresponds to two Babylonian constellations: the “Furrow” in the eastern sector of Virgo and the “Frond of Erua” in the western sector. The Frond of Erua was depicted as a goddess holding a palm-frond – a motif that still occasionally appears in much later depictions of Virgo.

There is very important documentation referring to the description of the constellation Virgo, which has its origin in the ancient Assyrian-Babylonian culture. This constellation has always been female and has been especially associated with the tension between fertility and beauty. The Babylonians associated this constellation with the goddess Ishtar, also well-known under the name of Ashtoreth or Astarte.

The Greeks and Romans associated Virgo with their goddess of wheat/agriculture, Demeter-Ceres who is the mother of Persephone-Proserpina. Alternatively, she was sometimes identified as the virgin goddess Iustitia or Astraea, holding the scales of justice in her hand as the constellation Libra. Libra only became a constellation in ancient Rome, when it began to represent the scales held by Astraea, the goddess of justice, associated with Virgo.

Another myth identifies Virgo as Erigone, the daughter of Icarius of Athens. Icarius, who had been favoured by Dionysus, was killed by his shepherds while they were intoxicated and Erigone hanged herself in grief; Dionysus placed the father and daughter in the stars as Boötes and Virgo respectively. In the Middle Ages, Virgo was sometimes associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Due to the effects of precession, the First Point of Libra, (also known as the autumn equinox point) lies within the boundaries of Virgo very close to β Virginis. This is one of the two points in the sky where the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic (the other being the First Point of Aries, now in the constellation of Pisces.) This point will pass into the neighbouring constellation of Leo around the year 2440.

Mari (City and god)

Mari (modern Tell Hariri), was an ancient Semitic city in Syria. Its remains constitute a tell located 11 kilometers north-west of Abu Kamal on the Euphrates river western bank, some 120 kilometers southeast of Deir ez-Zor. It flourished as a trade center and hegemonic state between 2900 BC and 1759 BC.[note 1] As a purposely built city, the existence of Mari was related to its position in the middle of the Euphrates trade routes; this position made it an intermediary between Sumer in the south and the Levant in the west.

Mari was first abandoned in the middle of the 26th century BC but was rebuilt and became the capital of a hegemonic East-Semitic state before 2500 BC. This second Mari engaged in a long war with its rival Ebla, and is known for its strong affinity with the Sumerian culture. It was destroyed in the 23rd century BC by the Akkadians who allowed the city to be rebuilt and appointed a military governor bearing the title of Shakkanakku (military governor).

The governors later became independent with the rapid disintegration of the Akkadian empire and rebuilt the city as a regional center in the middle Euphrates valley. The Shakkanakkus ruled Mari until the second half of the 19th century BC when the dynasty collapsed for unknown reasons. A short time after the Shakkanakku collapse, Mari became the capital of the Amorite Lim dynasty. The Amorite Mari was short lived as it was annexed by Babylonia in c. 1761 BC, but the city survived as a small settlement under the rule of the Babylonians and the Assyrians before being abandoned and forgotten during the Hellenistic period.

The Mariotes worshiped both Semitic and Sumerian deities and established their city as a center of old trade. However, although the pre-Amorite periods were characterized by heavy Sumerian cultural influence, Mari was not a city of Sumerian immigrants but rather a Semitic speaking nation that used a dialect similar to Eblaite. The Amorites were West-Semites who began to settle the area before the 21st century BC; by the Lim dynasty’s era (c. 1830 BC), they became the dominant population in the Fertile Crescent.

Mari’s discovery in 1933 provided an important insight into the geopolitical map of ancient Mesopotamia and Syria, due to the discovery of more than 25,000 tablets that contained important information about the administration of state during the second millennium BC and the nature of diplomatic relations between the political entities in the region. They also revealed the wide trading networks of the 18th century BC, which connected areas as far as Afghanistan in Southern Asia and Crete in the Mediterranean region.

The first and second kingdoms were heavily influenced by the Sumerian south. The society was led by an urban oligarchy, and the citizens were well known for elaborate hair styles and dress. The calendar was based on a solar year divided into twelve months, and was the same calendar used in Ebla “the old Eblaite calendar”. Scribes wrote in Sumerian language and the art was indistinguishable from Sumerian art, so was the architectural style.

Mesopotamian influence continued to affect Mari’s culture during the Amorite period, which is evident in the Babylonian scribal style used in the city. However, it was less influential than the former periods and a distinct Syrian style prevailed, which is noticeable in the seals of kings, which reflect a clear Syrian origin. The society was a tribal one, it consisted mostly of farmers and nomads (Haneans), and in contrast to Mesopotamia, the temple had a minor role in everyday life as the power was mostly invested in the palace.

The name of the city can be traced to Mer, an ancient storm deity of northern Mesopotamia and Syria who was considered the patron deity of the city, Georges Dossin noted that the name of the city was spelled identically like the name of the storm god and concluded that Mari was named after him. The Pantheon included both Sumerian and Semitic deities, and throughout most of its history, Dagan was Mari’s head of the Pantheon, while Mer was the patron deity.

Other deities included the Semitic deities; Ishtar the goddess of fertility, Athtar, and Shamash, the Sun god who was regarded among the city most important deities, and believed to be all-knowing and all-seeing. Sumerian deities included Ninhursag, Dumuzi, Enki, Anu, and Enlil.

Amurru / Mar.tu (god) – Amorites (people)

Occasionally Adad/Iškur is identified with the god Amurru, the god of the Amorites (MAR.TU; Akkadian Tidnum or Amurrūm; Egyptian Amar; Hebrew Ĕmōrī), an ancient Semitic-speaking people from Syria who also occupied large parts of southern Mesopotamia from the 21st century BC to the end of the 17th century BC, where they established several prominent city states in existing locations, notably Babylon which was raised from a small administrative town to an independent state and major city.

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

Amurru and Martu are names given in Akkadian and Sumerian texts to the god of the Amorite/Amurru people, often forming part of personal names. He is sometimes called Ilu Amurru (DMAR.TU). He was the patron god of the Mesopotamian city of Ninab, whose exact location is unknown.

Amurru’s wife is usually the goddess Ašratum (see Asherah) who in northwest Semitic tradition and Hittite tradition appears as wife of the god Ēl which suggests that Amurru may indeed have been a variation of that god. If Amurru was identical with Ēl, it would explain why so few Amorite names are compounded with the name Amurru, but so many are compounded with Il; that is, with Ēl.

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

In the earliest Sumerian language texts, all western lands beyond the Euphrates, including the modern Levant, were known as “the land of the mar.tu (Amorites)”. This term appears in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, which describes it in the time of Enmerkar as one of the regions inhabited by speakers of a different language. Another text known as Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird describes how, fifty years into Enmerkar’s reign, the Martu people arose in Sumer and Akkad, (southern Mesopotamia) necessitating the building of a wall to protect Uruk.

There is a wide range of views regarding the Amorite homeland. One extreme is the view that kur mar.tu/māt amurrim covered the whole area between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Peninsula included. The other extreme is the view that the “homeland” of the Amorites was a limited area in northern Syria (Jebel Bishri). Since the Amorite language is one of the Canaanite languages, a branch of the Northwestern Semitic languages, as opposed to the South Semitic languages found in the Arabian Peninsula, they are usually considered native to the region around Syria and the Transjordan.

They appear as an uncivilized and nomadic people in early Mesopotamian writings from Sumer, Akkad and Assyria, especially connected with the mountainous region now called Jebel Bishri in northern Syria called the “mountain of the Amorites”. The rise of the Amorite kingdoms in Mesopotamia brought about deep and lasting repercussions in its political, social, and economic structure, especially in southern Mesopotamia.

From the 21st century BC, possibly triggered by a long major drought starting about 2200 BC, a large-scale migration of Amorite tribes infiltrated southern Mesopotamia. They were one of the instruments of the downfall of the Third Dynasty of Ur, and Amorite dynasties both usurped native rulers of long-extant Babylonian city-states such as Isin, Larsa, Eshnunna and Kish and also established new ones, the most famous of which was to become Babylon, although it was initially a minor and insignificant state.

This era ended in northern Mesopotamia with the defeat and expulsion of the Amorites and Amorite dominated Babylonians from Assyria by Puzur-Sin and king Adasi between 1740 and 1735 BC, and in the far south by the rise of the native Sealand Dynasty c. 1730 BC. The Amorites clung on in a once more small and weak Babylon until the Hittite sack of Babylon (c. 1595 BC) which ended the Amorite presence, and brought new ethnic groups—particularly the Kassites—to the forefront in southern Mesopotamia. From the 15th century BC onward, the term Amurru is usually applied to the region extending north of Canaan as far as Kadesh on the Orontes River in northern Syria.

After their expulsion from Mesopotamia, the Amorites of Syria came under the domination of first the Hittites and, from the 14th century BC, the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365-1050). They appear to have been displaced or absorbed by a new wave of semi-nomadic West Semitic-speaking peoples known collectively as the Ahlamu during the Late Bronze Age collapse. The Arameans rose to be the prominent group amongst the Ahlamu, and from circa 1200 BC onwards the Amorites disappeared from the pages of history. From this period, the region they had inhabited became known as Aram (“Aramea”) and Eber-Nari.

Marduk

Marduk (Sumerian spelling in Akkadian: dAMAR.UTU “solar calf”) was a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon. When Babylon became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century BC), he slowly started to rise to the position of the head of the Babylonian pantheon, a position he fully acquired by the second half of the second millennium BC. In the perfected system of astrology, Jupiter was associated with Marduk by the Hammurabi period.

Marduk’s original character is obscure but he was later associated with water, vegetation, judgment, and magic.[6] His consort was the goddess Sarpanit. He was also regarded as the son of Ea[8] (Sumerian Enki) and Damkina[9] and the heir of Anu, but whatever special traits Marduk may have had were overshadowed by the political development through which the Euphrates valley passed and which led to people of the time imbuing him with traits belonging to gods who in an earlier period were recognized as the heads of the pantheon. There are particularly two gods—Ea and Enlil—whose powers and attributes pass over to Marduk.

In the city of Babylon, he resided in the temple Esagila. “Marduk” is the Babylonian form of his name. According to The Encyclopedia of Religion, the name Marduk was probably pronounced Marutuk. The etymology of the name Marduk is conjectured as derived from amar-Utu (“bull calf of the sun god Utu”). The origin of Marduk’s name may reflect an earlier genealogy, or have had cultural ties to the ancient city of Sippar (whose god was Utu, the sun god), dating back to the third millennium BC.

Ashur

Ashur (also, Assur, Aššur; written A-šur, also Aš-šùr) is an East Semitic god, and the head of the Assyrian pantheon in Mesopotamian religion, worshipped mainly in the northern half of Mesopotamia, and parts of north-east Syria and south east Asia Minor which constituted old Assyria. He may have had a solar iconography. Aššur was a deified form of the city of Assur (pronounced Ashur), which dates from the mid 3rd millennium BC and was the capital of the Old Assyrian kingdom.

As such, Ashur did not originally have a family, but as the cult came under southern Mesopotamian influence, he later came to be regarded as the Assyrian equivalent of Enlil, the chief god of Nippur, which was the most important god of the southern pantheon from the early 3rd millennium BC until Hammurabi founded an empire based in Babylon in the mid-18th century BC, after which Marduk replaced Enlil as the chief god in the south. In the north, Ashur absorbed Enlil’s wife Ninlil (as the Assyrian goddess Mullissu) and his sons Ninurta and Zababa—this process began around the 14th century BC and continued down to the 7th century.

During the various periods of Assyrian conquest, such as the Assyrian Empire of Shamshi-Adad I (1813–1750 BC), Middle Assyrian Empire (1391–1056 BC) and Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC), Assyrian imperial propaganda proclaimed the supremacy of Ashur declared that the conquered peoples had been abandoned by their gods. When Assyria conquered Babylon in the Sargonid period (8th–7th centuries BC), Assyrian scribes began to write the name of Ashur with the cuneiform signs “AN.SHAR”, literally “whole heaven” in Akkadian, the language of Assyria and Babylonia.

The intention seems to have been to put Ashur at the head of the Babylonian pantheon, where Anshar and his counterpart Kishar (“whole earth”) preceded even Enlil and Ninlil. Thus in the Sargonid version of the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian national creation myth, Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, does not appear, and instead it is Ashur, as Anshar, who slays Tiamat the chaos-monster and creates the world of humankind.

Ashur, together with a number of other Mesopotamian gods, continued to be worshipped by Assyrians long after the fall of Assyria, with temples being erected in his honour in Assyria (Athura/Assuristan) until the 3rd and 4th centuries of the Christian era, but by this time most Assyrians had adopted East Syrian Christianity. The city of Ashur, named in honour of the deity,[citation needed] was inhabited until the 14th century, when a massacre of Assyrian Christians by Tamurlane left it finally emptied. Ashur is still a common given and family name amongst Assyrians to this day.

Sacred Marriage and the killing of the dragon 

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

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.

Puruli (EZEN Puruliyas) was a Hattian spring festival, held at Nerik, dedicated to the earth goddess Hannahanna, who is married to a new king. The central ritual of the Puruli festival is dedicated to the destruction of the dragon Illuyanka by the storm god Teshub. The corresponding Assyrian festival is the Akitu of the Enuma Elish. Also compared are the Canaanite Poem of Baal and Psalms 93 and 29.

Ninurta and Gula

Ninurta was a Sumerian and the Akkadian god of hunting and war. He was worshipped in Babylonia and Assyria and in Lagash he was identified with the city god Ningirsu. In the inscriptions found at Lagash he appears under his name Ningirsu, “the lord of Girsu”, Girsu being the name of a city where he was considered the patron deity.

In older transliteration the name is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes portrayed as a solar deity. The cult of Ninurta can be traced back to the oldest period of Sumerian history. In Nippur, Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the harvest goddess Ninhursag.

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

In another legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû); a Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future. Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the “Slain Heroes”.

Eventually, Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil. There are many parallels with both and the story of Marduk (son of Enki) who slew Tiamat and delivered the Tablets of Destiny from Kingu to his father, Enki.

In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, she gives birth to the first generation of deities; her husband, Apsu, correctly assuming they are planning to kill him and usurp his throne, later makes war upon them and is killed.

Enraged, she, too, wars upon her husband’s murderers, taking on the form of a massive sea dragon, she is then slain by Enki’s son, the storm-god Marduk, but not before she had brought forth the monsters of the Mesopotamian pantheon, including the first dragons, whose bodies she filled with “poison instead of blood”. Marduk then forms heavens and the earth from her divided body.

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

In the late neo-Babylonian and early Persian period, syncretism seems to have fused Ninurta’s character with that of Nergal. The two gods were often invoked together, and spoken of as if they were one divinity. In the astral-theological system Ninurta was associated with the planet Saturn, or perhaps as offspring or an aspect of Saturn. In his capacity as a farmer-god, there are similarities between Ninurta and the Greek Titan Kronos, whom the Romans in turn identified with their Titan Saturn.

The consort of Ninurta was Ugallu in Nippur and Bau or Baba when he was called Ningirsu. She was a Babylonian goddess of healing, the consort of Ninurta. She was the daughter of An and Ninurta’s wife. She had seven daughters, including Hegir-Nuna (Gangir). She was known as a patron deity of Lagash, where Gudea built her a temple.

The name Bau is more common in the oldest period and gives way to Gula after the First Babylonian Dynasty. Since it is probable that Ninib has absorbed the cults of minor sun-deities, the two names may represent consorts of different gods. However this may be, the qualities of both are alike, and the two occur as synonymous designations of Ninib’s female consort.

Other names borne by this goddess are Nin-Karrak, Nin Ezen, Ga-tum-dug and Nm-din-dug, the latter signifying “the lady who restores to life”, or the Goddess of Healing. After the Great Flood, she helped “breathe life” back into mankind. The designation well emphasizes the chief trait of Bau-Gula which is that of healer. She is often spoken of as “the great physician,” and accordingly plays a specially prominent role in incantations and incantation rituals intended to relieve those suffering from disease.

She is, however, also invoked to curse those who trample upon the rights of rulers or those who do wrong with poisonous potions. As in the case of Ninib, the cult of Bau-Gula is prominent in Shirgulla and in Nippur. While generally in close association with her consort, she is also invoked alone, giving her more dominance than most of the goddesses of Babylonia and Assyria.

She appears in a prominent position on the designs accompanying the Kudurrus boundary-stone monuments of Babylonia, being represented by a portrait, when other gods and goddesses are merely pictured by their shrines, by sacred animals or by weapons. In neo-Babylonian days her cult continues to occupy a prominent position, and Nebuchadrezzar II speaks of no less than three chapels or shrines within the sacred precincts of E-Zida in the city of Borsippa, besides a temple in her honour at Babylon.

Thor and Sif

In Norse mythology, Sif is a goddess associated with earth. Sif is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and in the poetry of skalds. In both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, Sif is the wife of the thunder god Thor and is known for her golden hair.

In the Prose Edda, Sif is named as the mother of the goddess Þrúðr by Thor and of Ullr with a father whose name is not recorded. The Prose Edda also recounts that Sif once had her hair shorn by Loki, and that Thor forced Loki to have a golden headpiece made for Sif, resulting in not only Sif’s golden tresses but also five other objects for other gods.

Scholars have proposed that Sif’s hair may represent fields of golden wheat, that she may be associated with fertility, family, wedlock and/or that she is connected to rowan, and that there may be an allusion to her role or possibly her name in the Old English poem Beowulf.

The name Sif is the singular form of the plural Old Norse word sifjar. Sifjar only appears in singular form when referring to the goddess as a proper noun. Sifjar is cognate to the Old English sib (meaning “affinity, connection, by marriage”) and in other Germanic languages: Gothic language sibja, Old High German sibba, and German Sippe.

Sifjar appears not only in ancient poetry and records of law, but also in compounds (byggja sifjar means “to marry”). Using this etymology, scholar John Lindow gives the meanings “in-law-relationship”, scholar Andy Orchard provides “relation”, and scholar Rudolf Simek gives “relation by marriage”.

Chaoskampf

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

In Nippur, Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the harvest goddess Ninhursag. Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace named Sharur: Sharur is capable of speech in the Sumerian legend “Deeds and Exploits of Ninurta” and can take the form of a winged lion and may represent an archetype for the later Shedu.

In another legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû), a lesser divinity or monster in several Mesopotamian religions. Anzû was seen as a massive bird who can breathe fire and water, although Anzû is alternately seen as a lion-headed eagle (like a reverse griffin). He was conceived by the pure waters of the Apsu and the wide Earth, or as son of Siris, the patron of beer who is conceived of as a demon, which is not necessarily evil.

A Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future. Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the “Slain Heroes”. Eventually, Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil.

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

It is suggested that there are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is a creator goddess, through a “Sacred marriage” between salt and fresh water, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations. In the second “Chaoskampf” Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos.

In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, she gives birth to the first generation of deities; her husband, Apsu, correctly assuming they are planning to kill him and usurp his throne, later makes war upon them and is killed.

Enraged, she, too, wars upon her husband’s murderers, taking on the form of a massive sea dragon, she is then slain by Enki’s son, the storm-god Marduk, but not before she had brought forth the monsters of the Mesopotamian pantheon, including the first dragons, whose bodies she filled with “poison instead of blood”. Marduk then forms heavens and the earth from her divided body.

Tiamat possessed the Tablet of Destinies and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, meaning “unskilled laborer,” the deity she — after the murder of his father Abzu — had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host, and who was also one of her children.

Tiamat gave Kingu the 3 Tablets of Destiny, which he wore as a breastplate and which gave him great power. She placed him as the general of her army. The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as “king of the gods”, overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

Like Tiamat, Kingu was eventually killed, and his blood was mixed with earth and used the clay to mold the first human beings that would act as the servant of the younger Igigi deities, while Tiamat’s body created the earth and the skies. Kingu then went to live in the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, along with the other deities who had sided with Tiamat.

The principal theme of the epic is the justified elevation of ove god to command over all the deities. The Tiamat myth is one of the earliest recorded versions of the Chaoskampf, the battle between a culture hero and a chthonic or aquatic monster, serpent or dragon.

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

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

Akitu or Akitum (Sumerian: ezen á.ki.tum, akiti-šekinku, á.ki.ti.še.gur₁₀.ku₅, lit. “the barley-cutting”, akiti-šununum, lit. “barley-sowing”; Akkadian: akitu or rêš-šattim, “head of the year”) was a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia.The Babylonian Akitu festival has played a pivotal role in the development of theories of religion, myth and ritual, yet the purpose of the festival remains a point of contention among both historians of religion and Assyriologists.

The name is from the Sumerian for “barley”, originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to Marduk’s victory over Tiamat.

A corresponding festival is the Hattian spring festival Puruli (EZEN Puruliyas), held at Nerik, dedicated to the earth goddess Hannahanna, who is married to a new king. The central ritual of the Puruli festival is dedicated to the destruction of the dragon Illuyanka by the storm god Teshub. Also compared are the Canaanite Poem of Baal and Psalms 93 and 29.

Heracles – Hera – Hercules

Hera (Greek Hērā, equivalently Hērē in Ionic and Homer) is the goddess of women and marriage in Greek mythology and religion. She is the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Hera is married to her brother Zeus and is titled as the Queen of Heaven. Some of her characteristics include her jealous and vengeful nature against Zeus’s other lovers and offspring and against the mortals who cross her. Her counterpart in the religion of ancient Rome was Juno.

The name of Hera may have several of mutually exclusive etymologies; one possibility is to connect it with Greek hōra (“season”), and to interpret it as ripe for marriage and according to Plato eratē (“beloved”) as Zeus is said to have married her for love. “Mistress” as a feminine to Heros, “Master” and beconnected with hērōs (“‘hero” and “heroine”). It can also stem from young cow, heifer, which is consonant with Hera’s common epithet boōpis (“cow-eyed”). According to Plutarch, Hera was an allegorical name and an anagram of aēr (“air”). However, it can also have a Pre-Greek origin. Her name is attested in Mycenaean Greek written in the Linear B syllabic script as e-ra.

– Perkele

Heracles (Ancient Greek: Hēraklēs, from Hēra, “Hera”), born Alcaeus (Alkaios) or Alcides (Alkeidēs), was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson and half-brother (as they are both sired by the god Zeus) of Perseus.

He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, Heracles was honored as Hercules, with whom the later Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves. He had a number of distinctively Roman myths and practices associated with him under that name.

Hera is the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. She is one of six children and along with her siblings, became the Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology and religion. She is married to her brother Zeus and is known as the Queen of Heaven.

Hera is known as the goddess of women and marriage and some of her characteristics include her jealous and vengeful nature against Zeus’s other lovers and offspring and against the mortals who cross her. She is also commonly seen with the animals she considers sacred including the cow, lion and the peacock. Her counterpart in the religion of ancient Rome was Juno.

Hercules had a number of myths that were distinctly Roman. One of these is Hercules’ defeat of Cacus, who was terrorizing the countryside of Rome. The hero was associated with the Aventine Hill through his son Aventinus. Mark Antony considered him a personal patron god, as did the emperor Commodus.

A major factor in the well-known tragedies surrounding Heracles is the hatred that the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, had for him. A full account of Heracles must render it clear why Heracles was so tormented by Hera, when there were many illegitimate offspring sired by Zeus.

Heracles was the son of the affair Zeus had with the mortal woman Alcmene. Zeus made love to her after disguising himself as her husband, Amphitryon, home early from war. However, Amphitryon did return later the same night, and Alcmene became pregnant with his son at the same time, a case of heteropaternal superfecundation, where a woman carries twins sired by different fathers.

Thus, Heracles’ very existence proved at least one of Zeus’ many illicit affairs, and Hera often conspired against Zeus’ mortal offspring as revenge for her husband’s infidelities. His twin mortal brother, son of Amphitryon, was Iphicles, father of Heracles’ charioteer Iolaus. On the night the twins Heracles and Iphicles were to be born, Hera, knowing of her husband Zeus’ adultery, persuaded Zeus to swear an oath that the child born that night to a member of the House of Perseus would become High King. Hera did this knowing that while Heracles was to be born a descendant of Perseus, so too was Eurystheus.

Once the oath was sworn, Hera hurried to Alcmene’s dwelling and slowed the birth of the twins Heracles and Iphicles by forcing Ilithyia, goddess of childbirth, to sit crosslegged with her clothing tied in knots, thereby causing the twins to be trapped in the womb.

Meanwhile, Hera caused Eurystheus to be born prematurely, making him High King in place of Heracles. She would have permanently delayed Heracles’ birth had she not been fooled by Galanthis, Alcmene’s servant, who lied to Ilithyia, saying that Alcmene had already delivered the baby. Upon hearing this, she jumped in surprise, loosing the knots and inadvertently allowing Alcmene to give birth to Heracles and Iphicles.

Fear of Hera’s revenge led Alcmene to expose the infant Heracles, but he was taken up and brought to Hera by his half-sister Athena, who played an important role as protectress of heroes. Hera did not recognize Heracles and nursed him out of pity. Heracles suckled so strongly that he caused Hera pain, and she pushed him away. Her milk sprayed across the heavens and there formed the Milky Way.

But with divine milk, Heracles had acquired supernatural powers. Athena brought the infant back to his mother, and he was subsequently raised by his parents. The child was originally given the name Alcides by his parents; it was only later that he became known as Heracles. He was renamed Heracles in an unsuccessful attempt to mollify Hera.

He and his twin were just eight months old when Hera sent two giant snakes into the children’s chamber. Iphicles cried from fear, but his brother grabbed a snake in each hand and strangled them. He was found by his nurse playing with them on his cot as if they were toys. Astonished, Amphitryon sent for the seer Tiresias, who prophesied an unusual future for the boy, saying he would vanquish numerous monsters.

In Christian circles a Euhemerist reading of the widespread Heracles cult was attributed to a historical figure who had been offered cult status after his death.

Thus Eusebius, Preparation of the Gospel (10.12), reported that Clement could offer historical dates for Hercules as a king in Argos: “from the reign of Hercules in Argos to the deification of Hercules himself and of Asclepius there are comprised thirty-eight years, according to Apollodorus the chronicler: and from that point to the deification of Castor and Pollux fifty-three years: and somewhere about this time was the capture of Troy.”

Readers with a literalist bent, following Clement’s reasoning, have asserted from this remark that, since Heracles ruled over Tiryns in Argos at the same time that Eurystheus ruled over Mycenae, and since at about this time Linus was Heracles’ teacher, one can conclude, based on Jerome’s date—in his universal history, his Chronicon—given to Linus’ notoriety in teaching Heracles in 1264 BCE, that Heracles’ death and deification occurred 38 years later, in approximately 1226 BCE.

Heracles / Hercules – Thor

Heracles (Ancient Greek: Hēraklēs, from Hēra, “Hera”), born Alcaeus (Alkaios) or Alcides (Alkeidēs), was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson and half-brother (as they are both sired by the god Zeus) of Perseus.

Heracles was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the later Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves.

The Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well.

Tacitus records a special affinity of the Germanic peoples for Hercules. Some have taken this as Tacitus equating the Germanic Þunraz with Hercules by way of interpretatio romana. In the Roman era Hercules’ Club amulets appear from the 2nd to 3rd century, distributed over the empire (including Roman Britain, c.f. Cool 1986), mostly made of gold, shaped like wooden clubs. A specimen found in Köln-Nippes bears the inscription “DEO HER[culi]”, confirming the association with Hercules.

In the 5th to 7th centuries, during the Migration Period, the amulet is theorized to have rapidly spread from the Elbe Germanic area across Europe. These Germanic “Donar’s Clubs” were made from deer antler, bone or wood, more rarely also from bronze or precious metals.They are found exclusively in female graves, apparently worn either as a belt pendant, or as an ear pendant. The amulet type is replaced by the Viking Age Thor’s hammer pendants in the course of the Christianization of Scandinavia from the 8th to 9th century.

Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek divine hero Heracles, who was the son of Zeus (Roman equivalent Jupiter) and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures. The Romans adapted the Greek hero’s iconography and myths for their literature and art under the name Hercules. The Latin name Hercules was borrowed through Etruscan, where it is represented variously as Heracle, Hercle, and other forms.

The hero was associated with the Aventine Hill through his son Aventinus. Mark Antony considered him a personal patron god, as did the emperor Commodus. Hercules received various forms of religious veneration, including as a deity concerned with children and childbirth, in part because of myths about his precocious infancy, and in part because he fathered countless children. Roman brides wore a special belt tied with the “knot of Hercules”, which was supposed to be hard to untie.

Hercules is known for his many adventures, which took him to the far reaches of the Greco-Roman world. One cycle of these adventures became canonical as the “Twelve Labours,” but the list has variations.

After the Roman Empire became Christianized, mythological narratives were often reinterpreted as allegory, influenced by the philosophy of late antiquity. In the 4th century, Servius had described Hercules’ return from the underworld as representing his ability to overcome earthly desires and vices, or the earth itself as a consumer of bodies.

In medieval mythography, Hercules was one of the heroes seen as a strong role model who demonstrated both valor and wisdom, with the monsters he battles as moral obstacles. One glossator noted that when Hercules became a constellation, he showed that strength was necessary to gain entrance to Heaven.

The earliest records of the Germanic peoples were recorded by the Romans, and in these works Thor is frequently referred to—via a process known as interpretatio romana (where characteristics perceived to be similar by Romans result in identification of a non-Roman god as a Roman deity)—as either the Roman god Jupiter (also known as Jove) or the Greco-Roman god Hercules.

The first clear example of this occurs in the Roman historian Tacitus’s late first-century work Germania, where, writing about the religion of the Suebi (a confederation of Germanic peoples), he comments that “among the gods Mercury is the one they principally worship. They regard it as a religious duty to offer to him, on fixed days, human as well as other sacrificial victims. Hercules and Mars they appease by animal offerings of the permitted kind” and adds that a portion of the Suebi also venerate “Isis”.

In this instance, Tacitus refers to the god Odin as “Mercury”, Thor as “Hercules”, and the god Týr as “Mars”, and the identity of the Isis of the Suebi has been debated. In Thor’s case, the identification with the god Hercules is likely at least in part due to similarities between Thor’s hammer and Hercules’ club. In his Annals, Tacitus again refers to the veneration of “Hercules” by the Germanic peoples; he records a wood beyond the river Weser (in what is now northwestern Germany) as dedicated to him.

In Germanic areas occupied by the Roman Empire, coins and votive objects dating from the 2nd and 3rd century AD have been found with Latin inscriptions referring to “Hercules”, and so in reality, with varying levels of likelihood, refer to Thor by way of interpretatio romana.

Germanic *Þunraz (Þórr) is from a stem *(s)tene- “thunder”, but the name *perkwunos is continued in Fjörgyn, mother of Þórr. In Norse mythology, the feminine Fjörgyn (Old Norse “earth”) is described as the mother of the thunder god Thor, son of Odin, and the masculine Fjörgynn is described as the father of the goddess Frigg, wife of Odin.

Theories have been proposed that Fjörgyn may represent an extension of an earlier Proto-Indo-European thunder or rain god or goddess due to Indo-European linguistic connections between Norse Fjörgyn, the Hindu rain god Parjanya, the Lithuanian god Perkūnas, and the Slavic god Perun.

The thunder god

Polytheistic peoples of many cultures have postulated a thunder god, the personification or source of the forces of thunder and lightning; a lightning god does not have a typical depiction, and will vary based on the culture. In Indo-European cultures, the thunder god is frequently known as the chief or king of the gods, e.g. Indra in Hinduism, Zeus in Greek mythology, and Perun in ancient Slavic religion; or a close relation thereof, e.g. Thor, son of Odin, in Norse mythology.

The name of an Indo-European god of thunder or the oak may be reconstructed as *perkwunos or *perkunos. Another name for the thunder god contains an onomatopoeic root *tar-, continued in Gaulish Taranis and Hittite Tarhunt.

Teshub (also written Teshup or Tešup; cuneiform dIM; hieroglyphic Luwian (DEUS)TONITRUS, read as Tarhunzas) was the Hurrian god of sky and storm. Taru was the name of a similar Hattic Storm God, whose mythology and worship as a primary deity continued and evolved through descendant Luwian and Hittite cultures. In these two, Taru was known as Tarhun / Tarhunt- / Tarhuwant- / Tarhunta, names derived from the Anatolian root *tarh “to defeat, conquer”.

Taru/Tarhun/Tarhunt was ultimately assimilated into and identified with the Hurrian Teshub around the time of the religious reforms of Muwatalli II, ruler of the Hittite New Kingdom in the early 13th century BCE.

These reforms can generally be categorized as an official incorporation of Hurrian deities into the Hittite pantheon, with a smaller number of important Hurrian gods (like Teshub) being explicitly identified with preexisting major Hittite deities (like Taru). Teshub reappears in the post-Hurrian cultural successor kingdom of Urartu as Tesheba, one of their chief gods; in Urartian art he is depicted standing on a bull.

Teshub is depicted holding a triple thunderbolt and a weapon, usually an axe (often double-headed) or mace. The sacred bull common throughout Anatolia was his signature animal, represented by his horned crown or by his steeds Seri and Hurri, who drew his chariot or carried him on their backs.

The Hurrian myth of Teshub’s origin—he was conceived when the god Kumarbi bit off and swallowed his father Anu’s genitals, similarly to the Greek story of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus, which is recounted in Hesiod’s Theogony.

In the Hurrian schema, Teshub was paired with Hebat the mother goddess; in the Hittite, with the sun goddess Arinniti of Arinna—a cultus of great antiquity which has similarities with the venerated bulls and mothers at Çatalhöyük in the Neolithic era. Teshub’s brothers are Aranzah (personification of the river Tigris), Ullikummi (stone giant) and Tashmishu. His son was called Sarruma, the mountain god.

According to Hittite myths, one of Teshub’s greatest acts was the slaying of the dragon Illuyanka. Myths also exist of his conflict with the sea creature (possibly a snake or serpent) Hedammu.

Perkele means devil in modern Finnish and is used as a rude profanity. Some researchers consider Perkele an original name of Ukko, the chief god of the Finnish pagan pantheon, but this view is not shared by all researchers. There are related words in other Balto-Finnic languages: in Estonian, põrgu means hell, in Karelian perkeleh means an evil spirit.

The name is of Indo-European origin. Related gods from other areas are Perkūnas (Lithuania), Pērkons (Latvia), Percunis (Prussia), Piarun (Belarus), Peko or Pekolasõ (Estonia), Parjanya (India) and Perun or Piorun (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia).

In Slavic mythology, Perun is the highest god of the pantheon and the god of thunder and lightning. His other attributes were fire, mountains, wind, the oak, iris, eagle, firmament (in Indo-European languages, this was joined with the notion of the sky of stone), horses and carts, weapons (the hammer, axe (Axe of Perun), and arrow), and war. He was first associated with weapons made of stone and later with those of metal.

Hadad (Ugaritic Haddu), Adad, Haddad (Akkadian) or Iškur (Sumerian) was the storm and rain god in the Northwest Semitic and ancient Mesopotamian religions. It was attested in Ebla as “Hadda” in c. 2500 BC. From the Levant, Hadad was introduced to Mesopotamia by the Amorites, where it became known as the Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian) god Adad.

Adad and Iškur are usually written with the logogram dIM. Hadad was also called “Pidar”, “Rapiu”, “Baal-Zephon”, or often simply Baʿal (Lord), but this title was also used for other gods. The bull was the symbolic animal of Hadad. He appeared bearded, often holding a club and thunderbolt while wearing a bull-horned headdress. Hadad was equated with the Indo-European Nasite Hittite storm-god Teshub; the Egyptian god Set; the Rigvedic god Indra; the Greek god Zeus; the Roman god Jupiter, as Jupiter Dolichenus.

In Sanchuniathon’s account Hadad is once called Adodos, but is mostly named Demarûs. This is a puzzling form, probably from Ugaritic dmrn, which appears in parallelism with Hadad, or possibly a Greek corruption of Hadad Ramān. Sanchuniathon’s Hadad is son of Sky by a concubine who is then given to the god Dagon while she is pregnant by Sky.

This appears to be an attempt to combine two accounts of Hadad’s parentage, one of which is the Ugaritic tradition that Hadad was son of Dagon. The cognate Akkadian god Adad is also often called the son of Anu (“Sky”). The corresponding Hittite god Teshub is likewise son of Anu (after a fashion).

In Sanchuniathon’s account, it is Sky who first fights against Pontus (“Sea”). Then Sky allies himself with Hadad. Hadad takes over the conflict but is defeated, at which point unfortunately no more is said of this matter. Sanchuniathion agrees with Ugaritic tradition in making Muth, the Ugaritic Mot, whom he also calls “Death”, the son of El.

In Akkadian, Adad is also known as Ramman (“Thunderer”) cognate with Aramaic Rimmon, which was a byname of Hadad. Ramman was formerly incorrectly taken by many scholars to be an independent Assyrian-Babylonian god later identified with the Hadad.

The form Iškur appears in the list of gods found at Shuruppak but was of far less importance, probably partly because storms and rain were scarce in Sumer and agriculture there depended on irrigation instead. The gods Enlil and Ninurta also had storm god features that decreased Iškur’s distinctiveness. He sometimes appears as the assistant or companion of one or the other of the two.

When Enki distributed the destinies, he made Iškur inspector of the cosmos. In one litany, Iškur is proclaimed again and again as “great radiant bull, your name is heaven” and also called son of Anu, lord of Karkara; twin-brother of Enki, lord of abundance, lord who rides the storm, lion of heaven.

In other texts Adad/Iškur is sometimes son of the moon god Nanna/Sin by Ningal and brother of Utu/Shamash and Inanna/Ishtar. He is also occasionally son of Enlil.

Adad/Iškur’s consort (both in early Sumerian and the much later Assyrian texts) was Shala, a goddess of grain, who is also sometimes associated with the god Dagan. She was also called Gubarra in the earliest texts. The fire god Gibil (named Gerra in Akkadian) is sometimes the son of Iškur and Shala.

Adad/Iškur’s special animal is the bull. He is naturally identified with the Anatolian storm-god Teshub. Occasionally Adad/Iškur is identified with the god Amurru, the god of the Amorites.

Amurru and Martu are names given in Akkadian and Sumerian texts to the god of the Amorite/Amurru people, often forming part of personal names. He is sometimes called Ilu Amurru (DMAR.TU). He was the patron god of the Mesopotamian city of Ninab, whose exact location is unknown.

Amurru/Martu was probably a western Semitic god originally. He is sometimes described as a ‘shepherd’ or as a storm god, and as a son of the sky-god Anu. He is sometimes called bêlu šadī or bêl šadê, ‘lord of the mountain’; dúr-hur-sag-gá sikil-a-ke, ‘He who dwells on the pure mountain’; and kur-za-gan ti-[la], ‘who inhabits the shining mountain’. In Cappadocian Zinčirli inscriptions he is called ì-li a-bi-a, ‘the god of my father’.

Accordingly, it has been suggested by L. R. Bailey (1968) and Jean Ouelette (1969), that this Bêl Šadê might be the same as the Biblical ’Ēl Šaddāi who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the “Priestly source” of narrative, according to the documentary hypothesis. Bêl Šadê could have been the fertility-god ‘Ba’al’, possibly adopted by the Canaanites, a rival and enemy of the Hebrew God YHWH, and famously combatted by the Hebrew prophet Elijah.

Amurru also has storm-god features. Like Adad, Amurru bears the epithet ramān ‘thunderer’, and he is even called bāriqu ‘hurler of the thunderbolt’ and Adad ša a-bu-be ‘Adad of the deluge’. Yet his iconography is distinct from that of Adad, and he sometimes appears alongside Adad with a baton of power or throwstick, while Adad bears a conventional thunderbolt.

Amurru’s wife is usually the goddess Ašratum (see Asherah) who in northwest Semitic tradition and Hittite tradition appears as wife of the god Ēl which suggests that Amurru may indeed have been a variation of that god. If Amurru was identical with Ēl, it would explain why so few Amorite names are compounded with the name Amurru, but so many are compounded with Il; that is, with Ēl.

Another tradition about Amurru’s wife (or one of Amurru’s wives) gives her name as Belit-Sheri, ‘Lady of the Desert’. A third tradition appears in a Sumerian poem in pastoral style, which relates how the god Martu came to marry Adg̃ar-kidug the daughter of the god Numushda of the city of Inab. It contains a speech expressing urbanite Sumerian disgust at uncivilized, nomadic Amurru life which Adg̃ar-kidug ignores, responding only: “I will marry Martu!”.

Perchta

Perchta or Berchta (English: Bertha), also commonly known as Percht and other variations, was once known as a goddess in Alpine paganism in the Upper German regions of the Alps. Her name may mean “the bright one” (Old High German beraht, bereht, from Proto-Germanic *brehtaz) and is probably related to the name Berchtentag, meaning the feast of the Epiphany. Eugen Mogk provides an alternative etymology, attributing the origin of the name Perchta to the Old High German verb pergan, meaning “hidden” or “covered”.

The word Perchten is plural for Perchta, and this has become the name of her entourage, as well as the name of animal masks worn in parades and festivals in the mountainous regions of Austria. In the 16th century, the Perchten took two forms: Some are beautiful and bright, known as the Schönperchten (“beautiful Perchten”).

These come during the Twelve Nights and festivals to “bring luck and wealth to the people.” The other form is the Schiachperchten (“ugly Perchten”) who have fangs, tusks and horse tails which are used to drive out demons and ghosts. Men dressed as the ugly Perchten during the 16th century and went from house to house driving out bad spirits.

Sometimes, der Teufel is viewed as the most schiach (“ugly”) Percht and Frau Perchta as the most schön (“beautiful”) Percht. In Italy, Perchta is roughly equivalent with La Befana, who visits all the children of Italy on the night before 6 January to fill their socks with candy if they are good or a lump of coal if they are bad.

Berchtold (also Berthold, Bertold, Bertolt) is a Germanic name, from the Old High German beruht “bright” or “brightly” and waltan “rule over”. The name comes into fashion in the German High Middle Ages, from about the 11th century. The cognate Old English name is Beorhtwald, attested as the name of an archbishop in the 8th century. Berchtold appears also as the name of the leader of the Wild Hunt in German folklore of the 16th century. The name is here replacing the female Perchta.

Perchta is often identified as stemming from the same Germanic goddess as Holda and other female figures of German folklore. In Germanic legends, Frau Holda (or Frau Holle) was the protectress of agriculture and women’s crafts. In contemporary culture, Perchta is portrayed as a “rewarder of the generous, and the punisher of the bad, particularly lying children”. In some descriptions, Perchta has two forms; she may appear either as beautiful and white as snow like her name, or as elderly and haggard.

Grimm says Perchta or Berchta was known “precisely in those Upper German regions where Holda leaves off, in Swabia, in Alsace, in Switzerland, in Bavaria and Austria.” Perkūnas’ wife was named Perkūnija, Perkūnė, Perperuna, or Przeginia.

According to Jacob Grimm and Lotte Motz, Perchta is Holda’s southern cousin or equivalent, as they both share the role of “guardian of the beasts” and appear during the Twelve Days of Christmas, when they oversee spinning. Holda, Holle, Huld, and Hulda may be cognate of the Scandinavian creature known as the huldra.

Frau Holda’s festival is in the middle of winter, the time when humans retreat indoors from the cold. It may be of significance that the Twelve Days of Christmas were originally the Zwölften (“the Twelve”), which like the same period in the Celtic calendar were an intercalary period during which the dead were thought to roam abroad.

Holda’s connection to the spirit world through the magic of spinning and weaving has associated her with witchcraft in Catholic German folklore. She was considered to ride with witches on distaffs, which closely resemble the brooms that witches are thought to ride. Likewise, Holda was often identified with Diana in old church documents.

As early as the beginning of the eleventh century she appears to have been known as the leader of women and female nocturnal spirits, which “in common parlance are called Hulden from Holda”. These women would leave their houses in spirit, going “out through closed doors in the silence of the night, leaving their sleeping husbands behind”. They would travel vast distances through the sky, to great feasts, or to battles amongst the clouds.

Holda figures in some pre-Christian Alpine traditions that have survived to modern times. During the Christmas period in the alpine regions of Germany, Austria and northern Switzerland, wild masked processions are still held in a number of towns, impersonating Holda, Perchta or related beings, and the wild hunt.

Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt is a European folk myth involving a ghostly or supernatural group of huntsmen passing in wild pursuit. The hunters may be either elves or fairies or the dead, and the leader of the hunt is often a named figure associated with Woden (or other reflections of the same god, such as Alemannic Wuodan in Wuotis Heer (“Wuodan’s Army”) of Central Switzerland, Swabia etc.).

However, it may variously be a historical or legendary figure like Theodoric the Great, the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag, the Welsh psychopomp Gwyn ap Nudd, biblical figures such as Herod, Cain, Gabriel or the Devil, or an unidentified lost soul or spirit either male or female.

Seeing the Wild Hunt was thought to presage some catastrophe such as war or plague, or at best the death of the one who witnessed it. People encountering the Hunt might also be abducted to the underworld or the fairy kingdom. In some instances, it was also believed that people’s spirits could be pulled away during their sleep to join the cavalcade.

The concept was developed based on comparative mythology by Jacob Grimm in Deutsche Mythologie (1835) as a folkloristic survival of Germanic pagan tradition, but comparable folk myths are found throughout Northern, Western and Central Europe. Grimm popularised the term Wilde Jagd (“Wild Hunt”) for the phenomenon.

Scholarly theories have been proposed etymologically connecting the einherjar to the Harii (a Germanic tribe attested in the 1st century AD), the eternal battle of Hjaðningavíg, and the Wild Hunt. The einherjar have been the subject of works of art and poetry. Valhalla is the place of Odin. It is told in Norse mythology that einherjar are those with golden auras only seen by Valkyries. The einherjar are the Warriors trained by Asgardians.

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