Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

  • Fredsvenn:


    The Fertile Crescent is a term for an old fertile area north, east and west of the Arabian Desert in Southwest Asia. The Mesopotamian valley and the Nile valley fall under this term even though the mountain zone around Mesopotamia is the natural zone for the transition in a historical sense.

    As a result of a number of unique geographical factors the Fertile Crescent have an impressive history of early human agricultural activity and culture. Besides the numerous archaeological sites with remains of skeletons and cultural relics the area is known primarily for its excavation sites linked to agricultural origins and development of the Neolithic era.

    It was here, in the forested mountain slopes of the periphery of this area, that agriculture originated in an ecologically restricted environment. The western zone and areas around the upper Euphrates gave growth to the first known Neolithic farming communities with small, round houses , also referred to as Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) cultures, which dates to just after 10,000 BC and include areas such as Jericho, the world’s oldest city.

    During the subsequent PPNB from 9000 BC these communities developed into larger villages with farming and animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, with settlement in the two-story, rectangular house. Man now entered in symbiosis with grain and livestock species, with no opportunity to return to hunter – gatherer societies.

    The area west and north of the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris also saw the emergence of early complex societies in the much later Bronze Age (about 4000 BC). There is evidence of written culture and early state formation in this northern steppe area, although the written formation of the states relatively quickly shifted its center of gravity into the Mesopotamian valley and developed there. The area is therefore in very many writers been named “The Cradle of Civilization.”

    The area has experienced a series of upheavals and new formation of states. When Turkey was formed in the aftermath of the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians perpetrated by the Young Turks during the First World War it is estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of all Armenians and Assyrians in the region died, and the Pontic Greeks was pushed to Greece.

    Israel was created out of the Ottoman Empire and the conquering of the Palestinian terretories. The existence of large Arab nation states from the Maghreb to the Levant has since represented a potential threat to Israel which should be neutralised when opportunities arise.

    This line of thinking was at the heart of David Ben Gurion’s policies in the 1950s which sought to exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims in the Lebanon for the fruits of acquiring regional influence by the dismembering the country and the possible acquisition of additional territory.

    The Christians are now being systematically targeted for genocide in Syria according to Vatican and other sources with contacts on the ground among the besieged Christian community.

    According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency collected by the Centre for the Study of Interventionism, the US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and ever more radical spin-off factions are sacking Christian churches, shooting Christians dead in the street, broadcasting ultimatums that all Christians must be cleansed from the rebel-held villages, and even shooting priests.

    It is now time that the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians is being recognized, that the Israeli occupation, settlements and violence against the Palestinians stop, and that the various minorities in the area start to live their lifes in peace – without violence and threats from majority populations, or from the West, and then specificially from the US.

    War in the Fertile Crescent
    https://aratta.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/war-in-the-fertile-crescent
    ---
    Everyone is free to use the text on this blog as they want. There is no copyright etc. This because knowledge is more important than rules and regulations.

    All the texts are published under Creative Common-license [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.no Navngivelse-DelPåSammeVilkår 3.0]

  • Klikk her:

    Sjur C. Papazian

    Sjur C. Papazian

  • Categories

  • Transformasjon

  • Sumerian statues

  • Pendant from Mari (modern Tell Hariri, Syria)

  • Sørvest Asia – før og nå

    Den fruktbare halvmåne er en betegnelse på et gammelt fruktbart område nord, øst og vest for den arabiske ørken i Sørvest-Asia. Mesopotamia-dalen og Nil-dalen kommer inn under dette begrepet selv om det i fjellsonen rundt Mesopotamia en naturlig avgrensning i jordbrukshistorisk forstand.

    Som resultat av en rekke unike geografiske faktorer har Den fruktbare halvmåne en imponerende historie av tidlig menneskelig jordbruksaktivitet og kulturdanning. Foruten mange arkeologiske funnsteder med rester av skjeletter og kulturelle levninger så er området først og fremst kjent for dets funnsteder knyttet til jordbrukets opprinnelse og utvikling i den neolittiske tidsalder.

    Det var her, i de skogkledde fjellskråningene i randsonen av dette området, at jordbruket oppsto i et økologisk avgrenset miljø. Den vestlige sonen og områdene rundt øvre Eufrat ga vekst til de første kjente neolittiske jordbruks-samfunnene med små, runde hus, også referert til som førkeramisk neolittisk A, som dateres til like etter 10.000 f.vt. og omfatter steder som Jeriko, som er verdens eldste by.

    Under den påfølgende PPNB fra 9 000 f.vt. utviklet disse samfunnene seg til større landsbyer med dyrking og husdyrhold som viktigste levevei, med tett bebyggelse i to-etasjers, rektangulære hus. Mennesket inngikk nå i symbiose med korn- og husdyrartene, uten mulighet til å vende tilbake til jeger- og sankersamfunnet.

    Området vest og nord for slettelandet ved Eufrat og Tigris så også framveksten av tidlige komplekse samfunn i den langt senere bronsealderen (fra ca 4 000 f.vt.). Det er også tidlige bevis for skriftkultur og tidlige statsdannelser fra samme tid i dette nordlige steppeområdet, selv om de skriftlige statsdannelsene relativt raskt flyttet sitt tyngdepunkt ned i Mesopotamia-dalen og utviklet seg der. Området har derfor hos svært mange forfattere fått betegnelsen «sivilisasjonens vugge».

    Området har opplevd en rekke omveltninger, og nye stasdannelser. Nå sist da staten Tyrkia ble dannet i etterkant av ungtyrkernes folkemord på blant annet de pontiske grekere, armenere og assyrere under den første verdenskrig. Det antas at to tredeler til tre firedeler av alle armenere i regionen døde.

    Det er nå på tide at folkemordet mot de pontiske grekere, assyrere og armenere anerkjennes, at Israels okkupasjon, bosetting og vold palestinerne opphører, samt at de ulike minoritetene i området får leve sine livi fred - uten vold og trusler fra majoritetsbefolkninger eller fra Vesten, og da spesifikt USA.

  • Sjur C. Papazian

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 94 other followers

  • Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

From the cradle

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 18, 2015

Gobekli Tepe Constellations

Astronomy/Astrology-Mythology/Religion – The base of our understanding of the universe – straight from the cradle – the omphalo – the meeting place between the two worlds – our mother’s navel :-)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

On the origin of Iron

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 12, 2015

Kaman-Kalehöyük is a multi-period archaeological site in Kırşehir Province, Turkey, around 100 km south east of Ankara 6 km east of the town center of Kaman. It is a tell or mound site that was occupied during the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Ottoman periods. Since 1986 it has been investigated by archaeologists from the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan.

In 2005, metallurgical analysis by Hideo Akanuma of iron fragments found at Kaman-Kalehöyük in 1994 and dating to c. 1800 BCE revealed that some of these fragments were composed of carbon steel; these currently form the world’s earliest known evidence for steel manufacture.

Ancient iron production

Iron

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Ninhursag and Hathor

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 11, 2015

In Sumerian mythology, Ninhursag (Ninḫursag) or Ninkharsag was a mother goddess of the mountains, and one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the ‘true and great lady of heaven’ (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were ‘nourished by Ninhursag’s milk’.

According to legend her name was changed from Ninmah to Ninhursag by her son Ninurta in order to commemorate his creation of the mountains. As Ninmenna, according to a Babylonian investiture ritual, she placed the golden crown on the king in the Eanna temple. 

Her temple, the Esagila (from Sumerian E (temple) + SAG (head) + ILA (lofty)) was located on the KUR of Eridu, although she also had a temple at Kish. Her symbol, resembling the Greek letter omega Ω, has been depicted in art from around 3000 BC, though more generally from the early second millennium. It appears on some boundary stones — on the upper tier, indicating her importance.

The omega symbol is associated with the Egyptian cow goddess Hathor, and may represent a stylized womb. Hathor is at times depicted on a mountain, so it may be that the two goddesses are connected.

The Goddess Hathor in Her form of sacred cow, standing in a shrine, and Queen Hatshepsut sucking Her divine milk; at left, before Hathor, is represented Amon-Ra. Scene from the south wall of the Chapel of Hathor, “Temple of Millions of Years” of Queen Hatshepsut, West ‘Uaset’-Thebes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

In the age of transformation

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 8, 2015

Today, in the age of transformation, we have to think away both Capitalism and the state, people all over the world have to rise together and it has to happen soon – people all around the world is ignorant and doesn’t understand much – but that doesn’t solve the problem – cause there are one problem to be solved and if we don’t solve that problem our civilization will be devastated.

The problem is that we have become alienated and have created a human world which is not adjusted to the world around us – this have to be solved – we need peace between people and peace with nature – we need to be united to stop destroying the world and to stop groups like ISIL – that is what makes the battle against ISIL a world war.

Kurdistan or not – that is not the question – what happens to the Kurds, and other people today is the essentiel. Russia will do mostly anything to not start a world war it will loose – this means that the Kurds are standing alone – or together with people fighting for a better system all over the world – and that is really the case – everybody who have a hearth and a mind support the Kurds.

I think Pope Francis, maybe the first ever Christian Pope in the world history, is a good man and that he is fighting for all of us – together with us – the time have come to see who is strongest – the light or the dark forces – and I am not in doubt which side I am on – long live the Kurds!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Det er på tide å reise oss!

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 8, 2015

Det er på tide vi begynner å tenke selv og reiser oss mot den urett som vi ser hver dag – en kamp for rettferdighet, frihet, fred og bærekraft – en åndelig oppvåkning hvor vi gjenoppretter kontakten med vår egen underbevissthet – våre “mørke” sider – med vår felles Moder Jord.

Vi må ta tilbake makten og skape demokratiske systemer med naturen, dyrene og menneskene i spissen. Vi må gå fra Homo Economicus til Homo Ecologicus. Vi må gå vekk fra penger som høyeste verdi og i stedet fokusere på evige og ekte verdier – de spirituelle.

Vi må gå sammen med likesinnede mennesker over hele verden og stå sammen med disse – vi har felles kamp. Det holder ikke kun å bryte med matriksen, men vi må melde oss ut av “storsamfunnet” og lage mindre og mer desentraliserte størrelser. Det er faktisk enormt mye vi kan gjøre – hvis vi har mulighet og krefter.

I disse dager vil det ikke være mulig å bare flytte ut i skauen – det hjelper kun den som gjør det, men ikke de som trenger det – kapitalistene gjør hva de vil og når de vil rydde skauen – så gjør de det. dette er en tid for kamp på alle nivåer og vi bør benytte oss av samtlige metoder for å oppnå våre mål.

En av våre sterke sider er at vi er mange kontra de vi kjemper mot, hvis du ikke inkiuderer de som er så fremmedgjort at de kjemper mot sine egne interesser – og det er vell desverre mesteparten av oss tatt dagens samfunn under betraktning. Står man alene er man begrenset, mens muligheten byr seg når det er mange av oss. Det å gå sammen med andre, opprette nettverk, begynne å sette seg inn i tingene og praktisere det man står for – både som gruppe og enkeltindivid – er elementert.

Vi må med andre ord komme sammen med likesinnede og starte prosjekter som kan stå som alternativer og eksempler for andre å følge. Vi må skape måter å overleve på utenfor systemet, og der kan vi ha mye å lære av hvordan folk har organisert seg i Hellas de siste årene. Samtidig må vi spre informasjon om alternativer andre står for ettersom dette kan vise veien for andre og ikke minst at det er håp – at vi har muligheten til å klare det.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

A modern mythology

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 8, 2015

Basically, the Jews rewrote the mythology putting themselves in the center of that one. Now it is on time to write our own mythology putting the The global communion of friends on top of that one. And, as is the case with all the earlier mythologies, to mention the 12 gods/goddesse or the diciples, as the different nature forces and the stars. Instead of Romans we will have the ones occupying us through the financial system – the financial lords. Instead of a pyramidable form we will have the horizontal recycled system of nature it self. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Underwater Stonehenge: Huge monument made by ancient civilisation discovered off coast of Sicily

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 6, 2015

underwater stonehenge

© sciencedirect.com

underwater stonehenge

Archaeologists have discovered what they believe is the remains of a massive man-made monument built by an ancient civilization that serves a similar, mysterious, purpose to Stonehenge.

A report published in Science Direct details how a 12-metre-long man-made monolith was discovered in the deep sea off the coast of Sicily located at a depth of 40 meters, in a shallow bank of the Sicilian Channel, in what was once an island called the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank.

They believe that the monument, which was split in half, came from an ancient civilisation from more than 10,000 years ago, but was eventually submerged during a massive flood.

According to the study, the site was abandoned at about 9,350 ± 200 years BP (Before Present) and the morphological evidence, underwater observations and results of petrographic analysis suggest that the monolith was made by humans.

The statue has three holes in it with one going right through the middle in what is described as a “unique and significant structure”, say authors Zvi Ben-Avraham from the Department of Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, and Emanuele Lodolo, from the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS) in Trieste, Italy.

The scientists say the block was “cut and extracted as a single stone from the outer rectilinear ridge” which was about 300 meters to the south, “and then transported and possibly erected. It is broken into two parts, and has three regular holes: one at its end which passes through from part to part, the others in two of its sides.

“From the size of the monolith, we may presume that it weighs about 15 tons,” the study says, adding that its function hasn’t been specified yet.

They write: “The discovery of the submerged site in the Sicilian Channel may significantly expand our knowledge of the earliest civilisations in the Mediterranean basin and our views on technological innovation and development achieved by the Mesolithic inhabitants.

“The monolith found, made of a single, large block, required a cutting, extraction, transportation and installation, which undoubtedly reveals important technical skills and great engineering. The belief that our ancestors lacked the knowledge, skill and technology to exploit marine resources or make sea crossings, must be progressively abandoned.

“The recent findings of submerged archaeology have definitively removed the idea of ‘technological primitivism’ often attributed to hunter-gatherers coastal settlers.”

They added the find shows how little we still know of early civilisations: “The idea that early human ancestors once lived at the sea-floor of modern seas easily fascinates and attracts our imagination.

The prehistoric people were able to build the monolith as there was no sea where the Sicilian Channel is now. But then the ancient geography of the Mediterranean Basin was profoundly changed by the increase in sea level following the Last Glacial Maximum, says the study.

“This global event has led to the retreat of the coastlines, especially in lowland areas and shallow shelves, such as the Sicilian Channel.”

The scientists say that the idea that human ancestors once lived at the sea-floor of modern seas “easily fascinates and attracts our imagination” as an extensive archaeological record of early settlements still remains on the sea-floor of our continental shelves.

“Almost everything that we do know about prehistoric cultures derives from settlements that are now on land, and that were tens to hundreds of kilometers distant from the coastline when they were occupied.”

“What is more surprising, and until recently poorly recognised, is that an extensive archaeological record of early settlements still remains on the sea-floor of our continental shelves … The vast majority of marine geophysicist and archaeologists have now realised that to trace the origins of civilisation in the Mediterranean region, it is necessary to focus research in the now submerged shelf areas.”

The age of the monolith dates back to the beginning of Mesolithic era (about 10,000 to 5,000 BC) and the report says that the discovery may “significantly expand our knowledge of the earliest civilizations in the Mediterranean basin and our views on technological innovation and development achieved by the Mesolithic inhabitants.”

The scientists noted that the monolith, made of a single, large block, required a cutting, extraction, transportation and installation, which undoubtedly reveals “important technical skills and great engineering.”

The study calls to abandon the belief that our ancestors lacked the knowledge, skill and technology to exploit marine resources or make sea crossings.

“The recent findings of submerged archaeology have definitively removed the idea of ‘technological primitivism’ often attributed to hunter-gatherer coastal settlers.”

The most famous archeological discovery of Mesolithic age is the monumental temple complex of Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey. The complex, which was excavated by a German archaeological team in the 1960s, was constructed about 11,600 years BP.

The exact purpose of the site is yet unknown. However, the scientists suggest it was a religious center or sanctuary.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The life-death-rebirth deity

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 5, 2015

Archaeological excavation of the sites of the ancient cities in the Tigris-Euphrates valley has shown that this region, known as Sumer and Akkad, was inhabited as early as 4000 BV by a people known as the Sumerians . . . They appear to have come into the delta from the mountainous region to the northeast of Mesopotamia, and their myths show that they came from a very different kind of country from that which they found in their new ho9me. The form of writing called cuneiform was their invention, and it was they who built the strange temple-towers, known as ‘ziggurats’ . . ..

This is the first of the three basic myths referred to above in its Sumerian form. It is possible that the Sumerians brought the myth with them when they settled in the delta, and that this is its earliest form. A possible reason for the change in the original form of the myth may be found in the facts that the Sumerians, in coming into the delta, were passing from a pastoral economy to an agricultural mode of life.

In the liturgies Tammuz and Ishtar are frequently represented under the figure of the male and female fir-tree, and the fir-tree is not found in the Tigris-Euphrates delta, but belongs to the mountainous region from which the Sumerians came. Moreover, the fact that the towering ‘ziggurats’ were a feature of Sumerian temple architecture has been held to point in the same direction. Hence the original form of the myth may have arisen under conditions of life which were very different from the agricultural mode of life which the Sumerians were obliged to adopt when they settled in the delta.

There is evidence to show that Semites and Sumerians were both occupying the delta for a considerable time before the Amorite invasions and the final conquest and absorption of the Sumerians by the Semites. We know that the Semites took over from the Sumerians and their cuneiform script and much of their religion and mythology, and this may well be accepted as a further explanation of the changed character of the Tammuz-Ishtar myth as we find it in the Assyro-Babylonian period.

Ground Myths

The Story of Telepinus

The Hittites

Telepinus – Tellus

(Alu-Alalu-Alalus)

Inanna and Tammuz

One of the myths concerning Ereshkigal is Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld and her reception by her sister who presides over it; Ereshkigal traps her sister in her kingdom and Inanna is only able to leave it by sacrificing her husband Dumuzi (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”), an annual life-death-rebirth deity, a Sumerian god of food and vegetation, in exchange for herself.

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

According to the myth of Inanna’s descent to the underworld, represented in parallel Sumerian and Akkadian tablets, 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 partner Enkidu.

Ereshkigal, the Goddess of the Realm of the Dead, a gloomy place devoid of light, is in mourning at the death of her consort, Gugalanna (The Wild Bull of Heaven Sumerian Gu = Bull, Gal = Great, An = Heaven).

It was to share the sorrow with her sister that Inanna later descends to the Underworld. Inanna (Ishtar in the Akkadian texts) set off for the netherworld, or Kur. She passed through seven gates and at each one was required to leave a garment or an ornament so that when she had passed through the seventh gate she was a simple woman, entirely naked.

Despite warnings about her presumption, she did not turn back but dared to sit herself down on Ereshkigal’s throne. Immediately the Anunnaki of the underworld judged her, gazed at her with the eyes of death, and she became a corpse, hung up on a meathook.

Based on the incomplete texts as first found, it was assumed that Ishtar/Inanna’s descent into Kur occurred after the death of Tammuz/Dumuzid rather than before and that her purpose was to rescue Tammuz/Dumuzid, but recent discoveries shws 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. In cult practice, the dead Tammuz was widely mourned in the Ancient Near East.

Finally, Inanna relents and changes her decree thereby restoring her husband Dumuzi to life; an arrangement is made by which Geshtinana will take Dumuzid’s place in Kur for six months of the year: “You (Dumuzi), half the year. Your sister (Geštinanna), half the year!”

This newly recovered final line upset Samuel Noah Kramer’s former interpretation, as he allowed: “my conclusion that Dumuzi dies and “stays dead” forever (cf e.g. Mythologies of the Ancient World p. 10) was quite erroneous: Dumuzi according to the Sumerian mythographers rises from the dead annually and, after staying on earth for half the year, descends to the Nether World for the other half”.

Today several versions of the Sumerian death of Dumuzi have been recovered, “Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld”, “Dumuzi’s dream” and “Dumuzi and the galla”, as well as a tablet separately recounting Dumuzi’s death, mourned by holy Inanna, and his noble sister Geštinanna. It is theorized that the story of Inanna’s descent is told to illustrate the possibility of an escape from the netherworld.

According to some scholars, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is built over a cave that was originally a shrine to Adonis-Tammuz. The Church Father Jerome, who died in Bethlehem in 420, reports in addition that the holy cave was at one point consecrated by the heathen to the worship of Adonis, and a pleasant sacred grove planted before it, to wipe out the memory of Jesus.

Some modern mythologists, however, reverse the supposition, insisting that the cult of Adonis-Tammuz originated the shrine and that it was the Christians who took it over, substituting the worship of their own God.

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.

Baldr and Nanna

Baldr (also Balder, Baldur) is a god of light and purity in Norse mythology, and a son of the god Odin and the goddess Frigg. He has numerous brothers, such as Thor and Váli. According to Gylfaginning, a book of Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, Baldr’s wife is Nanna and their son is Forseti. In Gylfaginning, Snorri relates that Baldr had the greatest ship ever built, named Hringhorni, and that there is no place more beautiful than his hall, Breidablik.

In Norse mythology, Nanna Nepsdóttir or simply Nanna is a goddess associated with the god Baldr. Accounts of Nanna vary greatly by source. In the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nanna is the wife of Baldr and the couple produced a son, the god Forseti.

According to the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, the goddess Frigg, Baldr’s mother, made everything in existence swear never to harm Baldr, except for the mistletoe, which she found too unimportant to ask (alternatively, which she found too young to demand an oath from). The gods amused themselves by trying weapons on Baldr and seeing them fail to do any harm.

Loki, the mischief-maker, upon finding out about Baldr’s one weakness, made a spear from mistletoe, and helped Höðr (often anglicized as Hod, Hoder, or Hodur), a blind god and the brother of Baldr in Norse mythology, shoot it at Baldr. In reaction to this, Odin and the giantess Rindr gave birth to Váli, who grew to adulthood within a day and slew Höðr.

After Baldr’s death, Nanna dies of grief. Nanna is placed on Baldr’s ship with his corpse and the two are set aflame and pushed out to sea. In Hel, Baldr and Nanna are united again. In an attempt to bring back Baldr from the dead, the god Hermóðr rides to Hel and, upon receiving the hope of resurrection from the being Hel, Nanna gives Hermóðr gifts to give to the goddess Frigg (a robe of linen), the goddess Fulla (a finger-ring), and others (unspecified).

Upon Frigg’s entreaties, delivered through the messenger Hermod, Hel promised to release Baldr from the underworld if all objects alive and dead would weep for him. All did, except a giantess, Þökk often presumed to be the god Loki in disguise, who refused to mourn the slain god. Thus Baldr had to remain in the underworld, not to emerge until after Ragnarök, when he and his brother Höðr would be reconciled and rule the new earth together with Thor’s sons.

Baldr was ceremonially burnt upon his ship, Hringhorni, the largest of all ships. Nanna, Baldr’s wife, also threw herself on the funeral fire to await Ragnarök when she would be reunited with her husband (alternatively, she died of grief).

The etymology of the name of the goddess Nanna is debated. Some scholars have proposed that the name may derive from a babble word, nanna, meaning “mother”. Scholar Jan de Vries connects the name Nanna to the root *nanþ-, leading to “the daring one”. Scholar John Lindow theorizes that a common noun may have existed in Old Norse, nanna, that roughly meant “woman”. Scholar John McKinnell notes that the “mother” and *nanþ- derivations may not be distinct, commenting that nanna may have once meant “she who empowers”.

In the Poetic Edda poem Hyndluljóð, a figure by the name of Nanna is listed as the daughter of Nökkvi and as a relative of Óttar, a protégé of the goddess Freyja. This figure may or may not be the same Nanna as Baldr’s wife. Viktor Rydberg theorized that Óttar is another spelling of the name Óðr, sometimes angliziced as Odr or Od, is a figure associated with the major goddess Freyja. A number of theories have been proposed about Óðr, generally that he is somehow a hypostasis of the deity Odin due to their similarities.

In Norse mythology, Freyja (Old Norse for “(the) Lady”) is a goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death. She is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, keeps the boar Hildisvíni by her side, possesses a cloak of falcon feathers, and, by her husband Óðr, is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss (Old Norse “treasure”) and Gersemi (Old Norse “treasure”), “who gave their names to our most precious possessions.”

In Germanic mythology, Frigg (Old Norse), Frija (Old High German), Frea (Langobardic), and Frige (Old English) is the Goddess of the Atmosphere,or the clouds. In nearly all sources she is described as the wife of the god Odin. In Old High German and Old Norse sources, she is also connected with the goddess Fulla. The English weekday name Friday (etymologically Old English “Frīge’s day”) bears her name.

Some scholars have attempted to link Old Norse Nanna with the Sumerian goddess Inanna, the goddess Nannar/Babylonian Ishtar, or the Phrygian, Greek, and Roman goddess Nana, the mother of the god Attis.

Nana and Attis

In Greek mythology, Nana was a daughter of the Phrygian river-god Sangarius, identified with the river Sakarya located in present-day Turkey. She became pregnant when an almond from an almond tree fell on her lap. Nana abandoned the baby boy, who was tended by a he-goat. The baby, Attis, a Phrygian god of vegetation, and in his self-mutilation, death, and resurrection he represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter only to rise again in the spring, grew up to become Cybele’s consort and lover.

The almond tree had sprung from the spot where the hermaphroditic Agdistis, a deity possessing both male and female sexual organs was castrated, becoming Cybele, the Mother of the Gods.

In the late 4th century BC, a cult of Attis became a feature of the Greek world. The story of his origins at Agdistis, recorded by the traveler Pausanias, has some distinctly non-Greek elements: Pausanias was told that the daemon Agdistis initially bore both male and female attributes. But the Olympian gods, fearing Agdistis, cut off the male organ and cast it away.

There grew up from it an almond-tree, and when its fruit was ripe, Nana, who was a daughter of the river-god Sangarius, picked an almond and laid it in her bosom. The almond disappeared, and she became pregnant. Nana abandoned the baby (Attis).

The infant was tended by a he-goat. As Attis grew, his long-haired beauty was godlike, and Agdistis as Cybele then fell in love with him. But the foster parents of Attis sent him to Pessinos, where he was to wed the king’s daughter.

According to some versions the King of Pessinos was Midas. Just as the marriage-song was being sung, Agdistis/Cybele appeared in her transcendent power, and Attis went mad and cut off his genitals. Attis’ father-in-law-to-be, the king who was giving his daughter in marriage, followed suit, prefiguring the self-castrating corybantes who devoted themselves to Cybele. But Agdistis repented and saw to it that the body of Attis should neither rot at all nor decay.

At Pessinos in Phrygia, the mother goddess—identified by the Greeks as Cybele—took the form of an unshaped stone of black meteoric iron, and may have been associated with or identical to Agdistis, Pessinos’ mountain deity.

Telepinu and Inara

Hannahannah (from Hittite hanna- “grandmother”) is a Hurrian Mother Goddess related to or influenced by the pre-Sumerian goddess Inanna. Hannahannah was also identified with the Hurrian goddess Hebat. Christopher Siren reports that Hannahannah is associated with the Gulses.

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.

Telipinu (Cuneiform: Te(-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 (Hebat/Hannahannah) according to their mythology. His wife was the goddess Hatepuna, also known as Hatepinu, though he was also paired with Šepuru and Kašḫa at various cultic centres.

The name of Hatepuna originates in Hattic ha, “sea”, and puna, “child”. She is the daughter of the sea god Aruna, a son of the healing and magic goddess Kamrusepa, and becomes the wife of Telipinu because of the rescue of Istanu. Aruna is also the Hittite word for “sea”, and like Kamrusepa may also refer to the god of the sea.

According to Hittite Mythology, Kamrusepa enlisted the help of a human to perform a ritual to remove the anger of an angry god, Telepinu. Upon completion of the ritual she sacrificed 12 rams of the sun gods and directed Telepinu’s anger into the Underworld.

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. His father, the Storm-god Tarhunt (also called Teshub), complains to Hannahannah.

She then sends him out to search for his son, and when he gives up, she dispatches a bee, charging it to find Telepinu. The bee does that, and then purifies and strengthens him by stinging his hands and feet and wiping his eyes and feet with wax.

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. In either case, it is difficult to determine anything about the nature of Telipinu from this myth, as myths along the same pattern have also been found featuring the unrelated gods Anzili and Zukki.

She also recommends to the Storm-god that he should pay the Sea-god the bride-price for the Sea-god’s daughter, so she can wed Telipinu. Tarhun and the sea god agree under the meditation of Hannahannah to a bride price. Hatepuna’s temple was in Maliluha.

After Inara consulted with Hannahannah, she give her a man and land. Soon after, Inara is missing and when Hannahannah is informed thereof by the Storm-god’s bee, she apparently begins a search with the help of her female attendant.

The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth. Apparently like Demeter, Hannahanna disappears for a while in a fit of anger and while she is gone, cattle and sheep are stifled and mothers, both human and animal take no account of their children.

After her anger is banished to the Dark Earth, she returns rejoicing, and mothers care once again for their kin. Another means of banishing her anger was through burning brushwood and allowing the vapor to enter her body. Either in this or another text she appears to consult with the Sun god and the War god, but much of the text is missing.

In another myth 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.

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.

It has been suggested that Telipinu endured in later mythology as the Greek Telephus and the Caucasian Telepia, but this identification is uncertain. In addition, his name was adopted by several kings, such as the Hittite monarch Telipinu.

His prosperity and fertility is symbolized by a pole suspending the fleece of a sheep. In other versions of this myth, the Storm-god or the Sun-god and several other gods are missing instead. He is asked by his father to recover the Sun-god from the Sea-god, and so intimidates the Sea-god that he is given his daughter as a bride.

Isis and Osiris

The cult of Osiris (who was a god chiefly of regeneration and rebirth) had a particularly strong interest in the concept of immortality. Plutarch recounts one version of the myth in which Set (Osiris’ brother), along with the Queen of Ethiopia, conspired with 72 accomplices to plot the assassination of Osiris.

Set fooled Osiris into getting into a box, which Set then shut, sealed with lead, and threw into the Nile. Osiris’ wife, Isis, searched for his remains until she finally found him embedded in a tamarind tree trunk, which was holding up the roof of a palace in Byblos on the Phoenician coast. She managed to remove the coffin and open it, but Osiris was already dead.

In one version of the myth, she used a spell learned from her father and brought him back to life so he could impregnate her. Afterwards he died again and she hid his body in the desert. Months later, she gave birth to Horus. While she raised Horus, Set was hunting one night and came across the body of Osiris.

Enraged, he tore the body into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout the land. Isis gathered up all the parts of the body, except the penis (which had been eaten by a fish, the medjed) and bandaged them together for a proper burial.

The gods were impressed by the devotion of Isis and resurrected Osiris as the god of the underworld. Because of his death and resurrection, Osiris was associated with the flooding and retreating of the Nile and thus with the crops along the Nile valley.

Diodorus Siculus gives another version of the myth in which Osiris was described as an ancient king who taught the Egyptians the arts of civilization, including agriculture, then travelled the world with his sister Isis, the satyrs, and the nine muses, before finally returning to Egypt.

Osiris was then murdered by his evil brother Typhon, who was identified with Set. Typhon divided the body into twenty-six pieces, which he distributed amongst his fellow conspirators in order to implicate them in the murder.

Isis and Hercules (Horus) avenged the death of Osiris and slew Typhon. Isis recovered all the parts of Osiris’ body, except the phallus, and secretly buried them. She made replicas of them and distributed them to several locations, which then became centres of Osiris worship.

Plutarch and others have noted that the sacrifices to Osiris were “gloomy, solemn, and mournful…” and that the great mystery festival, celebrated in two phases, began at Abydos commemorating the death of the god, on the same day that grain was planted in the ground.

The death of the grain and the death of the god were one and the same: the cereal was identified with the god who came from heaven; he was the bread by which man lives. The resurrection of the god symbolized the rebirth of the grain.

The annual festival involved the construction of “Osiris Beds” formed in shape of Osiris, filled with soil and sown with seed. The germinating seed symbolized Osiris rising from the dead. An almost pristine example was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter.

The first phase of the festival was a public drama depicting the murder and dismemberment of Osiris, the search of his body by Isis, his triumphal return as the resurrected god, and the battle in which Horus defeated Set. This was all presented by skilled actors as a literary history, and was the main method of recruiting cult membership.

According to Julius Firmicus Maternus of the fourth century, this play was re-enacted each year by worshippers who “beat their breasts and gashed their shoulders…. When they pretend that the mutilated remains of the god have been found and rejoined…they turn from mourning to rejoicing.” (De Errore Profanorum). The passion of Osiris was reflected in his name ‘Wenennefer” (“the one who continues to be perfect”), which also alludes to his post mortem power.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

From the great Mother Goddess to Ereshkigal/Inanna – Maria/Lilith – Venus

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 5, 2015

Hausha (Ka-Usha) – Khaldi – Caelius – Kali – Hel

Ka – Heket/Meskhenet

The Ka was the Egyptian concept of vital essence, that which distinguishes the difference between a living and a dead person, with death occurring when the ka left the body. The Egyptians believed that Khnum created the bodies of children on a potter’s wheel and inserted them into their mothers’ bodies. Heqet was considered the wife of Khnum.

Depending on the region, Egyptians believed that Heket, the frog symbolizing life and fertility, the Egyptian equavalent of the Greek goddess Hekate, the triple goddess variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, dogs, light, the moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery, or Meskhenet, the goddess of childbirth, and the creator of each child’s Ka, a part of their soul, which she breathed into them at the moment of birth, was the creator of each person’s Ka, breathing it into them at the instant of their birth as the part of their soul that made them be alive. This resembles the concept of spirit in other religions.

The Egyptians also believed that the ka was sustained through food and drink. For this reason food and drink offerings were presented to the dead, although it was the kau within the offerings that was consumed, not the physical aspect. The ka was often represented in Egyptian iconography as a second image of the king, leading earlier works to attempt to translate ka as double.

Inanna (Nanna – Frigg/Frøyja) / Ereshkigal (Hel)

– Frigg/Frøyja – Friday/Veneris Venu – Venus

Inanna (Sumerian: Inanna; Akkadian: Ištar; Neo-Assyrian: MUŠ) was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, and goddess of the E-Anna temple at the city of Uruk, her main centre. Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, which at that time was regarded as two stars, the “morning star” and the “evening star.”

Inanna’s symbol is an eight-pointed star or a rosette. She was associated with lions – even then a symbol of power – and was frequently depicted standing on the backs of two lionesses. Her cuneiform ideogram was a hook-shaped twisted knot of reeds, representing the doorpost of the storehouse (and thus fertility and plenty).

The famous Uruk Vase (found in a deposit of cult objects of the Uruk III period) depicts a row of naked men carrying various objects, bowls, vessels, and baskets of farm produce, and bringing sheep and goats, to a female figure facing the ruler. This figure was ornately dressed for a divine marriage, and attended by a servant. The female figure holds the symbol of the two twisted reeds of the doorpost, signifying Inanna behind her, while the male figure holds a box and stack of bowls.

One of the longest lasting Goddesses from the ancient world is Sumer’s Inanna, who was revered for over 4,000 years, and even today in modern Islamic Iraq Inanna’s emblems of the reed knot and the date palm continue to have meaning to the people. Her origins are very very old and date back well into the Neolithic age.

It is believed that the Goddess-revering Al-Ubaid culture brought her imagery with them when they settled in the region south west of the Euphrates river as early as the 6th millennium BC, i.e. 8,000 years ago. Her earliest temple was discovered in Uruk (Erech), Inanna’s main and longest lasting place of worship, and dates back to about 5,000 BC.

Inanna’s name derives from Lady of Heaven (Sumerian: nin-an-ak). The cuneiform sign of Inanna; however, is not a ligature of the signs lady (Sumerian: nin; Cuneiform: SAL.TUG) and sky (Sumerian: an; Cuneiform: AN).

These difficulties have led some early Assyriologists to suggest that originally Inanna may have been a Proto-Euphratean goddess, possibly related to the Hurrian mother goddess Hannahannah, accepted only latterly into the Sumerian pantheon, an idea supported by her youthfulness, and that, unlike the other Sumerian divinities, at first she had no sphere of responsibilities.

The view that there was a Proto-Euphratean substrate language in Southern Iraq before Sumerian is not widely accepted by modern Assyriologists.

Hannahannah (from Hittite hanna- “grandmother”) is a Hurrian Mother Goddess related to or influenced by the pre-Sumerian goddess Inanna. Hannahannah was also identified with the Hurrian goddess Hebat. Christopher Siren reports that Hannahannah is associated with the Gulses.

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.

The mother goddess Hannahannah 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.

Hebat, also transcribed, Kheba or Khepat, was the mother goddess of the Hurrians, known as “the mother of all living”. She is also a Queen of the deities. Hebat is married to Teshub and is the mother of Sarruma and Alanzu, as well mother-in-law of the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka.

It is thought that Hebat may have had a Southern Mesopotamian origin, being the deification of Kubaba, the founder and first ruler of the Third Dynasty of Kish. The name may be transliterated in different versions – Khebat with the feminine ending -t is primarily the Syrian and Ugaritic version. In the Hurrian language Hepa is the most likely pronunciation of the name of the goddess. In modern literature the sound /h/ in cuneiform sometimes is transliterated as kh.

Hebat was venerated all over the ancient Near East. Her name appears in many theophoric personal names. A king of Jerusalem mentioned in the Amarna letters was named Abdi-Heba, possibly meaning “Servant of Hebat”. During Aramaean times Hebat also appears to have become identified with the goddess Hawwah, or Eve.

The Hittite sun goddess Arinniti was later assimilated with Hebat. A prayer of Queen Puduhepa makes this explicit: “To the Sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady, the mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of Heaven and Earth. Sun-goddess of Arinna, thou art Queen of all countries! In the Hatti country thou bearest the name of the Sun-goddess of Arinna; but in the land which thou madest the cedar land thou bearest the name Hebat.”

The mother goddess is likely to have had a later counterpart in the Phrygian goddess Cybele, (Phrygian: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya “Kubeleyan Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”; Lydian Kuvava; Greek: Kybele, Kybebe, Kybelis), an originally Anatolian mother goddess; she has a possible precursor in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük (in the Konya region) where the statue of a pregnant goddess seated on a lion throne was found in a granary dated to the 6th millennium BC.

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

In the early days of her worship Inanna was still seen as the all-encompassing mother goddess. She was still revered as the source of the upper and lower waters, as the Queen of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld. As human consciousness – probably due to external factors – changed over the millennia, Inanna’s powers diminished.

At first she was split into the goddess of life, represented by Inanna, and the goddess of the underworld, represented by her sister Ereshkigal (EREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. “Queen of the Great Earth”) or Ninkigal (lit. “Great Lady of the Earth” or “Lady of the Great Earth”), the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld. Eventually she would be given a father who was said to have given her her powers. Ereshkigal was also a queen that many gods and goddesses looked up to in the underworld.

The family tree of Inana/Ištar differs according to different traditions. She is variously the daughter of Anu or the daughter of Nanna/Sin and his wife Ningal; and sister of Utu/Šamaš; or else the daughter of Enki/Ea. Ereškigal is the sister of Inanna and mother of the goddess Nungal. Namtar, Ereškigal’s minister, is also her son by Enlil; and Ninazu, her son by Gugal-ana. The latter is the first husband of Ereškigal, who in later tradition has Nergal as consort. Bēlet-ṣēri appears as the official scribe for Ereškigal in the Epic of Gilgameš.

Inanna refers to Ereshkigal as her older sister in the Sumerian hymn “The Descent of Inanna” (which was also in later Babylonian myth, also called “The Descent of Ishtar”). Ereshkigal is the counterpart of Inanna/Ishtar, the symbol of nature during the non-productive season of the year. According to the doctrine of two kingdoms, the dominions of the two sisters are sharply differentiated, as one is of this world and one of the world of the dead.

Ereshkigal became the goddess of death and regeneration. During the Neolithic people believed in the cyclical nature of all existence. Every ending was understood to be the beginning of a new chapter. Death, rather than being the final end, was seen as a resting stage prior to new life. Just as seeds rest deep undergound during the cold winter months waiting to sprit up as a seedling in spring, so were the dead seen as having returned to the Goddess’ dark womb to await renewal and rebirth.

While during the Neolithic and the early Bronze Age life was seen as cyclical with death not being the final end but rather a resting stage before rebirth, in later years as humanity distanced itself more and more from the natural world, the understanding of the Underworld changed from it being the womb of the Goddess to a place of no return. However, some of the old cyclical beliefs remained even during the later Bronze Age, as late Sumerian mythology tells of how Ereshkigal gives birth to new life.

Ereshkigal was sometimes given the name Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler, Hades, later Pluto. She was the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom. The main temple dedicated to her was located in Kutha.

Ereshkigal is known chiefly through two myths, believed to symbolize the changing of the seasons, but perhaps also intended to illustrate certain doctrines which date back to the Mesopotamia period. One of these myths is Inanna’s descent to the netherworld and her reception by her sister who presides over it; Ereshkigal traps her sister in her kingdom and Inanna is only able to leave it by sacrificing her husband Dumuzi in exchange for herself. Inanna/Ishtar’s trip and return to the underworld is the most familiar of the myths concerning Ereshkigal.

Her history is to be found in the goddess Urash, who might be the same as Ninhursag. However, Uras may only have been another name for Antu, the first consort of An. The pair was the parents of the Anunnaki and the Utukki. The name Urash even became applied to Anu himself, and acquired the meaning “heaven”. Ninurta also was apparently called Uras in later times. Antu was replaced as consort by Ishtar or Inanna, who may also be a daughter of Anu and Antu.

Nidaba, also Nanibgal or Nisaba, was the Sumerian goddess of writing, learning, and the harvest. Her sanctuaries were E-zagin at Eresh and at Umma. As with many Sumerian deities, Nisaba’s exact place in the pantheon and her heritage appears somewhat ambiguous, but it seems that she is the daughter of An and Urash, a goddess of earth, and one of the consorts of the sky god An. Nisaba is the sister of Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh. If Urash and Ninhursag are the same goddess, then Nisaba is also the half sister of Nanshe and (in some versions) Ninurta.

Nidaba’s spouse is Haya, known both as a “door-keeper” and associated with the scribal arts, and together they have a daughter, Sud/Ninlil. Haya is also characterised, beyond being the spouse of Nidaba/Nissaba, as an “agrig”-official of the god Enlil. He is designated as “the Nissaba of wealth”, as opposed to his wife, who is the “Nissaba of Wisdom”.

Nidaba reflects fundamental developments in the creation of Mesopotamian culture, those which take us from agriculture to accounting, to a very fine literary tradition. Nidaba was originally an agricultural deity, more specifically a goddess of grain.

The intricate connection between agriculture and accounting/writing implied that it was not long before Nidaba became the goddess of writing. From then on her main role was to be the patron of scribes. She was eventually replaced in that function by the god Nabu.

Two myths describe the marriage of Sud/Ninlil with Enlil. This implies that Nidaba could be at once the daughter and the mother-in-law of Enlil. Nidaba is also the sister of Ninsumun, the mother of Gilgameš. In some other tales, she is considered the mother of Ninlil, and by extension, the mother-in-law of Enlil.

In a debate between Nidaba and Grain, Nidaba is syncretised with Ereškigal as “Mistress of the Underworld”. Nidaba is also identified with the goddess of grain Ašnan, and with Nanibgal/Nidaba-ursag/Geme-Dukuga, the throne bearer of Ninlil and wife of Ennugi, throne bearer of Enlil.

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, the head of the early Mesopotamian pantheon, and later of Aššur, the head of the Assyrian pantheon. When Enlil was syncretised with Aššur, the highest god of the Assyrian pantheon, Ninlil consequently became Aššur’s wife and was identified with Šeru’a.

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. Astronomically she is identified with the constellations Ursa Maior (mar-gíd-da ereqqu “wagon”) and Lyra (UZ enzu “goat”).

Because Ninlil primarily appears as Enlil’s consort, she shares some of his characteristics (e.g., his characteristics as creator, father of the gods, head of the pantheon, giver of life). Through her syncretisms she also took on aspects of healing and mother goddesses, but these seem to be secondary rather than original functions. Her epithets include “Queen of the heavens and the earth, queen of the lands” or “Lady of the gods” and “foremost lady of the Anunna gods”.

Ninlil was syncretised with several goddesses. The foremost among these is Sud. The Sumerian myth of Enlil and Sud is a literary rendering of this syncretism and relates how Sud married Enlil and thus became Ninlil. In addition, Ninlil was also syncretised with several minor healing and mother goddesses.

The Sumerian myth Enlil and Ninlil describes how Enlil pursues Ninlil amorously, resulting in Ninlil giving birth to the moon-god Su’en, the underworld deity Nergal, and the gods Ninazu and Enbilulu.

She first appears in the late fourth millennium BCE and survived into the first centuries CE. She was at times syncretised with various healing and mother goddesses as well as with the goddess Ištar. Ishara, a love goddess often identified with Ishtar, was also worshipped within the Hurrian pantheon. She was associated with the underworld. Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio and she is called the mother of the Sebitti (the Seven Stars).

In Herodotus’ Histories, Ninlil under the name Mylitta was identified as the Assyrian version of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. It is possible that this identification was due to Ninlil’s syncretism with Ištar as the goddess of love and war.

Ninlil lived in Dilmun with her family. Raped and ravaged by her husband Enlil, who impregnated her with water, she conceived a boy, Nanna/Suen, the future moon god. As punishment Enlil was dispatched to the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, where Ninlil joined him.

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.

Venus

Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, which at that time was regarded as two stars, the “morning star” and the “evening star.” 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. 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.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The origin of Henna

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 4, 2015

History of Henna

The history and origin of Henna is hard to trace with centuries of migration and cultural interaction it is difficult to determine where particular traditions began. Henna has been used as a cosmetic hair dye, cosmetic and healing capacities for 6,000 years. There is very persuasive evidence that the Neolithic people in Catal Huyuk, in the 7th millennium BC, used henna to ornament their hands in connection with their fertility goddess.

The different words for henna in ancient languages imply that it had more than one point of discovery and origin, as well as different pathways of daily and ceremonial use. While henna is known by many names including Henne, Al-Khanna, Jamaica Mignonette, Egyptian Privet and Smooth Lawsonia, the art of its application is referred to as Henna (Arabic) or Medhi (Hindu).

The word “alkanet” derives from Middle English, from Old Spanish alcaneta, diminutive of alcana, “henna”, from Medieval Latin alchanna, from Arabic al-ḥinnā’, “henna”  akin to ḥana’a (al-: “the” + ḥinnā’, “henna”), to become green, the name for the small thorny tree (Egyptian Privet, Lawsonia inermis). The genus name Pentaglottis is Greek, meaning “five tongues”, and the species name sempervirens is Latin, and means “always alive”, or “evergreen”. Green alkanet blooms in spring and early summer. Its stamens are hidden inside narrow flower-tubes which end in a white eye in the centre of a blue flower.

In botanical terms it is Lawsonia Enermis, a plant which grows to be 4 to 8 feet high in hot climates and can be found in Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Persia, Morocco, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Senegal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and India. The leaves, flowers and the twigs of the plant are ground into fine powder containing natural dying properties called tannins; the powder is then mixed with hot water.

Hannahannah (from Hittite hanna- “grandmother”), also known as the Hurrian goddess Hebat, a name that later developed into the name of the Aramean goddess Hawwah, or Eve, whom she appears to have become identified, is a Hurrian Mother Goddess related to or influenced by the pre-Sumerian goddess Inanna.

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 Hannahannah and her brother is Sarruma.

The mother goddess Hannahannah 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.

The earliest written evidence that mentions henna specifically used as an adornment for a bride or woman’s special occasion is in the Ugaritic legend of Baal and Anath, inscribed on a tablet dating back to 2100 BC, found in northwest Syria. Henna has also been used extensively in southern China and has been associated with erotic rituals for at least three thousand years, during the ancient Goddess cultures.

Henna has been used to adorn young women’s bodies as part of social and holiday celebrations since the late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean. Many statuettes of young women dating between 1500 and 500 BCE along the Mediterranean coastline have raised hands with markings consistent with henna.

The earliest civilizations to have used henna include the Babylonians, Assyrians, Sumerians, Semites, Ugaritics and Canaanites. The earliest text mentioning henna in the context of marriage and fertility celebrations comes from the Ugaritic legend of Baal and Anath, which has references to women marking themselves with henna in preparation to meet their husbands, and Anath adorning herself with henna to celebrate a victory over the enemies of Baal.

Wall paintings excavated at Akrotiri (dating prior to the eruption of Thera in 1680 BCE) show women with markings consistent with henna on their nails, palms and soles, in a tableau consistent with the henna bridal description from Ugarit.

In Ancient Egypt, it is known to have been worn. In Ancient Egypt, Ahmose-Henuttamehu (17th Dynasty, 1574 BCE): Henuttamehu was probably a daughter of Seqenenre Tao and Ahmose Inhapy. Smith reports that the mummy of Henuttamehu’s own hair had been dyed a bright red at the sides, probably with henna.

This early connection between young, fertile women and henna seems to be the origin of the Night of the Henna, which is now celebrated worldwide. The Night of the Henna was celebrated by most groups in the areas where henna grew naturally: Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians, among others, all celebrated marriages and weddings by adorning the bride, and often the groom, with henna.

Across the henna-growing region, Purim, Eid, Diwali, Karva Chauth, Passover, Nowruz, Mawlid, and most saints’ days were celebrated with some henna. Favorite horses, donkeys, and salukis had their hooves, paws, and tails hennaed.

Battle victories, births, circumcision, birthdays, Zār, as well as weddings, usually included some henna as part of the celebration. When there was joy, there was henna, as long as henna was available.

Henna was regarded as having blessings, and was applied for luck as well as joy and beauty. Brides typically had the most henna, and the most complex patterns, to support their greatest joy, and wishes for luck. Bridal henna nights are a popular tradition in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Near East and South Asia.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 94 other followers

%d bloggers like this: