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Monday, 17 December 2012

Apoesis

There must be a name for a state of mind suffered when a story is taken from you and retold in such a way as to twist the good in the story into bad.

A slow acting poison
Dropped into my coffee..

Feels like a light going out
A sense of loss and darkness
A sense of weakness
At first no awareness of the damage

As if something has been corrupted
A fragmentation

The very opposite of poesis

He told my story to another
What he said wasn't true

It was my story

He held forth on what had happened to me

Without knowing.

He had never known my version of the story

I did not change his version.
I sat there and agreed.
I felt uneasy but
I thought I was protecting the story...
By not contradicting
Allowing an official, ordinary edition to go out into the world..

Besides which
No one would believe me
This world prefers victims.

Nor do I have any desire to bring to light the true memories of something both precious and secret, now sealed in time.

There is no need.

Nothing is secret or hidden from myself
But the room in which these memories were kept had been sealed...
A sarcophagus

Now the door hangs open on broken hinges
The velvet covers that wrapped perfect moments has been torn off.
The gold and jewels scattered
The stars are fallen from the sky

It hurts
Is all I can say...

I'm hungry
Can't eat
Thirst
Can't drink...


He had never known my version of the story
No one ever shall.


This is why we lie to ourselves

Everyone and everything will slip into oblivion
And the universe is too brutal
Stories weave magic between the blood and stones.

This is why we lie to our children
To protect them from stories that are too terrible
Showing the good and noble elements within tragedy...

Myths provide meaning
Catabasis
Restoration

The sacred spider weaves her threads...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Orpheus.

When I think of Orpheus I think also of Dionysos. It has long been noticed that there are too many similarities and opposites to separate them completely from each other.

Writers like Jane Harrison and WKC Guthrie tend to see, or at least find it easiest to define Orpheus as a religious reformer; taking all that is wild and fierce in the worship of Dionysos, and turning it on its head.

This version has fueled the modern idea of Apollo as a rational god.

For it is said that Orpheus worshiped Apollo.

And Apollo in his modern form seems so different from Dionysos.

But the confusing link between Orpheus and Dionysos remains in my mind at least, unresolved. I'm not satisfied by the idea that myth requires a rational base.

Jane Harrison in Prolegomena quotes from Apollodorus:

Orpheus...
'invented the mysteries of Dionysos'
but she does not say which Apollodorus:
Pseudo-Apollodorus, or Apollodorus of Athens (born c. 180 BC)?

Nevertheless, the idea had been about for a long time.

Herodotus c.484 – 425 BC regards Bacchic and Orphic as practically the same thing.

Whilst Herodotus was in Egypt he noted that corpses were never buried in woollen cloth or clothing and wrote:
 "In this respect they agree with the rites which are called Bacchic and Orphic but are really Egyptian and Pythagorean"
Herodotus also tells us that the cult of Dionyos was brought to Greece by the black footed Melampos:
"Melampos was the one who taught the Greeks the name of Dionysos and the way of sacrificing to him and the phallic procession; he did not exactly unveil the subject taking all its details into consideration, for the teachers who came after him made a fuller revelation; but it was from him that the Greeks learned to bear the phallus along in honor of Dionysos, and they got their present practice from his teaching" 
Melampos had learnt the art of divination and oracles from the Egyptians.

Euripides too mixes Dionysos with Orpheus when in the play Hippolytus, the character Theseus taunts his son for his ascetic principals:
Go revel in your Bacchic rites
With Orpheus for your Lord
Finally (for me, but not for you!) Diodorus Siculus, writing between 60 and 30 BC describes the treatment of the dead in Egypt:
When the body is ready to be buried the family announces the day of interment to the judges and to the relatives and friends of the deceased, and solemnly affirms that he who has just passed away — giving his name — "is about to cross the lake."  Then, when the judges, forty-two in number, have assembled and have taken seats in a hemicycle which has been built across the lake, the baris is launched, which has been prepared in advance by men especially engaged in that service, and which is in the charge of the boatman whom the Egyptians in their language charon. For this reason they insist that Orpheus, having visited Egypt in ancient times and witnessed this custom, merely invented his account of Hades, in part reproducing this practice and in part inventing on his own account  [LINK]

Herodotus and Diodorus recognise Dionysos and Orpheus in the fertility rituals of Min and the religion of Osiris the dead king, who is the green power within the earth to revivify.

Osiris dies but never dies.

He exists beyond, immanent within the earth.

This power was personified in Sumerian myth as female: Ninhursag as mother of the wild things, Inanna as guardian of sweet plenitude (the full store house). Ereshkigal was queen of the dead and described as perpetually in labour, as if she had some of Ninhusag's quality of revivifying the earth. Persephone, likewise, may be shown in Cretan iconography as plant-like, the force within old roots.

It was also personified as male: Dumuzi, Meslamtea and Ningishizida.

In one reading of the myth, when Persephone leaves the upper earth, nothing grows, not because Demeter grieves but because the life-work (the restoration)  must take place in the invisible, Great Below.

Greek myth is not separate from Mesopotamian and Egyptian myth. It didn't come into being fully formed. If it did it bears a striking resemblance to other, older myths. Nor did Mesopotamian and Egyptian myth arise in isolation. I recognise similar elements in each...

But for now
This is as far as I'm going.

Orpheus with his particularly Egyptian flavoured philosophy always makes my head spin!

Links.

1/ http://bacchicstage.wordpress.com/

2/ http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Diodorus_Siculus/1D*.html





Saturday, 3 November 2012

Orpheus and Eurydice.

The story?
It was their wedding day, just married.

Eurydice wondered away into the woods and was harassed by a satyr- a disreputable shambles of a goat legged pest, rampant, unapologetic and brimful of lust!

Eurydice ran.

She ran too close to a snake in the grass, was bitten and died.

As quick and simple...as implacable as that!

Orpheus was too late
Nothing could make him let go of her
Even after her body had been buried.

Distraught, he took up his lyre- a gift from Apollo- and set off to the Underworld to restore her soul to the world above, enchanting all he met, with his sweet, sweet songs...

Into the gloom he went.

Past Cerberus, past the shades and ghosts, down to Persephone and Hades.
Playing all the way.

There he charmed Persephone and gained a promise, that his dear wife may be returned to him if he can but lead her all through the the darkness of Erebus and back to the river with its promise of sunlight.

The path through the Underworld is complicated, narrow and wide, difficult to do even if Orpheus was allowed to see his wife...

Persephone gave the still living Orpheus permission to take Euydice on one condition.

That he would not turn to make sure that she still followed him

A difficult task, but not impossible, surely?

But Orpheus made the mistake Persephone knew he would make.

As Orpheus reaches the light, he turns to see his wife...
Still just within the darkness of Hell

To have to watch her drawn back, sealed away from him.
Until his own death.

Orpheus ends his days on Lesbos as a music teacher

He sends women so mad with frustration by his lack of desire for them...they tear him to bits.

Some say the god Dionysos took against him because he would worship none but Apollo.

His head goes floating away down stream.

Still singing.




__


Eurydice's role in this story reminds me of another charactor 'The power of the home'  'Alcestis' by Euripides.

Alcestis is newly married to 'the wild man' Admeatus. He, like Orpheus is favored by Apollo. In rreturn for helping the god, Admeatus is given a gift.

He may swap his death with someone else.

Admeatus is destined to die as a young man.
But if he can find someone else to take his place, death will leave him to grow old.

Admeatus thinks that at least one of his elderly parents will die for him; he has young children, surely a grandparent would not be able to watch a son die, and hear grandchildren crying for their father?

Wrong!

His father berates him:
"For better or worse your life is your own concern. I have done my duty by you: you have wide possessions; I shall leave you the large estate that I inherited; so what have you to complain of?
Have I robbed you?
I don’t expect you to die for me, and I’ll not die for you.
You enjoy life: do you think that I do not enjoy it?
I expect to be dead for a long time, and alive for a short time -yes, short, but still sweet.
You took pains enough to save your own skin! You have lived past your time, and as a result you have killed your wife -yes; and then you talk about my cowardice!
You are not fit to call yourself a man; your wife had more balls than you"!
Alcestis, Admeatus's wife, promises to take his place.
Much sadness follows- small children, and servants crying, tears and misery.

Alcestis dies.
Admeatus is shamed and realises that death would have been better than this...

But then Heracles turns up.

An old friend.
He wrestles with death
Returns with Alcestis- who is unrecognisable and unable to speak..
Heracles reassures Admeatus that she will recover, eventually.
The play ends.

The stories of Eurydice and Alcestis never delve into the psychology of these women, both tales portray events happening around the women, rather than what is actually happening to them.

Their thoughts and feelings are left as a blank.

But because of Eurydice, Orpheus goes to the Underworld and, more importantly, returned.
__

Both stories are connected to Apollo
Because Apollo is not only all bright intellect and light, but also the god of rot and decay with his origins (and plague arrows) from the Mesopotamian deity, Nergal.

The story of how Orpheus returns from the Underworld becomes a mystery cult.

Tradition has it that a hero is half-god, half-mortal. There are many stories of a hero's descent and return. When Strabo (64 BC – c. AD 24) tells of Orpheus, he describes him as an ordinary mortal.

This is something new.

As Orpheus had learnt where to go and what to do in the Underworld, it was possible that such a journey could be made by any of us. Following the Egyptian tradition, of books of the dead containing passwords and phrases required to get a person out of the grim and terrible places in the Underworld, so the 'Orphic' gold tablets are symbolic maps or passports required to help the newly dead cross the borders and boundaries.

People who had taken an Orphic initiation were promised a better Underworld and were buried with Gold tablets put in to their mouths. It has been suggested that the tablets were rolled to look almost like lips, to speak for the dead.

But they were also worn around the neck sometimes, as protective amulets.
I am a child of Earth and of Starry Heaven;
But my race is of Heaven (alone).
The followers of Orpheus required initiations and rules about their conduct: vegetarian, sexual abstinence and a prohibition of being buried in woolen garments.

Their universe is the 'Pythagorean' one, including interpretations of divinity as 'forces' rather than personalities, and of 'Maya', reality tainted with illusion and projection.

__

Eurydice is Ευρυδικη: broad justice.
Eury means broad or wide (like Europa) and dike means justice.
_



Thursday, 18 October 2012

The followers of Dionysos..







This world is portrayed as a broken machine
A war between good and evil

Passion tempered by common sense
Informed by all that is rational and just

Dionysos
Will not be spoken of...

In words that make sense.
*

Euripides made it clear

Pentheus- King of all sadness...
Decrees solid virtue, and temperance

Cannot give the god the respect that is his due.

Thinks it a game to dress in women's clothes...
To spy on religious rites as if they were sport

Delusion and pure horror, 
Dionysos...

As Pentheus falls from his hiding place

Pain, his eternity.
*

"But she, the while, with foaming mouth and wildly rolling eyes, bereft of reason as she was, heeded him not; for the god possessed her.

And she caught his left hand in her grip, and planting her foot upon her victim's trunk she tore the shoulder from its socket, not of her own strength, but the god made it an easy task to her hands; and Ino set to work upon the other side, rending the flesh with Autonoe and all the eager host of Bacchanals; and one united cry arose, the victim's groans while yet he breathed, and their triumphant shouts. 

One would make an arm her prey, another a foot with the sandal on it; and his ribs were stripped of flesh by their rending nails; and each one with blood-dabbled hands was tossing Pentheus' limbs about. 

Scattered lies his corpse, part beneath the rugged rocks, and part amid the deep dark woods, no easy task to find; but his poor head hath his mother made her own, and fixing it upon the point of a thyrsus, as it had been a mountain lion's, she bears it through the midst of Cithaeron, having left her sisters with the Maenads at their rites. 

And she is entering these walls exulting in her hunting fraught with woe, calling on the Bacchic god her fellow-hunter who had helped her to triumph in a chase, where her only prize was tears". 




Monday, 15 October 2012

Freja's cats.

The Prose Edda asks:
 "How should one paraphrase Freyja? Thus: by calling her Daughter of Njördr, Sister of Freyr, Wife of Ódr, Mother of Hnoss, Possessor of the Slain, of Sessrúmnir, of the Gib-Cats, and of Brísinga-men; Goddess of the Vanir, Lady of the Vanir, Goddess Beautiful in Tears, Goddess of Love. All the goddesses may be paraphrased thus: by calling them by the name of another, and naming them in terms of their possessions or their works or their kindred."
Freya- The Lady- always stayed in my mind as the goddess who rides a chariot pulled by cats.


Snorri  wrote:
 "Her (Freyja's) hall Sessrúmnir ("Seat-roomy") is great and fair. When she goes forth, she drives her cats and sits in a chariot; she is most conformable to man's prayers, and from her name comes the name of honor, Frú, by which noblewomen are called. Songs of love are well-pleasing to her; it is good to call on her for furtherance in love."

In Britain and Scandinavian countries, cats are associated with witches, and magic. Whilst calling a man a cat...a pussy...is a demasculinising insult.

The symbol of Freja's cats may have been changed by Christianity to represent Freya as the priests and missionaries saw her; a pagan, shape-shifting, lascivious 'witch'. Until Christianity was imposed as the state religion, Freya was seen as a powerful goddess, whose worship seemed to have been similar to that described by Tacitus, of the goddess Nerthus. She was a popular Goddess and her worship was difficult to eradicate. Until Christianity was introduced to the Vikings. Cats may well have been the possessions of the elite and thus a chariot drawn by cats was a symbol of her wealth.

Freja was connected to sex and death, there are references to her as a Queen of the dead (in Egil's saga). A goddess, like Inanna and Ishtar, of dualities: of love, war, sex and death. Freja was, to the Christians, a parody of the Virgin Mary, and her animals- the cats- became carriers of demonic influence...

And witches, such as Katla (her name preserved in Iceland by a volcano) were stoned to death.

The cat and key in the image is known as Borre style. It takes its name from the objects found in the ship burial in a great barrow at Borre in Vestfold, Norway, a few miles north of where the ship burial at Oseberg, and is dated to the 9th and 10th century, AD.

Borre style features gripping beasts, including a cat-like, flexible and bat-like creature, who give their power of shape-shifting, and secrecy to the object they decorate.

The term gib-cat seems to mean tomcat, i.e a male cat.

Freya's hall Sessrúmnir located in  Folkvang (is also a ship). It is the land beyond death ruled over by Freya and from where, those slain in battle depart to Valhalla.

It isn't too difficult to see her as the mother of all Valkyries. The Val part of the term-Valhalla, refers to those slain in battle. There is at least on reference to her as Valfreya...

Finally Wang is the Germanic pronunciation of Vang (field)...
Making me think of the Iron-Age chariot burial at Wet Wang (vaett-vangr, 'field for the trial of a legal action', or the "Wet Field" compared to the nearby dry field at Driffield).

A woman was buried with the chariot 2,300 years ago.

It was a secondary burial, or she had lain elsewhere for some days before her final burial whilst her grave was dug.

She was described as 'a mature lady' and her burial was unusual because normally a body would be placed in the grave with its head at the north. At Wet Wang, this pattern is reversed and the lady was placed in a small hollow in the southern end of the grave

She was brought to the grave at the top of a hill, perhaps on the chariot and placed in the earth, crouched upon her side upon a mat or blanket and with a mirror. Joints of a pig were sent with her. Next her chariot was dismantled and placed in the north side of the grave, and her horses were led away...

Monday, 8 October 2012

Lord of the Tree.



Mesopotamian mythology.
The earth's crust sealed the land of the dead from the land of the living, but a way could be opened either by digging, or by magic.

The way to the Underworld could be traversed by foot, by boat or by chariot. The textual evidence is supported by models and the discovery of real chariots harnessed to oxen, within the royal graves of Ur.

But the road could only be traveled one way, though the dead may return, either for periodic rites (such as Gehtinanna and Dumuzi) and then return. Escape from the Underworld only if a substitute was found  (Inanna who sent Dumuzi in her place).

Evil spirits and restless ghosts could escape.
There are many 'Babylonian' rituals and prayers recorded to banish these entities back to the Underworld....

Ningishizida

Ningishizida was taken to the Underworld to become a judge.

In the text he is called Dumu, Ishteran, Alla and Lugal-cud-e, names that refer to him as a warrior, his youth, beauty and wisdom.

His grandmother was the Queen of the Underworld...

His connection with serpents, and trees/ fertility and growth make him a very Persephone like, deity.



Here is the story..
The ending is too fragmentary to read, so it is not included.

*


"Arise and get on board, arise, we are about to sail, arise and get on board!"

Woe, weep for the bright daylight, as the barge is steered away!

"I am a young man!
Let me not be covered against my wishes by a cabin, as if with a blanket, as if with a blanket!"

Stretching out a hand to the barge, to the young man being steered away on the barge, stretching out a hand to the young man, Dumu being taken away on the barge, stretching out a hand to Ishtaran of the bright face being taken away on the barge, stretching out a hand to Alla, master of the battle-net, being taken away on the barge, stretching out a hand to Lugal-cud-e being taken away on the barge, stretching out a hand to Ningishzida being taken away on the barge;  his younger sister was crying in lament to him in the boat's bow.

His older sister removed the cover from the boat's cabin

"Let me sail away with you, let me sail away with you. My brother, let me sail on your barge with you, my brother, let me sail away with you.

She was crying a lament to him at the boat's bow:
" Brother, let me sail away with you.
The gudug priest sits in the cabin at your boat's stern."

She was crying a lament to him:
"Let me sail away with you, my brother, let me sail away with you. My young man Damu, let me sail away with you. Ishtaran of the bright visage, let me sail away with you, Alla, master of the battle-net, let me sail away with you. Lugal-cud-e, let me sail away with you. Ningishzida, let me sail away with you. My brother, let me sail on your barge with you, my brother, let me sail away with you. Let me sail on your splendid barge with you, my brother, let me sail away with you".

The evil demon who was in their midst called out to Lugal-ki-bura, look at your sister!"

Having looked at his sister, Lugal-ki-bura said to her:
"He sails with me, he sails with me.
Why should you sail to the underworld?
Lady, the demon sails with me.
Why should you sail  to the underworld?
The thresher sails with me.
Why should you sail to the underworld?
The man who has bound my hands sails with me.
Why should you sail?
The man who has tied my arms sails with me.
Why should you sail?

The river of the nether world produces no water, no water is drunk from it.
Why should you sail?
The fields of the nether world produce no grain, no flour is eaten from it.
Why should you sail?
The sheep of the nether world produce no wool, no cloth is woven from it.
Why should you sail?
As for me, even if my mother digs as if for a canal, I shall not be able to drink the water meant for me. The waters of springtime will not be poured for me as they are for the tamarisks; I shall not sit in the shade intended for me. The dates I should bear like a date palm will not show their beauty for me. I am a field threshed by my demon -- you would scream at it. He has put manacles on my hands -- you would scream at it. He has put a neck-stock on my neck -- you would scream at it."

Ama-cilama (Ningishzida's sister) said to Ningishzida:
"The demon may accept something there should be a limit to it for you.
You are a beloved, there should be a limit to it for you. How they treat you, how they treat you! There should be a limit to it for you. My brother, how they treat you, how haughtily they treat you! -- there should be a limit to it for you. "I am hungry, but the bread has slipped away from me!" -- there should be a limit to it for you. "I am thirsty, but the water has slipped away from me!" -- there should be a limit to it for you."

The evil demon who was in their midst, the clever demon, that great demon who was in their midst, called out to the man at the boat's bow and to the man at the boat's stern:
"Don't let the mooring stake be pulled out, don't let the mooring stake be pulled out, so that she may come on board to her brother, that this lady may come on board the barge."

When Ama-cilama had gone on board the barge, a cry approached the heavens, a cry approached the earth, that great demon set up an enveloping cry before him on the river:

"Urim, at my cry to the heavens lock your houses, lock your houses, city, lock your houses!
Shrine Urim, lock your houses, city, lock your houses!
Against your lord who has left the jipar, city, lock your houses!" ...
----------------

The translation is at: 
http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/etcsl.cgi?text=t.1.7.3&charenc=j#

This page tells you more:
http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/listofdeities/ningizida/

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Lelwani



http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~rnoyer/courses/51/BryceHittiteSociety.pdf

Pudu-Ḫepa, or Pudu-Kheba) was a Hittite Queen married to the King Hattusili III.

Queen Pudu-Hepa was born at the beginning of the 13th century BC in the city of Lawazantiya in Kizzuwatna (Cilicia, a region south of the Hittite kingdom). Her father Bentepsharri was the a priest of Ishtar, and Puduhepa grew up to be a priestess of the same goddess.

Her daughters were Queen Maathorneferure of Egypt and Princess Kiluš-Ḫepa.

The Hittite princess (Maathorneferure) left Hattusa, the Hittite capital, in late 1246 BCE, accompanied by her mother and a huge contingent laden with gold, silver, bronze, cattle and sheep, and slaves. At the Egyptian frontier, a message was despatched to the Pharaoh:
'They have traversed sheer mountains and treacherous passes to reach Your Majesty's border.'
 Ramesses sent a welcoming party to escort the princess through Canaan and into Egypt.

She  arrived in February 1245 BCE at Pi-Ramesse.

For Ramesses, the marriage was valuable more for the large dowry he acquired rather than his new bride, who, given his great love for his Egyptian wife Nefertari, was despatched to his harem palace at Mer-wer (today's Gurob).

According to another account, however, Maathorneferure is said to have given Ramesses a baby and died shortly thereafter.




You, Oh Lelwani, eat the fat of [the cow], of the ewe and the nanny-goat [and satisfy your hunger].
Drink (!) that [blood] and quench your thirst!
The fat [...] of the fattened cow, and that of the ewe and the nanny-goat, [...].
Behold Gassulawiya, your maid [has] herewith [sent] to you this woman.
Oh god, she has dressed [her] up in festive garments and sent you her [substitute].
If you, oh god, have counted something against her, let this woman stand for you in her place.
Oh god, my lord, remove this sickness from Gassuliyawiya!...

From Hittite Prayers.
By Itamar Singer, Harry A. Hoffner


Mursili II was the younger son of Suppiluliuma I, one of the most powerful rulers of the Hittite Empire. He was the younger brother of Arnuwanda II and had a sister and one more brother.

Mursili is known to have had several children with his first wife Gassulawiya including three sons named Muwatalli, Hattusili III and Halpasulupi. A daughter named Massanauzzi (referred to as Matanaza in correspondence with the Egyptian king Ramesses II) was married to Masturi, a ruler of a vassal state. Mursili had further sons with a second wife named Tanuhepa. The names of the sons of this second wife have not been recorded however.

Mursili III, Queen Maathorneferure and Tudhaliya IV were grandchildren of Mursili II.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Europa.


The story as told by Moschus, a Greek bucolic poet who lived in Syracuse (Sicily) in the 2nd century BC: 
Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds.
 While Europa and her female attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete.
He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus and three additional gifts: Talos (the sun, also the name of a man made of bronze), Laelaps (a dog who never failed to catch what he was hunting) and a javelin that never missed.
Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus.



It was hardly an abduction...

Even in folk tale versions of Europa's story, such as The Brown Bull of Norrowa (by Mrs Molesworth), the girl simply climbs up onto the broad, warm back of the ferocious bull and rides away.

And the bull is ferocious, don't be fooled.

Like Gugulanna, the Mesopotamian Bull of Heaven- this bull is a creature of earth-quake and lightning bolts.

In Europa's story the bull is Zeus, Deus, Tiwaz...the god of the gods.

Like Ereshkigal stolen by The Kur.
Or Persephone dragged down by the Lord of the Dead.

Deus is a force that may not be denied.

Europa's earliest literary reference is in the Iliad, which is commonly dated to the 8th century BCE.
Another early reference to her is in a fragment of the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, discovered at Oxyrhynchus.
The earliest vase-painting securely identifiable as Europa, dates from mid-7th century BCE.
Europa's name, if we follow the Mesopotamian link, means the quenching of light.

If Europa's name originates in Mesopotamia, it may come to us via the Akkadian word that gave us one of many words for the Greek underworld: erebus. From Akkadian " Erebu " meaning, sunset, evening" (hence, "darkness").

 Paris psalterNyx on the left is represented
 according to hellenistic conventions. AD 1000.
It is preserved in Hebrew as erebh and transferred to Greek via Homer as Erebus, the dark and gloomy space under the earth, through which the shades pass into Hades.

Its connection with Persephone is via the name Erishkigal.

e-ri-iš -Queen.
ki-gal -Great Earth.

If Hesiod took inspiration from stories he heard in the eighth or ninth century Greek trading colonies such as Al Mina in North Syria. It is reasonable to guess that in his theogeny Ereshkigal loses her name, becoming Nyx (night) the Queen of Darkness, and Persephone.

Linguistically there is no connection between the story of Europa and  darkness in Hesiod's Theogeny. But the Queen of darkness theme is too good for a story teller to throw away, as is that other part of Erishkigal's story- the abduction.



Hesiod wrote in 'Epic Greek', but probably spoke in his native local Boeotian dialect. The name Europa name may come from: eurus meaning broad or wide.

Note:-the letter that looks like a P is pronounced as an R.
Is it possible that the name Hesiod heard spoken by story-tellers: Erishkigal sounded to him like 'broad' something or other? and so Hesiod made Europa into a wide daughter of Terthys and Ocean?

If this is the case, Hesiod's Europa is a nymph, living in a river, or stream:
For there are three thousand neat-ankled daughters of Ocean who are dispersed far and wide, and in every place alike serve the earth and the deep waters, children who are glorious among goddesses. And as many other rivers are there, babbling as they flow, sons of Ocean, whom queenly Tethys bare, but their names it is hard for a mortal man to tell, but people know those by which they severally dwell.


Hesiod splits Erishkigal's story.
He tells her story through Nyx (Night, daughter of The Void) and Persephone.

The dread, terrifying aspect is given to the name Echidna :
 ...the goddess fierce Echidna who is half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake, great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth. And there she has a cave deep down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal men. There, then, did the gods appoint her a glorious house to dwell in: and she keeps guard in Arima beneath the earth, grim Echidna, a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days.
Hesiod mentions Europa in passing; she is one nymph among many in a list, not a story. And yet she, like Persephone (another name among many in Hesiod, and only mentioned briefly) assumed a much greater importance in other people's work.

Persephone, regardless of Hesiod's lack of details about her, was an integral part of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Likewise Europa was recognised as an element of 'Phoenician' culture, and was linked to at least one religious site.

Herodotus.
Herodotus mentions Europa three times in his Histories (written between 450 to the 420 BC).

Right at the beginning of book one, Herodotus tells us that the abduction of women: Io, Europa, Medea and Helen, is the precursor to all the conflicts between the 'East' and the 'West'.

Between 'Persia' and 'Europe'.

He never doubts that Europa was a real woman, and that myth records *real* events.


Herodotus tells us that, the Phoenicians traded goods from Egypt and Assyria. They landed at many places on the coast, including Argos, which was then a very important Greek city. A group of women, including, Io, king Inachus's daughter went on board the Phoenician ships to see what they could buy, but the Phoenicians tried to seize the women; most escaped, but Io was among the captives.

The Phoenicians  set sail for Egypt.
"Thus did Io pass into Egypt, according to the Persian story, which differs widely from the Phoenician: and thus commenced, according to their authors, the series of outrages". 
"At a later period", Herodotus says:
"certain Greeks, with whose name they are unacquainted, but who would probably be Cretans, made a landing at Tyre, on the Phoenician coast, and bore off the king's daughter, Europa".
Europa was the daughter of  Agenor, the Phoenician king of Tyre, and after she has been taken, her brother, Cadmus leads the search. Cadmus searches on the island of Thera (Santorini) and leaves a number of Phoenicians there who latter settle, and raise families on the island.

Herodotus also tells us that Europa gave birth to two sons: Sarpedon and Minos who fought continually for possession of the throne of Crete.


Lucian of Samosata.
Meanwhile an eye witness account of a 'Phoenician' (Mesopotamian) origin of the abducted goddess story, and its conflation with Europa, comes from Lucian of Samosata (2nd century AD).

Lucian was an Assyrian who wrote satire and was fond of sarcasm (rather like Aristophanes), so it is difficult to know how to read him.

Lucian of Samosata was informed that the temple of Astarte in Phoenician Sidon, was sacred to Europa:
"There is likewise in Phœnicia a temple of great size owned by the Sidonians. They call it the temple of Astarte. I hold this Astarte to be no other than the moon-goddess. But according to the story of one of the priests this temple is sacred to Europa, the sister of Cadmus. She was the daughter of Agenor, and on her disappearance from Earth the Phœnicians honoured her with a temple and told a sacred legend about her; how that Zeus was enamoured of her for her beauty, and changing his form into that of a bull carried her off into Crete. This legend I heard from other Phœnicians as well; and the coinage current among the Sidonians bears upon it the effigy of Europa sitting upon a bull, none other than Zeus. Thus they do not agree that the temple in question is sacred to Europa..."






Finally.
Notes to follow:

+The Goddess and the Bull- Çatalhöyük.

+ What was carried out in absolute secrecy in Eleusis was also done in Crete.

Silver stator. Gortyna, Crete, 4th Century B.C.

____________________________________________

http://www.fjkluth.com/europa.html
http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hesiod/theogony.htm
http://www.san.beck.org/Eleusis-1.html



Thursday, 20 September 2012

Pole star.

The correct term is circumpolar stars.

There isn't just the one.
If we are talking history
Archaeology..

I like the idea of a fixed pole star.
I  believe in it
Because we have Polaris

2000 years ago, there was no pole star...

Now I actually think about the stars and their orbit around the sun and other suns
I feel my head start to spin.

Fact is...

There is no pole (even though we draw it, talk about it, use it).

The pole exists in relation to the sun.

Whilst a pole star is a position occupied by a star relative to earth.

The earth spins daily

Rotates yearly

And North (another imaginary feature of this planet) would point- if it existed-  another circle in the sky 26,000 years wide.

Procession.

Even magnetic north refuses to stay fixed
Moving about 40 miles a year....
Flips periodically upside down to the south
Between times seems to fracture..

But back to the stars
Stars closest to the tip of the pole appear to rotate least...
That much I find easy to understand.

Fact is
There was no pole star between 1550 BC and AD 800.

Does it matter?

Here is the path of the 'north' in the sky
And approximate years:


In 2750 BC the pole star was Thuban.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Geometry and manifestation.

 By K.S
The Priestess card relates to geometry and manifestation.

She stands at at the Temple of Solomon holding the book of law.

There are two pillars behind the Priestess; the right-hand column was called Joachin and it was associated with law and order; the left-hand column was called Boaz and symbolized strength.

This means that to build the Temple a culture needs the influence of law, whilst the knowledge of geometry provides the means. 

It is said that after the great flood, Pythagoras found the two pillars that had once stood at the entrance to the Temple of Solomon. 

All the secrets of Geometry were inscribed upon the two pillars and he, together with Hermes Trismegistos, took these secrets to the Greeks.

From Greece the knowledge spread through the Roman world; and via Vitruvius and latter Giovanni Battista Piranes, and his son Francesco Piranesi, the concept of Sacred Geometry eventually fractured into the Sacred, the profane and  the truly surreal .


This myth of Pythagoras, Hermes Trismegistos and the pillars of the first temple is found in the Masonic tradition, and encapsulates their avowed aim to build a better society, or, if you like, the wish to transmit enlightenment values through architecture.

As a result we have 'Masonic' knowledge embedded in many late 18th century buildings, but we also have  their shadow.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi is most famous for the Carceri d'Invenzione (Imaginary Prisons), a series of plates issued in 1749-50 and reworked in 1761.

Piranesi Carceri d'Invenzione from Grégoire Dupond on Vimeo.

William Beckford, the author of the Gothic novel, Vathek (1786) wrote:
'I drew chasms, and subterranean hollows, the domain of fear and torture, with chains, racks, wheels and dreadful engines in the style of Piranesi'
Thomas De Quincey in Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1820) wrote the following:
Many years ago, when I was looking over Piranesi's Antiquities of Rome, Mr. Coleridge, who was standing by, described to me a set of plates by that artist ... which record the scenery of his own visions during the delirium of a fever: some of them (I describe only from memory of Mr. Coleridge's account) representing vast Gothic halls, on the floor of which stood all sorts of engines and machinery, wheels, cables, pulleys, levers, catapults, etc., etc., expressive of enormous power put forth, and resistance overcome.
Creeping along the sides of the walls, you perceived a staircase; and upon it, groping his way upwards, was Piranesi himself: follow the stairs a little further, and you perceive it come to a sudden abrupt termination, without any balustrade, and allowing no step onwards to him who had reached the extremity, except into the depths below. ... But raise your eyes, and behold a second flight of stairs still higher: on which again Piranesi is perceived, but this time standing on the very brink of the abyss.
Again elevate your eye, and a still more aerial flight of stairs is beheld: and again is poor Piranesi busy on his aspiring labors: and so on, until the unfinished stairs and Piranesi both are lost in the upper gloom of the hall.

The imaginary prisons are now found in computer games, Piranesi-like distortions, labyrinths empty of purpose, zombie-infested dungeons.

Just for fun.


Friday, 14 September 2012

The Black Mass...

The Black Mass is an invention of the Inquisition who were set up specifically to destroy the Knights Templar under the pretext of rooting out  heresy.

Heresy was the Arian heresy- a philosophical debate about the true nature of Jesus. It had been decided at the Council of Nicaea (AD 325)  that  God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost (three in one) is like water, steam and ice- the same thing but different. 

It was and perhaps still is (?) heretical to say that Jesus is Divine in his own right. 

Those guilty of the Arian heresy say that God, Jesus and The Holy Ghost are too different to be the same thing and were persecuted by Theodosius 1, the same Theodosius that banned the worship of 'pagan' gods.

A thousand years latter, the populace could easily be forgiven for failing to get upset enough by this mistake, fine philosophical points about religion often require tedious explanations. Therefore other charges were required to destroy the Knights Templar; accusations of horrific crimes that no right minded individual could over look.

Thus the fantasy of the Black Mass was born.

The Templars were accused of spitting on and trampling the cross, and worshipping the Devil in the form of a black cat., and of prostrating themselves before an idol.  The name of this idol was Baphomet, apparently it was composed of stuffed human heads.

The Templars were 'the poor knights of Christ', soldiers who followed Constantine's lead and conquered 'in the sign of the cross', but during their one hundred and fifty year history they gained from their enemy- the Muslims- skills and knowledge which would latter enrich European life, making Europe a more civilized society.

As a section of the population the Templars were different from the beginning, neither priest nor soldier, a combination of the two: warrior monks. Eventually their difference from the ordinary people worked against them. People were made- it was after all an orchestrated campaign led by King Philip IV of France to destroy an oligarchy- to distrust the Templars. The false accusations stuck because after a century of war the Templars had learned to respect their enemy, not least because they were united in faith.

Accusations of worshiping Baphomet was clearly a mispronunciation of Mohamed. Neither Christian or Muslim worships idols, but heathens (who ever they are) do. The message remains; the Templars are heretics. It is unlikely that many if any Templars became Muslim, but not impossible. The accusation was an intensification of the original heresy charge, repackaged in a way people could understand and fear; the name  Baphomet sounds alien to European ears, and in the topsy turvy mirror world of satanic panic Baphomet could well be the name of a demon.

In 1312 the crime of worshipping Baphomet, plus numerous other false charges succeeded in bringing about the destruction of the Knights Templar, who were arrested, tortured into confessing to the imaginary crimes, and then burnt at the stake.

Their considerable wealth was seized by the state.

Now given credence by the executions The Black Mass- the worship of  a strange idol- remained in the popular imagination as an authentic danger. One hundred years after the Templars had been burned at the stake Baron Gilles de Rais, was accused of conducting Black Masses in the cellar of his castle. The accusation claimed that he kidnapped, tortured, and murdered more than 140 children as sacrifices.

He was executed in 1440.

Why did he do it?
It was said that he did it in order to gain riches and power. 

Did he do it?
No one knows...but he endured three days of torture.

By the 19th century Satanic panic was over, but the subject remained a source of fascination.

As to what one should do to perform a Black Mass, this account of The mass of Saint-Secaire (performed to curse someone to death) was written in 1843:

The Mass of Saint Sécaire can only be said in a church where it is forbidden to congregate, because it is half-ruined, or because things were done there which no Christian should do. From these churches, the horned owls, the screech owls and the bats make their paradises. Gypsies lodge there. Under the altar, there are a bevy of singing toads.
The bad priest brings with him his mistress, to serve as his clerk. He must be alone in the church with this sow, and to have enjoyed a good supper. At the first stroke of eleven o'clock, he begins the mass, reading the whole thing backwards from the end, finishing at midnight exactly. The host is black, and has three points. The bad priest does not consecrate wine. He drinks the water of a well into which a child, who died unbaptized, has been thrown. The sign of the cross is always made on the ground, and with the left foot.
Singing toads is a new one...I find myself asking, are the toads essential?

What if you don't have any toads, would a recording do?

Though the Inquisition were instrumental in creating a belief in The Black Mass, there are antecedents. The description of the Roman Bacchanalia as described by Livy:
There was no crime, no deed of shame, wanting. More uncleanness was committed by men with men than with women. Whoever would not submit to defilement, or shrank from violating others, was sacrificed as a victim. To regard nothing as impious or criminal was the sum total of their religion. The men, as though seized with madness and with frenzied distortions of their bodies, shrieked out prophecies; the matrons, dressed as Bacchae, their hair disheveled, rushed down to the Tiber River with burning torches, plunged them into the water, and drew them out again, the flame undiminished because they were made of sulfur mixed with lime. Men were fastened to a machine and hurried off to hidden caves, and they were said to have been taken away by the gods. These were the men who refused to join their conspiracy or take part in their crimes or submit to their pollution.
And latter this most famous description of a witch from Lucan in book 6 of his Pharsalia (A.D 61-65).

The witch Erictho brings a corpse back to life to tell the future.

 Where lay a corpse upon the naked earth
     On ravening birds and beasts of prey the hag
     Kept watch, nor marred by knife or hand her spoil,
     Till on his victim seized some nightly wolf; (36)
     Then dragged the morsel from his thirsty fangs;
     Nor fears she murder, if her rites demand
     Blood from the living, or some banquet fell
     Requires the panting entrail.  Pregnant wombs
     Yield to her knife the infant to be placed
     On flaming altars: and whene'er she needs
660  Some fierce undaunted ghost, he fails not her
     Who has all deaths in use.  Her hand has chased
     From smiling cheeks the rosy bloom of life;
     And with sinister hand from dying youth
     Has shorn the fatal lock: and holding oft
     In foul embraces some departed friend
     Severed the head, and through the ghastly lips,
     Held by her own apart, some impious tale
     Dark with mysterious horror hath conveyed
     Down to the Stygian shades.


It has long been known that the fear witchcraft inspires is more dangerous than the reality. The potency of this fear (rather than a desire to deal with any spirit or god) is what draws some groups of people to borrow its symbols and structures.

Most often the users do not believe that the symbols have any intrinsic power and conclude that it is legitimate to write of witches sacrificing babies and of singing toads and to make up anything shocking for the purposes of selling their books or papers.

Another section likewise know the symbols to be worldly artifacts with no connection to other worlds or beings, but use the fear these images inspire, to empower, or protect their work- The Steganographia (written c.1499) by  Trithemius is one of those books. Ostensibly it is a book about withcraft, but a closer inspection shows it to be a work of cryptography: the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties.

Trithemius wrote of cryptography as a...
"...secular consequent of the ability of a soul specially empowered by God to reach, by magical means, from earth to Heaven"
Cryptography, rather like the internet, is pretty close to magic.

The last executions for witchcraft in England had taken place in 1682, when Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles, and Susanna Edwards were executed at Exeter. Jane Wenham was among the last subjects of a typical witch trial in England in 1712, but was pardoned after her conviction and set free. Other people were executed after her, but the passion for persecuting witches was soon to be over.

As the state-level paranoia created by king James 1 subsided, the devil became a less serious matter until it became nothing but a symbol, waiting for someone to write a new narrative. In the early 19th century, Eliphas Levi (a friend of the man 'who created Vril- Bulwar-Lytton) ,  took the word: Baphomet and linked it to images in paintings by Goya's image of a sabbat,  and Herodotus.

Translation from Herodotus by Wallis Budge:
At several places in the Delta, e.g. Hermopolis, Lycopolis, and Mendes, the god Pan and a goat were worshipped; Strabo, quoting (xvii. 1, 19) Pindar, says that in these places goats had intercourse with women, and Herodotus (ii. 46) instances a case which was said to have taken place in the open day. The Mendisians, according to this last writer, paid reverence to all goats, and more to the males than to the females, and particularly to one he-goat, on the death of which public mourning is observed throughout the whole Mendesian district; they call both Pan and the goat Mendes, and both were worshipped as gods of generation and fecundity. Diodorus (i. 88) compares the cult of the goat of Mendes with that of Priapus, and groups the god with the Pans and the Satyrs. The goat referred to by all these writers is the famous Mendean Ram, or Ram of Mendes, the cult of which was, according to Manetho, established by Kakau, the king of the IInd dynasty.[49]



In this painting Goya depicts mothers offering children to a goat-like animal. The image is reminiscent of the biblical accounts of offerings to Moloch.

An 18th-century German illustration of Moloch
 ("Der Götze Moloch" i.e. Moloch, the false god).


Meaning the people offering their children to a monster out of animal cravings and stupidity...

Goya did not believe in monsters


Goya: Nightmares are creatures of the imagination.



Goya's depictions of witchcraft mocked what he saw as medieval fears
 exploited for political gain.

Nevertheless Eliphas Levi picked up the image and describes the goat of the sabbot as The Goat of Mendes in Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie1855.

In 1919 Magick (Book 4), Alistair Crowley describes Baphomet as a divine androgyne and "the hieroglyph of arcane perfection":


The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God... 'The Devil' is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes... This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade 'Know Thyself!' and taught Initiation. He is 'The Devil' of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection... He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is ayin, the Eye, so that he is Light; and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty
The image of the satanic great goat does not go away.

In 1921 Margaret Murray in The Witch-Cult in Western Europe wrote that the devil was said to appear as "a great Black Goat with a Candle between his Horns".




So when people blog about  Illuminati symbols in pop videos

Nothing new here folks, move on!





Chapter 1.


The obvious place to start this book is Sicily or Greece. A book on the myth of Persephone should be written in a place where the Mediterranean sun shines, by a person who is part of a religious community worshiping the Magna Mata; it should be writain by someone who knows something about the myth of Persephone from the inside out -if I am going to be able to tell you something that you don’t know.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Kennet Avenue.

The West Kennet Avenue is 2.4 Km long and runs between The Sanctuary and Avebury.

Sad to say, only the Avebury section has stones.
A restoration made by Alexander Keiler in the late 1930s.

Originally the stones were dragged there from Fyfield and set in position, probably during the Late Neolithic period. People were buried at the foot of some of the stones, with beakers (capital B as in Bronze Age Beakers).

The dead so often an essential aspect of monuments...
Given to the stones.
Becoming the stones?

There was Grooved ware
(there is always Grooved ware).
A Cornish axe.

The stone that makes fire -flint.
Given- or if you like 'deposited'.

The empowerment of a land enriched with memory.

I hadn't noticed before, but the flint along the Ridgeway down towards the Avenue, looked blue inside...not black.

And it is reasonable to believe that the Avenue took quite some time to complete
Avebury to The Sanctuary- with The Sanctuary constructed during the mid-third millennium BC.

Now I do not have any map in my possession that tells me either where the Avenue goes after the stones end (nor one that has the G numbers- Grinsell- for the barrows. Very frustrating!).

But if you look at Google maps, you can see traces in the land that look like the Avenue's path.

I high-lighted the way I believe it to have gone
In yellow.

But for our expedition this time, we used The Ridgeway and looked for foot-paths down to the road.

Google maps gives the impression that walking along the old way would not be easy.


We began our trip with a visit to Tesco's where we bought bread filled with walnuts and sultanas and to go with it, some cheese, oranges and bananas.

I filled the car with petrol and headed for the motorway.
At this point the sky was grey
It looked like rain.

The Sanctuary was more or less deserted as usual.


We crossed the road
The sun was very hot.


And began walking up The Ridgeway.
In theory you could walk all the way to The White Horse at Uffington.

You would need tough shoes!
The path is strewn with loose flint.



The landscape is truly beautiful though.


After 0.4 miles (the sign post tells us so)
We turned left at the sign-post and headed towards that clump of trees.

A bowl barrow that was graced with beech trees planted there by someone in the late 17th century.

This place has become for me a real sanctuary.
Only two months ago I sat on one of the stones beside the barrow, under the trees,
(eating Parma violets) after watching the midsummer sun at The Sanctuary.
I was so cold!

5:30 am Midsummer at SU 220758.
The trees sheltered me from the un-seasonable,  ice-cold wind.

But today -Sunday 18th August- was possibly the hottest day of the year.

On our return journey this day from The Avenue, we sat here shaded from the sun.
Drinking water, eating oranges.


It is hard to track down the G number for this barrow (G as in Grinsell).

I think it may be G 29?
Its SU number is 220758.

No one is too sure what was found when the top of it was desecrated excavated.
English Heritage say:  Avebury 29, bowl barrow, 2 paces x 6 ft. Excavated by Colt Hoare:
probable primary cremation and incense cup in an oblong cist. Excavations located a cremation in the bowl barrow. Note that earlier sources, principally Smith and Goddard, suggest that the cremation came from Avebury 30 (SU 16 NW 48). The Owen Meyrick Collection in Devizes Museum contains a single Beaker sherd plus one other indeterminate sherd, both attributed to Avebury 29.
 ??Onwards...












We turned left, off the path and skirted around the edge of two fields punctuated by a miserably large clump of stinging nettles.

I was very glad not to be wearing sandals.

The border between the fields and the road was punctuated by this fearsome piece of agricultural equipment!



I climbed over.
Crossed the road.

Opened the gate.


And we were at The Avenue.



We found a wide stone and gratefully accepted the blessing of shadow.
Here we sat, eating and drinking and feeling slightly perturbed by the cows!

Here is the journey with movement and sound.


Monday, 13 August 2012

The solar cross and victory.

The pre-Christian, prehistoric symbol of the cross is often described as a solar symbol.

At the moment I'm content to believe that the cross really was a pre-Christian symbol linked to the sun; but I think that there is another level of meaning. More significantly, it looks to me as if the cross is also a pre-Christian symbol meaning victory.

I think Constantine was well aware of the 'Pagan' victory meaning of a diagonal cross and centre stave, and that he used it to unite Christians and 'pagans'. As a consequence Constantine's Chi-Rho symbol works on several levels. It speaks of Christ to those steeped in Christianity and it speaks of war and victory at the same time.

Constantine's decision to recast Jesus Christ as a war deity helped to create a successful religion, but how Christian Constantine's religion is, is another question. Jesus Christ preached love and compassion. Constantine's symbol, as I shall show latter on, is far more fitted to a god such as Tiwaz or Thor. The uniting element is noble self-sacrifice. Christ and Tyr both exhibited this.


But first, the four arms of the cross.
One of the many examples of images people 'copy and paste' to prove that the cross is a solar symbol comes from Assyria.

Mesopotamia provides examples of some of the oldest uses of symbols, we have access to.

It is logical to look to the distant past.


In this image of Shamas Vul II- whose name links him absolutely with the sun (the sun god was Shamash)- he is wearing a cross on his chest.

The solar icon used in 'Mesopotamian' imagery is a four point 'star', often with wavy lines radiating out...

Therefore it is reasonable to think that the cross in this case really is a solar icon.

The next question is
Why chose a cross to represent the sun?

When I look at a star they really do have star-like, radiating points
Unless I wear my glasses!

But the Mesopotamian's were more inclined to use mathematics than I am, and the two 'stars' most often portrayed on Mesopotamian boundary stones (sun and Venus) have mathematical numbers inherent in their behavior.

Look for Mul Apin, and Enuma Anu Enlil Tablet 63.

Astronomy links Venus to the numbers five and eight.
Fibonacci numbers...but that's another story.
So in our time we have the five-point star, the pentagram, linked to Venus via Lucifer.

And the Mesopotamian symbol for Venus is the eight point star.

Meanwhile there are four 'stations' of the sun.
Minimum and maximum (solstice) sun rise and sun set 'stations'

The major solstice 'stations' can be drawn as a, X, a cross.

But Stonehenge proves that cruciform isn't the only way to build this solar reality into a stone structure.

So, is it the number 4 that symbolises the sun?

Maes Howe and Newgrange both capture light from the midwinter solstice sun.
Meas Howe is a four sided chamber
Newgrange is a cross-shape space enclosed by a mound

4 as the 'Celtic' number of the sun?
Note.My use of the word Celtic is a bit of a problem, I use it to mean European culture as opposed to Mesopotamian, Egyptian or Hittite. It is a very  imprecise definition, but I'm sticking with it. 
During the British Bronze Age there was much trade with people from Continental Europe and it is likely that to a greater or lesser extent, we shared sets of meanings for symbols.

So the inner meaning given to the cross by Mesopotamian people probably isn't going to be the same as the inner, mythological meaning used by 'Celtic' people, there simply isn't enough contact or shared language.

What we do share is the common observation that the sun has four maximum and minimum positions of solstice rise and set.

Moving forwards a few thousand years; the Christian linkage of Christ's death with a cross may not be accurate.

The cross as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice was roundly criticised by John Denham Parsons in 1896.

But ultimately the shape of the 'stake' used by Romans practising Phoenician execution to evoke 'Shock and awe' is difficult to trace backwards. The Jehovah's Witnesses using their own translation of the Bible do not believe that the 'stake' was a cross, and there is no firm evidence to suggest that it was that shape...

Nevertheless we do have a Christmas link between Christ and the sun, with Christmas occurring just after the  winter solstice.

And we have a solar and victory link between the sun and the cross preserved in legends, where victory in battle is promised by a sign of a cross in the sky.

The most famous is the story of Constantine and the battle of the Milvian Bridge (October the 27th AD 312.)

Though Constantine isn't the only one to see such signs.
(The stories that come after, may well be copies of Constantine's Milvian Bridge cross):

Angus mac Fergus, High King of Alba - and assisted by a detachment of Scots led by Eochaidh, King of Dalriada (the grandfather of Kenneth mac Alpin) - found themselves surrounded by a much larger force of Angles led by their leader Athelstan.
The year was allegedly 832 AD, although according to records, Angus ruled from 731-761 AD.
A short time before the battle, King Angus prayed to God that, in spite of their smaller army, he might lead his soldiers to victory.
His prayers for deliverance were answered - there in the sky could be seen a cloud formation of a white diagonal cross against a blue sky - the very cross-shape on which Andrew, the first disciple of Christ, was put to death.
The king made a promise that if victory were granted to him in battle through the help of Saint Andrew, then his name would for ever after be adopted as the patron saint.
Despite the overwhelming odds against them, the Picts and Scots won the battle and the Cross of St. Andrew became the flag of Scotland.
And for Mortimer who sees a triple son before his battle.
Shakespeare records it in these words:

Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
Not separated with the racking clouds,
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky. 
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss, 
 As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun. 
In this the heaven figures some event.

Constantine's Chi-Ro symbol.
But why was Constantine using a cross as a signifier of victory?

"In hoc signo vinces"- "In this Sign Conquer".

The recording and interpretation of the story changing peace-loving Jesus into a war-god, can be attributed to Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius,  and Eusebius- who were both Christians.

But I believe that the cross had a pre-existent meaning that Constantine chose to exploit, one that the men fighting for him would understand.

The cross (stations of the sun: NE, SE, SW,NW( with the central line indicating North and South) can be found as a bind-rune (runes linked together)

http://rus-obraz.net/en/symbols 
In this case linking the arrow of Tiwaz with the cross of Gebo.

In Britain, Tiwaz must have been regarded by the Romans as similar to Mars. The Romans left us with the names we still use for the days of the week and Tuesday becomes Tīw's Day.

In French Tuesday is Mardi the day of Mars.

In Iceland Tiwaz becomes the courageous, Tyr (who will sacrifice his hand to the wolf, Fenris at the end of this world system-Ragnorock).

In the Anglo-Saxon Rune poem:
Tiw is a guiding star; well does it keep faith with princes;
it is ever on its course over the mists of night and never fails.
Which is interesting, as the central line running through the solstice positions really does point to the north.

The blessing of Tiwaz would lead to victory.

Tiwaz's rune cut into a spear turns it into a Sacred object, something of the god enters the spear. Tiwaz is a sky god, a god of war, a god to whom human sacrifices were made. The use of arrows, common in the Bronze Age had been abandoned in favour of the spear by 'Celtic', Iron Age times. But the significance of the 'arrow' symbol may have remained, and fitted in perfectly with the shape of the spear.

Yet the name, or word Tiwaz is very close to a word meaning god- 'De us', in other-words, another way to say Ze us (Zeus).

In Britain the name was Tiw, it is now writtain as Teu.

Te uw/ De ew/ De Us

In this verse from The Prose Edda

There the Týr of Triumph
Himself inspired the terror
Of ships; the gods of breezes
That favor good men steered them
Tyr in this verse, refers to Odin, indicating to me that sometimes Tyr meant Deus- god.


Sky god usually have thunder bolts...

Constantine's P running central to the cross, looks like the rune 'Th'

In English, Th looks like a capital D

D as in Donner
and
Th as in Thor.

If D becomes Th becomes P...

Perkunas is a Lithuanian variant of Thor.

In Slovakia his name is Perom.
Perom's sheild and cross.

But back to symbols in the sky...

In this folk tale linking Perom, sky-visions and victory
The golden balls are apples not suns..

"...He grabbed three golden apples  
And threw them high into the sky...
...Three lightning bolts burst from the sky,
One struck at two young grooms,
Another struck at pasha on a horse,
The third one struck six hundred wedding guests,
Not an eyewitness left
Not even to say, how they died."


The thunder god still keeps his day
Ivan Kupala Day...


Curiously, Constantine's standard- the banner under which his troops marched- was known as the Labarum. 

It has three golden balls...
Perom's apples?
Mortimer's suns?

I have no idea why Constantine has the three 'suns' on his flag.


It has been suggested that the name- labarum- comes from a Celtic word (ancient Cantabri dialect labaro) meaning 'four ends'.

In modern-day Basque the word is lauburu, with the same meaning.

So labarum refers to the X...

But in modern day churches  it is an ecclesiastical standard or banner, as for carrying in procession.
The meanings move on...

So I stop
For now...