Thursday, 27 June 2013


Whilst thinking about horses..
The magic, super kind
Manes of fire
Tails of flame..

The hoof striking the rock
And gold flowing like a stream of light.

Of Medusa and Chrysaor.
The Golden Sword.

I reached for a book of Caucasian stories.

There the perfect horse is known as an Abrash.

In Iraq the word seems to describe colour, a dappled horse.
But the abrash could fly you to the sun and back.

Other names:
A Turpal horse
A Bogatyr horse.

A horse like Sleipnir.

Now horses do not figure in Akkadian/Sumerian stories.
The horse belongs to 'The Kurgans'

Which is as good a name as any for the people who lived in the seas of grass, and traveled the broad rivers of  the main landmass of  Europe and Russia.

I was thinking of horse-headed Demeter
Her rape.

Of Medusa, mother of Pegasus
Almost the same story, except there is a 'golden' child as well as the abrash.:
Neptune became enamoured of her, and obtained her favours in the temple of Minerva. This violation of the sanctity of the temple provoked Minerva, and she changed the beautiful locks of Medusa, which had inspired Neptune’s love to serpents.

Medusa was also forced to labour for eternity, unable to give birth.
Until Perseus gave her death..
Therefore raging and mad!

And  horse-born Epona
According to Plutach, Fulvius Stella "loathed the company of women", and so decided to focus his desire on a mare instead.

The abrash horse seems to be created from broken laws
Laws concerning sex.

The White Horse at Uffington is taken by most to be 'Iron Age'

It has been dated to 1400 BC in one test..
So, Bronze Age..

And the horse bone under a post at The Sanctuary...

So I'm looking for 'Kurgan' stories as a way to understand The Sanctuary?

I really don't know.


Feeling quite, quite lost.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The python and Dionysos.

Here are some  notes about Delphi, Apollo and Dionysos.

The Earliest traces of occupation at Delphi date from the Neolithic Era.

Remains from the Early and Middle Bronze Ages have been found, as well as evidence of settlements from the Mycenaean period (1600-1100 BC).

Originally, Mother Earth (known as Ge) and Poseidon were worshiped here and the site was named Pytho, as mentioned by Homer.

There was an oracle at the cave of Python, son of Ge.

The dragon lived at Delphi before Apollo arrived.

The area was colonized by the inhabitants of Lykorea, but Pytho was in the territory of Krisa.

The island deity, Apollo Dolphinios, was worshiped in the form of a Dolphin. This worship was imported from Crete into Krisa and eventually replaced the worship of Ge at Pytho during the period between the 11th and 8th centuries BC.

Pytho's name was thus changed to Delphoi and the oracle now belonged to Apollo.

Dionysos and Athena Pronaia were also associated with site.

The name 'Pythia' derived from Pytho, which in myth was the original name of Delphi.

The Greeks derived this place name from the verb, pythein (πύθειν, "to rot"), which refers to the decomposition of the body of the Python after she was slain by Apollo.

The usual theory is that the Delphic oracles were given by a priestess 'in a frenzied state induced by vapors' that rose from a chasm in the rock, and the gibberish was translated by priests as prophecies.

According to Clement of Alexandria, Python received worship at Delphi before Apollo came, and the Pythion games were celebrated as a funeral rite.

Python's teeth and bones were said to be kept in the kettle that stood on the mantic tripod, or that his hide was wrapped around the tripod.

The omphalos was his tomb.

This is said by Varro and suported by Hesychios, and a Pompeian mural painting which shows Python coiled around the omphalos.

Now Dionysos also spoke oracles at Delphi.
Dionysos was there before Apollo...

It was also said that Dionysos had a tomb at Delphi. After the Titans had dismembered Dionysos, Zeus gave the remains to Apollo who took them to Delphi and set them beside the tripod.

The christian writer Tatian said that the omphalos is Dionysos' tomb.

The tomb is also said to be the center, or the belly-button, of the earth.

But it really does look like a Mycenaean (bee hive) tomb.

Acording to Plutarch, the Herois was one of three festivals that were held every eight years at Delphi.

Hera is another form of the word Herois and it means the Mistress.

In this case the Herois could relate to Delphyne- the Typhon-python's fostermother, or Semele, Dionysos' mother.

All Plutarch can tell us is that its secrets were known only to the Thyiads (women who celebrated in the rites of the god Dionysos). The purpose of the Herois ritual was to reinact Semele's return from the Underworld..

In the Homeric hymn it is said that Hera is the Python's mother. But in the light of this information it is more reasonable to think that Hera in this case is The Mistress, mother of the Dionysos-serpent.

Clement quotes a poets verse describing Dionysos:
"bull father of snake and snake father of bull". 
Zeus mates as a bull with Europa and Demeter was known as Europa in Lebadeia.

Dionysos was fathered by Zeus in the form of a great serpent and Persephone was his mother's name. When he was born he was the bull-child..

Dionysos is also the goat.

Aix, was the python's child
And Aix means goat....

Monday, 24 June 2013

Desponia- The mistress.

William Smith quoting Pausanias mentions two temples in the neighbourhood of Thelpusa, one above and the other below the city.

The one above was the temple of Demeter Eleusinia, containing statues of Demeter, Persephone and Dionysus, made of stone, and which probably stood at the castle opposite to Spathari.

The temple below the city was also sacred to Demeter, whom the Thelpusians called Erinnys.

When Persephone was lost, Demeter searched far and wide
Seeking her lost child

Always behind her, the reek of the sea, the dark, suck and crush of the wave.

Always following, came Poseidon

To avoid him
Demeter became a mare and ran with the other horses in the herds of king Onkios.

Then Poseidon became a stallion and as such forced himself into her, into Demeter Erinys.

Demeter the avenger.
Demeter the infernal.
Demeter the persecutor.

In a twist of words,  Apollo was almost sent to his death by a spirit of spring-water called Telphusa.

Telphusa sent him to Pytho
The Earth snake...

The python dealt with

Apollo returned to Telphusa and covered her in stone..
Created the mountain
(the hursag...where have I heard this story before..)

Whilst Tilphossa Enyres gave birth to the theban drakon (Ismenian dragon)  fathered by Lord of War, Ares.

Meanwhile at a temple at Thelpusian Onkeion, Demeter was known by the Thelpusians as Erinnys

The daughter of the horses
Child of Demeter and Poseidon
Was  Despoina- dems-potnia

Not Atana potnia...that is Ariadne.

Potnia- The mistress.

A goddess of the Arcadians
(not the Akkadians)
Honoured above all others.

Pausanius tells us
At a shrine close to Lykosura
He recognised a similar cult to the one at Phigalia

Desponia was worshiped besides the Black Demeter.
The two goddesses were portrayed sitting.

A third goddess, Artemis stood, holding a flaming torch and writhing serpents

Hecate, the 'Underworld' Artemis.
As Demeter is portrayed horse headed
With serpent locks

Slipping her masks becoming Medusa...
Another child was born to Demeter and Poseidon
The black-maned horse, Areion.
As Pegasus was born to Medusa.

But back to Telphusa
Trying to trick Apollo at Delphi..

There is a story that before  then...
Zeus killed Apollo.
No Telphusa...


Coruscating heat.
The thunderbolt....


Then Apollo wondered the Hypoborean lands...
Beyond the north wind.
The land of eternal spring.
Of European myth.

Swans and chariots
The star Deneb, Newgrange and Callanish.

The poet Alkaios tells us that Zeus sent the infant Apollo to Delphi on a chariot of swans.

But Apollo directs the swans to fly him to Hypoborea...

Like Nergal and Meslamtea
Dead gods must have a twin.

Each February
Apollo returns to Delphi...for a full nine months of worship, and serpent fathered, winter-king Dionysos leaves.

But when Dionysos is king.
At the January/February full moon
The dead walk among us.

The Athenian Anthesteria.
The Delphic Theophania...

In May.

Belas Knap...
This May
Made me feel sad.
A kind of what's the point feeling.

Belas Knap was the first long barrow I visited, probably thirty-five years ago.

Where did you go when you first got to drive a car anywhere!

And it amazed me
I beleived in it.

The 'Lunar' forcourt...
Aligned north- so no moon
Or sun.

Symbolically lunar?
Not lunar

The bull's horns, forcourt
Recalling the closing off of Fussells Lodge
The slit cow
Over the entrance
Legs and feet dangling

Çatal Hüyük;

So close to the word

Bull of Heaven
Always dies.

Twenty-seven years ago
Here with my first child
In her first pair of new shoes
To totter up the hill
To sit by this house of the dead
One great big F*** Off
Territorial marker.

Consequence of the farming revolution.

But this May
With compass and camera
By motorbike
With husband...

The best was the group of teenagers sat in one of the side chambers, as if waiting for the bus.

And the patch of golden grass I found
Where he put up the 'tarp
Brewed coffee

And we ate crisps and olives.
Oatcakes and tiny tomatoes

Belas Knaps...
Go to the south end (the place of the skull)
And look up.
Towards the invisible circle of stones.
Almost a Silbury shape.

I don't really want to get into 'primal mound' mythology
and this was a long time before Silbury...

Belas Knap, is, after all..
A reconstruction.

1863 - 1865 Mr. Lauriston Winterbotham & Mr. Joseph C. Chamberlayne / Cham-Berlayne  Esq. (Land Owner) The first formal excavation of the barrow first took place between 1863 - 1864 and was carried out by Mr. L. Winterbotham. The work was continued in 1865 by  Joseph Chamberlayne who owned the land on which the barrow was located.   They initially discovered the remains of four skeletons including two skulls.  The remains of five children and one adult male skull were later found behind the false entrance a further 26 skeletons were discovered in the additional chambers. Animal bones were also discovered as was a small amount of pottery. Overall the exploration was conducted in the style of the time which was far less careful and detailed than would be the standard expected by modern archaeologists - this equates to a bunch of 'navvy' workmen with pickaxes and a grand plan to find buried treasure.  During the excavation it was also claimed that a circle of stones had been discovered within the mound along with a significant amount of ashes. It was this excavation that discovered the horns of the mound which, at some time in the past, had been filled in to conceal the false entrance. Continue...

The side chambers may well be at an angle
Not just no: 2.

I'm not sure about the east one.
But that is the angle of the entrance wall...

If the angle of the chamber is the more correct one.
Then it is a NE alignment.
And alignments usually are NE...

There is a fascinating possibility:
Albert Potter of Winchcombe discovered a large horizontal stone supported by several uprights under which was a single skeleton that had been placed in a seated position with its elbows resting on its knees

Back to the idea of preserved bodies...

Friday, 21 June 2013

Dr Robert Toope.

Aubrey Burl recorded a letter sent to John Aubrey, from one Dr Robert Toope written in 1678.

Dr Toope, a physician of Marlborough describes a cemetery on Overton Hill.

Unfortunately the only record I have of this is in a bad re-print of Crania Britannica. Google have Crania as a free read, as it is probably the source of my book, the words are missing from the Google edition, too.

Dr Toope tells me two things of interest:
  • First he describes a temple on Mill Hill as a large spherical (word missing) with a diameter of 40 yards. This is the diameter of The Sanctuary. Around The Sanctuary, says Dr Toope, there is another circle.

    A circle of skeletons.

    Laid so close that "scul toucheth scull", their feet pointing towards the temple.

    Dr Toope describes the bones as "large but much decayed" and then describes something else, probably teeth which were "wonderfully white, hard and sound".

    Though Dr Toope makes it sound as if the skeletons were a continuation of The Sanctuary, another circle, radiating outwards, no one has corroborated this.

    It is likly that the location for the bones was over the road from The Sanctuary, on the Ridgeway side. And that the bones were a part of a Saxon cemetary.
The second thing Dr Toope has to say is:
  • That he returned to the temple at Mill Hill- The Sanctuary- and dug for bones, "many bushels" out of which he brewed a "noble medicine" for his neighbors.
Sometimes the famous 'many bushels of bones' quote, is applied to West Kennet. Giving the impression that the insatiable Dr Toope ravaged West Kennet for ingredients for his 'noble medicine'.

But clearly the location described in Crania, is The Sanctuary.

I expect he sacked West Kennet too!

But what was this medicine Dr Toope beleived to be so efficacious?
How normal was it for doctors to use human remains to concoct remedies?
The word mummiya comes to mind.

Richard Suggs' book:
  Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires- The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians sheds a sickly green light on this subject: Karl Dannenfeldt's research into the medieval period shows that the term for an agent known as mummy underwent a curious transformation. In early Arabic medicine a natural substance found solidified on mountain sides in Darabjerd in Persia had been used as medicine.

It was known as 'mummiya' from 'mum' meaning wax.

Of course in our time the word is indelibly linked to preserved bodies, but mummiya was never used for preservation.

The link between mummy (medicine) and mummy as preserved body came about as a result of translation, how the location and nature of this substance was described. Constantinus Africanus rendered the definition mummy by the Baghdad physician Rhazes  as 'the substance found in the land where bodies are buried with aloes by which the liquid of the dead, mixed with the aloes, is transformed, and is similar to marine pitch'.

Latter translations create confusion.
Cordo (Latin from Arabic) translated a description of mummia as a mixture of aloes and myrrh, mixed with fluids from a human corpse.

Though mummy was not then what we think it is now...
It has had a long history as a medicine.

That is to say, mummy was always a medicine made from bitumen, and latter on, from human remains.

Oswald Croll provides a recipe.
The Paracelsian mummy:
One should take the cadaver of a reddish man, whole, fresh and without blemish, of around twenty-four years of age, dead of a violent death, exposed to the moon's rays for one day and one night, but with a clear sky. One should then cut the muscular flesh of this man and sprinkle it with the powder of myrrh and a little aloe, then soak to make it tender, finally hanging the pieces in a dry and shady place...

The sudden death guaranteed that the body would be full of vitality.

Illness drains life.

Therfore execution provided a source of medicine, for those willing, or desperate enough to avail themselves of the fresh blood or body parts.

Clearly Dr Toope did not concern himself with the vitality remaining in the body and tissues, or the nature of the death that had befallen the owners of the bones he took. The vital force, or heat within the blood had long gone.

The body- the source of the soul in Egyptian and Mesopotamian theories- likewise had long since decayed and vanished into the ground.

On the other hand, flesh- the flesh of the dead- could be dangerous. Robert Fludd, on applying the flesh of a hanged man to himself felt that the spirits remaining in the dead man began to suck greedily to draw off his "mummial and vivifying spirits" as if it were some kind of vampire sponge.

Afterwards he was convinced that the dead flesh felt and smelt different as a result of contact with the living.

Professor Rudolph Goclenius believed that the spirits of a strangled corpse would remain within the skull for up to seven years.

Perhaps Dr Toope was after the moss that grows on bones?
 Or more likely the 'oil' of bones.

Ultimately, the bones Dr Toope took were ancient and anonymous, so no one would worry that they were eating their dead granny, and no doubt Dr Toope was making a profit.

Bones were often for sale at that time, especially ones with moss growing upon them...

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Eridu to Eleusis.

Damn it!
It is a long way from Eridu to Eleusis.

And I'd spent way too long, much longer than I'd thought that I would need to, in 'Eridu' reading  Mesopotamian stories. But finally, finally I thought that I was about to set sail, island hopping all the way and get to Greece.

Metaphorically speaking
I am too poor to do it...yet.

The problem?
Well it starts with the Hittites.
They don't arise fully formed out of nowhere!

Marija Gimbuttas may be slightly off center about a few things, but fundamentally she did us all a favor by arguing that there was a lot going on at the time of Sumer, and before, elsewhere.

Bulgaria for a start.
Professor Vassil Nikolov uncovered an ancient settlement, close to the town of Provadia which is dated  to 4,700-4,200 B.C. The people traded in salt, they built massive walls, 3 meters high and 2 meters wide, around their villiage to defend their wealth and work; it was a settlement of some 350 people.

People and ideas from Central Europe created 'our' Wessex archaeology.

A post hole at The Sanctuary, Avebury contained quern stone from Germany
Another post hole contained a bone from a horse.
The 'Amesbury Archer' came from somewhere close to the Alps.

Culture changes with technology.
Technology provides metaphors, and new ways to understand ourselves and the world.

Culture includes technology and improves on it.
Trade spreads technology and its metaphors...

So when the people from Anatolia got off their boats and unpacked their sheep and other rich goodies on Crete, what stories did they tell?

Centuries latter, which story in particular influenced the first buildings at Eleusis?
Or is that a red herring?

Can't trusty everything Diodorus says...

 Diodorus Siculus wrote:
"The Cretans say that the honours rendered to the gods, the sacrifices and mysteries, are of Cretan origin, and other nations took them from them. Demeter passed from the Isle of Crete into Attica, then into Sicily, and thence into Egypt, carrying with her the cultivation of corn"

Which reminds me.
The "Black Demeter" of Phigalia, deserves a blog post of her own.

But, as far as I can tell, the main influence on religious stories when the first buildings at Eleusis were built (aproximatly 1500 BC) were 'Akkadian'- meaning a mixture of translated and preserved, Sumerian religious stories. By the time they were retold by Kassites, and then Amorites at the time of Hammerabi, some stories had become highly embellished (such as the Enuma Elish), many others had been stuck together to create new stories. Yet despite this, when stories are preserved in writing, they are remarkably robust.

But there are no first hand accounts of Cretan religion.
Not as far as I know, anyway!

The Cretans developed  Linear A and B.
Linear B was deciphered by Michael Ventris in 1952.

But only commercial documents have been found.

So, what of Eleusis?

Eleusis occupied a strategic location on the Bay of Eleusis near Athens.  The city was not very vulnerable to attack by sea thanks to its geography, and was accessible to major population centers, since the roads connecting Athens with the Peloponnese and central and northern Greece all passed through Eleusis. Therefore, the city held a strong position vis-a-vis Athens as well as the rest of Greece.

  Early in the second millennium B.C.E., there were one or more wars between Eleusis and Athens, with Athens prevailing, though with great difficulty. Thus, Eleusis fell into the sphere of Athenian influence. During the Mycenaean Age, roughly 1500-1100 B.C.E., the village was expanded, as evidenced by a large burial site, and it was at this time that the cult of Demeter was likely established.  A building known as Megaron B, dated to this period, was probably the original Temple of Demeter. It exists above the Kallichoron, the well above which the Homeric Hymn specifies that the temple was built. (line 272) Fortification walls probably were built during this time period, though they have never been excavated. Link...

Well, all in all, the spread of Indo-European languages, wheels, horses and related ephemera...must be a part of the whole what ever it is I'm trying to write!

But for now, I'm still hearing the sea.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


Pine trees...

Lugalirra- the burning man.
The sacred smoke from the pine tree, juniper tree, Ceder tree.

Cut the tree and catch its blood in a bucket
Its blood is full of

Whilst oak is for the dead.
For cremation.

The long poles in solar circles
The Sanctuary
Were oak

Cut with fire-stone flint.
Sunk deep into post holes


Light, flame and soul.

Attis in panic and despair
Castration under the pine trees

The Galli...
Who hunt Dumuzi over the desert of grass
Who have no homes, know not the love of wife or child...
The dancing castrati of Roman times
For love of Cybele
Offer their pearl-filled sacs

The crossed torches carved into stone at Eleusis.
Cautes and Cautopates.

The priest shaking lustral water from a pine cone.

Only Plato can ruin my reverie
"Many carry the thyrsus, but the bacchants are few".

Oh tish tish you old misery!

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And reverie.
The reverie alone will do
If bees are few.
Emily Dickinson.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A thousand gods.

For anyone trying to follow the lineages of stories, and other cultural artifacts it is fascinating that words such as water (one of the first Hittite words translated) are still within English.

Other words, such as bitumen are imports.
Bitu is Standard Babylonian for house, and bitumen was used as building material
The phrase larking about comes from Norse...

Anyway, following the changes in Indo-European language, it appears that the original speakers of Indo European were probably the people of the Sredny Stog culture of eastern Ukraine. Waves of migration took people to the east, north of the Caspian sea (Tocharian, Indo-Iranian), to the south, west of the Black Sea (Anatolian, Greek, Armenian, Albanian) and to the west, south of the Baltic Sea (Italo-Celtic, Germanic).

But in trying to track down the origins and uses of the Persephone myth, the Hittites were at least one route of the transmission of religion, to Greece.

The Indo-European people known as the Hittites assimilated the gods from any culture they came into contact with...and became the people of a thousand gods.

Many themes in their stories of gods and goddesses and especially of the underworld are recognisably Mesopotamian..

The Hittites took their name from, and assimilated the Hurrians.
Whose culture was a mix of Mesopotamian and North-east Caucasian.

It is tempting to look for mythic elements that could have spread out from mid-Europe via trade, and contact, and also north and perhaps into Britain,  preserved in Hittite writing.

It may also be totally wrong.

Nevertheless, the use of sacred stones

For instance the Hittite huwasi stone, placed in an open area surrounded by trees and other plants.

The stones were treated as gods; offerings of food and water were made, the stones were anointed and washed.

At any cult center, the deities who couldn't be given a temple were worshiped at huwasi stones.

Some stones especially at sites of passage graves- the long, standing stone within Bryn Celli Dhu for instance- could have been huwasi stones.

DNA (mitochondrial) tests on Greek citizens indicate that around 2000 BC Indo-European people migrated from the mainland of Turkey, island hopped over shining seas in boats laden with useful things.

Some settled on Crete.
Influenced by the culture existing in the islands to its south

The culture of Crete became Minoan, named by Arthur Evans after king Minos.

Sometime around 1600 BC
The culture of  southern Greece became 'Minoan' .

Cretan culture spread to  southern, mainland Greece.
To Mycenae.

So Minoan culture in Greece is known as Mycenaean.

After perhaps only 100 years, Greek Mycenaean culture shifted to Crete...or rather the writing changed from Linear A

Which is still un-deciphered
So no one knows if it is an Indo-European language or not.

Linear A.

To Linear B
The earliest form of Greek.
-and it can be read.

Linear B.

Linear A and B share some symbols, but the language is not the same.

Greece received many stories from the Hittites, via Hesiod.

Perseus is the legendary founder of Mycenae, in Greece.
His name causes me problems- as it is so close to Persephone.

Herodotus thought that the name referred to a Persian origin.

Robert Graves linked the perse part of the name to death.

Pausanias confuses things further by bringing mushrooms into the equation.

Pausanius (2, 16, 3) wrote that Perseus named Mycenae after the pommel (mykes) of his sword, which fell there, or after the Perseia spring, discovered under the root of a mushroom (mykes).

Like Sargon (a name that means 'The True King') before him, the baby Perseus had been placed in a 'basket' (a wooden chest) and floated down the river, unlike Sargon, his mother floated with him.

They were caught in the net...
By a fisherman- whose name, Dictys means net.
On an island of white stone ruled by Polydectes,  whose name is a euphemism for death, he who welcomes many.

The island is Serifos...

The oldest building at Eleusis is dated to the Myceanian period of 1600 BC.
The Homeric hymns are dated to, lets be generous and say 900 BC
Hesiod wrote his prize winning poem in...lets say 750 BC

And you can see my problem.

The Eleusinian mysteries are considerably older than the Homeric hymns (the oldest buildings on the site date to 1600 BC). But then, so many things called 'Homeric' in the Iliad and Odyssey, and in the hymns, are tropes taken from older stories.

The story of Odysseus and Circe, and Ereskigal and Nergal, for instance.
More than a few coincidences...

Let's leave it at Tethys, the deep ocean and Tiamat- the salt sea..

Keep digging!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Alpha to omega.

Symbols are incredibly robust.
They spin through thousands of years of human culture

The original use of a symbol is not the 'authentic' meaning.

A Sumerian meaning is simply one of the oldest versions that can be read.

The omega is the birthing hut.
Is the womb.
Is the symbol of Ninhursaga.

Whilst alpha is the ox-head symbol representing Adad- sky and thunder- the bull of heaven

The power of the storm is Enlil.
The Lord of the mountain

Storm is the word of god.
And Enlil is the breath of life

Alpha to omega
The Alpha lightning bolt of conception to

A third deity.
Lord Earth, Enki
Is the power of water.

The 'water of the heart'..

And the reason why I was bored with all this yesterday, is because the story of Ninhursaga and Enki is clearly a precursor to all those Hesiodic, theogeny- theo-phagy- stories.

At the core of which:
Eating and swallowing...
A male deity becomes pregnant

Sometimes it is eating the children
Sometimes it is the act of swallowing semen.

So here is one of the oldest versions of this story.

Enki and Ninhursaga.

Enki causes Ninhursaga to give birth to a daughter.

It doesn't take long before Enki walks his child down to the long grass by the canals and does what men do, leaving her to bear for him another daughter...

Who Enki takes down to the long grass by the canals and...

You get the picture.

Eventually Enki fathers Uttu
The spider-girl.

By this time Ninhursaga has had enough of Enki abusing her children and so she tells Spider-girl to take care, and especially to keep away from the irrigation canals.

Echoes here of the story of Ninlil and Enlil.

But Enki wooed her with cucumbers...and other long vegetables

And Uttu agreed to take a walk with him
And ultimately, of course the waters of Enki's heart, flowed freely.

Uttu immediately regrets going with her father and seeks help from her mother, Ninhursaga.

Ninhursaga cleans the water from Uttu and buries it under the earth, and nine days latter, eight luscious plants sprout from Enki's semen.

And when Enki saw them, he ate.
Salad is good!

When Ninhursaga saw that Enki had taken her plants
She cursed him
 "Until his dying day, I will never look upon him with life-giving eye."

And Enki grew sick...
So sick that he called to a fox to find help for him.

Well to cut a long story short, Enki was full of children and needed Ninhursag to give birth to each one for him:

Ninḫursaĝa asked: "My brother, what part of you hurts you?"
 "The top of my head (ugu-dili) hurts me."
She gave birth to Ab-u out of it.
"My brother, what part of you hurts you?"
"The locks of my hair (siki) hurt me.
" She gave birth to Ninsikila out of it.
"My brother, what part of you hurts you?"
"My nose (giri) hurts me."
She gave birth to Ningiriutud out of it.
"My brother, what part of you hurts you?"
"My mouth (ka) hurts me."
She gave birth to Ninkasi out of it.

"My brother, what part of you hurts you?"
"My throat (zi) hurts me."
She gave birth to Nazi out of it.
"My brother, what part of you hurts you?"
"My arm (a) hurts me."
She gave birth to Azimua out of it.
"My brother, what part of you hurts you?"
 "My ribs (ti) hurt me."
She gave birth to Ninti out of it.
"My brother, what part of you hurts you?"
"My sides (zag) hurt me."
She gave birth to Ensag out of it.

She said: "For the little ones to whom I have given birth may rewards not be lacking.

Ab-u shall become king of the grasses, Ninsikila shall become lord of Magan, Ningiriutud shall marry Ninazu, Ninkasi shall be what satisfies the heart, Nazi shall marry Nindara, Azimua shall marry Ninĝišzida, Ninti shall become the lady of the month, and Ensag shall become lord of Dilmun."

Praise be to Father Enki.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Nisaba- Nun-bar-še-gunu.

There is a story known as Enlil and Ninlil,  in which Nisaba- Nun-bar-še-gunu tells her daughter, not to go down to the river....

For if she goes to the river, the Lord will see her

He will leave her pregnant.

The daughter is Sud
She is called Ninlil.
Lady Air.

And yet she is also her mother.

Nisaba- Nun-bar-še-gunu is a metaphor for the grain plant

A daughter of earth (Arash)  and sky (Anu).
Her husband (Haya) is the full store-house

Nisaba- Nun-bar-še-gunu is the numen of grain.
Her names and functions include her daughter.

The child came from the previous harvest, her father was the full, store-house.
The daughter will be fertilized by Lord Air, the wind.


To her belong the arts of mathematics and writing
Measuring and surveying.
She is a scribe, because grain stalks were used to indent writing into clay.

This is expressed better in the story Enlil and Ninlil where her children are the numen of measuring the land and looking after the irrigation channels. And Nergal- the Enlil of the Netherworld.

Nisaba- Nun-bar-še-gunu is the Neolithic revolution.

And  is why Serapis has a grain measure upon his head...
The  modius.

Because Demeter has a grain measure upon her head...

Photo from:
Image from a statue at Eleusis.

The Neolithic revolution was not a Golden Age.

The house of Nisaba, of the tablets, is destroyed.
The house of Nun-bar-še-gunu is destroyed
The E-ḫamun is destroyed. 

The plants of lamentation have sprouted; the šumunda grass has sprouted. 
By the walls the long grass has sprouted. 
Amongst them, the willow trees are everywhere.
As for the word of An and the word of Enlil, the angry heart of great An is everywhere, and the malign heart of Enlil is everywhere.

"In my house, may the moonlight in my house, the moonlight, the glorious sky in my house, the moonlight, the glorious night in my house -- may the glorious sky, the glorious night in my house not leave me.

The moonlight is obscured by the walls from my man, from my man. The moonlight, the glorious sky, from my man, the moonlight, the glorious night, from my man, the glorious sky, the glorious night is obscured by the walls from my man."

In the moonlight, in the pure place of moonlight I lie down alone. In the moonlight which fills the hills, the pure place, I lie down alone. By the cedar mountains where Enlil lies, I lie down alone. …… I weep a bitter lament. …… lying in the moonlight, I weep a bitter lament. …… which sets aglow …… shines forth. I am distraught. 

The moonlight which sets aglow the glorious sky shines forth. I am distraught. 

The moonlight which sets aglow the glorious night shines forth. 

I am distraught -- which sets aglow the glorious sky, the glorious night, shines forth. 
I am distraught."

Even now that the pure place knows daylight, amid her awe-inspiring splendor, still she weeps.
Amid her awe-inspiring splendor, still Mother Ezina-Kusu weeps.
Fate and fortune!
 Amid her awe-inspiring splendor, still she weeps.
In the city of Eresh,
Nisaba- Nun-bar-še-gunu, had a daughter.

She named her Sud.

The daughter grew tall and beautiful
And would not listen to her mother.

She hung around the temple gate,
Around the lapis gate of E-Zagin

Catching the eye of any man who passed by.

And Enlil saw her
And called her shameless and pretty and 'would she like it if he bought 'his queen' a dress to grace her lovely body,'?

Sud was not pleased to be called shameless and told him so
"If I want to stand proudly at our gate, who dares to give me a bad reputation?
What are your intentions?
Why have you come here?
Go away out of my sight!"
You are not the first to try and deceive me!"

She turned her back and walked away into her mother's temple.

Leaving Enlil calling out to her
Asking her to become his wife.
"Oh kiss me, my lady of most beautiful eyes..."

But Sud was gone.

Enlil called his servent Nuska
Gave him jewelry and a message for Nisaba- Nun-bar-še-gunu
And sent him to apologize for Enlil's behavior
To ask for Sud in marriage
And to promise good things for the people of Eresh.

Nisaba- Nun-bar-she-gunu was pleased
She forgave Enlil
And promised Sud in return for the good things Enlil pledged to give.

Enlil, his heart full of joy
Caught the animals living in the mountains, he made wild bulls, red deer, elephants, fallow deer, gazelles, bears, wild sheep and rams, lynxes, foxes, wild cats, tigers, mountain sheep, water buffaloes, monkeys, and thick-horned fat cattle jostle together noisily.

Cows and their calves, wild cattle with wide-spread horns, ewes and lambs, goats and kids, romping and fighting, large kids with long beards, scratching with their hooves, lambs, and majestic sheep were dispatched by Enlil toward Ereš.

Large cheeses, mustard-flavoured cheeses, small cheeses, pure milk, the sweetest dry honey and white honey, were dispatched by Enlil toward Ereš.

Dates, figs, large pomegranates, ĝipar fruits, plums, ḫalub nuts, almonds, acorns, Dilmun dates packed in baskets, dark-coloured date spadices, large pomegranates gathered from orchards, big clusters of grapes on high, fruit from  trees  grown in winter, and fruits from orchards grown in summer, were dispatched by Enlil toward Ereš.

Ores from Ḫarali, the faraway land, rock-crystal, gold, silver, the yield of the uplands  and heavy loads of them, were dispatched by Enlil toward Ereš.

The dust from their march reached high into the sky like rain clouds. Enormous marriage gifts were being brought for Nanibgal to Ereš; the city was getting full inside and out.

Then Nisaba- Nun-bar-še-gunu spoke to her daughter.
May you be Enlil's favourite wife, and may he speak to you sweetly.
May he embrace you, the most beautiful of all, and tell you: "Beloved, open wide!"
May the two of you never lose the pleasure and excitement; may you make it last a long time.

May it be that the pleasure and excitement never be lost.

You two will live on the hill, and have children afterwards!
When you enter the house to live there, may abundance precede you, and may joy follow you.

May the people line up for you wherever you go, and may all the people love you.

The fate I have determined for you will be fulfilled.
It cannot be altered!

Go with head held high into the Eš-maḫ."

Then Aruru, Enlil's sister, the Lady who causes women to deliver their children grasped her by the hand and led her away into the great storehouse, the Eš-maḫ.

She brought her into the E-kur, the mountain house of Enlil, and led her to the sleeping quarters, in the flowered bed, surrounded by walls like a fragrant cedar forest.

There, Enlil made love to his wife and took great pleasure in it.

Enlil spoke:
"May my beautiful wife, who was born by holy Nisaba, be Ezina, the growing grain, the life of Sumer. When you appear in the furrows like a beautiful young girl, may Iškur, the canal inspector, be your provider, supplying you with water from the ground. The height of the year is marked with your new prime flax and your new prime grain.

The harvest crop raises its head high for the great festival of Enlil. The scribal art, the tablets decorated with writing, the stylus, the tablet board, reckoning and calculating, adding and subtracting, the shining measuring rope, the head of the surveyor's peg, the measuring rod, the marking of the boundaries, and the preparation of canals and levees are fittingly in your hands.

The farmer entrusted cultivation into your hands. Proud woman, surpassing the mountains!

You who always fulfil your desires -- from now on, Sud, Enlil is the king and Ninlil is the queen.

The goddess without name has a famous name"

Monday, 3 June 2013


Before I took myself off to receive a 'proper' religious education I was unmistakably a religious person. I'd had visions, I'd heard voices, the border between my conscious and unconscious mind was thin enough for sound and light to pass both ways.

Where normally images are closed off until the paralysis of sleep enables the dreamer to watch without action, dream imaging- a visual synesthesia- used to project itself into my waking state.

I'd see tongues of electricity protrude from the edge of light-switches.
Leaving burn marks over the walls...

That faded into invisibility.
Weren't ever there.

My room was once suddenly full of birds that dissolved into air.
There was music too.
And ghosts.

Still see ghosts.

I was 'sane' because I kept such things to myself and listened rather than acted. I neither believed or disbelieved what I saw and I soon came to understand that this way of thinking is simply what happens when the walls are thin; and the world rushes in.

Gods and ghosts, echoes and entities...
Self and projection of self?
Or external and autonomous?

Doesn't make a fig-leaf of difference.
Your own conduct is the only thing you can control.

When I was very small I thought that I'd been called by god the father.

Seriously- a voice in the sky.
I can still remember how it felt to hear..

Another time, running home past the church and I fell. Badly. Chipped a bone and staggered home with concussion...

At fourteen I thought Christianity to be a debased religion.

All pleadings and praise
The occasional white candle and a bowl of flowers
Words such as might and mercy...but nothing to show for it.
A man nailed to a cross to gain life eternal?
Oh for goodness sake!
Self-serving, pointless....

One afternoon a friend and I walked into a church, we were alone and I went to stand by the alter.

I looked up and felt the congregation behind me and saw the cone of energy...

And I was frozen to the spot by a sense of unbearable, parasitic evil; as if the deity worshiped here fed off the longing and need of those who prayed.

It grew fat
A god created from the energy of hope and despair...

I really didn't like it.
After that I wouldn't sing hymns in assembly at school.

I wanted ritual and challenge
And I wanted to knowledge.

So I read anything and more.

And found that the place of experience can be dream.

Receiving an 'orthodox' religious education did not conflict with any of this. The religion I entered didn't feed the gods hope and fear. Instead there was pride and strength. The relationship between human and deity was still to a large extent symbiosis.

With us to lose more than them.
They would still exist without us.

So now I see between the words, flags and tombs of the church, to the real religion underneath...and to see that the icons we use are the closest approximation to the truth we are capable of understanding.