Friday, 29 November 2013

The tunnel of the sun: Gilgamesh.

Where does the sun go at night?
I have moved this post to here Link...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Lucifer before the fall. Part 1.

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations!
Isaiah 14:12

Searching for Lucifer in the bible is a somewhat thankless task. Lucifer appears as a translation of a Hebrew word, sometimes as Morning star and other times as Lucifer.

But the only place I can find Lucifer in the bible is in The Book of Isaiah.

Isaiah is a prophet. longing for god's New Kingdom. His book opens by setting out the themes of judgement and subsequent restoration for the righteous. He knows that God has a plan and  Jerusalem will become the center of god's New World Order...

...and yes, you have guessed correctly, before that can happen there must be punishment and cleansing.

As Israel had failed to be sufficiently zealous or godly enough to hear the words of god and begin all this this punishing and cleaning, god sent the Assyrians.

Nothing like a bit of war and exile to make people turn to god, is the theory.

Isaiah is a godly man, he loves god.
And when Isaiah saw the lawlessness which was being perpetrated in Jerusalem and the worship of Satan and his wantonness, he withdrew from Jerusalem and settled in Bethlehem of Judah. And there also there was much  lawlessness, and withdrawing from Bethlehem he settled on a mountain in a desert place. [And Micaiah the prophet, and the aged Ananias, and Joel and Habakkuk, and his son Josab, and many of the faithful who believed in the ascension into heaven, withdrew and settled on the mountain.] They were all clothed with garments of hair, and they were all prophets. And they had nothing with them but were naked, and they all lamented with a great lamentation because of the going astray of Israel. And these eat nothing save wild herbs which they gathered on the mountains, and having cooked them, they lived thereon together with Isaiah the prophet.

When Assyrian rule is collapsing, Isaiah believes that a new king of Judah, will restore the temples and cleanse the land of the false gods, preparing the way for the New Kingdom.

Basically I can imagine Isaiah dancing around in joy as Assyrian rule is undermined by war  and plague,the destruction of Nineveh and finally the fall of Assyria around 626 BC.

 Isaiah writes:

'Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol ; Maggots are spread out as your bed beneath you And worms are your covering.'  "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn ! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations ! "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven ; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds ; I will make myself like the Most High.' "Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit. "Those who see you will gaze at you, They will ponder over you, saying, 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms,  Who made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did not allow his prisoners to go home ?'


So who was Morningstar?

It appears that Isaiah was taunting the Assyrian kings with Canaanite mythology.
El went to the sea and asked two Goddesses to choose between being his wife, or his daughter. They both chose to be his wife. From them were born Shaher and Shalem, the morning and evening stars..
Sha often means brilliance- Shamhat- who tames Enkidu, Shar- king, Shamash- the sun.

A brilliant post the epic of Gilgamesh

Jewish morning prayers are known as Shacharit
Sha in this context is understood to mean dawn.

Calling  the king or kings, Morning-star is, from Isaiah's point of view, ironic. The Assyrian kings are not gods, but it has long been a Mesopotamian conceit that a king rules because he is beloved by god.

 "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven ; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds ; I will make myself like the Most High.'

Naramsin- the Akkadian invader of Sumer- publicly declared himself 'godlike' because of his connection with Cthonic Enlil.

Enlil of the Underworld, becomes Nergal who creates a double, so that he may reign in the Underworld and ascend to heaven.

A thousand years latter, King Hiram of Tyre revived the same god/man duality. A festival occurred each new year in which a statue of the god was pushed out to sea on a burning boat- recalling the 'burning god' Lugalirra.

Lugal Erra, king of the Great City becomes Heracles for the Greeks, also Apollo with his plague arrows and capacity to curse women with prophesy.

 Lugal Erra/ Lugalirra/Erra/ Nergal, is remembered as Melqart, Moloch and Resheph, and the devil.

Fire and plague
Instant translocation

Ascent and descent are his...

The coruscating wind that breathes life and death.

And of course, behind him stand older gods..
Ningishizida and Meslamtea.

As for Isaiah..
Well his end was terrible and totally in keeping with Lugal Erra's antecedents.!oB2Mj

The new king of Judah Melekh Yehudah- known as  Manasseh- had Isaiah put to death for...Blasphemy.

Belchlra accused Isaiah and the prophets who were with him, saying: 'Isaiah and those who are with him prophesy against Jerusalem and against the cities of Judah that they shall be laid waste and (against the children of Judah and) Benjamin also that they shall go into captivity, and also against thee, O lord the king, that thou shalt go (bound) with hooks and iron chains': But they prophesy falsely against Israel and Judah. 
And Isaiah himself hath said: 'I see more than Moses the prophet.' But Moses said: 'No man can see God and live':
This was too much!
Isaiah was bundled into a the hollow of a tree trunk and sawed in two.

So, who was Lucifer before the fall?
Pass me the Koran, please.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


The outer bonds called to the inner.
The externalising of pain
Was a freedom.

Without it I am a prisoner
No one will reach me here

When the outer bonds
Became the inner
He had control.

When He found me
He promised to stand by my side...

Took away the coils of rope
Undid the hooks
Saw me fall.

He did not see the black blood welling up from my wounds.
Or the coil snaking through the damp earth
Twisting around my ankle
Pulling me down

'As a child'
'She was taken by the Kur' they said.
A flood
A stranger
A mountain...

He had called me through the dark
Made me His lover
Threaded His darkness through my soul

A single lightning flash...
The space of a heart-beat.

Was all.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

British ghost month.

Halloween 31st October marks the start of British Ghost month...
The word month is inaccurate.

The month begins with a trickle of trick or treaters
A very domestic affair.
Small children, watched over by their parents represent the irritating little things that trouble us in life; like a DVD that will not load, a leaking shoe, mold on the walls.

Tooth ache.
Running out of toilet paper.

Bad sound crew at a gig.

You know what I mean.

Halloween with its inedible pumpkins bleaches out into a sunshine hoard of the undead- the zombie shuffle.

The zombie hoard represent the myriad brain-damaged, mindless and pathological forces that assail us and the force exerted by mindless systems, the madness of a crowd in panic and the horror of the crush. The zombie hoard are us..

Someone undid the seven sturdy gates of Irkalla
The dead outnumber the living...

A week latter...
Red paper poppies appear

The ghosts are the faceless, warrior dead.
The sleeping protectors of Albion's shore.

Those who died in war; but not all those who died in war.
Not all war...
Only the ones 'we' fought in.

The first sign of their arrival are the paper poppies.
Men in uniforms, wearing medals stand or sit.
Selling poppies.

But not the white ones.

November the 11th.

The next slew of ghosts arrive
In shadows and ash.

These are the most powerful ghosts.



Christmas is a strange time.
The predominant theme is ice.
Images everywhere portray the land transformed.

Clean air
Swift and smooth...
Crisp and fresh
To accentuate the difference between Christmas and the burial ground.

The predominant image, the glitter
the bird: robin.
And flame- domestic fire- tame as candle or burning in the hearth.

The predominant saying
'Christmas is for the children'

The sky meanwhile is a dull grey and the land soggy and damp.
The world nothing like the promise

It is a time of feast

But we feast all year round

Of drinking to excess...

But we do that anyway (see zombie hoard).

A bipolar festival
Burning anticipation
Drowning in sorrow
Projected upon the ones shut out of the living party

The people who used to eat, drink and laugh with us...

A time when there is too much...
But never enough..

Children...are encouraged to become living hungry ghosts.
The preta.
Never satisfied, perpetually wanting more and more and more....

Japanese prayers for the Preta.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Remembrance Sunday and 'the plant of joy'.

Remembrance Sunday
The road into town was closed off.
The church yard full of people.

Back home
The wind blowing military chants through empty streets.
Around my house

People wearing Disruptive Pattern camouflage
Forest green, bright against concrete grey...

Sat on walls
Killing time.

I don't buy poppies
At this time of year...

In 1729 the East India Company began importing opium into China, as a way to rectify the trade imbalance between Britain and China...because the British were addicted...

To tea.

There were wars.
The Opium Wars.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori..

And in the local graveyard
Where today's remembrance took place
The most common euphemism for death is
Fell asleep...

Still born infants, are:
Born asleep...

Opium morphine..
As the brothers (sleep and death)  inhabit the spaces in between consciousness, so Persephone plays in the brilliant eternal-springtime of Homer or Ovid's retelling.

But the flower she picks isn't as a poppy.

Up and down the soft meadow. Iris blossoms too she picked, and hyacinth, and the narcissus, which was grown as a lure for the flower-faced girl by Earth. All according to the plans of Zeus. Earth was doing a favor for the one who receives many guests.
The narcissus was a wondrous thing in its splendor. To look at it gives a sense of holy awe to the immortal gods as well as mortal humans.
It has a hundred heads growing from the root up. Its sweet fragrance spread over the wide skies up above.
And the earth below smiled back in all its radiance. So too the churning mass of the salty sea.
Persephone was filled with a sense of wonder, and she reached out with both hands to take hold of the pretty plaything. And the earth, full of roads leading every which way, opened up under her...

The image shimmers onto the silver screen
Dorothy drowning in the sea of flowers
As Persephone's abduction becomes Dorothy's sleep.
A little death

Robert Graves brought the connection between Persephone and poppies to the attention of the mythologically minded in volume 1 of Greek Myths:

 "An image of a goddess with a poppy–headdress was found in Crete, another goddess . . . holds poppies in her hand; and on the gold ring from the Acropolis treasures at Mycenae, a seated Demeter gives three poppy–heads to a standing Kore. 

Poppy–seeds were used as a condiment on bread and poppies are naturally associated with Demeter since they grow in cornfields but Kore picks or accepts poppies because of the soporific qualities and because of their scarlet colour which promises resurrection after death."

Museu arqueològic de Creta a Heràkleion, foto feta per J. Ollé el 6 d'agost del 2005.

Karl Kerenyi wrote:
"It seems probable that the Great Mother Goddess who bore the names Rhea and Demeter, brought the poppy with her from her Cretan cult in Eleusis and it is almost certain that in the Cretan cult sphere opium was prepared from poppies"
Poppy as an entheogen, a key to the door
Allowing perception of the god within...

More effective and safer than ergot in your cup of  kykeon...

But today, Remembrance Sunday, a paper poppy is just another euphemism

The tides of red poppies over the battlefields of Europe...
Appear from afar as a gentleness
As if the earth forgives and mends
The red blood and chunks of quivering flesh torn, riddled with bullets, gouged into blasphemy by bayonets...

It isn't death if 'we remember'
They seem to say.
It is only sleep...
Better to dream that way.

Don't remember.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Halloween Persephone.

Halloween comes from ancient Greece and commemorates the abduction of Persephone by Haides, which causes the shift into winter and the dead to roam the earth...

I like this a lot.
It is so full of myth.

One by one....

Myth originated in Greece.
This is an archaic notion which is impossible for anyone who has read through Berkert and Herodotus to believe. There is just too much evidence to the contrary. The notion that most myths are Greek in origin belongs to the Roman tradition which respected 'the Greeks', regarded the Egyptians as weird-foreigners and hated the Carthaginians. The fact that some people still think that 'Greek' myth originated with the Greeks demonstrates how cultural beliefs are cut and pasted into the future. It is true to say that the myths we call Greek were written in Greek. It is also true to say that the Romans destroyed anything 'Punic' that they could lay their hands on. This didn't destroy 'Punic' myth, just the connections and correspondences between what was practiced in Canaan, Memphis and Athens (let alone Babylon and Persepolis) and makes my job so much harder~

But the Persephone myth originated in Greece.
I have a problem with the name, Persephone...
Yes, the 'Greeks' had the Elusinian mysteries and yes, Persephone was integral to that festival. At Eleusis, Persephone was Kore- the maiden.

The Eleusinian mysteries came to be about the after-life.
I'm not sure that they began that way.

But the question is, how do you decide when Cretan ritual becomes Greek? Besides which, when did Greece become Greek?

The lost girl.
Herodotus explains the trouble between the Persians and the Greeks beginning with the abduction of a girl.

He begins:
According to the Persians best informed in history, the Phoenicians began to quarrel. This people, who had formerly dwelt on the shores of the Erythraean Sea, having migrated to the Mediterranean and settled in the parts which they now inhabit, began at once, they say, to adventure on long voyages, freighting their vessels with the wares of Egypt and Assyria.

14th century map of Jericho in Farchi Bible.

The Phoenicians were the people of Canaan and from the beginnings of civilization (Jericho) the people of Canaan traded with the people of Egypt and Assyria and beyond.  According to Polybius (born c. 204 B.C.), the Greek historian Timaeus of Tauromenion (c. 357-260 B.C.) Carthage was founded around 814 or 813 B.C, some 300 years before Herodotus was born.

By around 550 BC, there were Phoenician colonies in Sicily, and the east and south edges of Spain.

In 1840 the Reverend R. Warner, in The Pagan Altar argued that both Avebury and Stonehenge were built by Phoenicians. In the early 1970s the axes carved into the Sarcen at Stonehenge were often described as being 'of Phoenician design'.

Anyway...this probably grew out of Stukeley and his lost tribe of Hebrews.

Herodotus continues:

They landed at many places on the coast, and among the rest at Argos, which was then preeminent above all the states included now under the common name of Hellas. Here they exposed their merchandise, and traded with the natives for five or six days; at the end of which time, when almost everything was sold, there came down to the beach a number of women, and among them the daughter of the king, who was, they say, agreeing in this with the Greeks, Io, the child of Inachus. The women were standing by the stern of the ship intent upon their purchases, when the Phoenicians, with a general shout, rushed upon them. The greater part made their escape, but some were seized and carried off. Io herself was among the captives. The Phoenicians put the women on board their vessel, and 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. 

The abduction of a girl will cause trouble...
Always has, always will
In this case

Hades abducts Persephone, and her mother Demeter refuses to let anything grow, holding the gods to ransom..
For she [Demeter] is performing a mighty deed, to destroy [root phthi-] the tribes of earth-born humans, causing them to be without menos (life force),  by hiding the Seed underground—and she is destroying [root phthi-] the tîmai (honor) of the immortal gods. 
This seems to be about more than just stopping things from growing.

She is destroying the honor of the gods.
I assume that this is a Greek interpretation.

From a Mesopotamian point of view, the transaction is simplified.
The Mesopotamian gods need food even though they take only the spirit from the food for themselves.

So the problem of the hidden seed isn't entirely about honor.

Zeus is compelled to send Hermes into the Underworld to seek Persephone and lead her back to her mother...
"Go, Persephone, to your mother, the one with the dark robe. Have a kindly disposition and thûmos in your breast. Do not be too upset, excessively so. I will not be an unseemly husband to you, in the company of the immortals. I am the brother of Zeus the Father. If you are here, you will be queen of everything that lives and moves about, and you will have the greatest tîmai in the company of the immortals. Those who violate dikê– will get punishment for all days to come; those who do not supplicate your menos with sacrifice, performing the rituals in a reverent way, executing perfectly the offerings that are due."
Persephone has no choice, though young she is not a little child, and Hades is offering her the role of judge...When Ereshkigal was taken by the Kur, there was no way out for her eithe as the Kur took her down into the Underworld.

Nevertheless, the question with the Persephone stories, myths and rituals is always going to be: which Persephone: Persephone as lost child evokes very different feelings to Persephone as dread Queen of the Underworld.

The shift into winter and the dead to roam the earth...
The theme of a descent by a goddess causing winter was first recorded by the Sumerians. To solve the problem a brother and sister take it in terns to descend to the Underworld. In this case, Geshtinanna becomes the Halloween Persephone.

Inana turns her ear to the Great Below and sets out to bring the Underworld under her control.

Ovid records this theme by naming the cause of Proserpine's abduction as Aphrodite Erycina wanting to extend her rule to the Underworld:
".. why, then, should Tartarus escape our sway—the third part of the universe at stake—by which thy mother's empire and thy own may be enlarged according to great need."

When Inana reaches the court of her sister, Inana is sentenced to death, hung from a hook, and slowly becomes just another heap of rotting meat.

But she knew that this may happen and had left an emergency plan in place.

Only after she is out and filled with rage at her husbands lack of concern for her disappearance do we begin to get the origins of a winter myth that becomes Autumn-Persephone.
She looked at him, it was the look of death. She spoke to him (?), it was the speech of anger. She shouted at him (?), it was the shout of heavy guilt: "How much longer? Take him away." Holy Inana gave Dumuzid the shepherd into their hands.
Inana sends her husband to the underworld to take her place. At first it feels good to be free of him...

And then it begins to hurt.

Holy Inana wept bitterly for her husband.
4 lines fragmentary
She tore at her hair like esparto grass, she ripped it out like esparto grass. "You wives who lie in your men's embrace, where is my precious husband? You children who lie in your men's embrace, where is my precious child? Where is my man? Where ......? Where is my man? Where ......?"

The sister wandered about the city, weeping for her brother.
Geshtinanna wandered about the city, weeping for Dumuzi:
"O my brother! Who is your sister?
I am your sister.
O Dumuzi! Who is your mother?
I am your mother.
The day that dawns for you will also dawn for me.
The day that you will see I will also see.

I would find my brother! I would comfort him!
I would share his fate!"

When she saw the sister's grief,
When Inanna saw the grief of Geshtinanna,
She spoke to her gently:
"Your brother's house is no more.
Dumuzi has been carried away by the galla.
I would take you to him,
But I do not know the place."

Then a fly appeared.
The holy fly circled the air above Inanna's head and spoke:
"If I tell you where Dumuzi is,
What will you give me?"

Inanna said:
"If you tell me,
I will let you frequent the beer-houses and taverns.
I will let you dwell among the talk of the wise ones.
I will let you dwell among the song of the minstrels."

The fly spoke:
"Lift your eyes to the edges of the steppe,
Lift your eyes to Arali.
There you will find Geshtinanna's brother,
There you will find the shepherd Dumuzi."

Geshtinanna shared Dumuzi's fate, every September after the equinox, Geshtinanna descends and Dumuzi returns. After the March equinox, Geshtinanna returns and Dumuzi sinks to the Great Below...

Halloween Persephone.
At Halloween, the gates to the Underworld are open.

No, the seven gates to the Underworld are never all open at once!

The dead who wander this side are the ones who did not receive proper burial. There is no special time for this, it happens all the time!

Burial and offerings to the dead are important.

The unburied or disinterred may become troublesome ghosts; more important, some Mesopotamian texts suggest that they are blown to the empty places, abandoned areas, and may become part of the demonic world that is neither human nor god, male nor female.

A body left unattended, and left to become a stinking rot, is a terrifying thing;  it belongs psychologically with the fear of death. This is one reason why the bodies of those killed in execution were not given burial, but left to decay in full view for all to see. It is a way of killing the person twice and terrifying the living into compliance.

But of course the taboo about burial of a corpse is not true for all societies.

Dismemberment and the drying out of bodies seems to have been equally common in other parts of the world.

The memory of the charnal ground... Marija Gimbutas suggests, remains as a taboo against eating certain kinds of animals...
The ones that would find the dead a useful source of food: dogs, carnivores, crows..

Who wonders the streets at Halloween if it is not the dead?
I've no idea! I think the confusion arises because the end of the year, end of October, was the winter Blot month. It makes sense to kill weak animals,alongside the fatted ones, and to make offerings to the gods as the darkness of winter draws near.

People with knives, the screams of animals...
Blood attracts spirits, hence its use in Mesopotamian temples as a cleansing agent, or in Greek stories as ways to animate the dead souls.

In European countries, Saxon and Viking belief, there may be a similar notion.

But Blot month would be an uncanny, scary time.

Persephone is dread Queen of the Underworld.
Did she ever threaten to lose the dead upon the living?
Did that happen at Halloween?


Sorry, I mean yes! but it wasn't at Halloween.

The Dread Queen of the underworld was taken by the Kur...
The Kur is the force of abduction, of trouble, of chaos.

The Kur is sometimes a river...
The Tigris and Euphrates flood when the snows melt from the Zagros mountains in spring, beginning in March and at a peak in May. The floods are unpredictable and sometimes exceptionally fierce.

There are specific times when the Kur may appear, but the Kur are not spirits of the dead in particular.

The Kur is the stranger in the crowd.
People with knives
You could call it the flood.

When Geshtinanna (Lady of the Grape-Vine) returns in the spring when the new wine is opened...The Lemuria in May when the lapis Manalis was opened...

Ghost, manes, ancestors and the Kur are practically the same thing by the time of the Romans.

Both Ereshkigal and Inana threatened to open the gates of the Underworld, indicating that there is nothing new about the zombie hoard.

Inana threatens it because she is Queen of Heaven, and woe betide you if you refuse to do as she says, on the other hand, this story tells us that it is reassuringly difficult to enter the Underworld if you are still alive:

If you will not open the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living.
The gatekeeper hurried to tell Ereshkigal...

In another story
Ereshkigal and Nergal:

"If you do not send that god to me
According to the rites of Erkalla and the great Earth
I shall raise up the dead, and they will eat the living.
I shall make the dead outnumber the living!'"

Finally, does it matter if people simplify and mix:
Halloween comes from ancient Greece and commemorates the abduction of Persephone by Haides, which causes the shift into winter and the dead to roam the earth...
Stories mix and simplify; if the story of Inana's descent became the story of Persephone's abduction, such a lot has gone missing already and it has been mixed up with several other myths in the retelling...Does it matter?

There are always going to be people who are compelled to read old texts and to think about what they have read, and it is up to them to transmit what they know...we make mistakes, but our commitment is to retell the stories as accurately as possible and to add our understanding to the text. Personally, I have no commitment to purity, my commitment is to understanding and knowledge alone.

Yet to be honest, for me there is something more...

Or else I wouldn't spend all afternoon freezing here, doing this!

Thanks to Sannion for inspiring this post

Friday, 1 November 2013


This is a twisty world, meanings and correspondences are copied or forgotten.
They resonate or die.
Getting to the new has to be through the old
For we have no other language...

The habit of looking forward to see what is coming, without understanding that all is created from the past, is a poor way to proceed; it accounts for the ease of deception perpetrated in our names and ostensibly for our benefit.

Writing requires courage
And I'm lacking...

The subject is pain.

Lets just say that there are two ways to be religious:
The path of renunciation Vs the path of acceptance.

Both will involve pain, because life is full of it...
Religious thought changes the meanings of pain, and it is here that religion and secular thinking, will clash.

But there is also conflict between those who chose renunciation, and those who seek experience to jolt their world..

The path of renunciation intensifies the importance of experience. But, experience is here defined as a sweet, poisonous pleasure. Renunciation is an offering to god, a submission and a plea, for there is no end to the hold the desire for experience has over us, unless an antidote is found, or so the renunciate believes. To this end, the renunciate confines the desire for experience to mind alone. There the need and longing is contained, sealed in the alembic for transformation.

This is a path of liberation..

The other way, the left hand path, if you will..
The one who takes the path of acceptance takes all as god given, the good and the bad. Because for them, the illusory dislocation between the spirit and the world, is over.

The path of knowledge?

One thing we all had in common
Pain was a part of practice, and pain was regarded as purification.

Purification of perception.

Pain was part of the whole thing.
Not eating or drinking..

I didn't take the 'right hand' path, but I took part in 'right hand path' rituals.
I found it very interesting to agree to be bound by rules that made no sense to me, out of respect for the purpose of those rituals.

None of this makes sense from the secular point of view, which tends to see any deviation from scientism (the religion of science) as a threat to society!