Nergal is the god of pestilence, war, and the sun in its destructive state during the summer in Babylonian mythology. Later related to the planet Mars, he married and ruled together with Ereshkigal, queen goddess of Irkalla, the Underworld.
Name: Lamassu, Shedu, Alad Area of Origin: Ancient Mesopotamian cultures
The Lamassu, or less commonly referred to as Shedu or Alad, were ancient Assyrian and Sumerian protective deities, depicted with the body of a bull or lion, eagle’s wings and a human head, usually male. They are celestial beings and were household protective spirits of the Babylonians, but were later associated as royal protectors, usually placed as sentinels at the entrances to palaces in the form of colossal sculptures. They may have influenced the look of Sphinxes and other chimeric creatures found in future civilizations. Recently, a large statue of one of these was found destroyed at a historical archeological site demolished by ISIS.
the first Dynasty of Kish, Ur’s first Dynasty rose to prominence as a major
port city. One of the greatest finds here was the Cemetery of Ur which
contained about 2,000 burials (human sacrifice) dating as late as the Sargonic
period of Akkad, sixteen of which were labeled “Royal Tombs”. The
funerary process was made up of ceremonial feasts and music which would last
for days followed by a funeral procession consisting of oxcarts, musicians,
singers, mourners, and guards or soldiers.
silver, food, weapons, cylinder seals, jewelry, cups and bowls would be left
with the deceased as well as both human and animal sacrifices; buried alongside the kings and queens or Ur, they would accompany the deceased and join them in
the afterlife. The architecture of the royal tombs comprised of a ramp leading
down a deep pit (labeled the ‘death pit’) toward a vaulted or domed stone chamber. The humans who were sacrificed were those who served and
attended the kings and queens while they were alive, they were buried within
the chamber with their rulers and also outside of it, in the pit.
burials in this cemetery were common inhumation (burying in a
grave or tomb); where the deceased were set on their side, legs flexed, with
arms over their chest and hands in front of their mouth. They would be placed
in a rectangular pit in either a coffin or wrapped in a reed mat.
Sumerian headgear necklaces.
royal tomb (PG1237), labeled the “Great Death Pit” held 6 men and 68
women, the majority of the latter wore headdresses of silver, gold and lapis as
well as having “shells with cosmetic pigment”. They were believed to
have willingly consumed some sort of sedative or deadly drug but at least two skeletons show perimortem (before time of death or close to it) fractures and
circular holes which match blunt force trauma with a heavy pointed blunt
object. Signs of sun damage and mercury sulfide (HgS) on a body (used to
slow down decomposition) suggests that the bodies were exposed to sunlight
during the above mentioned long festive ceremonies and funeral procession.
within the Royal Tombs of Ur two game boards were discovered, labeled the ‘Royal
Game of Ur’ (aka Game of Twenty Squares), these are some of the oldest
board games ever discovered.
afterlife the spirit (Sumerian gidim, Akk. eṭemmu) would
eat dust, thirst and live in darkness. It is believed that these objects which
were found in tombs and graves were offering for the gods and for
the deceased themselves. One reason for the former is that according to the
Sumerian myth, “The Death of Urnamma”, the deceased king Urnamma
was buried with objects so he could then offer them to the gatekeepers and the
many gods of the netherworld, including Ereshkigal (queen of
the Underworld) and her consort Nergal (god of war and pestilence).
As gifts he gave vessels, garments and weaponry as well as presenting them
with a banquet and in exchange he was given a dwelling place and given rule
over fallen soldiers and condemned criminals.
Ur-Namma had presented properly the offerings of the nether world, the … of the
underworld, the Anunnaki seated Ur-Namma on a great dais of
the nether world and set up a dwelling place for him in the nether
world. At the command of Ereckigala all the soldiers who had been killed
by weapons and all the men who had been found guilty were given into the king’s
hands.” – The Death of Ur-Namma
Lyre (reconstruction), 2600 BCE.
made to the deceased themselves were used as gifts for the gatekeepers in
exchange for safe passage into the afterlife and also so the spirits could eat
and drink but those who were killed by fire or remained unburied would have no
spirit and afterlife. Those who did make it to the afterlife needed offerings
of food and drink from living relatives. If offerings weren’t made then the
deceased could haunt and inflict sickness on the living.
to the Epic of Gilgamesh despite of one’s status while they lived all are equal
in the afterlife:
entered the house of dust and I saw the kings of the earth, their crowns put
away forever; rulers and princes, all those who once wore kingly crowns and
ruled the world in the days of old. They who had stood in the place of the gods
like Anu and Enlil, stood now like servants to fetch baked meats in the house
of dust, to carry cooked meat and cold water from the waterskin.”
of the sun and justice Utu/Shamash would descend into the netherworld every
night and would punish abusive spirits, gift offerings to forgotten spirits and
would judge the fates of the deceased with the help of the seven judges, the
the land of no return, the land of darkness, Ishtar, the daughter of Sin (moon
god) directed her thought. Directed her thought, Ishtar, the daughter
of Sin, to the house of shadows, the dwelling, of Irkalla (Netherworld),
to the house without exit for him who enters therein. To the road, whence there
is no turning, to the house without light for him who enters therein, the place
where dust is their nourishment, clay their food.’ they have no light, in
darkness they dwell. Clothed like birds, with wings as garments, over door and
bolt, dust has gathered.” – Ishtar’s Descent into the Underworld.
the story of ‘Inanna’s descent to the Underworld’ she
threatens the gatekeeper into opening the gates to the underworld for her.
gatekeeper, open thy gate, open thy gate so I may enter! If thou openest not
the gate so that I cannot enter, I will smash the door, i will shatter the
bolt, I will smash the doorpost, I will move the doors, I will raise up the
dead eating the living, so that the dead will outnumber the living.”
(the chief gatekeeper) rushed to Erishkigal (goddess of the underworld) to tell
her of her sister Ishtar’s arrival.
there, does this one wish to dwell with me? To eat clay as food, to drink dust
as wine? I weep for the men who have left their wives. I weep for the
wives torn from the embrace of their husbands; for the little ones cut off
before their time. Go, gatekeeper, open thy gate for her, deal with her
according to the ancient decree.” – Ishtar’s Descent into the
Standard of Ur, 2600-2400 BCE.
consists of the offering of gifts at each gate to Neti (chief gatekeeper) in
order to pass them,in the end she lays powerless and naked before her sister
Ereshkigal and the seven judges of the underworld known as the Anunnaki.
Anunna[ki], the judges of the underworld, surrounded her they
passed judgment against her. Then Ereshkigal fastened on Inanna the eye of
death, she spoke against her the word of wrath, she uttered against her the cry
of guilt. She struck her, Inanna was turned into a corpse, a piece of
rotting meat and was hung from a hook on the wall.” – Inanna
(Akk. Ishtar) Descent into the Underworld.
the gods cannot escape the underworld and so the Sumerian Inanna version
explains that she only escaped by means of trickery and the bartering of her
husband Dumuzi’s (who wasn’t mourning) life who in turn is saved by his sister
Ngeshtin-ana who replaces him in the underworld for half of the year.
Ngeshtin-ana was a goddess of fertility, absence correlates with the changing
of the seasons so this tale bares similarities with the Greek tale of Hades,
Persephone and her mother Demeter (goddess of harvest).
If there are any errors please privately inbox me so I can update it. As always, if you’d like to read or learn about any specific historical subjects just let me know what they are and I will take note of them.
The Sumerian netherworld was a place for the bodies of the dead to exist after death, ruled by Ereshkigal. One passed through the seven gates on their journey through the portal to the netherworld leaving articles of clothing and adornment at each gate. There was a guardian at each gate to extract a toll for one’s passage and to keep one from going the wrong way. The living spirits of the dead are only spoken of in connection with this netherworld when someone has been placed here before they are dead or wrongly killed and can be saved. The bodies of the dead decompose in this afterlife, as they would in the world above.
Human Origins, The Anunnaki and The Sumerian Tablets
While the true origins of humankind are still very murky and entangled in a never-ending tussle between evolutionists and creationists, there are fascinating clues left behind by ancient civilizations, and they point us in a very specific direction. All of this activity in the distant past cannot be separated from religion. Many ancient religious scripts that have survived from various corners of the world give us remarkable clarity on a multitude of issues. One such issue is the existence of a group of omnipresent gods and deities with advanced powers who seemed to have ruled the world for thousands of years. The Sumerian Tablets called these gods the Anunnaki. Led by a mysterious pantheon of twelve gods, the Anunnaki - in various names - seem to be present in every ancient civilization, scattered across all the continents, separated by thousands of miles. In my research and books I make the intentional distinction between God with a capital ‘G’ and god(s) with a lowercase ‘g’. This highlights the difference between the true divine source of all things in the universe (God), and a group of advanced beings, the Anunnaki gods, who - though technologically advanced and the genetic progenitors of humanity - are not the creators of the universe and the source of all things and therefore cannot be confused with God. For more about this stunning history see my book, ‘Slave Species of the Gods’.
Those who hold the Bible dear should not be surprised to find that these same deities and gods are referred to in the Bible on many occasions. In the original Bible, before it was translated and streamlined, the original word of God was Elohim, which is a plural word meaning ‘gods’. This was always the case, and the biblical God has always been a plural - “the gods.” Suddenly the many references by God to himself if in the plural, like: “lets us create man in our image” (Genesis 1:26) and, “Let us go down and confuse their language.” Genesis 11:7) become less confusing.
When we realize that most of the stories from Genesis and Exodus are translations from their original source written in the Sumerian Tablets, it all starts to make a lot more sense. The same gods that the Sumerian Tablets refer to are the same plural gods that are mentioned in the Bible. All the greatest biblical stories have their origins in the Sumerian Tablets
While the story is often reduced to one line in the Bible, the original Sumerian texts are written in much greater detail: The seven tablets of creation of heaven and Earth; creation of Adamu, the biblical Adam; creation of Eve from Adamus rib; the garden of Eden; the serpent and the tree of knowledge and life; the Flood, Noah(Ziusudra) and the ark; destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; the tower of Babel and its destruction by the gods and many more. The tales are well documented by the Sumerians, and some of the tablets predate the Bible by as much as 3,000 years.
It is also important to note that in Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek and all other cultures, the gods are never considered imaginary, but instead are very, very real. The Annunaki integrated with the people, they informed the people, and they punished the people. The first so-called holy trinity arose in Sumeria. It was Anu - the father - and his two sons; Enlil and Enki. Together they ruled the roost on planet Earth. We know that Enlil was given the northern half of the planet to look after, and Enki - who was also known as the creator god, or serpent - was in charge of the southern part of the planet. They were supported by an extended family of a total of twelve deities, each with special tasks and responsibilities. The Sumerian Tablets refer to the sons of the Anunnaki as the Nephilim - who were referred to as the “sons of the gods” in Genesis:
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days - and also afterward - when the sons of God [ the gods] went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.”
The pantheon of ancient powerful gods or beings was also very active and very present in South Africa under their leader Enki. The evidence is everywhere, especially in the many references of the Sumerian Tablets.
This leads us directly to one of the most misunderstood and misused expressions of our time: “mythology.” This seemingly innocuous word has caused much confusion in our modern times and has caused us to completely misunderstand all of human history. The original meaning in Greek had nothing to do with “imaginary.” In fact, it seems quite the opposite. The original meaning of mythos was “words”: written words, spoken words, legend and tales of historic accounts sworn to be true by kings and priests.
Can you see the problem here? What was taken as part of the daily life of ancient people has been reduced to imaginary fairy tales by modern historians. According to my research, it was around AD 1270 that the meaning of the word mythological was first misused and has subsequently created immense damage in future history books.
Is it possible that all ancient civilizations never had a real history, real experience and real religion? Is it possible that they just imagined things because they could not understand the big bad world around them? This is exactly what some historians would like us to believe. Once we realize that mythology actually means “history” the whole picture changes quite dramatically. We suddenly realize that in the distant past there was a group of powerful beings (gods) who controlled events all over the planet, including South Africa. This is instantly recognized in the the symbols and statues carved in rock in South Africa, which predate the Egyptian and Sumerian equivalents. It is important that the presence of these ancient so-called gods should not be confused with the true creator of the universe and all things in it - GOD.
- Michael Tellinger - African Temples of the Anunnaki - The Lost Technologies of the Gold Mines of Enki
prots: the old testament is literally verbatim history also prots:
every religion has truth to it, the sumerian flood myth predating the
biblical one is just proof that the word was with the people of sumer :)
POPULATION CONTROL IS HARD BUT FLOOD MYTHS ARE FUN
THE GODS HAVE CREATED MANKIND TO SERVE THEM. PRETTY FUCKING SIMPLE. THE PEOPLE SERVE THE GODS AND EVERYTHING IS FINE. BUT THE HUMANS KEEP HAVING BABIES AND SUDDENLY THERE’S A METRIC FUCKTONNE OF PEOPLE. PEOPLE ARE FUCKING LOUD. THEY’RE SO FUCKING LOUD THAT THE GOD ENLIL CAN’T GET ANY FUCKING SLEEP.
HE DECIDES TO GET RID OF SOME OF THESE NOISY FUCKS WITH A BIG-ASS DROUGHT. WHEN THIS DOESN’T STOP THEM, HE SENDS A PLAGUE AND THEN A FAMINE. BUT THESE HUMANS ARE HARDY FUCKS AND KEEP GETTING HELP FROM THE OTHER GODS. TO BE FUCKING FAIR THE FAMINE DID FUCK MOST PEOPLE OVER, THE FEW SURVIVING FAMILIES HAD RESORTED TO DELICIOUS DELICIOUS CANNIBALISM.
ENLIL IS STILL ANGRY AT HUMANITY AND CONVINCES THE OTHER GODS TO HELP HIM CREATE A MASSIVE FLOOD. JUST BEFORE THE FLOOD, ENKI TAKES PITY ON ONE HUMAN FUCKER, ATRAHASIS, AND DECIDES TO TELL HIM WHAT THE FUCK IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.
ENKI TELLS ATRAHASIS TO PULL DOWN HIS FUCKING HOUSE AND BUILD A BIG-ASS BOAT. THEN HE SHOULD CHUCK HIS FAMILY AND A SHIT TONNE OF BIRDS AND ANIMALS INTO THE BOAT (THIS SHIT SOUND FAMILIAR?). THE FLOOD IS REALLY FUCKING INTENSE BUT ONLY LASTS FOR A WEEK WHICH IS KINDA FUCKING DISAPPOINTING. A TONNE OF SHIT DIES AND THE APPROPRIATELY NAMED MOTHER GODDESS MAMI CRIES AND WANTS A BEER.
EVENTUALLY THE FLOOD FUCKS OFF AND ATRAHASIS AND HIS FAMILY GET OFF THE BOAT AND HAVE AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS ABOUT REPOPULATING THE EARTH. ENLIL IS REALLY FUCKING MAD AT ENKI FOR LETTING SOMEONE SURVIVE, BUT EVENTUALLY THEY AGREE THAT THE GROSS HUMAN POPULATION CAN BE CONTROLLED BY SELECTING SOME WOMEN TO BE PRIESTESSES AND NOT SPAWN.
For instance, the Sumerian myths which present the flood myth have been dated to be older than the bible story by 2,000 years. The story of the fall of man and the loss of eternal life is traced back to the myth of Adapa, the first man according to the Sumerians. The god An gave the bread and water of life to Adapa, who did not partake in it. Enki (Ea) gave Adapa wisdom but not eternal life and warned Adapa not to partake of the Bread and Water of Death. This is the origin of the Adam and Eve legend; keep in mind as well that the serpent-cults of Nirah and other Sumerian and Elamite underworld deities was centered on fertility of the earth as well.
Well! After a brief
hiatus, I’m back. And so is Sleepy Hollow. This was a really solid episode,
with good character work all around, an interesting plot that tied into the
show’s mythology and holy shit what are they doing to my baby
I mean this in a good
way, of course. Finally, she gets to process. Finally, she gets to be taken
care of. We get to go back to her deep-seeded fear of being crazy. And we get
her founding some creepy religion! It’s good stuff. But the question that I’m
left with is, how do Pandora and THO fit in? This episode seemed to essentially
introduce a new Big Bad and an X-Files style government conspiracy that’s been
hinted at all season, but never made explicit. How does that technocratic threat fit in with abusive ancient gods? Can
Let’s get to it:
So, I think we all
agree that the THO/Pandora interactions are gross. It’s textbook abusive
behavior – giving back power which he basically forced her to give up, telling
her “if I’m not happy you can’t be happy,” making it clear that she is not his
equal. It’s disgusting. What I can’t
tell is if TPTB intend it to be so.
This show has always had a messed up version of loves we should root for –
Katrina and the Headless Freaking Horseman, really? – and I can’t tell if they
think this is romantic or vomitus. But I’m tired of seeing a femme fatale cringing and crawling at the feet of a man who
has been nothing but foul.
So when did Crane learn
“O Sole Mio”? As much as I want to believe Abbie is a secret opera fan, I feel
that’s probably not the case. And the song wasn’t published until 1898. That
would be an interesting bit of knowledge. I do wish that instead of seeing
Crane lambast the vanities of the modern world, we got to see him being bewitched by the 250 years of beauty
he missed. We did some good stuff in that time.
Platonically cooking my roommate platonic candlelit dinners, as you do.
No but seriously, it’s
so wonderful to see Crane taking care of Abbie. And there’s an interesting
runner with food in this episode that we’ll get into. Really nice thematic work
here – and themes have been improving all season.
So we first see Crane
opening a bottle of wine when he’s cooking, then later when Abbie walks in.
Exactly how wasted was Crane intending to get?
Abbie’s absolute resistance to being cared for. Because this is
something we truly haven’t seen before, it’s hard to know how much of her reaction
is PTSD/runic psychosis and how much is just Abbie. Does she recoil because it’s unfamiliar? Does she dislike a
fuss being made over her? Or is she just curling in on herself like an
armadillo, knowing that if she gives into comforts like food and wine and good
company, all the pain might come rushing out of her in an endless wave that
“A diminutive being stranded far from home.” Henceforth, Abbie
Mills is our Diminutive Being. It is canon.
Abbie unable to accept
the kindness and solace Crane offers. Crane trying to be supportive and respect
her boundaries, but drinking to mask the sting.
I’ve found this entire
Papa Mills storyline to be very anti-climactic. While there is an interesting
choice in him just being a frail human who ran away for frail human reasons, it
feels out of step with the show and makes him seem so, so much worse. He could have come home to care for those
girls after their mother died. He had chance after chance after chance to make
things right. And he chose, time and again, not to. It’s loathsome. For a much more interesting take on him,
read @icanseewhyshessingle amazing “Shoqed.”
Papa Mills calling her “Jennifer”
is a nice touch to show how out of step he is with her.
Saying he couldn’t come
back because “life had moved on.” What a bag of schlongs. Your daughters were
drowning in foster care. They hadn’t moved on. They were mired in pain. And you
Current sexuality: Abbie Mills at the shooting range.
But oh, our poor baby.
What better metaphor for Abbie being off kilter than to have her shooting
ability out of whack, something that’s so core to who she is.
Danny wants trust from
Abbie, but right now Abbie isn’t capable of trusting anyone. Most of all
Current sexuality: Abbie Mills’ collar bones in a deep v t-shirt.
I like that they’re
continuing to let Joe have a distinct role as the medic, like when he was
checking Nevins’ eyes. On a team where there’s a great deal of overlapping
skillsets, it helps set him apart.
I miss the Pandora who
steals men’s spleens and wore cute wigs. She was fun.
So, that meal Crane
brings Nevins. I have so many questions. Where did he get a freaking cloche to cover it? How long did it take
him to roast that chicken – it ain’t a quick meal. Maybe he already made it for Abbie, a homey treat to tempt her, but she
turned it away again so it became Nevins chow? Again, the runner of food as
comfort is fascinating – even down to the fact that Abbie stopped drinking
coffee, denying herself even that simple creature comfort and routine.
It was an uneven episode. I admit that I was braced because
I saw a tweet that revealed that someone had died, so it was really just a
toss-up of if it would be Jenny (obvious) or Abbie (surprising but not if you’ve
really been watching this season). But even so, the first half hour of the show
dragged. This is Jenny. Abbie should
have been tearing down mountains to get to her sister. Instead we get her
caught in some FBI bureaucratic hell and a road trip to Albany for exposition
no one wanted or needed (by the way, Albany is two hours each way from Sleepy
Not until the scene where Abbie gives up her gun and badge
did I feel any stakes. And that last ten minutes were solid and certainly sets
up an intriguing back half. But they’ve got to figure out their pacing issues.
All right, let’s do this for the last time in a couple
That cold open, with Jenny on the shore and Pandora and the
Hidden One in the water? Chilling. One of the best horror moments the show’s
had. Plus the religious implications of
that shot – baptism! Pieta! Even some Mary Magdalene vibes with Pandora’s
long, loose, dark hair. Just a really well-composed shot and eerie moment.
Also, I’ve been harsh on effects and makeup this season, but the Hidden One’s
mummy makeup was really solid.
So many callbacks to previous seasons this ep. As bad as
these guys are at continuity, even they didn’t call Jenny a vessel again by mistake.
I hope we get to see her dealing with that too, amidst everything else. It’s a huge part of her identity at this
Very eager to learn more about the role and lineage of the
Witnesses. Fill this part of your mythology in at long, long last and do it
Really nice good cop/bad cop vibe with Sophie and Danny as
they’re questioning Abbie. And her having zero time for it, wanting to get to
her sister. This is good and right, but then the momentum just sputters off
after this scene.
Crane says they must
go east. Towards Jerusalem. Towards Mecca.
Large portions of my notes just consist of DO NOT TOUCH
JENNY MILLS DO NOT REMOVE YOUR MUMMY HANDS. So just add that every few lines.
If only the show had a more consistent mythology, we could
really understand how the presence of a god affects it. What does this mean for the Christian myths that formed the basis for
the Witnesses and the Tribulation? Does it co-exist with ancient deities?
Is Christianity a misinterpretation of these deities? Are there more gods? Why
is Pandora Greek and the Hidden One Sumerian? Why was Norse also thrown in
there for good measure? I’m all for throwing mythology in a blender, I love it.
But there has to be a reason and a structure.
Joe throwing punches and getting results! Though you’re
telling me no one in that frat house ever bumped against that secret door and
found a weirdo chamber and then started using it for their weirdo frat rituals?
Fun fact: There was
no Jonathan Revere. There were two John Reveres, one who died at age 2 and
one who wasn’t even born until 1784. So. Yeah.
Why are plants always trying to kill people on this show. I’m
starting to get nervous around anyone who enjoys gardening, damn.
Jenny snarking on Pandora’s man’s looks even under the worst
But let’s talk about Pandora’s man. First of all, Pandora did all this for a dude? Sigh. Really. That
was the best you could do. Bringing a guy back. Fine, whatever. But then his motivation is the most trite thing in the book, cleansing
the earth of humans because we’re the worst? Major let downs in the motivation
So much random exposition on the Eye of Providence and codes
and Paul Revere. This show is way more interested in that stuff than I am. But
no Betsy these last two episodes. Definitely feel like they heard that feedback
loud and clear and gave her roles to other random founding fathers.
“Don’t let anyone
close to you. When you lose them, it’ll break your heart.” Subtle. Very subtle,
(sorry for answering so late, Anon! I wanted to relate the whole story, but my English isn’t as fluent as I wish it was)
And basically: yes. This story is told in Hesiod’s Theogony and in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, which is the oldest homeric hymn known. Nowadays, mythologians also think that this is a later version of an original myth where Persephone was the Underworld queen and Hades her consort, to the contrary of the version we know, where she is the paredra. The Sumerian equivalent of this myth (Ereshkigal, Dumuzi and Inanna) follow this pattern.
According to Hesiod and Homer, Hades asked to Zeus, Persephone’s father, to abduct her and take her to his realm, since her mother Demeter wouldn’t allow her to go to the Underworld. At this time, no one ever return from here. So he abducted her while she was picking flowers in a field with the Oceanid maidens, Artemis and Athena.
Her mother searched her all other the world, grieving, when she discovered that her beloved daughter was gone. In her despair, she neglected the harvests (she’s the goddess of earth, corn and fertility), so humans began to starve. Finally, Helios told her who had taken Persephone, so she asked to Zeus a trial and/or her girl being sent back to her.
But Persephone had eaten seven pomegranate seeds, and no one can come back to the surface after having eaten Underworld food. (I think it’s a proof that she was willing to stay, because greek gods don’t need to eat. In the Iliad, it is clearly said that “the gods do not eat bread nor drink wine, hence they have no blood such as ours, and are immortal” (The Iliad, scroll V).
In the end, Persephone spend half the year with her husband, in the Underworld, and this provokes winter because her mother misses her ; and the other half of the year to the surface, in spring and summer (Ovid says half the year, but Persephone’s time with Hades can be of various lenghts, according to the author).
It’s how the ancient Greeks explained the seasons.
Sam I disagree with you about the Bible. The Bible is the word of God.
Well, no, it isn’t. The Bible is a collection of writings by men. In fact we actually know the names of those men because they are literally in the names of the books. The Book of Enoch, the Gospel of Mark, The Letters of Paul.
Moreover, these books have been changed over the centuries. They have been translated which means it was up to the translator to assign meaning to these words. Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English. Many times by many translators of unequal talent.
The Bible contradicts itself frequently and not in small ways either. Who was at the tomb when it was discovered empty? Who was the father of Joseph? Is Jesus equal to or greater than the Father? The same Gospels will sometimes answer these questions differently. See: John 10:30 and again John 14:28.
Most of the New Testament was written by Paul who never met Jesus or heard him preach. The Gospels were all written down between 60 and 200 years after the execution of Jesus and were most likely copied and recopied differently again and again. God did not decide which books to accept into the Christian Bible. A second century Bishop named Irenaeus did for the most part. There were upwards of a couple of dozen other “Gospels” floating around that did not make the cut even though they were ancient and beloved by many. The actual process for determining the canon was fascinating. You can read more about it here if you are curious.
The myths in Genesis were ancient when the original five books were written, not by Moses, but by three sets of anonymous scribes in Babylon during the Babylonian captivity. These myths were Sumerian and had been adopted by the Babylonians and again adopted by the Jews who had no founding myths of their own. Many of these old stories were allegory and myth and not even taken literally by those who wrote them down. They teach lessons not provide history.
Does this mean that the Bible is worthless or not a holy book? Of course not. It is one of the greatest books ever written. However, it is just a book. It was not dictated by God. It was written by men for men and should be viewed as such.
Early Sumerian and Akkadian artifacts show pictures of a tree or pole that is called the “axis mundi,” or the world axis. It is intended to be the center and support of the world. Guarding this tree or pole is a snake or pair of intertwined snakes. We can see here the beginnings of the association between the snake and the rod that we will see later in the Bible and the caduceus. Also, in Sumer, we have a cylindrical seal that has on it the mythical date palm with its two fruits, life and enlightenment. This tree is copied again in the book Genesis in the Jewish scripture. This tree is guarded by a serpent. Again, this is duplicated in the Bible.
In these early Sumerian/Akkadian myths we meet Etana, the chosen king, later a demi-god, who must find the tree that stands at the center of the earth. This tree is the home of an eagle, who has devoured the young of the serpent who guards the tree. The serpent appeals to the Father god, Shamash, for justice, and Shamash shows the tree how to help the serpent capture the eagle. There exists an early Akkadian seal (ca. 2350 BCE) showing the serpent in human form enthroned with the caduceus emblem behind him and guarding him.
–The Divine Serpent in Myth and Legend, By Robert T. Mason, Ph.D., D.D.
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The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, columna cerului, center of the world), in religion or mythology, is the world center or the connection between Heaven and Earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones and be disseminated to all. The spot functions as the omphalos (navel), the world’s point of beginning.
The image is mostly viewed as feminine, as it relates to center of the earth (perhaps like an umbilical providing nourishment). It may have the form of a natural object (a mountain, a tree, a vine, a stalk, a column of smoke or fire) or a product of human manufacture (a staff, a tower, a ladder, a staircase, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire). Its proximity to heaven may carry implications that are chiefly religious (pagoda, temple mount, minaret, church) or secular (obelisk, lighthouse, rocket, skyscraper). The image appears in religious and secular contexts. The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animist belief systems, in major world religions, and in technologically advanced “urban centers”. In Mircea Eliade’s opinion, “Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all.”
Wiki- axis mundi
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A common shamanic concept, and a universally told story, is that of the healer traversing the axis mundi to bring back knowledge from the other world. It may be seen in the stories from Odin and the World Ash Tree to the Garden of Eden and Jacob’s Ladder to Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel. It is the essence of the journey described in The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. The epic poem relates its hero’s descent and ascent through a series of spiral structures that take him from through the core of the earth, from the depths of Hell to celestial Paradise. It is also a central tenet in the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex.
Anyone or anything suspended on the axis between heaven and earth becomes a repository of potential knowledge. A special status accrues to the thing suspended: a serpent, a victim of crucifixion or hanging, a rod, a fruit, mistletoe. Derivations of this idea find form in the Rod of Asclepius, an emblem of the medical profession, and in the caduceus, an emblem of correspondence and commercial professions. The staff in these emblems represents the axis mundi while the serpents act as guardians of, or guides to, knowledge.