ANCIENT EGYPT THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
THE ARK, THE DELUGE, AND THE WORLD'S GREAT YEAR
At first sight the general effect of the innumerable deluge-legends is to suggest the existence of a primitive kind of catastrophobia resulting from fear of the water-flood. The arkite symbolism originated in the mount and tree, the cave or enclosure being a natural place of refuge when the waters were out upon the earth; and these were followed by the raft, the boat, or ark that swam the waters as a means of human safety. Before the legends of a deluge could have been formulated, the deluge as an overwhelming flood of water had become a figure used in sign-language to express the natural fact in a variety of phenomena to which the type might be and was applied. It is expressed in English still by what is termed 'a flooding.' But a deluge is not only an overflow of water. There is a deluge of blood (both Egyptian and Polynesian). Night brings its deluge of darkness, and dawn lets loose the floods of day. The so-called deluge-legend comprises a hundred legends and a hundred applications of the same type, from one single origin in sign-language as the primitive mode of representing a fact in nature. The deluge is universal because it was not local. The human race spread out over all the earth would not have been greatly troubled about an excessive overflow of water once upon a time in Mesopotamia. The legend is coeval with all time, and current amongst all people, because the deluge did not occur 'once upon a time.' On the grand scale it was the mythical representation of the ending and submergence of an old order of things in the astronomical mythology; but there were various distinct deluges with that meaning, and not merely one. The Egyptian deluge in the so-called 'destruction of mankind' is described as continuing for three nights and days. The time is measured by three days' length in navigation through a deluge of blood. Now, three nights and days is the length of time that was computed for the monthly absence of the moon in the netherworld. Hence there was a deluge of darkness on that scale in mythology. But the deluge occurred in at least four categories of phenomena. There was a deluge of blood and a deluge of darkness, as well as a deluge of water. There is also the deluge that was a type of periodic time; and by no black art of bibliolatry can these four kinds of deluge be combined in one.
A deluge being an ending of a cycle in time, we can understand the [p.546] language of the Codex Chimalpopoca concerning the flood, when it says, 'Now the water was tranquil for forty years plus twelve.' 'All was lost. Even the mountains sank into the water, and the water remained tranquil for fifty two springs.' In this account, the well-known Mexican cycle of fifty two years is measured by means of a deluge at the end of the period. In inner Africa the year was reckoned by the periodic great rain; in Egypt by the inundation; and a deluge, we repeat, became the natural type of an ending in time in the uranographic representation. In India, a solar pralaya, in which the waters rise till they reach the seven Rishis in the region of the pole, is of necessity kronian, and applies solely to the keeping of time and period astronomically. The Assyrian deluge is described as lasting seven days. This agrees with the seven days' silence in the Wisdom of Esdras, by which the consummation of the age, or ending of the period, was to be commemorated 'like as in the former judgments,' deluges, or endings of the cycle or age in time. The flood of Noah is on the scale of the year or thereabouts. The deluge of time, as it was called by the Chaldean magi, is a breach of continuity, a phase of dissolution. It was a period of negation that was filled in with a festival as a mode of memorialising the dies non or no time. It was a condition of the lawlessness of misrule, of promiscuous intercourse, of drunkenness, that characterized the saturnalia by which it was celebrated.
There is a Kamite prototype in 'the destruction of mankind' for the woman who is the reputed cause of a deluge in the Egyptian mythos. This is Sekhet the avenger. She is the very great one of the liquid domain. No one is master of the water of Sekhet, which she lets loose as an element of death and destruction. She was the great mistress of terror in fire and flood. In 'the destruction of mankind' it is said, 'There was Sekhet, during several nights, trampling the blood under her feet as far as Heracleopolis.' Ra, the solar god, 'ordered the goddess to slay the evil race in three days of navigation.' 'And the fields were entirely covered with water through the will of the majesty of the god; and there came the goddess (Hathor) in the morning, and she found the fields covered with water, and she was pleased with it, and she went away satisfied and saw no men' (i.e., none of the exterminated evil race). This is a form of the Egyptian deluge designated a great destruction, but with no earthly application to the human race. In the African legend relating to the origin of Lake Tanganyika, that was told to Stanley by the Wagigi fishermen, it was a woman, to whom the secret of the water-spring had been entrusted, who was the cause of the deluge. Possibly this woman was the earth as mother of the waters, seeing that Scomalt is the earth-mother of the Okanagaus, and that she also was charged with letting in the deluge. Scomalt is a form of the primordial genetrix, equivalent to Apt in Egypt. Long ago, they say, when the sun was no bigger than a star, this strong medicine-woman ruled over what appears to have become a lost continent. Her subjects rose against her in rebellion. Whereupon she broke up the land, and all the people but two met with their death by drowning. A man and a woman escaped in a canoe and arrived on the mainland, and from this pair the Okanagaus are descended.
A starting-point in various deluge-legends is from the world all water. This originated with the firmament as the celestial water that was called the Nnu, or Nun. Now one meaning of the word nun in Egyptian is the flood. Thus the water of heaven is synonymous with the deluge. In one aspect the deluge, as a figure in the sign-language of the astronomical mythology, was a mode of representing the sinking of the pole in the celestial ocean which was figured as the world of water. This is the world all water in the legendary lore. The flood upon which Jehovah sat as king was no other than the firmamental Nun. So the throne of Osiris was based upon the flood, that is upon the Nun. In the vignettes to the Ritual Osiris sits upon the throne in Amenta as the great judge and ruler, and his throne is 'balanced' as it is described, upon the flood. Water being the primary element of life, it was also based on figuratively and Osiris with his throne resting on the water takes the place of the earlier Nnu, or later Noah, resting in his ark as master of the deep. Nnu was god of the celestial water. The wateress in one form was the goddess Nut. This, then, and nothing short of it, is the root of the matter when, as in the Navajo-Indian legend, certain persons, who are so often one female and one male, make their escape from the overwhelming waters by climbing up a reed to the land of life which, as a land of reeds, was the primal paradise, or the fields where the papyrus was in flower above the waters of a universal deluge, as represented in the veriest dawning of mythology.
We have to learn the sign-language before we can understand the nature of mythology. When it is said that Horus inundates the world like the sun each morning, that is with the light as the deluge of day. There is a white water and a black, equivalent to the white bird of light and the black bird of night, as opposite figures of Sut and Horus for the dark and the day. The evil Apap, who drinks the water cubit by cubit at each gulp as the sun goes down, is slain by Horus at daybreak, when he once more sets free the waters of light which are designated the waters of dawn. In like manner, the waters of day rush forth when Indra slays the serpent of darkness, who was thought of as the swallower of the light water of heaven. Osiris is called the 'overflower,' the 'great extender,' the 'shoreless one,' who in this imagery of the deluge 'brings to its fullness the divine force which is hidden within him.' Thus, in continuing the primitive mode of thinging the concept, Osiris is the water-force personified, instead of being represented as a crocodile, which was also one of the primal types of water.
'The deluge' is only single as a type. There are various deluges known to mythology, and various agents who are held responsible for causing them. In one legend or folktale it was the mischievous monkey. In another it was the tortoise, who sank in the waters and drowned the people who had their dwelling-place upon its back. In another it is caused by the killing of a sacred bird, which might be the vulture or cygnus. In a fourth the fountains of the great deep are opened by the taking out of the star, whereupon the deluge follows. A cause of the deluge is attributed to the star-gods, Sut in Egypt and Bel in Babylonia. It was caused by a failure in keeping time, and the failure is followed in a number of legends by the [p.548] new heaven, in which the supreme timekeeper is the moon or the lunar divinity who is Taht in the Kamite representation.
Some most precious remains of the primitive wisdom now extant outside of Egypt are preserved by the oldest races of the world. Much of the matter is found amongst the people of the Polynesian islands, far more to the purpose than anything to be found in the Hindu or the Hebrew sacred books. The Samoans have what may, in a symbolical sense, be termed a deluge legend. Tangaloa, the originator of the heavens, was the builder. Of old the heavens were always falling down when they consisted of water without any bulwark or embankment. To put a limit, to build or make any firm enclosure, was to circumscribe the waters and secure a place of refuge from the dreaded deluge. In the time of Ptah, their great architect, the Egyptians were advanced enough in craftsmanship for the enclosure formed by him to keep out the waters of the deluge in Amenta to be made of either iron or steel, called the ba-metal. An ark was a primitive enclosure formed in the celestial water. This, as Egyptian, is the ark of Nnu, and Nnu is heaven, as water, also a name for the deity of the celestial water. In the Samoan legend, an ark is built before there was any water or water-flood, or before the firmament had been figured as water. 'Tangaloa of the heavens and his son Lu = Shu built a canoe or vessel up in the heavens.' When the vessel was finished there was no water to float it. Gaogao, the ancient mother, told her son Lu to have the vessel ready and she would make the water. She then gave birth to a lake, or the water of life, and also to the salt water, as it is said 'there was no sea at that time.' The lake we identify with 'the lake of the thigh,' or the meskhen of the water-cow. Sea and lake imply both salt and fresh water, the two waters of earth and heaven that were repeated in the two lakes of Amenta. The Samoan deluge lasted until the seventh day, like the Babylonian. As it is said of Lu, 'He was not many days afloat, some say six, when (on the seventh) his vessel rested on the top of a mountain called Malata.' In a papyrus at Turin the god who claims to be self-existent says, 'I make the waters and the Mehura comes into being.' That is heaven as the celestial water. In a hymn to Ptah it is said, 'The waters of the inundation cover the lofty trees of every region.' These, however, are the waters of Nnu or the Nun, and not the overwhelming flood of water on the earth. When the mehura first came into existence it was a heaven imaged as the water that was undivided by the astronomers, the islands or other land-limits that were figured in the aerial vast; and heaven as the celestial water was the Nnu or Nun. A 'true explanation of the worldwide deluge myths' no longer need be sought for in the Book of Genesis or in the tradition of a great flood that swept the plains of Mesopotamia; nor in any vast cataclysm that might have been caused by the melting of the ice at the close of the glacial period. We find by the Egyptian wisdom that 'the deluge,' as it is commonly termed, belongs neither to geography, nor geology, nor history. Geology, the latest of the sciences, was comparatively unknown to the early world. Geology did not furnish the kind of fact with which the ancient science was concerned. Whatsoever [p.549] the Egyptian 'mystery-teachers of the depths' may have known of mines and metals, mythology was not geological in the least degree. Neither did the Kamite chronology include the computation of geological time.
It was confidently asserted by Bunsen that the deluge legend was unknown to the Egyptians. But they had all the deluges that ever were, as the Hir-Seshta informed Solon, including the 'great deluge of all,' whereas the Greeks could only muster two. But in no case were these geological catastrophes. M. Lenormant asserted that the story of the deluge was unknown to the black race, and that 'while the tradition holds so considerable a place in the legendary memories of all branches of the Aryan people, the monuments and original texts of Egypt, with their many cosmogonic speculations, have not afforded one even distant allusion to this cataclysm.' The statement sounds authoritative, but it is not true. Professor Sayce, following Lenormant, asserts that 'no tradition of a deluge had been preserved by the Egyptians.' This comes of raking for human history, and for nothing else, in the Semitic debris of the Kamite astronomical mythology. Both are wrong, and both were equally misled through looking for the deluge with the Semitic versions for their determinatives. Bibliology has gone perilously near to ruining Assyriology and Egyptology for the first generations of students in this country. It is fortunate for genuine scholarship that there are livers out of Bible-burdened Britain.
To identify the deluge-legend in Egypt you must know how to look for it; no use in peering through the Semitic spectacles. The legend of Atlantis retold by Plato in Timaeus was Egyptian, and no doubt with the legend came the name of lost Atlantis, transliterated through the Greek. As Egyptian, the word atr = atl has several meanings in relation to water. Atru is the water, the waterflood, the water-boundary, limit, measure, frontier, embankment. Egyptian in the early stages had no sign of l. But by substitution of the later letter l for r the word atr becomes atl, the root of such names as Atlantis and Atlantic. With this change of letter the Atarantes of Africa become the Atalantes. The word antu or anti signifies a division of land. Thus Atlanti, whence Atlantis, as a compound of two Egyptian words, denotes the land divided by the waters, or canals of water. Now the earliest nuit or nomes of Egypt were seven in number, and these were seven territories marked out, limited, and bounded by the atlu (atru) as river, canal, conduit, or water-boundaries. In the valley of the Nile, the land was bounded first by water as the natural boundary, and seven nomes would be enclosed by seven atlu, long before the land limit was marked out by the boundary-stones or stele. And atl-antu, we suggest, is the original for the names of Atlantis and the Atlantic Ocean. It is noticeable that in the Nahuatl vocabulary atl is also the water name, and that atlan denotes the border or boundary of the water. Atlan thus becomes a name for the mound, island, or tesh that was placed as a limit to the water in Egypt. This would be the land of Atlan, as we find it both in Africa and America. There were seven such water limits to the land in Egypt when it was [p.550] divided into seven nomes. And seven astronomes named after these become the seven islands of the lost Atlantis, which sank in the celestial waters, the heptanomis of the seven lands below having been repeated in the mapping out of heaven in seven astronomes. The heptanomis above, like the one below, was formed of seven lands that were divided by the seven waters, canals, or atlu (atru), and both together constituted the Atlantis of uranography, the only one that could ever be lost by the celestial waters overflowing the celestial lands. The seven rulers of the astronomes attained the status of divine princes in the celestial heptanomis. And among the nomes of Lower Egypt we find the name of the Prince of Annu; the nome of the prince of Lower Egypt; the nome of Supti (Sut); the nome of Samhutit (Horus); the nome of Sebek; the nome of Shu; the name of Hapi. Here then, if anywhere on earth, we find a geographical prototype for the Atlantis that was lost in seven islands, according to the records kept by the astronomers, which are preserved in the mythography. Among the many types of the heptanomis and its septenary of powers and stations of the pole may be enumerated: A mount with seven caves; seven islands in the sea; the seven-headed serpent whelmed beneath the waters; a tree with seven branches; a fish with seven fins; a pole with seven horns; a cross with seven arms; the seven supporting giants; the ark of seven cubits; the boat with seven Cabiri on board; the group of seven cities.
It is not necessary to suppose that the Egyptians were the helpless victims of their own symbolism, who lived in mortal dread of the celestial waters falling down and overwhelming them in a deluge once for all. But there can be no doubt that the water-flood on earth against which the early race was powerless produced a profound and permanent impression, so that the deluge idea became associated with the firmamental water. This can be proved by the mythical deluge dramatically represented in the Ritual. 'I am the father of the inundation,' says Anup at the northern pole, whence the waters issued in the deluge of the Milky Way, or White Nile of the Nun. The Egyptian Ritual affords a study of the deluge mythos in the phase of eschatology. The passage for the soul in death has long and universally been likened to a river or some dark water flowing between the two worlds of earth and heaven. This in Egypt was the Nun. The way of the gods in their ascent and descent to earth was by water. The way of souls in their ascent to heaven is equally by water, whether in the ark of the moon, the bark of Orion, or the boat of the sun. The manes on entering the other life thus addresses the sailors of the solar bark, 'O ye seamen of Ra, at the gloaming of day let me live after death, day by day, as doth Ra.' That is by means of the boat which keeps the sun or the soul of the deceased afloat upon the drowning element. In the chapter for travelling on the road which is above the earth, the speaker says, 'It is I who voyage on the stream which divideth the divine pair.' These are the two sisters Isis and Nephthys, whose stations in the Osirian solar mythos were at the western and eastern sides of the river which ran north and south in heaven as in Egypt. Some prophetic tableaux show the deceased in his funeral bark, speeding [p.551] before the wind with all sail set, having started on his way to the next world the very day that he took possession of his new abode in death. Amongst the words that are said on the day of burial to bring about 'the resurrection and the glory,' the deceased asks that he may see the ship of the holy Sahus traversing the sky; that is, the ark of souls represented in the constellation of Orion. He also pleads, 'Let the divine vessel Neshemet advance to meet me.' The Osiris tells us that the name of his bark is 'Collector of Souls.' 'The picture of it is the representation of his glorious journey upon the canal.' Safe in the ark, he crosses the waters in which the helpless souls are wrecked.
In the chapter by which the ship is sailed in the netherworld, the speaker not only sails across the water of Nnu, for he says, 'I come from the lake of fire and flame, from the field of flame,' and he stands erect and safe 'in the bark which the god is piloting, at the head of Aarru,' that is, on the summit of the mount, or final resting-place of the ark, which the deceased had safely reached through fire and flood. On entering the solar bark the Osiris says, 'I have come myself and delivered the deity from the pain and suffering that were in the trunk, in shoulder, and in leg. I have come and healed the trunk and fastened the shoulder and made firm the leg. And I embark for the voyage of Ra.' The leg of Osiris, like the leg of Nut or the leg of Ptah, imaged the supporting power of the pole. The manes pleads, 'Let not the Osiris Nu be shipwrecked on the great voyage.' 'Let not disasters reach him.' 'May the steering be kept clear from misadventure.' 'Let me come to see my father Osiris.' 'O, thou ship of the garden of Aarru, let me be conveyed to that bread of thy canal as my father, the great one, who advanceth in the divine ship.' 'Lo, I sail the great bark on the stream of the god Hetep. I took it at the mansion of Shu'—the starry heaven. 'I sail upon its stream and range within the garden of Hetep.' When about to enter the bark of Ra, the speaker says, 'O great one, let me be lifted into thy bark. Let me make head for thy staircase. Let me have charge of those who convey thee, who are attached to thee, and who are of the stars which never set.' These are the seven that pull at the rope, or as we should say, that keep the law of gravitation and equipoise; the seven arms of the balance, or the seven bonds of the universe; the seven towers that became the later seven rowers, sailors, or Cabiri. These are sometimes called the seven spirits of Annu, that is at the pole, the mount of glory in the stellar mythos. Four of the seven can be identified as Amsta, Hapi, Tuamutef, and Kabhsenuf. 'Said at the bark: Staff of Anup, may I propitiate those four glorified ones who follow after the master of all things?' These are four of the seven that pulled the bark up to the landing-stage upon the summit with the primitive rope, who are afterwards stationed as the four oars at the four cardinal points, in a later heaven, and also as the children of Horus, who had previously been his brothers. There is a great bursting forth of the floods in Amenta, described in the Ritual as a vast and overwhelming inundation. This [p.552] passage of the waters shows the deluge-legend in the Kamite eschatology. The Osiris calls upon the lord of the flood, 'the great one who is shoreless,' to save him. 'Do thou save me!' 'I who know the deep waters' is my name. But 'I am not one who drowneth. Blessed are they who see the bourne. Beautiful is the god of the motionless heart who causeth the stay of the overflowing—or the flood. Behold! there cometh forth the lord of life, Osiris thy support, who abideth day by day.' 'The tunnels of the earth have given me birth.' This overflow of the great waters called the flood also occurs in Sheol amongst the other trials and tribulations of the sufferer represented in the Hebrew Book of Psalms. 'The channels of waters appeared, and the foundations of the world were laid bare'. 'He drew me out of great waters.' As one means of salvation from the overwhelming waters the manes clings to the sycamore-tree which standeth in the lake of Akeb. He exclaims, 'I embrace the sycamore, I am united to the sycamore-tree.' That is, to Osiris in the tree, the tat or pole, the type of fixity to be clasped for safety amid the waters rising round the soul in death and in the darkness of the nether earth. Sufficient mythical matter for a legend of the deluge and the ark may be found in the 64th chapter of the Ritual. It is recorded in the rubrical directions appended to the chapter that it 'was discovered on a plinth of the god of the Hennu-bark by a master-builder of the wall in the time of King Septi the victorious.' Septi, or Seti, was a king in the first dynasty who lived and ruled in Egypt from 6,000 to 7,000 years ago. At that time the chapter was rediscovered as an ancient writing. We learn from this that the bursting forth of the waters in an overwhelming flood was based upon the natural fact of the inundation in Egypt. The imagery had been reproduced in heaven, and also in Amenta, the lower Egypt of the netherworld. A great catastrophe caused by the waters that have broken out of bounds is more than once referred to in the Ritual. The Osiris says to the powers, 'Grant ye that I may have the command of the water, even as the mighty Sut had the command of his enemies on the day of disaster to the earth. May I prevail over the long-armed ones in their (four) corners, even as that glorious and ready god prevailed over them.' The bursting forth of the waters is described as a great disaster. In this chapter there is an application of the deluge imagery to the sun in the mythos and the departed soul in the eschatology. With the Egyptians, the supreme type of helpfulness and charity, or of love to the neighbour, was an ark or boat that offered safety to the shipwrecked amidst the waters. Hence, when pleading in the Hall of Judgment the speaker claims to have 'done the right thing in Tamerit' (Egypt), he clinches it by saying, 'I have given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, and a boat to the shipwrecked.'
The subject-matter is very ancient. It belongs to that early time when Sut was a pre-Osirian form of the Good Being, in relation to the pole, the dog-star, and the inundation of the Nile. Here the deluge of the inundation is a deluge of destruction directed against the workers of evil. In short, it does what the [p.553] inundation did for Egypt in washing away the results of drought, in cleansing from corruption and restoring a healthy new life to the land. Hence the deceased desires to have the same command over the waters in Amenta that Sut had when they burst forth in a drowning flood. Thus, 6,000 years ago the so-called 'deluge legend' was ancient in Egypt, and it belonged to the time when Sut, in command of the waters, had not lost his place in glory; and his deluge was employed to destroy the sebau, the sami, the Apap-dragon, the long-armed ones, and other evil enemies of God and man who were not human beings. In the same chapter Osiris has superseded Sut as lord of the flood. Further, the two divine sisters Isis and Nephthys were imaged as two birds. The ark of Nnu described in the Ritual is conducted over the Nun by two birds which represent the two sister-goddesses Isis and Nephthys. It is said to these in relation to the inundation, 'Ye two divine hawks upon your gables, who are giving attentive heed to the matter, ye who conduct the ship of Ra, advancing onwards from the highest place of the ark in heaven.' It is also said to Osiris, 'Thy two sisters Isis and Nephthys come to thee, and they convey to thee the great extent (of the waters) in thy name of the great extender as lord of the flood.' These allusions show that there was an ark to which the two birds were attached as conductors. They are represented as hawks, but as the birds of east and west, or the earlier south and north, are equivalent to the dove of day and the raven of night in Semitic tradition. Isis was the lady or bird of dawn, and Nephthys the lady of darkness. In this, the solar phase, the passage of the ark was from west to east, where it was conducted by the two birds or goddesses of the west and east. Heaven was flooded with a deluge of light at daybreak, and the nether earth was inundated with a deluge of darkness. The ark conducted through the waters by the two birds of light and darkness, or east and west, is described in a twofold character as the shrine of Osiris in the centre of the earth, and also as the ark of Ra that reaches the highest point in heaven. It is the ark of the 'lord of resurrections, he who cometh forth from the dusk and whose birth is from the house of death,' or, from Amenta, as the re-arising solar god. The ark that rested on Mount Nizir in the Babylonian legend, or Mount Ararat in the Hebrew version, and on Mount Manu in the Hindu account, is described in the Ritual as the 'ship of Ra' which attains 'the highest place of the ark in heaven,' with the mount of glory for anchorage and the pole for mooring-post. Deceased in the character of Nnu repulses the water of the deluge. 'He is the image of Nnu, lord of the inundation and father of the gods.' He manoeuvres the ark or bark with which he voyages in heaven. 'He turns back the deluge' that 'devastates the leg of Nut,' and 'brings back strength to the fainting gods' by such means of dealing with the waters. In this chapter of the Ritual the devastating deluge is also alluded to as a mode of judgment. It is directed against the rebels. Those who are in the ark or the solar bark are saved from the great cataclysm which 'devastates the leg of Nut' or sweeps away the support of the celestial waters, whilst the rebels are overthrown and reduced to non-existence. The rebels against Ra are identical with the 'men' or the 'race' that spoke and plotted [p.554] evil against him in another version of the deluge myth. After the deluge of devastation there is a renewal, rejuvenescence, and rebirth. Seb and Nut (earth and heaven) are pleased at heart; they grow young again. The leg of Nut, which the deluge devastated, was a very early type of the celestial pole, as the bulwark, prop, or mainstay against the waters of the firmament. In one phase the ark of Nnu is the ark of the Nun as the celestial water. In the other it is the ark of Nnu as god of the celestial water. It is depicted in chapter 44 crossing the water of Putrata, the lake of darkness, and cutting its way through the coils of the Apap-dragon. The speaker is one of the manes in Amenta about to embark on board the boat of souls. He says, 'O thou who sailest the ship of Nnu across that gulf which is void, let me sail the ship; let me fasten the tackle in peace, in peace. Let me fasten my tackle and come forth.' 'The place is empty into which the starry ones fall down headlong upon their faces and find nothing by which they can raise themselves up.' The ship of Nnu is facing the west, where it has to cross the lake of darkness, or the great gulf of the waters, by night, the lurking-place of the devouring dragon, into which the setting stars go down, also the human souls that have not attained salvation on board the ark. We learn previously that the deluge is imminent. In other words, the waters of the Nun are traversed by the ark at night with the rescued souls on board. The shrine at the centre of the earth is one with the shrine in the ark of earth, and the ark of earth in one character is the ship of Nnu in the other; it is the ark of Osiris or Ptah in Amenta, and the ark of Ra in heaven, when 'it comes forth in the east.' But whether in the depth or height, the bark of inert Osiris or the living Ra would still be the bark of Nnu, the ark that swam the deluge of the celestial water. It is said that the bark of Ra is in danger of the whirlwind and storm, which affords a glimpse of the tempest commonly associated with the deluge in the legends and traditions of the great disaster. But the Osiris-Nu, or Nnu as god of the inundation, turns back the water-flood, the deluge that has nearly overwhelmed the 'leg of Nut' (or the pole) which supports the firmament; and he keeps the companions safe who are on board the bark until the resting-place is finally attained upon the summit of the mount. The land that is reached at last by the mariners in the ark of Nnu is called the 'tip of heaven,' at the place of 'coming forth from the swathings in the garden of Aarru,' and the 'coming forth in exultation.' These are the names of that celestial country for which the bark or ark of Nnu was sailed. It is also called the ship of the garden of Aarru. The speaker in chapter 98 says, 'I stand erect in the bark which the god is piloting ... at the head of Aarru.' This is the Aarru of spirits perfected in the eschatology, the summit of which is in the region of the never-setting stars at the highest point of heaven. In the various deluge legends the ark was stranded on the top of the mount, as it was on Ararat and Nizir, Manu and Malata. Here the ark of Nnu becomes the bark of the blessed, whose landing-place in heaven is called Mount Hetep, at the summit of the pole. The pole is the mooring-post to which the cable of the vessel was made fast. The voyage cometh to an end, and praise is uttered to the gods who are in the garden of everlasting peace and [p.555] plenty. When the passengers approach the landing-stage, Heaven opens its embracing arms; the lamps of heaven are lighted, the khabsu gods rise up to offer acclamations. The 'old ones' and those who have gone before are said to welcome the voyagers at their arrival on the mount of assembly and reunion. These are the two classes of spirits, superhuman and human, elemental and ancestral, otherwise called 'the gods and the glorified.' There was no need for an altar to be raised at this landing-stage upon the summit at the moment of debarkation to complete the parallel with the landing on Mount Ararat or Nizir in the Semitic versions.
The Ritual preserves the astral mythos in the form of drama. The voyagers who land upon Mount Hetep are souls of the departed, and not human beings. The rendering in the Ritual is not historical, not merely mythical, not simply astronomical. Sacrificial ceremonies are performed upon the altar and offerings made at the moment of debarkation. These are in two categories. In one Noah, Nnu, or the Osiris-Nu presents the oblation in propitiation to the gods upon the mount. In the second, those who have gone before as the ancestral spirits make offerings of the sacred cakes and other forms of food to the newcomers whom they welcome as their fellow-citizens to the eternal city on their landing from the ark of Nnu. Thus far we trace the deluge-legend and the ark of Nnu in the phase of eschatology by means of the Ritual.
We now turn to representations of the subject in the astronomical mythology which in earlier ages preceded those of the eschatology.
In several chapters of the Ritual a breaking forth of the celestial waters in a typical deluge is alluded to or described. In chapter 136A it is said of the god who has the mastery over the inundation, 'He turneth back the water flood which is over the thigh of the goddess Nut at the staircase of Seb.' The overwhelming water has here ascended to the summit of the mount or staircase, which, like the leg of Nut, was a figure of the pole. Thus the deluge is portrayed as submerging the pole when this was figured as the leg of Nut, and the water flood was then turned back by Nnu, the lord of the celestial water, whose ark of salvation from the deluge is the ship of heaven by name. Howsoever constellated, the bark of Nnu was the ark of heaven on the celestial water. Now when the change was made from a heaven of seven divisions to one of eight, as described in the very ancient papyrus containing the hymn to the god Shu, it is portrayed as superseding the ark of seven cubits with an ark of eight cubits, or the heptanomis by the octonary. This also indicates a change of pole, the pole that was imaged by the staff of Shu the giant. The Hymn to Shu includes the legend of a deluge. It is called 'a chapter of the excellent songs which dispel the immerged,' that is, those who were drowned in the deluge as the evil creatures of darkness. It is said, 'Those who are immerged do not pass along. Those who pass along do not plunge. They remain floating on the waves like the dead bodies on the inundation of the Nile, and they shut their mouths as the seven great dungeons are closed with an eternal seal.' Now, there is reason to suppose that these seven great dungeons, sealed with an eternal seal, were a form of the superseded heaven in seven divisions answering to [p.556] the seven eaves in the Mexican mount, and to the book of seven seals in Revelation. In the same papyrus there is 'a book of magical spells for remaining as dwellers in the country' where the great catastrophe occurs; it is said that 'Horus has given the warning cry,' 'subsidence of the country!' This, as we interpret the text, is at the cataclysmal ending in time and space that was mythically dramatized as a deluge or inundation which overwhelmed the land above and effaced certain landmarks in the celestial waters. The cubit may stand for a general measure. Four measures or cubits typified an ark of the four quarters in space. Seven cubits were a fourth of twenty eight measures in the circle of twenty eight lunar signs. Thus seven cubits or measures in an ark, shrine, or tabernacle formed a figure of heaven in seven divisions. And when the heptanomis was followed by the heaven of Taht, the ark of eight cubits superseded the shrine of seven cubits, and the ape became the type of Taht in the octonary instead of in the heptanomis. The ark of seven cubits was continued as a sacred type in the religious ceremonies. For instance, it is commanded by the rubric to chapter 133, Papyrus of Nu, that this chapter shall be recited over a boat four cubits in length on which the divine sovereign chiefs of the cities have been painted and a heaven with its stars portrayed. But in the Papyrus of Ani the boat is ordered to be made seven cubits in length. This, then, is a figure of the ark of seven cubits which preceded the ark of eight cubits and the heaven of four quarters that was imaged by the boat of four cubits. The heptanomis had been figured as an ark of seven measures in the waters of heaven, and this was followed by the ark of eight measures as the shrine of the kaf-ape, a zootype of Taht the lunar god, after there had been 'a subsidence of the country' and the 'secret abysses of the Nun' and the foundations of the deep had been laid open at the time of the deluge.
There had been no moon established in the stellar mythos. Otherwise stated, time was not yet computed by the lunar reckoning, or by Taht, the reckoner of time. In this sense the moon was not created until after the deluge. Thus, in some of the legends the moon becomes a resting-place or ark of safety riding on the waters. At Hawaii the typical deluge was called 'the flood of the moon.' Meru is likewise shown to be a form of the mythical mount that reached up to the moon. Also it is related in one of the Hebrew legends that paradise was exempt from the deluge or was preserved from the great disaster because it was planted on the summit of a mountain reaching to the moon.
In the Egyptian inscription called the Destruction of Mankind there is a rebellion against Ra, the sun-god, followed by a great destruction and a deluge. Atum-Ra had been established as the king of gods and men, the god by himself. There is a revolt against his supremacy. He calls the elder gods around him for consultation, and says to them, 'You ancient gods, behold the beings who are born of myself; they utter words against me. Tell me what you would do in these circumstances. Behold, I have waited, and I have not destroyed them until I should hear what you have to say.' The elder gods advise that they may go and smite the enemies who plot evil against Ra, and let none remain alive. The rebels are then destroyed 'in [p.557] three days of navigation.' When the deluge of blood is over it is said by the majesty of Ra, 'I shall now protect men on this account.' 'I raise my hand (in token) that I shall not again destroy men.' The rebel powers, headed by the coiling and constricting Apap-reptile vomiting the deluge of the dark by night, were always in revolt against the lord of light, and this legend commemorates their overthrowal in a deluge of blood. The chief agent in the work of vengeance is Hathor, the lunar goddess, who is aided by the solar goddess, Sekhet, in executing the commands of Ra. The goddess started; she smote the enemies over all the land because they had plotted evil against the majesty of Ra. These enemies are drowned in the deluge then poured out; 'the fields were entirely covered with water through the will of his majesty the god. And there came the goddess (Hathor) in the morning, and she found the fields covered with water; and she was pleased with it, and drank to her heart's content.' She saw no more of the enemies, who were sunk in the waters that represented the flood of light which was now poured forth by Ra at dawn, and in which the creatures of the dark were drowned. It is said by his majesty, living and well, to his followers, 'I call before my face Shu, Tefnut, Seb, Nut, and the fathers and mothers who were with me when I was yet in the Nun, and I prescribe to Nnu, who brings his companions with him;' these are the instructions given by the god to Nnu: 'Bring a small number of them (his companions), that the beings may not see them'—these beings are the creatures about to be destroyed in the coming flood—'and that their heart may not be afraid, thou shalt go with them into the ark or sanctuary until I shall go with Nnu to the place where I stand,' or to the summit of the mount on which the legendary ark at last was safely landed. The ark or sanctuary here indicated is the figure of a newly founded heaven which follows the deluge by which a previous world war wrecked. The inscription is very dilapidated, nevertheless it obviously contains a creation of 'the men,' as in the Assyrian revolt in heaven in the place of the creatures thus destroyed. When 'his majesty arrived in the sanctuary,' 'the men' were going forth and bearing their bows and shooting their arrows against his enemies. These were not the enemies but the defenders of Ra. Hence it was said to Ra by 'the men,' 'Let us smite the enemies, the rebels.'
The celestial water was primarily assigned to the female Nu or Nut. Her heaven was imaged as the cow. At first it was the water-cow, and afterwards the milch-cow. And there was Nut (with) the 'majesty of Ra on her back;' she was carrying the god in her form of the cow. This mode of locomotion on the cow's back or between the cow's horns (see the pictures) is now to be superseded by the building of the solar bark. 'Said by the majesty of the god, I have resolved to be lifted up.' 'Who is it that Nut will trust with it?' i.e., with the new ark or sanctuary of the god. 'Carry me, that I may see.' Said by the majesty of the god, 'Let a field of rest extend itself,' and there arose a field of rest. 'Let the plants grow there,' and there arose the Sekhet-Hetep, or fields of the papyrus-reed. The beings who were destroyed were sebau and sami, representatives of the plagues of Egypt. The men who are created in their place are of the starry race. 'The majesty of the god saw the inner part of the [p.558] sanctuary in which he had been lifted up' (or the ark in which he made his voyage over the celestial waters), and he said, 'I assemble and give possession of these multitudes of men, I establish as inhabitants all the beings which are suspended in the sky, the stars,' and Nut began to tremble very strongly. 'I assemble there the multitudes that they may celebrate thee,' and there arose the multitudes. These are stars in one category, and in the other souls that were collected in the ark of salvation or the ark of Nnu—that is, the ark of heaven and of the god of the celestial water. 'Said by the majesty of Ra, My son Shu, take with thee my daughter Nut, and be the guardian of the multitudes which live in the nocturnal sky. Bear them on thy head, and be their fosterer.' This is an allusion to his raising overhead the beautiful creation of the starry firmament which Shu sustains, whether in the form of the cow of Nut, the water of the Nun, or the ark of Nnu. After the destruction there is to be a new creation, and Ra is in need of support from Nnu and his companions. 'Said by the majesty of the god (or his majesty) to the majesty of Nnu, My limbs have suffered long; I cannot walk without support, or have others to support me.' This will show that Nnu occupies the place of Noah in relation to the building of the ark or sanctuary, and in accordance with the instructions received from Ra. Ra informs Nnu that he needs some other means of supporting himself than the back of the cow. He calls upon Nnu and his three sons to assist him against his enemies the rebels. Thus the cow of Nut was to be superseded by the ark of Nnu when he became the representative of the heavenly water and master of the inundation. Nut says dutifully that she will act as it seems good to her father Nnu. There had been various kinds and forms of the celestial or astronomical ark that was at first necessitated as the means of carriage for the gods, because the heavens had been imaged as the firmamental water. The great mother Apt, who was the image of all firstness both by name and nature in the likeness of the pregnant hippopotamus, was a kind of ark, and possibly the earliest that ever crossed the waters of the Nun. She carried her young ones in the cabin that was uterine. Child-Horus on his papyrus-reed was in the ark that saved him from from the waters, as the sign was constellated in the planisphere of Denderahi. The Pleiades formed an ark as constellation for the khuti; the Lesser Bear for Anup and the seven voyagers round about the pole. Orion was the ark of the holy sahus, with Horus at the lookout. The ark of Taht was in the crescent moon that sailed the azure deep by night. Then Ra, the solar deity, resolved on being lifted up as god alone, the only one, who superseded all the elder powers. A new heaven was to be his tabernacle. This was the ark of Nnu. The change from one heaven to the other implied a great destruction of the rebels. A deluge was the modus operandi, and the ark the means of safety for the few just men and true, together with their consorts, who were saved from the catastrophe. As a symbol in sign-language the ark was built by Nnu, the master of the firmamental water, for the means of safety in the world all water against the coming flood and the subsidence of land, which was the land of Nnu.
In space it was the ark of the four quarters that was propelled by the four paddles of Hapi, Tuamutef Kabhsenuf, and Amsta. Hence Seb (or the earth) 'abideth stably' by means of the four rudders or oars. Hence also the foursquare box that imaged the ark of Noè on the well-known Apamean coin. In Akar, or Amenta, it was the ark of Osiris; in earth the ark of Seb; in heaven the ark of Ra. Its mainmast was the pole. The nightlight on the masthead was the polestar. In the myth it was the ark of Ra, 'the bark of millions of years;' in the eschatology it is the ark of salvation, the refuge for eternity.
The sinking ones had looked for their de1iverance from the waters to the bark of Anup, voyaging round the pole; also to the crescent-shaped ark of Taht seen in the new moon; then to the ark of Horus and the 'holy sahus' constellated in Orion; and finally they sought salvation in the ark which Nnu and his three sons, Shu, Taht, and Seb, were now to build for Ra, the solar god.
The Egyptian ark or ship of Nnu is the ark of heaven, or, conversely stated, the ark of heaven is the ship of Nnu; and the ark of heaven was the revolving sphere configurated as a sailing vessel with two masts as we have found it figured by the mystery-teachers in their uranographic imagery of the celestial deluge. The ark is portrayed in the act of sailing over a vast, unfathomable, hollow void of formless space; as it is said, 'the place is empty.' Into this the helpless ones fall headlong unless they are saved on board the ark. In a vignette to the Papyrus of Anhai, it is Nnu that is seen uplifting the boat of the gods with seven persons on board, besides the beetle and the solar disk. The figure of Nnu in this drawing is both male and female, Nnu and Nut in one figure. Among the Assyrian fragments here is reference to a legend which has not come down to us. In this it is said that Ishtar counselled the destruction of mankind, whereas in the extant account of the deluge the goddess bewails heir destruction and grieves bitterly over the loss of her children. In the Egyptian mythos counsels the destruction of the beings, and Ishtar is an Akkado-Assyrian form of the goddess Hathor, who executes the judgment passed upon them by the gods, with no wailing or weeping afterwards. This points back to the Egyptian original of another Akkado-Assyrian version.
According to the Hebrew reading of the legend, the deluge was provoked by the sins of men. 'The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,' and he determined to blot out and obliterate the race; 'but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.' The Chaldean and Hindu legends know nothing of human sin as a cause of the deluge. The sin against the gods, however, is described as the cause of a deluge in the so-called 'destruction of men.' Ra says to Nun and others of the elder pre-solar gods, 'Behold the beings who are born of myself; they utter words against me.' That is, they are in rebellion against the one true god. But these beings in this case were elemental, not mortal, and the sin was not human. When the deluge or destruction is over and past, Ra swears that he will not again destroy men. 'Said by Ra: I now raise my hand that I shall no more destroy men.' 'I [p.560] shall now protect men on account of this.' So the Hebrew deity promises that he 'will not again curse the ground any more for the sake of men: neither will I again smite any more any living thing,' as in the 'deluge of destruction.'
This is the same thing, only written out large and told as if it were a human history, whereas the original is mythological. It relates to the superseding of the earlier gods; Nnu, Seb, Shu, and Taht, by Ra as the supreme being, or rather these old gods and elemental powers are to become the servants of his majesty Ra in the new heaven now established for the keeping of perfect time, with Ra as the head over all.
Ra had resolved to be lifted up in an ark or sanctuary. Nnu and his small number of companions who enter the ark or sanctuary are eight in number, four male, Nnu, Seb, Shu, and Taht, and four female, Sekhet, Nut, Hathor, and Tefnut, who can be paired thus (1) Nnu with Sekhet, (2) Shu with Tefnut, (3) Seb with Nut (4) Taht with Hathor. Nnu was the deity of the heavenly water, and Sekhet is in possession of the water on the night of the great disaster or the deluge; Sekhet is also called the 'very great one of the liquid domain.' These are certainly a pre-Semitic form of the eight in the ark, and as Nnu was the firstborn of these gods, he may be called the father of the other three in the ark as represented in the biblical version. The whole world, however, that was divided between the three sons of Nnu, Shu, Seb, and Taht, was not on our earth; was not in Africa, Asia, or Europe. Shu was to be the guardian of the multitudes in the nocturnal sky, Seb of the serpents in the cycles of time, and to Taht were assigned the nations of the north. Taht had a double portion. Ra says, 'I shall give thee to raise thy hand in the presence of the gods. I shall give thee to embrace the two parts of the sky. I shall give thee to turn thyself towards the northern nations.' This looks as if Taht were the prototype of Japheth. Shu, whose name signifies shade, and who was to be the guardian of those who are in the sky of night, agrees with Ham, the dark of colour or black. It was Shu who might have seen his father Nnu by night with his person exposed, as it was his work to lift up the nocturnal heaven or Nnu. This leaves Shem as the representative of Seb. Seb is the father of Horus on earth, and, as it was supposed, the Hebrew messiah was to descend from Shem. Thus it is possible to identify the new point of departure for the threefold human race derived from Shem, Ham, and Japheth, considered to be the fathers of three different and diverse races of mankind. Ra describes the group of elder gods who preceded him as the fathers and the mothers. 'Said by his majesty, I call before my face Shu, Tefnut, Seb, Nut, and the fathers and mothers who were with me when I was still in Nun,' or previously to his issuing from the lotus in the bosom of the heavenly water. Here we have the 'fathers and mothers' of the new race or races in the new world that followed the flood ready to the hand of the 'sacred historian.' These fathers and mothers are eight in number all told, who are mentioned by name: Nnu and Sekhet Seb and Nut, Shu and Tefnut, Taht and Hathor. These are eight persons in four pairs of consorts, exactly the same as the eight consorts in the ark of Noah.
The moon-god Taht becomes the enlarger of the domains of Ra, as his lunar representative by night. Ra calls Taht before him: 'Said by the majesty of the god (or his majesty) to Taht, Come, let us leave the sky and my abode, because I wish to make a luminary in the inferior sky and in the deep region where thou inscribest the inhabitants, and thou art the guardian of those who do evil the followers whom my heart abhors. But thou art my abode, the god of my abode: behold, thou wilt be called Tehuti, the house of Ra. I shall give thee to send (lacuna) and there arose the ibis of Taht. I shall give thee to raise thy hand in presence of the gods, and there arose two wings of the ibis of Taht. I shall give thee to embrace the two parts of the sky with thy beauty and thy rays, and there arose the lunar crescent of Taht. I shall give thee to turn thyself towards the northern nations, and there arose the cynocephalus of Taht which is in his escort. Thou art under my dominion.' This was written in the Book of Atum-Ra, who was also the god Huhi = Ihuh. Thus, in this new creation of Ra which was established after the old heaven had been overwhelmed by the deluge, the moon-god Taht was made the enlarger of the domains of Ra. As we read in the texts, 'Ra created him a beautiful light to show the name of his evil enemy,' the Apap-dragon of darkness. This enlargement turns on the moon-god becoming the ruler for Ra by night and establishing his sovereignty over the black race in the domain of Sut and in the inferior hemisphere. The 'enlarging' in the Hebrew version is at the expense of Ham (= Kam, the black): 'A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,' but 'God enlarge Japheth.' Ham is treated in the märchen as the 'evil enemy' Apap, or the black Sut in the mythos, thus making the legend ethnical by this perversion of the meaning. Enlargement of the world denotes the formation of a heaven on a larger scale. Thus Taht, like Japheth, was the enlarger or the enlarged. Also one mode of the enlarging was by Taht becoming a luminary in the inferior sky and in the region of Amenta. And here we come upon the probable origin of the cursing of Canaan in the Semitic travesty. Ham = Kam represents the power and the people of darkness. Taht is to enlarge the borders of light at the expense of the domain of darkness. It is said to Taht by Ra, 'In the deep region where thou inscribest the inhabitants, thou art the keeper of those who do evil, the followers whom my heart abhors.' These were the darkies and the 'blackheads' in the dark land of Amenta, who are to be subject to the rule of Taht by night, which has been converted in the Semitic perversion of the mythos into the servitude of Canaan and the children of Ham.
When it had been discovered that the moon derived its light and glory from the unseen sun there was a change of status for them both. The moon was previously a mother to the child of light whom she was unable to affiliate. And now, as it was mythically rendered, she learned that she was a wife (hemt) as well as a mother, and that her infant was begotten by the solar god. The transaction is portrayed as one of the mysteries of Amenta in the Ritual. The lady who gives light in darkness by night and [p.562] overthrows the devouring monsters describes herself as a kind of ravisher to Hu the solar god. She retires with him to the vale of Abydos when she goes to rest. She seized upon the sun-god in the place where she found him. The result of this is that the twins Sut and Horus, the powers of darkness and light, that were previously born of the mother alone, are now attributed to the sun-god Hu or Ra as his children. Hathor had been the lunar lady, the slayer of the evil powers of darkness, and now the male god Taht is equipped in the house or ark of the moon as the teller of time for Ra. He is designated the 'teller of decrees which Ra hath spoken in heaven' for Horus to execute on earth and in Amenta, with Taht and Anup as his two chief witnesses.
After the deluge in 'the destruction of mankind' the god Ra establishes a covenant with those who have escaped from the flood. He says that what he commanded is well done, and that the destruction of his enemies removes destruction from themselves. 'Said by the majesty of Ra, It is well done, all this. I shall now protect men on account of this. Said by Ra, I now raise my hand that I shall not destroy men,' i.e., not again. The making of this covenant after the deluge is followed by the establishment of the New Year's festival under the direction of the young priestesses of Hathor. 'Hence comes it that libations are made under the directions of priestesses at the festival of Hathor through all men since the days of old.' When the lunar orb has been converted into the abode of Ra by night it is said, 'And there arose the crescent moon of Taht.' Now the lunar crescent is the mythological bow. The speaker in the character of the solar god issuing from the crescent moon exclaims, 'I am the lion-god issuing from the bow, and therefore I shot forth.' When this was written it had been apprehended that the moon derived its light from the hidden sun, and shot the arrows forth with the growing, stretching crescent that was drawn bow-like to the full with all the force of the young lion-god. It was for this that Taht the lunar deity was wanted by Ra as his bowman by night to shoot the arrows of his light with the crescent of the monthly moon for his bow. For this the bow was set in the nocturnal heaven by Ra: 'And there arose the crescent moon of Taht' = the bow. The crescent moon was figured as the bow in heaven for a sign that there should be no further deluge of destruction, because the keeping of time and season did not now depend upon the setting or non-setting stars. When time was reckoned by Tehuti the teller, by means of the dual lunation, a power was established that no flood which had submerged the pole or drowned the heptanomis, or the heaven in ten divisions, could in future overwhelm. Thus the deluge in the stellar mythos being over, and the powers of darkness being defeated and destroyed, chiefly through the direct agency of the lunar goddess Hathor, the bow of Taht was set in heaven with its promise that the waters of the wrath of Ra should not again cover the earth. This, like all that is Egyptian, was true mythos, not false explanation of natural fact. It does not mean that the moon was actually created there and then to give light for the first time. [p.563] That would not be mythology, but fictitious history. The Kamite account of this ancient wisdom is mythological; the biblical is pretended history.
It has now to be shown that the bow in the Kamite mythos, which we look upon as the original, was not the rainbow, which was afterwards substituted as more natural by those who knew no better. The lunar crescent was not only the bow of the deluge and sign of promise for all future time, it was also an ark of safety from the waters of the Nun, in which the young child of light was bosomed and reborn of the lunar virgin mother. In the Osirian cult Osiris was reborn in an ark of crescent shape which was a figure of the crescent moon. It is said to Osiris in the preparatory pangs of birth, 'Taht is a protection for thee. He placeth thy soul in the lunar bark in that name which is thine of god Moon' or god An, another name of Osiris: The ark of the new moon was a means of resurrection for Osiris on the third night after his death, if we count the 17th Athyr as one. The priests brought out the sacred coffer containing a little golden ark. They also modelled a little image of the crescent moon.
The lunar mythos followed the stellar and preceded the solar, and in this the lunar crescent was an ark. In relation to which, the twin birds of light and darkness meet as it were in one when the black and white ibis is the typical bird of the dual lunation, because, as Plutarch says, its feathers resembled the halves of the moon as the bird of light in one half and in the other half the bird of darkness. Now the ibis or hebi in Egyptian is the messenger by name, and the crescent moon was the ark of the lord of light upon the waters of night. In the Destruction of Mankind Ra says to the moon-god, 'Thou art my abode (his lunar ark), the god of my abode; behold, thou art called Taht, the abode of Ra. And there arose the ibis. I shall give thee to raise thy hand (Taht is also the hand of the gods) in presence of the gods. And there arose the two wings of the ibis of Taht. I shall give thee to embrace the two parts of the sky.' The one white and black bird, as representative of the moon in the Egyptian rendering, was the white bird of the new moon and the black bird of the old moon, equivalent to the dove of light and the raven of darkness in the other legend. The moon was the ark on the waters as the abode of Ra by night or during the deluge of the dark. The bird that was given by Ra for Taht to send forth from the ark was the bird of light and the bird of darkness. In the latter half of the lunation, when the moon was renewed in its crescent shape, out flew the bird as messenger of light across the waters of the Nun, and in the dark half of the disk the bird was of raven hue. Such, we suggest, was the genesis of the two birds, or the double-feathered one, that issued from the lunar ark in the original mythos, which preserved the representation of the deluge and the ark and the two birds of day and night in the cult of Osiris or of Atum-Ra and Nnu. In the Chaldean account of the deluge the swallow is sent forth from the ark in addition to the raven and the dove. This also is a bird of the two sisters. In chapter 86 the manes makes his transformation into the swallow, when Horus is in [p.564] command of the bark. But in the vignette the bird called a swallow is a martin, another type of the white and black bird in one, like the ibis of the lunar ark. There is a chapter of the Ritual to be recited 'when the moon renews itself on the first day of the month,' the day, therefore, on which the lunar ark was launched upon the waters of the Nun and had to face the deluge. As it is said, 'Osiris is enveloped in storm and rain; he is enveloped. But the beautiful Horus lendeth succour daily. He driveth off the storm from the face of Osiris in the moon. Behold him coming. He is Ra on his journey. He is the four gods who are over the upper region.' The Osiris arrives at his own time, and by means of his ropes is brought to the light of day. The ark of Osiris on the waters is described as a kind of houseboat with gable ends, and the gable ends suggest that from this particular form of the house and boat in one may have descended the well-known children's toy of Noah's ark, as the ark of Noah in which eight souls, four males and four females, were saved from the deluge, and the ark of Nnu in the Kamite astronomy.
The new heaven was established on the four quarters that were founded upon the solstices and equinoxes by the great architect Ptah. Thus the teba or square box is a figure of the heaven that was based upon the four quarters which followed the ark of seven cubits, the ark of eight cubits, and other types of the ark that floated on the celestial Nun or is said to be carried on the back of the cow (Nut). The eight on board were not human beings, but four gods and four goddesses, or eight heavenly bodies. It is not the Hebrew Noah, as such, who will account for several other Noahs in different countries, but the Kamite Nnu, the 'lord of the primordial water'—Nnu who is designated the father of the gods. By aid of the Kamite Nnu we can more fully identify the Hottentot Noh, who, as they told Kolb (in 1713), 'had entered the world by a sort of window.' The god Nnu of the Egyptian mythos will explain why the hero of Polynesian legend has the same name. The story is told by both Ellis and Fornander. The survivors from the deluge of Raiatea were saved on an island or mount called the tree reaching to the moon. In this version the mount and tree of the Ritual are identical, the island being named after the tree, whilst the tree that reaches up to the moon corresponds to the mount of Am-Khemen and the establishment of lunar time. In the Hawaian version, when Nnu had left his vessel, like Noah and Xisithrus, after the flood, to offer sacrifice to the god Kane, he looked up and saw the moon in the sky, and he thought this was the god, saying to himself, 'You are Kane, no doubt, though you have transformed yourself to my sight!' so he made his offering and adored the moon. Then Kane descended on the bow and spoke reprovingly to Nnu, but, on account of it being a mistake, Nnu was forgiven by Kane, and the bow was left above in token of the god's forgiveness. It was natural for those who knew nothing of the Egyptian wisdom to suppose that the deluge, the ark, and the character of [p.565] Nevid, Nay, or Nevion, in the British mythos, was derived from the Hebrew records. But the true and final explanation is that both were derived from the Egyptian on separate lines of descent. The Druids were teachers of the wisdom of Egypt in the British Isles ages before the Bible was heard of in Europe. The ark of Nnu, Noë, or Noah was the ark of the celestial waters. An ark with the Ali, or Ari, was an ark with the seven on board who were rulers in the heptanomis. This is extant as the ark of the seven Cabiri and the seven Hohgates, the seven who in Britain were the companions of Arthur in the ark. When we understand that the Hebrew ark of Noah (or נח) was the ark of Nnu in Egypt, and is the ark of heaven by name in the astronomy, we are on the track for the first time to learn how certain later races of mankind could be said to issue from the ark of Noah after a particular form of the deluge in which the heaven in ten divisions was superseded by the heaven in twelve divisions, the birthplace as an ark being a geometrical figure of the contemporary heaven. The deluge legend in the Book of Genesis can be directly traced to its Egyptian origin. Nnu was the master of the celestial water. Under the same name, and also as Num, lord of the inundation, he was master of the water in the Nile on earth. The deluge, all the deluges, and the whole of the arkite imagery, together with Noah himself in very person, are dependent on the beginning of creation with the water of the Nun or Nnu, and on heaven being the celestial Nnu by name in the Egyptian language. In the Adoration of the Nile it is Nnu the deity of the heavenly water that is invoked as mythical source of life and not simply the flowing river. The object of religious regard as element or place or person was the celestial Nnu or Nun, who when personified was the giver of the Nile and all its gifts. Nun or Nnu was the inundator of Egypt by means of the Nile. Moreover, the god Num who is lord of the earthly inundation was preceded by the ancient deity Nun (or Nnu), who had an ark or shrine, but was not worshipped in any temple hitherto discovered. It appears from inscriptions of Tahtmes III at Thebes that Nnu the deity of the deluge and the ark had been continued in the character of Num as lord of the inundation of the Nile, with his ark or teba represented by the city of Thebes, that 'heaven on earth,' as it was designated by the Queen Hatshepsut. From these inscriptions we learn that Tahtmes rebuilt the sanctuary of Nnu, or rather that he built the temple of Amen-Ra at Thebes on the site of the ancient shrine. This, we are told, had a circuit wall of brick, and a canal which conducted the water of the inundation 'to the shrine of the god Nun (Nnu) on the arrival of his season,' which shows that Nnu was one with Num as the elder pre-solar god, and that Nun (Nnu) passed into the god Num as a solar god associated with the inundation. The temple built by Tahtmes was a shrine of Nnu and Amen, as in 'No-Amen,' the name of Thebes. In laying the foundation stone of the new temple Tahtmes records the fact that he had to remove the older shrine of the god Nun (or Nnu), and divert the course of the water that flowed to the shrine of the god Nnu, because [p.566] it was in the way. Brugsch calls this shrine of Nnu the temple of the god; other Egyptologists tell us that no temple was ever raised to Nnu or Num. But whether termed a temple or not, this ancient sanctuary was an ark-shrine and a type of protection from the waters. The ark of Num is called his lordly bark. It is said that with the inundation 'he brings once more his lordly bark.' Also, 'Thou art the august ornament of the earth, letting thy bark advance before men and lifting up the heart of women in labour'; 'All is changed by the inundation; it is a balm of healing for mankind.' Thus Nnu as deity of the heavenly water was represented by the Nile as river and by Num as divinity when the sun-god was united with the water-god in Num or in Amen-Ra at Thebes. But the main point here is the ark of Nnu that comes again with the inundation once a year to Egypt. And if no temple of Nnu is known, he was expressly associated with a shrine which originated in an ark that was a means of safety to the ancient lake-dwellers of Africa. In the Papyrus of Nefer-uben-f the god of the inundation is described as 'the old man Nnu.' Deceased is standing in the water and holding the sail of breath in his left hand. He prays that he may have power over the seven divine princes who dwell in the place of the god of the inundation—that is, of Nnu the lord of the celestial water as builder of the ark. He says, 'I have power with my father, the old man Nnu. He hath granted that I may live.' This is the father Nnu as Egyptian who became father Noah in the Hebrew version.
Noah was a just or righteous man, and perfect in his generations. This statement is put in the forefront of the Hebrew deluge legend. In the Ritual it is granted to the Osiris Nnu that he shall 'carry maat at the head of the great bark and hold up maat among the associate gods.' Maat stands for justice and rightfulness; and this is borne aloft upon the bark by the spirit of the just man made perfect, right up to the summit of the mount which is the landing-place for those who are in the ark. 'And so it cometh that the Osiris-Nnu hath reached every one of his stations' in the ark that rests at last upon Mount Hetep, Mount Nizir, Mount Meru, or the Mount of Ararat. Nnu is identified with Noah by the Arab writer Murtadi (1584), who related that Num-Kufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid, dreamed of a coming deluge, and built the pyramid as his ark of safety. He then 'made his abode in the maritime pyramid along with Noah.' That is along with Nnu, the god of the ark and the inundation, who was earlier than Num, and who had his teba in Thebes. This points to the pyramid of Num-Kufu being also a form of the ark, or rather to the ark of earth and heaven in several of its successive forms that were ultimately combined in one consummate figure of the heavens and earth as a stupendous monument and imperishable register of the astronomical mythology. And, if so, it becomes apparent that the sarcophagus at the centre was a co-type with the coffin, shrine or ark of Osiris in the midst of Amenta. This may help to show how fragments of the astronomical mythology have been [p.567] put together in the Book of Genesis without key or clue, and the old dark sayings of the ancient wisdom repeated minus the necessary knowledge for enlightening the world. Earlier deluges than this of Noah are alluded to in one of the Jewish Haggadoth, which relates that in the time of Enos, as in that of Cain, a great tract of land was flooded by the sea. Which is but the end of a patriarchate described in terms of the deluge. Items from several deluges are included in the Hebrew versions. For instance, the animals are said to enter the ark seven by seven, and also two by two. Here the numbers belong to two entirely different deluges, the one from which the seven (or eight), the other from which the pair, were saved. There is no such incongruous mixture in the Avesta. In this version Yima the shining is commanded by Zarathustra to 'make a circle to all four corners as a dwelling-place for all mankind,' and stock and store it against the deluge, which is the evil work of the destructive serpent of darkness. All forms of life that enter this enclosure do so in imperishable pairs. A lofty wall is to be made around it, and a window that gives light within. The one window we take to be the polestar. The lofty wall answers to the high white wall of Ha-Ptah-Ka. It is lighted with self-created and eternal lights that shine above, and the created lights below. These correspond to the Kamite Urtu-Seku, the setting stars, and the Akhemu-Seku, or stars that never set, the everlasting self-created lights. The window of Yima's enclosure in heaven is repeated in the one light of Noah's ark. It is related in a Jewish legend that after the deluge two animals came out of the ark which were not among the twos or sevens that went into it. These two were the cat and the pig. And they belonged to the new creation of Atum-Ra. The cat, as solar type, is a symbol of Atum-Iu. It is said in the Ritual the cat is Ra himself. It was in that form of the seer by night that the sun-god overcame the evil Apap in the darkness of Amenta. The pig or boar in the Osirian mythos is a type of the evil Sut, the opponent of the Good Being in Amenta. Amenta is the lower deck of an ark in which the pig of Sut was present. This is in an ark that could not be built until Amenta had been hollowed out by Ptah, the father of Atum-Ra, who was represented by the cat. Thus the addition of the cat and pig to the previous denizens will help to identify which ark it was they came out of after the deluge of Noah. As Egyptian, it was the ark in which Ra had resolved to be lifted up as 'god alone,' and the cat and pig were types belonging to the new creation that followed the 'destruction of mankind.' This was the ark of Nnu. The description of Noah's deluge is an agglomerate compounded from the mythical data and the actual inundation. The waters flowed in Egypt during a certain number of days. It is probable that the fullest flow was reckoned at forty days and nights.
In a fragment of the Melchizedekian literature, found by Professor Sokolov, and appended to the Slavonic Book of Enoch, the ark of Noah 'floated forty days.' And it is added, altogether they were in the ark 120 days. This is the exact length of the water season in the Egyptian year of 360 days, which was first divided into three [p.568] tetramenes of 120 days each. It may also be noted that outside of Egypt rain took the place of the inundation, and the deluge of Noah consists of forty days and nights of rain. Fifteen cubits of fresh water constituted a good if not a perfect Nile, and this is the measure applied to the flood of rainwater in the Book of Genesis. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail, and the mountains were covered. Fifteen cubits of water, however, could be no measure for a flood that covered all 'the high mountains that were under the whole heaven.' The waters that prevailed on the earth for 150 days are also equal to an abundant inundation of the Nile, but these have been mixed up with the waters of the celestial Nun. Also the fifteen cubits of measure on the earth would be confused with the fifteen cubits, measures, or days in the half-circle of the luni-solar month of thirty days, in which the lunar crescent was the ark that is entered by Osiris, on the third day, to spread the actual water of life and light, not that deluge of destruction which was entirely mythical.
After the deluge, according to the euhemerizing of the mythos in the Book of Genesis, Noah began to be a husbandman, and planted a vineyard; and he drank of the wine and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent, and Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment and covered the nakedness of their father. 'And their faces were backward, and they saw not the nakedness of their father.' Now in the mysteries of Amenta Osiris is covered by his son Horus to conceal his nakedness. 'I am with Horus,' says Taht, 'on the clay of covering Tesh-Tesh,' one of the names of Osiris. It is also said to Horus, 'O thou who coverest (or clothest) Osiris and hast seen Sut, O thou who turnest back.' Here the adversary of Osiris is present with Horus in this scene of concealing the father's nakedness, and the bad character of the black, evil-minded Sut appears to have been given to Ham as a son of Noah. In the Chaldean account of the deluge a sacrifice is offered at the coming forth from the ark. Hasisadra says, 'I poured out a libation. I built an altar on the peak of a mountain. Seven jugs of wine I took. At the bottom of them I placed reeds, pines, and spices. The gods collected at its burning, the gods like Sumbe gathered over the sacrifice.' The basis of the oblation in the Kamite sacrifice is the blood of the beings that have been destroyed. 'Said by the majesty of the god, Let them begin with Elephantine, and bring to me the fruits in quantity. And when the fruits had been brought they were given ... lacuna.' The sekti (miller) of Annu was grinding the fruits, while the priestesses poured the juice into the vases; and those fruits were put into vessels with the blood of the beings, and there were seven thousand pitchers of drink. 'And there came the majesty of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, with the gods, to see the drink after he had ordered the goddess to destroy the beings in three days of navigation.' Instead of the Assyrian seven jugs of wine the Egyptian has 7,000 pitchers of drink, and this is brewed from the blood of the massacred beings mingled with the juice of the fruits of the earth; and here, as in the later version, the gods gather over the [p.569] sacrifice 'to see the drink.' Shedding the blood of the wicked, in this great slaughter of the evil beings, was a mode of offering the oblation to the Good Being. Blood and the fruits of the earth were the two primitive forms of the offering, and these are blended together in a deluge of intoxicating drink.
A most primitive representation of this sacrifice which followed the deluge is made by the Ovaherero, an African tribe adjoining that of the Bushmen. They claim to have issued from the typical tree of the beginning, which is said by the missionary Reiderbecke to be a kind of Ygdrasil. The Ovaherero say that the sky was once let down in a deluge, by which the greater part of mankind were drowned. This they attribute to the Old Ones in heaven, whose wrath was appeased by the sacrifice of a black sheep. When the deluge of darkness had passed away at dawn, the black sheep was offered to placate and pacify the power of darkness, which exhibits the deluge and the deluge-legend in their most primitive forms. The sacrifice does not merely celebrate the return of light, as in a later phase, but is also a petitionary offering for future protection from the deluge of the dark. Before ever man appeared on earth, a feeling of joy and thankfulness had been expressed by the apes at the return of the light, whether lunar or solar; and when man came he followed on the track of the monkey in feeling thankful for the return of day. In the Egyptian hieroglyphics the word tua, to adore, is figured as a salutation to the dawn or morrow-day, and the typical adorer is the kaf-ape, the saluter of the gods. Primitive worship signified salutation and sacrifice from the beginning. In various traditions, Babylonian, American, Hebrew, and others, the deluge is followed by a sacrifice, and this sacrifice after the flood has been configurated in the stars of heaven in a picture of the far-off past, with the offering laid upon the altar at a point where the actual inundation in Egypt annually came to an end. In the Hebrew account of the thanksgiving sacrifice it is said, 'Noah built an altar unto Jehovah, and took of every clean beast and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings upon the altar, and Ihuh smelled the sweet savour.' The typical imagery derived from the actual seasons in Egypt, repeated in the planispherei, will also account for the Hebrew story concerning Noah's planting the vine and getting drunk immediately after the inundation. The vine that Noah is said to have planted may be seen in the decans of Virgo, where the star Vindemiatrix denotes the time of vintage in Egypt. It is a version of the mythos in which the water of the deluge was turned into wine by Horus, the ripening soul of the sun, that has been most pitifully vulgarised in the story of Noah's intoxication after the deluge. According to the planisphere Noah was on the water of the inundation, or he might have just landed when the grapes were ripe, and he got intoxicated apparently for the purpose of cursing Ham and consigning the dark race to the doom of never-ending slavery. Hebraists tell us that the name of Noah signifies rest, which leads to nothing in Hebrew. Whereas, in Egyptian, the same word nnu is a name of the inundation, the deity of the celestial waters, and also for rest or repose. As natural fact this was the season of rest or of Nnu because of the deluge, during which the [p.570] god was resting in his ark upon the waters, or, as might be, in his teba of the southern Apta at Thebes. The natural fact was formulated in a legend such as that of Nnu, Num, Noah, or Vishnu resting on the waters during a deluge in the course of a new creation; that is, during the Hindu period of pralaya, when this was figured on the grand scale as described in the Puranas. For instance, Vishnu is said to repose in slumber during four months of every year, borne up by the seven-headed naga-serpent Sesha. The four months of the inundation is historical in Egypt; the deluge in mythology is typical, and the type was variously applied to a natural phenomenon as a mode of measuring time. Nnu or Nu had become an Egyptian personal name. The Papyrus of Nu in the British Museum contains various chapters of the Ritual. In these the speaker calls himself the Osiris-Nu, and, as the subject-matter shows, the manes here combines the two characters of Osiris and Nnu. Moreover, he is Nnu in the ark or bark, as lord of the inundation and victor over the deluge. The Osiris-Nnu is the speaker; not merely Nnu of the papyrus, but Nnu of the celestial water, or Nnu as the Osiris. He says the Osiris-Nnu is strong to direct the ship of the gods, here called the boat of the sun, in which he comes forth from Amenta into heaven. Nnu saileth round about the heaven and 'voyages along with Ra.' Thus the mythos merges into the eschatology of the Ritual.
The water of the deluge in the Assyrian legend was not terrestrial. It is said in the opening lines:
Then arose the water of dawn at daylight;
It arose like a black cloud from the horizon of heaven.
It was a deluge feared by the gods themselves because the waters were celestial. Hence they sought refuge in the highest heaven. 'They ascended to the heaven of Anu,' the enclosure at the pole. This was the heaven of the stars that never set; the heaven, the enclosure or ark of refuge, which is said to have rested on the mount when the flood subsided. It was Bel, the wise one, the counsellor of the gods, who caused the deluge, and he is a polestar god, equivalent to Sut or Anup the judge, whose seat was above the summit at the north celestial pole. The deluge here was evidently the result of a change in the polestars; hence the tree replanted in a circle by the gods. If Bel made the deluge when he represented the polestar a change in the polestar would be as the letting in of waters, otherwise called the flood. The ark was built against this contemplated change. The Greek tradition included two legends of the great deluge or cataclysm by which the race was destroyed. One of these was the flood from which Ogyges escaped with a few companions in a vessel. The other is known as the deluge of Deucalion, from which he escaped with Pyrrha his wife. Ogyges with his few companions are equivalent to Horus with the seven great spirits who were saved from the deluge in the ark of Orion. Deucalion and Pyrrha are equivalent to Atum and his consort Hathor-Iusaas. Among the Californian Indians they tell of a great flood (i.e., heaven all water) from which only a coyote survived and a feather that was seen floating on the vast expanse of water. As the coyote looked at it the feather became an eagle which [p.571] joined the coyote on the 'Reed-Peak,' and these two were the creators of men. The reed-peak also answers to the Kamite field of reeds upon the summit of Mount Hetep and the Japanese 'midland of the reed-expanse.' The papyrus-reed or lotus-flower is a cradle or ark in which the Child-Horus was uplifted from the water of the Nun and saved from drowning. This becomes the mythical reed in various legends, which is a co-type with the tree as a means of emergence from the flood. The Navajo Indians have piously preserved an account of the ascent from the waters of the deluge, not by means of the tree or tower, but by building a huge mound of earth to make a tall mountain in the north. Their tradition is that the men of a world before our own, on being warned of an approaching flood, resolved to build a place of refuge. 'They took soil from the four corner-mountains (quarters) of the world, and placed it on the top of the mountain that stood in the north; and thither they all went, including the people of the mountains, the salt-woman and such animals as then lived in the third world. When the soil was laid on the mountain the latter grew higher and higher, but the waters began to rise and the people climbed upwards to escape from the flood. At length the mountain ceased to grow, and they planted on the summit a great reed, into the hollow of which they all entered it the end of the fourth night from the time it was planted the reed had grown up to the floor of the fourth world, and here they found a hole through which they passed to the surface' and were saved. The great reed evidently imaged the celestial pole. It grew by night and did not grow in the daytime. The turkey was the last to enter the reed, and the deluge rose and rose until the water wetted the tip of his tail. The tree had been an actual refuge for the human race. Hence it became a typical refuge that was figured in the astronomy and eschatology. Salvation from the deluge by means of both the reed and the tree is a mode of escape from the waters in the Ritual. The deceased is one who knows the deep waters. But he is not to be drowned. He exclaims, 'I embrace the sycamore-tree. I am united to the sycamore.' The sycamore is the tree of dawn, and the speaker escapes from the waters just as the young sun-god escaped from the deluge of darkness by climbing the tree or mounting his papyrus-plant; the one as solar in the mythology, the other as a soul in the eschatology. This mode of ascent goes back to the time when there was neither a bridge of heaven nor a boat upon the waters of earth, nor a tower that was built to reach to heaven. In the Norse mythos the ash tree is called 'the Refuge of Thor,' because it caught and saved the young god when he was being swept away by the overflowing waters of the river Vimur. This is the same typical tree as in the Ritual, where it is the mainstay of the Osiris, who is well-nigh drowned by the deluge of the inundation, but who escapes by laying hold of the tree. We need to know in what sense the reed or tree in heaven was a type of safety during the deluge before we can interpret the Arawak version, in which it is said the waters had been confined to the hollow bole of an enormous tree by means of an inverted basket. The mischievous monkey saw this basket, and thinking it covered something good [p.572] to eat he lifted it up, whereupon the deluge burst forth from the tree. The monkey is charged with being the culprit in several of the legends and märchen that we show to be survivals of the Kamite mythos, in which Hapi was the ape that brought the deluge of the inundation, and was also in command of the celestial water in the mythology. In a Red Indian story of the deluge, Manabozho escaped from drowning by climbing to the top of the tallest pine-tree on the highest mountain in the world and waiting till the flood subsided. It is related in a Taoist legend that 'one extraordinary antediluvian saved his life by climbing up a mountain, and there and then, in the manner of birds plaiting a nest, he passed his days on the trees, while all the country below him was one vast expanse of water. He afterwards lived to a very old age, and could testify to his late posterity that a whole race of human beings had then been swept away from the face of the earth.' In this legend we have both the tree and the mountain used as means of escape in the same ascent. They were distinct as Egyptian types, but afterwards were sometimes fused in one, as the tree or reed upon the summit of the mount. The Indian tribes of Guiana say that when the great waters were about to be sent forth the chief Marérewána was informed of the coming flood, and he saved himself and his family in a large canoe. In order that he might not drift over the ocean far from the ancestral home he prepared a long cable of 'bush-rope' and made his vessel fast to the trunk of an enormous tree, so that when the waters subsided he found himself at no great distance from his former abode. His canoe had been tied up to the pole, here represented by a tree. The reed-type also takes the form of the canoe as well as the tree. It is related in a Mexican tradition that the coyote, a co-type with the jackal and the dog, got wind of the coming deluge. To save himself from drowning he gnawed down a large cane that was growing on the bank of a river. This he entered, and then stopped up the end of it with a kind of gum to keep the waters out. Thus, at the time of the Chaldean deluge it is said that the great god Nera 'tore up the Stake'—that is, the pole or mooring-post which is here represented by a stake, and a change of polestar by the uprooting of the stake. Nera is a form of Nergal, the great Nera.
The legends of the deluge show that the primal paradise was an enclosure on the summit of the highest mountain, that of the pole, as a place of safety midst the celestial waters, which was typical of the refuge sought for on the hilltop when the floods were out on earth. The enclosure might be an ark, or palisade of wickerwork, a nest of reeds, or a city, walled and fortified, an island, a group of seven islands, or ten, or a zodiac, the idea of the deluge was ever present. And this had been the dominant idea in the burial of old Egypt's dead amidst the waters of the inundation. Every figure of the ark and every mode of arking or enclosing are extant somewhere or other in the astronomical mythology. Take the cave for example. In the Mexican version the seven who are saved from the deluge found safety in the seven caves of the celestial mount, the mount which toppled over at the summit with the changing of the pole. The cave was one of the natural types of the ark that preceded any form of refuge made [p.573] by the hand of man. And there were seven of these altogether as a figure of the celestial heptanomis. The Welsh Barddas ascribe the building of an ark to Menwyd, who is called the dragon-chief of the world in the ancient British mythology. Menwyd is described as forming the ark by means of serpents joined together. An ark is the means of safety amidst the waters whatsoever its formation may have been. Such an ark may be seen in the Sesha Naga-serpent with seven heads that bears up Vishnu during the deluge. This is a figure of the foreworld which preceded a great flood. Here the seven-headed serpent is likewise a figure of the heptanomis, or heaven in seven divisions, which sank in the celestial waters. The same great serpent in the waters with seven heads is also Akkadian.
A principle of arking, so to call it, was established when the great Bear, as the mother of the revolutions or time-cycles, and mistress of the waters, made the circle of the year in turning round 'the Atlantean pole.' She, as the pregnant water-cow, was herself an ark of life that might be looked to as a divine type of safety by the sufferers from the water-floods on earth. The mother of time and station was the mistress of the firmamental waters, the mistress therefore of the enclosure in the waters which in the later rendering is a park, a garden, a paradise, or a harvest-field. In the Uganda legend it was a palisade of reeds around a spring of fresh water, the secret of which the woman knew, but failed to keep. When the circle of the bear was found to be untrue, and time was more correctly measured by the moon-god Taht, she, the mother of time and the mistress of the waters, was accused of being unfaithful to her trust, of letting in the deluge and losing the primeval home. As we have seen, she philandered with the moon-god Taht, who superseded Sut in her affections and in keeping time. The twins as Sut and Horus were reborn of her as lunar in the dark and light halves of the moon—the light eye of Horus and the dark eye of Sut. Apt had been the mistress of the waters in the stellar mythos from the first, and when it was found out that she was keeping time unfaithfully and incorrectly she was charged with betraying the secret to her lover, with overthrowing the bulwark and with letting in the deluge. This supplied the matter of sundry deluge-legends.
The Egyptians always kept on building closely in accordance with some primal type like this of the ark. In the beginning the earth itself was a mount or table-land that rose up out of the abyss as a kind of ark amidst the waters of space, an ark of one story. But when Amenta had been hollowed out by Ptah the opener of an underworld, there was an ark of two stories, fixed or floating. Whether called an ark or a house, it was two-storied. It was double-decked like a ship. It was also a house of two stories for Osiris in Abydos. With heaven added over all it becomes three-storied or triple-decked, with Amenta, earth and heaven answering to the three stories of the triple-deck. Now, it is commanded that the ark of Noah, or Nnu, shall be built 'with lower, second and third stories,' like the ship with three decks. This is a fragment of the genuine mythos which tends to show that it was the ark here identified as the figure of three worlds, viz., Amenta, middle-earth and heaven; a figure that agrees [p.574] with the typical tree of the Akkado-Assyrian and the Norse mythology which had its roots in the netherworld, its stem in middle-earth and its branches high in heaven. But did the Egyptians ever launch this three-decker, and get it a float in space? or did it remain a fixture in the mythical abyss?
It was argued in The Natural Genesis that the Kamite astronomers had measured the earth and knew it to be a globe rotating in space. It is now suggested that the ark of three stories was a compound image of the three regions built up deck by deck and completed by the arch-craftsman Ptah in a vessel that is called the ship of heaven in the Ritual. In the words of M. Lieblein, the Egyptians 'knew that the earth circulated in the great ocean of heaven.' And as the earth was the sekru-bark of Osiris in Amenta, it was the ark afloat upon the waters of the Nnu. In the time of Neb-Ka-Ra of the fourth dynasty the fact must have been a familiar one for a common peasant to call the king 'the helm, or pilot of the earth which he navigates in space as the second brother of Taht,' who was the navigator of the lunar bark. The ark of Nnu, which Ra commanded to be built for him when he was about to be lifted up upon the heavenly water, may be seen on the sarcophagus of Seti, in the Soane Museum. 'The boat,' says Lefébure, the translator of the text, 'is supported by Nnu, whose bust and arms only are to be seen. The arms issue from the water and bear up the god. The entire scenes are surrounded by the waves of Nnu, which shows that the Egyptians looked upon the earth as a spherical body floating through the air. The boat is directed, as a passage made through the waves indicates, towards a spot where a disk is represented on a band. This band, studded with points, represents the earth as a landing-place for which the ark is bound.' There is also a description of the ship of Nnu in the chapter of the Ritual by which one saileth a ship in the netherworld. In this the nature of the three decks as 'lower, second and third stories' is described. The vessel is described in chapter 99 as the ship in which the abyss or void of Apap the devourer may be safely crossed. This is an empty space into which the starry ones fall down headlong to find nothing by which they can raise themselves up again. The manes supplicates the god, 'Oh thou who sailest the ship of Nnu over the void, let me sail the ship. Let me be brought in as a distressed mariner, and go to the place which thou knowest.' As previously shown, he has to know each part of the bark by name and to repeat the name of each before he is admitted on board. From this examination in the judgment-hall we learn the nature of the ark and its three stories. The name of the lowest story is 'akar,' that is, the lower earth. The posts at stem and stern are 'the two columns of the netherworld.' The ribs, also called the four paddles, image the gods of the four corners, Amsta, Hapi, Tuamutef and Kabhsenuf. These are the four who row the bark, and it is said that Seb, the earth, abides stably by means of their rudders or oars. The 'patrol who goeth round' is 'he who piloteth the double earth.' The 'mooring-post,' which represents the pole, is designated 'the lord of the double earth in the shrine,' that is, Osiris as the power of the pole. The double earth is the earth of Amenta and the earth of Seb, or two [p.575] of the three stories, the third of which is celestial. Hence Nut, or Heaven, is the name of the sail. Thus the three stories are identified with Amenta, earth and heaven, that were figured in the ark of Nnu which floated (earth and all) upon the waters of the firmament. This, when represented by the constellation Argo Navis, was an object-picture of the ark upon the great stream of the Via Lactea, by means of which the manes reached 'the tip of heaven' at the pole, and after all the rowing and the voyaging attained the realm of rest upon the eternal shore. The Jewish Kabbalists have a tradition that Noah's ark embodied an image of the world or was a figure of the whole universe. This is the ark of Nnu in the astronomical mythology, the ark of Nnu that is described in the Egyptian Ritual as a subject of examination in the mysteries of Amenta.
According to the Bhagavata Purana, the ship of Manu was the earth itself. The 'ship of the world' is a title given by the Barddas to the enclosure of Stonehenge, which points to its including an image of the earth as a form of the ark amidst the waters of heaven, like that of Seb which abides stably in space by means of the four oars or paddles at the four cardinal points. An ark of the four quarters is described in the Magic Papyrus. It is said, 'There are four mansions of life at Abydos,' the mythical birthplace of Osiris in Amenta. In this we find another group of the four gods Nnu and Shu, Taht and Seb. The eternal city on the summit of the Mount of Glory was the final form of the ark in heaven. And after the Babylonian deluge when the ship touches the shore and its occupants have landed, as it is said, Gilgamesh 'collected great stones,' 'he piled up the great stones.' Instead of piling the mound of earth, or planting the typical tree, or launching the ark, the survivors now are the builders of a city with stones. They landed and 'left the ship by the shore. They journeyed a stage of twenty kaspu. They made the stage ascent of thirty kaspu. They came to the midst of Erech Suburi.' Then follows the building of Erech, the ark-city on the summit; or the new heaven that was divided into three parts; 'one measure for the circuit of the city, one measure for the boundary of the temple of Nantur, the house of Ishtar; three measures together (for) the divisions of Erech.' In Africa a conical hut like an ant-heap is the primeval type of a dwelling made by human hands. This was continued by the Egyptians in the cone of Hathor and the conical pyramid, or ben-ben of Sut-Anup as a figure of Polaris or Sothis surmounted by its star. This may be seen in the lake-dwellings of Africa, which are conical huts built on piles in the water of the divine land of Puanta as portrayed in the inscriptions of Hatshepsut's temple at Deir-el-Bahari. The reason given for such a type of house, says Sir John Kirk, is that the country at times is flooded, and thus the inhabitants escape the inundation. The conical hut is common in Africa both on land and water, and this is a figure of the primitive paradise and of the celestial pole, which was continued in Egypt as the round pyramidion, a co-type with the circular mound and conical cairn. Thus an ark on the firmamental water in the shape of a cone, a figure that represents the pole, crowned with its star, is identical with the pile-dwelling of the [p.576] African lakes, and images the same mode of escape from the waters, according to the mythos and eschatology of the Egyptians, as does the primitive lake-dwelling of the inner Africans. The earliest ark of Nnu, or heaven, is an enclosure in the water of the Nun; the latest is a paradise on piles; we might say seven piles or poles which are co-types with the seven mountains or seven pyramids. But an ark, as a means of refuge in relation to a deluge of water, is not limited to the boat-type. The ark of Noë on the Apamean coin is figured as a box foursquare. This, in Egyptian, is a teba, Hebrew thebah, the name of Noah's ark, and of Thebes as a form of the eternal city. There was an ark of the sphere which is described in the Thlinkeet legend as a vast floating building. At the time of the deluge it struck on the mount, or was driven on the rock and broken in two halves by its own weight. This agrees with the division of the heaven into north and south between Sut and Horus, as their two divine domains.
In several of the legends it is made known beforehand and announced that a deluge is coming, and with the warning instructions are given to build an ark or prepare some sort of refuge and means of escape for a favoured few. According to the Marquesan version, the lord ocean, or Fatu-Noana, who is like Nnu, lord of the celestial water, when about to send the devastating deluge, allows seven days for preparation. A tall building is to be erected which will tower above the reach of the waters. Cattle of all kinds are collected in pairs and marched into a vessel called the 'Long Deep Wood.' In this there is a family of four males and four females saved; the same as in the ark of Noah, and of Nnu. The storm burst. The 'sacred supporter' of the universe slumbered during the night of dissolution, as does Vishnu or Brahma in the Hindu version. A coffin on a sledge was a pre-Osirian type of the ark which was periodically drawn round the walls of the great sanctuary of Ptah the coffined one in the mysteries of Memphis. The sledge or raft was naturally earlier than the boat, and the passage through Amenta, when this was imaged as solid earth, was represented by the sun-god Sekari in his coffin resting on a sledge. In the Ritual the Osiris says, 'I clear the path of the solar orb and tow along Sekari (a form of Ptah) upon his sledge.' The Norsemen were accustomed to bury the bodies of their dead chiefs in boats on the hills, as a typical mode of crossing the celestial waters after death. The Garrows of Bengal, who cremated their dead, used to place the corpse in a dingy or small boat on the top of the funeral pile, for the typical crossing of the waters. The word ark in Egyptian signifies a circle, to encircle, bands, enclosings, encirclings, also number thirty, thence a month. Arkai is to appoint a limit, fix an end by decree. This was applied in measuring a cycle of time, which might be monthly, as in the Assyrian Arkhu. From this comes the arc, as part of a circle, which in Egyptian is to encircle or to make the circle. And thus the enclosure and ark are both forms of the circle. The enclosure made by Yima was an ark-circle but not an ark, or bark upon the waters. Still, the meaning is the same. It was the type of an enclosure and of safety from the deluge whether figured as stationary or afloat; [p.577] and the heaven built upon four corners as a circular enclosure was an ark in space, we might say, the ark of space, when space was the celestial water. An ark of seven cubits was a figure of the celestial heptanomis, or heaven in seven divisions. An ark of eight cubits was a figure of heaven in eight divisions, either as Am-Khemen or the octonary of Taht. An ark of four cubits was a figure of heaven as the teba, or box of the four quarters. There was an ark of twenty eight cubits reckoned as twice fourteen, based upon twenty eight nights to the lunar month. This was the ark of the moon in which Osiris was reborn, or the child-Horus was preserved from the waters. The cubit was a measure in time for a day, as well as in space for a degree. Three hundred and sixty five cubits in circumference was the measure of a year of 365 days, on the tomb of Osymandyas. Similarly, fourteen cubits were equivalent to fourteen days, or a half-moon, a tenat in the lunar month of twenty eight days, and therefore equal to fourteen degrees. Thus the ark of the moon is not limited to the orb itself as a vessel that contained the newborn child of light. It is also the circle of a lunar zodiac, in which there were twenty-eight measures in time and space = twenty-eight cubits that were divided into two fourteens, and four sevens. During fourteen days Osiris (or Horus) grew in glory, and during the other half of the lunation he was torn in fourteen pieces by Sut, the power of darkness. An ark of twice fourteen cubits is equal to a circle with twenty eight stations, that is a lunar enclosure or zodiac. No dimensions of the ark are directly given in the Ritual, but there is an allusion which probably underlies the measurement of the lunar month or zodiacal circle of twenty-eight measures. One-half of the circle was marked out in fourteen divisions corresponding to one-half of the lunar houses. Also, the divine domain of Aarru was divided into fourteen sections, or, to put it in another way the mount of earth had fourteen steps to it: seven up and seven down. This would be the measure of one-half the circle, which was made out in twenty-eight lunar signs: fourteen in the lower and fourteen in the upper hemisphere. Sunset and sunrise were halfway round the circle, horizontally and perpendicularly, at the level called the summit of the mount. Now there is a scene at sunset described in the Ritual. Ra and the reptile of darkness watch each other, Ra from his ark, the monster from the mount. The depth of water underneath the solar bark at this, the level of sunset, is said to be seven cubits in its liquid part. This also serves to measure the lower half of the circle by seven cubits, or measures, downward and seven upward to the level of the mount, or the horizon. Seven steps down, applied either to the mount or to the lower half of the circle, would be identical with the course of the lunar goddess Ishtar, when she made her descent into the Assyrian Hades and was despoiled of all her ornaments and raiment as she passed through the seven gates downward, to be reclothed again in all her glory as she made the ascent through the seven upward gates. The object sought to be established here is the lunar circle divided into twenty-eight lengths of time, whether measured vertically by the mount of the earth or by the pathway of the moon. The seven measures answer to one-fourth [p.578] of the entire circle of twenty-eight cubits or measures of time; fourteen below and fourteen above; fourteen from sunset to sunrise, and fourteen from sunrise to sunset.
The lunar measurement and ark were earlier than the solar, and these were afterwards applied to the luni-solar cycle of time. In the luni-solar month, the days, degrees, measures, or cubits, would be fifteen instead of fourteen to the half-circle. Thus, if the lower half of the circle contains fifteen measures called cubits, instead of fourteen in the lunar reckoning, there would be fifteen measures above the mountain-summit on which the level of the equinox was marked, and this may be the meaning of the Hebrew and Toltec statements that the waters of the deluge prevailed fifteen cubits above the highest mountains; the waters being celestial, the waters of Nnu or Noë.
We hear most of the ark as a teba or box, which is a figure of the four corners, and as the measures of twenty-eight, fourteen, and seven show, was a type of the lunar heaven that followed the stellar; the ark of Taht which superseded the ark of Sut; the ark of eight cubits, or the octonary, which took the place of the heptanomis. The lunar nature of the Babylonian ark is also indicated by its measures. On the deluge tablet, as rendered by Smith, the builder of the ark relates that, 'in its circuit it was fourteen measures;' 'its frame fourteen measures it measured.' Now, as the cubit was the typical measure, this was equivalent to fourteen cubits. Boscawen has it: 'Two sides were raised. In its enclosure fourteen ribs, also fourteen they numbered above.' In this reckoning the ark of twenty-eight measures corresponds to the circle of twenty-eight lunar measures, or stations of the moon. Thus numerically the ark is identified as one with the arc by the fourteen measures below and fourteen above, and the ark of the moon was the ark of Osiris in the lunar mythos. As the lunar circle was divided in four quarters, and these four were each subdivided into seven, that may explain the statement of the builder, who says he divided the interior seven times and (its passages or parts) seven times. This ark or abode is admittedly built 'in a circuit,' which has fourteen measures above and fourteen below, subdivided by seven in the interior and by seven in its parts or passages. There are two fourteens subdivided by the two sevens, equal to the lunar circle of twenty-eight measures, the two lunations of fourteen days, and the four quarters of seven days each. And if the measure of fourteen refers to one-half the lunar circle, it is possible that the measure of fifteen cubits applied to the rising waters in the Hebrew version is a measure taken from the soli-lunar month of thirty measures or days, especially as the height of Noah's ark was to be thirty cubits. The ark of twenty-eight measures would be lunar only, the ark in which Osiris rose again on the third day after his body had been torn into fourteen parts and gathered together in the sekru (or ark) chest, coffin (teba), for the revivication and resurrection in the ark of the moon. The ark of thirty measures (a measure in the hieroglyphics is a cubit) would be soli-lunar in accordance with the thirty days to the month; this, then, would be an ark of the sun and moon, which followed the lunar ark of twenty-eight cubits. The ark of seven [p.579] measures was the stellar heptanomis. The ark of eight measures is the octonary of Taht, the lunar god; a heaven of four quarters subdivided by eight semi-cardinal points into stations for the four wives, sisters or goddesses. Then followed an ark of the sun and moon and seven stars. Now, it is said in the Persian Rauzat-us-Safa that the Almighty fixed two luminous disks, one like the sun and the other like the moon, on the wall of the ark, and thus the hours of the day and night were ascertained.
This is a mode of describing the additions made in the soli-lunar mythos to the ark of heaven, that was stellar at an earlier time, and is solar in its final phase. The arkite symbolism culminated as Egyptian in the ark of Nnu. This was the ark that was built 'with lower, second, and third stories,' because it was a threefold figure of Amenta, earth and heaven in one, as it is represented in the Ritual. Once it is shown that Noah's ark is a geometrical figure of the heaven, there is no further difficulty respecting its size or content. The beasts of the earth, the birds of the air, the fish of the waters, and the human beings were all represented by the four types at the four corners, by Tuamutef, the jackal; Kabhsetiuf, the hawk; Hapi, the ape; and Amsta, the man. These were accompanied in the enclosure by their consorts, Isis, the cow; Serkh, the scorpion; Nephthys, and Neith. Salvation from the deluge in the underworld is sought for by the manes in the ark, whether called the ark of Osiris, or Ra, or Nnu. The experience attributed to Osiris as the god in Amenta, is also assigned to the soul of the deceased. In setting by night into the waters, the sun-god entered into the ark of earth, which is called his coffin or sarcophagus, in which he was enclosed by Sut, the power of darkness. In one form this was figured as the coffin-mountain, or neb-ankh, that was represented by the hill, Bakhu, the dimensions of which are given in the Ritual. The hill Bakhu was the place of sunrise where dawn broke on the coffin-lid; and the length of this coffin, or ark of earth, was 300 cubits. It is stated in the Papyrus of Nebseni that the hill is 300 cubits in breadth. In other papyri it is said to be 300 cubits in length. This is connected with the measurement of the earth. Thus the ark of Osiris in the earth, and the ark of Noah are identical in length. The ark being also a figure of heaven, the 300 countries in Yima's kingdom are an astronomical measure equivalent to the 300 cubits of Noah's ark, and likewise to the area of 300 cubits of the Egyptian hollow hill, or ark of earth. It is possible to identify the constellation of Argo-Navis as the object-picture in the nightly heaven of the ark that Nnu constructed for the great god Ra, and thence the ark of Noah in the Hebrew version of the legend. In the pictures of the planispherei, which still remain on the celestial globe, it may be seen that the figurehead of the vessel is a ram. This was the type of the ram-headed Num, lord of the inundation, and Num was the later form of Nnu, the god of the celestial water, who was the builder of the ark for Ra. By day the solar orb was carried on the ark of Nnu, and by night the gods and glorified were seen in Argo-Navis on its voyage, as the 'collector of souls' sailed upward for the circumpolar paradise along the river of the Milky Way. Now, Argo-Navis is the only constellation that is figured hind-before on the celestial globe. As [p.580] Aratus describes the vessel, 'Argo by the great dog's tail is drawn; for hers is not a usual course, but backward turned she comes, as vessels do when sailors have transposed the crooked stern on entering harbour; all the ship reverse. And gliding backward on the beach it grounds stern forward, thus is Jason's Argo drawn.' But, what can be the meaning of an ark or ship that makes its voyage through the firmamental waters in this hindward way? We can but infer that it was an object-picture of the ark, of Nnu, as 'the bark of millions of years' receding in this backward fashion as it made the circuit of precession.
THE WORLD'S GREAT YEAR
Once every twenty-six thousand years 'the world's great age begins anew, the golden years return,' but in no other than the astronomical sense of a re-beginning at the same point of departure as in the beginning. This will re-begin again and again in the great cycle of precession, but only as a matter of chronology. Nothing will be repeated except the cycle of time and the same phenomena belonging to the astronomical mythology. The divine fulfiller of the millennium in 'the house of a thousand years,' or in any other period, will no more come in person during the next 13,000 years than it was possible for him to manifest that way in the past half of the present cycle of 26,000 years. A knowledge of the facts constitutes the sole data of the truth, and such knowledge will ultimately put an end to the great delusion of the false faith that was founded in the uttermost ignorance of the astronomical facts.
In the great year of precession there are seven stations of the celestial pole, six of which are still identifiable in the constellations of Draconis, the Lesser Bear, Kepheus, Cygnus, Lyra, and Herakles. The pole changes, and its position is approximately determined by another central star about each 3,700 years. Seven times in the great year the station of the pole was raised aloft as landmark amid the firmamental waters in the shape of an island, or a mound a tree, a pillar, horn, or pyramid. Whichever the type this was repeated seven times in the circuit of precession, to form the compound and collective figure of the celestial heptanomis, so that the heaven rested, or was raised, at last upon the seven mountains or seven mounds; seven islands, seven giants, seven caves, seven trees, seven pillars, or other structures of support, as seven figures of the all-sustaining pole. Seven golden isles emerged from out the watery vast, or wisdom reared the seven pillars of her house; the heavens were borne upon the backs of seven giants, or the eternal city was built upon the seven hills.
It would take some twenty six thousand years to build the heptanomis on the support of the seven poles. These were added one by one and figured collectively as seven sustaining powers of the heavens, such as seven hippopotami; seven crocodiles; seven bears; seven mountains; seven mounds of earth; seven trees or a tree with [p.581] seven branches; a serpent with seven heads; a fish with seven fins; seven horns of Sesheta the foundress; seven pillars; seven giants; seven Cyclops, with Polaris for a single eye; and lastly, there are the seven divinities called 'the lords of eternity.' Seven periods in precession correspond to seven stations of the pole. The length of time in each when measured by the changing polestars is about 3,700 years. Seven times the 'Atalantean pole' sank in the waters of the deluge during the great year. This was figured as the seven sunken islands of the lost Atlantis. But there is another lost land of Atlantis, that passed away in ten islands, imaging a vanished heaven in ten divisions. The first was the heptanomis of the seven kings or rulers. The second is the heaven in ten divisions which ended with the deluge of the ten kings or patriarchs in the Semitic legends. These two vanished heavens will account for two great years, or fifty two thousand years of time.
The pole and equinox are travelling pari passu, one in the upper circle of the heavens, the other in the larger lower circle of the ecliptic, and the shifting of the equinox was correlated more or less exactly to the changing of the polestar. The power that presided over the pole as Osiris was given rebirth as Horus in the vernal equinox. The polestar symbolized the lord of eternity. Horus in the equinox (or the double equinox) was a traveller of eternity manifesting in the sphere of time; in the Han-cycle of 120 years; in the house of 1,000 years; in the Sothic cycle of 1,460 years; or in the change from sign to sign, each 2,155 years. For two thousand years and more the polestar in the Lesser Bear has coincided with the vernal equinox in the sign of Pisces. Previously the pole in Draconis coincided with the vernal equinox in the sign of the ram or the bull. A seventh of the ecliptic, not merely a third part, was assigned to one or other of the polestar gods who became the seven lords of eternity. This will explain how the ram could be the special constellation of the god who was at the same time the ruler of the north polestar. So, in the celestial drama portrayed in the Book of Revelation, the fall of the dragon, or, astronomically, the change of polestar, when ά Draconis was superseded, is followed by the exaltation of the lamb upon the solar mount of glory. The longer one dwells in presence of Egypt, the older grows the face of her unveiled antiquity. Not fifty merely, but more like a thousand centuries look down upon us from her summit of attainment, the pyramid of her glory, that she built for ever in the highest heaven of her heavens. It was asserted by Martianus Capella that the Egyptians had secretly cultivated the science of astronomy for 40,000 years before it was made known to the rest of the world. As timekeepers, the astronomers of Egypt had thought and wrought, observed and registered on the scale of the great year of the universe. The circuit of precession first outlined by the movement of the celestial pole was their circle of the eternal, or seven eternals, that was imaged by the shennu-ring, and likewise by the serpent of eternity, when this was figured with tail in mouth and one eye always open at the centre of the coil. They not only laid great bases for eternity in this way, they built upon the basis of all time which culminated in the cycle of precession. When Herodotus was in Egypt, the 'mystery teachers of the [p.582] heavens' told him that during a certain length of time which had been reckoned by the Egyptian astronomers, 'the sun had four times risen out of his usual quarter; that he had twice risen where he now sets, and twice set where he now rises. Yet, that no change in the things of Egypt had been occasioned by this, either in the productions of the earth "or the river."' And he adds, the Egyptians say, they know these things with accuracy because they always compute and register the years. Now there is no cycle in astronomy, save the circle of the precessional movement in which the phenomena thus unwittingly described by the faithful old chronicler could occur. One such cycle is certain, two are not improbable, and three are possible. After long study of the whole matter one sees perforce that the science of astronomy in Egypt, with its observed and registered cycle or cycles in precession, is actually older than any race of men on earth outside of Africa.
The Book of the Dead not only proves the ancient Egyptians to have been acquainted with the precessional movement, it also gives us an account of the actual changing of a polestar. The god Taht, the measurer of time, by means of the moon and the Great Bear, is to be seen in the midst of his mysteries, which are here described as those of keeping the chronology for the guidance of posterity. There is a change in the position of the Maat, or judgment-hall, which in the stellar mythos was at the station of the pole, and was shifted with the shifting pole. On account of this change, Taht comes as the messenger of Ra in the soli-lunar mythos to make fast that which was afloat upon the Urnas (Gr., Ouranos) water; to readjust the reckoning and to 'restore the eye' by making it 'firm and permanent' once more for keeping time and period correctly on the scale of the great year. The backward motion of precession is described when Taht says to Atum Ra, 'I have rescued the Atu from his backward course. I have done what thou hast prescribed for him.' As Renouf remarks, 'I do not think any astronomer would hesitate to say that precession is meant,' by this 'backward course.' The Atu is a mythical fish with some relation to the course of the solar bark; that is to its backward course, the course of Argo-Navis. Taht has 'rescued the Atu from his backward course.' He has allowed for this retrograde motion in precession, and has made the eye firm and fixed once more by means of his reckonings as a guide to posterity. Taht also says at the same time, 'I have equally balanced the divine pair, (Sut and Horus) and put a stop to their strife.' This changing of the pole occurs once every 3,714 years, or, in the round numbers of the outsiders, every 3,000 years. This is alluded to by Theopompus, who tells us that 'according to the Magi,' 'one of the gods shall conquer, the other be conquered, alternately for 3,000 years; for another 3,000 years they shall fight, war, and undo one the works of the other; but in the end hades will fail, and men will be happy, neither requiring food, nor constructing shelter; whilst the god who bath contrived all this is quiet, and resting himself for a time.' The conflict is identical with the battle of Sut and Horus on the grand scale. Three thousand years in round numbers with a surplus known to the Urshi, point to a period in precession [p.583] (3,714) equivalent to a change from one polestar to another, in the station of the pole, only the length of time is now applied to souls in the eschatology, passing through the astronomical cycle of the proverbial 3,000 years. The Chinese 'peach-tree of the gods' is a magnificent image of the pole. It has seven branches that bear the fruit of immortality, the fruit which ripens once in 3,000 years. Three thousand, we repeat, being a round number for the cycle, where 4,000 would not have answered when the exact number is 3,714 years. The peaches from this tree of time or knowledge were seven in series, as is shown by the seven peaches which were brought by the mythical Wang-Mu when she visited the equally mythical Emperor Wa Ti. Also the seven peaches as total fruit of the tree tend to prove that the figure was employed as a round number in thousands, near enough for the non-initiated and the surplus allowed for in reckoning the total combination.
It is feasible to suppose that the hanging and suspending power of the firmament was an earlier source of wonderment than even the revolution of the heavenly bodies. There is a passage in the Argonauticon which appears to show that the notion of suspension preceded that of revolving. 'And so it is that men call those isles, the isles of turning, though aforetime they called them the floating isles.' These were the islands figured in the firmamental sea. Thus under one image groups of the revolving stars were thought of as the golden isles afloat in the celestial waters of the firmament. A typical floating island called Chemmis was shown to Herodotus in the deep broad lake, near the precinct of the temple of Buto, where it represented the place of refuge in which the infant Horus (Apollo) was concealed and saved when sought for by the devouring Apap. This place of birth was first figured in the stellar mythos as a floating island of the pole. The islands of Atlantis, whether seven or ten in number, would not have become the sunken islands unless they had been floating isles at first; and they were floating as formations in the water of heaven. The earliest foothold in the infinite had been physically attained amongst the stars that do not set. This was a place of refuge and of safety from the deluge of the firmamental deep whenever the catastrophe occurred.
It may sound a paradoxical thing to say, but it is true that according to the mythical representation the earliest earth was a bit of ground solidified in the celestial waters for the planting of a stake, or tree, or building, raising a pile, or some kind of bulwark against the overwhelming water-flood. The Egyptian hieroglyphic-sign of land, locality, or station is the well-known cake(¤), that looks like our Easter hot-cross bun, and is a figure of the land that was caked or coagulated amidst the waters. This first formation in the waters of the Nun was constellated at the place of equipoise and fixity, when this was at the pole. And in the Osirian mythos this first standing place remained as a throne of the Eternal on the mount amid the water of the upper deep. In what is termed the Japanese 'cosmology' there is a primitive rendering of this beginning. Two of the kami-deities, Izanagi and Izanami, the brother and sister corresponding to the Egyptian Shu and Tefnut, who lifted up the paradise of Am-Khemen, [p.584] are divinely deputed to make, consolidate, and give birth to the island of Japan. For this purpose they were provided with a heavenly spear made of a jewel; a dual figure of the pole and Polaris. Thus equipped, the pair stood on the 'floating bridge' of heaven, and churned the Isle of Onogoro from the waters. This is the earth or ground that was consolidated in an island called 'the self-curdled.' The matter that was condensed around the spear or pole with which they churned the waters formed the land of Nippon, or Japan. Onogoro, says Hatori Nakatsune, a native commentator, was originally at the north pole, but was afterwards shifted to its present position. That is when the island which was 'self-curdled' in the celestial ocean gave its name to an earthly island in the Yellow Sea. To see that the jewelled spear was an emblem of the pole we have but to compare this legend with the Indian version called 'the churning of the ocean,'i in which a mountain (the mount of the pole) takes the place of the spear as the typical churning-stick. But this was no cosmical creation of the earth itself amidst the waters of space. Such an interpretation is only an erroneous literalization of the legendary lore. When the primal pair of the Japanese kami took possession of the island which had been coagulated from the deep, they stuck the spear into the ground or earth. This was a mode of planting the tree or establishing the pole as a primary foundation in the water of heaven, that was now repeated in the resting-place on earth as a likeness of the pole above. Garcilasso de la Vega relates that the Inca told him how 'Our Father' sent two of his children, a brother and sister, down from heaven. He gave them a golden rod, two fingers thick and half an ell long, and when they desired to rest anywhere they were to stick this into the ground, and wherever it entered the earth at one push, there they were to halt, establish themselves, encamp, and hold their court or build the city. Here the brother and sister are another form of Shu and Tefnut. In a Dog-rib Indian myth a planting of the pole occurs. It is said that the divine hero, Chapewee, stuck a piece of wood in the earth, which became a fir tree, that grew and grew and grew until it reached to heaven. Then Chapewee ascended the tree, and at the summit found a fine large plain and a beaten road to travel on.
The present writer contends that the deluge-legends of the world are based upon the astronomical mythology of Egypt, but that in the isolation of the primitive emigrants the ancient wisdom lapsed and the deluge as a mode of symbolism in astronomy was more or less lost sight of; and, from lack of knowledge, the mythical deluge was confused with the primitive concept of heaven as the water overhead. With the knowers the deluge was a typical figure; with the ignorant it was an actuality that might at any time recur, as did the water-flood on earth. The chief contribution made by the Semites to the astronomical mythology was in literalizing the legends which originated with the mythical mode of representation, and in putting forth an exoteric version of the ancient wisdom. Thus it was natural that in a country like Babylonia where the winter rains were held to be a curse the typical deluge of Nnu in the celestial waters should be confused [p.585] with the flood of Bel or Noah on the surface of the earth. Pliny calls Belus the 'inventor of sidereal science,' and Belus as the elder Bel was a form of the Egyptian Bar, a name of Sut. As Diodorus relates, the Egyptians claimed to have taught the science of astronomy to the Babylonians, and declared that Belus and his subjects were a colony from Egypt. Belus (the first Bel) being identified with Bar = Sut, this means that the colonising of Babylonia from Egypt was during the reign of Sut, or at least in the time of the primordial polestar one great year ago, when the polestar was previously in the Lesser Bear or the male hippopotamus. In astronomy the status of an arch-first depended on being foremost in time, and Sut was first as bull of the mother, or the male hippopotamus with the female. We hold the founder of astronomy to have been the establisher of the pole, whether as Sut, in the southern, or Sut-Anup in the northern heaven. And the most profoundly important of all the deluges was that which took place at the subsidence and submergence of the pole and changing of the polestar, the star that fell from heaven, according to the astronomical mythology. The Book of Enoch says that, previously to the Noachian deluge, Noah saw that the earth became inclined and that destruction approached. Then he lifted up his feet and went to the ends of the earth, to the dwelling of his great grandfather Enoch. The 'Ends of the Earth' was an expression for the two poles—the dwelling of Enoch being equivalent to that of Sut at the southern pole. The beginning, however, was not with boats or arks as a means of crossing the celestial waters of the Nun. Islands were figured earlier. Typical heaps of earth were raised by the mound-builders as ground to go upon, like stepping-stones in the celestial deep. These eventually were seven in number. The structure also ranged from seven mounds at first to seven cities finally. Naturally the mount or mound of earth, the tree, the papyrus-reed, or island was a type of emergence from or amid the waters earlier than the building of a boat or an ark in the celestial sea. The first ideas were those of suspension, fixity, and foothold in the liquid vast.
In various primitive legends the bulwark was raised against the waters but was overthrown because the faithless woman failed to keep the secret with which she had been entrusted. We have already cited one or two American and African instances. In a Muyscas myth, Huythaca was the old first mother who ruled when there was as yet no sun or moon. She is described as a very wicked woman who maliciously loved to spoil the work of her husband. It was she who caused a flood from which but a few persons escaped by seeking refuge on the mountain-tops. Bochica, the solar god, then put a stop to the deluge, and, being very wroth with Huythaca, drove her from the earth and changed her into the moon. The result of the flood, in this case, was the same as in the Destruction of Mankind, viz., the establishment of solar time. When the earth was dry again Bochica gave the year and the periodic sacrifices and the worship of the sun to the people who survived the flood.
Nut, the celestial wateress in the Ritual, was a keeper of the waters which the women of the legends failed to guard. Hence 'the leg of [p.586] Nut' is a figure of the pole. In one of the legends the children of Nut, that is the stars, have failed in keeping proper time, and been the cause of confusion and strife. This is in an address to the moon-god Taht, who succeeded Sut the star-god as reckoner of time by means of the moon. 'Hail, Taht! what is it that hath happened to the divine children of Nut? They have done battle, they have made strife, they have wrought evil, they have created the fiends, they have made slaughter, they have caused trouble; in all their doings the mighty have worked against the weak. Grant, O might of Taht, that that which the god Tum hath decreed may be done. Thou regardest not evil, nor art thou provoked to evil, nor art thou provoked to anger when they bring their years to confusion, and rush in and disturb their months; for in all that they have done unto thee they have worked iniquity in secret.' When the polestar changed the bulwark would be overthrown, and the mistress of the waters would be charged with causing a catastrophe by which the 'bulwarks' of her consort, who was Sut in the Egyptian astral mythos, were submerged. The blame, of course, in after-times, was laid upon the woman, that is when the woman had taken the place of the primitive zootype, such as the water-cow or crocodile. In Amenta Ptah is the builder of the bulwark that was raised against the waters, or to keep out the Apap-reptile. But Sut-Anup, as a ruler at the pole, was an indefinitely earlier god who raised the bulwark to keep out the deluge. In later ages, when Anup had become the son of Ra, one name for his dwelling-place upon the mountain, that was on the solar mount of glory, is called Ut, the 'Town of the Embankment,' which is equivalent to the pile of earth that was heaped up by the mythical mound-builders in seven mounds that formed the bulwarks or embankments at the seven stations of the pole in the circuit of precession. When the deluge occurred at the celestial pole the type of stability and fixed foothold on land was whelmed beneath the firmamental waters. If this was an island or a tree it sank and was lost sight of. Hence the tree of the pole had to be replanted, or the embankment was to be raised anew when the deluge was over. It is related by the Miztec tribe of Indians that 'in the day of obscurity and darkness the gods built a palace which was a masterpiece of skill, and made their abode upon the summit of a mountain. The rock was called "the Place of Heaven." It was the primary dwelling of the gods. The children of the gods planted a garden with fruit-trees. But it is the old universal tale: there came a deluge; the happy garden was submerged, and many sons and daughters of the gods were swept away.' Inevitably, at times our earth gets substituted for the mound, the island, or the earth-heap piled as a fixture for foothold in the celestial waters. The mound of earth was followed by the pyramidion of brick, wood, or stone, the earliest figure of the tower that was built to reach the sky. Thus, when the flood of Noah came to an end, the tower of brick was raised by the survivors in the land of Shinar. In this version we see the tower succeeding the mountain, and the mound as a typical figure of the station at the pole. After the Assyrian deluge the tree was replanted in the circle or enclosure, and to replant the tree was to re-establish the pole in its new station; the tree or wood that was said [p.587] to be eternal. Noah likewise planted the tree which in his case was the vine. In the Book of Enoch it is said the portion of Noah (in time) has ascended up to God, and now 'the angels shall labour at the trees' (or tree) and 'the seed of life shall arise from it.' This may likewise be taken to denote a replanting of the tree as symbol of the pole. Xisuthrus, the Chaldean Noah, is called the King of Surippak, the ship-city, the city of refuge that was represented by or as an ark upon the waters. The building on land was earlier than the boat upon the waters, and when the gods decide to make a deluge it is said, upon the Chaldean tablet, 'O man of Surippak, son of Ubarratutu, destroy the house and build a ship.' Here the ship or ark on the waters succeeds the dwelling-place on land. And both the ark and house were united in Surippak, the ark-city, or 'City of the Ship.' After the Babylonian deluge, Hasisadra says, 'I built an altar on the peak of a mountain,' and there he offered a sacrifice to the gods. The altar-mound, we repeat, is a figure of the pole. The structure overthrown by the deluge is rebuilt in several ways, the types ranging from the mound to the metropolis. Not only is the typical altar of the pole erected on the mountain-peak, but the structure was finally rebuilt on the scale of the eternal city. Thus, the ark-city of Surippak is succeeded by the city of Erech-Suburi. In raising this, 'great stones' are dragged for a long distance to where the wall of the new enclosure is to be erected, on the summit of the ascent, in the midst of Erech-Suburi. Seven such structures were raised in the course of precession, at seven stages of the pole, and the journey from one stage to another is described in the legend of Gilgamesh. In the Noachian version the deluge is followed by the building of 'an altar to the Lord.' There is also a journey made to 'a plain in the land of Shinar where the generations of Noah came to dwell. And they said one to another "Go to ... Let us build us a city, and a tower whose top may reach to heaven, and let us make us a name lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."' In this account we find three figures of the pole: the altar-mound, the tower, and the city; also the migration of the survivors to another station of the pole which is a common feature in the astronomical mythos, particularly in the Aztec, Peruvian, and Mexican legends. So ancient was this erection and re-erection of the pole, which signified another station fixed in the celestial journeyings, that the erection of a pole in the earth became a sacred mode of marking the station and the camping-place for the wanderers over the surface of the earth, as with the two poles of the Australian Arunta, and the stave or rod of the Inca. The Tower of Babel was a symbol of the pole which had been overthrown or shifted by the waters of the deluge. To build the tower, then, was to replace the pole. The tower was the Babylonian Bab-illu, which the Hebrew writer has turned into the tower of 'babble' and confusion. The story itself is found on an Assyrian tablet in the British Museum, with this difference: In the older legend the structure is a mound, whereas in the Hebrew version it is a tower built of brick. It is explained that Babylon corruptly turned to sin. 'Great and small commingled on the mound.' There was a revolt against the great god Anu, 'king of the holy [p.588] mound.' The rebels are described as building a stronghold, but they were confounded in their work. What they did by day was all undone by night. The supreme god gave a command to make strange their speech. 'For future time the mountain,' or the mound, was overthrown by Nu-nam-nir, the god of lawlessness or no rule, and the destruction occurred, though not in the form of a deluge. In the Mexican pictures there is an earlier type of the pole as a point of departure than the tower of brick. It has been called the starting-point of the Aztecs after the deluge. In this the mount or mound of earth rises from the water, like an island from the ocean, with a tree upon its summit. The mount is thus identifiable with the pole by means of the typical tree. It is likewise identified with the pole as the mount that topples over, the crooked mount Colhuaean, upon which the ark of Tezpi rested after the deluge. In one drawing the male and female pair are portrayed with the boat waiting for them on the water. In the other a man in the boat is paddling away from the point of departure. The pair are known to tradition as Cox-Cox and his consort. The picture is also said to illustrate the migration from a starting-point in Atlan, or Aztlan, the white mountain. Without recurring for the present to the beginning of astronomy in the equatorial regions, we look on Sut (or Sut-Anup), the firstborn son of Apt (Kep or Kefa), the most ancient form of the Great Mother, as the founder of the celestial pole, or the eternal tree in the paradise, the garden or cultivated enclosure of the northern heaven. Sut and his mother became the primal pair in the Egyptian mythology.
Although the mother of all living things, one of whose names, Khefa, survived in Hebrew as Chavvah (Eve), the primal pair of beings were not constellated as the human parents of the human race, but as male and female hippopotami, or Behemoth and Leviathan, and later as the Greater and the Lesser Bears; she as the maker of the circle, and he as the first to plant the tree, or erect the pole, the pillar, or the mound within the circle; Job says of Behemoth, 'he is the chief of the ways of God.' Now, Behemoth is the Egyptian Bekhinut, the hippopotamus. This was female as the zootype of the Great Mother, and male as the image of Sut her son, who as the founders of the pole were 'the chief of the ways' in heaven as establishers of a guiding-star at the pole. When the primal pair are represented in the Book of Genesis by Adam and Eve they are the husband and wife in a later mythos that was solar. But in the primal legends the descent of the human race is traced, to the primal pair when these were mother and son, or the brother and sister as represented in the Japanese creation of the pole.
The earliest flood, caused by the declination of the polestar, set afloat a large number of legends. One of these relates that the new world which followed was peopled by a brother and sister. The Chins, on the Burma frontier, preserve the tradition of a universal deluge that was coeval with the origin of their race. According to the Haka tradition all the hills were submerged, and every person was drowned except one brother and sister, who floated in a large earthen jar, and when the waters subsided settled on the Mun Ktlang mountain. The old earth- [p.589] mother, who was represented as the bringer-forth of life from the waters in the shape of a pregnant hippopotamus, was imaged astronomically as the genetrix who brought forth her young from the firmamental water amidst the fields of papyrus-reed which formed the Sekhet-Aarru. The same in Apta at the northern pole as it was in Apta at the equator. This old mother of beginnings in the waters of earth and heaven was also repeated as the dragon-horse in the Chinese version of the astronomical uranography as well as in the Babylonian remains. It is recorded in the sacred books that a supernatural dragon-horse issued from the waters of heaven and made known the eight mystical diagrams to Tai-Hao, the first mythical or celestial ruler, who corresponds to Sut, the inventor of astronomy in Egypt, and Bel in Babylonia. The mother and son were the pair that preceded the individualising of the fatherhood and the son was mythically represented as both the child and consort, the adult or bull, of the mother.
According to the Indian tribes of Guiana, the primal pair were a male and female, saved from the deluge in a canoe. This is a legend of the Tamanaks. It is the same representation in the ancient British tradition. The Welsh first parents, named Dwyvan and Dwyvach, are a male and female who found safety from the deluge in an ark. Also on the Apamean coin the pair as Nu, or Noë, and his female consort are portrayed upon the waters floating in a box or teba, accompanied by a raven and a dove. There is also a primal pair connected with the tree in a legend of New Guinea who are called 'the man and his mother.' The man is so mighty that he thrusts a spear through the earth right into the heart of the rock, where the pair live in the condition of troglodytes. The spear evidently images the pole, which is mixed up, if not identified, with the tree, as is the spear of the male and female pair in the Japanese legend. The man and his mother climbed to the top of the tree, and there the strong man slew the giant, the Apap-monster slain by Horus, and the giant slain by Jack. The giant is a co-type with the Apap-serpent of drought and darkness; and in another legend the monster is a serpent coiled about the tree. This may help us to understand the presence of the evil serpent with 'the man and his mother' underneath the tree in the Assyrian garden of Eden. The mother is the old first genetrix, one of whose titles is 'mistress of the mountains' as well as of the mount. The Samoans say that the first of the human race were a woman and her son. Turner tells us they have many tales about the doings of that woman and her son, from whom the race of men descended. Thus, man and woman originated as the mother and her son, or the sister and brother, who afterwards became the mythical mother and father in the solar legends, which reflect the later sociology. In one tradition of the Ainu it is related that the race originated with a primal pair of ancestors, who were a female bear and a dog. This is, of course, in accordance with the totemic symbolism, only the totemic symbols were not limited to the human groups. Totems of the nature-powers were also figured in the planisphere. In Africa the great first mother of all was constellated as the female hippopotamus, or as a crocodile. In [p.590] Greece she was imaged as the female bear. Sut, her son, was represented by a jackal which became the dog through change of fauna. These can now be traced to the Greater and Lesser Bears as two surviving constellations of the Great Mother and her dog, who constitute the primal pair of the Ainu, with the bear as the Great Mother and the dog (or jackal) as her son or consort when the pole was in the Lesser Bear, we might say one great year ago.
Sut, as ruler of the primal polestar, was the arch-first in heaven, as a male. This is the title of Tai-Yih, the Chinese great one. It is said that among all the shin, or spirits (the Japanese shintu gods), of the heavens, the highest one dwells in the star Tai-Yih of the constellation Draco. It is not enough, however, to identify the deity with the pole in general. There were seven of these gods, and everywhere the question is, which of the seven stations of the pole was the seat at the time? Draconis was the constellation of Horus-Sebek, the crocodile-dragon. Sut was the firstborn child of the Great Mother Apt or Khep, and those two formed the primary duad that is sometimes called Sut-Typhon, the nearest approach to which name in Egyptian would be Sut-Tept, or Sut and his mother as the primal pair. According to one account of the origins in the Book of Genesis, Seth, Set, or Sut was the firstborn child of Chavvah, as he had been of Kep or Kefa in the Kamite mythos. Sut was the primary ruler or overlord, the earliest representative of power in heaven figured in an image of the male, or the lord, whose name was first called upon when Sut became the backbone of the universe, as establisher of the pole. He was the lord as male hippopotamus and consort to the lady who was his mother as the female. And here we may perceive that a fragment of the true tradition survived in the biblical statement that in the time of Seth 'Men began to call upon the name of the Lord.' Sut, as male, was first of the seven brothers who in the Babylonian legend 'came as begetters.' This fact also is recognised in the text when it is said that 'a son was born to Seth,' or Sut, Egyptian, who was the first form of the father as the elder brother with whom the fatherhood began. It is said of Ialdabaoth that, being incensed with men because they did not worship or honour him as god and father, he being the oldest brother only, he sent forth a deluge upon them that he might at once destroy them all. Sut acquired an evil character in later times, and became the original form of an anthropomorphic Satan. He was looked upon as the fallen leader of the angelic host because he had been first in glory as the ruling power at the primary station of the pole. This is the Satan worshipped by the Yezidis in Mesopotamia, for whom there is to be a restoration as well as a fall, which points to an astronomical origin in both aspects of the character. Sut, in the Ritual, is proclaimed as having been the first in glory, it is said 'the power of Sut which hath departed was greater than that of all the gods.' He was first as primary power of the pole, the first to sit upon 'the mount of congregation' as the 'most high' in 'the uttermost parts of the north,' or at the pole of heaven. Hence he was the reputed author of astronomy. Thus, when the polestar of Sut in the jackal (or the hippopotamus) had fallen away from the true pole and [p.591] lost its place as guide of ways in heaven, there was matter for the legend of a fall as a fable founded on a fact in the astronomical mythology. When so read, the fall of man from heaven is resolved into the fall of Sut, or Lucifer, the light-bringer, or the light that was uplifted at the primary station of the pole, the woman who was the foundress being charged by the Semites, the Chinese, and others with being his accomplice and instigator, a mode of unconsciously showing that she, the Great Mother, was the mover, which she was, but only as the primum mobile, not as the woman urging the man to his eternal misery. The following citation shows the primal pair as Ishtar and the elder Bel in relation to the mount of the pole and the mountains of its different stations. 'O lady, mistress of the mountain, goodly stronghold of the mountains, mighty lock of the mountains, queen of the land of the four rivers. O lord, the mighty mountain, Bel!' In this imagery the Great Mother as Ishtar, is mistress of the mountain, and Bel is the lord, identical with the mount itself which imaged the pole, when Bel was the star. In one of the Assyrian hymns this enclosure of the 'lady of the eternal tree' and her comrade is spoken of as 'the park of Ishtar.' Nergal, the destroyer, is thus addressed, 'O lord, the park of Ishtar thou establishest not.' Nergal having been one of the overthrowers at the time of the deluge. In the Assyrian hymns to the gods it is said that the lady of the eternal tree is the comrade of the bull, the great bull, the supreme bull. The tree is the pole; 'the eternal wood' or Gis-Zida, which also seems to mean a mast, is the pole. Now, it is a form of this pair of founders at the pole that we think may be dimly discerned on the Assyrian cylinder. The tree with seven branches represents the pole as a figure of the total heptanomis, and is consequently late. The pair beneath the tree are the mother and son, or male and female, of the legend as the primal pair who fell from heaven because they failed as keepers of the tree of knowledge at the pole. There is also a form of this primal pair to be seen in a drawing on one of the Greek vases which comes nearest to the Hebrew version of the woman tempting the man. The Great Mother is portrayed in noble nudity, Greek fashion, as divinely tall beside a youth to whom she is offering the fruit which she has plucked from the tree of knowledge, the tree that represented the pole when the knowledge was astronomical. The pair, like the female and male in the Assyrian garden, are underneath the tree, about the root of which the serpent coils.
As Kamite, or as Greek, the ancient genetrix was the teacher who in later legend is misrepresented as the tempter.
We now claim to have recovered the natural origin of the primeval paradise with the primal pair, the tree and serpent in the enclosure at the station first established at the fixed point of the celestial pole, of which so many versions and perversions are extant without one of them being scientifically correct or verifiable from lack of the long-lost data in astronomy. Egyptian mythology, the source and fountainhead of all the ancient wisdom and legendary lore, could not be understood apart from this, neither can the astronomy be explained apart from the mythology. To repeat: The garden is the enclosure at the pole that was first figured in the circle of the ancient genetrix. [p.592] The pole itself was represented by the tree. The evil serpent symbolizes the drought, the darkness, and the dearth in physical phenomena. The reptile coils around the tree or is present in all the pictures, Egyptian, Babylonian, Hindu, Red Indian, Norse, and Greek, also as described in divers ancient legends. The mother brought forth her child of life as the opponent of the evil serpent and protector of the tree, and the saviour in the Kamite mythology was converted into a saviour in the Semitic eschatology. The Chinese have a tradition in which original sin is attributed to a woman who overthrew her 'husband's bulwarks through an ambitious desire for knowledge.' As in the Book of Genesis and the legend of the wicked Huythaea, the sin is ascribed to the woman. But we need to know what the bulwark was before we can see how it could ever have been overthrown. She was primus, as builder of the bulwark or as planter of the pole, and, above all, as mistress of the waters which were under her control, or should have been, unless she had neglected them or entered into a league with the Apap-reptile, which was the primary evil power that overthrew the enclosure with the deluge of the dark or the waters of the firmament.
We meet with a form of the primal pair in Stanley's legend of Lake Tanganyika, one of the oldest in the world. In this the woman had been trusted with the keeping of the waters. But she betrayed the secret to her lover and the waters broke forth in a deluge of destruction, the proof of which catastrophe remains to this day in Lake Tanganyika. The Khonds of Orissa have a divinized form of the primal pair in their ancient goddess, Tan Pennu, and her son, Bun Pennu, who answers to a polestar god inasmuch as he was called 'the light.' These can be identified with the prototypal pair, that is with Sut the establisher of the pole and his mother, because he is credited with creating a primal paradise, and she is charged with having maliciously caused its destruction, which is elsewhere rendered as a deluge of water or a fall from heaven.
Amongst the mummeries still religiously performed in Rome, and also by the English ritualists, which are mystical at present from lack of meaning, there is a ceremony of 'the seven stations of the cross,' which is supposed to commemorate the seven resting-places of the cross on the way to Calvary. But the same, or a similar procession, was celebrated at Abydos or Memphis when the tat-cross was carried round the seven resting-places that marked and memorized the seven stations of the pole. In one of the ancient Chaldean oracles the seven stations of the pole are spoken of as the seven poles. 'The Chaldeans call the god (Dionysius or Bacchus) Iao in the Phoenician tongue (instead of the intelligible light), and he is often called Sabaoth, signifying that he is above the seven poles, that is the Demiurgus.' As Iamblichus says of the Chaldeans, 'They not only preserved the memorials of seven-and-twenty myriads of years, as Hipparchus tells us they have, but likewise of the whole Apocatastes and periods of the seven rulers of the world.' It certainly was so with the Egyptians. These rulers were the seven born of the Great Mother as the seven powers of earth. They were reborn of Nut, the mother-heaven, as the seven glorious ones, who [p.593] were called the khuti; the seven with Anup at the pole who were the executioners for the great judge; the seven wise masters of art and science in the lunar mythos with Tehuti; the seven sahus with Horus in Orion; the seven as moulders with Ptah in the making of Amenta; the seven as the souls of Atum-Ra who were the creators of man.
These are the seven that were uranographic figures in the astronomical mythology as the seven old, old ones; the seven patriarchs of enormous age; the seven giants of colossal stature; the seven rulers of the world; the seven lords or masters of eternity.
In later times the seven planets have been mistaken for the seven stars. But these ancient polestars we consider to be 'the seven stars' of which it is related in the tradition reproduced by Plato that after many ages they would return and meet together again in their old places as in the beginning, and apparently at the time of the last deluge of all, or, as we read it, at the end of the great year.
It was these and not the seven planets that could ever return to an original station at the starting point. The planets were but five in number and not seven in the most ancient astronomy. The sun, moon, and seven stars were not the seven planets of modern science. The seven, called the first of the stars, which in the beginning were in heaven, are connected with the great year according to the Book of Enoch, as is shown by their being cast out until the day of the 'great consummation' in 'the secret year,' also called the 'period of the great judgment.'
The seven that were separate and single as rulers of the pole were also grouped together as a pictorial illustration in the planisphere. These are the seven in the constellation of the Lesser Bear who follow the bier or coffin of their lord, Osiris, in the Greater Bear. These are they of whom it is said, 'Their places were fixed by Anup on the day of Come thou hither,' who became the seven lords of eternity, and who were looked up to as seven divine ancestors of Atum-Ra. The names of seven superseded watchers in heaven are given by Enoch as: Azazyel, Amazarak, Armers, Barkayel, Akebeel, Tamiel, and Asaradel. Here also is evidence that the seven Rishis who meditated and forgot were the representatives of seven polestars. Dhruva was one of the Rishis who was assigned a polestar by Vishnu. He is said to have meditated himself into forgetfulness of his identity (or ceased to be a polestar). The seven who slumbered and forgot are also represented by the seven sleepers in the cave at Ephesus with their dog, who answer to the seven with Anup and his jackal at the pole. The seven who slumbered and forgot likewise recur in the Norse mythology. These are the seven sons of Mimir who guard the land of Odainsakr, the land of the ever-living. They are represented as the smiths who forged the primitive weapons and who correspond to the seven khtemmu or divine metallurgists of Ptah. Though sleeping till the dusk of the last day, they keep the enclosure safe until the final conflict comes between the powers of good and evil. Then they are to wake and rise and help to establish the new heaven and rejuvenated earth. The seven under whatsoever name or type, watching or slumbering, are still the keepers of the world's great year and the enclosure of the seven never-setting stars that marked the seven stations of the shifting pole.
Before the building of the boat the seven had to keep their heads above water as the seven mythical, immeasurable giants, equivalent in the superhuman guise to seven great mountains imaging the seven starry summits. One of these giants is Ogg in Jewish legend, who is said to have waded through the deluge, clinging with one hand to the ark to keep afloat. The seven giants, as figures of seven colossal constellations, were tall enough to hold their heads, which are the seven polestars, above the waters that were deep enough to drown the other people of the heavens. But when the boat was built there was an ark of safety that could float upon the waters, and the primordial seven were mythically represented as being saved from the deluge in an ark as seven companions, Ali, Cabiri, Hohgates, or other groups of the seven which had one origin in the astronomical mythology of Egypt. And when the boat was launched upon the water of earth the type could be applied to the water of heaven. Seven giants, in one rendering of the mythos, bore the world of the heptanomis upon their backs, each standing at his station as one of seven great props personified as giants. The unhuman hugeness of the giant was most naturally derived from the enormous preanthropomorphic types or zootypes of superhuman power. Sut, as the hippopotamus, is a giant. Sebek, as the crocodile, is a giant. Shu, as the lion, is a giant. An ape of seven cubits and also one of eight cubits is described as a giant. But the seven primal powers as Egyptian in the earliest human form are pigmies and not giants. Moreover, the giants were not human, whereas the pigmies are. In an Arthurian legend the Welsh Owein comes to a wide, open clearing with a great mound in it where there is a black giant, who stands upon one foot, and has only one eye in the middle of his forehead. The mound, the giant with one foot and Cyclops's eye are perfect figures of the pole and polestar, which have here been grouped together in a later legend. The Irish Crom, Cromm Cruiach, 'the crooked or bent one of the mound,' equates with the Mexican 'crooked mountain' as the figure of a falling or deflected station of the pole. The Mexican tradition affirmed that it was in the first age of the world that the giants began to appear on the earth. These are the giants of the constellations who had been humanized as magnified non-natural men, and then transferred to our earth in the märchen that took the place of the gnosis, or science of the mythos. In the Aztec and Mexican versions of the deluge myths we find that when the great calamity occurred the land was peopled by giants. Seven of these who were brothers found safety by enclosing themselves in the seven caves of the mountain Tlaloc. The Indians of Cholula likewise relate that only seven inhabitants of this foreworld of the giants survived the deluge. In Southern California the Indians have a tradition of the beginning in which Quaor, the Lord, when he created the world, or the new order of things, placed it on the shoulders of seven sustaining giants. This world of the giants was the celestial heptanomis beyond the deluge. In a tradition of the American Indians it is told that at the close of the deluge the last mammoth sprang across Lake Superior at a single bound and disappeared for ever in the wilds of Canada. Thus the last of the seven astronomes, or its mammoth-type, disappeared in the great deluge of all with the last of the giants. [p.595] The giants, who were seven in relation to the stations of the pole, are curiously identified with the mountains themselves as places of birth by Sanchoniathon. He says they were beings of vast bulk and stature, 'whose names were given to tire mountains which they occupied.' Of these, he tells us, children were begotten through intercourse with their mothers, 'the women of those times without shame having intercourse with any man they might chance to meet.' Here the giant and the mountain as human birthplace are identical as figures of the pole. These, then, are a form of those giants called the sons of God who 'came in unto the daughters of men.'
In the Hebrew märchen, the seven old ones who were the primordial powers, the seven wise Masters, Watchers, Judges, Rishis, Manus, Moulders, Masi, Ali, Elohim, or Cabiri are the seven patriarchs of Genesis who lived for such enormous lengths of time. They are the typical old ones in the Ritual, the fathers in the first and highest circle of the gods. The seven patriarchs were identified previously with the seven Rishis in the lunar mythos of the Hindu astronomy. These, as measurers of the precessional movement of the pole by means of seven polestars, were also represented as making a revolution of the great year in the twenty eight asterisms or mansions of the moon. The patriarchs had now been humanized. The Hindu patriarchate was a period of 71-2 years, or a mortal lifetime. Seven of these were the measure of a phoenix-cycle, a period of 500 years. Seven by seven the Rishis or Manus travel round the zodiac of 28 houses, in the circle of precession. Thus the time of their stay in each asterism would be a twenty eighth part of the great year of 25,868 or, in round numbers, 26,000 years. This would give the patriarchs or manus something over 600 years in each of the 28 lunar stations, which is quite near enough as astronomical data to account for the age of the seven patriarchs in the Book of Genesis. The age of Adam = 930 years. The age of Seth = 912 years. The age of Enoch = 905 years. The age of Kenan = 910 years. The age of Jared = 962 years. The age of Methuseleh = 969 years. Thus, the age of six of the seven patriarchs is over 900 years each, and in the first list of two the patriarchs are seven in number. No reason has been adduced for rejecting this explanation. If the seven Patriarchs, like the seven Rishis, the seven Taasu, or the seven Masi, were astronomical characters, it is certain their ages are likewise astronomical. Noah, who is tenth in the second list of patriarchs, is the man of 500 years who never could be mortal. But it can be shown in what way he was an astronomical figure, like the rest of the seven, or the ten, according to the mode of measuring by the typical lifetime. The human lifetime was reckoned at 71-2 years; the age of a patriarch in human form. Seven of these periods in precession made a phoenix-cycle of 500 years, the age, therefore, of a divine or mythical man like Noah or the Buddha. A legend of the Jayas, in the Vayu Purana, relates, in after times, that the astronomical rulers were created by Brahma as his divine assistants, but that they got lost in meditation and forget to fulfil his ordinances. On this account they were doomed to be continually reincarnated and reborn in each manvantara or patriarchate up to the seventh, and thus they con- [p.596] tinued to be reborn in successive series of sevens all through the cycle of precession. The seventh was always reborn as a manu or a Buddha in the Puranas, and in the Hebrew version Noah is the man of 500 years as a typical measurer of time, and in this instance it is the particular period of time that is ended with a deluge. Now among the Hebrew fragments of the ancient wisdom in the Book of Genesis is the story of these patriarchs that was told according to the measuring by the lifetime. Previous to the deluge of Noah the lifetime of man or of the old, old ones was reckoned at something like 1,000 years. As we are told, 'there were giants in the earth in those days.' But after the deluge, time, or the age of man, was to be computed by shorter lengths. This is expressed in uranographic formulae: 'Yet shall his days be an hundred and twenty years,' which period as Egyptian is the double Han-cycle. Thus the change from a lifetime of 1,000 years to a period of 120 years is obviously related to the double Han-period of the Sothiac-cycle. The double Han-cycle is a period of 120 years. Consequently the lifetime of man after the deluge is measurable by the length of this period, which was made use of in reckoning the cycle of Sothis. And whether the lifetime is reckoned at 120 years in the Sothiac-cycle, or at 3,714 in the circle of precession, both are astronomical. The lifetime of the patriarch was a period in precession. Noah's lifetime was a phoenix-cycle of 500 years which ended with the Noachian deluge. After this the lifetime of man (who takes the place of the bennu as an astronomical figure) was to be the Han-cycle of 120 years. Thus the heaven or zodiac in twelve divisions was probably based on the Sothiac-cycle. Twelve Han-cycles were twelve lifetimes in the year of Sothis, round numbers being employed, and the fractions gathered up to be quoted in the total combination, or filled in with the festivals, such as the Sut-Heb. This was a seven days' festival celebrated every thirty years. At the end of each Han-cycle it was seen that the legal year had gained a whole month on the actual year, and the 1st of Taht anticipated the heliacal rising of Sothis by thirty days. But this had been measured, allowed for, and ticked off by means of the four Sut-Heb festivals celebrated during the Hanti period of 120 years. By this intelligible change in the length of the lifetime the biblical text itself affords indubitable evidence that the lifetimes of the patriarchs were astronomical. If the Han-cycle of 120 years was a time-cycle, it is absolutely certain that the previous periods were so likewise, the one being reduced from the other by the Hebrew agnostic literalizers. The cutting up of time into smaller portions or shorter lengths is likewise indicated in the Chippewa legend, when the slayer of the giants is described as hacking their bodies into little bits, and saying to the fragments, 'In the future let no man be larger than you are now.' This is equivalent to the lifetime being cut down to 120 years. Thus the lifetime of the patriarch, which in round numbers was 1,000 years in the old, was reduced to 120 years in the reckoning of the new cycle which followed the deluge of Noah.
The 'seven rulers of the world' manifested one by one at great intervals of time, and were a means of keeping the reckonings on a colossal scale. The age of each, as representatives of the successive [p.597] polestars, would be from three to four thousand years, or one-seventh part of 25,868 years. The seven, beginning as the Kamite khuti, are well-nigh universal. The Japanese have seven gods of fortune and givers of good gifts, called the Shichi Fukujin, who sail each New Year's Eve as passengers on board the ship called The Floating-Bridge of Heaven, that carries the seven magical treasures, which include the lucky coat, the hat that makes invisible, the inexhaustible purse, and other possessions which are obviously the property of spirits promised conditionally to mortals on the earth. The two groups of Hebrew patriarchs which precede the deluge, seven and ten in number, correspond to the seven and the ten in Babylonian legend, who were rulers in the antediluvian world—that is, in the foreworld of the astronomical mythology. The seven fish-men, ascending one by one at vast intervals of time from the Nun or deep that was locally represented by the Persian Gulf at Eridu, we look upon as the seven rulers of the ancient polestars taking their stations successively in the circuit of precession, with the fish for their zootype. Unquestionably the seven fish-men are a form of the seven prediluvian kings, hence the appearance of the Annedoti at the same time with the king, the fish as zootype being earlier than the title of king. Thus the seven as fish-men, of whose 'appearances Abydenus has made no mention,' were followed by the three other rulers named Amompsimus, Otiartes, and Xisuthrus, and 'so the sum total of all the kings is ten,' seven of whom had been figured as Annedoti, or divine rulers in the celestial waters, who were afterwards completely humanized as kings. So in the Book of Esdras, the Son of God is seen ascending from the sea to take his stand upon the mount, here called Mount Zion, as the man 'whom God the highest hath kept a great season,' and who was to regain the fish-type as ichthus 'within four hundred years.' The seven Assyrian Masi are known to have been stars in different constellations, as were the polestars. One was 'the star of the eagle,' one 'the star of the wain,' one 'the star of the shepherd of the heavenly flocks,' that might be compared with the 'key of the crown' as first of the seven polestars in the heptanomis of Sut.
Tai Hao, the great celestial, was the first mythical or astronomical ruler in the Chinese divine dynasties. With him commenced the mystic diagrams called the Yi or Changes which were eight in number. These were revealed to him by the dragon-horse that issued from the Yellow River or the Milky Way. Tai Hao corresponds to Sut, the inventor of astronomy and ruler of the first polestar; the dragon-horse answers to the water-horse that was combined with the crocodile in Apt, goddess of the Great Bear and mother of the seven rulers. According to M. Philastre in his version of the Yi King, the name of the Chow dynasty and of the Chow Yi divining-book signifies circular movement, the revolution embracing the whole universe. This revolution, we think, does not merely mean that of the starry sphere, but the movement of the pole. Chow Yi would then mean the changes of the pole and polestars in the circle of precession. Thus the Chow dynasty of the sons of heaven would be the seven successive rulers of the pole, who reigned for six and twenty thousand years as scientific fact.
In the Vision of Scipio Cicero has preserved something of the ancient doctrine concerning the derivation of souls from above. The spirit of Africanus tells his son that souls or spirits were supplied to men from the eternal fires, which are constellations and stars. Now there are seven souls, because the elements were seven all told, and seven primary constellations, with seven stars for souls, otherwise called the seven great spirits or seven glorious ones. These became the seven begetters in the creation legend of Cutha—one to each of the seven representative constellations in which the elemental powers had acquired their souls and thus become the typical transmitters of souls to human beings. Sut, the soul of shade in the hippopotamus; Horus, the soul of light; Shu, the soul of breath; Hapi, the soul of water—such were the begetters of a soul in totemism. Thus the Ainu are the bears, the Arunta are the emus, the Zuni are the turtles. They have their totemic zootypes on earth, which also imaged the elemental spirits or souls in heaven that were represented by the constellation or the star for those who had preserved the primitive wisdom. Thus derivation from the tree and rock, which is mentioned by Hesiod and Homer, would, if astronomical, be derivation from the pole; whereas derivation from the hippopotamus, bear, vulture, ape, water-bird, jackal, tortoise, or other of the uranographic types would denote the particular station of the pole, and be a time-gauge to the beginnings according to the racial reckonings in the astronomical chronology. For instance, the Khatties of Central India trace their descent from a progenitor named Khat, who sprang from a staff that he had fashioned from the branch of a tree. Descendants from a god whose hauling or towing force was represented by a rope would naturally be the rope-men. And the Spartans claimed to be the rope-men, from σπαρτογ = rope. As they sprang from the teeth of the dragon sown by Kadmos, it is possible that they dated from the rope-man who was ruler of the polestar in the dragon from 4000 BC to 1000 BC in round numbers. When Ra calls on those who pull the rope of the solar boat in Amenta to tow him 'towards the dwelling of stable things' and free themselves upon 'the mysterious horizon,' they say to Ra, 'The rope is with Ak' = the polestar. The upper end of the rope was fastened to the pole, whilst the bark was being towed round the ecliptic. The imagery here does but involve one rope and one polestar at a time; but as the polestars in the course of precession were seven, there were seven ropes or bonds, all reckoned, and in one character the seven primal powers are called the seven tesu or tasu. These are the seven who hauled at the rope and who were the makers of the seven ties, bonds, knots, or fastenings of the cable to the pole when the rope was a primitive link of connection that preceded Newton's law of gravitation; the rope that is carried in the form of a noose by Shu-Anhur, who also carries the staff of the pole with which heaven was uplifted. The seven Egyptian tesu are a kind of seven rope-men, who passed into the Babylonian mythology as the seven bonds by which the universe was bound and held together by the seven lords at the seven stations of the pole. In the Hindu representationi the seven powers that hauled round the solar bark by means of the rope have been converted finally into the later seven horses which draw the chariot of the sun. [p.599] The seven became the first company of the gods in the Aarru fields as the rulers of the seven polestars, who were the formers or creators in the domains of space and time. These were the seven great in glory called the khuti or spirits, represented by beautiful white water-birds, the prototype of Cygnus the swan. The seven khuti still survive in the seven swans of legendary lore, more especially in India. The seven khuti, as white birds on the celestial waters, represented souls or spirits, but as star-souls, not human souls, external to human beings, and so they became seven souls as seven swans in the folktales.
At every stage of development the tree of mythology has shed the leaves of legend that were blown about the world as the märchen of many lands. Before the boat was built the swimmers were water-birds, crocodiles, or hippopotami. The mode of thinking could not have been otherwise. When Anup as eighth was added as the power above the pole, and therefore the supreme one in the character of the great judge, the gods of the seven polestars were figured as 'the seven arms of the balance' in the maat of eternal law and justice. When the boat was built and Anup became the master over the waters, the company of seven were placed pictorially on board the bark of the Lesser Bear as figures of the never-setting ones that were safe for ever from the waters of the deluge. The seven now were typical eternals in two categories of astronomical phenomena. They were stationary in the circle of the seven ancient polestars, and seven as rowers, boatmen, or Cabiri grouped in the bark revolving round the pivot of the pole. This was in the stellar mythos. When lunar time had been made out by Taht the measurer, the typical seven were advanced in status. These are his assistants as the seven tesu, the sages or wise masters. They appear on board the bark in the shape of seven hawks called the offspring of heaven. The bird of air had then succeeded the water-bird as the type of the seven souls on board the bark in the lunar mythos. In the solar mythos the seven are pygmies or patakoi, the little sailors on board the bark with Ptah. Marcianus Capella tells us the Egyptians painted on their ships the seven pilots who were all alike and brothers, who are no doubt identical with the seven pygmy-patakoi or Cabiri of Ptah. These were represented in the boat of Anup that voyaged round the pole as the seven rulers that were thus grouped together as a picture of the stars that never set. Sydik the just and the seven called his sons are the Phoenician form of Anup the judge and the seven khuti. The seven were not navigators as the seven hawks, jackals, apes, giants, planters of the tree, or builders of the mound. Navigation began with the boat or ark, and the seven in the boat, like the seven Hohgates, were seen as the seven in the Lesser Bear, with Anup or Sydik, head over all, as an eighth to the seven. In one character the seven stars were regarded as watchers watching solemnly aloof. A non-setting star was imaged as a never-closing eye. In the Ainu legend of the god upon the summit, the watchers, who are the 6 + 1, are hares, and the hare was reputed to be so watchful that it slept with its eyes open. In Babylonia the deluge-makers are the seven with the ancient genetrix, who is called 'the mother of the seven gods,' the seven that 'heaped up the seat' or [p.600] built the mounds which were overthrown, as fabled, by the deluge. Astronomically these were the gods of the seven polestars whose seats were in the never-setting stars around the throne of Anu. Thus, and in no other way, the seven powers caused the deluge, and then ascended to their seats in the heaven of Anu and assumed their thrones on high as rulers in the realm of eternity. The seven survivors are exactly the same in the astronomical mythos as if they had made their escape from drowning in a boat, like the seven Hohgates or Cabiri, or any other group of the seven companions. But the boat or ship is here employed for the use of the human survivors who are supposed to have been carried away on board the bark of Hasisadra 'to be like the gods'—that is, as manes and not as mortals. The seven who are charged with causing the deluge in Babylonian legend—Bel, Ea, Rimmon, Nebo, Marduk, Ninib, and Nerra—may be compared with the Egyptian seven—Sut, Sebek, Shu, Hapi, Tuamutef, Kabbsenuf, and Amsta.
The tradition of the seven founders of the heaven that was based upon the water went forth to the ends of the earth. They were seven children of the old Great Mother, seven brothers or companions when the social status was totemic and the fatherhood was not yet individualised. In Egypt they are 'the seven children of the thigh'—the sign by which we can identify the ancient genetrix with the birthplace of beginning astronomically in the circle of the Bear and the constellation called the Meskhen, or 'the thigh.' These are the seven brethren called 'seven kings,' who appear as 'begetters' in the Cuthean legend. That is as begetters in group-marriage, who were the totemic fathers that preceded the father as a known individual. They are the seven companions of Arthur in the ark; the seven Hohgates of the Californian Indians, who escaped from the deluge in a boat and were fixed in heaven as stars that never set; the seven dwarf-sons of the Polynesian Pinga, who correspond to the seven pygmy boatmen and builders of Ptah; the seven mound builders on the American continent, and various other sevens in the mythos that was astronomical and became universal in the legendary form. They were born as seven sons of the Great Mother, and were her boys when she was 'a mither but na wife.'
No matter in what part of the world we discover this tradition of the seven founders and seven stations of the pole, it involves at least one bygone Great Year in the circle of precession independently of where the astronomical mythology originated. In the later stage of the eschatology, when Osiris was supreme as god over the pole, and all other powers had become his powers, there are seven arits or mansions in the great house of the eternal city. The seven watchers, of the astral mythos, dwell in these; the seven who are called the khus, the divine princes; the seven glorious ones who stand behind Osiris, and who are called the makers of the seven mansions for the god. Before Osiris was, these were the seven lords of law, of right, of truth, and justice otherwise stated, the seven lords of maat (judges), the seven arms of the balance (executioners), the seven eyes (watchers), the seven pillars (supports); and as they were also the makers of the seven arits, they are likewise the seven mythical builders of the heptanomis; the seven powers that [p.601] can be followed as the seven with Anup, with Taht, with Ptah, with Horus, and with Ra, according to the series of phenomena.
It is now proposed to trace and tentatively localize the seven (or a seven) stations of the pole on which the heptanomis was founded in the circuit of precession. In the circle of precessional movement drawn by Piazzi Smyth, he has filled in only six out of seven stations of the pole—one in the Dragon, one in the Lesser Bear, one in Kepheus, one in Cygnus, one in Lyra, and one in Herakles, or the Man. It is here we have to reconstitute and fill in a constellation as a first one of the seven. Various legends lead us to think that there was an ancient polestar in 'Corona Borealis,' or the northern crown. A crown is a symbol of the highest, which at the pole would be the highest point. Then the star Alpha in this constellation is called 'Clava corona,' the key of the crown; and a key-star at the crowning point is, to say [p.602] the least, equivalent to the key-stone of an arch. Moreover, 'the crown of heaven' was an Assyrian title of the polestar, which tends to identify the polestar with a constellation called the crown of the northern heaven. Apparently the pole and crown are also connected by an Akkadian expression concerning 'the Bear making its crownship' in its revolution round the polestar. The crown of heaven, however, was by no means limited to a single polestar, although it may have originated as the crowning-point at the pivot of the pole. The seven polestars in their circle formed a crown for the supreme being, of whom it is said his diadem predominates at the zenith of the starry heaven. This was his crown upon the, summit of the stellar mount of glory.
Star-map, representing the precessional movement
of the celestial pole of rotation and especially marking
it from the year 4000 BC to the year 2000 AD.
Symbols adapted to represent the magnitude or brightness of the stars:
1st-=, 2nd-*, 3rd-5, 4th-<
The seven polestars themselves did not form one constellation, but the crown would be figured typically as a group of stars that told the story in the customary way, even as we find it in Corona Borealis. Moreover, to the naked eye the constellation of the Crown, consisting of seven large stars, would present a picture of the other seven—the crown of stars upon the summit of the mount which is so prominent in the eschatology. It is said in the Ritual, 'Here is the cycle of the gods (as the seven glorious ones), and the vulture (or kite) of Osiris.' This is where the balance was then erected at the place of judgment in the circumpolar maat, and also at the point where the crown of life was conferred upon the spirits perfected at the summit of the mount. It is also said of the glorified elect, 'He followeth Shu and calleth for the crown. He arriveth at the Aged One on the confines of the mount of glory where the crown awaiteth him.' This is the eternal crown in the eschatology which had its origin in the seven never-setting stars of the mythology. In the Kabbalah it is the Crown of Crowns pertaining to the Aged in which he had incised the forms and figures of the primordial kings who reigned aforetime in the land of Edom, but who could not preserve themselves and consequently passed away, 'one after the other.' The pole and crown are certainly associated in the maypole with its framework of flowers always shaped in the likeness of a crown at the summit of the tree or pole. Without being able at present to prove it, we suggest that a key-stone, or key-star, to the arch or conical mount of heaven was first laid in the heptanomis as primary polestar of the seven which formed the circle of the crown; that a figure of the crown was constellated in the somewhat circular group of Corona Borealis, and that the key to the mystery may at last be found in the star represented by name as Clava Corona.
Now, if we take the island, for example, as the type of a station or place of landing, there was a subsidence of the land in the celestial waters, or, in sign-language, there was a deluge at each declination of the polestar. Otherwise expressed, one of the seven mountains was submerged, one of the seven provinces or patalas was drowned, one of the seven polestars fell, or one of the seven rulers was dethroned in heaven. The earliest station of the pole may be assigned to Sut as the hippopotamus, or as builder of the mound; the crown would be a later figure of the highest position. There was a constellation of the hippopotamus as male, to match the mother in the Greater Bear; this was a zootype of Sut, her firstborn son, however difficult it is at [p.603] present to define the group of stars—that is, to distinguish the male hippopotamus from Draconis, which, by the bye, were two zootypes of Sut and Horus, the twin brothers. Though now unseen on the celestial globe, it is certain that there was a male hippopotamus among the circumpolar constellations, and this, as bull of the mother, represented Sut, the son of Apt, the water-cow. It is apparently portrayed in a miniature drawing which was copied by Lepsius. The hippopotamus is figured in the tree, which here, as elsewhere, proves it to be the pole; the tree and ladder, both of which are types of the ascent. The hawk that mounts the ladder is a soul ascending to the mount of glory in the country of the tree Moreover the hieroglyphic is a sign of land amidst the waters; the land for which the hawk is bound, which, as the eight disks show, was the paradise of Am-Khemen that was raised on high by Shu.
The landing-place for spirits, with the tree of the pole
in the constellation of the Hippopotamus.
As Japanese Buddhist myth, the island of Japan might be localized astronomically by means of a legend in which it is related that an Apsaras appeared in the clouds over a spot that was inhabited by a dragon. An island suddenly rose up from the sea. The Apsaras descended on the island and was wedded to the dragon, which may be interpreted as a folktale of the time when the island of the pole was in the constellation Draco. The dragon that falls from heaven in the Book of Revelation and goes into perdition is said to be one of the seven who are imaged as seven kings, seven heads, seven horns, seven mountains, seven islands, seven lampstands, seven stars, seven eyes, or seven ruling powers.
The myth of lost Atlantis is Egyptian. This was told to Solon by Egyptian priests, and afterwards retold by Plato in Timaeus. It contains the story of two heavens that were sunken in the waters of the deluge. The first was in seven, the latest in ten divisions, the heaven of the ten lost tribes, ten sons of Jacob, the ten patriarchs, and the ten Assyrian prediluvial kings. There is no deluge-legend of twelve islands that were lost or sunken in the sea, because the heaven in twelve divisions, based on the solar zodiac of twelve signs, was never sunk nor superseded. This has not passed away to leave the subject matter for the mythos. But there is a dragon with twelve heads to be met with in folklore who evidently images the solar god in the final heaven of twelve divisions which followed the heptanomis and the heaven in ten nomes. In the Hungarian folktale of Eisen Laezi, the hero is identical in character with Bata in the Tale of the Two Brothers, and the wife of the twelve-headed dragon-king is one with the false accuser in the Egyptian story, and with Potiphar's wife in the Hebrew version. The only point at present is to establish the fact that there is a dragon with twelve heads who is the king and father of the youthful hero.
As the tree was planted anew or re-erected seven times over it follows that there is a typical group of seven trees, as well as the one tree with seven branches, to be met with in the mythological legends. Also, as the law was given at the pole or the tree, there would be seven trees of the law established in the course of precession. Finally the celestial trees were twelve in number when the zodiac of twelve signs had been established. The seven trees that stood around the mount of the pole are met with in a Chinese legend. Tradition says they grew upon the slopes of the Kun-Lin mountains; and one of them, which conferred the fruit of immortality, was a tree of jade, the imperishable stone that was a type of the eternal. Seven would be the number in precession which were afterwards unified in the tree of seven branches. Other circles, other numbers. Seven trees would form the sacred grove or asherah tree which is surmounted by the seven serpent hoods conventionalized on the Chaldean cylinders as co-type of the seven branches. It is probable that the tree of the polestar was known in Egypt as the khabsu tree, or tree of the star, signifying the pole. Renouf says that khabsu is the name of a tree held sacred in various places in Egypt; and according to one reading, the trees of paradise that breathed the refreshing air of the north were khabsu trees. If so, these were seven in number, like all other types of the heptanomis, or the stations of the pole. There is a group of the khabsu gods who were a form of the seven great spirits, on the mount of glory, and who receive the ascending spirits of the just made perfect at the summit of the hill. They are identified by name as the gods of the lamp or the light, which were seven in number in the circumpolar heaven, equivalent to the seven lampstands or seven-branched candlestick upon the mountain in the Book of Revelation.
The seven isles of the blessed were also known as seven forms of the oasis. The lords of Thinis and Abydos bore the title of masters of the oasis. Thus the ruler of the polestar would be the lord of an oasis, or later paradise. The altar-mound was also an image of the pole. And periodically the Mexicans sacrificed seven batches of children on seven hills that served for altars. The Hebrews offered seven bulls and seven rams on seven altars. The Assyrian Lu-Masi were probably represented by seven rams of sacrifice. Blood was sprinkled seven times as an oblation. Wherefore seven times? We answer, because the powers or gods propitiated thus were seven in number, and there is a consensus of evidence to prove that the seven were represented as rulers, watchers, giants, masters, Ali, Elohim, or lords of eternity, in the seven polestars of the great period of precession. The seven altars are also identified by Homer with the pole when he calls the ark-city of Mycenae 'the altars of the cyclops.' Cyclops were one with the giants, which are seven in number, and thus the altars of the cyclops are equivalent to the seven mountain-altars of the Phoenicians and the Mexicans, grouped in the seven-portioned city of the ark at Mycenae. Erech is called the city of the seven stones (or zones), and seven stones [p.605] were equivalent to the seven polestars. Seven sacred black stones, possibly aerolites, were the images of the seven chief gods at Uruk, the great ones or the mighties. Herodotus speaks of the seven stones which the Arabians smeared with blood in making a covenant. Naturally, the stone, as the rock of eternity, remained a permanent figure of the pole, and doubtless seven precious stones were among the types. Hence we meet with the emerald mountain, the diamond mountain, the pearl mountain, the mountain of gold, the lotus mountain, with the jewel of the polestar at the centre or 'in the lotus.'
The Mexicans also worshipped a class of gods who had been turned into stone. Three of these are mentioned by name as Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz. And it is said of these petrified powers that they could resume a movable shape when they pleased. These gods were three in the group of seven which is so often divided into two groups of three and four each, and which are the seven rulers of the pole. Becoming petrified as stones would denote the condition in which they stood as fixed figures of the pole, and if they were figures of the pole it was known to the astronomers that all in turn would again resume a movable shape as gods of the polestars. The seven stones set up at Stonehenge and elsewhere represent the giants that were also petrified and changed into enormous stones. These, too, stood for the seven stations of the pole in the circuit of precession, or the circle of Sidi. Under one title. 'Stonehenge' was called the circle of Sidi, or the circle of seven. These are a form of the seven giants that were turned into stone, those who were the builders of the heptanomis and the supporters of the universes and whose megalithic monuments are found as witnesses in many lands. The seven stations sank with the heptanomis of Atlantis in the great deluge of all, but the stones remained as monuments called the 'stones of the deluge,' and four of the seven powers survived in the new heaven that was raised upon the fourfold foundation of the celestial tetrapolis which followed. The Roman palladium that fell from heaven has its origin, not simply as an aerolite, but as a copy of the stone that was a type of the divine abode established at the pal, or pole. Palladia in various other shapes are said by Phylarchus[271a] to have been flung down from heaven during the war of the giants. These constituted the typical foundations of the heptanomis that was built on high and repeated by the mound builders of many lands and copied by those who heaped the earth or raised the stone and shaped the pillar as the palladia of the dead. The capital of Maha-Bali or Great Baal, once famous on the coast of Malabar as Maha-Bali-puram, had a name which signified 'the seven pagodas.' These are another equivalent to the seven arits, churches, or other groups of seven sacred structures that imaged the heptanomis according to the period and the cult. The pole of heaven, as an image of sustaining power, was also figured in the constellation of Uarit, the leg. This at one time was the leg of Nut, the cow of heaven. At another it is the leg of Ptah, at another the leg of Osiris. As the leg of Nut, it is the leg of a cow, which may be seen in the drawing from the zodiac of Denderahi in which the [p.606] milch cow and leg are blended together in one figure. This supporting power of the pole was represented by King Hop, 'lord of the heavenly hosts' in an annual ceremony of the Siamese during which the lord of the heavenly hosts, as the power of the pole, stood on one foot for three hours. If he let down his foot it betokened instability to the throne, but if he stood firm he was thought to gain a victory over the forces of evil. Many mysteries that were mythical or eschatological when first acted peter out finally in popular pastimes and provincial games. The writer has collected a volume of such, but will not be able to find room for them. The game of hopscotch is a good example of the power that could stand upon one foot as that of the pole in the heaven of seven divisions. It has been suggested that the seven courts which are chalked out on the ground in this game represent the seven planetary heavens. But this explanation was put forward by a writer entirely ignorant of the celestial heptanomis and the seven heavens or astronomes that were pre-planetary. The seven courts thus memorized we hold to be the seven courts which are identified with the seven divisions of heaven and seven stations of the pole. The question, if any, can be determined by the symbolical act of hopping on one foot. The seven footprints of Buddha also denote the seven steps in precession which are a co-type equivalent to the seven stations of the pole. The writer knows of no group of seven legs, or feet, but there is a giant who strides through space as the wearer of seven-league boots. Moreover, the Ritual positively identifies the pole with the leg by calling it the leg of the seven non-setting stars.
Now the polestar being a star that did not set, in the course of the great year there would be seven of these that never set: the seven who are the lords of eternity. These were beyond the ken of ordinary knowledge, but an object-picture could be constellated, as in the seven stars of the Lesser Bear. Dhruva is the Hindu name of a polestar; it is also the name of the power divinized in Dhruva, the god, who maintained himself upon one foot motionless as a stake = pole, until the earth inclined with his weight, or the station of the pole leaned over and sank down with the declination of the star that was Polaris at the time. Thus the sustainer at the pole as a power was able to stand on one foot for the period of 3,714 years on end. There are seven mountain peaks and seven footprints, and a footprint on the peak is the symbol of a station in precession. Thus the footprint of Buddha upon Adam's Peak in Ceylon [Sri Lanka] tends to show that this was one of the seven annular mountains in the sevenfold system of Mount Meru. Also, when the Buddhist footprint is represented by the sacred horseshoe it has in one form seven gems or nails, which still preserve a figure of the seven prints on one image. Seven footprints were assigned to Abraham. These are depicted on the south side of the Sakhrah rock at Jerusalem, and were shown to Nasir-i-Khusrau in the year AD 1047.
The sun, moon, and seven stars are frequently grouped together on the Assyrian monuments. The Chinese call the sun, moon, and seven stars the nine lights of heaven. The same grouping is observable in the nine pyramids of the Mexicans—one for the sun, one for the moon, and seven small ones for the seven stars. The three pyramids of Giza answer to those of the sun, moon, and seven stars elsewhere. The Great Pyramid is in itself a sign of seven, comprising, as it does, the square and the triangle in one figure. There is a tradition that the Great Pyramid was designed by the Har-seshu, or servants of Horus. These were the seven khuti in the stellar mythology who had been the rulers in the celestial heptanomis before they became the seven servants of the solar god. The seven periods of the polestars were also imaged by seven eyes, in consequence of an eye being a figure of the cycle. This type is presented to Joshua in the Book of Zechariah in the shape of seven eyes upon one stone: 'Behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; upon one stone are seven eyes.' These are the seven eyes of the Lord; also the seven lamps, the same as in the Book of Revelation. As a mode of measuring time and period on the colossal scale of the great year, the eye came to the full, 'as at first,' seven times at seven stations of the pole in the cycle of precession. As a type, the eye might be full once a month, once a quarter, once a year, once in a thousand years, in 2,155 years, 3,714 years, or, as the great eye of all, the eye of the Eternal, once in 26,000 years. Hence the seven eyes of the Lord in the blue stone of the firmament. The submergence of seven polestars involved the same number of deluges in the cycle of precession, which culminated in 'the great deluge of all.' Apparently this was the deluge of Manu in the Hindu version, for the Manu, whose vessel was made fast to a stupendous horn, i.e., the pole, was Vaivasvata, the seventh Manu, and the seventh Manu corresponds to the great deluge of all, as the latest of seven cataclysms in the world's great year. There were seven stations to the pole in measuring the circuit of precession; consequently each type or symbol of the pole may be repeated seven times, or is finally a figure of the number seven. Thus the pole, when elevated seven times as a tree, would be represented ultimately by the typical seven trees, or by a tree with seven branches; if by the mound, the mound would be erected seven times over; if by the horn, there would be seven horns—hence the dragon with seven horns; if by the fish, there would be seven fish or fish-men, finally symbolized by the fish with seven fins, or by the crocodile Sebek, whose name as Sevekh also signified the number seven. If by the star, as stellar Polaris, this would be repeated seven times and grouped as the seven stars of a typical constellation at the pole, like that of Ursa Minor or Corona Borealis. If the eye be a figure of the polestar as direct image or as emblem of the repeating cycle fulfilled in 3,700 years, there will be seven eyes = seven stars or seven lights in the circle of precession. Seven eyes become the seven watchers, jackals, judges, Urshi, or Rishis; and seven lights on one stand, or a candlestick with seven branches, forms an image of the seven single polestars in a cluster at the pole. If the figure is a cave, there would be seven caves to the mount; if it was a hail, there would be seven [p.608] halls in the great house; if a church, there would be seven churches; if a city, there would be seven cities. Other types might be enumerated in relation to the mystery of the seven stars. The great deluge of all was that by which the total heptanomis was finally submerged; 'every island fled away, and the (seven) mountains were not found.' In this the giants, the dogs, the apes, the birds, the tortoises or turtles, and the 'men' were drowned, and lost Atlantis sank beneath the waters at first as the heptanomis, and later as the heaven in ten which was succeeded by the heaven in twelve divisions.
The seven stations of the pole were likewise marked as seven mounds or seven mountains, each of which in turn was a type of the birthplace on high and an image of the Great Mother who brought forth her child upon the mount as the hippopotamus, the crocodile, the serpent, the vulture, the water-bird, or other type that was astronomical in heaven and totemic on the earth. One title of the Great Mother was 'mistress of the mountain' when the mountain was the pole, and this celestial mountain was repeated seven times in the circle of precession; hence there are seven summits in one form or other, as mountains, mounds, altars, stones, menhirs, pillars, or pyramids, answering to the seven stations of the pole. There is an allusion to the seven stellar summits or mountains in one of the Assyrian hymns. Ishtar exalts her glory in several phases of phenomena. Hers was the glory from the beginning. She was the goddess of the double horizon, imaged in the glory of the morning and evening stars. As queen of heaven in the moon, her glory is said to 'glow in the clouds of heaven' and to 'sweep away (or efface) the mountains altogether,' as the flood of moonlight might put out the stars. These mountains, therefore, were celestial; only as such could mountains be obliterated by the glory of the goddess imaging the moon.
The Japanese have the group of seven mountains, which were the seats of the gods of seven polestars. These are Ma-Saka-Yama, Odo Yama, Oku Yama, Kura Yama, Ha Yama, Hara Yama, and To Yama. 'These,' says O'Neill, 'seem to be alternative mythical names for the heaven's-vault mountain.' But as a figure of the heptanomis the mount of heaven's vault was also sevenfold in seven stations of the shifting pole, determined by the seven successive stars, one for each of the seven mountain summits. At the back of Shan-ling, about sixty miles west of Canton, seven isolated limestone peaks abruptly rise up from the low green plain. These are called the Seven Stars. They were once a favourite resort for pious people, who went there to worship at the temples and the caves. These also we look upon as monuments of the seven ancient polestars, which are identified with seven mountains in the Book of Enoch and the Book of Revelation. There were seven mountains upon which the ark of safety rested as the place of landing from the waters during the vast cycle of precession; this may explain the Armenian tradition that Noah's ark was visible at various times, first upon one mountain peak, then upon another, including Mount Bans, Urdhu, Gudi, Nizir, and Ararat. Probably there were seven altogether [p.609] identified, like the seven Alban Hills, with the seven rulers of the world in their watchtowers of the celestial heptanomis. The mount, or a mount of the pole, was known as the white mountain. The Alban Hills are the white mountains. They are seven in number, and equivalent to the seven stations of the pole which were imaged by the seven mountains of the heptanomis. The Chréais or Jaray race, who inhabit the high plateau which separates Cambodia from Annam, preserve a curious commemorative custom in relation to the seven mountains. They have two mysterious monarchs, whose functions are of that mystical order which we so often find to be astronomical. The two are known as the king of fire and the king of water. They inhabit successively seven towers built upon seven mountains, and every year they pass from one tower to another, never meeting each other and never seeing a human face. The kingship lasts for seven years, and the offices are hereditary in one or two families. Seven forts erected on seven mountains are equivalent to the seven altars raised on seven mountains by the Mexicans. The two kings of fire and water correspond to the two different cataclysms by fire and flood, described by Berosus as happening in the course of the Great Year.
According to the missionary Gill, the Mangaians hold that the seven inhabited islands of the Hervey group are the body or outward presentment of another seven in the spirit-world of Avaiki. These correspond to the seven sunken islands of the lost Atlantis, and both are a localized earthly form of the celestial heptanomis, which sank down in the course of one Great Year. The name of Mangaia signifies peace, and Mangaia in Avaiki was the paradise of peace, like the Egyptian Hetep. This, therefore, was a form of the paradise lost in the form of seven islands sunk in the Pacific as well as in the Atlantic Ocean and other waters, which were firmamental from the first. Egypt began in the form of seven Nui, a most ancient Egyptian name for the nomes or water boundaries. And in Polynesia Nui or Rapa-nui is the native name of Easter Island, where the colossal statues left by some mysterious race of primitive builders have been found. Nui is also the name of a group of the Nui as islands = nomes, which are found as seven in number in the seven islands or islets of Onoatoa. Each one of these has its own particular name, but Onoatoa embraces the whole seven. The seven Nui as islands in a group called Onoatoa offer a parallel to the seven islands of Avaiki, with the additional fact that they have the same name as the most ancient nomes of Egypt, which were seven in number.
After the septenary of polestars had been identified and established in the circle of precession, six of these were ever moving with the sphere, and there was always one remaining a fixture at the centre. If we take them as representatives of the seven Manus or Buddhas, it becomes evident that the condition of the motionless or sleeping Buddha was attainable by all the six, each in turn, that moved round the stationary one; and in the seventh stage of precession the true Buddha, the prince, the Rishi or Manu, was reborn, and his birth was indicated by the stationary star that showed the new position of [p.610] the changing pole. In his visions Enoch sees the 'seven splendid mountains which were all different from each other.' These are described as six, with 'the seventh mountain in the midst of them.' In furnishing the ark of testimony according to the pattern seen in the mount, instructions are given for the lampstand to be made with six branches going out of the candlestick. But it is added, 'Thou shalt make the lamps thereof seven,' this, then, was likewise a figure of six encircling the one that was a fixture in the centre. The six stars that kept revolving whilst the seventh stood or rested on one foot are to be met with in a legend of the Ainu. 'Suddenly there was a large house on the top of a hill wherein were six persons beautifully arrayed, but constantly quarrelling (always in motion). Thereupon Okikurumi (a name connected with the wheel) seized a firebrand and beat each of the six with it in turn. Whereupon the six all ran away in the shape of hares.'
It is stated in the Chow Ritual that the Chinese rules for divining were contained in three books—the Lien-shan, the Kwei-Tsang, and the Kwei-chang. The name of the first signifies 'United Mountains,' a title that is said to have been derived from its first mystical and divining sixfold sign Kăn. These united mountains, determined, as stated, by the sixfold sign, appear to be a form of the six which, with the seventh at the centre, marked the seven stations of the pole in the circle of precession. The Zuni Indian system of the seven mountains is the same. These consist of six mountains which are stationed round the central one. When Remus saw the flight of the six vultures he was standing on the rock of the Aventine Hill—that is, the Bird-hill, which looks as if it represented the seventh to the six stars; the one that was stationary on the pivot of the pole, whilst the other six were moving round it with the sphere. Thus there is a central mountain and a central land to the seven mountains. One of the seven united mountains is the tree-mountain. Elsewhere we meet with the stone-mountain, the mount of the papyrus reed, the ever-white mountain whence the Korean people came, the mount of the white wall, the pearl mountain. The mount of Saturn = Sebek, in the Dragon, was one of the seven hills in Rome. A 'festival of the six' is made mention of in the Ritual. This occurs in a chapter for making a spirit perfect, which memorizes the birth of a god who is called the newly-born, as the lamp in Annu at the pole. He is described as a god of the rope. It is said, 'He is born, he of the strong cord. His cable is complete.' This we understand to be a god of the rope that was made fast at one end to the solar boat and at the other to the star Ak at the pole. The luminaries in Annu are addressed. They are the seven khus. One of these seven is newly-born, or his star is just lighted, as god of the lamp and likewise of the rope, and the event is celebrated at 'the festival of the six'—not of the sixth. Moreover, he is called 'the Prince of the inundation.' There had been a deluge, and he has turned back the water-flood which had risen over the thigh of Nut at the staircase of Seb, god of the earth.
This figure of the one at the centre of the six will enable us to [p.611] explain a mystery of the cyclops. These in one version of the mythos were seven in number, therefore they are a form of the seven giants or powers of the polestars—the seven that were 6 + 1. Now, it was fabled that all the seven could see with one single eye, and the single eye we take to have been the polestar for the time being that was fixed at the centre as the eye of the group. The mythical unicorn was another figure of the horn-point at the pole. As such it was a type of Sut, the founder of the pole. Sut being first as founder, his was the single horn. It was as the symbol of sustaining power stationed at the pole that the unicorn became a supporter with the lion of the royal arms in British heraldry. The unicorn has but one eye, and thus it became a co-type with the cyclop as a figure of the one star of the pole. The unicorn is associated with the tree, because the tree also stands for the pole. Sometimes its single horn is stuck fast in the tree, which position intensifies the figure of stability at the pole. Futile attempts have been made to show that the unicorn was an emblem of the moon. But though the lunar orb might be imaged as a single eye, it would not, could not, be represented by a single horn. The ancients knew the moon was double-horned when it was figured as the celestial cow. The horn is another of those figures which, being single at first, became sevenfold as types of the heptanomis. Thus there is a group of seven horns to add to the rest. This group is portrayed above the head of Sesheta, a goddess of laying the foundations, which are seven in number, as figured by means of her seven horns upon a pole.
In the heaven of the heptanomis the ancient genetrix had seven sons. The figure is repeated in the seven sons of Japheth, the seven sons of the divine lady of the holy mound in Babylonia, the seven sons of Quanwon in Japan, the seven sons of Albion, the white land in the north, and various other groups of the seven on board the ark, which was earlier than the foundations that were laid in the four quarters. The heptanomis came to an end with the great deluge of all; and in the Book of Genesis the deluge of Noah is followed by the new kingdom that was reared on a fourfold foundation, the seven cities on the other side of the flood being succeeded by the cities of the four quarters built on this. When Nimrod or Gilgamesh became 'a mighty one in the earth' 'the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Ereck and Akkad and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar,' and out of that land he went forth and built four other cities in Assyria. A heaven of the four quarters had then superseded the heptanomis or heaven founded on the seven stars or astronomes, and this was the figure followed in the building of the four cities on earth.
After the great deluge of all had taken place and the inhabitants of the heptanomis generally were drowned, it was seen that the seven polestars kept their places in the circumpolar heaven. And thus the seven gods sat in their circle round the tree of the pole, the fixed and never-setting stars for ever safe from all the deluges of time, as the seven lords of eternity. These are the seven that were saved when all the world was drowned. The shenin in the Ritual are a group of spirits that surround the seat of the highest. The name denotes the circle of those ministers or officials that surround the [p.612] throne of the god or the king. In one text this circle is called the shenin of fire. They are the spirits of fire = the saluting apes in the circle of the eternals. Their number is not directly given, but they are the princes who elsewhere are a form of the seven great spirits that surround the throne. Now, there is a stellar enclosure or circle of stars in the northern heaven which the Chinese recognize in the region of Draco and Ursa Major. These bear the names of ministers and officers who surround the sovereign, and therefore are identical with the Egyptian circle of the shenin. This is very probably the constellation of the Northern Crown, in which the seven were grouped as a numerical figure of the polestar circle. The circle of the seven lords of eternity was first; the throne of the highest was erected in the centre. Thus the seven as servants (seshu), khuti, uraeus-gods, saluting apes or angels, spirits, or lamps of fire, are depicted round the throne of God according to the mystery of the seven stars in Revelation.
As already said, the earliest form of an enclosure in heaven called the Aarru is depicted as a field of reeds, the habitat of the water-cow, who brought forth Sut, her firstborn bull, upon the summit in a field of reeds that rose above the waters at the station of the pole when this was represented by the bed of reeds. Thus the ancestral pair that were saved from the deluge by climbing up the reed-mountain, like the Navajo Indians, would derive their origin from the reed. The main significance of the reed as a symbol of the pole depends upon its being a plant that grows up through the water and flowers above the surface to present the type of an ark or station or other means of escape from the mythical water that flowed between this world and the other. We have now to suggest that the seven stars of the rulers were neither in the Great Bear nor the Pleiades, but that they were the past representatives of Polaris in the cycle of precession, and to show that the mystery of the seven stars in the drama of 'revelation' was a mystery of the celestial heptanomis in the astronomical mythology. As we have seen, in various myths the land enclosed in the celestial sea was lost because the woman betrayed the secret of the waters, which then burst forth and overthrew the bulwarks that had been erected by the male, who in the Egyptian mythos was her son, the founder Sut. In other legends paradise was lost by the unwatchful dog. This, as the jackal, was the dog of Sut. Thus in one case the deluge was let in by the mother, and in another by the son, who were the primal pair as founders of the pole. Whilst in some parts of the world it was the dog (as typical guide) who let in the deluge, in Fiji it was the race of men that had tails like dogs who were destroyed by the deluge. In other legends mankind were changed into dogs after one of the several deluges. The Bonaks or root-diggers said the first Indians that ever lived were coyotes or prairie-dogs. The Chichimecs of South America are the dogs by name. In Africa these would have been totemic jackals. But without going back so far in time and space as the submergence of the southern pole and the declination and disappearance of its star below the horizon for those who travelled northward, there is another origin possible for the legend of the dog. The jackal or Egyptian dog was also constellated as the guide of ways in Sothis, and as [p.613] Stella Polaris at the northern pole. As the planisphere of Denderahi shows, the dog's tail in which the polestar Cynosura shines today was the tail of the jackal. Twenty-six thousand years ago the position was the same. The jackal of the mythos or dog of later legend was then the watcher in the circumpolar paradise or garden of the tree. Now, whichever zootype represented the polestar of the period—hippopotamus, jackal, ape, bird, tortoise, or dragon (crocodile)—it might be held responsible for the loss of paradise or enclosure through letting in the waters. This would be rendered according to the mythical mode, and afterwards related in a legend or a folktale.
In the precessional movement the celestial pole passed out of the jackal or dog into the group of stars now called Kepheus. There were seven stations in the circle of precession, though one, as we have said, is omitted or unidentified in the diagram drawn by Piazzi Smyth; between Herakles and Draconis, which we have tried to fill in with the male hippopotamus of Sut as a group of stars that included Clavis Corona, but only as a stopgap. We now pass on to the Lesser Bear. In the Egyptian eschatology the jackal Ap-uat represents a power of salvation from the drowning deep. In crossing the gulf of Putrata into which the helpless dead fall headlong and the sinking stars are swallowed by the dragon, the manes says, 'Ap-uat lifteth me up.' This power is shown to be localized in the region of the pole by the speaker saying (after being saved by Ap-uat, 'I hide myself among you, O ye stars that never set'—that is, in the circumpolar paradise at the pole, where the jackal or the dog was the guide of ways. When the pole had passed from the constellation of Ursa Minor the power of salvation would have gone from the jackal to whatsoever type might represent Kepheus, and Ap-uat the guide as Cynosura would no longer be looked up to as a deliverer from the drowning waters of the deep. Commentators on the Koran[297a] repeat the ancient traditions concerning the Adite ancestors of the Arab race. These were the giants or kings of prodigious size and stature, like the monstrous figures of the primitive constellations in the heptanomis. After the deluge these were changed into monkeys. Now the Arabs claim descent from one Kahten or Kaften the Adite, and Kaften in Egyptian is a name of the great ape that was one of the seven giants of the polestar constellations and a zootype of Shu, whom we identify with Kepheus. It is also said in the Codex Chimalpopoca that men were transformed into monkeys as the result of a deluge or great hurricane. As the pole was figured at seven successive stations in the heptanomis, it is possible that the Navajo deluge myth contains a time-gauge. In this it is related that when 'the men of a world before our own' were warned of an approaching flood they were living in 'the third world' or station of the pole, and the place of refuge which they raised against the coming deluge was in 'the fourth world' or station of the pole, which, according to the present reckoning, was in the constellation of Kepheus. The turkey just escaped, although the water was close enough after him to wet the tip of his tail. Now, it happens that the next position of the pole is in the constellation of the bird Cygnus, also named the hen, the kite, [p.614] and other forms of ornis. Moreover, the star Alpha was called Dzeneb in Arabic, or the tail. And this, according to the present reckoning, we consider to have been the fourth world or fourth of the seven stations of the pole. When the pole passed from the constellation Kepheus into Cygnus the swan it would give rise to a legend like that of the Gippsland blacks, who assert that the first lot of men were turned into ducks by the wicked moon. Cygnus the swan was known as Ornis the bird, the bird of Jupiter, and also as the kite. The kite is equivalent to the hawk in Egypt, and the kite of Osiris is mentioned in the Ritual by the speaker, who is in the region of the glorious ones, the circumpolar gods or seven great khus. He is at the place of the balance, 'which is maat,' the stellar point of equipoise, otherwise at the pole. He exclaims, 'Here is the cycle of the gods and the kite of Osiris.' The name of Osiris may be a later insertion, but the kite remained, and this is a name for the constellation Cygnus or the Swan, the fifth of the seven polestars, beginning with Corona (or its equivalent) as the first. The polestar was in the kite some seventeen thousand years ago. And here, says the speaker who has attained the summit of the mount, 'here is the cycle of the gods and the kite (= Cygnus) of Osiris.'
Fourteen thousand years ago Polaris was the star Vega in the constellation now known as Lyra. Vega or Wega = Waki denotes the falling one. As vultur cadens it was the falling vulture. The Arabic name signifies the falling eagle, An-nasz-al-waki. Now, the vulture as Egyptian can be identified with the pole and possibly as a polestar. The Leg constellation was a figure of the pole. It is mentioned in the Ritual as the leg of the lake, and a co-type with the tree of the lake on which the glorified spirits alighted in the form of birds, and there is a chapter in the Ritual for assuming the form of a vulture and perching on the leg, a landing-place equivalent to the pole. 'I am the divine vulture,' says the speaker, 'who is on the leg' or the pole. And a star known as the vulture stationed on the leg of the pole must be Polaris. We see that some fourteen thousand years ago the pole was in the constellation Lyra, and the polestar was the 'falling vulture' Vega. This may have a bearing on the legend of the vulture in the Mexican tradition of the deluge. It is related of the American Noah, named Coxcox or Tezpi, that he made a bark or, still more primitively, a raft, with which he saved himself, his wife, and children from the overwhelming waters of the deluge. When the god Tezcatlipoca decreed that the waters should retire, Tezpi sent forth a vulture from the bark. The bird did not return, but stayed to feed upon the bodies of the drowned. He sent out the hummingbird, which came back with a leafy branch in its beak. Then Tezpi, seeing that land was visible and growing verdant, left his ark upon the Mount of Colhuacan. This was the mountain of the seven caves in which the seven giants or great spirits dwelt. The name denotes the mountain that leans over at the summit, as it is depicted in the Aztec documents, a picture of the pivot toppling over with the change of polestar. If we suppose the change to have been made and the deluge to have occurred when the [p.615] polestar was shifted from a Cygnus to the constellation Lyra the next polestar would be the vulture, which afterwards became the falling one. Thus the vulture indicated the new land that was growing green across the water of the deluge, the mount on which another landing-place was found; another altar was erected, and the sacrifice was offered up upon the summit of the mount by those who had escaped the great calamity, as it was mythically represented, whether the mount might be Colhuacan, Tulan, Annu, Ararat, Nizir, or Meru. And a polestar known as the vulture would in the course of precession become the 'vulture falling' whose 'fall' is chronicled in the name of vulture cadens. If those who followed in the wake of the Egyptians, like the Euphrateans, Greeks, and Arabs, were not always masters of the gnosis, they could at least transliterate the ancient names and thus bring on part of the meaning. The Arabic name for the 'falling vulture' was also the 'falling eagle.' And in some of the legends it is the eagle that foretells the coming deluge. A myth of the Pima Indians relates that a prophet was warned by the eagle of a vast cataclysm or deluge then at hand; but the prophet took no heed, and the waters came that overwhelmed the world. This also we might call the deluge that occurred when the pole passed from its station in Cygnus into that of the eagle or vulture. The legend of the eagle is also extant amongst the Kamilaroi of Australia, who tell of a deluge from which two human beings only made their escape by climbing up a tree. And here the deluge is attributed to Pundjel, the eagle-hawk. The tree we understand to be a figure of the pole. Williams tells us that 'the highest point of Koro Island has a name connected with the idea of a bird sitting there and lamenting over the submerged island.' It is said in a chant, 'The quiqui laments over Koro because it is lost.' Thus the eagle is one of the seven constellations of the polestars, and in the ancient British mythology the eagle is one of the seven Welsh old ones of the world, called the eagle of Gwernabwy, who perched upon the rock he found there, pecking every evening at the stars. There he is said to have remained until the rock was worn down to the height of a man's palm. Such legends we suggest originated when the rock of the pole was in the constellation of the Eagle, which represented one of the old ones of the seven polestars or rulers of the pole. The earth is sometimes described as having been created on the back of a tortoise, and when the tortoise sank in the water there was an overwhelming deluge. A Mandan medicine-man told Catlin that the earth was a tortoise carrying dirt upon its back. The mother of beginnings is portrayed in a legend of the Tuscarora Indians as an enceinte female in labour Apt the pregnant hippopotamus goddess, who sank from an upper region and was received on the back of a tortoise which had a little earth upon its back, and this became an island upon which she bore twin sons, who correspond to the Egyptian Sut and Horus, and then passed away. The tortoise was a zootype of the earth itself amidst the waters of space, which was repeated as a figure of land or the landing-place in the heavens at the pole. It was once an Egyptian sign of the balance or [p.616] scales in the zodiac at the point of equipoise where the land emerged from the deluge of the Nile. The tortoise was likewise a type of the constellation Lyra, in which the star Vega was the Stella Polaris fourteen thousand years ago. In the signs of the North American Indians a landing after a voyage is typified by a tortoise. Those who found safety from the deluge on the turtle's back or on the tortoise would reckon their descent from the mountain of the pole when it was stationed in the constellation of the Tortoise or Lyra. Thus the Delaware Indians gave precedence to their turtle clan because it descended from the great original tortoise, not from any common turtle. The Iroquois turtle clan are likewise descended from a great fat turtle which threw off its shell and gradually developed into a man. This is exactly what did occur when the tortoise Lyra sank in the waters or the turtles were drowned, and the typical man was created at the next station of the pole. If we suppose the end of the period to have come for the pole to move out of Cygnus into the constellation Lyra or the Tortoise, the next landing-stage in the course of precession, the end was with the submergence of the polestar or a deluge; and those who escaped from drowning when this station of the pole in Cygnus went under naturally sought a place of safety on the back of the tortoise or its co-type the turtle. Evidently this was what did occur when the deluge took place in the myth of Manabozho. The deluge was let in by the 'black serpent monster,' the representative of evil in physical phenomena. 'At the island of the turtle or tortoise was Manabozho, the grandfather of men and beings.' As he was born creeping, he is 'ready to move and dwell in turtle land.' Then 'the men and beings' all go forth together 'on the flood of waters, moving afloat everywhere seeking the back of the turtle.' 'All together on the back of the turtle then, the men were altogether. Much frightened, Manabozho prayed to the turtle that he would make all well again. Then the waters ran off it was dry on mount and plain, and the great evil went elsewhere by the path of the cave.' According to the Mexican version, there were seven caves in the celestial mount, which answer to the seven stations of the pole. One of these was the cave of the turtle. In another account that was preserved in pictographs it is the turtles that declare war on Manabozho and produce the deluge. Manabozho first carried his grandmother to the summit of a lofty mountain. He himself climbed to the top of the tallest pine tree and waited until the waters had subsided. Then he created an island which supported him and became the new world. This was the new station of the pole, and the tallest pine was the tree of the pole that was planted or re-erected in heaven when the flood was over. One of the most striking survivals is that of the tortoise and its connected with the deluge in the religious ceremonies of the Indians, They say, 'The world was once a great tortoise, borne on the waters and covered with earth. One day a tribe of white men had made holes in the earth to a great depth whilst digging for badgers at length they pierced the shell of the tortoise, and it sank.' The deluge followed, and drowned all the men but one, who saved himself [p.617] in a boat, and when the earth re-emerged, he sent out a dove which returned to him with a branch of willow in its beak. The tortoise was a Mandan image of the ark in which people were preserved from the waters at the time of the deluge. That is, according to the ancient wisdom, when the pole was resting in the constellation of the tortoise, after the deluge that drowned the land and submerged the mount in Cygnus or the Swan. There is no hint of the turtle in the planisphere, but the turtle and tortoise are equivalent and interchangeable types, and there is a tortoise in the heavens. The Arabic name of the constellation Lyra is the Tortoise, and but for the shell of the tortoise there would have been no Lyre. Some sixteen or seventeen thousand years ago the celestial pole passed out of the constellation Cygnus or bird, and a new guide-star was established as Vega in Lyra. In other words, when Cygnus sank the tortoise or the turtle offered its broad back for a landing place amid the waters of the deluge. Other of the American Indian tribes claim that their primeval home was in the old turtle land = the island of the tortoise. The Lenni-Lenape or Delaware Indians sing the song of the flood. In this it is related that the Being born creeping and the men all went forth from the deluge swimming afloat in the deep or crawling in the shallow water. Taking refuge on the back of the turtle or tortoise, when read astronomically according to the movement in precession, agrees with the passage of the pole out of Cygnus into the constellation of the Tortoise.
The Samoans tell a tale of the woman and child who were transformed and afterwards came to the people of the village, when called for, in the shape of turtles. This is a co-type with the tortoise; and when the pole passed from the sign of Cygnus, the newborn child would be brought forth by the old mother in the shape of a tortoise or a turtle, in accordance with the mythical mode of re-peopling the planisphere. Thus the primal pair would be said to have been changed into turtles, as the folk that dated from the period when the pole was in the tortoise or turtle and who were affiliated to the power above, the 'big brother,' the tortoise or turtle that never died, as the totemic tortoises. The 'great original,' whether of the turtles or hippopotami, crocodiles or jackals, apes or vultures, and finally of men, was configurated in the heavens on one or other of the mountains or islands that represented the seven stations, nomes, or seven heavens of the pole in the celestial heptanomis. The Hindu drawings show a form of the pole or central conical peak that rests upon the tortoisei, which, as here interpreted, denotes the polestar in the constellation Lyra, that was otherwise known as the Tortoise. The tortoise supporting the pole in the shape of a tree = mount or island standing in the water is also a Japanese figure of the sustaining power at the pole. In the temple of Meaco there is a Japanese representation of a tortoise in the water at the bottom of a tank or artificial well, with a tree springing up from the back of the tortoise. Thus the abyss of the waters, the earth at the bottom of the abyss, and the tree of the pole are uniquely imaged in one picture.
There was a tortoise-headed god in Egypt who has left his likeness in the tombs, but nothing else is known of him. The animal itself [p.618] was a type of immobility, therefore of sloth or fixity, as a representative of the pole. In a Chinese myth the island of Pung-Lai was brought one day in all its mass by the tortoise. A tortoise or turtle appearing from the waters of earth was appropriate, as it was primitive image the bit of land emerging from the waters of the firmament. This, however, was the mythical not cosmical earth that was supported by the tortoise amid the waters. The tortoise beneath the tree or the mound shows it was not our earth that is supposed to rest or to have been formed upon its back in the beginning. It is possible for the tortoise or turtle as a type of the earth itself to get mixed up in the irresponsible legends with the tortoise or turtle as an astronomical figure. Still the earth, as turtle, never was submerged by the mythical deluge, whereas the tortoise or turtle that was a type of station in the celestial water did sink down when that particular station of the pole was overwhelmed.
Some fourteen thousand years ago the pole in Lyra or the Tortoise corresponded to the vernal equinox in Leo. This is probably connoted in a plate of Lajard's Mithra, where the zodiacal lion is found with the star Radiatartakhu or Lammergeier Vega as Polaris in Lyra.
An instructive example of the way in which the astronomical mythos may dislimn and lose its shape in later legend is apparent in the curious narrative found on a cuneiform tablet in the British Museum. This has been called 'the revolt in heaven' which occurred at some time before the creation of man. The angelic host had previously existed in a state of perfect harmony. 'The god of holy songs, lord of religion and worship, had seated a thousand singers and musicians, and established a choral band who to this hymn were to respond in multitude.' 'The divine being, god of the bright crown, spoke three times the commencement of a psalm. With a loud cry of contempt they broke up his holy song, spoiling, confounding his hymn of praise.' Then the god of the bright crown 'stopped their service, and sent them to the gods who were his enemies' and prohibited their return, 'In their room he created mankind.' This is a legend of the angels so called who fell from heaven, and of whom it is said in the Book of Jude, 'They kept not their own habitations.' These in the Book of Enoch are the seven stars which transgressed the commandment of God and came not in their proper season; and therefore they were bound and cast out until the time of the last judgment. It is said in the cuneiform text, 'May the god of divine speech expel from his five thousand those who in the midst of his heavenly song had shouted evil blasphemies,' and the translator argues that there were but five thousand. But another reading is possible. There may have been six thousand altogether. For instance, in the Cuthean story of creation there is an allusion to another legend of the seven powers. It is said the progeny of Tiamat 'grew up in the midst of the mountains and became heroes and increased in number.' 'Seven kings who were brethren appeared as begetters. Six thousand in number were their armies, and these we take to have included the five thousand loyal angels, 'his five thousand' from whom the rebel thousand are to [p.619] be excluded thenceforth and for ever as the sixth thousand. It is said of the god Ashur that he had seen the malice of those gods who deserted their allegiance to raise a rebellion, and 'he refused to go forth with them.' In one character Ashur is known to have been a representative of the pole; and according to the present interpretation he was the god of the coming polestar, the seventh in our reckoning, the one that had not fallen away from the true pole. This would apply if Ashur at the time was a representative of the seventh polar power, the one that remained true whilst one thousand of the six thousand had risen in rebellion. As we interpret the mythos, the choral band who sang the hymn of praise, one thousand in number, are the sixth thousand of the six thousand corresponding to the sixth of the seven stars or stations in precession. At the time of the change from the sixth polestar to the seventh the revolt of the thousand that was sixth in the series coincided with the falling away of the sixth star from the true eternal pole. Ashur as the seventh remained the god seven, who is reborn as the child considered to be the eighth; he refused to go forth with the one thousand of the past polestar. And now follows the statement, 'In their room, he, the god of the bright crown (i.e., the solar deity), created mankind.' This, the seventh creation, we associate with the passage of the pole into the constellation Herakles, or the Man. The 'lyre' imaged in the constellation Lyra had been fashioned from the muscles torn from Sut by Horus during the war in heaven. Thus the condition of harmony represented by the lyre, harp, or lute corresponds to the avocations of the thousand who are expelled from companionship with the other five thousand and who are described as 'a thousand singers and musicians.' These we now suggest were the denizens of 'Lyra,' whose lapse in allegiance is attributable to the falling away of the polestar when the pole was passing out of that constellation into the sign of Herakles in which occurred the creation of man. It is a saying of Orpheus, reported by Plato, that 'in the sixth creation closes the order of song.' That is, according to the present reckoning, when the pole passed out of the constellation Lyra into Herakles or the Man.
In the Bundahish, the deluge or a deluge takes place in heaven before the creation of man on earth. This saying can be read for the first time on the theory that man was the latest of seven creations, and that the man figured in heaven was the seventh in the series as a ruler of the pole and polestar. Thus interpreted, there had been six deluges prior to the creation of man. Both in the Book of Genesis and in the Bundahish the prototypal pair are created 'man.' Ahura-Mazda says to Mashya and Mashyoi, 'You are man.' 'You are the ancestry of the world.' They were now the ancestors with a human soul instead of the earlier elemental soul of life in water, air, earth, heat, plant, or animal; otherwise stated, the descent was now traced to the divine man or father in heaven instead of to Seb the god of earth, who was the representative of vegetation, and the gnosis was now applied on the scale of the Great Year. The Tlascatans say that after their deluge those who had been previously changed into monkeys were afterwards transformed into men. Now, [p.620] if the hypothesis here put forth holds good, that the six zootypes and one human being were set in the circle of precession, it follows that at the time the pole passed into the constellation of Herakles or 'the Man,' the deluge took place when the tortoises, the apes, and other forms of the zootypes were transformed into human beings. This would correspond perfectly to the seventh creation in the later legends, which was the creation of mankind.
If we take the oldest record in the world, the Egyptian, we shall find that in the mythology the creation of man was the latest. Amongst the seven primordial powers one alone is human. In the constellation-figures man is scarcely to be found. Not until the time of Seb was the producing power of earth portrayed as male. Not until the time of Atum-Ra is the divinity impersonated in the form of a perfect man. Earth had been hugely imaged as a pregnant hippopotamus, a sow as the suckler, a goose that laid the egg for food, a sloughing serpent that was an image of self-renewal, but not by man as the measure of all things, including the elemental forces and powers of external nature. And not until the image of man had been adopted as a type of divinity in place of the totemic zootypes could men have traced their descent from man in the mythology. This occurs in Egypt when we hippopotamus of Sut, the crocodile of Sebek, the lion of Shu, the ibis of Taht, the beetle of Ptah were followed by the human likeness that was perfected and divinized in Tum or Atum, the original of Adam. In the Egyptian language the word turn signifies man, mankind, created man. The Egyptians also called themselves the ruti, or the men; the race par excellence, in contradistinction to the bulls, lions, crocodiles, serpents, apes, jackals, hawks, and other of the zootypes in totemism. They had attained this stage at the beginning of monumental times. Man, the human being, was pre-eminently the creation of Atum-Ra, the father-god. Various names of races signify man, or the men. The name of the Inuit, the Ainu, and other primitive folk means man, or the men. Descent from woman under the matriarchate had been represented by the zootypes, and when the fatherhood was individualized the human descent was from man. The birth-land of man on high was figured astronomically as the island or nome or bit of earth, which was a station of the polestar in the constellation of Herakles or the Man, from thirteen thousand to eleven thousand years ago, at the end of which time the great deluge caused the destruction of mankind. Instead of the races that were imaged by prehuman and totemic types, the tortoises, the apes, the birds, the dogs, it was now 'the men' who were drowned in the last great deluge of all, when the polestar in the Man or Herakles went under.
It is stated in the Chimalpopoca MS. that the creator produced his work in successive epochs, man being made from the dust of earth on the seventh day. Here again man is created or comes into existence in the last of seven periods, whatsoever the length of time or significance assigned to the cycle, which is one day in the Book of Genesis and three thousand seven hundred and fourteen years in the astronomical mythology. In all the versions of the seven creations that of man was last. This is repeated when the mount [p.621] or island of man is last of the celestial seven stations in the heptanomis. Now we can say the final word concerning 'the destruction of mankind' in the great deluge of all, which put an end to the heaven in seven divisions that preceded the eight, the nine, the ten, and the twelve. At the ending in time when Vega in Lyra (the vulture or tortoise) ceased to be the polestar, there was a deluge and subsidence of land at the pole and a change of star. The races drowned in this and previous deluges were totemic, therefore prehuman, therefore the predecessors of man in the astronomical mythology, the märchen, and legendary lore. Six races had been destroyed in half-a-dozen deluges before it came to the 'destruction of mankind' that was memorized and mythically rendered in the Egyptian deluge when the polestar was washed under in the constellation of the Man, the one of seven mighties, now for the first time in the human form. This is the one star group in all the heavens that was figured as 'the man,' the last of the seven rulers of the pole, corresponding at this point to the attainment of the human image in the last of seven so-called creations, which is that of Adam = Atum in the zodiac just where the Sekhet-Aaaru or garden of Eden has been localized in the solar, which followed and completed the lunar and stellar mythos. Thus we can roughly trace the point at which the last of seven polestars coincided with the creation of man in heaven which was succeeded by the creation of Atum = Adam (or man) at the point of a new beginning in the zodiac. Such types of the polestars as the tortoise or vulture (in Lyra), the swan, the lesser bear (or jackal and the dragon), were figures of those creations which preceded that of the man who was mythical and astronomical. The Samoans relate that Tangaloa was the originator of men. He is their god in the height, or the eighth heaven. As a primitive way of saying how plucky he was and of showing how the eight powers, seven plus one, were all combined in him, he is called 'eight-livered Tangaloa.' A temple was built for him and termed the house of the gods, which was carefully shut up all round, and therefore is equivalent to Am-Khemen, the Egyptian enclosure of the eight great gods. These characteristics identify Tangaloa as deity of the pole and as eighth to the seven earlier powers. Now Tangaloa is said to have come over the ocean with a crew of seven others in a canoe, and to have taken up his abode in the bush inland of the settlement. Here the migration is the same as that of the 7+1 Kami, the 7+1 Kabari, the 7+1 Toltecs, the 7+1 with Arthur in the ark. The migration in each instance is purely mythical, and the data are simply astronomical. Lastly, descent from the mount or mound, the tree or the papyrus-reed, the enclosure or paradise of the pole, was followed in the Semitic versions of the deluge legends by a descent of the human race from the ark which was stranded on the mountain top of Nizir or Ararat. The ark of Nnu had then been built to float upon the waters of the firmament and to be figured in the ascending stars of Argo-Navis. This is the ark with eight on board, four females and four males, which was indefinitely later than the boat of the Mexican primal pair or the papyrus-reed of the four brothers in Egypt.
When the seventh station of the pole subsided, the seventh island [p.622] of Atlantis sank, and all the seven were reckoned then to be overthrown in the celestial waters. Under the other figure of the mount, the seven mountains now were totally submerged. This complete catastrophe is described by Enoch, who identifies the seven mountains with the seven stars and the seven great spirits. He likewise gives the reason for their overthrowal. 'I beheld seven stars, like great blazing mountains, and like spirits (the Kamite khus are spirits), entreating me.' The stars are those which 'came not in their proper season.' Again, 'I beheld seven stars of heaven bound together like great mountains.' Their crime is that they 'transgressed the commandment of the most high.' Therefore they are bound until the time of the great judgment and the consummation or end of all things, which we shall find particularly recorded in the Book of Revelation. From thirteen thousand to eleven thousand years ago the vernal equinox was passing through the Lion sign. Pari passu in the movement of precession, the north celestial pole was leaving its station in Lyra, or the tortoise, and passing into the sign of Herakles or the Man. Thus the creation of man or Atum in the zodiac can be partially paralleled in the cycle of precession at a certain station of the pole in the constellation of the heavenly man, who is Atum or Adam in the astronomical mythology. All the conjunctions, the mythical characters, the scenery of this beginning—the Great Bear, sun, moon, and seven stars, together with the inundation—met in that sign and were constituted a fixture for two thousand one hundred and fifty five years.
Ten thousand seven hundred and seventy-five years ago the equinox began to move out of the Lion sign into that of the Crab, and then and there a legendary catastrophe occurred. This was the conclusion of an astronomical period which, like the year in Egypt, ended with a deluge. It occurred eight thousand two hundred and seventy five years before the date of the conversation in Egypt between Solon and the Hir-Seshta, and seven hundred and thirty five years short of the nine thousand, but near enough when we are dealing with round numbers. The astronomical facts were so well known that in speaking of the inundation at the end of the cycle it was foretold that the 'deluge would take, place when the heart of the Lion entered the first minute of the Crab's head at the declination of the star'—that is, the star Regulus, the lawgiver, in the Lion sign. At this point of readjustment the great deluge of all was marked by the submergence of the last of the seven polestars in 'the Man' just when the shifting of the pole coincided with a deluge as a typical ending in the solar zodiac. For when the heaven of Atum-Ra was established on the four corners, the typical ending previously marked by the changing polestars was duplicated in the zodiac by the precession of the equinoxes, and both went on together in two modes of measuring the movement. As the type of an ending in time, a mythical deluge occurred when a polestar was submerged in the celestial waters, and the great deluge of all took place at the end of the cycle in precession called the Great Year of the World. It was mythically rendered as the sinking of Atlantis in seven islands which [p.623] represented the seven astronomes in the celestial heptanomis. The last 'great deluge of all' is the subject of the story told to Solon by the priests of Sais. Of this, and the conflagration that was caused by the fall of Phaethon, they sagely said, 'This takes the form of a myth, but in reality it signifies a declination of the bodies moving round the earth in the heavens.' The astronomers knew that the deluge was mythical and the myth was astronomical, whether the end of the particular period was represented by fire or by flood. Moreover, this greatest deluge can be approximately dated. Plato's account of what the priests of Egypt said to Solon identifies the 'great deluge of all' as having occurred about nine thousand years before that time—i.e., about 9600 BC, or eleven thousand five hundred years ago. That date was given by the Egyptian priests with particular precision. They said the city of Sais had been founded eight thousand years before the time when Solon was in Egypt. After carefully examining their sacred registers, they told him that the city of Sais was eight thousand years old, and that it was founded a thousand years after the cataclysm called the 'great deluge of all.' In their account we get to the bottom of the 'lost Atlantis.' According to the present diagnosis, then, the primary polestar in the northern heaven may be Clava Coronae, the key of the crown, when this was in the enormous constellation of the male hippopotamus—that is, of Sut, the firstborn of the female hippopotamus. Polaris in its second form was the star Alpha in the Dragon. The third station was in the Lesser Bear, the fourth in Kepheus, the fifth in Cygnus the Swan, the sixth in Lyra or the Tortoise, the seventh in Herakles or Man. Each of these in turn had been a station of the pole, a landing-place for foothold in the firmamental waters; each had been the sufferer from a deluge at the declination of the pole and consequent change of polestar. Hence the number of deluge legends in the astronomical mythology, including 'the great deluge of all' as the last of the seven. If we take the length of the Great Year in round numbers at twenty-six thousand years, and divide the total into seven equal parts, this gives some three thousand seven hundred and fourteen years as the time for the pole to rest in each of the seven signs. Six thousand years ago the polestar was in Draconis. Three thousand seven hundred and fourteen years earlier the pole had entered the Hippopotamus (or Crown), and three thousand seven hundred and fourteen years earlier still it was in the constellation of Herakles or the Man.
Thus, eleven thousand four hundred and twenty eight years BC the pole was represented by the last of the seven polestars in the constellation of the Man. The end of the Great Year determined by the great deluge of all then occurred in that sign, according to the Egyptian account, about 9600 BC, or nine thousand in round numbers, with various surpluses to be added in the total reckoning. Naturally, the deluge that destroyed mankind instead of the totemic tortoises, jackals and dogs, vultures and swans, apes, crocodiles and hippopotami, occurred when the pole was in or was passing from the isle of the Man. Thenceforth the deluge would be looked on as a literal destruction of the human race, and was so [p.624] construed in the Semitic legends, as it still is by the Christian clergy. This is but the rough sketch of a pioneering pen. Greater exactitude in dates must be left to the scientific astronomer who may have mastered the mythology. My suggestion is that one Great Year in the circle of precession was reckoned to have been ended with the passing of the pole from the constellation of Herakles eleven thousand years ago, which is near as need be, for the present purpose to the time assigned by the Egyptian priests for the sinking of the lost Atlantis in the last great deluge of all.
Now, the human birthplace had been localized according to the different stations of the pole, which were seven in number altogether. There were seven countries, nomes, or cities, determined by the polestars. Each race claims a particular place for a starting point in the migration from the mount, or the tree, or the back of the tortoise, and various races have preserved some fragments of the stories told about the wanderings and migrations from one land to another, as in the legends of the North American Indians, the Aztecs, and the Arunta of Central Australia. The so-called 'primitive cradle of the human race in Ararat or Urdhu, the district of the mountain of the world,' had its prototype in the planisphere and the birthplace at the pole. Ararat is but one form of the mythical mount. We derive the name from the Egyptian root rat, which signifies the ascent, the steps of ascent, the footstool, the figure of ascent. In the developed form, Arrut or Ararat also denotes the staircase or steps of ascent, which is the mount of seven steps, or the staircase = the mount. In one form the ark of Ararat was the circumpolar paradise; in another it is the eternal city like Thebes, which is called the 'august staircase of the beginning of time, the utat of the universal lord' which led up to the particular region where the Eye was then at full as the figure of a period in precession. When the pole had passed into the sign of Herakles the Man, the typical mount which had been figured in the Hippopotamus, in Draconis, in the Lesser Bear, in Kepheus, in Cygnus, and in the Tortoise naturally became 'the mountain of mankind' by name. This was the birthplace of the human race who descended from Atum, Admu, or Adam as the man, and eventually the men who descended from 'the mountain of mankind.'
The giant with his staff who figures in the popular pastimes is probably a survival of Herakles with his club, as one of those old giants that imaged the sustaining power of the pole, the last of whom was in the likeness of a mighty man.
The mount, as a point of emergence from the waters, is looked up to and addressed by the manes in the Ritual at the coming forth from Amenta. It is called 'the pedestal of the gods,' 'the land of the white crown,' and 'the land of the rodor staff' = pole. That this is the land of the celestial pole, the mount, or the tree is proved by the vignette in which the deceased is drawing a cord around the tat emblem of stability, which is another figure of the pole to which he clings for safety in the waters.
The mount of migration from which the various races claim to have descended, like the Aztecs from the island-mountain Colhuacan, is [p.625] finally the pole which had seven starting-points and stations in the circuit of precession. According to a Norse legend, the land of the immortals was to the north of Finland, in the neighbourhood of the White Sea. That, however, does not signify the original home and birthplace of an Aryan race in Europe. It is but a local representation of the paradise in the northern heaven and the white water of the Milky Way or sea of solar light. The mythical birthplace on the mount of heaven for the people of the pole will explain how it was that the ancient Britons could claim that they were emigrants from Troy. In the true tradition this would mean the celestial, not the mundane Troy—the Troy that is still figured by seven circles cut in the sod by children in Wales. Troy was one of the forms of the enclosure on the summit, in the astronomical mythology which was Terui in Egyptian as a name of Sesennu. It is a common tradition that the human birthplace was in paradise, and the descent from thence has been misrepresented as the fall from heaven. This in the astronomical mythology was the enclosure of the circumpolar Aarru around the tree upon the summit of the stellar mount, descent from which was from the mountain, or one of the seven mountains, of the pole. One most fertile source of confusion has been the result of the mythical legends having been converted into ethnical traditions. This birthplace above belonged to the astronomical mythology, and it has been converted into the human birthplace on the mountain and high places of our earth by the human child being laid in the cradle of the beginnings that were not human. That is, by the astronomical tradition being made ethnical, the polar paradise being made geographical. Thus, the descent from the circumpolar paradise in the astronomical mythology has been the cause of a wild-goose chase in search of man's lost heaven at the North Pole of the earth, by the usual literalizing of the legend in its Hebrew guise. The mount from which the different races claim descent has been sufficiently identified as the astronomical mountain of the north, the mount of paradise, the one fixed point for landing at, or launching from, the summit of the pole. This also is the Babylonian 'mountain of the nations.' The Babylonians at first were mound-builders. The mount of heaven was imitated in the mound, the holy mound called the mound of Anu and Nebo and Ishtar. Afterwards they built the tower of Babilu, and the temple called Kharsag-Kalama, the 'mount of the nations.' This shows that the name of the astronomical mount was given to the building that was afterwards reared above the mound. The 'mount of the nations' was the mount of a starting-point, and of the divisions or ways in the heavens which we now trace to the station of Polaris in Herakles. The starting-point of the Aztec migration is from the mythical one-tree-hill of the pole. According to the picture-writing, both mount and tree are combined in one figure. In the Boturini and Gemelli-Careri copies the mount of earth is portrayed with the tree upon the summit. The tree on the mount (a teocallis) is very rudely represented in the Aztec picture-writing as the starting-point of the migration by water from the mount in the beginning. From this point also the seven Toltecs commenced their wanderings in a boat, like the seven Hohgates, the seven Ali, Ari or Cabiri, the seven [p.626] dwarf sons of Pinga, and other forms of the seven in the celestial heptanomis.
The point of departure for the mythical migration is made ethnical in the märchen. The Navajo Indians derive their origin from the top of the divine mountain in the north, where the pole is represented in their mythology by the great reed which saved their progenitors from the waters of the deluge in the region of the stars which never set. The Ainus descended from the region of the bears, which was at the summit of the very lofty mountains in the north—that is, at the pole. They likewise claim to derive their origin from the bear as their mother and the dog as their father, which can be read astronomically. The she-bear took the place of the female hippopotamus, the original great mother of the Egyptians, whose constellation was the Great Bear. The dog represents the earlier jackal, the zootype of Sut or Anup, as Apuat the guide of ways. The jackal = the dog in the planisphere of Denderahi still remains a figure of the pole. One of the mythical Chinese emperors, Hwang-ti, was born in the bear-country and inherited the bear, the original type of which, as male, was the hippopotamus of Sut, the first deity of a polestar. Hwang-ti was the first celestial builder, the first to construct an astronomical instrument. He is said to have been the inventor of wheeled carts; hence his name of Hien Yuan. Now Sut, in the male hippopotamus, as already explained, was the primal power of the polestar; he was the inventor of astronomy, and first of the seven who heaped the mound and made his seat upon it. He was the first of all the star-gods, and was the fixed one at the centre of the revolution or hub of the wheel, and therefore the inventor of the wheel. The Dyak chief whose name denoted 'the bear of heaven' may be claimed to have been a descendant from the celestial bear, whose title was consequently astronomical and not simply totemic. The bear and wolf clans of the Iroquois descend from the primal pair who were represented by the great bear as mother and the jackal = wolf or prairie-dog as her son and consort. The types of totemism had attained to a celestial setting in the astronomical mythology. They were no longer merely of the earth, but also represented the 'big brothers' in the sky, from whom descent was claimed by the totemic groups. These were the bear that lived again in future food, the serpent that renewed itself, the panes bird that never died, the turtle of eternity, and other types of superhuman powers that were constellated round the pole of heaven. Thence came the races that descended from their stations in the mount, or from the circumpolar paradise, as the bears (or hippopotami) and crocodiles, the jackals (or dogs) and apes, the swans and tortoises. each from the mount according to the period. In Greece the Meropes were the people of the thigh, and the thigh or leg of heaven was a figure of the pole: thus the birthplace of a stellar race was figured in the meshken of the 'thigh,' the group of stars now represented in the northern heaven by the lady of the seat or chair in the constellation Cassiopeia. One title of the pole was the Mount of the Khuti, or Mount Khuti. Thence the khuti or guti would supply a race- [p.627] name of lofty lineage for those who dated their descent from Mount Khuti. The Egyptian khuti came to be looked upon as seven divine ancestors who did not originate as spirits of human beings, but were the ancestors of Ra. Now there is a Mount Gudi = Khuti in the north-east of Babylonia, and an ancient widely-spread tradition affirms that when the deluge was over the ark of Noah rested on this mount. The name is obviously one with that of the guti or khuti of the tablets; whence the gutim and the Hebrew goim as a name for mankind, and also for the mountain of mankind. Again, Mount Shennu is another title of the pole as the mount of the Shennin, who were spirits or gods of the highest order, and who might be called the upper seven, from whom we should derive the Japanese and Chinese Shin and Shintu gods, which were originally seven, as were the Shennin round the pole or mount of the Most High in Egypt. Various difficulties that have been felt regarding the other world of Homer can be met and vanquished when we know from whence the system of Greek mythology was derived. The double paradise, one in the subterranean Amenta and one in the celestial garden of the gods, will explain the duality of the Homeric otherworld. Hades proper, like Amenta, is beneath the earth; the happy other world of the dead is across the 'divine sea' or okeanos, the celestial water of the Kamite Nun. Hesiod in the Theogony describes the Greek Tartaris as being 'in a recess of earth having broad ways,' which can be identified with the dark parts of Amenta. The mount of the immortals called Olympus is one with Mount Hetep in the Egyptian representation. Hence the Cimmerians of Homer may be derived from the Egyptian Khemi or Akhetnu, the dwellers in the northern heaven, whether as never-setting stars or spirits of the glorified—that is, the khuti. The city of the Cimmerians in the north is described as being covered with shadow and vapour. The sun does not behold them when he goes toward the starry heaven, nor when he turns back again from heaven to earth. It is always night in the land of the Cimmeroi. It was after sunset that the vessel reached the extreme boundary where stood the city of the Cimmerians. The akhemu are the souls of the dead, or the never-setting stars that circle round about the northern pole of heaven, but not in the arctic regions of the earth nor on the horizon of the north. The dead were those who voyaged in the bark of heaven for the city of the akhemu at the summit of the pole. When the Osiris deceased has attained the summit at the head of Aarru, he exclaims, 'I stand erect in the bark which the god is piloting ... and the Akhemu (stars or spirits) open to me, and my fellow-citizens present to me the sacred cakes with flesh.' In another chapter the speaker says, 'I arrive at my own city.' This was the city of the glorious ones who had risen to the region of the Akhemu-Seku or never-setting stars. And this, it has now to be suggested, was the city of the mythical Cimmeroi. The voyage was the same in the Greek, the Irish, or Assyrian legends as in the Egyptian astro-mythos. And as the khemi or akhemu were the northerners in this polar sense, the same origin may well account for the people of the north, in Chaldea, Japan, or Britain, being named the Kami, the Gimmeroi, or the Cymry, who derived their [p.628] northern name on earth from that celestial birthplace in the northern heaven. Lastly, the dragon-mound was known to the Druids as a type in the astronomical mythology. Thence came the Dracontiae and the serpent-mounds of Britain, which, it may be feasibly inferred, were heaped up as images of the pole and its station when a Draconis became the polestar about 4,000 years BC.
This page last updated: 05/02/2014