A BOOK OF THE BEGINNINGS
HIEROGLYPHICS IN BRITAIN
In his treatise of the New Manneris and the Auld of Scottis, the ancient chronicler Boece says the old inhabitants 'used the rites and manners of the Egyptians, from whom they took their first beginning. In all their secret business they did not write with common letters used among other people, but with cyphers and figures of beasts made in manner of letters.'
He is unable to tell how the secret of this crafty method of writing was lost, but affirms that it existed and has perished. We know the principle of ideographic writing was extant in what are termed the 'Tree-Alphabets,' in which the sprigs of trees formed the signs. Taliesin alludes to this kind of writing when he says, 'I know every reed or twig in the cave of the chief Diviner,' and 'I love the tops of trees with the points well connected;' these were the symbolical sprigs used for divination and as ideographs before they were reduced to phonetic value. The language of flowers is a form of the same writing.
In the time of Beli the Great, say the Welsh traditions, there were only sixteen 'awgryms' or letter-signs, and these were afterwards increased to twenty and finally to twenty-four. One account states that in the first period of the race of the Cymry the letters were called 'ystorrynau.' Before the time of Beli-ap-Manogan there were ten primary ystorryn or ystorrynau, which had been a secret from everlasting with the bards of the Isle of Britain. Beli called them letters, and added six more to the earlier ten. The sixteen were made public but the original ten ystorrynau were left under the seal of secrecy. It will be suggested hereafter that Beli is the Sabean Baal, the first son of the mother who in Egypt was Bar-Sutekh (Sut-Anubis), the earliest form of Mercury, who became the British Gwydion called the inventor of letters; that Gwyd is Khet or Sut, and that the same original supplied the Greeks with their Kadmus, who is also accredited with introducing the sixteen letters into Greece.
But at first there were only ten primary letters or ystorrynau. Now, in Egyptian teru is a type name for drawing, writings, papyrus rolls, stems, roots, literature, the 'rites' of Taht, the divine scribe. Nau (nu) denotes the divine or typical. Ys is the well-known Welsh prefix which augments and intensifies. There were ten of these branches on the first tree of knowledge. Kat (Eg.) is the name of the tree of knowledge. That is our British Kęd, who is the tree, and kat or kęd reappears as the gwyd or wood of the Druids. The typical tree of kęd or ogyrven, one of her two chief characters, was an apple-tree, on which the mistletoe, the divine branch, is often found growing, and this gave the type name to the tree of knowledge with the British Barddas. Taliesin says seven score ogyrvens pertain to the British muse. The brindled-ox of Hu had seven score knobs on his collar. The number of stones in the complete temple of Stonehenge has been computed at seven score. The 'avallenau,' or apple-trees, were the wood of the tree of knowledge, and these are represented as being 147 in number. From a poem written by Myrddin we gather that there was a garden or orchard containing 147 apple-trees or sprigs, which could be carried about by him in all his wanderings. The bard bemoans that the tree of knowledge and the shoots have now to be concealed in the secrecy of a Caledonian wood. The tree still grows at 'the confluence of streams,' the two waters, but has no longer the 'raised circle' and the protective surroundings of old. The Druids and their lore are being hunted to death by the Christians, the 'Men in black.' Myrddin and a faithful few still guard the tree of knowledge although their persecutors are now more numerous than their disciples. This tree of knowledge has seven score and seven shoots or sprigs, composing the whole book, and these may now be claimed as ideographs and hieroglyphics which deposited their phonetic values in the tree alphabets. Thus the tree of knowledge the kat (Eg.), the Welsh gwyd is the representative of the mother Kęd, who is identified by Taliesin with Ogyrven.
Ogyrven has an earlier form in gogyrven, and khekr (Eg.) means to adorn, a collar, or necklace, which in the lunar reckoning had ten points or branches as is implied in the name of menat. Afterwards the collar worn by the mother Isis had nine points or beads according to the solar reckoning. Ogyrven is one of two characters of Kęd and Keridwen the other. When interpreted by the doctrine of the Two Truths, these are identical with the divine sisters, Neith and Nephthys. Kharit (Eg.) means the widow. Keridwen is the widow lady in the mystical sense. She was the one alone. Ogyrven is called Amhat, she like Nephthys is the goddess of seed, or the seeded (neft). It is in keeping that Gogyrven (Ogyrven) means some kind of spirit. [p.85] Breath was the first spirit and this was the mother of breath, the other of the water.
In the chapters 'The Typology of Time and Number,' it will be shown how the tree of knowledge put forth its ten branches. It was at a time when the number ten was reckoned on both hands. In Egyptian kabti is two arms. Khep is the hand and ti is two, thus khepti or khep, which becomes Kat and Kęd, is equivalent to both hands or ten digits. The Ogham alphabet is digital, and five of its digits read qv (Welsh), that is khef (Eg.) one hand. Two hands or ten digits then represent the tree of Kęd, or Kat called knowledge. And as the ten digits were a primary limit it may be conjectured that the ten original ystorrynau were represented by the ten first signs of the Ogham alphabet, the ciphers spoken of by Boece.
A document on Bardism cited by Silvan Evans, says the three so-called 'beams' were the three elements of a letter. These three consist of the right hand, left hand, and middle, and that from these were formed the sixteen ogyrvens or letters. If we reduce the sixteen to the earlier ten we have the ten digits. And these mystical strokes include a right-hand one and a left-hand one. They are a figure of the triad consisting of the one, who was the Great Mother, with two manifestations, whether these two were the two sisters, the twin brothers, or the dual Iu, the young god. The Barddas assert that the three strokes, beams, or 'shouts' rendered the name of the deity as Iau the younger. These emanated from the hieroglyphic eye, to form the name that is one with the Au or Iu of Egypt. They represented the 'cyfriu' name of the trinity, or the thrice-functioned Hu, says Myfyr Morganwg. Khpr-iu as Egyptian would denote the transformation of the one into the duad, and this meaning has been preserved in the 'Cyfriu' sign of the Druids. Also gafi in Welsh is the fork; gevel (Breton) is dual. The two hands, the ten branches of the one tree of knowledge then, were a dual symbol of Kat, Ked, or Kheft.
The number seven is the base of the seven-score and seven branches, and in Egyptian the word khefti or hepti also means number seven. Thus the seven and ten meet in one word, because the ti may be read as two or as twice. Khep is the hand and seb is five, thus seb-ti—five-two—is seven, and kepti, or khefti, is two hands, or number ten. When this tree of knowledge is recovered it will be seen that the Druids possessed it, root and branch.
Teruu (Eg.) denotes branches and stems, we may say, of the tree of knowledge, and it is also the name of drawings and of papyrus rolls. The first ystorrynau were the branches of the hands, the ten digits then the branches of the tree were sprigs of trees. Now in the old Egyptian stage of speech the words are isolated, and there is no distinction between the root and stem. The word stands for the thing [p.86] rather than the thought because the thinkers were the thingers, and they who used the word as bare root had to obtain their variants by pointing to still other things. These variants were not represented by kindred words but by ideographic determinatives. It is here we have to look for the cognates, the branches, so to say, of the root. These were expressed in pictures, in gestures, and in tones, before the verbal variants were evolved. So the Grebos of Africa are still accustomed to indicate the persons and tenses of the verb by gesture signs. The Druidic sprigs belong to this ideographic stage. They were both the typical and the literal branches of speech in British hieroglyphics.
It is noticeable that the Damara tribes of Africa are subdivided into a number of Eundas (clans or ings) as the Sun-children, Moon-children, Rain-children, and other totemic types, and each Eunda has a sprig of some tree for its emblem. The Druidic sprigs, based on the number seven and extending to seven-score seven, doubtless originated in the same primary kind of heraldry, and their phonetic deposits are, as said, the tree alphabets.
In connection with the British torrynau, it may be remarked in passing that, according to Eliphas Levi (nom de plume of the Abbé Constant), in his History of Magic, there is a hieroglyphic alphabet in the Tarot cards; these were distinguished from cards by the license of the French dealer who sold 'Cartes et Tarots.' There is a Kabbalist tradition that the Tarot was invented by Taht the originator of types. These cards are still preferred by fortune-tellers. The name, if Egyptian, connects them with magic and divination. Ter or tri is to interrogate, invoke, question. Ut is magic, Tar-Ut therefore means magical evocation; magic applied to 'trying the spirits' or evoking them. Also terut signifies the teru (Eg.) or coloured drawings, with the determinative of the hieroglyphist's pen and paints. The Tarot cards when interpreted by the Kabbalist tradition were Terut or hieroglyphical drawings.
The Druids were in possession of the symbolic branch for the type of the youthful sun-god, who was annually reborn as the offshoot from the tree. The mistletoe was their branch that symbolized the new birth at the time of the winter solstice. All its meaning is carefully wrapt up in its name. Mes (Eg.) is birth, born, child. Ter is time, and a shoot, which was the sign of a time. Ta is a type, also to register, the Mis-tel-toe is the branch typical of another birth of time personified as the child, the prince, the branch; prince and branch being identical, a form of the branch of the panegyrics on which Taht the registrar registered the new birth of the renpu. The branch in Welsh is pren corresponding to renpu (Eg.) the shoot sign of youth and renewal. The branch of mistletoe was called pren puraur, the branch of pure gold, and pren uchelvar. It had five names derived from Uchel the Lofty. The word will yield more meaning.
The Lofty was the tree, the aak or oak, and al (Eg.) is the child or son of; the mistletoe was at times born of the oak.
The hieroglyphic shoot is well preserved in the Mayers' Song in celebrating their form of the branch—
'It is but a sprout,
Yet it's well-budded out.'
The shoot or renpu is carried in the hands of Taht, the god of speech, of numbering and naming, who is the divine word in person. From the branch the Druids derived their Colbren, the wood of credibility, the staves on which their runes were cut. Bren is a later form of pren. Pren is the ren, just as pref, the snake, is the ref. The ren is the branch, and ren (Eg.) means to call by name. Coel answers to kher (Eg.) the word, to speak, utterance, speech, voice. Thus the Colbren is the branch of the word, the wood of speech, identical with the ren (renpu) of Taht, and the emblem of that branch which was the word or logos impersonated as the British dovydd.
The palm is the typical tree of time and of letters, a form of course of the tree of life and knowledge; it is the symbol of reckoning time. In Egyptian it is named buk or beka, the original of bôka (Gothic), and the English beech. In Persian the oak is named buk. The trees may be various, the name is one on account of the type. The palm-shoot was the book of the scribe, and the beech-tree is the book-tree, because its bark was used for inscribing upon. The buka or palm-branch on which time was reckoned finally yields us the name of the book.
One of the types of Palm Sunday is the cross made of palm-branches. In the northern counties Palm Sunday is a day of great diversion, old and young amuse themselves in making crosses to be stuck up or suspended in houses. In the latter part of the day the young of both sexes sally forth and assault all unprotected females whom they meet with, seizing their shoes, which have to be redeemed with money. On Monday it is the turn of the men, who are treated in the same manner.
The palm cross primarily represents the crossing, not the crucifixion, and is the same symbol of the equinoctial year as it was in the hands of Taht or An, as the sign of a time.
In the unavoidable quotation from Pliny we are told, 'the Druids (so they call the wise men) hold nothing in greater reverence than the mistletoe, and the tree on which it grows, so that it be an oak. They choose forests of oaks, for the sake of the tree itself, and perform no sacred rites without oak leaves, so that one might fancy they had even been called for this reason, turning the word [p.88] into Greek, Druids. But whatever grows upon these trees, they hold to have been sent from heaven, and to be a sign that the deity himself had chosen the tree for his own. The thing, however, is very rarely found and when found is gathered with much ceremony; and above all, on the sixth day of the moon, by which these men reckon the beginnings of their month and years, and of their cycle of thirty years (the Egyptian Sut-Heb), because the moon has then sufficient power, yet has not reached half its size. Addressing it in their own language by the epithet of all-healing, after duly preparing sacrifices and banquets under the tree, they bring to the spot two White Bulls, the horns of which are then for the first time garlanded. The priest, clothed in a white dress, ascends the tree, and cuts the mistletoe with a golden knife; it is caught in a white cloak. Thereupon they slay the victims, with a prayer that the deity may prosper his own gift to them, to whom he had given it. They fancy that by drinking it, fertility is given to any barren animal, and that it is a remedy against all poisons.'
He also says, 'Like to the Sabine herb is that called selago. It is gathered, without using a knife, with the right hand wrapped in a tunic, the left being uncovered, as though the man were stealing it; the gatherer being clothed in a white dress, and with bare feet washed clean, after performing sacrifice before gathering it—with bread and wine. It is to be carried in a new napkin. According to the tradition of the Gaulish Druids, it is to be kept as a remedy against all evil, and the smoke of it is good for diseases of the eyes. The same Druids have given the name of samulos to a plant that grows in wet places; and this they say must be gathered with the left hand by one who is fasting, as a remedy for diseases of swine and cattle, and that he who gathers it, must keep his head turned away, and must not lay it down anywhere except in a channel through which water runs, and there must bruise it for them who are to drink it.'
In this account the branch is identified with that of time. The number six is the measure of compatibility, and in the representation of the coronation of Rameses II, at Medinet-Habu, the king is offering to the god Amen-Khem, in presence of the god Sut and the white bull, six ears of grain which he cuts with a golden sickle. The juice of samolus is the equivalent of the sama juice of the Hindu ritual and the homa of the Avesta. Sma means to invoke, and lus (rus) denotes the rising or resurrection. Also semhi is a name for the left hand in Egyptian, samili in Assyrian, sema in Fijian.
The reed in the hieroglyphics is the symbol of the scribe. Rui is the reed-pen, whence ruit; to figure, engrave, our word write, and the reed was the sign of writing. Taliesin boasts that he knows [p.89] 'every reed in the cave of the chief diviner,' a holy sanctuary there is; the small reeds, with joined points, declare its praise. The Egyptians made their pens and paper from the papyrus reed, and the reed is celebrated as composing the mystical characters of the Druidic writings. The rush and reed may be hieroglyphically read.
The name of the son (su) is written with the reed shoot. The shoot, whether of the reed or branch, is the emblem of renewal, the symbol of the solar son who was reborn at the time of the vernal equinox.
As late as the end of last century, at Tenby in Wales, young people would meet together to 'make Christ's bed' on Good Friday. They gathered a quantity of reed-leaves (the shoots of the stem) from the river and wove them into the shape of a man; they then laid the figure on a wooden cross and left it in some retired part of a garden or field.
The reed symbol was practically extant in our rush-hearings and carrying of reeds at certain seasons, as the emblem of a time and period such as the Feast of Dedication and various other festivals. Armfuls of reeds were cut and tied up in bundles, decorated with ribbons and placed in churches.
In the hieroglyphics a bundle of reeds is the sign of a time (ter) and indicator of a season. It also reads ret, to repeat, several.
At Heybridge, near Maldon, when the rushes were placed in the church, small twigs were stuck in holes round the pews. The twig is the other and chief hieroglyphic of a time, held in the hand of Taht, the recorder of time. These tend to identify the symbolic nature of the Man of Reeds stretched on a cross at the time of the crossing.
The Man of Reeds was placed on the cross at Tenby. Bi (Eg.) is the place. Ten is the division, and the word means to extend and spread, to fill up, terminate, and determine. Tennu are lunar eclipses, which take place equinoctially. Tenby then is the place of the crossing.
The leek or onion, the head-crest worn by the Welsh as a national symbol, is one of the hieroglyphics. Leeks and onions were identified with the young sun-god Adon, at Byblos. They were exhibited in pots, with other vegetables, called the Gardens of the Deity. The Welsh wore the leek in honour of Hu, one of whose names was Aeddon. The onion with its heat and its circles was a symbol of the sun-god Hu, in Egypt. It was named after him the hut. Hut the onion is also Hut the Hat, and Hat the Mace. The hieroglyphic mace or hat is onion-headed.
One sign of Hu in the hieroglyphics is the tebhut or winged disk, sign of the Great God, Lord of Heaven and Giver of Life. It [p.90] is the solar disk spread out. The leek or sprouting onion (hut) of Taffy is equally a tebhut and a type of the solar god and source of life.
The adder-stone of the Druids, said by Pliny to have been produced by serpents, was called the glain, the Welsh glainiau nadredd. Glain appears to have been a primitive kind of glass, not yet transparent but glassy. Some of the specimens are composed of mere earth glazed over. But they were all polished and reflected light. In the Angar Cyvyndawd, the question is asked, 'What brings forth the clear glain from the working of stones?' obviously referring to the polishing of the surface. From this polish or glaze it had a mirror-like power. Hence the glain was a type of renovation and the resurrection. Meilyr, a bard of the twelfth century, sings of the holy island of the glain, to which pertains a splendid representation of 're-exaltation,' or resurrection. My object here, however, is only to point out that an Egyptian reviewer says of a work, 'Thy piece of writing has too much glane in it,' meaning glitter, as if he had said it was like the glazed earth, not like the transparent glass. The Egyptians of that time—Rameses II—were making literary glane. A variant of the glane is to be found in clome, a Cornish name for a glazed earthenware cup. Also gloin, in Welsh, is a name of coal.
There can be nothing incredible in supposing that the Druids also made pictographs, and drew the 'figures of beasts.' In fact we know they did. Near Glamis there is, or was, a stone, on which was engraved a man with the head of a crocodile. Sefekh the capturer was the crocodile-headed god of Egypt, who was depicted as a man with the head of a crocodile. Now the name of Sefekh also signifies no. 7, the crocodile identifies the figure with Sut, and the Druids employed what they termed their seven-stone, which was also called the said or syth-stone. Thus hieroglyphically Sefekh identifies the seven-stone with Sut, whose emblem was especially the stone of the seven.
Plutarch, on the authority of Manetho, tells us that 'Smy' was one of the names of Typhon, the Ap, Appu, or Apophis of the waters, the Dragon of the Deep. Smi, as we learn from the monuments, means the conspirator, the lurking, deceitful one of the waters. Smi has given his name to a small kind of fish, 'appua, a smie'. 'In Essex is a fish called a smie, which, if he be long kept, will turn to water.' Here we have the ap and smie in one, based on the treacherous transformation which was typhonian. Smui (Eg.) also means to pass, traverse; and this enters into the name of the rabbit's passage, the (Anglo-Saxon) smie-gela, or coney-hole.
The hinder thigh, called the khef, khepsh, or kheft, is an ideograph of the Great Bear, and its goddess, the Good Typhon. In [p.91] Herefordshire, a particular part of the round of beef is the kevin, that is the hinder thigh of the animal; and the joint constitutes one of the hieroglyphics in England. Khep, the hinder-part, is likewise extant in the end of a fox's tail, called a chape. Khef is the gestator, the image of brooding life, and covey means to sit and brood as a bird, hence a brood is the covey; and an Irish name for pregnancy is kobaille.
Other typhonian relics might be collected, but none more curious than this. Sut was depicted as the ass-headed god. One of the heads assigned to him as Sut-Nahsi is a black ass-headed bird, the neh, a foul night bird. This hieroglyphic in England would seem to have been the bittern. And in the Arms of 'ass-bitter' there is a bird called the 'ass-bittern,' which is a chimera with no likeness in nature, but it is the very image of the ass-headed bird assigned to Sut-Typhon.
The cockatrice, a fabulous animal supposed to be hatched from the eggs of a viper by a cock, is represented in heraldry as a cock with the tail of a dragon. This is obviously a form of the akhekh dragon of the hieroglyphics, a chimera or griffin compounded of beast, bird, and reptile. The cockatrice is either the threefold akhekh, or a triple type of time.
Heraldry is as full of hieroglyphics as Derbyshire stone is of fossils. The unicorn of heraldry is identical with the type of Sut, to be found in Champollion's Dictionnaire. Also Suti, in the hard form is khuti, and the ass type of Sut is in Scotch the cuddy.
The British Triads celebrate the great event of the bursting forth of the Lake of Llion, caused by the Avanc, a monster that had to be conquered and drawn to land by the three oxen of Hu-Gadern, so that the lake should burst no more. The monster is identical with the Egyptian Apophis or Akhekh, overcome by the solar god, depicted with sword-blades as the cutter, the destroyer of bounds, and the analogue of the burster through the banks of the containing lake. The Egyptian monster is called the Apap, Ap or Af, Hef, Khef, Baba, in agreement with the Av-ank. Neka (Eg.) which also reads nk, is an epithet of the Ap or Av, meaning the evil enemy, the false, deluding, impious criminal one; the crooked serpent set with blades. Therefore it is inferred that the Druidic avanc is none other than the app-nk or evil Apophis that dwelt in the Pool of Pant, the place of destruction and dissolution, in the 'bend of the great void' where the break might occur in the annual circle. The App or Apap is also called Baba the Beast, and the animal identified with the mythical Avanc is the beav-er; this includes the name of Baba and Apap.
In Dselana, an African dialect, the afank is a pig, an animal [p.92] that also represented the Apap in later Egypt, or was turned into a type of the evil Typhon.
The pig, like the beaver, is an animal that routs in the earth. In Malay, Salayer, and Menudu, the pig has the typhonian name of Babi, and in Fulah, Babba is the ass.
A form of the Apophis monster or Akhekh dragon chained to the bottom of the water, usually of a lake, is common to the legends over all Ireland. The monster is supposed to rear its head aloft once in seven years. The number here corresponds to that of its heads in the Babylonian legends. The old Irish name of the dragon is the 'beist,' and Typhon is called 'Baba the Beast.' St. Patrick has now taken the place of Horus and St. George as the slayer or conqueror of the dragon.
The title of this chapter however is used figuratively, although the writer is not sure that even the phonetic hieroglyphics were not once used in Britain. Among the stones at Maes How is one that has some sort of inscription cut upon it. As no sense could be made of the letters, the inscription was thrown aside, a process never ceasingly applied to our rude stone monuments. The inscription is on the inner edge of the stone, and would be hidden when the stone was in situ, therefore it was not for public reading. It has the look of a mason's mark, which would direct the workmen in placing it. So far as one can judge from the drawing made by Farrer, and copied by Fergusson, it is quite possible the inscription consists of four badly executed hieroglyphics. The y-shaped figure is a perfect likeness of the prop sign, the ideograph of skhen, to prop, and uts, to sustain and support. The whole, from right to left, may be read abta uts-ta or abta skhen-ta. In either case it would intimate that the particular stone was intended as one of the supports. Ab-ta will also read to be carried to the front passage. But the Egyptian abta was the double holy house of Anubis, the place of embalming, the abode of birth and rebirth; the womb and tomb in one. The stone was discovered at Maes How, the name of which may be found to have bearings on the meaning of the word 'abta.' The hieroglyphic symbols however are extant all over the world, in immemorial customs, in the mind's chambers of imagery, and in every language. But nowhere do they abound more than in our own land. Any number of these exist. We use them constantly, without dreaming how intimately we are acquainted with those strange-seeming hieroglyphics. We clothe our minds and our bodies in them, and include them in every domain of Art. The present writer has a very common bronze lamp for most ordinary use, and of the cheapest kind. It is ornamented by two herons fishing. The heron, or ibis, the fisher, was the type of Taht (Tahuti), the lunar god who carried the lamp of Ra through [p.93] the nocturnal heaven, and the lamp still carries the emblematic bird of the reduplicator of light. That is the lunar light; another is the solar. In this the lamp issues from the lotus just as did the youthful sun-god Horus in the symbolism of Egypt.
In the Neolithic Age the axe made of jade or nephrite was most highly prized for its rarity, its hardness, and especially for its beautiful deep-green hue. According to Dawkins, the only places where nephrite is known to exist in the Old World are Turkistan and China. He therefore infers that it could only have been brought into Britain from the East, along with all the superstitions attending it.
This mineral stone is found also in New Zealand, where the natives hold it in the same regard as do the Chinese, and as did the cave-dwellers of the Neolithic Age, who made charms and amulets of it as well as axes.*
* There is also an Assyrian cylinder, in the British Museum, made of jade, inscribed with the word 'abkin.'
It is possible that the name of jade, or the green stone, represents the Egyptian uat, from an earlier khuat, which is extant in an unexplained title. Jouds or jads, in Devon, are rags, and uat (Eg.) is the name of rags. To jouder is to chatter or speak rudely, and uta (Eg.) is to speak out, give out voice. Jut and jet also render ut, to put forth. Uat, the name of the goddess of the north, likewise corresponds to that of Ked. Uat is the type-name for green, and for the hard green stone, the emerald, and the green felspar, and if so, the different uatu of Egypt are tolerably certain to have included jade among the green stones. It will be important to ascertain whether jade is or was a product of Africa. The green felspar was, and that is so hard, a good knife will scarcely scratch it. The uat stone was used for tablets, and the word means to transmit. The green colour had all the significance for the Egyptians that it had for the Aztecs, Chinese, and the Neolithic men. The uat (green) was a vestment used in certain religious ceremonies. The uat sceptre was carried by the goddesses. A variant of the word, utu, (tablet) also signifies to wish, command, direct, texts, inscriptions, and is a name for magic and embalmment. The green stones were formed into amulets worn by the living and buried with the dead. Moreover, it is manifest that the green axes were often worn suspended as charms and ornaments, and not put to common use. Now, although we cannot prove the axe of the hieroglyphic nuter sign (Â) was of green jade, or felspar, yet it is a stone axe or adze of a most primitive type of the Celt stone, and it is the ideograph of the divinity, god or goddess. One meaning of the word nuter is to cut, work, plane, make. One nuter is a carpenter, the kar-nuter is a stone-mason, i.e., the stone-polisher. Thus to plane wood and polish stone were once divine, and the stone-adze type of [p.94] working and making is the ideograph of the maker as the Divine Creator, the goddess and the god. The axe was buried as an amulet in Egyptian tombs. When the the coffin of Queen Aahhept, the ancestress of the 18th dynasty, was dug up not long since, an axe of gold and others of bronze were found to have been buried with it.
In a paper read at the Anthropological Institute, May 25, 1880, Professor J. Milne states that axes, generally of a greenish stone which appears to be a trachytic porphyry or andesice, have been found in the mounds or middens of Japan, ascribed to the Ainus.
The axe in the British burial-place had the same symbolical value, and its colour was like the evergreen, a type of the eternal. Uat itself was of a bluish-green like the dual tint of water or the holly-green with a bluish reflection. It was the colour of reproduction from the underworld. The gods Num and Ptah were painted with green flesh in this sense. The Egyptians made the symbolic eye with the uat colour, another figure of reproduction. The ring of jade placed in the tomb was an ideograph of the resurrection as much as the seal-ring (khet) or the eye in Egypt.
Renouf, the excellent grammarian, has lately made a special study of all the passages in the texts in which the word nuter occurs, and his conclusion is that the one dominant sense of the word is power, potency, might. But this endeavour to arrive at a general sense in which the particulars are swallowed up, and to attain the abstract of all that preceded the later stage of thought is fatal to an understanding of the origins. We have to do with the thingers as the earlier thinkers, and must keep to their region of things if we are to follow them instead of making them follow us. We must abide by their ideographic types and variants, and find the way to the origin of words by means of things.
The word nuter has an earlier form in nun-ter; nu and nun are interchangeable, because both are written nunu. Nun, like nu, means the type, image, figure, likeness, the portrait, and statue. Ter is time, a whole, a repeating period of time. These are fundamental. And nuter or nunter signifies a mode or means of portraying time, i.e., duration and continuity. Hence the stone nuter is an emblem of duration, naturally an early type of time, a double type, because it was permanent in time and sustaining in power. One form of the nuter was the eyeball or pupil of the eye, the mirror in which an image was reproduced. The eye, ar, was synonymous with conception, making the likeness, repeating, hence it was an ideograph of the child, and the year as the Eye of Horus, and of the repeating period as the uta, the symbolic eye of Taht which indicated resurrection and renewal, like that of the new moon, for which reason the word uta means salvation, going-out, to be whole for ever. The serpent is a determinative of nuter, and that is a type of the [p.95] renewing period. The gestator (with the corn measure) is a determinative of nuter, as the reproducer. The star is also a determinative of nuter, and that likewise is a type of repetition in time. The phoenix and the circle are both nuteru. The root-idea found by the present writer is that of renewal, reproduction and rebirth in time, and continuity. Ter is time, and natr is time and of time; netr-tuau is time, and which form of the period (or ter) must be determined by the type (nu or nun). One nun-ter is the time of the inundation, as nun is the inundation. Another is a day (tuaa or the morrow), and the type is the star. A third is that of gestation or of menstruation, hence the serpent type and the two goddesses.
The nuter must convey the two truths which are not to be found in the single notion of might, or power, or potency alone and unexplained. The bluish-green stone will tell us more than that. Green was the colour of renewal; the earth is re-clothed in green, and Ptah, who re-embodies the soul, is himself depicted with green flesh. Blue is the hue of heaven, hence the typical colour for the soul. The Coptic equivalent for nuter, nomti, is based on the Egyptian nem to repeat, again, a second time, to renew. The blue and green were both combined in the jade netr, or axe, just as they were in the genetrix Uati, whose name indicates the dual one of the Two Truths.
The bluish-green jade-axe in the burial-place was primarily a type of the Two Truths, applied eschatologically. But it was a multiform image, one of the things that represented various accumulated ideas. As stone, it was a type of strength. As jade, the hardest stone, it was of great strength and everlasting power. As blue-green it mingled earth and heaven in its mirror. It was a sceptre of the genetrix Uati, a sign of the twin goddesses, who brooded over the mummy and brought to rebirth, by which the deceased arose from the green earth and reached blue heaven. Hence the nuter in the demotic text of the Tablet of Canopus is rendered by khu, another sign of power, protection, and reproduction, for the khu fan signifies breathing, spirit, power. As an axe or adze the implement of cutting, planing, polishing in the hands of the carpenter Natr, and the stone-polisher or Celt-maker called the Nuter-Kelt (kart), it was the artificial type of making, shaping, creating, hence of the maker, creator, god, and goddess, and lastly the idea of protecting power was added to the nuter by its being a weapon of defence. To reduce all this to the one notion of power is to whittle away the substance of things to that fine vanishing-point at which the past of Egypt becomes invisible.
Wheresoever the jade came from to make the axes and ring-amulets, it would seem that our stone-men were able to cut and polish it. The jade was the hardest stone known, and to this day the stone-cutter in Gloucestershire is known by the name of a [p.96] jadeer or jadder, jade being the typical and divine stone on account of its hardness; the stone-cutter is thus designated as the jade-cutter.
The seat hes is a symbol of the Great Mother with which her name is written, and the seat was an emblem of Kęd or Keridwen, who was likewise represented by the Chair of the Bards. The prize for poetry given to the minstrels or singers in the Eisteddfod was a medal marked with the figure of a chair, the chair of Eseve (a name of Kęd) of the seat in the Great Stone Sanctuary. The hes or as seat identifies the goddess called Eseve with Hes or Isis.
The hesi in Egypt were the bards of the gods attached to the divine service, primarily of the goddess Hes. Hes means to sing, celebrate, applaud, hence the hesi. A hieroglyphic s, the seat, is written as the child's first pothook, and the pothook of the chimney is called the es-hook, whilst the 'ester' is the back of the fireplace where the es-hook hangs. The hes (hest) seat or throne was also continued by name in the British war-chariots, called by Caesar esseda, 4,000 of which, belonging to a corps of observation, were left by Cassivelaunus to watch the Roman movements after the landing.
'Hess' is the name of the so-called Treaty-stone of Limerick. The seat was a feminine symbol. The Coronation-stone of England is still placed under the seat, and has the same significance as the Hess of Limerick, and the Hes of Egypt personified as the bearing Great Mother. The hes seat and throne has yet an extant but lowly form in the hassock. The use of it for kneeling in churches is a reminder that sukh (Eg.) is the shrine, and sakh means to adore and pray. When houses were built the dwelling takes the name of the rude stone seat, and the genetrix is represented by the house.
A pair of foot-soles are common hieroglyphic figures on the rock sculptures of the north. They have been found in Ireland on a stone which was sacredly considered to have been an inauguration stone of the ancient Irish kings or chieftains.
In Samoa the natives show the pair of footprints in the rock, consisting of two hollows nearly six feet long. These they say are the footprints of Tii-tii, marking the spot on which he stood when he pushed up the heaven and divided it from the earth.
This pair of foot-soles appear in the Ritual where the astronomical imagery becomes eschatological. In the chapter of the 'Hall of Two Truths', the Osirian who has crossed by the passage from night to day says, 'I have crossed by the northern fields of the palm-tree.' He is asked to explain what he has seen there. His reply is, 'It is the footstep and the sole.' A footstep and a sole of the foot are equal to the pair of foot-soles. The 'foot and sole' are mentioned as the 'foot and the sole of the foot of the [p.97] Lion Gods,' one of which is Ma'tet. 'Hail to ye, Feet!' is addressed to them.
'The Chemmitae,' observes Herodotus, 'affirm that Perseus has frequently appeared to them on earth, within the temple, and that a sandal worn by him is sometimes found which is two cubits in length.' Two cubits in Egyptian would be represented by Mati, the name of a pair of feet, and therefore the sandal of Perseus is equivalent to the 'footstep and the sole.' The same writer mentions another footprint, that of Hercules, upon a rock, near the river Tyras. This was also two cubits (mati) in length. Mat is the ancient name of an, the boundary and division in the celestial birthplace, that of the two truths, and of the two footprints. This was the seat of Atum, who is the original of both Adam and the mythical Thomas. Atum was rendered Tomos by the Greeks. The so-called footstep on Adam's Peak in Ceylon is assigned to Thomas, who has also left his memorial at Bahia, on the American continent, where the footsteps are exhibited in proof of the 'Saint's' visit to that shore. The pair of soles then are typical of the Two Truths, the basis of everything in Egyptian thought. Mati, the two soles, has the hes throne for determinative, which suggests that the inauguration stone with this dual emblem on it was a primitive shape of the seat or throne of the Two Truths, and the king seated on it would be assimilated to the great 'Lord of Truth.'
The stone also appears in the same passage of the Ritual as a sceptre if not as a throne. The Osirian has found or made that 'Sceptre of Stone; its name is Placer,' so rendered by Dr. Birch. But in mati, to give, to place, we further claim the two soles of the feet, and in the stone of mati the stone of the 'Footstep and the Sole.' This duality of truth called the Two Truths of Egypt is identified with the two feet by the English proverb, 'A lie stands on one leg, but the truth upon two.'
The hes is the stone seat, chair or throne, a type and namesake of the Great Mother. This stone seat is also the rat as in our cat-stone; the rat is an abraded khft, the primal seat or hinder-part whose image was the typhonian seat of stone. Now it is the same stone wherever found. The stone that was brought from Egypt by Scota, the stone of destiny, the Lia Fail, the stone that sounded when the true king sat on it, the stone that lies at last beneath the Coronation chair in Westminster Abbey. That is, the typical stone is one; the copies may be many. The literalists have been befooled by the legends because they knew nothing whatever of the ancient typology. The stone can only be identified by what it represents. It is no mere question of a bit of red sandstone, even if it were, the stone of Scone had the true typhonian complexion, and the colour of the lower crown of Isis. It is found at Scone, and sekhn (Eg.) is the [p.98] seat; at Beregoniurn, and kani (Eg.) is also the seat at Tara, and a ta (Eg.) is the seat. Even the tradition of the sounding stone may a be traced. Hes is the stone-seat, and hes means to celebrate, proclaim, sound forth. Another form of the hes is the vase symbol of the genetrix, and the vase, or cauldron, the sacred Chair of Keridwen is a famous symbol in the Druidic mysteries. It is often referred to in the writings of the Barddas, and may be seen figured on the back of the Mare on the ancient coins or talismans. The hieroglyphic vase (hes) has neither spout nor handle, and in Devonshire they still use a beer-jug named a 'hester' which has neither spout nor handle. In Egyptian this may be read hes, liquid; ter, limit or measure. Through the hester we can recover a lost link with the goddess Eostre, who was As or Hes in Egypt, Ishtar in Babylon, Astarte in Phoenicia, and Eseye at Stonehenge. The ankh sign (÷) is one of the hieroglyphics in Britain. Indeed, we have several forms of the ankh. It is extant in the great seals of England, in a reversed position, as the token of power and authority. The ankh is a circle (ˇ) and cross (U), and in Kent a 'wenc' is the centre of cross roads. Our winch for winding up is a kind of ankh. So is the anchor. 'Ankh' is to pair, to clasp, a sign of covenant, and to this corresponds our 'wink' and to 'wench.' Another form of the ankh is a hank or noose. Putting a patient through a hesp or hank of yarn, and then cutting the flax into nine portions as a means of cure, was practised in Scotland. The pieces were buried in the lands of three owners. Here the hank was like the ankh, a symbol of living. In the 'hange' we have a threefold symbol of life. This is the name of an animal's pluck, consisting of heart, liver, and lights, three seats and organs of life. The ankh emblem of life and sign of ankh, to pair, couple, a pair, is extant, minus the crosspiece, in the English dibber, for planting seed. A connecting link between the two is supplied by the Maori 'hango,' a dibber, for planting potatoes. In this the emblem has kept its name. Teb, the Egyptian for dib, is movement in a circle. This is dib-ling. Dib-ling is a form of doubling, this the ankh images. Doubling or dibling is seed-setting, reproducing. So read, the ankh makes the dibber, a sign of deity and a type of creation which commenced with 'movement in a circle.'
The ankh, as an Egyptian symbol of oath and covenant, is represented by our hank, noose, or a knot. This may be at the root of the superstition not yet extinct in England, that one man may lawfully sell his wife to another provided he places a noose or halter round her neck. This is not only a belief; it is yet a practice. The noose in the hieroglyphics is a form of the ankh, and on the wife's neck it is the token of a covenant in the transaction. A much earlier ideograph of marriage (by capture) than the gold ring round the finger! Also, [p.99] as the halter is a hank, and the ankh is an ideograph of life as well as of covenanting, this may explain the origin of the superstition respecting the curative virtue of the hangman's noose when applied to ailing and diseased persons.
The French have a form of the ankh-ring in the jonc, a wedding-ring; in one shape this was a ring of rush. Those who were married by compulsion at Ste. Marine were wedded with a ring of jonc or rush. The custom prevailed at one time in England of marrying with a rush ring as a sign of junction. The jonc-ring is the most ancient form of the ankh, going back to the closest nearness to nature, and the time when metals where not wrought into rings, or flax into nooses. Marriage with the jonc, and divorce or remarriage with the halter, are correlated by means of the ankh symbol of pairing, clasping, covenanting. The custom of strewing rushes was at one time called juncare in Gloucestershire. The practice was periodical. As the rushes were also bound up in an ankh image of life, like the hieroglyphic doll, and dressed in the living likeness, we may look upon the juncare as the ceremony (arui, Eg.) of the junc, rushes, or ankh, and the meaning of ankh, to covenant, an oath, explains the rest in relation to the rite repeated annually.
Ankh, unkh, and nak are interchangeable. A 'curious kind of figure,' described by Brand, used to be made of the ears of the last corn harvested and brought home by the farmer when he finished his reaping; it was hung up over his table and sacredly preserved until the next harvest. The image consisted of ears of corn twisted and tied together, and it was called 'A Knack.' This knack answers to the ankh. One form of the Egyptian ankh is a nosegay, another in England. The knack of corn is a knot of ears, and the ankh denotes ears, therefore the ankh may have been a handful of ears as permutes with the hieroglyphic of life, signified by tying up or binding in a noose or hank. This tying up in a knot applies to the harvest, as well as to the more recondite meaning of the ankh ideograph. Marriage, however, is still figured as tying the knot or ankh. The harvesters shout, 'A knack! a knack! Well cut! Well bound! Well shocked,' of which tying and binding the ankh is an ideograph. Another form of the hieroglyphic ankh, or image of life, is a doll or baby, and the harvest-knack is also known as the doll or kern baby, the seed or child-symbol of future harvests. The nature of the knack may be determined by the shape of the maiden in Perthshire, in which the handful of ears was tied up in the form of a cross, and hung up in the same way as the knack. The ankh was the Crux Ansata. In Herefordshire the knack is called a mare. The sign of this is a bunch of wheat from the last load. In Hertfordshire there is a custom of harvest-home called 'crying the mare.' The reapers tie up the last ears of corn that are cut, which is the mare, [p.100] and standing at some distance, each throws his sickle at it, and he who cuts the knot wins the prize. After the knot is cut and the shout is raised 'I have her,' the others ask 'What have you?' The answer is 'A mare, a mare, a mare.' 'Whose is she?' The owner's name is then announced, and it is asked 'Whither will you send her?' To so and so, naming some one whose corn is not all cut. The mare, also found as the mell, is the symbol of harvest-home, the end of the harvest; the figure of the mare is passed on in token of the termination. Mer (Eg.) signifies limit, boundary, swathe or tie up, with the noose determinative. This is the mare of our harvesters.
The Mell-Supper, at which the employers and employed feasted together or pele-mele, is not derived from mehl, farina, nor from melee, mixed, but from mell, extant as a company. Men who cooperate in heaving and hauling constitute a mell, and this is the Egyptian mer, as a company or circle of people joined together and co-attached, who are the mer, i.e., mer-t. The mer, as circle, is illustrated by the expression, when a horse is last in a race, 'he has got the mell.' He being last of the lot completes the mer.
Also in English the mill is the round.
The 'maiden' is another form of the 'knack,' 'baby,' 'mare,' or Harvest queen. The last handful of corn reaped in the field was named the maiden. The Maiden Feast was given when the harvest was finished. In Egyptian 'meh' has the meaning of wreath, crown, girth, and ten is to fill up, complete measure, terminate, and determine. The word maiden, as the girl arrived at the age of puberty, may have the same derivation. The harvesters in Kent form a figure of some of the best corn the field produces, and make it as like the human shape as their art will admit. It is curiously dressed by the women, and ornamented with paper trimmings cut to resemble a cap, ruffles, handkerchief, and lace. It is then brought home with the last load of corn, and this is supposed to entitle them to a supper at the farmer's expense. It was a form of the corn-symbol variously designated the Maiden, the Mell, the Mare, Knack, the Corn-doll, Corn-baby, and the Harvest Girl. In this instance it was called the 'Ivy Girl.'
Ivy the plant is out of the question for any explanation. The likelihood is that the word has been worn down. Our goddess of corn is Kęd, the Egyptian Kheft or Khep. And khepi (khefi) is the name of harvest. The khefi girl is the Harvest girl. Ivy has earlier English forms in hove and hoof, and the Khefi girl has become our provincial 'Ivy Girl.' Khepi (Eg.), for harvest, is also represented in Cornish English by hay for corn, and in English Gipsy giv for wheat.
The original meaning of the word thing was to thing, to make [p.101] terms. Chaucer's Serjeant of Law, as a good conveyancer, could well endite and make a thing, that is a legal contract. Thingian or thinging was to make a covenant, hence the German bedinging, contract, terms of agreement, and the Norse thing, a place where terms were covenanted. This comes from the Egyptian ankh, an oath or covenant with the article t prefixed: t-ankh, the ankh (t-ankh) was in the noose form the visible sign of binding on oath or thinging. The angnail is also thangnail in English, a very bad form of binding hard; it being a bunion on the toe. Our tank, as the encloser and container of water, is a good illustration of the ankh and thing. This word is as universal in its use as was the ankh sign in Egypt, and just as purely symbolic in its values. Where the sign of the cross is made at the end of an agreement in token of the covenant the ankh ideograph is visibly presented and used with its true typical power. To negative this image of the ankh is to express the meaning 'no-thing.' This gave the power to the name of a 'nithing,' one with whom no covenant was kept, as he was not within the social pact or bond figured by the ankh; was no longer one of the 'hank,' or 'ing,' a body of people confederated. We have the word without the Egyptian article as hank, to fasten, a hold on anything, and hang, to tie, and stick to. Shaking hands over a bargain is a form of making the sign of the ankh, the Cross of Covenant, as ankh means to clasp as well as to covenant, and to thank is a form of the ankh-ing. The ankh (hank) as symbol of thing crosses curiously in Welsh and Egyptian, one name of the hank and noose emblem is tami, and in Welsh, dim is etymologically the type-word for thing. Thus two things are two of the hieroglyphics which have one and the same meaning as the ankh.
The ankh symbol of life appears in the form of kankh in the cangen or branch carried by the divining bard. Cang-en, or ankh-un, is the repeater of life, i.e. the branch. Likewise in the kink, or kneck, a coil, to twist, to entangle; curly hair is said to kink; also a rope when it does not come out freely; kink is used in binding a load of hay or corn. Our 'knack' then is finally the kink, and whereas ankh (Eg.) is life and living; kink, in the Eastern counties, signifies to revive, and to be anxious is to be very much alive.
An ancient British origin has been claimed for 'the Feathers' by Randle Holme. Rev. H. Longueville asserts that the arms of Roderick Mawe, prior to the division of Wales into principalities, was thus blazoned, 'Argent, three lions passant regardant with their tails passing between their legs, and curling over their backs in a feathery form.' And in the parent-language mau is the name of the lion, and the variant of Shu for the feathers is mau or ma. The three tails of the three lions (mau) curling in the form of [p.102] feathers (mau) in the arms of Mawe is one of the most perfect of the hieroglyphics in the islands.
A leash of dogs or of partridges is a triad, three leashed together. The three feathers of Wales are a leash attached by a band. The three feathers of the hieroglyphics are likewise a leash, in Egyptian, resh. The three feathers are the determinative of resh, which means joy, also res, is absolutely, entirely. With the terminal t we obtain the word rest, and the three feathers of the prince, the repa denote the joy of fulfilment in the Prince of Peace to whom the leash of plumes belongs. Very rarely we find a third feather added to the two. Father, Mother and Child are the Three Truths of the Trinity. And in the solar myth the child was born as Horus every springtide at a part of the zodiac where the Egyptians located the Uskh Hall of the Two Truths, we might say of the two feathers. But here at the birthplace of the son, the repa, who is the heir-apparent and the prince—for these are his titles—we find the three ostrich feathers. The three have been found as an ideograph of Egypt. They are probably very ancient though not common. It suffices that they are extant, and that they add a third to the Two Truths, as the sign of the son, who is the prince and heir-apparent. The three feathers are placed over the cross-sign of the completed course at the crossing where the solar prince was born. Three is the Egyptian plural because the Trinity had to blend with, and come out of the duadic one who was female at first, then two females, then the male-female, and lastly, father, mother, and son. The mounting of three feathers shows the addition of the prince, the heir-apparent, who was considered as much a part of the ruling power as the pharaoh. The three feathers are therefore the especial symbol of the prince, the heir-apparent, repa, Har-em-heb, or Har-em-khebt. These are the three feathers of the Prince of Wales. The earlier form of Wales was Gales, that is in Egyptian kars. The repa, or prince, was the completer of the solar course, and in him the trinity of father, mother, and son was fulfilled. The Prince of Gales, or the kart, is independent of a land called Wales, because the imagery belongs to mythology. The three feathers are a sacred symbol in Egypt, and as such were brought into this country, before the English Prince of Wales could be a title. There is a coin of Cuno-Belinus in the British Museum which has on it a horse galloping to the left, and the symbol of a diadem with a plume of ostrich feathers. The first Prince of Wales, the repa, the heir-apparent was Prydhain, the Horus of the Bards, son of Aeddon, or Hu. When the English Prince of Wales was in India the three feathers of his insignia provoked much curiosity, for it was, as they thought, an indigenous emblem. It is well-known to the Buddhists. [p.103] Both must have been independently derived from the same Egyptian source, the one centre where all these things will be found to meet at last by many winding ways.
Horapollo says the Egyptians indicate the rising of the Nile by depicting three waterpots, 'neither more nor less, because according to them there is a triple cause of the inundation. And they depict one for the Egyptian soil, as being of itself productive of water; and another for the ocean, for at the period of the inundation, water flows up from it into Egypt; and the third to symbolize the rains which prevail in the southern part of Ethiopia at the time of the rising of the Nile.' And in the poems of Taliesin, Horapollo's description of the three sources of water has a perfect parallel. The Bard teaches that there are three primary fountains in the mountain of Fuawn; three fountains of Deivr Donwy, the Giver of Water. Tep is the Egyptian source; tephu is the gate, valve, hole, abyss of source, and tennu is to bring tribute in the form of water. The Three Waters are the increase of salt water, where it mounts aloft to replenish the rain which innocently descends, and the springs from the veins of the mountain. This 'odd sort of philosophy' about the origin of salt water rains and springs is contained in an account of the Creation, and word for word it is the same as Horapollo's rendering of the water symbolised by the three vases. The three primary fountains in the mountain of Fuawn correspond to the triple vase, one of the names of which is the fent or fount. The mystical rendering in either case does not cancel the suggestion of origin in the Three Great Lakes at the head of the Nile; a type has manifold applications.
Nef in Egyptian is breath or soul. The Welsh nwyf is a subtle pervading element; nwyvre, the divine source of motion. Anaf is Gaelic for spiravit. Enef in Cornish is the soul. To niffle in English is to sniff. Khnef (Eg.) is the breath of those who are in the firmament. 'From nave are God and every living Soul.' Nevoedd in Welsh is the heavens. 'It' in Egyptian is heaven, and nef is breath. Nef-it would be Breath of Heaven. Nevion is a Bardic name of God. Nef-un (Eg.) is breathing being. Nevydd nav navion, the celestial lord Navion of the Welsh, is in Egyptian, the breather in the firmament and life of all breathing being.
The Egyptian neb (another form of nef) is lord. The Welsh nav is lord. Neb means the supreme, the all. Nav was the supreme, the lord of all. Nef is Lord of the Inundation; nav was the British Neptune, ruler of the seas. Neb, the all, is synonymous with enough. Neapens is English for both hands full: a primitive measure of enough. Neb was twin, both hands, right and left, the whole of being. In the hieroglyphics nef is breath, a wind, [p.104] fan, inflation of a sail, the name for sailing and of the sailor. Nef also names an old goat. Khnef (Num) the sailor of the Argo was personified with the head of an old goat. The he-goat is the type of the breath or soul, the ba. Ba-t, a participial form of ba, means to inspire, give breath. This the wind, nef, did to the sail, and the goddess Nef-t, and Ba-t as genitor, did to the child.
Now when Martin was in the Western Isles of Scotland he found it was a most ancient custom for the sailors, when becalmed and praying or whistling for a wind, to hang up a he-goat to the mast of the vessel as the symbol of their beseeching. This symbolic custom signifies the worship of Nef in these islands, or at least amongst the seafaring folk, whether the divinity be personified in male or female form. The Irish have a tradition that 600 years after the deluge Nevvy led a colony into Ireland. He came, say the Welsh Barddas, in the ship of Nevydd Nav Neivion. This is the Egyptian nef, the sailor.
One of the master works and great achievements of the island of Britain was building the ship of Nevydd Nay Nevion. It was the vessel which safely carried the male and female of all species over the waters of the deluge. Stonehenge was a vast hieroglyphic of this vessel, called, as it was, the 'Ship of the World.' The stone-ankh, or Temple of Life, likewise designated a ship, was the ark of Nevydd Nay Nevion. We shall find the use and meaning of all the old deluge paraphernalia by and by; at present we are stating facts, and swearing in our witnesses. This Ark of Life, or Ship of the World, is known as the seat of Noe and Eseve, and is designated the great stone fence of their common sanctuary. Nöe is a modified form of nef, and nevydd is the Welsh form of the Egyptian neft, personified as the goddess Nephthys. The first representative of the breather is feminine, and the Ark is likewise a type of the female. This Ship of Nevydd has not been left without its witness in a mocking world. These old roots of the past went deep into the soil, and though treated as weeds wherever they cropped up, the roots lived and held on below reach, and could not be eradicated. Stars do not disappear, or seasons pause, though we may lose our almanacs.
There is a small island named Inniskea, off the coast of Mayo, whose few inhabitants are purely pagan. They have an image which they call neevougee, a long cylindrical stone that is kept wrapped up in flannel in the charge of an old woman who acts as its priestess. The name of neevougee is still identifiable as the plural of a word signifying a canoe. Waka in Maori is a canoe, and oko in the Aku language. But, far more to the point, the ukha of the monuments is the sacred solar bark, an Ark of the Gods, and nef-ukha is the [p.105] symbolic bark or the ark of the sailor. It is of especial interest that, although the neevougee is connected by name with the canoe, it is not ship-shape itself, but a mere cylinder or type of the circle, the arc round which the divinities sailed in their nef-ukha. Stonehenge was not in the shape of a boat, yet it was an ark, a circle, and here is the ukha of nef represented by a round stone, the true symbol in its simplest shape. The first ark was uterine.
The Hamiltons quarter a ship on their shield, reputed to be that of Nevydd. In the hieroglyphics the hem or ham is a paddle, a rudder, to steer, and fish, which connects their name with the bark or Ark of Nevydd, the divinity of breath or wind, and identifies them with the hemu as sailors and fishers, the people of the hem or Water Frontier. There was also an ancient stone-temple at Navestock in Essex, where we still find a family of the name of Neaves.
In Yorkshire the country folk call the night-flying white moths, souls. Our moth is the Egyptian mut or mat. Mat is to pass; mut to die; matt is to unfold, unwind, open, as the chrysalis entered the winged state and passed. The winged thing was a symbol of the soul; it appears in the hieroglyphics as the moth or butterfly. The butterfly has no direct relationship to butter. In the one case butter is probably derived from put (Eg.), food; and ter (Eg.), made, fabricated. Our pat is Egyptian for the shape. The butterfly may be the type put (Eg.), ter, complete, perfect. Thus in death (mut) the soul passed, unfolded like the moth, whose chrysalis, like that of the beetle, showed, and was the type of the process, whence the butterfly. Calling the moth a soul identifies the imagery as Egyptian. In Cornwall departed souls, moths, and fairies are called 'piskeys.' Piskey is the same word as psyche, and both are derived from the Egyptian in which khe is the soul, and su is she; hence the feminine nature of the Greek p-su-khe. Without the article, sakhu is the understanding, the illuminator, the eye and soul of being, that which inspires. So in Fijian, sika means to appear as spirits.
It was said at the British Association meeting held in Newcastle, 1863, so great was the ignorance of natural history that a short time ago, when a man in the north of England was remonstrated with for shooting a cuckoo, the defence was that it was well known the bird was a sparrow-hawk in disguise, as sparrow-hawks turned into cuckoos in the summer. This confusion was the result of symbolism. The sparrow-hawk in Egypt was the bird of Horus and of Ra the sun-god, who ascended once more at the time of the spring equinox to complete the circle of the year. This hovering, circling bird was the type of the circle. The cuckoo, likewise the typical bird of return, is the bird of the cycle. In the emblematic language the hawk and cuckoo were two symbols of one fact, the return of spring, and the cuckoo had to suffer for it. On the other hand, we [p.106] have the reversal in the popular German belief that after midsummer the cuckoo changes back again into a hawk. As hieroglyphics, they were similar, only the cuckoo had retained something of its sacred character after the hawk had become secularized, and had to suffer for its synonymousness as a symbol. Also the feeling that prompted the remonstrance against killing the cuckoo was a relic of the same religion. Word for word gec or cuck(oo) and hawk are one.
The hawk is the bird of Breath or Soul, and the sail is an emblem of soul or breath. The hawk on the monuments carries the sail as the sign of the Second Breath. With us the hawk's wings are denominated sails, so that the two types meet again in one figure.
The cherry tree was a form of the Tree of Life in Britain. Children in Yorkshire used to invoke the cuckoo in this tree, singing around it:—
Come down and tell to me
How many years I have to live.'
It is a popular saying that the cuckoo never sings until he has eaten thrice of cherries. The cuckoo is a bird of the period, and is here connected with the cherry tree as a teller of time among the modes and appliances of popular reckoning. Telling leads to divination or foretelling. Hence the appeal made to the time-teller to foretell.
Any Latinist would assert that the word nare for a nose and the nostrils, of a hawk was derived from the Latin naris, the nostril. Yet it is not. The nare for the nostrils of the hawk is not only the Egyptian nar or narij, but the ideograph of the word is the head of the vulture used for the value of its nostrils or keen scent of blood. This head of the vulture, nar, is in English nur, the head. The vulture's head was the sign of the bearing mother in Egypt, both royal and divine—that is, the nursing mother in mythology; and our norie is to nurture, and the nurturer is the nurse, the noru or norie.
The magpie is one of our sacred birds, a bird of omen and divination, like many others suffering for its symbolry; nine magpies together being reckoned equal to one devil in an old Scotch rhyme. If you see one magpie alone you should turn round thrice to avert sorrow, and for good luck's sake try to see two. Why two? 'One's a funeral; two's a wedding,' says the proverb. Horapollo tells us that when the Egyptians would symbolize a man embracing his wife they depicted two crows, for these birds cohabit in human fashion. He also says they depict two crows as the ideograph of a wedding, our 'Two's a wedding.' But why should turning round and making the figure of a circle obviate the disastrous [p.107] halfness of the single magpie when you would have found fulfilment had you seen two? The bird is obviously connected with duality and with making a circle. His name of pie signifies twinship. The full and early name is magotty, or, in the West of England, magati-pie.
The fact is, the mag-ati-pie, the black-and-white bird, was the equivalent of the ibis, whose black and white feathers were emblematic of the dual gibbousness of the moon. But the clue to the nature of its twofold character in colour or piedness being lost the twinship of completion is sought for in magpie no. 2, or the dual circle completed by the act of turning round.
Tahti or Aahti, the biune lunar deity, was imaged with the ibis head. Tet signifies to speak. Mag means to chatter. The magpie can be taught to talk. The ibis cried 'aah-aah.' The magpie is therefore a dual form of the word, as was Aah-ti. And in Mag-ati-pie we have this plural word identified by the name of 'aati,' the lunar deity or biune word. This is the reason why the mag-ati-pie was once a sacred bird and is now looked on as uncanny.
We might note that the pye has other corroborative names in pynot and pynu. In Egyptian both net and nu signify time; also net is a total; and the moon, the ibis, the pynot were each the representative of plural time or the twin manifestation of time, whether signified by the two halves of a lunation or by other forms of the Two Truths of Egypt.
The lark, our bird of light and uprising—we speak of rising with the lark—is a kind of phoenix, the bird of re-arising or the resurrection. The Egyptians called the lark akha-ter; akha is a bird of light, a type of the spirit, and the word denotes spirit, light, up-rising, lively, joyful; ter is a time. The akhater is a type of rising-up time, which is, eschatologically considered, the resurrection. Akhater is literally rising-up time, or time to rise. In a world without clocks or watches the lark was a voice of morning calling out of heaven. So the bennu (Eg.) phoenix is a type of rising up, ben being the cap, tip, top, root highest point. Another form of the phoenix is the determinative of the word rekh, which means the pure wise spirit, the spirit of intelligence. This is the Arabian roc, and our lark as the laverock is the rekh of the lift or sky, the soaring intelligent spirit; and either laverock modifies into lark or the latter name is formed of rekh with the l prefixed. The sole point is to identify the bird as one of the phoenix type.
The phoenix was an image of the Sothic year. This constellation came to the meridian at the time of the rising of Sothis. A star of the first magnitude, Acharnar, belongs to it, and this name tells a story. Akar (Eg.) is a name of the underworld; nar signifies victory; [p.108] thus akarnar in Egyptian denotes the victory over Hades, symbolised by the phoenix, the bird of resurrection.
In Hindu tradition the crow or rook personified the shadow of a dead man, and food was given to these birds as if to the souls of the dead. The Egyptian rekh and English rook having the same names as the spirit (rekh) will enable us to understand the typology. The rekh was the emblem of the pure wise spirits of the dead, and the living bird is as good an ideograph as one portrayed on papyrus or stamped in stone.
Of the great bennu it is said that it caused the divisions of time to arise. One form of the phoenix of Egypt, called the bennu, is a nycticorax. It was an announcer of time and period. The English nycticorax is an owl called the night-jar or night-crow, which announces the time of sunset almost as truly as the almanac, as the present writer has often proved. This peculiar bird, says Gilbert White, can only be watched and observed during two hours in the twenty-four, and then in dubious twilight—an hour after sunset and an hour before sunrise. It is consequently a phoenix. The night-raven is one of its names; and the phoenix is a determinative of the repa, a type of time; Seb (Kronus) being a true repa of the gods. Rep and ray are interchangeable, and our raven is a repa, and a rook or rekh of the night.
The word jar represents the Egyptian kher for voice. The night-jar is therefore the voice of the night, that announces at the time of sunset. The lark is a phoenix of dawn, the night-jar of sundown. And the night-gale or nightingale is likewise a voice of the night. Gale is a song, to cry, scream; garre is to chirp. The root of all is kher (Eg.), voice, utterance, and the night-gale, like the night-jar, is a voice of the night.
The robin is a repa by name, and the finch is a form of phoenix by name.
The cock is also a phoenix, a bird of annunciation. He must have been so in Egypt, where the later sensitiveness to his well-known character caused him to be prohibited. The cock was a type both of Mercury and Apollo. Cock-crow is the first time marked after midnight, and cock-shut is a name of eve. The cock is named from the Egyptian khekh, which denotes light, the horizon, equinox, cackling or crowing, also to turn and return. The cock is the same to the night that the gec (cuckoo) is to the year—the phoenix of its cycle. As the bird of returning light he was made a sun-bird in relation to the equinox, and a victim of theology in the cock-throwing sports of Shrove Tuesday. As the weather-cock, he is the emblem of turning and returning, or the khekh.
The bean goose is a northern form of the bennu, the bird of return that typified renewal and renovation. It is a bird of passage which is one of the first to arrive on the English coast [p.109] about the end of August, and is known on the continent as the harvest goose.
The bennu in Egypt was the symbol of Osiris in Annu, the risen god or soul of the deceased, and this eschatological character has been conferred on the bean-geese. As they fly by night they make a strange noise, and are called 'Gabriel's hounds.' The word hounds is possibly a corruption of han-sa. Han (Eg.) means to return: sa is the goose. Hansa is the Sanskrit name of the goose. Our word goose may be derived from khes (Eg.), to return, come back again. We have our bennu too in English, as the boon, an undistinguished fowl. Horapollo tells us that when the Egyptians 'would denote a son, they delineate a CHENALOPEX (a species of goose). For this animal is excessively fond of its offspring, and if ever it is pursued so as to be in danger of being taken with its young, both the father and mother will voluntarily give themselves up to the pursuers, that their offspring may be saved; for this reason the Egyptians have thought fit to consecrated this animal.' Now if this foolish fondness of the returning (han) goose (sa) be applied to the son, who is also sa (Eg.), we have the German goose of a son called hans. Hansa, besides being the bird of passage, also reads the young (han) goose, (sa) Hansa, or Hans. The early reverence for the goose changed into derision at its simplicity, its silliness in the later sense.
The bean was used in Egypt to throw upon graves. This signified the resurrection. The rising again thus typified by the bean was also symbolised by the ben or phoenix. The bean, which is synonymous with the ben, is obviously the same by name, and the various uses to which it has been applied show its hieroglyphical nature in our land, as a type of transformation and renewal. The 'bean-feast' is especially celebrated by builders. The name has been erroneously derived from the bean-goose. When the employer gives his men an outing in the country it is called a 'bean-feast.' But the true bean-feast of the builders is the one commonly known as the roofing. When the building is reared and the roof is put on, the event is celebrated if in ever so small a way. We often see a red cotton handkerchief hung up as a symbol. The roof is the type that identifies the bean. Ben, or ben-ben (Eg.), means the cap, tip, top, supreme height, and is the name of the roof. The determinatives of this height are the obelisk and pyramid, and in the parish of Monswald, Dumfries, there were about twenty years since some large grey stones called 'a boon of shearers,' said to represent a company of reapers, who were turned into stones on account of their kemping, i.e. striving. The sole point here is the correspondence of the boon to the stone ben of the hieroglyphics, the mountain (ben) raised in stone. The bennu (Eg.) is a great stone of some kind. The [p.110] boonwain was one that would carry the loftiest load, and aboon means above, overhead.
Nor shall we find a more satisfactory origin for the name and signification of the bon-fire than this ben, the roof, tip-top, the lofty and splendid. In English, bin is a heap; in Welsh, ban is high, tall, lofty; and the ban-fire is a Ban-ffagl.
The bonfire belongs properly to the time of the midsummer solstice, when the sun was at the summit and its light at the longest. The fires were kindled at the top of the highest hills, and the time of lighting them was at midnight. Everything was symbolical of the topmost, i.e., of ben-ben, the cap of the hill, the tiptop of time and roof of the house of heaven.
There was a form of the ben-ben or pyramidion of the solar god which was equinoctial in the worship of Atum; but the bonfire was the Baal-fire, the fire of the Sabean, not solar Baal; the fire consecrated to the reappearing Sothis, the star whose rising crowned the summit of the year, as the star crowns the pyramid in the hieroglyphic representations, when the bennu came to meridian. The bonfire typified the fire in which the phoenix (ben) was fabled to transform.
No symbol in Egypt was more reverenced than the beetle, in whose likeness the god Khepra was fashioned, as the Former and Transformer. He is represented as rolling the solar disk, and has the title of Khepra-Ra. But transformer of time, of one cycle into another, is the idea conveyed. Khepra was the type of transformation, the Egyptian mode of figuring immortality as continuity, and the beetle (or beetles) was stationed where the Crab is now. This point was the beginning and end of the solstitial year. Khepra clasped the zodiacal circle of the sun with one hand to each half of the whole. Here he received the sun, and passed it on in what was termed his boat. The beetle was made the great symbol on Egyptian rings and commemorative coins, as an image of Khepra, whose sign was the fibula of the starry round, Khepra being, so to say, the keeper of the solar wedding-ring.
Khepra was also identified with the sun itself that went round for ever and ringed the world with the safety of light continually renewed. Khepra in his boat was the antithesis of the deluge. Khepra-Ra is literally the sun-beetle, and this symbol of continuity, transformation, and resurrection was so profusely lavished in burial of the dead that the ancient scarabs are plentiful in Egypt to this day. All that pertains to Khepra must have been as familiar to the British people as to the Egyptians, and the beetle was regarded with a feeling as religious as theirs. In English folklore, if you kill a beetle it will be sure to rain. The reader will not see the full symbolic force of that until we have mastered the deluge myth. Khepra rolled up his ball and built his ark to save the seed against the coming [p.111] inundation. If you tread on the dark shimmering beetle called the sunshiner, the sun will suffer eclipse; as it is expressed, the 'sun will go in.' That is, because it was a symbol of the sun, and treading on its image was figuratively covering and eclipsing the sun. The beetle was the sign of the summer solstice, and our scarabaeus solstitialis abounds at midsummer. Putah is a beetle-headed god, and the bete in Devon is a black-beetle. Thus Put the opener and circle-maker keeps up his character as the bete, whence the beetle. In the monuments one name of Ptah, the scarab-headed god, is Khepra-Ra or sun-beetle, and Ptah was often painted of a green complexion. One particular sun-beetle with us has a head of gilded green, and is called a chovee or chovy. Also we have the name of Khepra in the chafer or dor-beetle, and chaferdor is a name doubly Egyptian, it shows that ter (now almost given up) was also a name of Khepra. Shevdilla, an Irish name of the beetle, also equates with the dor-chafer.
Our cooper is by name and nature a form of Khepra; he rings or hoops round the staves of the cask as Khepra clasped the circle of the signs. In English keeper is a clasp, and to kep, an earlier form of hoop, is to enclose. From this comes the keeper-ring of marriage that encloses the plain gold ring. Khepra made the circle of time as the sun, and his image was placed at the juncture where one cycle was transformed into another, and the year renewed. In our childhood we were taught that if we found the beetle lying on his back it was a good deed to turn him over and set him on his way. This presented the image of pause and retardation, meaningless, except related to the creator of time and keeper of continuity, but the act was still performed when the consciousness was lost; the ideograph, no longer read, was interpreted by faith. With the Norsemen, this aid to the beetle was supposed to expiate seven sins. The beetle was called the bug of Thor, Egyptian ter. On the introduction of Christianity, the thorbug was christened the Thor-Devil, to be kicked out of the way rather than helped upon it, yet the simple countryman, unthinking of Thor, will stop and turn over the poor beetle, 'that we tread upon,' who is a dark shadow on the earth of things heavenly. These superstitions do not need to be damned; they want to be explained; and they were only damned for the purpose of foully discrediting them as witnesses to the religious origins.
How ancient, for example, is the Order of the Sacred Heart! The thirtieth chapter of the Ritual was frequently inscribed on a scarabaeus of hard stone, and placed inside the heart of the deceased, and the rubric directs that these words are to be said over it with magic: 'My heart is my mother, my heart is my transformations.' 'My heart was my mother—my heart was my mother—my heart was my [p.112] being on earth, placed within me, returned to me by the chief gods.' The transformation symbolised by the beetle was the Egyptian 'change of heart,' and renewal. The heart, mat or hat, as an abode of life, really represented the hat or kat, the womb, hence the meaning of 'my heart is my mother,' and its relation to the rebirth by transformation. The sacred denotes the secret heart, the same that became the type of Cupid and the object of his shaft. The 'Sacred Heart' of Rome is a flaming heart, and, as may be seen by the rosaries, it represents the uterus of Mary. The deceased, lying at rest, in the thirty-second chapter of the Ritual points to his beetle, and other potent talismans, and says, 'Back, crocodile of the West, who livest upon the Khemu who are at rest; what thou abhorrest is on me,' or it was placed within him in the tomb which, like the heart, imaged the mother as the womb of rebirth.
Moufet says the beetle hath no female, but shapes its own from itself. This did Joachim Camerarius elegantly express when he sent to Pennius the shape of this insect out of the storehouse of natural things of the Duke of Saxony with the lines:—
'A bee begat me not, nor yet did I proceed
From any female, but myself I breed.'
For it dies once in a year, says Moufet, who thus enshrines Egyptian mythology in a popular superstition, 'and from its own corruption, like a phoenix, it lives again, as Moninus witnesseth, by the heat of the sun.' According to P. Valerianus, there was a notion that the scarab only rolled its ball from sunrise to sunset. The Singhalese show great anxiety to expel the beetle that may be found in the house after sunset, though they do not kill it. Moufet repeats Plutarch, who asserted that the beetle was male only in sex. But this is to mistake the symbol for the thing signified. It was depicted as rolling the sun through the heavens, and that course ended visibly with sunset. It made the annual circle, and was thus the symbol of a year, or ter, hence said to die and be renewed once a year. There is a more remarkable misunderstanding connected with the beetle, concerning the 'death-watch.' Sir Thomas Browne observed that the man who could cure this superstition and 'eradicate this error from the minds of the people, would save from many a cold sweat the meticulous heads of nurses and grandmothers.' It is easily explained. The beetle was the type of Time, and associated with the end or renewal of a period. The beetle was that celestial sign in which the solar year ended and a new year began.
The 'death-watch' is a kind of beetle (scarabaeus galeatus [p.113] pulsator). It is a helmeted beetle, and this identifies it with Khepra, for kheprsh is a helmet, and the word denotes the horn of Khepra.
Melchior Adamus records the story of a man who had a clock-watch that had lain for years unused in a chest, which of itself struck eleven in the hearing of many before the man died. This indicated the nearness of the end of time, or twelve o'clock. So the death-watch denotes the end of time for some one belonging to the house, because it is still a symbol of Khepra. When the sun entered the sign of the Beetle, the clock of the year struck twelve: it was the end. This superstition shows the beetle to have been as sacred in Britain as it was in Egypt, about whose worship of insects and animals so many shallow things have been written.
The ancient Britons not only buried the beetle with their dead, but the same genus of it was chosen—the dermestes. In one of the stone coffins exhumed from the Links of Skail, which barrows are of the remotest antiquity, a bag of beetles was found, the bag having been apparently made of rushes. They belonged to the genus dermestes, four species of which were found by Wilkinson in the head of a mummy brought by him from Thebes. Obviously the beetle was buried in both instances, for one reason, it was the emblem of time, ever-renewing, whence came the eternal. The name dermestes still tells the tale. 'Ter' was time, the beetle-headed Khepra, mes is birth and to be born, tes 'in turn.' The scarab not only represented the circle of the sun, but the ever-turning time, the renewing cycles of the soul.
The beetle was buried with the mummy of the dead. This in Egyptian is the mum image or type of the dead. And one name of the beetle, the type enclosed with the dead, is in English 'mum.' There is a reason why the beetle insect and the beetle as maul have the same name. The principle of this naming alike is to be found in the twofold nature of each. The beetle, in making the circle, worked at both ends; so does the maul, swung in a circle. In the Maori the maul is called 'ta,' which is an Egyptian name of the beetle. Ta, in the hieroglyphics, is the head of a mallet, the wooden beetle, as well as the name of Khepra. So that this double meaning of the beetle, applied to both mallet and scarab, was Egyptian, as it is English. Another conjunction of this kind occurs in the person of Thor (ter) and his beetle or mallet. These are types of the biune Khepra who made the two halves one. To kep is to close two into one, make the copula. This Khepra did. We have the root meaning in cop and kyphor, whilst to kipper fish is a form of making two into one by taking out the backbone.
We still call half-and-half by the familiar name of cooper, a drink [p.114] composed of two in one. In Ireland the mountain Kippure, from which the two rivers Liffey and Dodder run down to the Dublin plain, is named on the same principle as the beetle of Egypt, the one that was held to be biune, the one image of source in which the two factors met, or from whence the two sources issued. The mountain Kippure was the starting-point of the two rivers.
Hept (Eg.) is to unite by an embrace. So the staves of the cask are united by the embrace of the rings, or as we say, it is hooped, in Egyptian, 'hept.' A quart pot used to be called a hoop; it was bound by hoops like a barrel. 'Hoop' also denotes a measure of liquid. Generally there were three hoops on the quart pot, so that three men drinking together took each his hoop. Jack Cade proclaimed that when he was king the threehooped pot should have ten hoops, which would not have suited at all unless the pot had been greatly enlarged. Hoop is a measure of corn as well. The word 'ap' (Eg.) is a quantity of liquid, to take account, reckon. 'Ap-t' is measure and judgment. If we place the article first, we get the tap. The tap was the tavern or tabern, sometimes called the tabard. And tebu (Eg.) is to draw liquid, that is to tap. With us the place where it is drawn is the tap, the instrument it is drawn with being a tap.
The soul of man, says Spenser, is of a circular form. That hieroglyphic to be read by the hieroglyphics. The circle is the symbol of a period, in this instance masculine. The same sign, an eaglet, says Horapollo, symbolises the seed of man, and a circular form. The soul was the seed of man, a determiner of time and period in creation. Ba is the soul, a circle, a metal ring, and seed-corn. In Chaldee a circle is zero; our zero is still signified by a circle, and zero, Egyptian ser, is the seed, and ser is the same as soul. The minds of philologists have wandered the world round, always excepting Egypt, in search of the word body. Every sense of the word is found in Egyptian. Pet is foundation; pauti is type, form, image, to figure forth or embody. Paut is a company, the paut is the company of nine gods, the whole body of them. Ba is to be a soul, aat house: baat adds the feminine terminal, whence beth, the abode of the ba, or soul, that is the ba-t, bu-t, beth, bothy, abode of soul or the body. Again, ba is the soul and ti is a boat; in this combination the boat and body are identical, as are the abode and body. With the Polynesians a body of men or gods is a houseful or a boat-ful, a body, the boat, in Maori, being a poti. The ba (Eg.) is the soul, and hat the heart, and the heart was considered to be the shrine or body of the soul, so that ba-hat, ba-th, ba-t, the abode of the soul, is the house, or place, so named in Egyptian. But the word bodig, Gaelic bodhag, is an earlier form, [p.115] and it is suspected that the hieroglyphic ta had the force of tch, going back to the click, just as body was the earlier bodig.
The typical circle (put) is another name for heaven. So that the vulgar expression, 'gone to pot,' may not be so brutal as it sounds, for, in Egyptian, gone to put would mean gone to glory, to heaven; more literally, gone to join the divine circle of the nine gods. And this is our pot, as a circular form both in the cooking utensil or drinking measure, and as pot, the name of the circular black pudding, made of blood and groats. Going a-puddening is going round. Put in Egyptian is to feed as well as food. Old English 'pot days' were sacred to receiving and feeding of friends thrice a week.
'Pauti' is a name of Osiris as the dual creator; the biune being. This is the full form of Put, and gives the plural of male and female, the circle of two halves, Osiris and Isis conjoined. They are, as we say in English, the two butties or mates. Ti is two, reduplication, and a butty is one of two mates who work together. The company of nine gods, called a pauti, are equivalent to nine butties, the number nine being the full Egyptian plural. A still more striking instance of descent from the divine to the dunghill occurs with this word put or pauti. In the hieroglyphics, as said, puti or pauti is the circle of heaven divided into two halves, upper and lower, north and south. And this image, as the initiated know, was sacredly perpetuated in the genuine English petty, with its upper and lower, larger and lesser halves of the whole. The petty-toes of the pig are likewise divided into upper and lower, larger and lesser, as their form of twofoldness. The pettysessions again imply the same duality of being, as the lesser of two. And just as puti becomes put in Egyptian, so does petty become pet, hence the diminutive; also pud is the hand or foot, one of two, as is the paddle and puddock (frog); the pod being a whole formed of two sides. Peti (Eg.), for two or both, is found in paita, Tariana; paihetia, Brierly Island (Australia); bit, Chinese; bat, Basque; botewa, Talamenca, and English both.
The care-cloth was a kind of canopy used at one time during the marriage service. At Sarum when there was a marriage before mass, the parties kneeled together and had a fine linen cloth, called the care-cloth, laid over their heads during the time of the mass till they received the benediction, and then were dismissed. In the Hereford Missal it is directed that at a particular prayer the married couple shall prostrate themselves while four clerks hold the four cornered care-cloth over them. The care-cloth occupied the place of the Jewish canopy. The word kar (Eg.) means a circle, sphere, zone, round, with the especial sense of being under and with. Kher has the meaning of being under and with, and kher is the name of a shrine. Khar also means to enter, go between, beget. From [p.116] ankh we may gather the care-cloth was symbolical of the marriage shrine, and all that is implied by marriage.
Snatem (Eg.), rendered reposing, to be at rest, is applied to the bearing mother. It literally means the mother tied up. The great mother is the mother great with child, and she was so represented as Ta-urt with the tie or snat in front of her. Snat or sent means to found by tying. Snath (Eg.) is a tie, and to tie. This we have in English. A snotch is a kwot. Snitch means to confine by tying up. The snood may be derived from sen (Eg.), to bind, aat, a net. Our snood is the net-fillet for confining, that is snood-ing up the hair; and the snooded maiden is our form of mut snatem, the tied up or snooded mother. Snooding the hair was one of the various symbolical customs of tying up and knotting used at marriage, having the same significance as the true love-knot, the enfolding scarf, the garland, girdle, and the ring of gold, all of which were typical of the tying up of the female source by the male on which procreation depended. The hair of the woman in Egypt was not tied up or snooded until she was wedded. This, too, was a custom in our islands either at marriage or betrothal. It is alluded to in the song, 'He promised to buy me a bunch of blue ribbon, To tie up my bonny brown hair.' The 'top-knot' of the bride is frequently mentioned. To 'tyne her snood' was a synonym for loss of virginity; only because of being a mother but not a wife. She was unsnooded or not snooded. Camden, in his Ancient and Modern Manners of the Irish, says, they presented their lovers with bracelets of women's hair, for which ornament the hair was cut off to form a typical ring. This is the equivalent of tying up and snooding the maiden's hair; but the symbolism goes still farther in converting the type of maidenhood into the tie of marriage.
The glove sent or thrown down with a challenge identifies it as a symbol! Gloves were ensigns of a bridal given away at weddings. White paper cut in the shape of women's gloves was hung up at the doors of houses at Wrexham in Flintshire as late as the year 1785, when the surgeon and apothecary of the place was married.
It was at one time the custom in Sheffield to hang up paper garlands on the church pillars, enclosing gloves which bore the names and ages of all unmarried girls who had died in the parish. Another custom renders it imperative for the gentleman who may be caught sleeping and kissed by a lady, to present her with a pair of gloves. In the North of England white gloves used to be presented to the judge at a maiden assize when no prisoner had been capitally convicted. These are still presented to the magistrate of the City of London when there is no 'case.' The glove is a hieroglyphic of the hand. The hieroglyphic hand is tut, and the word signifies to give, image, typify, a type of honour, distinction, ceremonial.
One naturally turns to the hieroglyphic symbols to see what help they will give in unriddling so universal a thing as the wearing of horns assigned to the man who has a wife untrue to him. Horns are generally taken to be symbolic of male potency. We forget that the cow has horns as well as the bull, and that the horn is not limited to sex.
The horn is a masculine symbol, but like many others, most ancient, not solely male. Cornutus, to be horned, is the Egyptian kar-nat, the phallus placed in position as horns. Kar-nat is derived from karu—support, bear, carry; and nat, the tool or instrument. This applies to both sexes. The feminine nat was the goddess Neith, the cow-headed bearer and bringer forth of Helios.
The fact is that horns on the head are chiefly a feminine symbol. The cow and moon were the typical horn-wearers, and both were feminine signs. Cow and moon carried the orb between their horns, as bearers of the light. The cow in agriculture draws with its horns. The emblematic value of horn was in its hardness. This made it an image of sustaining power. Hence the horns sustained the solar orb. The horns belonged to the beast of burden; the bearer was by nature the female, thus the horned cow bore the burden and carried the sun, the type of masculine source. A curious application of this imagery is seen in the monuments. In the time of Tahtmes III the subject race of the Uauat send tribute to Egypt, and amongst other tokens the horns and tufts of cattle are made use of to represent a negro with arms raised as if in supplication, whilst others carry their offerings between the horns. 'I passed over on her fair neck,' says the solar god of Israel, speaking of the heifer of Ephraim. She was my beast of burden is the sense.
The horns, then, are a symbol of bearing and sustaining. The Great Mother, the bearer, was not only horned like the cow and the moon, for Neith and Mut were also given the horn of male power. In the hieroglyphics the cow and the victim are synonymous, as the kheri bound for the sacrifice. The horns of the kheri, cow, victim, were wreathed and gilded for the sacrifice. And the horns figuratively applied to the cuckold have the same meaning; they are the hieroglyphic of the man who patiently bears, and who is the victim led to the sacrifice by his wife.
According to symbolism the husband of an adulterous woman is not only the common butt, but he is the pitiful beast of burden, willing to bear; willing to be the sacrificial victim, and as such he is crowned with horns. This reading is sustained by the custom of horn-fair, anciently held at Charlton, in Kent, on St. Luke's or Whip-Dog Day, October 18th, to which it was the fashion for men to go in women's apparel.
Horapollo says a cow's horn when depicted signifies punishment. [p.118] Doubtless the sign stood for a fact, and the custom of imposing horns, whether figuratively or not, would be Egyptian. The cow's horn, the horn of the victim of the sacrifice, the type of punishment, proclaims this to be a cow of a man, not a bull; hence a coward.
To be cuckold might be derived from the habit of the cuckoo in making use of another bird's nest for laying its eggs, but that would make the term cuckooed, and cuckoo is not a primary. Gec is the old name for the cuckoo, and this correlates with the gouk as a fool. Cuckold read as Egyptian is the peaceable meek worm or the old man. Kak is a worm, keh-keh; the old man; urt is meek, feeble, inactive, bearing. This is probably the terminal syllable of coward—the one who is meek and peaceful of bearing as the cow. The cuckold is the coward, hence the horns. There was a subsidiary sense, which contains the postscript, the sting in the tail. The cow is homed at the head, but that does not make it a bull. Greene says the cuckold was as soundly armed for the head as Capricorn. The cow-horned man is a sort of fellow-figure to the woman who wears the breeches; he takes her place as the bearer!
The sacred origin of the bishop's apron can be illustrated hieroglyphically; it is an extant form of the fig-leaf or skin with which the primal parent clothed herself, and of the loin-cloth of the naked nations. The apron of the goose or the duck is the fat skinny covering of the belly. The apron is a base, a garment worn from the loins to the knee in the mythical representations, in which six Moors danced after the ancient Ethiopian manner, with their upper parts naked, their nether, from the waist to the knee, covered with bases of blue. Butler, in Hudibras, calls the butcher's apron a base. The basu was worn by Egyptians as an apron or kind of tunic. It is found on the rectangular sarcophagus in the British Museum. The basau is also a sash with ends behind. The name relates the garment to the genetrix Bast, and to the feminine period, besh in Egyptian, push-(pa) in Sanskrit, bosh in Hebrew, pish and bisi in Assyrian, bazia in Arabic, and to Bes the beast. After its first use the basu became a type of the second feminine phase, the covered condition of the gestator. Hence bes to bear, dilate; bes, protection, the amulet (of the true voice), the candle (compare ar, the candle, and to conceive). The basu was made of the skin of the tiger or spotted hyena, the beast of blood. It was worn by the sacrificer and the later butcher.
The one who hunted and slew the beast and wore the skin for his basu was an early hero. Hence it was worn in the form of an embroidered tunic by the knights of chivalry. 'All heroic persons are pictured in bases.' Bes (Eg.) means to transfer, and the bes [p.119] skin of the beast was transferred to the conqueror. This was typical of another conquest, and of the basu, whether as apron or tunic worn by the male. To cover and to cure are synonymous. The basu as loincloth was emblematic of both. It was then transferred as a trophy to the male, and was promoted from the domain of the physical to that of the spiritual cure. The Egyptian king wore a kind of apron in certain ceremonies, and it was a part of the rite for him to furtively take and conceal some object beneath his apron. This act was typical of men, to conceal, which is an euphemism for fecundating, used in the expression, 'O creator of his father, who has concealed his mother'—the literal meaning being, 'who has fecundated his mother.' The king's apron was a form of one worn by Khem as the sower of seed. The seed in Egyptian is napra, and the English apron is the napron. If the wearers of these relics of the primitive past did but know their typical nature, they would hasten to deposit them in the nearest museum of antiquities, and never again wear them in the presence of men and women. They belong to the Mysteries that have not borne explanation.
In the Semitic languages a skull-cap is named takiyya. In Chinese a helmet is thukiu. In Cornish-English toc is a cap or hat. Taj (Arabic and Persian) is a modified form, meaning a skullcap. Tyu, in Zulu-Kaffir, is the cap or cover. The cap or cover includes theak (Eng.), to thatch, and the bed-tick, teke (Maori), the pudendum mulebriae; takari (Sans.), a particular part of the same; degy (Cor. Eng.) to enclose and shut in. In Egyptian the original form is worn down to taaui, a cap with a tie, that is, close-fitting like the skullcap or helmet teka (Eg.) yields the idea of all as to fix, fit close, cleave to, adhere. The Cornish takkia, to fix, tache (Eng.), to clasp and tie, tack, to make fast, whence tacked is tight, and tight is tied close, teka (Eg.), closefitting, fixed. Once the root is run down and detected in Egypt, it may be followed on the surface the world over.
In the Welsh writings we meet with three crowned princes, whether mythical when called Mervin, Cadelh, and Anarawt, does not matter; each one wore upon his bonnet or helmet a kind of coronet of gold or headdress made of lace and set with precious stones: this in Welsh or the ancient Cymry, was called the talaeth, the crown, diadem, or band, a name given by nurses to the band or natural crown that determined its being a hero. In relation to this it is common amongst the English peasantry for the nurse to examine the child's head for the double crown, and if it be there, the child, who of old was to become a hero, is now to 'eat his bread in two countries.'
The talaeth is the tiara, but with the Egyptian terminal t. [p.120] The tarutu is found on the monuments as a band of lace or network, with the determinative of hair. Taru is the name of the hero. Tu is a tie, ribbon, or band, hence the tarutu, the headband of the hero, is the talaeth worn by the Welsh princes. Many conjectures have been made respecting the origin and meaning of the S-collar worn by our Lords, Chief Justices, the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, the Lord Mayor of London, the Heralds and Sergeants-at-Arms. The collar consists of a blue and white ribbon lettered with S's in gold. Gold, to begin with, signifies a lord (neb) in the hieroglyphics, and the collar or tie is a syllabic sa and phonetic s. Another symbolic sa is an ornament with ten loops. These signs are ideographs of rank, kind of officer, virtue, efficacy, protection, amulets, and of an order. The ten-looped sa is also the determinative of a court, which may be royal, or a Court of Justice. The shabu is a collar of nine points, the name of which appears to identify it as worn by judges, and this same collar is also called the uskh. S is our representative of both sa and us. Sa or us then is the tie, the sign of rank. Sa for instance is the genius of wisdom, and kh denotes the title; hence the uskh, s-kh, or, as we say, the s-collar: We know the Egyptian judges wore the uskh or sa collar, with the amulet and sacred symbol of Ma, the goddess of justice, attached; and the cause was not opened in the civil court till the collar was put on.
The uskh collar was the judge's collar, as the uskh (hall) was the 'Hall of the Double Justice.' The English s-collar, then, is a form of the sa-collar or uskh. The s-collar read as Egyptian is the sa-collar, a symbol of wisdom, the sign of an order, or rank, or judgeship. Uskh, the collar, also means broad, corresponding to the broad riband.
In addition to the s-collar and the broad riband the uskh had a third form in the escu, the knight's shield and sign of service. From this comes the title of esquire, one who was a shield-bearer, and he who had carried the Escu had the right to be called esquire. The shield Escu, like the uskh collar, was the symbol of an order.
A piece of rag is a hieroglyphic which to some extent can be read. It was a common practice for those who visited the Holy Wells, and drank of their waters of healing and purifying, to leave upon the tree or bushes near some shred of their clothing, or bit of rag. The rag was apparently offered on the principle of 'gif-gaf.' It was a token of exchange, the rag representing the disease deposited in return for the healing. But the word rag recovers an ideograph. It is identical with rekh (Eg.), to full, wash, whiten, purify. And when a well is found named Rag-Well, between Benton and Jesmond, near Newcastle, and it is a famous well of healing, we may suppose it was not named from the rags left there, but from remi, [p.121] to purify, make white, and heal. The rag becomes hieroglyphic as the symbol of sores. The rag, as chalk, is named from its whiteness.
'He's off his cake' is a provincial phrase, explained as meaning he's off his head. It signifies he's loose-witted, out of bounds, 'out of all Ho.' Caker is to bind with iron, and this connects the cake with a boundary. The hot cross-bun of Easter is a cake-symbol of the equinoctial boundary. There can be no doubt about this hieroglyphic having the same value as it had in Egypt, where it was the sign of boundary, orbit, and circumference, which the daft man is out of who is off his cake.
One symbolical phrase for dying is to 'kick the bucket.' Our kick is the Egyptian khekh, to recoil, return, send back, return. To khekh the bucket in that sense would be to return it empty; the one of the two that returns for the water. It has, however, been suggested that the image of kicking the bucket was drawn from the mode of hanging up a dead pig by the hind legs; the crooked stick which stretches the legs being called a bucket. This is the puckhat (Eg.), a stick (crooked) or rod, with the meaning also of stretching out.
Chaucer in the Pardoner's Tale speaks of dice as 'bicched bones,' and offers a crux to the philologists, which the Egyptian word pek solves in a moment. Pek is a gap, hole, shape. And with the terminal t, pekt is bicched; that is, pitted with gaps or holes. It is a variant of pecked and pocked. Pight is pitched, placed. To peck is to make the gap or hole, and the instrument is a pick-axe. The pig is the animal that routs or pokes. Peckled is speckled, spotted with pecks. The cowslip is called a paigle. The Egyptians had the peck, measure, and this, like the pock in the dice, is a form of the pek or bicch. Next we have the biggin. The pekha is an Egyptian rod, English peg, and phk-kha means divisions. Both peg and division met in one word in the custom of drinking from a tankard marked inside by pegs graduated for the purpose of dividing the liquor into equal shares; whence the phrase of taking one down a peg.
Plutarch informs us that the Egyptians called the loadstone 'the Bone of Horus.' And Martin tells us that in the little island of Quedam, in front of the Rock of Quedam, there was a vein of adamant, the loadstone: and some of the natives told him that the rock on the east side of Harries had a vacuity near the front in which was a stone called the Lunar Stone, and this advanced and retired according to the increase and decrease of the moon. This is the legend of the loadstone found in Quedam. The Bone of Horus was found in Quedam, where there is a place named Harries; this may read the temple of Har. Now the loadstone is adamant (earlier kadamant), ergo, Quedem-ant, which is Egyptian for the [p.122] stone of Quedam. This will enable us to recover the name of the loadstone as Khetam (Eg.). Khetam means to be shut, sealed, a lock, a fortress, all that we term adamantine. Khetam was the name of a seal-ring, the sign of shutting, sealing, stopping, locking. And it is now suggested that the Bone of Horus was Khatam-ant (Adamant) the Stone of Khetam. Khet means to cut, to reverse and overcome; am or ma is with. Khetem is a place named on the monuments; locality unknown. Possibly the mineral called khetem may not always have been gold, the Harris Papyrus mentions a mythical monkey having an eye of khetam. Why not of the loadstone, as a type of attraction?
A Devonshire talisman in possession of a Miss Soaper, of Thurshelton, North Devon, a bluish-green kind of stone, is called a kenning-stone. This was not a knowing stone, but a charm against disease, which it averted or sent away. It was held to be particularly potent for sore eyes when they were rubbed with it. An operation for the cure of the bite of a mad dog is called kinsing.
The sense missing is found in khena (Eg.), to avert, blow away, puff away, repel, carry off, with the determinative of Typhon the adversary.
The Lee-stone is a curious talisman belonging to the family of Lee in Scotland. When tried by a lapidary it was found to be a stone, but of what kind he could not determine. It is dark red in colour and triangular in shape; and is used as a charm against disease and infection, by dipping the stone in the water and giving the water to the cattle for drink. In the case of a bite from a mad dog the wound is washed with the water. It is said that Lady Baird, of Sauchton Hall, near Edinburgh, bitten by a mad dog, and that after she had shown signs of hydrophobia, she was cured by drinking and bathing in water which the Lee-stone had been dipped in.
Now the earlier form of the name of Lee is Leigh, and this is the Egyptian lekh, or rekh, a name of the mage, the wise man, the English leech, and healer. The Leighs were probably Leeches (or Rekhi). Rekh also means to wash, whiten, and purify, and do that which is attributed to the Lee-stone.
An or un, in the hieroglyphics, is the name of an hour; English one, Welsh, un. Unnt is oned. The sign is a five-rayed star which also reads number five. Here the hour or period is denoted by a figure of five, as with us it is signalled by the hour-band and the number five. The English hand answers to the Egyptian annt. We have the an for number five in an-berry, or five fingers, the name of a wart on horses and a disease of turnips.
Shâ (Eg.) is number. It signifies the first and stands for thirty. Thirty days, of course, made one month. Hence thirty (shâ) made one sheaf of days; our English sheaf is the first binding up of corn. But [p.123] we have the word signifying thirty. A shaffe is thirty gads of steel. Our sheaf of corn is a measure, an armful. And sha (Eg.) is the arm and measure; f signifies to carry; hence the armful carried is a sheaf.
In English the crib is both a manger and the bed of a child, and in the hieroglyphics the pet (bed) is the same image as is the apt or manger; pet and apt permute, and the crib and manger are identical as in English.
A spare-rib of pork is usually explained as meaning a thin or lean rib. But why does spare signify lean? The hieroglyphics answer because it is the rib. Sper in Egyptian is the rib, and one side. Sper also was a measure, which was called a side, as we have it in English, a spur of bacon for one side. Sper as measure denotes the thin lean part found in the ribs or side named a sper.
Champollion gives a hieroglyphic bakan as some unknown kind of altar. It is a framework with what may be four pieces of meat suspended within it. Ba is food, and kann is smoke. Kanf is a baker. And the Indians of Brazil were found in 1557 to be in possession of a kind of wooden grating set up on four forked posts on which they prepared food with a slow fire beneath, for preserving it. This in their language was called a boucan. By aid of which we may identify the altar as an instrument or framework for preparing or smoking meat. Boucanning, the art of smoking meat to preserve it, is found in Africa, the Pelew Islands, Kamkatka, the Eastern Archipelago, and it gives us the name of our smoked pork or bacon in England.
'The honest miller has a golden thumb' is a proverbial phrase. Chaucer says his miller 'had a thumb of gold pardie.' Brand suggests that this typical thumb may have been the strickle with which corn is made level and struck off in measuring. It was, but that does not explain the origin. The thumb is a measure still, and tum (Eg.) is a total of measure; the word means to cut, strike, announce. Tema is to make both true and just. It also means complete, perfect, perfected, to satisfy. The thumb of gold is probably a symbol of measure, typical of truth and justice, the twofold truth of Egypt, therefore of tumu or tum, the great judge. It may have relation to the Two Truths, that the bushel used to consist of two strikes, and the strickle called the thumb would be the analogue of the tam, sceptre and sign of just rule; the thumb of gold would correspond to the tam of gold, tam being the golden.
An ancient piece of family plate used to be set on the tables of the old nobility, called the suir, although it was not always shipshape. Ship is a name for a censer. However, the name ship is supposed to denote its origin. But in Egyptian we meet with the ship, image, [p.124] which is not the ship, vessel. Sheb is a clepsydra. Sheb is a figure and to figure; shabau, a figure belonging to the heraldry of death. And shebu is the name of traditions. Possibly this and not merely a ship was the name that rendered the meaning of the heirloom piece of plate. If so, it was an image of descent, a type of transference from generation to generation.
The besom is an emblem of passing and crossing. The besom or broom is used by witches in passing to and fro. In Hamburg they have a nautical tradition that if you have had an adverse wind at sea, and you meet with another ship, if you throw a broom before it the wind will change, and the bad luck pass to the other ship. Here the broom is a symbol of passing and crossing. So is it in the laying a broom across the inner side of the threshold for the nurse to step over, when the child is taken to be christened, and the making of a besom during 'the twelve days' to lay on the threshold for the cattle to step over when they are first driven out to pasture in the spring, which was intended to protect them against witches. It is a belief in England and Germany that no witch can step over a besom laid across the threshold. She must push it aside if she would enter as she cannot cross it. In both cases whether it be the broom which the witch does stride or the besom that she cannot pass, it is a symbol of crossing, and as a symbol has divers applications. The besom attached to the masthead in token that the ship was for sale was emblematic of this passing by transfer from one owner to another. The burning of besoms was a part of the sports in the fire-festivals at the summer solstice. In the Harz the fires of St. John were accompanied with burning besoms which were whirled round in the air. The Czechs of Bohemia do the same thing, and all the old worn out besoms that can be begged or stolen are collected for weeks beforehand to make the feu dejoie on this occasion. In the churchwardens' accounts of St. Martin Outwich (1524), we have 'Payde for byrche and bromes at Midsommr, ijd.' '1525. Payde for byrch and bromes at Midsomr iijd.' These brooms doubtless ended as torches. The burning broom was still the hieroglyphic of the passage, that of the sun now culminating at the point of the solstice, the worn out broom being a symbol of the passed circle of the year, utilized in feeding the fire which typified the renewal of another annual passage through the heavens.
In Egyptian the word bes signifies to transfer, to pass from one person, thing, or place, to another: am (Eg.) is belonging to. Besam is our besom, an ideograph of transfer and passage. The bes is also an amulet for protection. The bush as a sign of sale and transfer used by vintners and also by horse-dealers in the shape of green boughs worn by cattle, is a variant of the besom ideograph. [p.125] Bes (Eg.) also means to be exhibited and proclaimed, as was done by means of the bush and broom.
The Skimmington was a kind of representative and burlesque procession, employed, for one thing, to ridicule a man who suffered himself to be beaten by his wife. In Dr. King's Miscellany Poems are the following lines:—
'When the young people ride the Skimmington,
There is a general trembling in the Town,
Not only he for whom the person rides
Suffers, but they sweep other doors besides,
And by that hieroglyphic does appear
That the good Woman is the master-here.'
This shows that the besom, true to its name, from bes, to transfer, was an emblem of the transfer of power. Skhema (Eg.), to accuse, drag forth, represent, figure, offers an explanation of the name of this ideographic ceremony.
The Druidic speakers constantly talk in hieroglyphics, which may be understood when we have collected and massed the original matter. We meet with the horse or mare, ceidio, named cethin, which has the horn of Avarn. It is also called karn gaffon, and the hoof or foot was guarded at the end with a band or ring. It is likewise described as being cut off at the haunches. The symbolic mare of the Druids is representative of Kęd. In Egypt the water-horse was her type, the kheb or hippopotamus form of the genetrix, who became the later Hippos of Italy, the Mare-mother of Greece, and the dobbin of our nursery stories. Kat (Eg.) signifies to go round in a circle; Iu the two houses or halves of heaven. Keten (Eg.) is an image or likeness of the goer-round. The hinder quarters cut off form a hieroglyphic determinative of kefa. Khefiu (Eg.) means tethered, and Gaffon was tethered with a band or ring. This tether is also a hieroglyphic, a cord or noose for an animal's foot called the ren. Ka-ren (karn) is Egyptian for the type of tethering: and Karn Gaffon was the horse tethered by the foot. The ren tether was the sign of binding within a circle, an orbit, and the symbolic horse of the Druids and the British coins was so bound. The mare has the horn of Avren. This may name the typhonian type of animal, the mythical unicorn sometimes represented by the rhinoceros, and ren or ren. Ren is an animal, ap is a hieroglyphic horn. Ap and af are names of the old genetrix, who is possibly identified as Avarn. She was depicted as the pregnant water-horse. Afa (Eg.) means filled, satisfied, and afa-ren would answer to Avarn. The animal is called the hideous. Kefa was the hideous. Strabo mentions the cepus, sacred at Babylon, near Memphis, with a face like a satyr, and the body a combination of dog and bear.
The unicorn, an express symbol of Sut-Typhon, was deposited at last in the arms of England as one of the supports of the crown; that is Typhon as the beneficent, not the dark demon of later times. The mare of Kęd and the conventionalised animal, sometimes called an elephant on the Scottish stones, may be explicated in this way. There being no hippopotamus in the country, the horse or cow of the waters would be more naturally represented by those of the land, and this would lead to enigmas of allusiveness in compounding the symbolical type. Tef, for example, is the water-fowl, duck, or goose, and this is identified by name with the goddess of the Great Bear. Now if the sculptor wanted to indicate the animal of the waters he would or might give it the head of a waterfowl. This was done. The duck or swan is found as the head of the enigmatical animal on the Scottish Stones. This identifies the old genetrix Tef, Kheft, or Kęd just as well as the hippopotamus. Another mode of denoting the horse of the waters would be by giving it a boat-shaped body. This too was done, as may be seen on the coins, where the chimera is found as a monstrous horse, having the body of a boat and the head of a bird. Bird, ship, and mare are compounded in the portrait of Kęd, or Keridwen, who carried the seed of life across the deluge waters, and the emblem is equivalent to the old genetrix, who included the hippopotamus, crocodile, lioness, and kaf. The mare cut off at the haunches corresponds to the lioness divided in two, the hinder-half of which represents the north or west, and is the type of force and attainment. Possibly because in lower latitudes the hinder-part of the Great Bear, the Khepsh, dipped below the horizon in crossing the quarter of the north!
The name of the water-horse khep is found in the word capple, a horse in provincial English and in Celtic. A proverb has it, 'Tis time to yoke when the cart comes to the capples.' Another proverb says, 'The grey mare is the better horse,' and the typical grey mare is the old dobbin of our nursery lore, who still retains the name of teb, like the star Dubhe in the Great Bear.
In the British mythology we have the solar bull and the solar birthplace identified with the sign of the Bull. The birthplace is where the sun rises at the time of the vernal equinox, and this in the Druidic cult is continually identified with the bull, which must have been over four thousand years ago, as the equinox entered that sign 6,190 years since (dating from the year 1880), and left it 4,035 years ago.
In the mysteries we find the priest exclaiming after the manner of the Osirian in the Egyptian Ritual, 'I am the cell, I am the chasm, I am the bull, Becr-Lled.' The cell was the womb of Kęd; the chasm, the equinoctial division. The title of the bull, says Davies, has no meaning in the British language. It has in [p.127] Egyptian. Lled is of course, people, the race, one with the rut (Eg.). Bekh (Eg.) means to fecundate, to engender, beget. The bekh was the birthplace of the sun in the mount of the horizon, or sign of the equinox. Bekh-r (Eg.) is to be the begetter. The sense is purely Egyptian like the words. 'I am the bull, Becr-Lled,' is 'I am the bull of men, the fertiliser of the race; I am the procreator in the image of the bull,' as was Khem, Mentu, and Mnevis.
The ape as a sign of station was solstitial as kafi (Shu) and equinoctial as an. The 'mouth of the ape' and the 'mouth of the star' are names applied to outlets of the Nile. The Druids also had the symbolical ape called eppa. 'Without eppa or the cowstall or the rampart, the protecting circle,' says the Bard, no time can be kept. The imagery can be read as Egyptian of the earliest time. The egg also remains as an ideograph of the circle, as it has been ever since it was shaped and named by Num, or laid by the goose. You ought never to take eggs out of or into the house after sunset. Why? because the cycle is completed of which the egg was an image. For the same reason an egg was considered the luckiest gift for a newborn child. For the same reason originally but now the symbol remains and passes current without the sense as people keep on talking after their reason has gone.
The Egyptian goddess Hathor or Athor is the feminine abode, the habitation of Har the child. The abode hat, earlier kat, is the womb, and in Cornish English the belly or womb is called athor, the goddess being thus reduced to her primitive condition.
The white cow was especially the symbol of Hathor, the Egyptian Venus, whose title is the nurse of the child. She is depicted suckling the child, and her type as the nurse is the white cow. 'Hat' is both cow and white, 'Har' is the child. In Wiltshire the superstition is still extant that the white cow gives the motherly milk. There is a symbolical saying, 'A child that sucks a white cow will thrive better.' Hathor, the divine nurse, still survives in the image and ideograph of the white cow that nursed the divine child. The white cow that rises from the lake is a familiar figure in the Irish legends. In the time of Khufu there was a priest of the white bull and sacred heifer of Athor. And it is to this sacred symbolry that the present writer would look for the remote origin of the wild white cattle of Great Britain. The Bulmer crest was a white bull, and the primeval Bulmer may have been a priest of the white bull or cow, as mer (Eg.) is not only the cow but a form of Hathor, the goddess of the white cow, and the English mart was a cow fair. Bul-mer (or Bar-mer) is the son or bull of the white cow.
The Ponsonby crest is a serpent issuing from a crown that is pierced by three arrows. This heraldic device may be seen as mythological [p.128] symbolry in the Antiquities of Egypt, the French work, where arrows are entering and the serpent is issuing from the crown of the Great Mother, who wears the feather of Ma. The arrow is a symbol of Seti, the wearer of the white crown. The serpent represents the lower crown of Neith. The feather shows that the Two Truths were signified. Sen or shennu is the circle of the Two Truths; these were imaged in the white and red double crown called the shent.
Sen is also the Egyptian name of the temple of Esne, as the house of the circle. Pen is an emphatic the, and pinu, a name of the double-crown; bi (or by) is the place. Pen-sen-el reads the place or circle of the Two Truths. Thus the House of Ponsonby would seem to be an English form of the mythical hall of the Two Truths, localised in this instance at sen in Egypt.
An oar is the ideograph of kher. It (Eg.) means to figure forth. Khart is the child. The oar is the symbol of makheru, the divine child and true word. The oar as a means of crossing the waters is thus the synonym of the solar child who crosses the waters. In the constitution of the boat of the sun, the paddles are said to be 'the fingers of the elder Horus.' The boat itself is primarily the feminine abode. This boat is personified in Kęd, the Great Mother of British mythology. One of her names is Kerid-wen. Wen, like ven, ken, gwen, is the lady, the queen, Oine, Venus. She is represented as a sailing vessel, that is, as the boat of breath, but the paddle is before the sail, and the paddle is also her hieroglyphic. Her name Kerid might be read Kher-it, the figurer of the oar or of the child. She is called the modeller or figurer of the young. And the oar is her symbol. When Gwion the Little let his cauldron boil over she seized the oar and struck the blind Morda on the head. Morda is called the demon of the sea. Merta (Eg.) is both the sea and the person attached to it. The action is equivalent to crossing the water by means of the oar. This will suffice to show the hieroglyphic oar is the same in Britain as in Egypt.
An oar is also a name of the Waterman. This is in the hieroglyphical tongue. An oar is the sign of har or khar, the sun of the crossing, whether as Horus or Makheru. Oar and har are identical; the oar or paddle being a type of crossing the waters in the passage through the underworld. Horus or har, as the oar of the Boat of Souls, is the Waterman; the child that crossed the waters first of all in womb-world; secondly, in the planisphere, and, lastly, in the eschatological 'Boat of Souls.'
In Hudibras Butler says:—
'Tell me but what's the natural cause
Why on a sign no painter draws
The full moon ever, but the half?'
The answer according to Egyptian symbolism is that the moon was masculine up to the fifteenth day and then entered its secondary phase. The half-moon was personated by Taht, the male lunar deity. Taht signifies a sign, image, type, and the half-moon was the sign outside of the house. The inn itself was the feminine sign, the abode invited to by the outside sign. The half-moon, as a sign in England, is a synonym of Taht, the word, the tongue, the proclaimer and manifestor in Egypt. This may explain the origin of divination or forecasting by means of the ominous swinging of sign-boards mentioned by Gay in Trivia. The board itself was a sign, a symbol, part of a system of symbolism. Set in motion by the wind, a living voice was given to this sign, which to the decaying sense of the symbolical uttered portentous, but undefined meanings, to be shaped for the listeners by their ignorance.
An ivy bush was at one time a vintner's sign: an ivy bush is a tod of ivy. Our tod is the Egyptian tet, the type, image, mouth, tongue, and to speak, manifest, tell, proclaim, or make the sign. Taht carried his tod or branch of the panegyrics not in ivy but as a shoot of palm. This branch has the meaning of showing, explaining, as did the tod or bush, hence the saying, 'Good wine needs no bush.' Taht, however, was not outside only. The full name of this deity, Tahuti, signifies the double one, the double gibbousness of the moon or light. This duality of the divinity is sacredly preserved in the dual drink named toddy.
Lluellin in his poems wonders—
'By what hap
The fat harlot of the tappe
Writes at night and at noon,
For a tester half a moon
And a great round O for a shilling.'
There was no hap, as chance, in the matter. The tester was then sixpence, or one-half of a whole, earlier it had been twelve pence. The coinage was changed, but not the symbol of one-half of a total, that lived on in the half-moon, the hieroglyphic of one-half or tna, the fortnight, as one-half of a month. Our vagabonds still call a month a moon, and thus use the hieroglyphical mode of the Egyptians and Red Indians, with whom a month was a moon, the fortnight a half-moon. The word leg answers to the Egyptian rekh, to reckon, keep account, and the leg is yet used as a sign of reckoning, a leg being one-half and two legs the whole game.
Various of our public-house signs are of Egyptian origin, and can only be read by the hieroglyphics. In a list of curious signs in the British Apollo, there is the 'Leg and Seven Stars.' Now the 'Leg and Seven Stars' is not known to English astronomy as a constellation. But it was to the Egyptians. The seven stars of Ursa [p.130] Major was a constellation of theirs called the Thigh of the Northern Heaven. The English 'leg and seven stars' answers to the thigh and seven stars found in the Great Bear.
Drink and drinking were sacred customs long before they were profaned. In Egyptian the kab, libation, liquid, to refresh, enjoy, is our cup. And as kaba is a horn it shows they also drank by the horn. Our drinking-horn is a tot—the name of Taht, again, who represented the horned moon, and wore its crescent on his head. Many pretended explanations of these signs are on a par with the English sailor's rendering of the name of a French vessel called Don Quichote as the 'donkey shot,' such as the 'Bull and Mouth,' rendered by Boulogne Mouth. In Egyptian the mouth and gate are one in the ru. Our 'Bull and Mouth' alternates with the 'Bull and Gate.'
Bull and mouth (or gate) are male and female signs; they represent both sexes in one. The bull is personified as Khem; the mouth, as Mut the mother. Kamut, a title of the bull and mother, is literally our bull (ka, bull) and mouth. Bull and mouth is the sign of male and mother, or the male as mother. An ancient picture of the bull and mouth given by Hotten in his book on sign-boards places the mouth under the belly of the bull, which makes the bull an image of the creative Khem in the drawings at Denderahi.
As Khem is our bull, it is probable that Num is our 'green man.' Num was represented in the Egyptian portraits of him as the green man, and his name signifies the winepress. The green man and winepress is equivalent to our 'Green Man and Still.' Num wore the ram or goat's horns on his head, and our green man also carries the horn. If it be said that the horn was to blow, and this was mere Robin Hood imagery, the answer is that such imagery is wholly mythical.
Another of our old signs is the 'Axe and Bottle.' These are two hieroglyphical types. The Egyptian axe is the nuter, symbol of divinity (Â). The bottle nu is just our common water-bottle. Out of the Nu the goddess of the water of life pours the divine drink of immortality for thirsting souls. The Nu is the sign of drink and within. The axe and bottle read as hieroglyphics proclaim to the passer-by that there is divine drink inside: they also denote 'shelter within.' It is certain that the axe had the hieroglyphic value of the nuter type in the British Isles, as in the tales of the Irish Gobawn Saer, the goblin-builder, it is the same image of power and potency as in Egypt. When, once upon a time, he came to a place where the king's workmen had finished building a lofty palace all except the extreme part of the roof, the Gobawn completed the dangerous task by cutting some wooden pegs with his axe and throwing them [p.131] up one by one into their places, and flinging the magic axe after them with such unerring aim that each peg was driven home.
An English sign not yet extinct is sometimes called the 'Good Woman,' and in the neighbourhood of Rippenden, Yorkshire, there is one named the 'Quiet Woman.' It shows a woman without a head. The common notion is that it conveys a satire on woman's tongue. The headless woman, however, was an Egyptian goddess, Ma, who personified the truth itself. She is the original of the Greek Themis or Justice, whose eyes were bandaged. Diodorus Siculus mentions a figure of Ma, the goddess of Truth and Justice, as being without a head, standing in the lower regions at the 'gates of Truth,' and this headless woman was found by Wilkinson in the judgment scenes attached to the funeral rituals in the Papyri of Thebes; the true and just without eyes or even a head. In place of a head she has the stone (t) and feather (ma) t-ma; the true. Another figure of this divinity may serve to explain why the headless woman is found on the sign-board as the type of genuineness. She is seen issuing from a mountain presenting to the deceased two emblems, which represent water or the drink of heaven, the true drink of life. The headless woman may be the cause of the expression, 'to put a head on it.'
In Scotland an ale-wisp, a bundle of straw on a pole, was a public-house sign. This is very Egyptian. The straw was emblematic of the grain thrashed out to produce the drink. So women who have just produced are said to be in the straw. Our 'wisp' is the Egyptian use. Us or ush is to mow, cut; ushm is the corn, also the essence, decoction, or brewing. Use is to stack the corn. Usf is leisure. Ushb, to consume. The usb, or wisp of straw, says in the ancient language the corn is cut, the malt is brewed; we have leisure now, come and consume it. The wisp is a sign of call for the house of call.
After all, these are but gleanings from a wide field of research. A lifetime might be spent in gathering and re-publishing this book of the hieroglyphics in Britain. We might have made a collection of sayings, proverbs, blazons, and legends, which can be interpreted by the ancient typology.
In Somersetshire it is a saying that a child born during chimetime will see spirits, and in Egyptian one name for spirits is the khemu.
Drayton in his Poly-Olbion records the Druidic prophecy, that if the River Parret were to fail, they should be suppressed, the end would have come. This, of course, could not depend on the drying up of one stream among so many, but must be connected with [p.132] its symbolic name. The Egyptian shows us how. The Parret was a 'borial stream.' The word perut, literally pour out, proceed, emanate, is not limited to water alone. Perrut is to run away, bear off, carry away. Parrit is food, grain, germinate, manifest, corn. The ceasing of the Parret therefore included the non-production of the corn on which the Hut and Cruitnich-men laid such stress, and the prophecy has a double meaning.
Again, it is said the men of Kent are born with tails, and 'Long tails and liberty' is a Kentish blazon. This the hieroglyphics will explain.
Khent is the hinder-part, south; an Egyptian name of the south, and for going back from the north. Khent is the south both in Egypt and England. The south, as the quarter of the summer solstice, was the solar point of turning back and beginning of another year. Khennu means to go back, and khent is the place of turning back in the circle. Sut-Typhon, with long tail erect, was an early type of the turner-back in khent, the south, where Sothis (Sut) rose to announce the returning back of the inundation at the turning-point of the year. One type of khent is the cynocephalus with its long tail irately stiffened, and another ideograph of khen, therefore a khent, is so definite an image of this hindward part that it is a decapitated animal; it is all tail and no head. Another sign is the animal's skin with the tail attached. The long-tailed men of khent are imaged in the likeness of the long-tailed kant or of khent, the cynocephalus of the south with its long tail erect, denoting the upward hinder-part.
Khent, to go back, the place of going back, has another illustration in Kent's Cave, Devon. A local legend assigns the origin of its name to the circumstance that once upon a time a dog—in another version a hawk—entered the cavern and emerged in the county of Kent, which identifies the Egyptian meaning of the word. The dog went back to the typical south. Khent means to go back, and names the place of going back as the south. Kent is not south from Torbay, but Lower and Upper Egypt as north and south were khebt and khent, and when the Dog-star went down it descended into the celestial khebt or cave of the lower world, and when it rose again it emerged in khent.
This earliest mode of reckoning the year by the Great Bear and Dog-star has also left its imagery in legends about the caves of the Mendip Hills.
At Cheddar they still repeat the story of the dog that entered the cave at that place and came out again shorn of all its hair at the Wockey Hole. At the Wockey Hole it is said to enter the hill and to issue forth at the Cheddar cave. This is identical with the dog [p.133] and the hawk entering the hole at Torbay and issuing forth in the county of Kent. The Basque proverb says, in flying from the wolf (or dog) he met the bear. The two constituted Sut-Typhon. The Great Bear was the type of the north; the dog of the south; the one belonged to khept (was khept), the other to khent (was a khent), the hinder-part south, the place of the long-tailed kant, and thence of the long-tailed Kentish men.
Time was when the Great Bear below the pole represented the Great Mother in relation to water, hence the type of the Water-horse. Above it she represented the element of heat. And a writer in Notes and Queries was informed by a countryman that the cause of continued drought was the Great Bear's being on this side the north pole; so long as it continued on this side the weather would keep dry, and it had been there these three last summers. If it could get to the other side, we should then have a wet one.
Lastly, in the Egyptian mythology there are seven khnemu or pigmies, called the seven sons of Ptah, who stand by his side as architects to help him. These are our seven goblin-builders. The seven, whether the first boatmen (Cabiri) or builders, are representatives of the Seven Stars first observed to bridge the void below the horizon. Our name of goblin and of the Irish Gobawn Saer identifies them with the name of Kheb, the goddess of the Seven Stars. Goblin, as Kheb-renn, is the child of Kheb.
Kheb or Khept is our Kęd, and in the Lancashire Traditions the Chapel of St. Chadde was erected on the height by the Goblin Builders. The legend is, that Gamel, the Saxon Thane, Lord of Rached, now Rochdale, intended to build it on the bank of the Rache or Roach, in a level spot, and the foundations were laid three times, but on each occasion the Goblin Builders removed the materials to the more elevated situation, the high place, the Mount that is sacred to the Great Mother, whether called Khept, Kęd, or Chadde.
The dove was also a type of the genetrix, and bears her name of Tef. The dove was sacred to Hathor, and there were seven Hathors. Seven doves in the Christian iconography represent the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, or earlier, the Seven Stars of her who was termed the 'Living Word,' at Ombos, and in some of the legends of the Goblin Builders, the stones of the building intended to stand down in the dale are carried away to the height by doves. So was it with the church of Breedon, Leicestershire; the foundations were dug and the work was begun, but all that was built by day was carried away by doves in the night to the top of the hill where the church now stands. Another type of the Great Bear and its goddess was Rerit, the sow, in Egypt, as in Britain it was Kęd, the sow, and in the case [p.134] of Winwick Church, Lancashire, the pig was the cause of removal to the height It was seen to take up one of the stones in its mouth and carry it to the spot said to be sanctified by the death of Oswald, and during the night it removed all the rest. There is a figure of the pig, or sow, sculptured on the tower just above the western entrance, in witness of the transaction.
This page last updated: 11/04/2014