Synonyms for Infinity
The secret blackness of milk is the set of monads, the Black/Baroque, the Black–White–Red. Which is to say, the secret blackness of milk is Red or, more generally, the mixture of Black, White and Red: Brown. This understanding is the deep reason the Dutch name for the Milky Way galaxy is Brunelstraat, “Brown Street,” and why the Sumerian name for the Euphrates is Burununu. These names represent the fact that death/night/sleep is merely an aspect of heroic existence. As MIT’s Giorgio de Santillana and Frankfurt University’s Hertha von Dechend point out in their 1969 classic Hamlet’s Mill, the name Brown — a.k.a. Brunel, Bruns, Bruin, Bruno — is typically associated with the bear and is “as old as anything that can be traced.”
The notion of the Milky Way as ‘Brunelstraat’ seems to be present in ancient India: the Atharva Veda 18.2.31 mentions a certain path or road called rikshaka. Rikshaka is the bear in both senses, i.e. the animal and Ursa Major. … Since the whole hymn AV 18.2 contains ‘Funeral Verses,’ and deals with the voyage of soul, that context too would be fitting.”
As intimated in that passage, the Sanskrit noun rksa means, “bear”; it is closely linked to the Greek arktos, “bear, Ursa Major, north.” Yes, the familiar ricksha is yet another expression of proto-mythology; the passenger is a little king, a little bear; the pedaler is a priest, a ferryman — i.e. a yāna man, a Janus, akin to the Egyptian Upuat.
The English verb to bear derives from the Greek pherein, “ferry.” Similarly, the biblical and Akkadian names for the Euphrates are Perath or Parat, and Purattu, respectively. The P-I-E prefix cognate with these names is per- meaning “to strike.” This prefix signifies the White/Apollonian: arrows in contrast to bow (or in contrast to ship’s keel; or in contrast to the sternum/heart of a human chest, i.e. that which steers and which does so according to the stars); also, White/Apollonian lightning in contrast to Red/Dionysian thunder. The English word arrow stems from the Latin arcus, meaning “bow, arc, arch.” Note that arch means not only a structural arc but also “chief, principal, extreme,” “ruler, leader” and “mischievous, ironical, brash, impudent.” The Latin for “thunder” is bronn. “Zeus the thunderer” is Zeus bronnton. Thunder in fact rumbles from below, from the underworld, where resides Dyeus, Father Dis, etc. By some accounts Joseph of Aramithea's brother-in-law Bron, not said Joseph himself, brought the Holy Grail to England. Likewise Percival’s grandfather is named Bron. The extremely simple character Percival, who owing to this exremity was merely able to see the Grail (this in contrast to the similar but extremely complex Galahad, who actually held the Grail and moreover ascended with it to Heaven), stems from the Welsh Peredur, 7th son of Evrawg. Joyce surely considered Evrawg equivalent to Earwig, Everyone, and Earwicker.
In the final analysis, even lightning is Brown, i.e. not merely White/Apollonian, not merely random. Lightning tends to strike the same, high places and things over and over again, affirming their sacred nature. The consequent fire, and the Sun which eventually shines through to the burned and thus weed-free and fertile ground, are further components of providence. Another component thereof is the hunter (a warrior–priest, White–Red, Rex Deus) who in turn strikes his quarry with sacred light-like arrows (White/Apollonian) and spear (Red/Dionysian), at once destroying and preserving and inasmuch sacrificing, i.e. recreating the cosmos. Frazer in the Golden Bough comments on the coincidences associated with lightning:
… in primitive society, when the only known way of making fire is by the friction of wood, the savage must necessarily conceive of fire as a property stored away, like sap or juice, in trees, from which he has laboriously to extract it. The Senal Indians of California “profess to believe that the whole world was once a globe of fire, whence that element passed up into the trees, and now comes out whenever two pieces of wood are rubbed together.” Similarly the Maidu Indians of California hold that “the earth was primarily a globe of molten matter, and from that the principle of fire ascended through the roots into the trunk and branches of trees, whence the Indians can extract it by means of their drill …
A tree which has been struck by lightning is naturally regarded by the savage as charged with a double or triple portion of fire. … When the Thompson Indians of British Columbia wished to set fire to the houses of their enemies, they shot at them arrows which were either made from a tree that had been struck by lightning or had splinters of such wood attached to them. Wendish peasants of Saxony refuse to burn in their stoves the wood of trees that have been struck by lightning; they say that with such fuel the house would be burnt down. … [T]he Winamwange of Northern Rhodesia speak of thunder and lightning as God himself coming down to earth. Similarly the Maidu Indians of California believe that a Great Man created the world and all its inhabitants, and that lightning is nothing but the Great Man himself descending swiftly out of heaven and rending the trees with his flaming arms.
It is a plausible theory that the reverence which the ancient peoples of Europe paid to the oak, and the connexion which they traced between the tree and their sky-god, were derived from the much greater frequency with which the oak appears to be struck by lightning than any other tree of our European forests. … It is certain that, like some savages, the Greeks and Romans … regularly enclosed such a stricken spot and treated it thereafter as sacred.
Perhaps the oldest oracular site in Greece is that of Dodona, from whose oak the famous Argo — an ark, whose oracular keel and sternpost (i.e. Carina) is equivalent to a hunter’s bow or spear and to a priest’s staff — was fashioned. (Recall, the hull is White/Apollonian, the keel is Red/Dionysian.) It is said that thunderstorms visit Dodona more frequently than anywhere else in Europe.
Both Vico and Joyce, I should add, were well known for their morbid fear of lightning and thunder, of Blitzen and Donner.
The bear is lightning and thunder united. Obviously a fierce warrior, the bear is also a cave dweller, a hibernator, an introvert, Red/Dionysian. Campbell points out that some of the earliest cave paintings/etchings in Europe coincide with scratches made on the walls by huge, now extinct cave bears. The bear was considered a primal scribe, penman, priest, equivalent to Father Dis. Freud, in his Infantile Recurrence of Totemism, writes, “Psychoanalysis has revealed to us that the totem animal is a substitute for the father, and this readily explains the contradiction that it is usually forbidden to kill the totem animal, that the killing of it results in a holiday and that the animal is killed and yet mourned.” During the ultimate warrior initiation of Germanic tribes, the initiate donned the recently flayed, still bloody skin of a bear: a bear-shirt, or ber-serk, hence the word berserker, which is the term for the frenzied state/method of attack practiced by these elite warriors, the Berserkers. To this day many of the top military units of the world — including the famous guards of Buckingham Palace — wear bear-fur caps, the very skin of Father Dis, of Zeus, of Yahweh.
The name Arthur — cognate with ara, hara, ark, etc. — means “bear.” A recent excavation at Tintagel (on the north coast of Cornwall ) discovered a 6th-century slate advertizing the name “ARTO–NO.” ARTO means “eagle (ar-) of the earth (-to),” i.e. “bear”; and NO, pronounced “noo,” means “known as.” Similarly the Germanic arnu means “eagle.” Apparently, proto-mythologists considered the bear and eagle brothers of sorts, the bear being the eagle of the Earth and the eagle being the bear of the air. Likewise the snake was known as the “Earth-lion.” The name for “eagle” seems to be an onomatopoeia, the “ar” representing the bird’s screech. The “TO” in ARTO, indicating the Earth, is cognate with chthonian and is probably related to the Germanic “TUR,” meaning “door” and “tower.”
The lion is proto-mythologically equivalent to the bear. The same is true of the stag (buck), with its complex antlers in contrast to Moon-like tusks or horns. The buck is prone to rub his antlers against trees, as a bear scratches rocks, as a lion scratches trees. Richard Ellmann notes of Joyce in terms of Nora’s memory:
The turbulence of her husband, and his keen pleasure in sounds, were her dominant recollections of him. She took visitors to the [Zurich] cemetery, which adjoins the zoological garden that he had compared to the one in Phoenix Park, and said, ‘My husband is buried there. He was awfully fond of the lions — I like to think of him lying there and listening to them roar.’
“The image of himself as deer,” however, “remained Joyce’s favorite self-portrayal,” continues Ellmann. A deer, being a prime quarry of the hunter, is much nearer than the bear or lion to the fine line — the minimum quantum of action, if you will — between White/Apollonian and Red/Dionysian. The agile, astute deer — and its complex antlers and networks of trails — is extremely akin to Hermes, to Upuat, the Opener of the Way. The constellation Ursa Major — which constellation more than any other represents the extreme White–Red duality of the hero — is more a deer than a bear.
“The Sorcerer” of Les Trois-Frères, c. 13,000 BCE.
This recognition calls to mind Joyce’s penchant for recounting the Crimean War story about the Irish soldier Buckley and the Russian general, in which a young deer, as it were, Buckley, i.e. a White/Apollonian–Red/Dionysian duality, plays hunter, sniping the Russian general — a bear figure — as the otherwise splendidly embellished and likewise dual foe punctuates a woodsy and supposedly private defecation session by wiping his ass with a piece of grassy sod. Here we have the moment of sacrifice, the Brown moment. Joyce suggests that Buckley shot the general for the crime of “homosodalism,” i.e. extremely simple brotherhood. In other words, the Russians altogether — and especially Tsar Nicholas — were acting too White/Apollonian, and this homosodalism, so to speak, was the chief cause of the Crimean War.
Surely Joyce also recognized in the Buckley incident the mythological nature and historical import of the rifle. Rifling a musket imparts a spin to a conical bullet and thereby increases the gun’s range by at least 4 times. Until the Crimean War only special regiments carried rifles; for a bullet large enough to be properly affected by the rifling was in like measure very difficult to ram down the barrel, often requiring the rifleman to use a mallet in the process; moreover, residue quickly built up in the rifle grooves and had to be cleaned out after every few firings. Rifle regiments were used as skirmishers only; i.e. they chiefly operated on the front and the flanks and generally employed guerrilla-like tactics. By the 1850s, however, French and American designers had improved the military rifle such that a common soldier could operate it more efficiently than he could operate a musket. As such, British and French forces — Buckley among them — generally carried rifles in the Crimean War. By the early 1860s breechloading and repeater versions of the rifle had been invented. In the United States’ Civil War the 7-shot Spencer carbine came into use by special units, but the muzzle-loading rifles remained the chief weapon of the infantryman throughout that war. The defensive posture was more effective relative to the rifle than was the offensive. (Casualties, however, initially increased insofar as official strategy disregarded this new imbalance.) Importantly, snipers were now able to target enemy officers — especially generals. Officers therefore gave up their traditional horse-born posture and ostentatious uniforms, opting instead for the traditional uniform of a mere private, embellished with shoulder patch to designate rank. Thus the Buckleys of the world gained power over the knight-like aristocrats and autocrats — just as the gentry had done back in the late Middle Ages thanks to the crossbow and the Welsh longbow. This new order of sorts finally reached equilibrium during World War I — in terms of the trench and the Bolshevik Revolution.
The bear and eagle and lion and stag — in contrast to most domestic animals — are Brown. The river is generally Brown. The secret blackness of milk is Brown. Arthur is Brown. In this sense, brown is the extremely complex color: the blending of black, white and red; the blending of the colors of the rainbow. Brown is significant of multeity-in-unity, of beauty, of gravity, of existence. Joyce refers to brown in this sense throughout the Wake. Oswald Spengler, on pages 250–253 in Volume II of his classic Decline of the West, expounds on the color brown, noting that the “atmospheric brown” of Rembrandt and Vermeer “was entirely alien to the Renaissance” and calling it “the unrealest colour that there is. … [T]he one major colour that does not exist in the rainbow.” Spengler considers the “contemporary striving of instrumental music towards freer and ever freer chromatics … and the formation of bodies of tone by means of string and wind choruses” as concomitant with the emergent apotheosis of brown in painting. “[T]here is something Protestant about it” (in the sense, I suggest, that it emerged to contrast with the orthodox, hierarchical, formal, particular Classicism of the Renaissance and to suggest the individual’s native capacity to commune with God); “the atmosphere of Lear and the atmosphere of Macbeth are akin to it”; it is “an atmosphere of the purest spatiality.” But when Spengler says “unreal” he means “unphysical, of the mind, internal.” And when he says “purest” spatiality he means intrinsic spatiality rather than extrinsic spatiality, or extrinsic spatiality absent particularity, absent separate objects, absent others; i.e. he means a continuum. Which is to say, Spengler is referring to the monadic, to the immediate, to what Leibniz considers reality. “And thus was attained the inwardness that in the deepest works of Rembrandt and Beethoven is able to unlock the last secrets themselves — the inwardness which Apollonian man had sought with his strictly somatic art to keep at bay.” Spengler continues regarding the brown of said Dutch painters and of the ensuing “hyperbolic Northern pantheism of the 18th Century”: “we feel that here we are not very far from Port Royal, from Leibniz.” Indeed, Spengler earlier describes “Faustian,” Western culture — which he considers moribund — as “an Ego lost in Infinity, an Ego that was all force, but a force negligibly weak in an infinity of greater forces, it was all will, but a will full of fear for its freedom.”
Spengler’s understanding of the Apollonian as somatic — i.e. as tactile rather than visual — is deeply correct. Touch is a concept that implies plurality, i.e. White/Apollonian freedom, what is extrinsic, what is extensive. According to the White/Apollonian paradigm light is to be considered equivalent to if not identical to this kind of extension. But light is more complex than this. In fact, nothing is as immediate — as Red/Dionysian, as proto-mythological — as light. The prehistoric mind, and to a lesser degree the ancient mind, intuited this nature of light more precisely than does the modern. Relative to this modernism, however, Einstein expressed said intuition extremely well. According to Einstein’s understanding there is no other physical substance except the physical boundary, which is precisely invariant. This boundary is at least provisionally considered to consist of 3 different components: matter, radiation and geometry. But the implication here is that these 3 components are in truth mere aspects of a singular albeit complex boundary — a boundary that should ultimately be considered only light. In other words, both matter and geometry should be described as consisting of light. The stuff of physics is light; “all” “is” light. This understanding is explicit in Einstein’s general theory of relativity insofar as that theory describes everything — i.e. all matter and radiation — as moving relative to Riemannian space–time and at the same speed: the speed of light. According to that theory, to the extent something is described as matter rather than as light, that thing moves through time rather than through space. In other words, the slower something moves spatially relative to you, the more closely a clock attached to it (i.e. a periodic movement intrinsic to it) will move in synch with the same kind of clock attached to you; however, the faster that something moves spatially relative to you, the slower its clock will move relative to yours. In this sense light does not move through time at all, only through space. Which is to say, no periodic movement can be intrinsic to light; i.e. light contains no space, for it is the stuff of space; light itself experiences no time; rather it is significant of time. A corollary is that the “emission” and “absorption” “events” otherwise thought of as bounding light are in truth immediate to each other, simultaneous in a fundamental sense. A monad — i.e. experience, reality — is time. There is precisely no need to explain time, for time is postulated in terms of the only principle, the principle of relativity (i.e. of the multeity-in-unity of monads). Let me repeat. A monad — i.e. experience, reality — is time; hence there is no need to explain time, for time is postulated in terms of the only principle, the principle of relativity. Light — i.e. space — is the structure of time, the essence of existence. The stuff of physics does not involve time. Orthodox contemporary physics sadly refers to this fact as “the problem of time.” But it’s really no problem at all. Light does not really move through (or on) space. Light is really intrinsic to a monad; it is the mere structure of a monad. Space doesn’t really exist apart from this structure.
This goes to say that the interior, the subjective, possesses a native, heuristic, determinable, quantum structure, non-geometric, absolute and thus invariant. Brown is a meta-symbol, a symbol of a symbol, a symbol of light in general, of matter in general, of space in general. Light in general, I postulate, is the single best symbol of the set of monads, i.e. of the principle of relativity.
The contrasting, White/Apollonian view has been advocated by Spinoza, Fichte, Carlyle, Peirce, William James, Nietzsche, Bergson, Spengler, Einstein, and Schrödinger, to name a few. These thinkers were wont to consider brown not a meta symbol but rather a best symbol of the interior. In other words, they considered the interior an absolute continuum. Nietzsche, for instance, considered the Dionysian as representing “drunken” reality, which reality the “father of all things” is essentially “titanic,” “terrible,” “horrible,” an “abyss,” an “eternal contradiction,” merely “suffering.” Shakespeare’s MacBeth bespoke this sentiment, asserting that life is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Conrad’s Mr. Kurtz did the same: “The horror! The horror!” (By the way, in the film Apocalypse Now, based on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the bedside reading of Colonel Kurtz is Frazer’s Golden Bough.)
It’s important that I here address Nietzsche’s treatment, in his Birth of Tragedy, of the legendary satyr Silenus.
There is an ancient story [writes Nietzsche] that King Midas hunted in the forest a long time for the wise Silenus, the companion to Dionysus, without capturing him. When Silenus at last fell into his hands, the king asked what was the best and most desirable of all things for man. Fixed and immovable, the demigod said not a word; till at last, urged by the king, he gave a shrill laugh and broke out into these words: ‘Oh, wretched ephemeral race, children of chance and misery, why do ye compel me to tell you what it were most expedient for you not to hear? What is best of all is beyond your reach forever: not to be born, not to be, to be nothing. But the second best for you — is quickly to die.’
But this is the merely White/Apollonian accounting of Silenus. The real Silenus is the extreme optimist: Golden Age Kronos, master at once of precision and soul, of White and Red, teller of tales about utopian Atlantis. He is equivalent to the saturnine aboriginal, whether Latin, American, Australian, etc. He is rendered famously drunk, rhetorically and otherwise, by the Great Reversal. Robert Graves, from his Greek Myths:
Why the story of the Atlantic Continent should have been attributed to the drunken Silenus may be divined from three incidents reported in Plutarch (Life of Solon 25–9). The first is that Solon travelled extensively in Asia Minor and Egypt; the second, that he believed the story of Atlantis and turned it into an epic poem; the third, that he quarrelled with Thespis the dramatist who, in his plays about Dionysus, put ludicrous speeches, apparently full of topical allusions, into the mouths of satyrs. Solon asked: ‘Are you not alarmed, Thespis, to tell so many lies to so large an audience?’ When Thespis answered: ‘What does it mater when the whole play is a joke?’, Solon struck the ground violently with his staff: ‘Encourage such jokes in our theatre, and they will soon creep into our contracts and treaties!’
I’m reminded of the following from Somerset Maugham’s Summing Up:
One reads that no one exactly resembles anyone else, and that every man is unique, and in a way this is true, but it is a truth easy to exaggerate: in practice men are very much alike. They are divided into comparatively few types. The same circumstances mould them in the same way. Certain characteristics imply certain others. You can, like the paleontologist, reconstruct the animal from a single bone. The ‘characters’ which have been a popular form of letters since Theophrastus, and the ‘humours’ of seventeenth century, prove that men sort themselves into a few marked categories. Indeed, this is the foundation of realism, which depends for its attractiveness on recognition. The romantic method turns its attention to the exceptional; the realistic to the usual.
The Austrian writer Robert Musil, who in his masterpiece The Man Without Qualities addressed Vienna on the brink of World War I, likewise expressed the contra-Bergsonian, proto-mythological understanding of the monadic standpoint. “Musil equated ethics and aesthetics,” comments Burton Pike, “and was convinced that a union of ‘precision and soul,’ the language and discoveries of science with one’s inner life of perceptions and feelings could be, and must be, achieved.” The British mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead tried to forge a modern philosophy out of this proto-mythological notion. Likewise the contemporary essayist and novelist Milan Kundera, who counts Musil among his chief influences, adumbrates an “existential mathematics.”
Spengler argues that the somaticism of Classical Greece exhibits a complete denial of the importance of time and of the heavens, and that it likewise expresses a consideration of number as generally being magnitude rather than function. Indeed he begins the Decline of the West with a 37-page chapter titled “The Meaning of Numbers,” in which he draws the distinction — central to his opus — between number-as-magnitude and number-as-relation (i.e. number-as-function). Perhaps the greatest metaphysical discovery made by the Greeks, Spengler suggests, is the notion which, he says, led eventually to the Faustian world view: the notion that magnitudes — which are always given in terms of ratios, i.e. rational numbers — can be related to each other such that the relation is not itself a magnitude but rather a function. As I’ve noted, the “numbers” Pi and Phi are such relations, such functions. The color brown is symbolic of mathematical function, of the irrational in contrast to the rational, the relational (i.e. multeity-in-unity) in contrast to the absolute (i.e. pure unity), the Faustian in contrast to the Classical, the Red/Dionysian in contrast to the White/Apollonian, the mind in contrast to the body, force in contrast to continuity. In this regard note Spengler’s comment near the end of his Decline of the West, Volume I, which book, it seems, he wrote before digesting Einstein’s general relativity: “But Spinoza, a Jew and therefore, spiritually, a member of the Magian Culture, could not absorb the Faustian force-concept at all, and it has no place in his system. And it is an astounding proof of the secret power of root-ideas that Heinrich Hertz, the only Jew amongst the great physicists of the recent past, was also the only one of them who tried to resolve the dilemma of mechanics by eliminating the idea of force. The force-dogma is the one and only theme of Faustian physics.”
“Classical man’s existence — Euclidean, relationless, point-formed — was wholly contained in the instant,” continues Spengler. “Nothing must remind him of past or future. For the true Classical, archaeology did not exist, nor did its spiritual inversion, astrology.” Henri Focillon, in his wonderful Life of Forms in Art, offers up a largely correct evaluation of what Spengler calls Classical, Apollonian Greece when he notes it is characterized by “a brief, perfectly balanced instant of complete possession of forms; not a slow monotonous application of ‘rule,’ but a pure, quick delight ...” Note, however, that said instant is not dead; rather it is “quick,” alive, you might say, precisely inasmuch as it is brief yet not really instantaneous; it is fast, to be sure, but by the same token it naturally admits of the rich, resonant sense of that contronymal word, which general sense Joyce is very fond of referencing. This general fastness is the fastness of the Black/Baroque, the fastness of the post and the post, of the pen and the pen, of the cad and the cad; it is the fastness of Aristotle’s wise counsel: Festina Lente, “Fast slow” or “Make haste slowly.” This adage, as Edgar Wind reports in his outstanding Pagan Mysteries of the Renaissance, served the Renaissance as a mantra. Focillon’s description of Islamic art addresses this Black/Baroque fastness especially well:
… deep within [such art], a sort of fever seems to goad on and to multiply the shapes; some mysterious genius of complication interlocks, enfolds, disorganizes and reorganizes the entire labyrinth. Their very immobility sparkles with metamorphoses … [E]ach one of them both withholds the secret and exposes the reality of an immense number of possibilities … [T]heir captivity mocks both us and itself. Form becomes a rinceau, a double-headed eagle, a mermaid, a duel of warriors. It duplicates, coils back on and devours its own shape. Without once trespassing its limits or falsifying its principles, this protean monster rouses up and unrolls its demented existence — an existence that is merely the turmoil and the undulation of a single, simple form …
I’m reminded of the following from T. S. Eliot’s “Burnt Norton”:
… at the still point, there the dance is,
That “still” “point” is the ara, Haran, ark, arcus, Arthur, bear — the Brown moment representing all existence.
In discounting the Classical, Spengler discounts Plato:
The optical theories of Anaxagoras and Democritus were far from admitting any active participation of the percipient in sense-perception. Plato never felt, as Kant was driven to feel, the ego as center of a transcendent sphere of effect. The captives in his celebrated cave are really captives, the slaves and not the masters of outer impressions — recipients of light from the common sun and not themselves suns which irradiate the universe.
Yet we should always hesitate to sell Plato short. Consider in this respect the following from E.H. Gombrich’s Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. Gombrich traces the Apollonian into Greek narration. In remarking the transition — so distasteful to Plato — from the idealizations (essentially periodic, quantum, archetypal á la Plato’s eternal Ideas) of conceptual “high” classicism to the mimetic Hellenistic style, which transition seems concomitant with the aforenoted discovery of irrational numbers (i.e. the Faustian, the Brown as symbol rather than mere meta-symbol), Gombrich recognizes a burgeoning of the White/Apollonian paradigm and its corollary assertion that fundamental structure is only extrinsic, controllable rather than beable:
… when classical sculptors and painters discovered the character of Greek narration, they set up a chain reaction which transformed the methods of representing the human body — and indeed more than that. … For what is the character of Greek narration as we know it from Homer? Briefly, it is concerned not only with the “what” but also with the “how” of mythical events. … [W]here the poet was given the license to vary and embroider the myth and to dwell on the “how” in the recital of epic events, the way was open for the visual artist to do likewise. ... [A]nd so there would be every incentive for artists to explore the possibility of a convincing stage on which to place the hero in convincing light and space. … It is surely no accident that the tricks of illusionist art, perspective and modeling in light and shade, were connected in classical antiquity with the designing of theatrical scenery. It is here, in the context of plays based on the ancient mythical tales, that the re-enactment of events according to the poet’s vision and insight comes to its climax and is increasingly assisted by the illusions of art. … [M]y hypothesis would be merely that the Homeric freedom of narration was as necessary as the acquired skill of craftsmanship to open the way for the Greek revolution. … Once we are “set” for this kind of appeal to our imagination, we will try to look through the picture into the imagined space and the imagined minds behind its surface. … Narrative art is bound to lead to space and the exploration of visual effects, and the reading of these effects in their turn demands a different “mental set” from the magic rune with its enduring potency. But Plato was right when he felt that something had been sacrificed to this change: the timeless function of the potent image … had to be discarded in favor of an imaginary fleeting moment of time … We remember that this was one of the shortcomings that Plato held against the [mimetic] painter, who could not represent the couch as it is but only as it appears from one side. If the painting is to make us into spectators of an imaginary scene, it has to sacrifice the diagrammatic completeness that was demanded by the earlier functions of art. … Psychologists who wanted to test the taste of Australian aborigines and showed them pictures of birds found it a disturbing element that the natives “disliked the absence of full representation, as when the foot of a bird was missing in an attempt to convey perspective.” In other words, they share Plato’s objection to the sacrifices of illusionism. … The creation of an imaginative realm led to an acknowledgement of what we call “art” and the celebration of those rare spirits who could explore and extend this realm.
The Dutch Golden Age of the seventeenth century — the Holland of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Descartes, Spinoza, and Locke, and contemporaneous with Newton and Leibniz — is a further and more advanced exemplification of the rich fastness, the concomitance of stasis and freedom, naturally at bottom of all cultures. Joyce in his Wake offers up countless references to this Netherlands, this literal underworld, the very lowness and tiny size of which country relative to the sea and to Europe contrasted with its extreme extension across the globe. The Dutch embraced the European Enlightenment more strongly than did any other country. With the support of the French Huguenots (largely Calvinist Protestants), they in turn declared independence from the Spanish Empire. With the Spanish-controlled ports closed to Dutch shipping, the Netherlanders took to the far reaches of the world to obtain exotic commodities for resale in Europe. Thus Holland grew rich, not only in economic terms but also in terms of knowledge. Still, the Dutch were wise enough to carefully temper with humility their many great accomplishments. For example, inside the famous town hall of Amsterdam stands a statue of Atlas (a dominantly Red/Dionysian character) supporting the constellated celestial sphere. Beneath him and between the figures of Death and Punishment stands the figure of Justice holding a scale and a golden sword and treading upon the figures of Avarice and Envy; on the floor below is a large inlaid map depicting the world from West Africa to the Pacific Ocean but absent any direct mention of Holland, the old Latin name for the Benelux region of Europe, “Belgium” (after the Celtic tribe Belgae, which name is likely cognate with Red/Dionysian Bel/Baal), appearing instead.
Art, philosophy, physics, commerce and diplomacy are not the only domains in which the Black–White–Red, Golden/Legal, Brown philosophy applies. It also applies to war. We’ve adumbrated the terms of this application already, especially in insofar as we’ve distinguished the priest and the warrior and equated the priest and the hunter. Mars/Ares is not simply a warrior but the god of warriors. Ancient warriors offered sacrifices to Mars immediately after battle in order to acknowledge that those killings were sacred only insofar as they were sanctioned by the high priest and likewise by Mars, Father Dis, and existence (i.e. the cosmos) as a whole. Mars in fact is more than a god of warriors; he is a Hermes type, a Janus type, a Bootes type, a Cepheus type, a Green Man type. Frazer:
Every year on the fourteenth of March a man clad in skins was led in procession through the streets of Rome, beaten with long white rods, and driven out of the city. He was called Mamurius Veturius, that is, “the old Mars,” and as the ceremony took place on the day preceding the first full moon of the old Roman year (which began on the first of March), the skin-clad man must have represented the Mars of the past year, who was driven out at the beginning of a new one. Now Mars was originally not a god of war but of vegetation. For it was to Mars that the Roman husbandman prayed for the prosperity of his corn and his vines, his fruit-trees and his copses; it was to Mars that the priestly college of the Arval Brothers [note the Ar- prefix], whose business it was to sacrifice for the growth of the crops, addressed their petitions almost exclusively; and it was to Mars, as we saw, that a horse was sacrificed in October to secure an abundant harvest. Moreover, it was to Mars, under his title of “Mars of the woods” (Mars Silvanus), that farmers offered sacrifice for the welfare of their cattle. We have already seen that cattle are commonly supposed to be under the special patronage of tree-gods. Once more, the consecration of the vernal month of March to Mars seems to point him out as the deity of the sprouting vegetation. Thus the Roman custom of expelling the old Mars at the beginning of the new year in spring is identical with the Slavonic custom of “carrying out Death,” if the view here taken of the latter custom is correct.
Here is the true reason why the month of March is so named, and why Mars is the god of warriors: March was, according to the Great Reversal, the New Year season, and as such it was marked by a pseudo-Jupiter, a pseudo Father Dis, a Mars. But according to proto-mythology the New Year holiday occurs in the autumn, when war campaigns were temporarily forced by weather to cease. “Spring” and summer are seasons of war and work, White/Apollonian seasons. Autumn and winter are seasons of the hunt and story telling, Red/Dionysian seasons. The snow atop the brown winter is like Cygnus on the Brunelstraat. The people during the winter were like Father Dis (and the sacrificed Mars) in the underworld. Indeed, in the wintertime there was little else to do but hunt and tell stories; and people lived in larger groups; i.e. they were more unified (Red/Dionysian), less free (White/Apollonian). Hunting was relatively facile in winter, owing to said larger groups of people and because animals in the winter could easily be tracked, baited (with the likes of hay) and seen; also, the snow muffled the sounds generated by the hunters, the cold kept the meat from spoiling, and the meat and pelts were especially appreciated if not necessary.
The whole wintertime community was akin to a netherworld island, like Kalypso’s Ogygia. A sea nymph and “daughter” of Bootes, Kalypso presides over “her father’s” island Ogygia, a.k.a. Erytheia — again, from the Greek erythros, “red,” hence the Latin rufus and ruber (as in rubric, ruby, rudimentary and ruddy), the Old High German rōt, and the Enlish red. In Irish myth said island is called Emain Ablach. The name Emain is an alternative form of emon, which means “a twin” or a “pair of twins.” Emain is equivalent to the P-I-E Yemo, the sacrificed king. The name Ablach means “having apple trees.” The word apple stems from the Old Church Slavonic ablŭcko, i.e. “off or from the lucus” or “from Lucifer”; it is also related to the Greek abol, “apple,” and apollunai, “to destroy,” which are largely the basis of the name Apollo. In the ritual leading to his sacrificial death, the Celtic regent would receive an apple (supposedly from the goddess of the Moon) as passport to the western island paradise. The apple, like the golden bough, is a passport to the land of the dead, to Father Dis, to Zeus, to Lucifer. The Cornish word for apple is aval, as in Avalon; and the name for Halloween in Cornwall is Allantide, meaning “apple time.” Likewise in Wales Halloween is called Hollantide.
Generally speaking, Ogygia is a paradise (enclosure, pond, garden, tomb, ark, castle, inn, cube, etc.), equivalent to Homer’s Elysian field. Ogygia lies to the west and south, beyond the Pillars of Hercules . Here’s a reference to the association between the constellation Hercules (with its remarkably square trunk) and the underworld, the land of the dead, i.e. the Pegasus Square, from which springs the World Tree. In the Odyssey Homer says that Ogygia is so far away that even winged Hermes has difficulty reaching it. Indeed, to methodically succeed in finding this island you would need to know quite a lot about latitude. Every astrolabe was designed to be used along a single latitude only, in reference to the azimuthal position of the celestial north pole. Inasmuch as Ogygia is said to be not only to the west but also to the south it is implicitly detached from the navigator’s art, for south of a certain latitude the celestial north pole is no longer visible. This is the old problem of longitudinal navigation, which was not solved until the 1700s CE. Therefore the mythological accounts which describe the land of the dead as an Earthly island are nevertheless describing a profoundly unreachable place. This land of the dead is a sort of 4th component of the universe, after the celestial, planetary and Earthly. It balances positive physicality with a profound negativity. Indeed, the land of the dead — despite being a sort of paradise — is the chief expression of negative theology, neti neti, not this not that. More poignantly, it is significant of the profound separation (i.e. freedom) between otherwise related monads.
Negative theology in referencing the merely physical, the universal, signifies the truly positive, the truly real: the matrix, the set of monads, the Black/Baroque, the Brown. Recall that the river Tigris corresponds to the Titan Oceanus, i.e. to the river that flows from the Mountains and Pontus , located at North on the northern face of the universal clock, to Hercules and Ophiucus, located at the South on that face. Likewise the Mountains and Pontus are associated with the northernmost point of Osiris–Orion’s vertical journey; and Hercules is associated with that journey’s southernmost point and thus with the Pegasus Square and Phoenicia. Hence the river Oceanus is akin to the trunk of the World Tree. As such, the Tigris is the 1st River of Mesopotamia; it corresponds to the White/Apollonian, while the Euphrates corresponds to the Red/Dionysian. Together these rivers, the land between them (literally Mesopotamia), and moreover the entire universal clock represent the real, the Brown.
In this extremely important respect, let’s consider the etymology of the name Tigris. The prefix Ti- — as in Titan and Tyre (a city in Phoenicia) — is identical to the root ti- or tik-, which signifies either a finger or the number 1 and is among the oldest words in the world, being found in the native languages on every continent. This root is likely the basis of the Norse word ting, meaning “meeting, gathering.” It is also present in the word swastika and the name Krittika, which name, as we will later see, is the Vedic (Sanskrit) name for the Pleiades. Ti- further recalls the various Germanic names for Mars — Tiwaz, Tiv, Tyr, Tiw — as well as the 1st month of the Hebrew secular (i.e. old, proto-mythological) calendar, Tishri, which month corresponds to our September. The Sumerian name for the Tigris was Idigna, meaning “fast as an arrow.” The Tigris , true to its White/Apollonian character, flows much more swiftly than does the Euphrates . The initial “I” of the name Idigna was silent, so the pronunciation was more like “Digna,” the Di- prefix being equivalent to that in Dyeus, Diana, etc. The prefixes Ti- and Dy/Di- are equivalent. The Sumerian word meaning “plain,” E.DIN, is remarkably similar to Idigna. Eden is the homeland of the fallen god; i.e. it is existence in general, the Black/Baroque, the Brown, represented by the entire universal clock.
Many scholars believe that the Garden of Eden corresponds to the former coastal area of Sumeria. Near the coast converged the Tigris and the Euphrates, along with the Gilhon that still flows down from the far south-western mountains of Iran (through what was the land of the Kassites, i.e. the Cush). In the 1990s, Farouk El-Baz of Boston University used satellite photography to discover the ancient bed of the 4th river mentioned (Genesis 2:11–14) in connection with the Garden of Eden: the river Pishon, which dried up as recently as 2000 BCE. That river flowed from the gold-bearing highlands north of Medina in Saudi Arabia down to the Euphrates near the confluence with the Gilhon. But note Genesis 2:10: “A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.” What is this other river? It’s certainly not part of the geography, modern or ancient. And it seems to be magical, for how could it flow (supposedly down) and then divide into 4 Earthly rivers where those 4 rivers (also supposedly flowing down) converge? Of course you know where I’m going with this. That other river is not an Earthly river; it is a river in the stars: the World Tree (a.k.a. the Tree of Life and Death), which springs from the Garden (Pegasus Square, land of the dead) and rises to the Earthly Garden, where “Earthly” means immediate to the northern face of the universal clock. In connection with this “Earth,” said “river/Tree” meets 3 other rivers: the portion of said clock face that corresponds to the descent of Osiris–Orion, this being the Brunelstraat, equivalent to the Euphrates; the portion that corresponds to the ascent of Osiris–Orion, this being equivalent to the river Gilhon; and the river Oceanus, this being equivalent to the river Tigris and to the trunk of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (i.e. of White and Red). Together with the original river — i.e. the World Tree which connects said Earth to the land of the dead, this Tree being equivalent to the river Pishon — we thus have 4 rivers. The single point of maximal coincidence according to this celestial understanding is Polaris, the moment of sacrifice, the garden, the ara, corresponding to Haran. By the way, note that the actual, familiar rivers are reversed relative to their celestial equivalents, with the Pishon virtually stemming from the Ka’aba rather than from Phoenicia , and with the confluence of the rivers occurring near Eridu rather than near Haran.
Eden is the Pegasus Square, the northern face of the universal clock, as well, for that matter, as the whole universe. The Garden of Eden is centered on Polaris and likewise corresponds to the sacred crux of every moment of existence. Which is to say, the Garden of Eden is the monad in relation to the universe and likewise in (utterly miraculous) relation to the entire set of monads.
The Babylonians called the Pegasus Square the “Iku-star, Esagil, image of heaven and earth.” This moniker connects the constellation with the Babylonian temple Esagil or Ésagila, which name literally means, “house of the raised head,” and less literally, “Temple (É) whose top is lofty” or “the lofty house.” That temple was dedicated to the Babylonian protector god Marduk, son of Ea, the Sumerian Enki. The temple was in Enki’s sacred city Eridu, “the good city.” The connection here with the Pegasus Square suggests an identification of the head with the constellation Cepheus, and an identification of Cepheus with Marduk, Ea/Enki and Enki’s father Enlil. Sumerian En.Ki means “lord of that which is below.” Enki’s consort is NinKi, “lady of that which is below.” His name is written as a pair of cuneiform signs meaning “house” and “water.” Enki is a fish-man, á la the 7 Sages, antediluvian founders of the 7 cities of Sumeria.
An amulet depicting Enki, excavated from the lowest level
of the temple at Eridu, c. 3,200 BCE.
The Sumerians called the Pegasus Square l-Iku — and this was moreover the name of their standard field measure (about 3600 square meters). This celestial enclosure (literally paradise) is located immediately between the 2 fish of the Pisces constellation. The image of 2 fish or fishlike creatures bracketing or dorsally sharing a square is found in antiquities from the New World to Africa to Indonesia. As I explained, the Gaelic finnischce pairc means “bright waters field.” Not only is this the original name of Dublin’s Phoenix Park; it also references a pair of fish (i.e. the Pisces constellation and the Zodiacal age of Pisces). (By the way, note the cognate relationship between Pisces and Pishon.)
The Sumerian word Iku is especially interesting because it smacks of the Indo-European root ēkw-, meaning “water, drink,” which word is the basis of the familiar Latin aqua. This Indo-European root played a role in the first Hittite sentence ever deciphered by modern scholars: NU NINDA-AN EZZATENI WATAR-MA EKUTENI, meaning, “Now you will eat bread and drink water.” Thus scholars discovered that Hittite is an Indo-European language. Although Sumerian is considered a language isolate, we see here striking evidence that the Sumerian word for the extremely important Pegasus Square constellation and likewise for the extremely important notion of a horticultural and agricultural field is an Indo-European word. This recognition might indicate that knowledge of the circumpolar precessional ellipse, if not also of horticulture or agriculture, came to Sumeria from the Indo-European domain. But from where within that huge domain? One clue might be the fact that the Old English word meaning “river, flowing water” is ēa, which is curiously close to Ea.
Note that the words Iku and ēkw smack of equine as well. That word stems from the P-I-E ekwos and is cognate with the Greek hippos, which latter smacks of hip. Checking for cognates of hip we find the Greek kýbos, meaning “cube” and “a hollow above the hips of cattle,” and we find the Latin cubāre, “lie down,” from the P-I-E keub-/kub-, “a curve of the body.” Thus we seem to find connections between curved bodies, hollows, cubes, and horses. In a subsequent chapter I point out that the monster in the Gilgamesh epic, Humbaba, is characterized by these features and is closely related to and in a sense identified with the Pegasus Square constellation.
In this light the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” can be considered a poem of the highest order.
Curiously the Latin word for horse, caballus, as in caballero, smacks of cabal, from Kabbalah. Although most scholars attribute the word Kabbalah simply to the Hebrew qibbēl, meaning “he received,” the famous and ultra mysterious alchemist known as Fulcanelli attributed it to this Latin caballus. The Latin cab- is rather equivalent to the Latin cap-, as in caput, “head,” and capital and Capitol, this latter from the Latin Capitōlium, the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. These are all related to caper, which means, among other things, “to leap,” as in quantum leap. The Latin caper means “he-goat” (and is cognate with the Greek kápros, “boar”). Consider in this regard the famous White/Apollonian assertion: Natura non facit saltum, “Nature does not make leaps.” The Latin saltum stems from salire, “to leap,” as in our salient and sally and salmon. The spatial leap of a salmon is deeply connected to the salmon’s famous temporal cyclicity, i.e. its temporal quantumness. Cognates include the Lithuanian sálti, “to flow,” and the Greek hállesthai, “to leap,” these from the P-I-E *sal, “to jump.” The goat and the salmon are intimately related; the goat preternaturally leaping from tiny mountainside foothold to tiny mountainside foothold is phenomenonally akin to the salmon relentlessly leaping one river falls after another. Capricorn and Enki-the-fishman are equivalent. The beginning of the Zodical age of Capricorn corresponds precisely to the time when the northern hand of the universal clock enters the tip of the Cepheus constellation. Yes, Cepheus, as in the Greek kephale, meaning “head.” Cepheus, who sits atop the Tree of Life that stems from the Pegasus Square.
The Latin caballus is tied to the word horse largely by way of the word cab, as in “taxi cab,” which word stems from the Latin cabrioler, meaning “to caper, leap.” Horse, salmon and goat are one in this sense &mdash along with the boar and the roebuck and gregarious (i.e. herding, migratory, remarkably cyclical) animals in general. The connection here is strongest in terms of the Germanic words for horse — the Old Saxon hros, the Middle Low German ros, the Old High German hros, the Old Icelandic hross, the Proto-Germanic Húrsa- — which are all cognate with the Latin curere, “to run,” the Gaulish carros, “wagon,” and the Greek epí-kouros, “running to help,” from the Indo-European kers-/kors-/krs-, which is related to the Latin Ceres, i.e. the Greek Demeter and likewise her daughter Core. Indeed, “running for help” recalls the Eleusinian mysteries, featuring Demeter. The hierophants performing the Eleusinian mysteries entered a murky place — a sort of natural grotto, a tomb/womb — dressed as shepherds and emerged carrying a winnowing fan on which rested the infant Brimos, whom the celebrants preferred to call Iacchus, after the raucous hymn by the same name, which was sung during a torchlight procession from Demeter’s temple on the 6th day of the Mysteries. These Mysteries occurred from the 15th through the 21st days of the month Boedromion — “running for help” — the initial month of the lunar-solar Attic calendar, the New Year’s Day of which approximated the autumnal equinox.
That New Year’s Day corresponds to the Jewish New Year’s Day: Rosh Hashanah, literally “head of the year." Here essentially we see the word ros, as in horse, associated with an extremely important head. The Jewish secular calendar — i.e. the old, proto-mythological Jewish calendar — is highlighted by a 40-day autumnal season called Teshuvah, meaning “return” or “repentance.” This season begins on 1 Elul and ends on the Day of Atonement: 10 Tishri, 10th day of the 1st month. The last 10 days of Teshuvah, the days which fall in the month of Tishri, constitute the Feast of Trumpets. These 10 days are also called the 10 High Holy Days and the Days of Awe. During the prior 30 days a special trumpet is blown every morning in the Synagogue. (Similarly yet contrastingly, the Christian season of Lent — from the Old High German lenzen, meaning “spring” — consists of 40 weekdays over the course of 8 weeks.) Said trumpets are not the hacocerah (i.e. metal kind) but rather the shofar (made of animal horns, qeren, typically from a he-goat). The shofar correspond to a horn of the river god Achelous, which horn Hercules removed upon killing him. Hercules gave the horn to nymphs who used it as the cornucopia (from, the Latin corn, “horn,” and copiae, “plenty”) — i.e. the “Horn of Ops/Rhea/Ceres/Demeter/Core/Andromeda/Persephone.” Zeus, you might recall, was reared on the milk of a goat, by Amalthea (she being equivalent to Rhea/Ops, mother of Zeus/Jupiter). When the goat eventually died, Zeus gave its horn to Amalthea. That horn had the power to grant to its possessor whatever she wished. Such power smacks of the gold-making ring featured in Norse myth: the Andvarinaut forged by the fish-man dwarf Andvari and eventually cursed by him such that it brings destruction upon all who think they possess it. In Finnish mythology the Sampo, a mill of sorts, had power similar to these assets/symbols. The name Sampo is cognate with the Sanskrit skambha, meaning “pillar, pole,” and is thus akin to wirt, wirtel, “spindle,” and likewise to wyrd. The Hebrew qeren indeed seems cognate with the Norse qvern, “mill.”
The Latin word meaning “trumpet” is bucina, which is related to the Latin for “cheek,” buccat, a cognate of buccaneer. Hence too we have the word buck, meaning “stag,” “he-goat,” “to butt, resist, throw off.” In Cornwall bucca were spirits, of which there was a black kind and a white kind; fishermen left sacrifices to them, consisting either of fish on the seashore or of beer or crumbs tossed over the shoulder. In Haran the annual festival of Tammuz (Adonis) is called el-Bûgât, i.e. “of the weeping women.” The women lament (ululate, as in the name/title Ulysses) over Tammuz because his lord slew him, ground his bones in a mill (á la John Barleycorn), and scattered the dust. The seemingly related word bucket derives from the Old High German buh, meaning “belly.” This etymology refers especially to the water-skins that were made from the stomachs of animals and which are remarkably akin to the cheeks of the human mouth. Stomachs and cheeks are curved hollows of sorts, so I’m reminded the P-I-E keub-/kub- noted a few paragraphs earlier and hence too of the Greek kýbos, meaning “cube.”
Talk of infants and mothers and running and water-skins and cubes calls to mind the Hajj, specifically the Ka’aba and the Sa’i, which ritual re-enacts Hagar’s — i.e. Hajar’s — frantic search for water to save herself and her infant Ishmael. According to that legend, Abraham accompanies Hagar and the infant child Ishmael to an isolated desert valley, where he leaves them, of Hagar’s consent, with but a single full water-skin and a bag of dates. Thus entrusting the pair to the care of Allah, Abraham returns to Sarah. Hagar’s water-skin is soon depleted. Mother and especially child become dehydrated. Ishmael is on death’s door. Perhaps, thinks Hagar, a caravan is passing near. It seems her only hope. She therefore rushes to the top of the nearest tall hill — Safa — to survey the surroundings. She sees no caravan. Hence she hurries, running part of the way, to the top of another rather tall hill — Marwah — about 450 meters away. Again she espies no caravan. Back and forth she rushes between these twin peaks — altogether making 7 transits and each time running part of the way. Upon completing the last of these transits, Hagar hears a voice. She gazes down into the valley to where Ishmael is dying under a bush. She sees the angel Gabriel standing there. Gabriel (or in many versions Ishmael himself) strikes the ground with his heel — á la Pegasus — and water gushes up from underneath him. Thus mother and child are saved by Allah. Said spring is the well Zamzam, now enclosed within the walls of the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque of Mecca, and from which water still flows; it is located within a stone’s throw from where Adam constructed the original Ka’aba, which was destroyed by the Great Flood. Which is to say, Mecca (Makkah) is located precisely in that desert valley.
The proto-mythological New Year, the autumnal equinox, heads, goats, springs, water-skins, clefts/tombs/wombs, the Pegasus Square: all point to the Zodical Age of Aquarius. Consider in this respect the following passage from Finnegans Wake:
Now, aqua in buccat. I’ll make you to see figurateleavely the whome of your eternal geometer. And if you flung her headdress on her from under her highlows you’d wheeze whyse Salmonson set his seel on a hexengown. Hissss! Arrah, go on! Fin for fun!
Rich stuff. Joyce is here addressing Aquarius the water-gatherer, pointing Aquarius/Finn figuratively, figure-eight-wise, fig-leafly, and upwardly, to the identity and home and womb of his eternal Gaia/Geo mother, who is also a geometrician and a lover. Moreover, Joyce is connecting her to the number 6 and to Solomon and the salmon and the snake. He's also connecting her to the legendary Seal of Solomon, ostensibly a signet ring which gave Solomon special powers, such as the ability to speak to animals and to control demons. Yes, another magical ring — it too associated with a fish. In alchemy the combination of the fire and water symbols — up and down triangles, i.e igni and aqua — is known as the Seal of Solomon.
A depiction of the legendary Seal of Solomon.
As we will see later, the number 8 reconciles not only the movements of the Moon (son/father/husband/hero) and the Sun (mother) but also reconciles those movements with what in a proto-mythologically fundamental sense is the 3rd most important planet (i.e. after the Sun and Moon): Venus, alias Aphrodite, alias Andromeda, alias Core, alias Persephone, alias the princess, the love interest of the hero.
The word eight and likewise the symbol 8 are etymologically related to the title Druid, to the name Drustan (Tristan), and to the words Eiche, meaning “oak,” eigen, meaning “quantum,” and to tree and three, as well as to the tein-eigen – i.e. fire-forced or fire-need – of the Scottish Beltein festival and likewise to the Vestal fire in Rome. The word eight is further related to aith, meaning “black,” as in Ethiopia, the Black Land. Indeed this was the original name of Egypt as well: Kehmet, “the Black Land.” The name Kehmet is etymologically linked to kettle and keg and keel (from Old Norse kjọlr; akin to Old English ceole, “throat, beak of a ship,” and to the Latin gula, “throat,” as in ululate) and keen (Irish for “ululation, wail of mourning”) and key and cat and catena (Latin for “chain”) and ken and kēros (Greek for “wax, earwax”) and kennel and canis and carat (from the Arab qīrāt, meaning “a small weight”), as well as caduceaus (from the Greek kēryx, “herald,” and akin to the Sanskrit kāru, “singer”), Qur’ân (from Qara’, meaning “he/she read,” “he/she conveyed or delivered a message,” and “he/she gathered or collected together the thing”), care (akin to the Old High German kara, “lament”), carol (as in “Christmas carol”), ka (Sumerian for “gate,” “mouth” and “fox”; Egyptian for one’s spiritual döppelganger), carrot (i.e. rabbit food, orange like a fox and a salmon; domesticated from Queen Anne’s lace, a biennial herb), cardinal (from the Latin cardin-, cardo, “hinge”), Carrhae (a.k.a. Haran; from the Akkadian charana or harannu, meaning “road”), caryatids (priestesses of Artemis at Caryae in Laconia), carve (from Old High German kerban, “to notch”), carnal (from the Latin caro, “flesh”), carnival (“flesh” plus levare, “to remove, to raise”), carry (from Latin carrus, “car, vehicle”), carpenter (“maker of the vehicle”), the Latin carpo, “to pluck, seize, lay hand(s) on,” the Greek karpos, “fruit”, cardiac (from the Greek kardia, “heart” or “upper orifice of the stomach”), carotid (from the Greek kara, meaning “head,” plus the old tid- or tik-, meaning “one”), the Greek kerat- and keras, meaning "horn" (as in triceratops and Ceres), the aforementioned qeren, the aforementioned qvern (Norse for “mill”), quelle (Germanic for “well, spring”), kerke (Middle Dutch for “church,” many churches having been originally built on the site of a spring), and Circe. Certainly ke- is related very closely to the Aramaic qepha, “rock,” and likewise to Cepheus and to Jesus’s 1st apostle, Simon Peter, i.e. Simon the Rock. As such, the pope of Christendom is akin to Cepheus.
The horse was a prime sympol of Poseidon and of Demeter — the Latin Ceres — and of Aphrodite. Aphrodite’s association with sea foam, Greek aphro, is on analogy with the surf’s dark power and periodicity as well as its white, semen-like essence, and only secondarily on analogy with its whiteness. Her association with the horse is on analogy with running horses and sea foam, as in the horses leading Poseidon’s chariot and as in the periodicity exhibited by animals of the herding sort, i.e. of the gregarious sort, this latter word from the P-I-E ger. This ger is basis of the Greek word meaning “crane,” geranos, and is closely related to the name Cronus (alias Kronos, Saturn) — i.e. Ger–anos, the annual (periodic) herding animal in general. Geranos contrasts with Ur–anos, Uranos being father of Cronus. Similarly Cronus’s mother, wife of Uranos, is Gaia, whose name is cognate with ger and likewise cognate with ge, as in geo and meaning “commonality, community, plurality,” i.e. the Black/Baroque. Here, too, we have a basis of the word grail. Among other germane relatives are Greece, grey (as in the grey-eyed goddess Athena) and the P-I-E gherd, “to surround, enclose, hedge, gird,” and ghordo, “enclosure,” and likewise the Sanskrit grhá, “enclosure,” and the Lithuanian gardas, “pen” or “fold,” the Avestan gərəδa-, “cave”; the Russian górod, “city”; the Albanian garth, “hedge,” and the English yard. We’re back in the Pegasus Square, the tomb, the womb, the Trojan Horse.
The Pisces constellation surrounding the Pegasus Square corresponds to the fish (in contrast to seed) that archaic peoples commonly sow — along perhaps with manure, bone, teeth (as in the story of Cadmus, brother of Europa), and, say, mistletoe — as fertilizer. The Latin word for sowing is satus. The Red/Dionysian Saturn type sows the fertilizer; the White/Apollonian Moon type sows the (or his own) seed. In Greek mythology Triptolemus is said to be the 1st man to sow grain (á la the Egyptian Osiris). The character and name Triptolemus are in fact cognate with that of the P-I-E initial warrior Trito as well as the Dardanian King Tros (eponymous ruler of Troy, and father of Ganymede, a.k.a. Aquarius) and their medieval counterpart Tristan. The ultimate fertilizer is the sacrificed White/Apollonian king.
In this respect note that the aforementioned bone man — become rag-and-bone man thanks to the Black Death — of the Middle Ages, he who collected bones to be ground up into fertilizer, is a priestly type. So is every dentist. Put a tooth beneath your pillow and the tooth fairy will give you some money (i.e. gold, grain).
The horticultural process is a 6-fold cycle: White lightning → Red fire (P-I-E Egni; and other fertilizing agents) → White seed → Red Sun (lux) → White growth (essentially of seed) → Red harvest (sacrifice). The focus of this process is the Garden and its Tree and Pool of Knowledge. In celestial terms the Garden (of Eden) is that part of the northern face of the universal clock which the Egyptians called “The Sea.” It stretches from Ursa Major through Cepheus and out toward Auriga. This area corresponds to the Zodiacal ages of Pisces, Aquarius and Capricorn, which duration is terminated by the age of Sagittarius. James Joyce: “Polycarp pool, the pool of Innalivia, Saras the saft as, of meadewy marge, atween Deltas Piscium and Sagittariastrion, whereinn once we lave ‘tis alve and vale, minnyhahing here from hiarwather ….”
Immediate to the Garden is the constellation Auriga the ear (of grain) or the head (of cabbage, say, which crop, by the way, is a member — along with cale and mustard and the turnip — of the Cruciferae family; the word cabbage stemming from the Latin caput, “head,” as in the star Capella, brightest star in Auriga and third brightest star in the northern hemisphere's sky). Auriga is the Golden Apple in “The Sea.” It is also known as Erichthonios, the snake-tailed boy who is born of Gaia from the seed that issued forth from “bow-legged” Hephaistos (Shem) while he was merely looking at Athena (“the Lady,” popularly called “the Virgin”). Gaia gives the snake-boy to Athena to raise. He in turn becomes king of Athens. The origin of Erichthonios corresponds to that of the Indian Khumba — a.k.a. Aquarius — who originated from the semen of both Mitra and Varuna, which seed dropped into a jar of water when the pair saw the heavenly Urvashi.
Aquarius: the tip of Ursa Minor to the tip of Cepheus; the moment of sacrifice, of quantum gravity, of multeity-in-unity, of beauty, of existence. Aquarius, in a word, is Brown. And we should expect the name to resonate with this extremely rich meaning. In this respect, note the following from Vico:
The Romans preserved an important vestige of such laws in the public rite of purification which they celebrated with water and fire to purge their city of all the citizens’ sins. They used these two elements to celebrate solemn nuptials. And they even considered the sharing of these elements a mark of citizenship, so that banishment was called the interdict of water and fire, interdictum aqua et igni. The Romans’ purification rite was called a lustrum; and since the rite was repeated every five years, a lustrum meant a five-year period, as the Greeks called a four-year period an Olympiad after their Olympic games.
The Latin noun lustrum also meant beast’s lair. Hence, the verb lustrare, to seek out or to purge, must initially have meant to seek out lairs and purge them of the beasts lurking inside; and the water needed for these sacrifices came to be called lustral water, aqua lustralis. Now, the Greeks had begun to reckon their years from the burning of the Nemean forest by Hercules to clear it for sowing grain, which the hero celebrated by founding the Olympic games. By contrast, the Romans, with perhaps greater insight, began to reckon their years in lustra after that water of scared ablutions. For civilization had begun with water, the necessity of which people understood before that of fire, just as the formulas of marriage and interdict mention aqua before igni. This is the origin of the sacred ablutions which must precede sacrifices, a custom which was and still is common to all nations.
And so Aquarius is associated with fire, indeed with the vestal fire and the 6 vestal virgins (the Latin word vesta being closely related to Hestia, a goddess of the hearth) who attended that fire.
The duality consisting of water and fire, aqua and igni, is equivalent to Yah–Weh, Pontus–Mountains, falling–rising, sea–serpent, Jacob (Jaa –Kov, Ja–Ov), George (Ge–Org), Gilgamesh (Gilga–mesh), James (Ja–Mes), Yama (Ya–Ma), Yima xsaēta (Yi–Ma), Jamshyd, Jam–Shyd, Janlashad (Jan–lashad), Janbûshâd (Jan–bûshâd), sea–river, female–tongue, water–reflection, water–rock, earth–rock, Earth–lion, Lir–Baal, Yamm–Baal, Jamm–Baal, etc.
Insofar as Aquarius is associated with fire, he is equivalent to the fire god Baal, a.k.a. Bel, Bel-zebub (“lord of flies” — meaning “lord of bees” and “lord or beetles”), Marduk, Merodach, Moloch, Hadad, Loki, Lucifer, Saeter, Seterne, Set, Satan, Saturn, “crooked-minded” Kronos, Vishnu, etc…. Baal is especially associated with Canaan, Phoenicia, and Carthage. There his wife/mother is Anath — or Baalath, i.e. the Hebrew Lilith (or Le–Lith), the Latin Diana, the Greek Dione, etc. Anath is festooned with severed heads, especially around her girdle. Artemis is likewise bedecked, as are the Mother goddesses of India and Mexico.
Baal is celebrated throughout Europe on or about May 1, counterpart of Halloween: Baal’s Fire Day, Beltane (or Beltein, the suffix -tein meaning “fire”), Walpurgis Day, etc. Consider the following from Frazer’s Golden Bough:
The fullest of the descriptions [of the Scottish Beltane] is the one bequeathed to us by John Ramsay, laird of Ochtertyre, near Crieff, the patron of Burns and the friend of Sir Walter Scott. He says: ‘But the most considerable of the Druidcal festivals is that of Beltane, or May-day, which was lately observed in some parts of the Highlands with extraordinary ceremonies. … Like the other public worship of the Druids, the Beltane feast seems to have been performed on hills or eminences. … Thither the young folks repaired in the morning, and cut a trench [square or circular], on the summit of which a seat of turf was formed for the company. And in the middle a pile of wood or other fuel was placed, which of old they kindled with tein-eigen — i.e. forced-fire or need-fire. …
“The night before, all the fires in the country were carefully extinguished, and next morning the materials for exciting this sacred fire were prepared. The most primitive method seems to be that which was used in the islands of Skye, Mull, and Tiree. A well seasoned plank of oak was procured, in the midst of which a hole was bored. A wimble [auger] of the same timber was then applied, the end of which they fitted to the hole. But in some parts of the mainland the form was different. They used a frame of green wood, of a square form, in the centre of which was an axle-tree. In some places three times three persons, in others three times nine, were required for turning round by turns the axle-tree or wimble. If any of them had been guilty of murder, adultery, theft, or other atrocious crime, it was imagined either than the fire would not kindle, or that it would be devoid of its usual virtue. So soon as any sparks were emitted by means of the violent friction, they applied a species or agaric which grows on old birch-trees, and is very combustible. This fire had the appearance of being immediately derived from heaven, and manifold were the virtues ascribed to it. They esteemed it a preservative against witchcraft, and a sovereign remedy against malignant diseases, both in the human species and in cattle; and by it the strongest poisons were supposed to have their nature changed.
“After kindling the bonfire with the tein-eigen the company prepared their victuals. And as soon as they had finished their meal, they amused themselves a while in singing and dancing around the fire. Towards the close of the entertainment, the person who officiated as master of the feast produced a large cake baked with eggs and scalloped round the edge, called an am bonnach beal-tine — i.e. the Beltane cake. It was divided into a number of pieces, and distributed in great form to the company. There was one particular piece which whoever got was called cailleach beal-tine — i.e. the Beltane carline, a term of great reproach. [The title cailleach or carline means “Old Woman.” It is a reference to Kolyo, Demeter/Ceres, mother of the grain, the catcher in the rye.] Upon his being known, part of the company laid hold of him and made of show of putting him into the fire; but the majority interposing, he was rescued. And in some places they laid him flat on the ground, making as if they would quarter him. Afterwards, he was pelted with egg-shells, and retained the odious appellation during the whole year. And while the feast was fresh in people’s memory, they affected to speak of the cailleach beal-tine as dead.”
By the way, the word bonfire means “bone fire.” The Welsh word is coelcerth, a cognate of Kolyo. The Kol- prefix, as I’ve noted, is akin to the English coal, from the Old Norse kol, “burning ember,” and is related to the Latin and French kul, “anus,” as in the Latin anus, “ring,” and annus, “year” (e.g. annual), and our annul, and is likely akin to the Old Irish ánne, “ring,” and the Greek ana, “up, back, again.”
Aquarius’s deep association with fire (igni) calls to mind none other than Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, i.e. the Jesuits. Iñigo Lopez de Loyola was the leader among 7 Univerisity of Paris graduate students (which group consisted of fellow Spaniards Nicholas Bobedilla, Peter Faber, Jacob Laines, Alfonso Salmeron, Francis Xavier, and the Portuguese Simon Rodrigues) who in 1534 CE established their hierarchical, essentially proto-mythological order considerably on the model of the Knights Templar and largely in reaction to the Protestant Reformation. They advocated total obedience to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Ignatius of Loyola himself famously declared: “I will believe that the white I see is black, if the hierarchical Church so defines it.” James Joyce is one of the most famous products of Jesuit education. He and his father considered the Jesuits the gentlemen of Catholic education. Richard Ellmann:
If Joyce retained anything from his education, it was a conviction of the skill of his Jesuit masters, the more remarkable because he [largely] rejected their teaching. ‘I don’t think you will easily find anyone to equal them,’ he said long afterwards to the composer Philipp Jarnach, and he corrected his friend Frank Budgen’s book on him by remarking, ‘You allude to me as a Catholic. Now for the sake of precision and to get the correct contour on me, you ought to allude to me as a Jesuit.’ To the sculptor August Suter, who asked him what he retained from his Jesuit education, Joyce replied, ‘I have learnt to arrange things in such a way that they become easy to survey and to judge.’
According to Greek myth, Aquarius was originally a young Trojan prince named Ganymede, son of King Tros of Dardania, Tros being the son of Erichthonios. In other versions of the myth Ganymede is son of Laomedon, son of Illus, son of Tros. Erichthonios was son of Dardanos, by a daughter of king Teucer. Dardanos had arrived upon Teucer’s domain in Asia Minor from Italy. The son of Electra (daughter of Atlas) and Zeus, Dardanos was Zeus’s most beloved mortal son. As such, Zeus had a special kinship with both Italy and Troy in contrast to Greece. Now Ganymede (ganuesthai + medea, “rejoicing in virility”) was so beautiful that Zeus determined to have him for a companion. Zeus therefore swept downward in the form of a great eagle and carried Ganymede to Mt. Olympus, where the young man received immortality and became “cup bearer of the gods,” a.k.a. Aquarius. As such, Ganymede supplanted Hebe, the goddess of youth, who concomitantly was married off to Hercules. (Long ago Zeus himself had been cup bearer, to Kronos.) Zeus repaid the grieving Tros by sending Hermes to him with 2 horses as gifts, horses so fast they could run on water. Priam’s father Laomedon inherited those horses. Eventually Apollo and Poseidon offend Zeus, who therefore forces them to perform labor for King Laomedon. The king presses them into building the famous walls of Troy, this in return for paying them a sacrificial fee, a sort of foundation sacrifice (which topic in general I will address later on). When the work is complete, however, Laomedon withholds the fee. Poseidon — god of earthquakes as well as god of the sea — therefore sends a sea monster to harass the city, requiring young women be sacrificed to the monster’s maw. Laomedon eventually must offer his own beautiful daughter Hesione to the monster. The king therefore hires Hercules (á la Perseus and á la St. George and á la Adam) to kill the monster and save the girl. Hercules’ fee is the pair of aforementioned horses. But Laomedon cheats Hercules as well, motivating the hero to sack (but not raze) Troy. Now, Poseidon was generally associated with the horse. It was said that he created the horse by striking a certain rock with his trident. Clearly, horses and earthquakes were associated. Likewise said rock is the same to which Andromeda/Hesione was chained: the Pegasus Square. Earth, sea, rock, horse and girl (eg. Aphrodite, she of the sea foam, goddess of the sea) are akin: Ma, mare, mass, mare, myr, mer and Mary/Molly/moll/melissai: and all are akin to Poseidon — a.k.a. Rector Maris, “Lord of the Sea” — and likewise to Mars/Ares and to Mercury/Hermes, representing the sacrificed king thrown into the water or buried under a mound/wall. In this connection, we should recognize that the word mass stems from the Greek massein, “to knead,” and refers to the kneading of bread which is eaten as a substitute for the body of the sacrificial victim — who according to proto-mythology is the king, not some surrogate of the king, and especially not a female surrogate. The Trojan Horse was crafted by the Greeks and left for Troy with the understanding that Troy, more than Greece, felt a deep, proto-mythological need to sacrifice its king and that it would latch onto the wooden horse as a suitable surrogate.
Hera alone — eldest daughter of Kronos and therefore eldest Greek goddess — despises Ganymede. She, along with Athena, likewise hates the Trojan Paris for selecting Aphrodite the most beautiful goddess. Virgil notes of Hera that her symbol is a “proud warhorse’s head” and that she “cared for [Dido’s Carthage] more than any walled city on Earth.” Hera hates the Trojans for their proto-mythological emphasis on sacrifice, beauty and raw love rather than preservation of the existing power, namely the power of the reigning king, the status quo. Contrariwise, Poseidon who along with Apollo — and just like Hercules — was pressed by Hera’s program into doing labor for a lesser entity, is angry with the Trojans for not sacrificing enough, for over-subscribing to the Great Reversal.
The story of Ganymede recalls the Piasa bird of the Mississippi Valley. Mythologically speaking an eagle’s or serpent bird’s nest is equivalent to a castle. The Mesoamerican Quetzal-, “feathered,” is likely cognate with castle. Another cognate is castrate, as in the story of “crooked-minded” Kronos castrating his father Ouranos. The ultimate mythological eagle’s nest is the castle atop the World Tree: Red/Dionysian Cepheus. And Cepheus — the castle in the air, the hero on the Tree, the ark on the sea — is moreover equivalent to the mistletoe and to the apple.
The ar in Aquar- signifies, as we noted earlier, the eagle and the bear, i.e. the Brown. Joyce, I should put in, was strongly influenced by Giordono Bruno’s theory of ultimate unity and the spatio–temporal separation thereof into contrarities. In the Wake Joyce often refers to Bruno, who hailed from Nola, in terms of the Dublin booksellers Browne and Nolan. They had backed the publication of Joyce’s early essay The Day of Rabblement, in which Joyce refers to Giordono Bruno as “Bruno the Nolan.” Bruno the Nolan: the bear of no particular land, i.e. of every land. Bruno the Nolan: Aquarius. Bruno the Nolan: Cepheus, Bronn.
The Roman equivalent of Aquarius/Cepheus/Bronn/Zeus is Jupiter. Iovis omnia plena, goes the ancient adage: “All things are full of Jupiter.” Plato interpreted this statement as referring to the ether that was supposed to permeate the universe. Newton’s absolute space and absolute time implicitly referenced this interpretation. Another such adage was Iupiter omnibus aequus: “Jupiter is equal for all.” Note here the connection between the name Aquarius and equality…. Likewise there was A Iove principium Musae: “From Jupiter the Muse began.” I should also mention the so-called great chain of Jupiter: Jupiter claimed that even if all other entities held fast to one end of his chain, he could drag the whole lot of them.
Consider the -piter suffix in the name Jupiter. It means “father” and is closely related to the Greek petra, “rock,” and thus to Cepheus (“the Rock”), the castle, Quetzalcoatl, the cave, the tomb, etc. It is also linked to the Latin petere “to go, to seek,” as well as to the Greek pteron, “wing,” petesthai, “to fly,” and piptein, “to fall.” This root pet/pte/pe is furthermore linked to the Egyptian Ptah, to the Greek Titan Iapetus (and his son Prometheus), to the month September, to the apostle Simon Peter (i.e. Simon “the Rock-Seeker-Flyer-Faller”), and hence to the Bishop of Rome (i.e. the Christian Pope, i.e. Father). I devote the next chapter to this root.
The Romans called birds of prey aquilega, “water seekers” or “water-slaves.” Hence the Latin aquila, “eagle.” The -la suffix is likely related to the god of a household’s fire, which familiar god the Romans called a lar. Of course a household fire is related to the vestal fire and to the fire of the forest, which primal fire is caused by White/Apollonian lightning. Birds of prey nested and hunted near springs and forest clearings, where life and hunting was facile. Human beings divined birds of prey, recognizing them as pointers to good hunting. The quarry in this regard consisted of water and plants as well as game. (In the Iliad Homer refers to Kalkhas Thestorides as “wisest by far of all who scanned the flight of birds.”) Under and in terms of these literal auspices — from the Latin avis, “bird,” + specere, “to look at” — humans received the providence (i.e. provide-ence) of Jupiter (whose is indeed symbolized by the eagle).
Now, the ancient Latin word for toasted grain — i.e. burned (sacrificed) “gold” — was adur (like the English adore), from the verb urere, “to burn.” This verb is related to the Latin oriens, “to rise,” and to the English urine. Likewise the names Anatolia, Levant and Lebanon respectively come from Greek and Italian words meaning “sunrise” or more generally “to rise.” Here we have the basis of the term Orient and the name Orion. Jupiter is the original burner, the original sacrificer — and the original sacrifice. Recall that the verb “to burn” in Greek is euo; in Latin it is uro. This word is closely related to the name Europa and to the word uroborus, the latter meaning “a serpent eating its own tail.” As you may remember, Zeus in the form of a white bull steals Europa — daughter of Telephassa by King Agenor of Tyre, Phoenicia — and swims to Crete with her on his back. In Crete Europa eventually marries the local ruler, Asterius, i.e. “Star Man. ” Zeus is god of the underworld as well as the overworld; Europa likewise is goddess of both realms. Hades (Aïdes, Aï–Deus), said to be Zeus’s brother, is just a name for Zeus’s Red/Dionysian, fallen aspect; he is equivalent to an elder twin, the twin that enters the world while the other, younger (as it were) remains aboriginal, ab-sent, separate, free, White/Apollonian. By most accounts Poseidon “the earth shaker,” i.e. god of earthquakes as well as god of the sea, is middle brother of Hades and Zeus. Which is to say, Poseidon is a Hermes-type, an Odin-type, existential, suspended between the overworld and the underworld, representative of the full nature of Zeus, the Father, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. Zeus as a bull swimming in the sea is Zeus Poseidon. Zeus Poseidon and Europa correspond to Cygnus and Leda (or Nemesis), and likewise to Cepheus and to Aquarius The Old High German ūro means “aurochs,” the extinct long-horned, 1-ton wild ox of Europe that is the ancestor of domestic cattle. Zeus with Europa/Europe is the bull rising, the burning bull riser–faller, the Phoenix.
The-ius suffix of the names Aquarius and Asterius — like the ending of Deus, Odysseus and igneous — further reflects the providence enjoyed by humanity. This suffix derives from the Latin name Ious — indicating Jupiter, a.k.a. Jove (which moniker James Joyce surely considered strikingly similar to his own surname). Hence we have the ancient word ious, “law,” which was later contracted to ius, “justice.” The English word pious is a cognate. But ius has a richer primeval meaning: “to gather” and “the thing gathered.” It is equivalent to the -yo suffix of Kolyo and to the Norse ting and hence to the universal prefix ti-. Primal things gathered include earth, water, wood, manure, bone, teeth and fish, as well as nuts, berries, honey and the like. The law and the lexicon — from the Latin lex, “to gather” — are gatherings as well, gatherings of ideas and symbols. Hence the Latin legere, “to read.” Aquarius is not the water carrier but the water gatherer. In fact, Aquarius means both “water gatherer” and “eagle gathered.” Importantly, the same sense of gathering is involved in the title Qur’ân, from Qara’, meaning “he/she gathered or collected together the thing,” “he/she read,” and “he/she conveyed or delivered a message.”
In time, as Vico notes, lex came to indicate the harvesting of domesticated vegetables, hence the word legumes. But nuts — inasmuch as they did not require domestication, and because they drop during the autumn from impressive trees and remain edible for a very long time (i.e. throughout the winter) — are of greatest mythological import among vegetable foodstuffs. The acorn is the archetypal nut of the Indo-European culture complex, and its tree the oak is the archetypal tree of that culture. Frazer suggests that this primacy owes to “the much greater frequency with which the oak appears to be struck by lightning than any other tree of our European forests.” The Latin for “oak” is ilex. The i- prefix indicates (a gathering of) swine, which eat acorns, the Greek for “swine” being hys. When Persephone disappeared into the underworld, a herd of swine fell in with her. People are drawn to the oak precisely as are both lightning and swine.
At this juncture we will do well to peruse and partially interpret the initial page of Finnegans Wake:
riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
Sir Tristram, violer d’amores, fr’over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side of the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor had topsawyer’s rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens County’s gorgios while they went doubling their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venisoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac: not yet, though all’s fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathanandjoe. Rot a peck of pa’s malt had Jhem or Shen brewed by arclight and rory end to the regginbrow was to be seen ringsome on the aquaface.
Eve and Adam are Anna and Father Dis. Howth Castle, located upon Howth Head at the north side of Dublin Bay, corresponds to Cepheus. “Howth” (pronounced Hoaeth) equates to the Irish Dan Hoved, “head.” Moreover it is akin to Aith, “black,” as in Ethiopia. This reference is not simply to modern Ethiopia but to the Black/Baroque in general. Egypt, for instance, was originally named Kehmet, “the Black (Land),” owing especially to the rich, riparian soils consequent of the Nile’s remarkable annual flooding; in contrast the desert was called Deshret, “the Red Land.” … Sir Tristram is Tristan (of Tristan and Iseult fame, i.e. Lancelot, St. George, the P-I-E initial warrior Trito, the Greek Triptolemus, Dardanian King Tros, is Paris, is Zeus-as-bull, etc.). North Armorica is Brittany, North America, Greece, and Ursa Major (across “The Sea”). Europe Minor is Asia Minor is Anatolia is is Phoenicia is Ursa Minor is Upuat is “topsawyer.” The “stream Oconee ” is Oceanus, i.e. the river Tigris, the Tree of Knowledge…. Mishe in Irish means “I am.” The equivalent in Sanskrit is “Aham.” It indicates an incipient state, a White/Apollonian aboriginality, as in the angel Michael. The name of Moses in Hebrew is Moishe. … Tauf in German means “baptize.” “Thuartpeatrick” means “Thou art Peter and Patrick, i.e. Peter and Paul, Red and White, Deus Rex.” … The “kidscad” is Red/Dionsyian Ishmael/Parnell. Parnell ousted Isaac Butt from leadership. Vanessy refers to the duality Issy–Belle (Isabelle) and likewise to Vanessa and Stella, the teenage girls whom Dean Jonathan Swift — anagramized here as Nathanandjoe — loved beyond reason. Sosie means “double”; sethers refers to sisters. Altogether “Sosie sethers wroth” refers to Susannah, Esther, and Ruth, the heroines of biblical stories that involve unfortunate love. Of course rot in German means “red”; likewise rory in Irish. The reference here is to Noah and sons. Regginbrow references the White–Red, i.e. the Brown, rainbow…. Castle Knock is located in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Legend says that Howth Head is the head of the sleeping giant Finn Mac Cool; a certain rocky outcropping in Phoenix Park is the giant’s toes poking up. Here we have a picture of the dead king Finn lying on the barque and floating down the Liffey/Euphrates/Brunelstraat/Mississippi/etc. Contrary to popular understanding, the Wake actually does end with a punctuation mark: a Pat on the back.
The Egyptian god Geb covered by the goddess Nut.
I’ve explained how Joyce’s huge westward gesture of sorts toward Ireland carries within it another, like gesture, this one eastward to the island of sorts which is Mesopotamia — “Messagepostumia,” as Joyce calls it. We are therefore obliged to ask: Might this be the same device used by the authors of the myth of Atlantis? Plato famously recounts the story of an aged Egyptian priest describing the location of Atlantis as being “in front of the strait that you people say you call the ‘Pillars of Hercules’.” This statement seems to signify of the Straits of Gibraltar and inasmuch it also implies the land of the dead, which, as we’ve seen, is typically described as an island to the west and south. But as I’ve more than adumbrated, the statement carries a deeper significance, a pointer to a corresponding set of pillars and a corresponding island of sorts. I use the word corresponding here in the sense that the directionality is contrary (i.e. eastward) and the island referred to is positively as well as negatively charged. Let me show you what I mean.
The Phoenicians, at the opposite end of the Mediterranean from the Straits of Gibraltar, were in fact famed for constructing temples to Melkarth (whom the Greeks identified as Hercules) — these involving remarkable twin pillars — wherever they controlled a strategic strait of some sort, sea or land. In Herodotus’s History, Book II, we find the following germane commentary:
In the wish to get the best information that I could on these matters, I made a voyage to Tyre in Phoenicia, hearing there was a temple of Hercules at that place, very highly venerated. I visited the temple, and found it richly adorned with a number of offerings, among which were two pillars, one of pure gold, the other of emerald, shining with great brilliancy at night. In a conversation which I held with the priests, I inquired how long their temple had been built, and found by their answer that they, too, differed from the Greeks. They said that the temple was built at the same time that the city was founded, and that the foundation of the city took place two thousand three hundred years ago. In Tyre I remarked another temple where the same god was worshipped as the Thasian Hercules. So I went on to Thasos, where I found a temple of Hercules which had been built by the Phoenicians who colonised that island when they sailed in search of Europa.
Phoenicia proper is a low, narrow, undulating plain extending northward from the coastal pass of Ras el-Beyad or Abyad — which pass, running parallel to the sea, cuts through the white limestone bluffs of what Pliny called the Promontorium Album (Promontory White), some 6 miles south of Tyre — to the Nahr el-Auly (the ancient Bostrenus) about 2 miles north of Sidon. The plain is only 28 miles long, with an average width of about 1 mile; it is bisected by the river Leontes. There are several other passes near Tyre, some of them extremely strategic insofar as they offer access to the interior, especially to the Egypt–Damascus–Haran road and likewise to the King’s Highway that runs between The Gulf of Aqaba and Damascus. Tyre and Acre (25 miles to the south) were indeed the chief Mediterranean ports offering access to Mesopotamia and the Red Sea. The most charged nexus in this respect is the nearby Har Megiddo — the hill (fortress) overlooking the plain of Megiddo. Har Megiddo is alternatively known as Armegeddon. Recall that I equate Har Megiddo with the constellation Cepheus. The Roman 6th Legion quartered at Har Megiddo. The name Megiddo stems from the Hebrew gdd or gadad, “to cut” or “to troop”; it is equivalent to Polaris and to Haran. The place and name are both equivalent to Norse mythology’s Vigrid Plain, site of Ragnarök, the battle sparked by Loki to terminate the present cosmic round. Joyce writes: “Bring about it to be brought about and it will be, loke, our lake lemanted, that greyt lack, the citye of Is is issuant (atlanst!), urban and orbal, through seep from umber wasseres of Erie.”
Whoever controlled Har Megiddo controlled most of the circulation system within the Fertile Crescent. All the passes closely associated with Megiddo were likely marked with Herculean pillars. Such pillars correspond to the legs of the constellation Hercules, who kneels with his back to the northern face of the universal clock and addresses with outstretched left hand the Father Ophiuchus (i.e. Boreas, Ophion, Ouranos). And as we’ve noted, Hercules corresponds to the Earthly location at the head of the Persian Gulf, near the once-coastal Sumerian city Eridu.
The proto-mythological suggestion here is that Atlantis in the positive sense (i.e. not in the sense of the land of the dead) was (a) the northern face of the universal clock, and correspondingly (b) Mesopotamia , (c) Eden, and (d) the entire universe (i.e. the entire universal clock). In this respect let’s peruse Plato’s detailed account of Atlantis, presented in his “Critias” and here embellished to a great extent with my comments:
We should recall at the very beginning that, in very rough terms, it was some nine thousand years since the time when a war is recorded as having broken out between the peoples dwelling outside the pillars of Heracles and all those dwelling within. This war I must now describe. [I think this war is the war described in the Iliad. Which is to say, it is the war of the Great Reversal.] Now they said that this city of Athens was the ruler of the [Mediterranean] peoples and fought for the duration of the entire war. They said, too, that the kings of the island of Atlantis were the rulers of the other peoples. This island, as we were saying, was at one time greater than both Libya [i.e. the entire coast of Saharan Africa west of the Nile] and Asia [i.e. the Nile and the Hellespont] combined. But now because of earthquakes it has subsided into the great Ocean and has produced a vast sea of mud that blocks the passage of mariners who would sail into the great Ocean from Greek waters and for this reason it is no longer navigable.
… it is first necessary to describe the condition of … Athens before this war.
At one time, the gods received their due portions over the entire earth region by region — and without strife. … [A]s they pursued their own plans, they directed us from the stern, as if they were applying to the soul the rudder of Persuasion. And in this manner they directed everything mortal as do helmsmen their ships. [Here we have the Golden/Legal Age.]
… The names of [the] first inhabitants have been preserved ….
… in their account of the war at that time, the Egyptian priests gave for the most part names such as Cecrops and Erechtheus, and Erichthonius, and Erysichthon, and the names of most of the others which have come down in tradition before the generation of Theseus. And the same is true of the names of the women. …
Now, at that time, the other classes of citizens who dwelt in our city were engaged in manufacture and producing food from the earth, but the warrior class that had originally been separated from them by god-like men lived apart. … None of them had any private possession, but they thought of all their possessions as the common property of all, and they asked to receive nothing from the other citizens beyond what they needed to live. …
… Many and great were the floods that occurred in the space of nine thousand years — for this is the number of years between that time and the present — and during this succession of natural disasters the soil was washed down from the high places. … [W]hat we now call the Rocky Barrens were covered with deep rich soil. And in the mountains there were dense forests of which there still survives clear evidence. Some of our mountains can now grow just barely enough for bees, but it was not so long ago that [lofty trees grew there]. …
Every year there was a harvest of Zeus-sent rain. …
… The land was cultivated with great skill, as we can reasonably conjecture, by farmers who were farmers in the true sense of the word and who devoted themselves to this single occupation — but farmers who had an eye for beauty and were of a truly noble nature ….
… The acropolis was very different than it is now. A single night of torrential rain stripped the acropolis of its soil and reduced it to bare limestone in a storm that was accompanied by earthquakes. Before the destructive flood of Deucalion, this was the third such cataclysmic storm. [Deucalion — “new-wine sailor” — is the Greek Noah/Utnapishtam. Son of Prometheus and Clymene or Celaeno, Deucalion’s son is Hellen, by Pyrrah (“wine-red”). Hence the name Hellas for the Greece that rose from the Flood. Why did Zeus bring this great flood on pre-Hellenic Greece? Because in Arcadia, on the Peloponnesian peninsula, there remained a proto-mythological cult of the wolf. (Home to Pan, Arcadia is named after Arcas, son of Zeus and Callisto. Hera turned Arcas and Callisto into bears. Zeus then set them in the stars as Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, respectively.) The cult referred to Zeus as Zeus lykaos, “Zeus-the-wolf,” and indeed practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism. For instance, Lycaon (“wolf-man”) of Arcadia sacrificed a young boy to Zeus. Offended, Zeus turned Lycaon into a wolf. This episode implicitly refers to the fact that according to proto-mythology Lycaon is obligated to offer himself as sacrifice and in so doing to become the totem animal, in this case the wolf. Subsequently Zeus, disguised as a poor traveler, visits the 50 sons of Lycaon. They present to this greatest of all gods a stew including the viscera of their brother Nyctimus. Zeus is appalled by this victual. He consequently turns all the sons into wolves, resurrects Nyctimus, and determines to destroy the proto-mythological culture. Prometheus warns Deucalion of the impending disaster, instructing him to build an ark to survive the 9 days of flood. The myth of Deucalion seems to clearly reflect the conflict between the proto-mythological and the Great Reversal (i.e. the new, Olympian order). The “new wine” associated with Deucalion implies the human blood that was previously imbibed according to proto-mythology. Another, seemingly more proto-mythological Greek survivor of the Flood is Megaron. Roused from his couch by the cries of cranes, Megaron climbs to the summit of Mount Gerania, “Mount Crane,” and thus survives the deluge. As I pointed out earlier, the Greek word meaning “crane,” geranos, is closely related to the name Kronos i.e. Ger-anos, the annual (periodic) herding animal in general, as in the word gregarious and is cognate with the Germanic ger, meaning “spear” and “true.” It is also linked to the very name Greece, stemming from the Latin Graeci. Moreover it is closely related to the name Gertrude, as in the Hamlet legend. Among other germane cognates are the word grail and the P-I-E gherd, “to surround, enclose, hedge, gird,” and ghordo, “enclosure,” and likewise the Sanskrit grhá, “enclosure,” and the Lithuanian gardas, “pen” or “fold.” Mount Gerania, you see, is equivalent to Haran.] … [O]n the heights [of the acropolis] the class of warriors lived in isolation … around the sanctuary of Athena and Hephaistos, which they had enclosed by a single garden wall. On the far northern edge of the acropolis they inhabited common dwellings …. They made no use of gold or silver — possessions which they never had any need of. … There was a single spring in the location of the present acropolis ….
As for the state of those who went to war against them and the origins of that state, we will now openly reveal its history ….
… As I said before concerning the distribution of lands among the gods, in some regions they divided the entire earth into greater apportionments and in others into lesser apportionments, as they established sanctuaries and sacrifices for themselves. [Here is reference to the mytho-astro-geological-archaeological understanding that I have pointed up.] So it was that Posidon received as one of his domains the island of Atlantis and he established dwelling places for the children he had fathered by a mortal woman in a certain place on the island that I shall describe.
Now seaward, but running along the middle of the entire island, was a plain which is said to have been the loveliest of all plains and quite fertile. [Recall, the Sumerian word for “plain” is E.DIN.] Near this plain in the middle of the island and at about 50 stades [50 x 600 feet] distance was a uniformly low and flat hill. Now, there lived on this hill one of the people of this island who had originally sprung up from the earth. His name was Evenor and he dwelt there with his wife Leucippe. [The name Leucippe means “white horse.” Leucippe corresponds to King Agenor of Tyre’s wife Telephassa, the Greek prefix tele- meaning “far-off” (as in ab- and ap-), and -phassa meaning “light” (as in the Greek phōs and the Latin lux). Here again we have the Old Church Slavonic ablŭcko, “apple,” i.e. “from the lucus” or “from Lucifer” or “off to Lucifer.” And thus we have a version of Adam named Eve(nor). Likewise the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic notes that the goddess Aruru made the initial man from clay and named him Eabini. Now, Agenor is son of Poseidon by Libya, and is brother of Belus. The name Eve/Eab/Age stems from the Latin aetas, which is from aevum, “lifetime.” The word aetas is remarkably similar to the name Aïdes, i.e. Hades. Eve, you see, is not Adam’s wife but Adam’s father, Zeus bronnton, Zeus “the thunderer/earthshaker,” Poseidon, the fallen or, better still, suspended, mediating aspect of God! … Joyce, remember, begins Finnegans Wake by a similar transposition of convention: “… riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.” Note the epithet bronnton buried in the above string from the initial page of the Wake:
Zeus stealing Europa is equivalent to Paris stealing Helen. Which is to say, the Iliad as told by Homer (from the Greek perspective) omits the true cause of the Trojan War: the Great Reversal stemming from Greece into Mesopotamia (this latter represented by Dardania, and especially by Troy), which intrusion featured the stealing of Phoenician women by the ancestors of the Philistines. In a sense, Paris’s infamous stealing of Helen was in accord with the Great Reversal. As you may recall, Cadmus and his 4 brothers go after Europa, but an oracle at Delphi tells Cadmus to abandon the search and to instead look for a cow marked on each side by a complex white spot, a spot the outline of which looks like a pair of crescent Moons, or capital C’s, face to face.
(Robert Graves says that this symbol represented the Full Moon whereas a simple circle represented the Sun and that in the earliest Greek script it also stood for SS. Regardless, the symbol smacks of Janus and of the meeting of the Sun and the Moon, and the SS connotation likewise suggests the double serpent, i.e. Aphrodite–Hermes, the Red/Dionysian hero.) Cadmus is to follow the cow and build a city where it eventually lies down to rest. Cadmus finds the cow and follows it eastward to Boeotia; it finally lies down where the city of Thebes now stands. (The emblem of this Thebes is a lion. Egyptian Thebes was the chief center for the worship of Amen, the Egyptian Zeus/Jupiter, i.e. the Green-Man. Robert Graves comments: “The Oracles of Greece and Greater Greece are many; but the eldest is that of Dodonian Zeus. In ages past, two black doves flew from Egyptian Thebes: one to Libyan Ammon [Amen, i.e. the Siwa Oasis, a prime center for the worship of Amen], the other to Dodona, and each alighted on an oak-tree, which they proclaimed to be an oracle of Zeus. … Troy and Antioch were also said to have been founded on sites selected by sacred cows.” Alexander the Great made a special, extended journey to consult the oracle/priest of Amen in the triple-walled sanctuary at Siwa and came away with the title Son of Amen-Zeus. Curtius Rufius: Alexander “not only suffered himself to be called Jupiter’s son, but required it.”) Cadmus then sends for some men to help him sacrifice the cow. The men go to the Spring of Ares to retrieve lustral water for the sacrifice, but they are attacked by the great serpent that guards the well. Cadmus kills this serpent by crushing its head with a rock. Athena instructs Cadmus to pull the serpent’s teeth and sow half of them in the ground. When armed warriors immediately arise from the sown teeth, Cadmus tosses a stone among them, causing them to suspect each other of throwing it. Only 5 warriors survive the consequent internecine conflict. (The Theban aristocracy believed themselves descended from these 5 warriors.) Zeus imposes a penance on Cadmus for killing Ares’ serpent (i.e., I say, for reducing the rich character of Ares to that of a mere, brutal war god), but terminates the penance by granting to him Harmonia, daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, as wife…. Let’s note, too, the cognacy between Leucippe, Telephassa, Libya, Lilith, and Lucifer. In Isaiah 34:14–15 of the King James version of the Bible, the name Lilith is translated “great owl” or “screech owl.” The owl (Greek glaukos, “shining, grey”) is symbol of Athena (The Grey Goddess, Latin Minerva). Daughter of the Titan Metis, by Zeus, Athena is the White/Apollonian counterpart to Core/Persephone (Zeus’s daughter by Demeter). As such, she is equivalent to Red/Dionysian Aphrodite, goddess of love. “Grey-eyed” Athena is especially the goddess of war, healing, wisdom, learning, and the arts. Her Irish equivalent is Brigit (Brigid, Bridget, Brede, St. Bride, etc.), and both are equivalent to Brizo (“soother”) of Delos (a floating island, and Apollo's birthplace) and to the aforementioned Brimo (“raging one,” a title of Demeter) of Eleusis (“advent”). The owl was considered a bird of death. Every year at Athens initiates into the owl-clan would ritually capture their totem bird. The English word owl derives from the Old English ūle. The word ululate means “to wail like an owl.” — Or like a sheep, for another cognate seems to be the English ewe, related to the Old Irish oi, the Old High German ouwi, the Latin ovis, the Greek ois, the Sankrit avis, and the P-I-E owis, all meaning “sheep.” In Ireland, 1 February, now considered St. Bride’s Day, was originally home to the festival called Imbolc, a celebration of the beginning of spring. This was the time of year when the length of daytime was at last increasing at a remarkable pace. (This is also the time of both the Chinese New Year and the Tibetan New Year.) The characteristic ululations of Arab women are the call of Leucippe/Telephassa/Lilith/Athena/Brigit, as are the wails of the Banshee (a female fairy of Ireland). Lilith is indeed cognate with Swift’s Lilliputians, who are 6 inches tall. The name Ulysses seems to be another cognate; it means not only “wounded” but also “he who causes pain” (and thus ululation). Sure enough, Ulysses’ chief supporter is Athena. “Two of a kind, we are,” she comments to him. Supposedly his singular enemy is Poseidon, “who bears the fighter an old grudge since he [Ulysses] poked out the eye of Polyphemos, brawniest of the Cyclopes.” Under the aegis of seemingly White/Apollonian Athena, Ulysses’ journey following the Greek plunder of Troy is however punctuated most remarkably by dominantly Red/Dionysian themes, especially Red/Dionysian females. That journey begins with Ulysses in the amorous confidences of Kalypso, the P-I-E Kolyo. Her confidences are, to put it more poignantly, fides, i.e. ligatures, strings, instruments of binding, of music, of law, of weaving, and, if necessary, of strangling. Here is a theme of the Odyssey: proto-mythological bondage, not only to death but also to life. The story indeed culminates with Ulysses returning to the White/Apollonian fidelity of his wife Penelope amidst adumbrations of yet another journey, a final, overland journey nonetheless requiring Ulysses to carry an oar to a people who have never heard of ships nor of seafaring and to there plant the oar like a tree and make sacrifices to Poseidon, and, upon returning home, to do likewise toward the gods in general. The Odyssey is a formula for resurrection, for re-entering life. It is a call to embrace bondage in general, i.e. to give oneself up to the very fabric of existence, the very fabric of destiny, the very fabric of home — to understand what cannot be controlled and to control what cannot be understood. Ulysses essentially died during the Trojan War. He entered the wooden horse, i.e. the tomb of Poseidon (the bear, the ark, the whale, etc.). He thus became united with Cepheus. But now he is coming back to life, coming back home…. Recalling Ulyesses’ connection with the owl and with ululation, note that the annual mourning in Asia Minor for Adonis/Tammuz was marked by groups of women wailing (like owls and ewes). James Joyce:
Shize? I should shee! Macool, Macool, orra whyi deed ye diie? Of a trying thirstay mournin? Sobs they sighdid at Fillagain’s chrissormiss wake, all the hoolivans of the nation, prostrated in their consternation, and their duodisimally profusive plethora of ululation.
The suffix -cool in the name Macool refers to Kolyo, to ululation, to culpability (i.e. sin, as in O felix culpa, “Oh happy sin”; Romans 11:32: “For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all”), to Táin Bó Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), to the anus (for, recall, in Latin and French cul means “anus”), to the Latin anus and annus (“ring” and “year,” respectively), and to the Old Irish ánne (“ring”). Now we rejoin Plato’s account….] They had an only child, a daughter by the name of Clito. [Here is Clio, Muse of history — as in the Greek klimba, “ladder,” She is likewise a key (as in Klee), a lance or spear as in the Middle Low German keie, keige), and and glorious (as is Herakles).] When this girl grew to marriageable age, both her mother and father died. It was then that Posidon conceived a desire for her and slept with her. To make the hill on which she lived a strong enclosure [paradise, garden] he broke it to form a circle and he created alternating rings of sea and land around it. Some he made wider and some he made more narrow. He made two rings of land and three of sea as round as if he had laid them out with compass and lathe. [So we have the following: an original hill carved into a circular shape, ringed by sea, land, sea, land, sea, and lastly by the land which stretches to the ocean. This 6-fold constellation of sorts corresponds to the 6 circumpolar constellations, respectively: Cepheus, Cygnus, Lyra, Hercules, Bootes, and Ursa Major.]
They were perfectly equidistant from one another. And so the hill became inaccessible to humans. [Just like the circumpolar constellations are inaccessible.] For at that time ships and the art of navigation had not yet come into existence.
And the god himself greatly beautified the island he had created in the middle to make it a dwelling suitable for a god. Because he was a god, he did this with little effort. He drew up two subterranean streams into springs. One gushed out in a warm [Red/Dionysian] fountain and the other in a cold [White/Apollonian] fountain. [In the Iliad, Homer describes how Achilles chases Hector who is wearing Achilles’ armor after killing Achilles’ right-hand man Patroklos 3 times around the wall of Troy: “They passed the lookout point, the wild figtree with wind in all its leaves, then veered away along the curving wagon road, and came to where the double fountains well, the source of eddying Skamander. One hot spring flows out, and from the water fumes arise as though from fire burning; but the other even in summer gushes chill as hail or snow or crystal ice frozen on water.” As I noted in connection with the Odyssey, the wild fig tree corresponds to the constellation Hercules; the curving wagon road corresponds to the stretch of the northern face of the universal clock from Hercules to Polaris, which star corresponds to the place of the double fountains; the hot spring feeds the river which is the stretch of the northern face from Polaris to Hercules; and the cold spring feeds the river Oceanus, which runs straight from Polaris to Hercules. Achilles and Hector are essentially the same character. Their circuit around Troy corresponds to the heroic journey, the northern face of the universal clock.] And from the earth he produced all varieties of crops that were sufficient to his island. He sired five pairs of twin sons and he raised them to manhood. [King Agenor, by many accounts, had 5 sons: Cadmus, Lilix, Thasus, Phineus, and Phoenix.] He divided the entire island of Atlantis into ten districts: to the first-born of the first set of twins he gave as his portion the dwelling of his mother and the circular island, since it was the largest and the best. And he made him king over the others. The other sons he made governors and to each of these he gave the rule over many men and a great extent of land. And he gave each of his sons names. To the son who was the oldest and king he gave the name from which the entire island and its surrounding sea derive their names, because he was the first of the kings of that time. His name is Atlas; the island is called Atlantis and the sea the Atlantic after him. To the twin born after him, who had received as his portion the cape of the island facing the pillars of Hercules opposite what is now called the territory of Gadira after this region, he gave the name that translates into the Greek Eumelos, but in the language of Atlantis, it is Gadirus. It would seem that he gave his name to the region of Cadiz [in Spain]. [This name Gadirus/Cadiz smacks of Cadmus, which is a Semitic name meaning “eastern.” Hermes in the Samothracian mysteries was called Cadmilus or Casmilus; he carries the caduceus. The Latin cadere means “to fall.” Cadmus, as we know, is a Canaanite, i.e. a Phoenician. Here, then, is another pointer to the east — particulary to the east of the Pillars of Hercules that existed near the Phoenician coast — and what’s more to falling (or sinking). The name Gadirus accords with its bearer’s general proximity to Hercules; it is related to the Latin gades, “enclosure, fortified place,” to the English gate, and to the Old Norse gat, “opening.” We’ve seen these words in terms of the Symplegades, the twin rocks featured in the Argonautica and marking the entrance to the Black Sea. These rocks correspond to the constellation Hercules, and likewise the Black Sea corresponds to the northern face of the universal clock — which lies just beyond the legs of the Hercules constellation. As I’ve suggested, the northern face of the universal clock is Atlantis! Which is to say, every hero, every person, insofar as he or she is Black/Baroque and advocates the Golden/Legal philosophy, is Atlantis! You are the lost continent, the lost Golden/Age! And Atlantis is rising! Atlas corresponds to the constellation Cygnus and likewise to Poseidon. Gadirus corresponds to the constellation Hercules. Here, then, in the duality AtlasGadirus (i.e. CygnusHercules, RedWhite, risingfalling) we have the original, proto-mythlogical name of Hercules, i.e. of the complex, Red/Dionysian hero, the cad, the satyr, Pan, Silenus, Saturn/Kronos. The name of the Syrian goddess Atargatis (Atar–Gatis) is cognate. Atargatis is indeed the wife of Hadad (Adados, i.e. Baal); she is half fish, half woman; clearly a Red/Dionysian character. She is yet another pointer to the notion that the “glory” of the complete woman (i.e. of the triple-Goddess) is not the simple, merely White/Apollonian version of Hercules (the Hercules of the Great Reversal, Hera’s hero) but rather a richer, ultimately Red/Dionysian version, an Atlantean hero. Hercules is associated with the Zodiacal age of Leo, lion of dawn, Leopold Bloom, representing rebirth, resurrection, and likewise both the eastern and the southern extremes. But this same character is also lion of the winter, lion of the setting and of the set Sun, of the west and of the north. Hence the cognacy between the Spanish gato — “cat,” with its 9 lives — and Gadirus. Late in Finnegans Wake Joyce writes: “… graced be Gad and all giddy gadgets, in whose words were the beginnings, there are two signs to turn to, the yest and the ist, the wright side and the wronged side ….” The word yest here represents both west and east, the sacrificed king and the resurrected king, yesterday and today; the word ist represents both east and west, the resurrected king (Rex) and the sacrificed yet immanent king (Deus).]
… the oldest king [i.e. the high priest, for according to proto-mythology only the priests are allowed to grow old] would hand his kingship on to his oldest son. … And in many regions of the island they exploited that metal which is now only a name to us, but which was then more than a name — oreichalkos. [“Mountain copper” or yellow copper ore.] …
… It also produced the kinds of crops we call “pulse” and the trees that give us our drink, food, and oils — and the crop that sprung up for the sake of our entertainment and pleasure, is hard to preserve, and comes from tree tops; … [Mistletoe?]
… They quarried stone from under the circular island that formed the center ring and from the inner and outer land rings as well. There were three colors of stone: white, black, and red. [My emphasis.] …
… The temple of Posidon was in this area. It was one stade long, three plethra wide, and of a height that appeared to be proportional to its length and width, but it had something barbaric about its appearance. [Here is the ark, the cube, Cepheus, Bronn.] They invested the entire exterior of the temple with silver [the White/Apollonian metal], except for the acroteria, which they gilded with gold. … There was a statue of Posidon standing in a chariot with a team of six winged horses. This statue was so tall that its head touched the rafter of the temple roof; there were a hundred Nereids [“Wet Ones”] riding dolphins [á la Cupid, who rode a dolphin; dolphins were considered the pigs of the sea, little Herculeses, symbolic of speed] and arranged in a circle about him, for men of that age thought that the Nereids were a hundred in number; ….
They drew their water from two springs — a spring of cold water and a spring of hot water. … The overflow they channeled into the grove of Posidon, where, thanks to the fertility of the soil, there grew all varieties of trees of extraordinary beauty and height. …
… The plain was smooth and level and entirely rectangular ….
… [T]his plain had been developed by nature and by many kings and over a long period of time. For the most part the plain was naturally rectangular, regular, and oblong. Where it was not perfectly straight and even they evened it out by excavating a Great Canal.
… They harvested their crops twice a year. …
… The total [number of] military districts [on the plain] came to sixty thousand. … [The royal city possessed] twelve thousand ships. [There were 9 other cities.] …
… [T]he  kings [of said cities] were regulated by the laws of Posidon as these had been passed down by tradition and according to an inscription which the first kings had cut on a stele of oreichalkos. This inscription was placed in the middle of the island in the sanctuary of Posidon. Here in every fifth or sixth year, and in alternating sequence, it was their custom to gather. … [A]s all ten kings were alone in the sanctuary of Posidon, where bulls had been allowed to run free, they joined in prayer to ask the god to be allowed to capture the bull which would be the most acceptable offering to him. They pursued the bulls with staffs and nooses — but no iron weapon, and they led the bull they had captured to the stele. There they slaughtered it …. And … they would burn all the limbs of the bull and, mixing his blood in a mixing bowl, they would pour a clot of his blood over the head of each of them ….
After this, they would draw the blood from the mixing bowl into gold pouring vessels. Pouring the blood over the fire they would take an oath to render justice …. When each of the kings had had made this oath … they drank and dedicated their pouring vessels to the sanctuary of the god.
Speaking of Poseidon, we have developed an impressive list of Poseidon equivalents. Among the most noteworthy of these is Nehushtan, the serpent worshipped in Solomon’s Temple in the form of a bronze idol made by Moses (II Kings 18:4). Here is the entity venerated by the “secret empire of the snake” which Joyce refers to near the end of the Wake, as well as, or so we might surmise, by Solomon himself, the Knights Templar, and in turn the Freemasons.
Nehushtan is also rather equivalent to the Kabbalah’s Ainsoph. Note, however, that I qualify this equivalency. James Joyce, rather deridingly, writes:
Ainsoph, this upright one, with that noughtly besighed him zeroine. To see in his horrorscup he is mehrkurios than saltz of sulphur. Terror of the noonstruck by day, cryptogram of each nightly bridable. But to speak broken heaventalk, is he? Who is he? Whose is he? Why is he? How much is he? Which is he? Why is he? Where is he? How is he? And what the decans is there about him, anyway, the decemt man?
Yes, that’s 10 question marks. Joyce knows that the apotheosis of the number 10 betrays a lack of understanding, for 10 is not a prime proto-mythological number. The Kabbalah represents Ainsoph by the number 1. He vectors toward his bride to be, Queen Zero. In the process the numbers 2–9 are generated; and upon the union of the primal couple, the number 10….
Nevertheless, the Kabbalists were/are on to something. Similarly the White/Apollonian sort of so-called Gnostics sensed the serpent nature of Yahweh. They believed that because the world contains evil the world must have been created by Satan rather than by God, and they identified this demi-God as Yahweh, the “lawless serpent” Nehushtan who gave his supposedly false law to the “lawless Jews.” In this law we have the so-called “Lie” abhorred by (White/Apollonian) Zoroastrianism. Proto-mythology, on the other hand, considers the serpent Yahweh not evil but absolutely providential, the creator, as it were, of the best possible coincidence, the best possible existence, the best possible cosmic structure, the best possible world.
According to this extreme happiness, if you will, the 1st Father is a mere member (albeit the greatest member) in a set consisting of an unlimited number of like members. This is the lone “secret” at bottom of Freemasonry. Likewise it is the secret at bottom of Finnegans Wake, which book Joyce called “our secret stripture.” (Note: stripture, not scripture.) There is, of course, very good reason to keep this secret, for the White/Apollonian — insofar as it is a singular, adamantine mindset — absolutely hates it and those who advocate it. The Templars were tortured into “revealing” the secret, and were largely exterminated as a result. Giordono Bruno was burned alive at the stake. Leibniz was unfairly parodied and castigated and was in turn — and unfortunately for us — largely ignored.
But the world has become far too dangerous now for the “secret” to be kept any longer. The Great Reversal has run its course. The secret must be publicized and championed with utmost precision — i.e. with a certain extremely normal genius. (Yeats: “the very essence of genius, of whatever kind, is precision.” Maugham: “[genius] is supremely normal. … [G]enius arises once or twice in a century. The lesson of anatomy applies: there is nothing so rare as the normal.”) The secret itself is our only hope, really, for it is nothing less than the absolute truth, the Black/Baroque, existence in general — the “anniverse,” as Joyce calls it. We have no choice in the matter. The secret can be understood but not controlled.
Nonetheless I’m reminded of the commentary by which Phineus (Finneus) prefaced his prophecy to Jason and the Argonauts concerning the Symplegades and the dove:
Listen then. Not everything is it lawful for you to know clearly; but whatever is heaven's will, I will not hide. I was infatuated aforetime, when in my folly I declared the will of Zeus in order and to the end. For he himself wishes to deliver to men the utterances of the prophetic art incomplete, in order that they may still have some need to know the will of heaven.
Presently the chief unknown concerns the amount of suffering — including mere fear — that we will happen to endure as we pass the high tide of destiny. This component we have control over, precisely insofar as we cannot understand fear. Fear and suffering cannot be understood. Which is to say, they are not beautiful, they are not destined.
The above musings regarding fear remind me of the following report (as presented by Campbell in his Primitive Mythology) made by Dr. H. Ostermann of the Fifth Danish Thule Expedition (1921–1924), which crossed arctic North America, from Greenland to Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska. The report concerns a certain Eskimo shaman named Najagneq. This man Najagneq was by most standards something of a cad and a great teller of tall tales. He was also a killer. He had just spent a (mere) year in jail for killing 7 members of his community. He had made a fortress of his house and alone from there waged a little war against his tribe and against the local whites. Eventually a sea captain determined how to capture him. Thus Najagneq was hauled off to Nome and held there until 10 witnesses to his killings could be brought from his village and a trial begun. But when these witnesses arrived and were confronted with their nemesis in court, they dropped their charges. “His small piercing eyes roamed about wildly,” expounds Campbell, “and his jaw hung in a bandage that was much too slack, a man who had tried to kill him having injured his face. And when the ten men who would have accused him met his look in the witness box, they lowered their eyes in shame.” Here is part of Ostermann’s account:
When Dr. Knut Rasmussen asked [Najagneq] whether he believed in any of all the powers he spoke of, he answered: “Yes, a power that we call Sila [note the Si- prefix], one that cannot be explained in so many words. A strong spirit, the upholder of the universe, of the weather, in fact all life on Earth — so mighty that his speech to man comes not through ordinary words, but through storms, snowfall, rain showers, the tempests of the sea, through all the forces that man fears, or through sunshine, calm seas or small, innocent, playing children who understand nothing. When times are good, Sila has nothing to say to mankind. He has disappeared into his infinite nothingness and remains away as long as people do not abuse life but have respect for their daily food. No one has ever seen Sila. His place of sojourn is so mysterious that he is with us and infinitely far away at the same time. … [All we know is that Sila has a gentle voice like a woman, a voice] so fine and gentle that even children cannot become afraid. [What Sila says is: sila ersinarsinivdluge:] be not afraid of the universe.”